Success: Attitude, Hard Work, & Luck
I was having lunch with a friend today. My friend has earned in excess of a million dollars a couple of different years and typically hovers in the 6 figure range income wise. At lunch I thought I’d ask him a very important question to which I have been searching for the answer.
Me: You’ve had a great deal of success in your life financially. Why do you think some people seem to always struggle for money while others it appears to come easy?
My Friend: Wow. Great question. I don’t know. I guess I never really thought about it. I’d say, for me, it has been a combination of a great attitude, a strong work ethic, and a lot of luck.
Me: Were your parents well off or involved in your financial well being?
My Friend: Somewhat. Dad struggled a bit in my early years, but by my middle school years, his business was doing well. I never went without. My parents taught me to work hard, study hard, and treat people fairly. So that’s what I do. I went to college and then to work for a company for 9 years before being presented with a very nice opportunity to start my own business in 2005.
This conversation reminded me of another conversation a few years back with another friend and mentor, also a millionaire. He commented on how he notices people gaining momentum and working hard to achieve success. Just then, when they reach the shoreline to success, they stop doing what they did to get there. Just like that, the success melts away.
Yet, another millionaire friend and mentor taught me the value of relationships. Success in Personal Finance is many times attributed to the associations we keep. By keeping relationships with truly wealthy people, the chances for opportunities are greater. Additionally, the conversations are different and point toward money making opportunities. While the average associations consist of complaining about politics, religion, and work related issues.
I’ve been reading the Torah recently to learn a new perspective in my faith. My Christian faith is molded and shaped based on Christian perspective writers. I recently decided to seek out the Jewish perspective that the Apostles and Jesus would have had when they wrote the New Testament. I just finished Genesis 4 today.
After exile from the Garden of Eden, Adam was told his provision would be by his own hard work and labor off the land. After killing Able, Cain was sent away to work infertile land for seven generations. Upon reaching the Promised Land, the Israelites were sent to fight and take the land. It was no easy task.
Today, the internet is full of Wealth formulas, Success webinars, self proclaimed gurus of money making. The ideas presented make wealth attainment seem so easy and effortless. Many have been labeled ‘Get Rich Quick’. The reality is that, rarely does a man get rich quick, unless he wins the lottery or receives an inheritance.
Most Millionaires I know personally and have read or studied, all have had to work really hard to attain their wealth. Additionally, the millionaires I know personally, are God fearing men. They are generous men with a work ethic like none other. There are common beliefs that my friend mentioned today at lunch.
1. Attitude. You may have heard the line, maintain an Attitude of Gratitude. Paul wrote the Philippian church, “Our attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus.” Later he went on to admonish and encourage them with, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phps 4:4-7)
Our attitude is so important in terms of our worldview of money. If we serve money rather than God, the results will vary (Mt 6:24). Where your heart is, so is your treasure. Seek the correct mind of money, and see if the floodgates don’t open for you.
2. Work Ethic. Today, our society is filled with this idea of entitlement. We expect others to provide for us starting with an employer. It is someone else’s responsibility to employ us? I hear people complain that they just don’t know how, if someone would only teach them. Knowledge is all around us for free on the internet and at public libraries to learn how to do anything you want to do. All you have to do is seek the knowledge. Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance, etc.
My grandfather was a farmer. Only God provided the rain. He worked the land and ate when there was food. He didn’t expect any government bail outs or hand outs. He worked hard for his livelihood. My dad learned it from his father and passed that down to me. Again, Paul was very clear in writing the Corinthian Church. If a man is idol with his hands, he was not to eat. After the fall, we were made to work smart and hard for our share. If you don’t like your share, go study and learn how to get a bigger share. Put yourself in a position of opportunity.
Opportunities to create wealth are available every day to every one. Unfortunately, the majority of people miss the opportunities, because they don’t prepare themselves for them when they come. Then they make excuses about why they couldn’t possibly take a chance. Guess what, that is exactly why there are so many poor among us. Poor work ethic drives excuses and laziness. Read the book of Proverbs to learn more on laziness or sluggard living.
3. Luck. I personally don’t believe in luck or chance. I believe God provides us with plenty of opportunities to prepare for wealth throughout our lives. When we are ready and when we’ve been faithful with a little, only then does he unleash more for us. Luck, in my opinion, is a false God full of false hopes. Faith in the only God, creator of the universe is the only ‘luck’ I need. As His son, I have full access to his treasuries, if I will learn how to manage well. If I squander the little he gives me, I won’t have much.
King Solomon warned us in Proverbs to present our plans before the Lord for success. Jesus told us that anything we ask for without doubt is ours. I personally believe so many people don’t have because they really don’t believe when they ask. If you want to know the measure of your faith, review the results of your life. Faith leads to Action and Action leads to Results.
Based on results, you can measure your faith. I know a lot of people who are ‘faithful’. They are praying for a new job, yet, they don’t fill out any applications. They pray for a new home, yet, they don’t do anything to clean up their credit so they can obtain financing. They pray relief from debt, yet they go buy a new car, house, and use credit cards excessively.
Today, this very day, God is preparing you for a prosperous future. Are you listening to the lessons? Are you studying diligently to be prepared when the opportunity is presented? Are you reading to learn what you don’t know?
Everything you need is within your ability. ”But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” (Dt. 8:18) You already have the ability, now, go get the skills and the knowledge to do what you need to do to produce wealth! You can do it.
God Bless You!
- Inheritance: Some ultra-rich pick charity over kids (money.cnn.com)
- How to be rich: our 10-point guide (confused.com)
- The work ethic in generous welfare states (inequalitiesblog.wordpress.com)
- Is America’s Entrepreneurial Spirit Dead? (wealthwire.com)