The late J. Paul Getty's rules for accumulating wealth are simple and to the point. In fact, it is so simple that most people who read them either dismiss them as sweeping generalities or falsely believe they have known and used them most of their lives... but these people are probably not rich. So while these guidelines may lack romance or an obvious direction, be assured that they are the genuine article. Apply them as soon and as often as you can, and apply them with intelligence and creativity.
You may think that the corporate executive with a $100,000 salary is better off than small shop owner, but the executive will be hard-pressed to double his income and taxes will eat up most of any increase. The simplest peanut vendor has unlimited opportunity to expand his business and his income, and even salesmen, who in most cases are able to write their own paychecks, can control his sale increases himself.
If you don't know what you're doing when you start, your mistakes will be costly and often unnecessary, and you won't be able to keep up with the technological explosions in any field. Start smart and stay that way.
Discipline is the key to saving money. You must develop the will power to deny yourself immediate gratification or the temptation to gamble on the quick buck. Resources will be needed for expansion and should be guarded carefully.
Risk-taking is essential to business growth. Nelson Bunker Hunt is admired for his guts in trying to corner the silver market, not scorned for losing money on this deal. Some of the richest men have staked their entire fortunes and lost, several times over, before the risk-taking paid off. Back those risks with good judgment, experience, commitment, and the right support. Seek advice on risks from the wealthy who still take risks, not friends who dare nothing more than a football bet.
Thrive on stress! If it means getting physically fit, having a psychiatric overall or losing 50 pounds before you can handle it, do it. Once you can learn to thrive on stress, you will not only enjoy it, you will seek it out willingly and enthusiastically and wonder how you could live any other way. Men of means look at making money as a game which they love to play. Consider it serious business and you will suffer far more stress than you need or want. Keep your perspective or your stress level will rocket beyond your control.
If wealth is your only object in business, you will probably fail. Wealth is only a benefit of the game. If you win, the money will be there. If you lose, and you will from time to time if you play long and hard enough, it must have been fun or it was not worth it.
This is the greatest business asset. Wait for the right time to make your moves. Let your business grow naturally, not by pressing your luck.
Once you've made it, you'll understand that any business is limited in the challenges it offers. You'll want and need other games to play, so you'll look for other ventures to hold your interest.
Now go for it!
John Paul Getty's "How to be Rich" (A*) is a selection of articles that he wrote for Playboy magaine back in the 1960's. A great insight in to the man, and information that it still valid even today.
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