One of America's Richest People Shares Practical Money Advice

John Cousins

How to Get Rich: Wise Words on Generating Wealth.

We are all familiar with the names of the wealthiest Americans today, like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffett, but who was the richest American in the late 1700s?

Ben Franklin.

He was the Jeff Bezos of the eighteenth century.

Ben Franklin was the richest man in America.

That surprised me when I first heard it. I guess it shouldn't have as Ben's visage graces the one hundred dollar bill, and a slang term for cash is Benjamins.

Ben Franklin started life with no money, and by 1785, he was the wealthiest person in America. Ben Franklin still ranks as one of the 100 wealthiest Americans, adjusted for inflation, of all time.

His advice on creating wealth is well worth considering since money will influence your life more than any other commodity.

Every day presents us with the opportunity of making those slight changes that would make all the difference. I hope you find an inflection point or two among the following gems.

One of America's richest people shares practical money advice.

Ben collected his thoughts on the subject in his book The Way to Wealth. It was published under his nom de plume Richard Saunders. Franklin used that name for writing his Poor Richard's Almanack series.

The Way to Wealth is a compilation of his wise sayings from those almanacs. The sayings from The Way to Wealth have become common, and you know many of them. You have heard them repeated since you were a child. But I bet, like me, you didn't realize they all originated in those almanacs from the early 1700s.

Ben Franklin is one of my heroes. He has been an inspiration to me my entire life.

Ben's sage advice still rings true. Wealth creation is possible by following his common-sense steps. It's like having the matrix revealed. It's simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy. And it takes time. Time is the secret ingredient.

Building wealth carefully takes patience.

There is a powerful seductive urge to want to be rich now. We think that will solve all our problems. Trying too hard to get rich quick is how we end up making mistakes. Taking on too much risk is a low percentage game.

Getting rich slowly and carefully is a high percentage game. Start thinking it is your destiny to be wealthy. Start living your life by following that idea.

It's not about out spending your neighbors and friends and showing off.

Spending money to show off how much money you have is a quick and effective way to have less money. Spending money as a competitive sport is a fool's game.

Becoming wealthy is about learning, expanding your horizons, and living healthy. It's about shedding bad habits. It's about becoming the best version of yourself.

Be honest with yourself. Set high standards for your behavior. Start course-correcting today.

Wealthy is a mindset first. The money will follow once you get your mind right.

Learn the simple rules and apply them. It's what Ben Franklin did and why he is still on the list of the 100 wealthiest people in American history. Follow his example and blaze your trail.

Play the long game. Get excited and motivated to create your life and legacy.

Here are seven quotes by Ben Franklin on the way to wealth, along with my take on them, to get your mind right, right now.

It's not what you make, it's what you keep.

"Get what you can and what you get hold."

Ben Franklin

"If you would be wealthy, think of saving, as well as of getting."

Ben Franklin

Many of us have a fraught relationship with money. We want it, we fear it, we are anxious we will run out. Did I mention we want it? We want money, but we may not be clear on how to get it, keep it, and grow it.

If you want to become financially secure and worry-free, you must clearly understand what money is and what it is not. Money is a means, not an end.

You can't buy happiness, love, and satisfaction. But money does represent financial: safety, security, peace of mind, and freedom.

Money will not solve your problems. If you have a plan on how to use and deploy money, it can be the means to solve problems, end worry, sleep better, help others, and enjoy life.

To have a financial plan, you must have a solid understanding of the four characteristics of money and your relationship to them.

Your relationship with money separates into four aspects. They are:

· Earning

· Spending

· Saving

· Investing

Your out-goes cannot be higher than your incomes.

"Little strokes fell great oaks."

Ben Franklin

The direction of our life is the result of a continuous series of micro decisions. We make them all the time, all day, every day. The cumulative effect of each little action needs to be in the direction of our goals. We need to set goals to know where we want to go.

Like Yogi Berra said, "You have to know where you are going; otherwise, you may not get there. "

How we get there is the result of the series of micro-decisions we make and their cascading effects. Of micro-decisions, Benjamin Franklin said, "Little strokes fell great oaks."

Of their cascading effects, he said:

"For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,

For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,

For the want of a horse the rider was lost,

For the want of a rider the battle was lost,

For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,

And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail."

― Benjamin Franklin

Cultivate a mindset that pays attention to the seemingly little things. Little things add up. Think of how snow accumulates: flake on flake. Continuous accumulation is the key to getting rich.

What gets scheduled gets done.

"Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright."

- Ben Franklin

If you want something done, give it to a busy person.

Get what you want to do on your calendar and into a routine. A solid routine will focus your energies and provide scaffolding to your days. Routines are protection from being at the mercy of moods and emotions. Regularity and repetition are teachers.

Don't rely on discipline. Habits and routines are much more reliable.

"Have you somewhat to do tomorrow, do it today."

- Ben Franklin

Most of us don't follow through by merely stating our goals. We procrastinate. Napoleon Hill said, "A goal is a dream with a deadline." Set a deadline and make a schedule.

Visualize a Future Worth Aspiring To.

"The eye of a master will do more work than both his hands."

- Ben Franklin

What separates people who do important things from people who don't?

Some people take action even when they are feeling low or scared. Some people persist and overcome overwhelming obstacles in their path. What makes them resilient and able to get up again and again?

Winston Churchill said, "Success is going from failure to failure and not losing enthusiasm." That's great, but how do you bounce back and not lose enthusiasm? How do you become resilient?

People who consistently take action have a clear vision of where they want to go. They have articulated an exciting future for themselves. They have designed a compelling future, and they can see it right over there. Their vision pulls them forward like a magnet.

Take a deep breath and five minutes, and start creating your vision of your exciting future. You are unstoppable.

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I write think pieces crafted to entertain. I cover the waterfront: business, money, investing, technology, leadership, relationships, health, and fitness.

Albuquerque, NM

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