America Saves Week swept across the country last week with the goal of promoting good savings behavior to all Americans. While it's certainly a worthwhile message for all of us to hear, saving alone is not the answer -- and it certainly won't make you rich.
If you look at the typical American family with a median household income of $50,054, how much can they really save? Even if they manage to put some money away, they'll never acquire the wealth necessary to be rich let alone even be comfortable. The answer isn't saving; it's looking for more ways to earn money.
Driven by the fear of loss and uncertainty of the future, the masses focus on how to protect and hoard their money. While the wealthy understand the importance of saving and investing, they direct their mental energy toward accumulating wealth and solving problems.
When an economic correction occurs, the fear-based saver suffers catastrophic losses that may take years to recover. While the wealthy suffer similar losses, they quickly turn their attention to financial opportunities that present themselves in a society of suddenly terrified people. While the masses are selling for short-term survival, the great ones are buying for long-term success. One group is operating from fear, the other, from abundance.
The self-made rich aren't afraid to take calculated risks, because they know if they lose they can make it all back. While the middle class is always looking for the homerun investment that will make them wealthy, the wealthy invest wisely, knowing the bulk of their fortune will come from the service they provide.
Most people are more concerned with the modest gains they accumulate from their savings and investments than they are with using their billion dollar minds to create a fortune. The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally that they miss major opportunities. Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickel and dime thinking of the masses. They are masters at focusing their mental energy where it longs: on the big money.
Are you more focused on saving pennies or building an empire? Your current financial status will give you an idea of your past thinking. If you're rich, keep thinking the way you're thinking. If not, maybe it's time for a change, and the best way to start is to stop thinking so much about saving and more about earning.
How can you earn more money? Corporate America is sitting on $2 trillion dollars in cash, and they are searching desperately for help dealing with unprecedented problems around leadership, customer service, strategic planning, team building, incentive compensation structure and many others. Corporate Canada is hording over $500 billion in cash and struggling with the same issues.
The average American has lost almost 40 percent of their net worth since the economic collapse and is searching for bargains at a level not seen since the Great Depression. Huge opportunities exist selling and brokering used goods like clothes, toys, computers and sporting goods. These items can be purchased at garage sales and resold off and online.
There were roughly five million millionaires in the U.S. at the end of 2011, and they are the largest buyer of personal services. It's a perfect time to start a lawn care service, maid service, handyman business, pool cleaning company, grocery shopping service, etc. The rich are still getting richer because most of them earn their money in the financial markets, which have risen in the past few years, while the average American depends on jobs and home equity for their wealth.
The greatest way to earn money is to find a problem to solve. And if you can find a problem to solve using your talents and what you're passionate about, building wealth will be a much easier process. The average person goes to work every day and hopes to find passion in his or her efforts. The rich go to work every day feeling passion for what they do, and their passion fuels their efforts.