You go to dinner with a colleague. Everything is good. After the mean, the waiter puts the bill on the table, the total is £30.
Do you pay it by yourself ? Do you wait and hope he offers to pay it by himself? Or do you suggest you split it?
This may sound like a minor decision, but in truth, it is one of a million chances you’ve had, have, and will have to become wealthier…
A miser might look at it this way:
• If I pay the whole bill, I’ll be £30 poorer.
• If we split the bill, I’ll be £15 poorer.
• If I can get him to pay it, I’ll be £15 richer – richer than I would have been if I had to pay for my meal.
To a miser the decision is an obvious one. When the bill arrives, he gets up to “go to the bathroom,” hoping his colleague will pick it up.
But if you want to become wealthy, do not take frugality to the extreme. In cases like this, spending money can make you richer. Wealth building, like quantum mechanics, often operates according to laws that seem contrary to what is “obvious.”
Paying the bill in this case might actually make you richer. Because the £15 you spend on your lunch partner might give you a return of much more than £15.
Your generosity might signal to him that you are the kind of person he can trust. It might tell him you are someone who is willing to give first without demanding recompense. If he sees you in that light, a relationship might be seeded by this small investment on your part. A year later – it is possible to imagine – he might recommend you for a promotion when he himself gets promoted to head up your department.
It depends on your assessment of his character.
If he impresses you as a person who believes – as you do – in reciprocity, you will know that the £15 is a wise investment. If, on the other hand, he shows you that he is a person who believes in exploiting others, the wise move might be to pay only your share of the bill and not develop the relationship any further.
In either case, you are richer.
In the first case, you are richer in a potentially lucrative business relationship. In the second case, you are richer in knowledge – knowledge about him that can help you avoid trouble or seize opportunity in the future.
There are two important points to be made here
- almost every event in your life is an opportunity for you to become wealthier.
- by seeing every situation as a wealth-building opportunity, you can take the actions that will gradually make you very rich.
People who are wealth builders understand this this on a gut level. They see every transaction – business, personal or social – as a wealth building opportunity. They are always analysing, even subconsciously, to increase their wealth.
Most people aren’t born with that instinct. For the average person, a casual conversation is just a casual conversation. Our eyes are not open to the possibilities that might exist in the future as a result of a particular relationship or transaction. We are surrounded by opportunities everyday but we do not see them as we do not know what to look for.
But the moment we put this principle into practice, we see the world very differently. Its potential is no longer limited. It is enormous, maybe even infinite. And we view every action we engage in as a chance – big or small – to increase or diminish our wealth.
Train yourself to ask the following four questions – keeping in mind that every situation, big or small, is an opportunity for you to become richer…
- “In what way is this an opportunity for me to become more wealthy?” (Note: I don’t ask, “Is this a wealth-building opportunity?” because every situation is a wealth-building opportunity.)
- “What potential does this opportunity?”
- “What problems can arise from this opportunity?”
- “How can I seize this opportunity?”
Look at every situation you find yourself in as an opportunity to make yourself richer. And I do mean every situation, even the most mundane. This includes:
- The first thought you put in your mind when you wake up each morning.
- How you prepare for a meeting.
- What you listen to on your commute to work.
- The expression on your face and the firmness of your grip when you shake hands.
- The conversation you initiate with the person next to you on a train.
- Whether you buy a brand-new car or a used one.
- How you greet your boss and coworkers.
- What you talk about at the coffee machine
- Whether you go out to lunch or eat at your desk.
Life is full of opportunities. Some of these will be small and some large. But by asking yourself the four questions mentioned above you will increase the chances of you getting ‘lucky’.
If you make it a habit to approach every situation this way, it will soon become automatic. And before you know it, you will have seized hundreds – even thousands – of wealth-building opportunities… each one making you a littler richer.