This was my answer to a financial limiting belief in the form of a question on Quora!
Depending who you ask, you'll hear two schools of thought.
1) Save your money, invest in mutual fund/stock market, lower your spending, buy a home and build equity.
2) Find a problem that many people want to have solved, find a solution and give them that solution in exchange for money (business).
#1 is the suggestion and advice offered to millions of people from financial experts, authors and financial writers. It's also an old world, World War II/FDR -- New Deal mindset.
Majority of the successful people I have met, know, spent time with or have done business with...overwhelming majority like 99.999 percent of them, have generated wealth using #2.
I'm not talking about starting the next Facebook or Google..those are Unicorns. Unicorns are sexy, elusive, exclusive and extraordinary which is why many in the media focus on them and erroneously treat them as the norm.
The reality is many successful businesses generate 6, 7, 8+ figures providing solutions to problems people (or other companies) have.
You don't have to be extremely educated or extremely smart to identify problems people have. You have to be aware of the opportunities in front of you, the knowledge required to execute them, the resources (whether it be your own money, investment money, loans OR customers/sales) and the ability to grow to scale.
That's it...the formula is generally simple...doing it is what people struggle with.
Look at most successful people or businesses...that was the formula. It wasn't inheritance, luck (as in sitting around and opportunities fall in my lap kinda luck), or some gross malfeasance in business.
The luck stories and a GREAT IDEA REQUIRED are stories people will tell themselves to rationalize their inaction. More importantly, the action takers and those who make excuses to rationalize why they are where they are will ask the following questions to the statement below:
"I don't like where I am because my job sucks, or I'm doing work I hate or I need to make more money!"
a) What can I do to change my situation?
b) Who is currently doing what I want to do and how do I get the necessary knowledge to accelerate the process?
c) What book can I read or conference can I go to to find the information I need?
d) Who can I spend time with to learn from them?
Excuse makers or those who don't take action:
a) Why is this happening to me?
b) Why do the rich get richer while the poor suffer?
c) Why isn't it easier to make more money?
Like the natural ecosystem and biology, the marketplace doesn't care about excuses or explanations. The things with the most value matter and rise to the top. We are generally paid in proportion to the value we bring. When value exceeds price...the marketplace gives you money.
We all either have skills that people will pay for or can acquire skills that people will pay for. The key is finding out what they are and the path to getting paid for them. We've helped a lot of people identify those skills and opportunities.
If you use the first scenario, you may save enough money to retire...but that's all you'll do. You may wind up pinch pennies, complaining about Medicare Part A, B, C, D or whatever, not taking any vacations and being constantly worried about your financial situation throughout most of your life. You then become beholden to social programs and the meager pension/benefits/401k you'll receive from your 40 years of saving.
The second scenario may lead to more lucrative experiences for you...I'm not saying it's guaranteed but if you're going to live that long anyway...why not spend the time doing what yields bigger returns? The goal is to live...not wait until you're 65 yrs old to do the things you've always wanted to do.
The question is "Are you willing to do the work to find out were your experiences align with a problem that many people desire to have solved?"
The answer you come up with will indicate whether you choose #1 or #2 - and the answer can be worth a fortune!
Please comment below, share with others on Twitter, Facebook etc. and let me know your thoughts on Twitter: @EbongEka