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How to make 7 million in 7 years …

Finally Revealed! The MOST important Making Money 101 lesson of them all …

old lightI was just rereading last week’s post where I said that I believed delayed gratification to be the most important Making Money 101 tool of them all.

And, as I said, I truly believed this to be the secret of my financial success …

… until this very morning!

Let me backtrack a little: we delayed gratification (MM101), built up our business income (MM201) and socked money away in passive investments (to prepare for MM301) and we finally made it.

We then started to really live our ‘new life’ as multi-millionaires: we acquired the houses, the cars, the paintings, the vacations, the technology …

[AJC: feel sorry for us, yet? ;) ]

… but, today we did something just as important (since we are stripping and renovating entirely the new house, which is actually an old house, built in the 1940’s and last renovated some 20 years ago):

We sold some second hand light-fittings for almost $200!

No, you didn’t misread: the new multi-millionaires didn’t just say to the builders “it’s a soon-to-be $6 mill house, so throw the junk away … or, take what you want” … they sold some stuff for $200 :P

Just in case you still don’t see the irony, here was the process:

1. We went to the house and decided what we wanted to sell: a few light fittings; some old built-in shelving (total hoped-for sales price circa $700)

2. We photographed everything that we wanted to sell

3. My wife and son listed each item on eBay (about 5 or 6 separate auctions)

4. My wife dealt with the two ‘winners’ (only two of the items actually sold first time around: both were light fittings)

5. I met the winners separately at the house and helped them remove the light fittings

6. I ‘upsold’ both: one with a heated-towel rail and extra light fitting for an additional $9, and the other for an additional $50 of lights

7. My wife and son are busy relisting the shelving and unsold lights as I am writing this … Round 2. Ding!

So, I spent a whole morning – plus all of the lead-up work – ‘earning’ exactly $140 …

in some circles (millionaire circles, that is) that would be regarded as sick ;)

But, that’s when it hit me: it was not delayed gratification that set the grounds for our later financial success …

… that’s a result, not a cause.

And, it wasn’t saving 15% – 50% of our income, or putting money into a 401k, and so on … they are all results, not causes.

It was the respect that we had and still have for money as a tool to help us live our Life’s Purpose that caused us to do all of these things …

… read that again, carefully: I didn’t say ‘love’ or ‘need’ or ‘desire’ or ‘greed’ … I said respect.

If we want the money to live our Life’s Purpose, we have to respect money as one of the tools (just one, not even the most important) to help us achieve that. Just as a hunting nomad would respect his hunting weapons, a farmer his plot of land, a charter pilot his aircraft, and so on: we respect the money that feeds us and fuels our needs.

This means that we don’t squander it needlessly, we save it when necessary, and we spend it when it doesn’t make sense not to … that’s Making Money 101, and it just hit me like a sledgehammer between the eyes: delayed gratification is the tool, but gaining a healthy respect for money is the lesson that we all need to learn.

I won’t forget this lesson … will you?

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12 Responses to “ Finally Revealed! The MOST important Making Money 101 lesson of them all … ”

  1. You also could have donated them to the Habitat for Humanity hardware shop.

    If you really make that much money, the deduction would have been worth just as much. Plus you help a very good charity and not piddling with eBay and Paypal fees.

  2. Adrian says:

    @ Dog – you’re probably right, but the house is in Aus not US and the places that take such stuff for charity are few / far between, here (nice idea, though) …

    … on the other hand, my granny’s furniture IS mostly going to charity because they take lamps / sofas / etc. … basically anything that isn’t built in (whereas our stuff is all built in).

    PS we will give the cash (actually MUCH more to charity), but my wife handles the ‘foundation’.

  3. My Journey says:

    The deduction will never be worth as much as the unreported cash lol.

    Cool story

  4. Scott says:

    I think the fact he went through the trouble to do what he did to sell the items and ‘earn’ the money is exactly HOW he got rich in the first place and how he came to his conclusion about the most important tool – The respect for money.

    It was never about the exact sum of money he earned, or whether it was small or large, it was that he had such a healthy respect and appreciation for ANY amount he could come up with and respected it the same as if it were $200,000.00. That’s WHY he attracted enough money to be wealthy in the first place.

    I heard the lesson loud and clear Adrian, thanks for sharing it, i’ll put it to good use!

  5. Jeff says:

    Adrian, I’m onboard with the whole respect issue. I’m amazed at how many folks have little respect for money, property and people.

    Showing some respect to each goes a long way to being wealthy in more ways than just the possession of money.

    In the case of my new home in Boston, I’ve told my wife more times than I care to recall that “I can’t believe how little respect the prior owners had for this house.”

    They showed it very little respect and it shows in the physical condition. That lack of respect bit them hard when it came time to sell. The owners tried to move the home for well over a year at prices close to $800K and even turned down several offers around $650K. Seems a bit greedy to me when you consider the fact that they built the house for $490K.

    Obviously it didn’t work out for them because they lost the home and I bought it for $520K as a bank foreclosure.

    Fortunately most of the “disrespect” was cosmetic in nature and I can start to see the profit potential now that I’ve painted and repaired walls in about a third of the house.

    I think the “respect” my family is showing to this home will help move us closer toward our number.

    Bottom line: A little respect (for anything) can go a long way.

    On another note…Any idea why my WordPress login is no longer registering properly with 7million7years? Have you moved away from WordPress?

  6. Jeff says:

    Nevermind, it seems my wordpress picture popped up after all.

  7. Steve says:

    Lesson Learned and a Big Thanks for being here to help guide us all.

  8. Adrian says:

    @ Jeff – out of respect for you (and, my other readers) I moved to a self-hosted form of WordPress :)

    It’s much faster, with lots of cool, new features … but, some of my readers may need to re-register on the new hosting platform.

  9. Nice look to the site, better than the basic one you had before.

  10. Jason Dragon says:

    Yes, this is the key. So many people have no respect for their money. Even when I had a lot of money I still found the best deals, use coupons, and passed on the $2 side of sour cream with my meal just because I know I can get a whole pound of the stuff for a buck at the store. To this day it has let me live much better than others on far less money. We still buy almost all clothes from the clearance rack, and yes I buy the winter clothes in May and the summer clothes in September. Just watch the average American shopper at the store or the restaurant.

  11. Adrian says:

    @ Jason – Yes. It was actually a ‘surprise’ to me when I made this realization … I am not know for sifting through clearance racks, myself.

  12. […] you respect your money? The other day Adrian posted a great blog entry that really got me thinking.  His idea is that the number one most important lesson to be learned […]

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