Getting Rich: Lessons Learned from The Richest Man In Babylon
By Nathan Strum
While reading a couple of articles this morning, there was one specific one that caught my attention. I ran across Brandon Turner’s article posted on Entrepreneur titled, “7 Timeless Lessons About Getting Rich From a Book Your Grandparents Read.” He jokes saying that there were two core books published in 1926 that changed our world. One, he marks as Winnie-the-Pooh and the second as The Richest Man in Babylon. While Winnie-the-Pooh is a major pop culture icon, and a favorite to many, The Richest Man in Babylon’s financial impact is huge to the millions of readers that have come across it. Its mission is to answer the ambiguous question: Why do some succeed over others? If everyone has 24 hours in a day then the same work ethic, why doesn’t everyone prosper and flourish? Here are a couple of lessons you may have picked up on or even missed that you can start being more aware of.
Mr. Turner recalls questions that were asked in the book. He states, “Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, asks a very simple math question to his students: What would happen if, every day, you added 10 coins to your purse but only spent nine? The obvious answer, of course, is that wealth would increase by one coin each day.” The first step is to set aside your coin each day. Take away a small amount of your earnings and save your coin. Akrad instructs his students to take ten percent of the income they earn. So every time your paycheck comes around, take 10% and save it.
There is more month than money
Turner asks if this is a phrase anyone has heard of before. It boils down to, having more by spending less than what you make. For example, if you want to start building on your wealth, get on a budget. Spend less. Spend on the necessities. Monitor your spending and add to your coins. Turner states,” Americans, especially, have trouble with this concept, which has given rise to a huge debt problem. According to the Federal Reserve’s G.19 report on consumer credit from 2013, the total U.S. outstanding revolving debt was $856.5 billion dollars in 2013. That’s a lot of consumer debt for a nation of 300 million people.”
Multiply your gold
This step is a huge one. It is important to know how to grow your earning and multiply your wealth. Today, many people do this by reinvesting their profits, stocks or real estate investing.
Increase your ability to earn
The final lesson that Arkad shares was that there is always a way to increase your ability to earn. Turner states, “If you want to increase your income, you must increase your ability to earn. If you want to increase your ability to earn, you must increase your value to society. Learn a new skill, do the work no one else is willing to do and say yes to more of the right things and no to more of the wrong things. Focus on the few tasks that bring the most value to the world and outsource the rest.”