Jim Driver: How is wealth created?
In today’s world it is an unpleasant fact that too many of us live “paycheck to paycheck” and as a result some of us are never able to accumulate wealth. Why is this so?
Years ago I was introduced to a book called, “The Richest Man in Babylon.” It had a profound impact on my life. The book, written in 1926 by George S. Clason had a subtitle, “The Success Secrets of the Ancients.” This book changed my perception about how wealth was created.
The first story opens with Bansir, a chariot builder, and Kobbi, a musician for the wealthy. They were complaining to each other about how even though they worked for wealthy clients, their purses were always empty and they never seem to acquire any wealth for themselves.
After much discussion, they decided that there must be some secret that only the wealthy knew. Kobbi told Bansir about how Arkad, one of their classmates, had waved to him from his golden chariot recently. Since Arkad was said to be the richest man in Babylon, Kobbi suggested that they should ask Arkad how they might also become rich. When they met with Arkad, they asked him why, when in their youth they were all equally poor, he had become wealthy and they had not.
Arkad answered them by saying: “If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years since we were youths, it is because you either have failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them.”
Arkad told them, that like them, he had labored long and hard but never seemed to acquire wealth. Fortunately, he had became acquainted with Algamish, a rich money lender, and asked him: “Tell me how I might also become rich.”
In response, Algamish said: “I found the road to wealth when I decided that a part of all I earned was mine to keep.”
“Is that all?” Arkad asked. “But all I earn is mine to keep, is it not?”
“Far from it,” Algamish replied. “Do you not pay the sandal maker? Do you not pay for the things that you eat? What have you to show for your earnings of the past month? What for the past year? Fool! You pay everyone but yourself. Every gold piece you save is a slave to work for you. Every copper it earns is its child that can earn for you. If you would become wealthy, then what you save must earn, and its children must earn, that all may help to give you the abundance you crave.”
Algamish continued: “A part of all you earn is yours to keep. It should be not less than a tenth no matter how little you earn … Pay yourself first … Wealth, like a tree, grows from a tiny seed.”
Arkad decided to follow Algamish’s advice and began to save 10% of all that he earned and learned that he still had enough left to pay for his needs.
Each year, Arkad would meet with Algamish to discuss his progress. The first year Arkad lost all of his savings because he made a foolish investment. Algamish advised him to only trust the advice of someone who understands the investment he intended to make.
The second year Arkad told Algamish how he was enjoying the profits from his savings. Algamish laughed and said: “You do eat the children of your savings. Then how do you expect them to work for you? And how can they have children that will also work for you? First get thee an army of golden slaves and then many a rich banquet may you enjoy without regret.”
Arkad took the helpful advice of Algamish and began to accumulate wealth. After many years he became “The Richest Man in Babylon.”
This story is a blueprint for acquiring wealth, and should be given to every young person as they embark on the road to adulthood!
I know from my own experience that Algamish’s advice is worth its weight in “Gold.” Get this little book and read “the rest of the story,” plus ever so much more. You can get a copy of “The Richest Man in Babylon” for about $10. If you follow the advice in this little book, I believe that it could be the best investment that you will ever make.
Jim Driver lives in Rough And Ready.
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