Interview with a Millionaire

You are about to read an interview involving two people. One is the questioner and one the answerer. Both of these men are very intelligent and both have great insight on life and what it means to be successful. During this interview, Build Grow Lead will take you into the mindset of a millionaire. Our goal is to help open the doors of some of the habits and traits that it takes to win with money. Be prepared to learn from one who has lived it and continues to live it.

To be a millionaire you need to develop the millionaire mindset.

Q: What has becoming a millionaire done for your life?

A: People chase money for various reasons. Some like grandiose houses, luxurious cars, and all the cool toys. For me, money gives me freedom. When I was child I saved my allowance and was eventually able to accumulate about $200 dollars. Where I grew up, and at that age, $200 bucks would allow you to do pretty much anything in town. If I wanted to go to the pizza place, see a movie, or take a gal out, the money afforded me the means to do those things. That great feeling really sat well with me. I felt like I had the ability to live my life on my own terms. Having money, even as a child, gave me a great sense of autonomy and control.

Now that it’s been many years later, everything is on a larger scale but these emotions and feelings remain. I don’t worry about bills anymore. If I want to take a vacation I can. If an emergency knocks at the door, I am prepared. There is always food on the table and a roof over my head. All my needs are met. I go to sleep at night without a financial worry in the world.

I know a lot of people that are always stressed out about finances and it’s very sad. Having money also gives me an unparalleled ability to help people in need. I have great satisfaction in being able to help others. I feel so thankful to be blessed and that my financial life is in order. My hope is that by sharing parts of my story here at Build Grow Lead (and through other avenues) I can help people as well.

Q: To become a millionaire, what would you say are some “best practices” to have?

A: That is probably the easiest question anyone can ever ask me about money. First and foremost, the greatest financial strategies a person can ever use are the ones spoken about in the Bible. The Biblical Principles of money discussed in the Bible show the wisdom of God and if followed will undoubtedly lead to financial success.

First and foremost, tithing on your income is the first priority. I attribute everything I have ever accomplished with money to tithing. Once God saw that I put him first and I trusted him with my money, that is when I really started to see my money grow.

After tithing, I would say that the next “best practice” is to pay yourself. I would advise everyone to establish a savings account. The freedom I spoke of a little bit ago really blossoms when you have money in the bank. Everywhere you go, you can say “I can afford that” or “I could buy that.” This doesn’t mean I go and buy everything, but knowing that I can make a purchase if I wanted to is enough for me.

The next “best practice” is to grow your money. If you want to win with money, you have to learn how to multiply it. Learn to invest, develop passive income streams, and make your money work for you.

Another “best practice” is to take care of your family, the people who are closest to you should be on your mind all the time.  Being able to ensure their well-being is essential to happiness in life.

Paying taxes is another important aspect of becoming and staying wealthy. We live in a great country and we have great opportunities. Taxes keep a lot of things in order.

Living on less than you make will surely reap benefits; when you do this, you will never run out of money and all your expenses are well covered with plenty to spare.

Staying away from debt is another thing that I would highly advise. I can’t think of one example in the Bible where debt helped anyone. Giving generously is a must as well, it’s been my experience that those who give to those in need seem to be in a happier place in their life.

All these principles I have found in the Bible and I believe in them very strongly. The book of Proverbs taught me many of the lessons I have spoken on.

Saving, investing, tithing, avoiding debt, paying taxes, and helping others are all important “Best Practices” to becoming financially successful.

Q: You mentioned tithe, as in giving 10% of your income to the Church, isn’t that an old testament law that no longer applies today?

A: Yes, the tithe is 10% and the Bible describes it as giving your first fruits back to God. Tithe means a tenth and so I tithe no less than 10% of my pretax income to my local church without fail. As for old law, I will give a quick history lesson, Mosaic Law as in the Law of Moses is what most people think of as the Old Testament. Abraham practiced tithe and he predated Mosaic Law by centuries. Then, of course, Moses and his people practiced tithing. Following this, there was a period of 400 years where God was silent. That is the gap between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The final book in the Old Testament is Malachi. Malachi taught tithing. Before God went silent wanted to conclude the Old Testament with how to handle money and tithing was the way. In the New Testament, Jesus praised tithing and told the Pharisees that they should be doing it in conjunction with having God in their heart.

Now let’s fast forward about 1900 years to America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller. Mr. Rockefeller attributed his money-making ability to tithing. In fact, Mr. Rockefeller tithed on his very first income and continued to do so throughout his life. In Robert Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” it is mentioned that the author believes in and practices the tithe. Dave Ramsey is another wealthy person that attributes his financial success to tithing. Dave had a net worth of $1,000,000 when he was young but then he lost it all filing for bankruptcy. Dave became a believer and approached money with a new set of techniques, “Biblical Principles.” Now today Dave is very wealthy.

In my own life, I have seen nothing but good things come from tithing. I’ve witness money miracles and changes in people’s lives as a result of tithing. So yes, to answer your question, I believe the tithe is still very relevant in today’s world.

Q: If you lost it all today, how would handle something like that?

A: Someone once told me that becoming a millionaire isn’t really about the money. The money is what most people see and think, but that’s actually not correct. Money is the by-product of what really happens. To me, becoming a millionaire is a mindset, not a worldly status. The way you think, the things you know, the abilities you have, these things are what truly matter. This is the true treasure.

Money in the bank is nice but your very mind is worth so much more. Our minds yield so much power, they are so equipped, so capable, and so important. If you started with nothing but trained your mind to have the right perspective, then you can win with money. Focusing your energy and time on training your mind is far more important than earning money in my opinion. So if I lost it all, having a millionaire mindset would help me get it all back again.

Q: I want to touch on something I heard you say – can you explain more about training the mind?

A: Yes, if a person wanted to get in better physical shape, they would go to the gym, start to eat better and would stay away from health depleting habits. The same is true with spiritual growth, if you wanted to grow spiritually, you need to spend more time in prayer, fellowship, worship and studying the Bible.

Just like training your physical muscles and your spiritual muscles, our minds are like a muscle as well. The way to train the mind is by reading and practicing continual learning. Reading is the exercise for the mind. Reading stimulates your logical brain. If you practice regular reading, you will be filling your mind with ideas and thoughts that can improve your life. I tend to read non-fiction and focus most of my time in personal growth and self-help books. I try to read 3-4 books every month.

Another method that works really well is listening to audio books. I prefer audio books but I do both regularly. I have a co-worker who has a $2.4 million-dollar farm that he started with his wife. They built it from the ground up and he learned everything about his business from listening to audio books.

Q: Talking with you, it appears that you have spent a lot effort to earn money. How do you respond to the statement, “you can’t take it with you when you die”?

A: That’s a very good question. I agree with that statement. When my time comes, I will leave this world the same as I came in it, with nothing materialistic. However, I believe that there is a world after this one and I will live in the Eternal Kingdom. Money is a tool for me. A big bank account here on earth doesn’t amount to much in heaven, but if I use my money correctly, it will not be forgotten.

Q: Can you elaborate on that topic more?

A: Money is a tool that can be used to make a positive impact on the world.

Let’s say I start a project and use the money to build a Church for a local community. A man of God from the town decides to preach there. I fund a children’s ministry; I keep the lights on and pay the various bills. Then over the course of several years, many people get saved. People accept Jesus as their Savior. As the Church grows, Christians can come together and grow in love for the world and the people in it. Men and Women fall in love together and get married in that Church. They may have kids who are now raised in the faith. When elders pass, we do a funeral in that Church. We pay for the burial; we comfort the family members and offer prayers and condolences.

After many more years pass and all of us who were a part of that Church have died and those who were saved see me walking down a street of gold they can say, “Hey! I remember you! You were the one who built that Church up on the hill, right? Thank you so much for that, I got saved in that Church, I found God there, My son married the girl of his dreams there, my daughter finally found peace with Lord and her life was finally filled with the blessings of God.” We might not be able to take money with us when we die, but we very well could meet the people that we helped or helped us along the way. The lives that can be impacted are priceless.

Q: What would you recommend to the younger generation if they wanted to become financially successful?

A: I would tell them to embrace every stage of life. It is important to live righteously throughout all stages, but they should enjoy their youth. Kids should be playing outside; teenagers should be cruising the streets listening to music, hanging out with friends while also developing good habits. College kids should be setting up for their future. They should be making very smart decisions in those years.

When it comes to a career decision, you should always do what you love. There should never be a time where you dread your job. That is a miserable way to live and a horrible way to make money. I advise everyone that they should do what they love and make money doing it. I advise people to stay far away from debt and avoid establishing credit. Good credit might look good on paper but it destroys your future. We live in a society that says you need good credit to succeed. This is false. Borrowing money and paying interest is like having a tiny hole in a pipe supplying water to your house. It is a constant drain and you are losing a lot of precious contents. If you put the money you dish out to pay for interest into your own investment account, the results would be astronomical.

Debt is like a leaking pipe.

Q: What about purchasing a house? Shouldn’t a person have good credit so that that can get a lower mortgage interest rate?

A: I have my own opinions about things, but I personally don’t even believe in mortgages. I say that because I have seen many people who have successfully saved to purchase homes without a mortgage. They have purposely struggled a little bit on the front end of their life so that they could eventually purchase a house with cash. Mortgages, even with low-interest rates, usually result in a typical person spending a lot more on the house than if they would have just saved/invested their money first and then bought the house.

I also want to take this opportunity to quote Proverbs 24: 27 NIV (“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.”) This to me means to get everything in order first. Have your steady flow of income already established before you make those life-changing decisions? Get your life in order and have all the bases covered. Once the foundation is strong, then buy a home and start a family.

Q: That’s kind of hard to do for most people. Some people say it’s impossible. What would you say to this?

A: When you get home today, do yourself a favor. Find an old dictionary in your house, grab a pair of scissors and cut out the word “impossible.” And why you are at it, cut out “mistake” “can’t” and “lazy” as well. Throw those words in the trash. “Impossible” is a limitation that destroys so many dreams and potential. “Mistakes” should be called learning experiences. We are AmeriCANs, not AmeriCAN’Ts! And substitute the word ACTION for “lazy.” Action is one of the most important words in any language. People have a choice in where they live and how they live. Living without taking on any debt is certainly possible and is only a decision away. Again, my personal opinion is to avoid all forms of debt. Making sacrifices and learning to delay gratification will pay dividends to your future.

Think about it this way, a $100,000 mortgage at 5% interest for 30 years results in a total payment of $193,256 and a monthly payment of $537. However, if you invested the $537 a month in smart, high-yield investments (say with around 8%), you would reach $100,000 in just over 10 years. For the 30 year period, you would reach over $760,000 and could afford several houses. With proper planning, many people could invest a modest amount of money during high school and college so that they could afford a house when they graduate.

Making sacrifices and learning to delay gratification will pay dividends to your future.

Q: Interesting perspective. Let’s move on to another topic. What if our passion doesn’t make that much money? How does a person become wealthy if they have a low income?

A: The average millionaire today has five incomes. Listen very carefully to what I am about to say “You should never work for money; money should work for you.” If you really want to make ground and build your wealth, you must learn how to establish multiple streams of income into your life and you also need to learn how to make money do the work. Of course, you also have to save, invest, and live below your means as well.

Q: How does money “do the work?”

A: Let me illustrate. Imagine an apple tree that gets planted on good soil. Over the course of many years, it is watered and nurtured to grow fully. It produces apples every season. The apples can be consumed by the planter and also collected and sold to the public. The natural cycle of mother nature eventually sustains the tree. When this occurs, the planter doesn’t need to spend that much time and effort into caring for the tree. A little work here and there and the tree does the rest. The apples keep coming and coming year after year.

Now let’s translate that to money. You as a financial warrior, plant a tiny investment account. Over the course of years, you nurture it. Gradually it begins to grow. You put in incremental deposits of money into it and the account begins to grow even faster. Then after some time, the harvest season has come. Now the interest that it has gained is working in your favor. You are able to collect large sums of money just as you would collect apples. Remember the planter never cut down the tree. The planter only took the fruit and used it as a benefit.

Money may not grow on trees, however, it can grow and produce “fruit” like a tree.

Q: Can you explain multiple streams of income?

A: We all have gifts. We have talents and skills that we can do that no one else can. It could be making music, writing, entertaining, performing athletically, and so on. There are so many different abilities out there we would be here all day discussing them. The point is, that you have a skill that you can use to increase your income or create another income.

Perhaps you are skilled in lawn care, you could create a business in that area, train some workers, get contracts or even train a manager to operate it as a business. Then boom! You used your skill to help people who wanted to beautify their yard, while also creating jobs and building an income stream. That is win/win thinking.

Other examples are writing books or teaching classes online or in person. Learning a trade and doing projects on the side as well as training a team to do projects. The possibilities are endless. The most important one is the first one though. Dive in and get that first additional income going. That will be your learning experience. You will experience the ups and downs that come with handling an additional income. Then once you learn the ropes, you will be able to set up more and more and get better and better.

In addition to developing a side gig, investing also produces new income streams. I could talk at length about this.

Q: You mention reading earlier. Do you have some book recommendations that can help to improve someone’s financial life?

A: Absolutely. The first and foremost would be the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. Solomon, the richest man who ever lived wrote Proverbs. In that book, you will find the answers to financial success. Dave Ramsey and Robert Kiyosaki both have multiple books that I have really enjoyed and learned a lot from. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill is a staple in the personal development community. Another great book is “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker. These are some of the great books that really help shaped me.

Q: We have time for one more quick question. How important is money to you?

A: Money is very important to me. Money puts food on my plate, money keeps the heat on in the winter. Money is needed for so many things in this world. Money is a strange thing, if you have a healthy relationship with it, it will benefit your life. However, Money will never complete your life. On the other hand, if you have a poor relationship with money, it can destroy almost every part of your life. Marriages, happiness, quality of life, friendships, job satisfaction, and even your relationship with God can suffer. I think that is why God put so much emphasis on money in the Bible. He knew how important it would be for us here on earth and he wanted us to use it wisely.

Money is very important but not the most important thing in life. The most important thing is having a good relationship with God. Money is not eternal. This earth is not eternal. Our houses, our careers, even our families as we know them on earth are not eternal. Once we die there are many things that change. God and our Spirit, however, are eternal and that is what matters most.

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