The Trouble with Luck and Breaking the Wealth Code Reading Exercises

So last Friday was our company Christmas party (excuse me, I mean holiday party), and I didn’t end up with any of the door prizes. That didn’t surprise me—par for the course. No big deal. But all this week they’ve been drawing employees for various “gifts” that are given to the company. (Employees aren’t personally allowed to accept gifts from other companies or vendors, so the gifts are randomly doled out.) No dice. It’s not a big deal—I don’t need the stuff they’re giving out, in fact I wouldn’t even want some of it, but the notification 5 times a day of other people “winning” the random drawings has started to grate on my nerves. I hate random! I like things where I can affect the outcome, but rigging the drawings didn’t seem like a good (or feasible) idea.

Then I got an email that instead of announcing the prizes and winners, said that there were a number of items left around from various events/promotions/whatever that the company wanted to get rid of. Being a fairly avid thrifter (Hey, it’s a great way to stretch a dollar!), I went to take a look. In only 15 minutes the items had already been pretty well picked over, but I found a wealth book that looked interesting, took it back to my desk, and went about the rest of my day (deleting further losing prize notifications as they showed up).

When I got home, my wife was on the computer, so I pulled out the book and started thumbing through it. It’s Breaking the Wealth Code by John Hrimnak. It looks like a number of other books on the subject, but since I haven’t bought any of the other millionaire/wealth/success “code” books yet, and I got this one for free, I decided to give it a chance. Besides, it’s a copy signed by the author, and I kind of have a thing for signed books. But that’s a subject for another time.

Scanning the dust jacket, I found that the author lives here locally, in the Phoenix area, and that the book was published about 2 years ago, which made it current enough for me to want to read. (I don’t really like reading books written during the “anybody can make money in real estate” bubble.) So I dove in.

Hrimnak has a really good rags-to-riches story, or at least the rags part. I haven’t got far enough yet to get a real feel for the wealth side of things. I like good stories. That’s why I write this blog—stories are an excellent way to teach and change people, especially those who want to change. Anyway, good story so far.

Exercises

Okay, I’ll be honest. The real reason I sat down to write tonight is because I came to a part in Breaking the Wealth Code that required me to do something—specifically, to answer a bunch of questions. Now typically, when I come to these types of exercises in success books, I do one of two things. Either I decide that I’ll come back and do the exercises later, and then I just read through the questions, making a few mental notes, or I just read through the questions, making a few mental notes. Even if I read the questions carefully, and I really examine myself for the answers, I almost never write them down, so I forget my answers, and they don’t do me much good.

Not this time! I’m going to immortalize those answers here, where I can refer back to them. And maybe I’ll have someone to be accountable to, since I sometimes let myself off the hook too easily. Anyway, here are the questions and answers from pages 20–22.

  • Do you believe money is bad? No, money just magnifies what you are. Money is a tool—it can be used for whatever purpose you wish, good or evil.
  • Do you believe you being wealthy is wrong? No, so long as the wealth is produced by honorable means. I can put wealth to good use, not the least of which is providing well for my family.
  • Do you believe having more money than you need is necessary? Yes, if I have only what I need (or worse, less than I need), I cannot fully help others, at least not to the extent possible with excess money.
  • Do you believe if you become rich that you will be liked among friends and family? I don’t believe that I will be liked because of my money, but it is possible that some friends and/or family members might be uncomfortable with me being truly wealthy, though I’m not particularly bothered by that possibility.
  • Do you believe that building wealth is too difficult or impossible? No, although I’m coming to realize that it will likely not be a quick process. I’ve been studying success/wealth literature for quite a few years now, and it seems that the law of the harvest applies to everything. I must sew the seeds in order to reap a harvest, and each plant takes time to grow—the larger the plant, the longer the growing period (in general). To summarize, it’s not overly difficult, but it will take time and probably patience.
  • Do you believe all you need is a lucky break to be rich? Heavens, no! We already discussed my relationship with luck—she mostly turns up her nose at me. What I need is a good plan, executed diligently and persistently.
  • Do you believe that you deserve to be wealthy? Yes, if I do the work required of me. In other words, I deserve the right to earn a fortune, but I’m not entitled to it by virtue of being alive.
  • Do you believe that having a lot of money creates a lot of problems? No, money relieves some problems while engendering different ones. But that’s part of the personal growth process—it’s a good thing.
  • Do you believe you are worthy of having nice things in life? Yes, as long as I am creating value for others.
  • Do you believe your family deserves a higher quality of life? Yes, I think we’ve learned all we can from the cash-strapped phase. There are a number of material things that would greatly aid in my family’s growth and education.
  • Do you believe you are not very good with money and finances? I’m more than adequate with money and finances, so long as I diligently track them.
  • Do you believe everyone will want something from you if you become rich? No, although some likely will, but that’s okay too. With wealth comes responsibility.
  • Do you believe you will have to give up a lot in order to gain wealth? Not a lot, just my bad habits. There will also be some short-term time and effort investment required, which has opportunity cost.
  • Do you believe it takes money to make money? No, it takes an idea to make money. (Thank you, Robert Kiyosaki, for pounding that into my head!)
  • Do you believe you are smart enough to become rich. Definitely. My problem is that my “intelligence” gets me stuck in analysis paralysis.
  • Do you believe it’s acceptable for you to be wealthy in spite of others close to you that may not have enough money? Of course! How can I help them if I don’t have more than enough myself? How can I help them learn to have enough themselves if I can’t do so myself?
  • Do you believe you are so comfortable that you don’t need to create wealth? Uh, no—not by a long shot.
  • Do you believe that working a good job is enough in life? Definitely not!
  • Do you believe that rich people did something that was illegal to earn their money? No, not in the vast majority of cases.
  • Do you believe money is not important? Money is definitely important, though it’s certainly not the most important thing in life.
  • Do you believe you will be stressed out as you create wealth. I don’t think so, but not having enough money is already stressing me out, as it is.
  • Do you believe all debt is bad? No, not all debt is bad, but I think that pretty much all personal/consumer debt is bad.
  • Do you believe you need more time before starting to build wealth? No, let’s do it now!
  • Do you believe becoming rich will change you for the worse? No, I have great hopes that the opposite will be true. Not that I think more money will make me a better person, but I hope that the growth process required to become wealthy will help me become a better person.

Wow, that’s a lot of questions!

Actually, I’m really glad I went through this exercise. It gives me hope that I really am on the right track. Many of my answers would have been quite a bit different 15–20 years ago. All of that reading must be doing some good. Now I just need to take some more concrete action…

I’ll continue posting my answers to any more exercises in Breaking the Wealth Code, and eventually I’ll get a full review posted. In the meantime, fire off a comment below to let me know what you think of this series of questions. Are you struggling with any of them, or is this stuff old hat? What books and/or experiences have shaped your beliefs about wealth?

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