Why does everyone feel good saying “it’s not about the money”? Of course, we don’t want to be money hungry, and in the days of the “passion-preneur”, most of us just want to do what makes our souls feel good. But money is the tool we use to build in this society, and saying it’s not important is like saying a hammer and nails aren’t important when building a house. Money is a tool, and if you want to be an effective builder, you’d better be okay with getting your tools in line.
A pitfall that we face in our community is lacking the knowledge to acquire and sustain money. The main principles most of us learned about money in our upbringing was that it doesn’t grow on trees and that we need to work hard if want to get even little bit of it.
We look around and see others getting it easier, keeping it longer and passing it on to their children. To put it simply, they’re being taught lessons that we’re not. Not because they’re any better or their parents/teachers are any better, but because our parents and teachers just don’t know.
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice. Too many books have been written on the subject of changing our money mentality for any of us to pass financial illiteracy on to our children. If we want better for the future generations, we owe it to them to get this knowledge and give it on freely.
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” Proverbs 13:22
When I began my journey to financial freedom, I immersed myself in finding out how everyone before me did it. I didn’t start with a trust fund, a rich uncle or any of that. I was in debt with a 400 credit score and fresh off a divorce. I couldn’t use those obstacles as excuses though. I owed it to my two sons to pull myself up from the mud and create a legacy for them.
7 books to get you started on the path to a wealth mentality
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki – This classic is a must read for anyone who’s been taught some limiting lessons about money, and we all have. Robert tells about his hard working poor dad. A college professor who’s convinced that money is hard to get and requires hard labor. Then he compares that to his rich dad’s teachings. A real estate investor who shows him how to seize opportunities and capitalize on his resources. It’s written in plain english and an easy read for anyone. It’s a great starting point for your journey to financial literacy.
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason is by far one of my favorite books and one that I re-read often. It’s written in a series of stories. The rich imagery and historical context make the lessons in the book easily digestible and “sticky”. What I mean is, you’ll have a hard time forgetting what you learn from this book and you’ll find yourself recommending it to everyone. Simple but profound teachings about how to handle money and family, how to pay yourself first and more.
The Millionaire Next Door is a book that focuses on the lifestyles of the rich, but not-so-famous. I never realized how many everyday people are sitting on a payload until I read this book. Thomas Stanley and William Danko reveal the secrets of the everyday millionaire, from how they acquire their riches to how they live well within their means and keep their spending in check. It’s a must read if you want to avoid the pitfalls of being “new money”.
The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles is another great book, full of valuable information. It’s also very easy to get through and doesn’t use any $50 words. It breaks down the mindset shifts that are necessary for creating a wealthy life. I go bak to this one over and over again, especially when those old poverty thought patterns try to creep in.
Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice is based on the original Think and Grow Rich but with a specific turn toward the African American community. Dennis Kimbro was given specific instruction from Napoleon Hill to pen this book because he saw the need for special attention to the people of the diaspora. It gets down to the real challenges we as African Americans face in a capitalist society and dives into the history behind our financial limitations. It also provides workable solutions to overcome those obstacles. A must read for any black American and a priceless gift for any black teenager or young adult.
The Instant Millionaire isn’t even a full book, but it’s powerful. It’s a short story by Mark Fisher that talks about an old gardener and a young man trying to get rich quick. Like all the books on the list, it focuses on changing the mindset behind getting rich and cultivating an abundance mentality. You’ll read it in an hour or two but the moral of the story will stick with you forever.
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen is another short and easy read that packs an huge punch. I’ve given this bought and passed this book out so many times I’ve lost count. The major premise surpasses money and encompasses your whole life. It reminds you to think about what you’re thinking about and how you’re thinking.
We all know reading is fundamental. What you read is just as important as reading itself. Fill your mind with the principles you need to ensure that the next generation isn’t left lacking, or wondering “how”. Investing our time in getting the knowledge we need is the debt we pay to our future. The wisdom is out there, it’s up to us to go get it and apply it to make our lives the best we can possibly make them.