Original question from Quora:

Building Wealth: Is starting from nothing (zero) to build wealth really difficult?

I want to be rich because I want more choices in my life and I hate being a worker. But now I have only Rp.2.200.000/165,41 USD

Further questions:

  1. How did you cope with your failure?
  2. Many motivation books of getting rich said that to be rich means to change your mind into rich man mindset, is it true?

My Answer:


Let me answer your question by telling you a story first, then I’ll answer your specific questions.

Dont’t worry, ti’s a good story.

Once upon a time there was a man who wanted to be successful. He wanted wealth and fame and all the good things that success might bring him.

So, he sought out this success guru. He went to the guru and said, “I want to be successful, can you teach me?”

The guru responded, “If you want to be successful, meet me at the beach tomorrow morning at dawn.”

The man thought he was crazy, but the next morning he showed up dressed in his finest suit (you got to dress for success right?) and met the guru by the ocean.

The guru told him, walk into the water. The man found this to be strange, and even though he was wearing his nicest clothes, he got in up to his knees. The guru joined him.

“Okay, I’m in the water, now what?”

“Go deeper into the water.”

The man gets waist deep into the water and is starting to get annoyed.

“Okay, what now?”

“Go deeper into the water.”

The man gets shoulder deep in the water and he’s starting to think the guru doesn’t know much about being successful because they didn’t talk about swimming in any of the success books at Barnes & Noble.

At that moment, the guru grabs him by the shoulders and dunks him under water, holding his head under water for nearly a minute. The man is flailing under water, panicking, doing everything he can to not drown.

The guru lets go and the man launches his head out of the water to get a breath.

“What was that for?!” the man screamed at the guru.

“When you were underwater, what did you want more than anything in the world?”

The man still coughing and trying to recover replied, “I wanted to breathe. I needed air or I would die.”

The guru said, “When you want success as you wanted to breathe, then you will become successful.”

The guru left the man, never to be seen again.

So, now I will answer your questions out of order because they are sort of in the wrong order.

“Many motivation books of getting rich said that to be rich means to change your mind into rich man mindset, is it true?”

Yes. It is 100% true.

You have to change your mindset into the kind of mind that a wealthy person has.

Part of that is focusing your energy and attention to getting what you want.

What do you want? Are you doing everything in your power to get it?

I had a funny experience last year. I ended up going to the gym early one morning at like 5:30 AM. As I sat on the stationary bike sweating, I looked around and noticed that most of the people at the gym were in amazing shape and hardly anyone was there.

I was confused at first because when I go to the gym after work, it is filled with out of shape people and there are a ton of them filling all the machines. It sucks working out after work by the way…

Anyhow, as I thought about it, I realized that the reason the people at the gym at 5:30 AM were in such great shape is they were there at 5:30 AM.

Think about it, you don’t get up that early by accident. And if you are up that early going to the gym, it’s really not an accident. In fact, the only people who show up that early are the kind of people who are dedicated to showing up that early to work out every single day.

And if you work out at 5:30 AM every single day you will probably end up in great shape. You’ll also end up eating better so you don’t sabotage your 5:30 AM workouts.

The point is, those people do everything they can to get what they want so OF COURSE they look great don’t they?

Yeah, I’m a bit of a dummy sometimes, but if you do the obvious thing that would get you want you want, you can get what you want.

The biggest shortcut is to work so hard that OF COURSE you are successful…

Part of that is understanding that to be wealthy you need to practice building wealth.

Being wealthy is really really simple.

  1. You must master the skill of making money.
  2. You must master the skill of keeping money.
  3. You must master the skill of multiplying money.

If you are missing any of those skills, you won’t become wealthy.

I know people who are good at making money, but bad at keeping it. They aren’t wealthy.

I know people who are good at keeping money, but are bad at making it. They aren’t wealthy.

I know people who are good at multiplying money for others, but have no money themselves. They aren’t wealthy.

So, you must know what you want, and you must work relentlessly and obsessively to achieve it.

And that brings me to your other question…

“How did you cope with your failure?”

I don’t fail.

I don’t have failures.

Here is what I mean, in case your brain is exploding right now…

I’ve had many projects, jobs, diets, businesses, relationships, and whatnot not work out. You could call them failures, but I don’t.

They are things that happened and they weren’t the outcome I expected, but none of them are failures.

In every single temporary negative event, there’s been something I learned, an area I grew, or an opportunity that was even better waiting on the other side.

For example, I had a situation where I was working for a company that owed me 2 months of invoiced full time hours. This was thousands of dollars. This was my sole income. They didn’t have the money to pay me and never did pay me.

So I ended the contract.

I ended up without a job and two months behind on income.

So I hustled and applied for like 50 jobs a day for a couple weeks. I was filling out applications, talking to recruiters, talking to friends, doing every single thing I could to find a way to pay the bills.

I was underwater and all I wanted was a way to pay my bills. Getting a job was oxygen and I needed it desperately.

And all that pushing and hustling turned into an incredible job at an incredible company. It’s one of the best opportunities I’ve had and it came after losing my existing full time gig.

Was that a failure? No. It was a temporary negative event.

Ultimately, it was a success.

So when something doesn’t go my way, it’s not a failure. I don’t think in those terms at all.

Sure, I get mad and frustrated about things not going my way. But I have a very short turnaround time. Like a day or less. I’d like it to be less than an hour and it will be soon.

Everything that happens is a data point. See it, learn from it, get better every day.

Build for yourself a system where each day you get a little smarter, stronger, wealthier, and wiser. After years of doing that, you’ll be smarter, stronger, wealthier, and wiser than anyone around you.

When you do that, the word failure won’t be in your vocabulary.

So if you’ve got to this point, I have a question for you…

Do you want your success as much as a drowning man wants to breathe air?


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