“The advice is often well intentioned, but wrong,” shares Eker. “There are many thousands of millionaires in the world that started their journey to riches with very little money. You don’t need heaps of money to get going.” Eker, who will be speaking at the National Achievers Congress on the 21st and 22nd of July points out that he started his business with only U$2000 and this was credit card debt to boot. He used this money to start a retail fitness store. He was able to grow this business to such an extent that he was later able to sell 50% of the shareholding to the Heinz Corporation. He is the first to admit that the path to entrepreneurial success was not an easy one and that he spent more than a decade trying to make things work and more often than not failing. Under those circumstances he says it is easy to start externalising your challenges. You start blaming the economy, you blame your boss, you start believing your children are tying you down or your spouse is not giving you enough support.
“At one stage, I was really starting to despair. I had started four businesses in one year and they had all failed,” he reveals. “At one point I was holed up in my room for two days when a friend called me and asked what I was doing. I explained that my fourth business had just failed and I had hardly moved from my room in two days. “His advice was forthright and I will never forget it. He said ‘you are spending too much time focusing on yourself’. It is very true, when you start doing that, you start finding all sorts of reasons for things not working out.” This he says is the biggest mistake you can make. Eker says we need to undergo a big shift within ourselves. It is only when we change our internal beliefs that we will be able to transform externally.
South Africans, especially our youth have a very good opportunity to re-think their financial blueprints and to seize the opportunities that our country presents. “People are quick to say, there are too many problems around. I can’t overcome them. This type of thinking is wrong,” he explains. “Successful people solve other people’s problems. That’s what makes them so successful. They identify problems and come up with solutions. The developing world has so many challenges, there has to be opportunities to be successful by coming up with solutions to these challenges.” People are so focused on consuming the fruits of their labour, that they often overlook the how the fruit is produced and don’t pay enough attention to the roots and the systems that anchor their thinking and approach to money.
Very simply, money is a result. And if you are not getting the results you want financially, it has got to do with the way you think about things and how you are approaching them internally. If you look around you South Africa and the continent offer vast scope for business growth - yes, there are challenges but they will only be insurmountable if you make them bigger than they need to be. Eker is also of the opinion that one needs to see money in perspective. While he acknowledges that to amass wealth brings with it many opportunities and experiences that one is unlikely to have without money. There is also added responsibility with wealth.
“I left school at eighteen to pursue my ambition of becoming wealthy,” he states. “My parents, who immigrated to the USA after the Second World War had imprinted upon me the importance of money, so I wanted to start early and become wealthy. They were hard working people who explained to me that without money, I would not be able to live, as it is the key to survival. In many ways what they taught me is still very valid today. “There are many parts of the developing world where people need help with shelter, food and medicine. If you are in a position to help these people, it is certainly your responsibility to do so. Because in the same way you can make money by solving the dilemmas of other people, you can also make a difference in the lives of many destitute people by helping them to become self- sufficient.”
If you would like to hear more about Harv Eker’s ‘money blueprint’ you can buy tickets for the congress at www.nacticket.com
Inside Out - Harv Eker shares his thinking
“How you think about money, your approach to it, what you do with it and the value you attach to it, are all factors that contribute to your financial wealth, or lack thereof,” asserts Harv Eker, author of the best-selling book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind. “We all have a ‘financial blueprint’ that guides us in our decision making process, it is often this blueprint that is the root cause of many of the poor decisions we make regarding money.”
He notes that this blueprint is the result of conditioning we receive throughout our lives and it starts at an early age where the old adage ‘you need money to make money’ is often used to explain away wasted potential or a precarious financial situation.
IDEATE | Perspective
by Valdi Pereira