I started reading the book, The Richest Man in Babylon this morning on the subway on the way to work. I have read a few reviews on the book, added it to my amazon.com cart and it arrived this past week. I knew that it was a must read but I didn’t realize how useful the book would really be. It pretty much speaks of common sense from many many years ago which still applies today. The problem is that nowadays many people no longer have common sense. I feel that there are many topics in this book that I would like to cover so I will post a few articles about this book.
At the beginning of the Book the main character, Arkad is poor and he wants to become rich. When Algamish, a rich man came to ask him for his services, he said that he would work overnight to have his product ready by morning if Algamish would tell him how he became rich. Algamish agrees and teaches Arkad to be rich.
The first piece of common sense from the book that I want to speak about is “don’t ask a brick maker to buy jewels for you”. Arkad (the richest man in Babylon), when he was first learning to be rich, gave money to a brick maker who was traveling far away to buy precious jewels and then when he came back to Babylon, he would sell them and they would split the profits. Arkad was called a fool because he trusted a brick maker to buy jewels. The brick maker came back to town with what he thought were precious jewels but ended up being pieces of glass.
This teaches us that when asking advice or for an expensive favor, ask an expert. As the little rat says in Robert Kiyosaki’s game “Cashflow 101”, “Don’t ask a stock broker for real estate advice”. If you want to know about real estate, go to a real estate investor. Not only that, don’t go to someone who is a bad real estate investor or even an average one. Go to an extremely successful one and you will get good advice. If Arkad would have asked a jeweler to buy jewels for him, he could have been successful but instead he lost out on his entire investment. People many times think that asking a professional in the field is expensive but if you look at this story, you learn that it is more expensive to take advice from someone who is not an expert.
Year ago in Babylon and in Modern day United States, advice is always free and plentiful. The price we pay though is who to listen to and who to tune out. Most people in the world listen to the people closest to them such as their parents and friends. It is no wonder that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor. The advice that we get determines the road that we take to the future. If you want to get lucky, find a person that is where you want to be in life and ask him for advice.
I am a typical person more or less that has always tried to get away with doing the absolute minimum to get by. In school, I did my assignments last minute, I barely passes some of my tests, I crammed for everything and didn't care about retaining any information. I always wanted to be successful and get lucky but my problem was that I thought that luck and chance were synonymous. One day, all that changed when i found out that there was more to "Luck". I learned that it was possible to make your own luck and that people that were "lucky", all had very similar characteristics. I made a conscious decision to become one of those lucky people and the world started to open up. It didn't happen overnight and I'm still not there yet but at least I know what to look for and what to do. Recognizing the opportunities to get lucky is only the beginning of the battle. Now I have to train myself to jump on every opportunity and one day be truly "lucky".
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