- Getting rich with a job almost always fails.
- Entrepreneurship is much safer than having a job due to the fact that you are in control.
- To succeed in business, you need to be the best.
- Don’t focus on “what could happen”. Focus on “what is happening”.
What The 10 Pillars of Wealth Talks About
The 10 Pillars of Wealth is a book written by Alex Becker. It destroys conventional wisdom regarding becoming rich and explains the mindset and ways that rich people use to look at the world. The book taught me that creating a company in order to get rich, while seeming riskier than a job at first, is actually safer in the long term.
I began reading the book after I learned about the third pillar – be better than everyone else.
It struck me. I had never thought of it.
Alex’s angry writing style resembles a lot that of MJ DeMarco’s Unscripted (one of my favorite books of all time) so I enjoyed the book from the start.
The 10 Pillars of Wealth is a great book for people looking for mindset advice.
There is nothing to reject and everything to take.
Becker offers a mental framework to become rich in a couple of years so that you can live free from work for the rest of your life.
If you struggle to take action or have a belief problem, this is the book you need.
However, if you’re looking for a business book, The 10 Pillars of Wealth isn’t it.
Table of Content
Summary of The 10 Pillars of Wealth, written by Alex Becker
You can’t become rich with conventional thinking.
Look at where conventional thinking leads.
Conventional thinkers work like slaves from 9h to 17h. They barely make it at the end of the month, and have no control over their lives whatsoever.
That begins with shifting your mindset.
Part of it is to change your perception of risk (we’ll talk more about it later).
For now, just realize that great risk = great reward, and the other way around.
If you never take any risks, you’ll never get any perks.
This is why conventional thinkers stay stuck in their routines.
They’re afraid of whatever could happen.
Pillar 1: Reject Getting Rich Slow
There are two ways to get rich. Slowly, and quickly.
Getting rich slowly is getting rich with a job.
It’s a bad equation for two reasons: financial risks, and quality of life.
Getting rich with a job entails slaving from 9h to 17h for 40 or 50 years, until you can retire “rich”.
That’s according to the plan.
However, life rarely goes according to plan.
Getting rich slow works only as long as:
- You don’t die before you retire
- You don’t get fired
- Your company doesn’t go bankrupt
- Your job doesn’t become obsolete
- The economy doesn’t crash
- Your government isn’t taken over by a revolution
- The currency doesn’t lose all of its value
And other reasons.
As we can see, getting rich slow entails trusting both your company and the government, two actors you literally have no control over.
Is getting rich slowly really safe when your fate rests in other people’s hands?
And there is worse.
Do you know how much of your free time will your job take approximately?
Wouldn’t you prefer to do something else, like traveling, taking care of your family, etc, instead of spending your life working to make someone else’s rich?
As we can see, getting rich slowly is a bad idea both financially, and from a quality of life perspective.
So, let’s look at the alternative: getting rich fast.
Getting rich fast is extremely low risk because you control everything.
- How hard you work
- How fast you learn
- How smart the decisions you make are
If you stick to it, you will eventually make it work.
Furthermore, you only have to make it work once. Once you’re rich…you’re rich.
The three main ideas behind getting rich quick are:
- You have the control
- You can get better at it
- You are allowed to fail
As a result, it’s much safer than getting rich slow.
Yes. It sounds weird, but building a business is safer.
Let’s see how it works in practice.
Imagine you get a job to cover the basics (food, rent, transport) and spend your free time building a business on the side.
There are two possible scenarios from thereon.
- You succeed, become rich, and retire.
- You fail, start over, and try again until you succeed.
What are the risks, here?
Virtually none. Your job is covering everything you need until you become rich, ditch it, and enjoy everything you ever wanted to have.
You may fail once, twice, 10 times, but you will eventually succeed.
As long as you practice, you will get better at it.
Pillar 2: Separate Time From Money
So, how do you get rich quickly?
There are two ways.
The first one is to raise your price per hour. Movie stars and athletes make a lot of money per minute. The only problem is that your chances of becoming a movie star or athlete are low – really low.
So, since you can’t raise your value per hour, you need to split time from money.
What does it mean?
The only thing that isn’t finite on this planet is time. We all have the same amount of time but it is unlikely to get paid 10k per hour.
So we need to split money from time, where money is being made when we are not spending our time making it.
The best way to do so is to create a system that makes money for you.
That system is a company. A company, provided it is well-built, is a money-making machine that makes money for you regardless of your presence.
Jeff Bezos is rich not because he became a movie star, but because he has 150 000 people taking care of making him richer 24/7.
So, how do you build a business that separates time from money?
It is not so easy.
If you build a consulting business about penguins and you are the only one in the world that knows stuff about penguins, you will still be selling time for money since when you sleep, you’re not consulting – hence, not earning.
If you want your company to make money without being dependent on time, it needs to answer “yes” to the four following questions.
- Can this business make money while I am not present?
- Can this moneymaking process be done by others or automated by machines?
- If this business becomes successful, could I train someone else to run it?
- Would it be possible to make the process of delivering $100 in sales the same as delivering $1 million in sales? Can I scale this business without having to increase my time involvement?
If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions, it means your business won’t be split from time.
It’s not bad to start and learn, but it won’t ultimately make you rich.
Pillar 3: Accept That You Must Be Better Than Everyone Else
If you don’t think you can be better than everyone else, you’re screwed.
Millionaires make up less than 1% of all people. It means that if you are in a room with 99 other people, you must be persuaded you are the only one who is going to make it.
To quote the author.
By wanting to become wealthy, you are also saying that you want to accept the challenge to be better at making money than 99 percent of the people on this planet. Just by attempting this, you are going to have to accept the fact that you must not just be good, you must be incredible.
You need to know deep down that you are great and can do great.
In fact, this is the most important pillar to remember, the one thing to take away from this book.
The biggest thing holding people back is believing they are average or not good enough.
When you offer them solutions, they directly look for excuses.
- “But I don’t know how to code.
- “But I have no money.
- “But I don’t know anyone.”
This isn’t the right mindset.
The right mindset is to seek solutions.
- “I will learn how to code or find someone that can.”
- “I will find a way to get money or to do it without needing the money”
- “I will get to know people.”
You need to know that whatever happens, you will find a solution to your problem.
You need to have blind faith in yourself so that you never stop, but must make adequate decisions so you don’t lose it all gambling either.
That includes sometimes, ignoring “common sense” and trying crazy ideas.
Thinking that you are the best is not some hippie BS stuff.
It all comes down to the BAR system – Beliefs, Action, Results.
Results are driven by beliefs, and beliefs are driven by action.
Beliefs -> actions -> results.
Eg: by believing you are good-looking, you behave more confidently and get end up actually being better looking than if you did not believe that.
Same goes for businesses. The only way to build wealth is to build a business that is 99% better than other businesses.
The only way to do that is to believe and accept the fact that you have to be great.
And it’s hard!
For most of our lives, everyone told us we sucked and that we were never going to get rich.
We internalized the beliefs. As a result, when we try to get rich, two things happen.
- We stop before we even begin because we don’t think we are ever going to make it.
- We try to get rich while being average. We play it safe, don’t get out of our comfort zone, and don’t take any challenges.
The only way to overcome these obstacles is to believe that you’re great.
How does it apply?
When you have to do something you’re not great at, you have to tell yourself that you are going to be great at it and do whatever you can to reach that level.
So, how does it work in practice?
- Figure out what you are not great at.
- Practice and become better at it.
It’s not more complicated.
Pillar 4: Every Little Thing Is 100% Your Fault
Thinking everything is your fault is a powerful frame.
While it may seem insane at first, it’s great because it means that if it’s your fault, you can control it.
Society is encouraging us to always reject the fault on someone else.
It’s the wrong approach. When it’s not your fault, it makes you a victim.
Can victims build million-dollar companies?
You need to take responsibility – ownership – if you want to build a company.
Furthermore, no matter whose fault it is, you are the one most likely to pay the price because it’s your business.
Do you really want to let others make you lose money? No.
So you need to think that it is your fault – so at least, you can take action to prevent it.
After all, blaming others doesn’t make the situation better.
All it does is make us feel better. But it doesn’t improve the situation.