Starting with little money and achieving $2 million in net financial assets seems like a success. However, starting with $5 million and losing or wasting money to end up with $2 million seems like a failure. In truth, they are neither. It is simply an amount of money.
The important thing in both scenarios is what was learnt. What did we learn about ourselves, life and business?
Psychologists and behavioural scientists have proven that our aversion to loss is psychologically more powerful than our desire for gain. Gradually accumulating capital is often a less risky and more comfortable way to financial independence, but there are always threats to our wealth that we can forget or ignore.
Actively managing our money is a bit like going on a bushwalk. Some sections are long and gradual uphills, while others are steep descents, but we always get to our destination.
Like many others, I have experienced failures. The most serious was an event that appeared to come out of left field – but I should have considered it a possibility. I realised then that success was fleeting, and we cannot take it for granted.
Success, like failure, can come from unexpected events. We should not fool ourselves by believing that success comes from being super smart, and that failure can be blamed on other situations or people. If you lose a significant amount of wealth accumulated through work or business, the knowledge you have acquired gives you the ability to start again. But if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth and you lose your wealth, it can be a lot harder to rebuild because you may not know how.
As Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
If you are in business or actively endeavouring to create and accumulate wealth through investment activities, it pays to have peers who are doing the same thing. Most decisions are emotional. When things get very good or very bad, we need people to keep us grounded in the good times and remind us of our successes in the bad. Some of the most valuable advice I’ve received has come from mentors and peers.
If you need advice on how to build – or rebuild – your wealth, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.