False Assumption #1: Having a Job is Good and Leads Ultimately to Wealth.

I asked a young telephone receptionist in Columbus, Ohio, to tell me her idea of the most important factor in wealth acquisition. She replied, "A good job, a great job, a fantastic job." I was surprised by how often this same answer was given by those whose income is average and below. Millionaires rarely respond this way.

It is commonly held in our society that finding a good job, working hard, and moving up the ladder to more responsibility will eventually take us to golden retirement years of wealth and happiness. The fact of the matter is that a job merely supports the habits we have (like eating)...but it rarely leads to wealth. As one shrewd observer put it, "Wealth is when small efforts produce large results. Poverty is when large efforts produce small results."

No matter how much you love your job, expecting it to make you wealthy is like looking for gold in a salt mine. If your large efforts are only producing small results you had better check the roadmap. You may be on the road to poverty."

The answer is not to work harder, but to work smarter. A job should be looked upon as a temporary inconvenience. It is a method for generating cash flow for living expenses while you are setting up a "money-system". Thus, having a job is necessary for a while, but don't forget the other part of the equation. Your ultimate goal is to acquire ownership of a generous source of income which flows to you regardless of your job.

False Assumption #2: Saving Your Money Is a Good Investment.

How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.

But don't get me wrong. Saving money is good. In fact, it is important to the wealth-building process. It's not the money saved that is important. It is the discipline required to save it. But you can't expect your savings to carry you to wealth. And this is the fact that is so widely misunderstood. Even the seemingly exciting high interest rates paid by the popular money market funds are not enough. Assuming only minimal inflation and taxes, it doesn't take a Ph.D. in finance to realize that any dollar that earns less than about 15% per year is a losing venture. At best it is the slow liquidation of wealth.

"But," you say, "savings accounts and certificates of deposit are safe and the money comes easy." And I reply, "Does it make you feel safe and secure to know that every day you are getting poorer and poorer?"

One of my grandfather's favorite sayings was: "Early to bed/Early to rise/Work like hell/And economize!"

There is nothing wrong with economizing. There is a place for it in the scheme of wealth. However, if your goal is to become wealthy you must learn how to save smart. The money you save is only parked temporarily in liquid, interest-bearing accounts waiting for a better place to invest. This smart money is then shifted into long-range, less-liquid investments which generate wealth-producing-rates of return -rates well in excess of 50% per year. Anything less is tantamount to treading water in the swimming pool on the deck of the Titanic.

False Assumption #3: Debt Is Bad - Avoiding It Like The Plague.

Have you ever heard this before? There is truth to the statement, but it depends on the kind of debt we are talking about. If we are talking about consumer debt, yes. Avoid it like a plague. Avoid borrowing money to buy the "appearances of wealth" which lose value and are often worthless before the debt is repaid.

But investment debt is another story. In fact, self-made wealth never comes without going into debt. I repeat: You can never become wealthy without going into some form of investment debt. And probably a lot of it.

It is true that debt is terrifying to most of us. It signifies bondage. And ironically, the only way we can develop a sizable nest egg and stay out of long-term financial bondage is to go into short-term debt. You can actually leverage/borrow your way to wealth.

There is no other way short of theft or inheritance. And that brings us to our next false assumption, which is the reason most of us fear debt in the first place.

False Assumption #4: Security Is Good.

Our entire society is obsessed with security. We demand social security, job security, seniority, and federal deposit insurance. But security is only an illusion. Le me illustrate. A few months ago a fireman friend of mine was called out to fight a large brush fire. He and his cohorts rushed to the closest fire hydrant, connected their water hoses, and ran to the flames. But when they turned the water on at the hydrant, nothing happened! The water lines had not been properly connected by the developer. All they could do was stand there and watch the blaze, helpless.

Those who place too much faith in security often end up trying to put out fires with empty water hoses. Would you feel financially secure if you had to rely on an almost insolvent social security system?

How dangerous it is to assume that security is good! The more you love security the more likely you will avoid risk. And if you avoid risk, you also avoid opportunity, because risk is the price you pay for opportunity. You can't hate risk and hope for freedom.

Risk is an essential part of progress. Learn to view it positively, as an essential step in the road to wealth.

I was driving down a California freeway recently and heard a radio advertisement for a local bank. Their slogan was: "Come in out of the risk."

If I could rewrite this commercial, I would say: "Come out into the risk. For that is where you find the opportunity. There is no such thing as security. There are only varying degrees of risk."

False Assumption #5: Failure is Bad.

I used to be ashamed of my many failures and mistakes. And I have made plenty of them! But as I became more mature I realized that failure is part of success. A very important part. If you develop a positive mental attitude about failure, you can learn a great deal from it. You will develop ingenuity, flexibility, and an ability to create new ways of achieving goals. When you fail for a time to obtain something you really want, you join the ranks of some pretty important people. . .like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Edison. Do you know of any successful person who has risen to the top of his or her field without some failure?

Herb True once said, "What people don't realize is that successful people often have more failures than failures do. But they keep going." You don't drown by falling in water. You drown by staying there.

Failure is not bad. In fact, one good failure can teach you more about success than four years at the best university. Failure can be the best thing that ever happened to you.

False Assumption #6: Wealth Is Measured In Material Possessions.

Wealth is not money. Money is just the appearance of wealth. The form but not the substance. Wealth is thoughts, not things. You can be wealthy without having lots of money. And you can be rich and not be wealthy.

Now that may be a bit confusing, but it's true. Wealth is a state of mind -an attitude. Hollis Norton says it well: "Broke is a temporary condition. Poor is a state of mind."

Let's test this hypothesis out. Henry Ford was once asked what he would do if he lost all of his possessions. He replied, "I'd have them all back again in five years." In other words, he might be temporarily broke but he would never be poor. He had a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw upon. And above all, he had a positive attitude about his ability to create wealth and knew that if he had done it once, it would probably be easier the second time.

False Assumption #7: Someone Else is Responsible for My Financial Well-Being.

When our forefathers arrived on these shores, there was no welfare system. Each person was responsible for his or her own financial welfare. When the pioneers crossed the plains, there were no unemployment benefits. They had to scratch out their own existence. When thousands of immigrants landed here in the early 1900s, they came seeking only the opportunity to work and to be free. Somewhere between then and now, there has been an almost imperceptible-and, I think, destructive-shift in public thinking. People have ceased to assume personal responsibility for their financial well-being and assume that the government is responsible. Today, we expect government to bail out everything from defunct major corporations to insolvent municipalities.

But government is not the answer. The answer lies in us. We alone are responsible for our ultimate financial welfare. The sooner we realize this, the quicker we can start on the road to wealth.

False Assumption #8: The Acquiring of Wealth Is a Win/Lose Game.

Since the beginning of time the acquiring of wealth has been viewed as a win/lose game a dirty business in which the acquirer takes advantage of the acquiree (usually in an illegal or immoral way). Many people think that one has to be a greedy SOB to "Make It".

But I believe you don't have to be filthy to be filthy rich. I don't have to steal from your pile in order to create a large pile for myself. There is such a thing as creating win/win wealth.

In reality, there is an infinite source of wealth. We just have to learn how to tap into it. When I tap into the infinite source of wealth I don't reduce the possibility of your becoming wealthy. I probably enhance it. We'll discuss this in great detail in later chapters.

False Assumption #9: It Takes Money to Make Money.

Several years ago, I ran a full page ad in The Wall Street Journal and other major newspapers which destroyed this dangerous myth. It carried the following headline:

"Send me to any city in the United States. Take away my wallet. Give me $100 for living expenses. In 72 hours I will buy an excellent piece of real estate using none of my own money."

This is what happened. I was challenged by the Los Angeles Times to live up to my claim. They flew me to Los Angeles, where I met Martin Baron, the L.A. Times reporter, and together we flew from Los Angeles to San Francisco. When we arrived at the airport, I handed him my wallet and he handed me five crisp twenty dollar bills.

"With a reporter by my side, $100 for living expenses, & armed only with my knowledge; I purchased 7 properties worth $772,000, all in 57 hours." Los Angeles Times, Business Section

A few days later, the front page of the Los Angeles Times business section carried the following headline: "Buying Home without Cash: Boastful Investor Accepts Time Challenge-and Wins."

The long detailed article chronicled the entire nothing down story from 6 a.m. Monday until 5:15 P.M. Wednesday. I had done it!

Yes, the strategies and techniques I described in my best-selling book "Nothing Down" really work! But still the experts and skeptics refused to be convinced. I then appeared on a television show in Houston. After explaining my story, the host said with a sneer, "Yeah, you proved you could do it. But I doubt one of our average viewers could do it."

That comment really ruffled my feathers. I found myself saying the following words, which stunned even me when I heard myself say them:

"Anybody can do it. Send me to any unemployment line. Let me select someone who is broke, out of work, & discouraged. Let me teach him in two days time the secrets of wealth. In ninety days he'll be back on his feet, with $5,000 cash in the bank, never to set foot in an unemployment line again..."

The host still wasn't convinced. (Skeptics never are.) But as I left the show I began to wonder. "What if I could go to any unemployment line..." The idea stewed for a year or so and resulted in my going to St. Louis in June 1984. There the ex-mayor of St. Louis, a former FBI agent, monitored my every move as I selected a young couple from the unemployment lines of St. Louis and taught them my secrets for two full days.

"In ninety days they had bought a property, fixed it up, and sold it again for $5,000 cash profit-all starting with nothing down. Within 12 months they had earned over $100K!"

Once again I had proved that my strategies work. I have been challenged again and again by various people in the news media over the past ten years to take ordinary people and make them wealthy, and always with the same result.

I was challenged by Regis Philbin in New York City to select a person from his studio audience. I picked a young woman, flew her to San Diego to attend my intensive investment program, "Wealth Training". In less than ninety days after her return to the "Big Apple", she found and purchased a nice duplex apartment building. Even more gratifying to me than her financial success was the look on her face as she explained to Regis Philbin how she had done it. She radiated a sense of self confidence that was worth far more than a million dollars. She knew she could make her dreams come true.

Author's Bio: 

Best-selling author of Multiple Streams of Income, Creating Wealth and Nothing Down has now co-authored another best-seller, The One Minute Millionaire. He has helped thousands of people obtain financial freedom. To prove that the strategies in The One Minute Millionaire work, Robert Allen is in the process of selecting a team of individuals for The One Minute Millionaire Challenge.