By Jerry Fetta
Wealth was not something I ever thought about until my mom died. Prior to that, I was fine just enjoying life and living with the stereotypical “ignorance is bliss” type mindset. When my mom passed away I realized just how help-less I was. Not from the standpoint of “poor me I’m so helpless”. No it was a different kind of helpless. I mean I couldn’t help. Financially it wasn’t doable. At the time I had no money, which meant if I missed work I couldn’t pay my bills, which meant no days off, which meant I couldn’t financially or otherwise be there for my mom the way I’d wished. That was the point where I realized something had to change. I wasn’t letting money rule my life, yet somehow it still was.
You see, we all have 3 choices when it comes to money. And the fact is we all should choose wealth because it is the only choice that logically solves the problems we face in life. But we can also choose poverty or denial instead. I chose poverty. I decided that money didn’t matter and that I wasn’t going to work for it. This lead me to being homeless and having to work on Christmas Eve, 4 days before my mom died. Most people choose denial and just surround themselves with enough comforts and distractions that their money problems get drowned out. After realizing what I realized the year my mom died, I chose wealth. Wealth means having so much money that I never consider it again. That it doesn’t come to mind when I’m considering giving and that I don’t have to base my life choices on it anymore. For the last 7 years that’s what I’ve been pursuing.
I have a few definitions for wealth. Descriptively it is the ability to treat money like oxygen. We take in what we need when we need it and let it out when we’re done with it and have no consideration about it.
Mathematically I define wealth as Passive Income > Savings + Expenses + Taxes.
And literally I define wealth as abundance and prosperity in all areas of my life.
But there are a few factors I want to address because I have never seen them addressed before when it comes to wealth.
When we think wealth we think about what we’re going to have. Things like homes, cars, vacations, freedom, and family time come to mind. These are great, don’t get me wrong. But I want to point something out. Everyone wants these. There are over 7 billion people on the planet and I guarantee 100% of them would take these if they had the choice. There are more than 330 million people just in the United States that all want to have these items I’ve listed. So why is it that less than 10% of the population actually does have them?
Wanting to have is easy. Actually having is another story.
Well if we take a step back, what we have is a result of what we do. So if we want to have wealth, we must do the things required to get there. This is not subjective either. Wealth is a mathematical equation (PI > S+E+T = Wealth) and this means there’s no wiggle room for opinions or mistakes. So I’ve got to be 100% willing to do what the equation requires. Before I can even achieve PI > SET, there are other things I have to do. I’ll go ahead and list them out:
- Invest for passive income
- Save 40% or more of my gross income
- Reduce my taxes
- Reduce my living costs
- Save up so that I have reserves
- Get rid of all of my consumer debt
- Earn more income
- Understand money and how it actually works
These are just a handful and a person would actually start on #8 and work their way up. But this is what separates the haves from the have nots. Someone who does all of these things and does them as long as it takes to build wealth will have all of the earlier listed items. Someone who does not do all of these things just won’t. And guess what? If you ask them, they’ll have reasons to explain why it was logical for them to not have done all of these things and they’ll even minimize the importance of their goals to make them less important so as to lessen the blow of not achieving them.
Now here’s the truth that I’ve never heard anyone mention before. Someone is only going to do these things if they have the right character. That’s right. Wealth starts with who I am. It ends there too. For someone to repeat those 8 activities for a period of 10–20 years takes certain character qualities. A person who doesn’t do those steps or can’t follow those steps lacks those character qualities. I’ve got to start BEING wealthy now in other words. If I expect to become financially wealthy, I need to be disciplined, consistent, willing to learn, willing to work, willing to be persistent, able to confront my failures, willing to invest (also known as ‘sacrifice’), and many other character qualities. But the first thing I need to be is abundant.
Why abundant? Well let’s look at the definition of this work. Abundant means “present in great quantity; more than adequate; over-sufficient”. Take notice that I said BE abundant, not have abundance. That part comes later. Being abundant means I live my life in a state of great quantity. I don’t think in scarcities. I don’t try to rip people off. I don’t penny pinch. I don’t heckle people over their prices. I don’t look for the cheapest option. I don’t worry about running out. Not because I’m ignorant, but because I understand that regardless of what I do and have, I’ll still be there. And if I can’t live an abundant life with just myself, I sure won’t be able to do it by adding more activities and more stuff. In fact, those activities and things will just become problems for me. I have to realize my goal is wealth which might be a 10–20 year game and the habits I accumulate in that 10–20 years are going to come with me probably for life. So if I achieve PI > SET and I do it in a way where I’m scarce, shrewd, a penny pincher, a price heckler, a bargain hunter, etc. then by the time I achieve Wealth I will have programmed that into my behavior and I’ll just being a cold, boring miser who has too much money and is afraid to spend any of it. Nobody wants that.
So I must be abundant. I must also do abundantly. Wealth is the hard work plan. Financial freedom comes LATER after we’ve achieved wealth. To get there we will have to work HARDER than we are currently used to working. No different than driving a car and trying to get somewhere faster. You’ll have to drive faster. To get wealthy you’ll have to work harder. And by doing this you’ll begin to have money and assets and other items that ultimately will add up to wealth.
I wanted to share this because I see more and more people ignoring money out of fear and uncertainty. When we fear the unknown we typically try and avoid looking at it. Our economy is literally on life support. We’re all locked down in our homes and unable to go out and participate in the creation of a local economy. Our government is insolvent and losing the economic respect it once had. I admit, these are scary times, but when this season is does I’ll have to live with the results of who I was and what I did during this time. Ignoring money doesn’t solve this. What does is what I wrote in this article and it has to happen on an individual level.
If you’d like more guidance on what you read here, you can go grab a copy of my new book The Blueprint to Financial Freedom. Click here to get a copy and I’d love to hear how you turned things around in 2020 because of the information you saw here!
To purpose, wealth, & freedom.
Jerry Fetta is the CEO and Founder of Wealth DynamX. He is a nationally recognized financial expert featured in Forbes, Fox, Chicago Weekly News, and other publications with dozens of features on popular podcasts and has earned endorsements and affiliations with names like Grant Cardone and Dave Ramsey. Jerry’s mission in life is to help create millions of financially educated and wealthy families navigating their economic futures with certainty and building more prosperous communities around them. Learn more at www.WealthDynamX.com