In the last post, I gave you the abridged version of the four steps how you create wealth. I wasn’t being cheeky. I didn’t go deeper because I wanted you to really think about it. Now let me share my thoughts behind each of the steps.
Step 1) Yearn
Why is this important? Because it’s the catalyst. If you don’t have a dream – to have, do or become more – you slide into the life of mediocrity that a few billion people are living in at this moment. If the highlight of your week (or month) is Red Lobster offering all-you-can-eat shrimp, or a new show on Netflix, I can’t help you.
I don’t buy into the whole Zen thing of “just be content with what you have.” I believe that desire is the universe tapping on the door, beckoning you to become more. Because the process of seeking something causes us to grow. (And you know from this recent post, I believe growth is your purpose in life.)
Step 2) Learn
Okay, you’ve decided you’re going to be the next Steph Curry. How many hours are you spending in the gym? What are you doing to develop your craft?
You want to want to be the next start-up whiz kid featured on the cover of FORBES? You don’t get on that cover just by visualizing it. You have to do something that makes us want to read about you. So you have to first become a student, know what the issues in the space are, what are the problems people are seeking solutions on, and where will the next growth breakout might come from.
Step 3) Discern
This is where the real fortunes are made. Because this is where the real critical, logical, lateral, what-if, disruptive, and innovative thinking takes place.
Checker was worried what Yellow Cab was doing. Yellow Cab was worried about the town cars. Uber came about because Travis Kalanick changed the question. And the thinking process.
Marriott was worried about Hilton, Hilton was wondering what Hyatt was going to do. Then Airbnb came in and the hotels never knew what hit them.
Waldenbooks added a reading section. So Barnes and Noble trumped them with an in-store café. Then Amazon came along and blew up the whole game.
There may be no skill more important to success than discernment. If we break it down to its essence, critical thinking is having the discernment to intelligently process information. Process it in a way that is relevant to your desired results. And that means asking the right questions.
Which usually translates as questioning the premise. And being willing to question what you think you already know. (Or the conventional wisdom that everybody already knows.)
This is the stage of development I reference in the Mad Genius book. You look for ways you can:
Now it’s about getting after it. Doing the work, asking for the order, and shipping the product. This is where you transform your yearning, learning and discerning into wealth.
So why don’t more people become wealthy?
Because step four is where the vast majority of people try to begin. They haven’t done the first three steps and wonder why FORBES isn’t calling to arrange the cover shoot yet.
So where are you in this process? And where do you want to be?
P.S. Special treat for you today on the podcast! Find it here.