Famed motivational speaker Jim Rohn said that we’re the average of the five people that we spend the most time with. This concept also applies to our finances. You may be used to thinking of your financial well-being as a solo enterprise, that our personal discipline or ambition that determines how much we’re able to make and how effectively we’re able to save or invest that money. But a lot of our financial opportunities and advantages come to us through other people. We refer to these people as “wealth determiners.” They are, simply put, people that have some influence over your finances.
A wealth determiner isn’t always someone in your social network that presents you with a job opportunity—more people are connected to your wealth than you think. The less that we think about our finances as being solely the result of our own decisions and habits, the more we understand that our wealth is actually influenced greatly by the people around us. And, knowing how to identify them helps us move from one stage of wealth building to the next. Ask yourself these questions:
Who are the people that you help create wealth?
For many of us, our wealth and the wealth of others is tied together in our shared efforts—with our colleagues or coworkers. If you’ve got a partner, your shared resources and ability to support each other in your efforts is a cornerstone of your financial well-being. But there are relationships outside of the traditional office or personal partnership that also influence our finances.
For instance, you’re likely to have an impact on your friends’ finances—according to Elizabeth Currid-Halkett’s The Sum of Small Things, our friends are among the most influential when it comes to our wealth. Not only do they model the behaviors and purchases that we may desire to emulate—ala keeping up with the Joneses—but they also reflect the values that we bring to the choices we make.
Who are the people that help you create wealth?
A lot of people think that this is the easiest question to answer—the people who pay me—but the reality is a little more complex. Yes, the people or organization that you work for or your clients and customers do have a lot of influence on your immediate income, but that short-term income doesn’t automatically translate into wealth. These people can help you maximize your income, but that income only becomes a part of your long-term wealth building.
So, who is helping you take your income and turning that into wealth? You may have a CPA, or work with partners to make investments. You could also be a part of a wealth building group. The ONE Thing coauthor Jay Papasan and Wendy Papasan have facilitated a monthly “Millionaire’s Club” where they gather friends and colleagues, and everyone tracks their net worth and discusses how to reach their wealth building goals. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in—reach out to your social circle and see if you can get your own club started! One important point to keep in mind when establishing a club – make sure the people in the club are those who have similar or better money habits as you so that you can establish and continue on a positive trajectory.
Who are the people that have built wealth that I can learn from?
Is there someone in your world, personal or professional, that’s been in your shoes and knows the challenges or opportunities that you may be faced with? Finding a mentor or advisor that can help you along your journey is invaluable.
If you’d like to learn more about wealth building, check out the new season of Think Like A CEO. In these six episodes, Gary Keller and Jay Papasan discuss the importance of building wealth so that you can fund your purpose in life, as well as share tactical advice about the habits you need to establish (and break) in order to be successful in your wealth building journey.
Wealth building doesn’t have to be a solo journey! Join our ONE Thing Facebook Community and let us know about the wealth determiners