What keeps most people from becoming rich is the habit of wanting instant gratification. Instant gratification is the habit of always wanting to enjoy now and not having the patience to wait for future benefits. As a result, these people spend a lot more than they invest. By spending on that new car, new widescreen television set or designer watch they get instant gratification. When it comes to investing in books, seminars, stocks or insurance products, they will think twice as they have to wait for future benefits. It is precisely for this reason that whatever money comes into their hands will soon be frittered away and not multiplied.
People who want instant gratification will always look for quick and easy ways of making money rather than building a sustainable business that adds value to (repeat) customers. They tend to cut corners on quality and deliver shoddy products to save money and boost short term profits. As a result, their profits rarely last and they will soon go out of business.
At the same time, those who desire instant gratification lack the patience to allow their money to grow and compound through investing. When they don’t see huge sums of money in a few weeks, they abandon their investments and never get to reap the benefits. They have no patience to wait for the seeds they sow to grow into huge money trees that bear fruit.
You see, there are only two ways you can use your money. You can either spend it or invest it. When you spend $100, you get gratified from whatever you bought but that $100 is gone! You get zero returns. When you invest that $100 in a seminar, books or stock, it will grow into $120, $200, $500 or even $1000, depending on your rate of return.
On the other hand, all millionaires adopt the habit of ‘delayed gratification.’ They have the patience to wait for greater abundance in the future. Whether in business or in investments, you must delay gratification in order to create massive wealth.
People with delayed gratification invest a lot more than they spend. Again, they know that by spending a dollar, they may feel good for an instant, but their future wealth will be destroyed. When it comes to spending money, they are extremely frugal. However when it comes to investing, they do not think twice about writing a check for a few thousands dollars. They know that through patience, that money will multiply into a future fortune.
Millionaires never take shortcuts in business. They always look at giving the best value to their customers, even if it means earning less at present. They know that by building their reputation, it will lead to huge profit streams in the future.
I cannot emphasize this value enough because I feel that it is what has really set me apart from all my peers. It is why I earn many more times than most people my age. You see, when I was in college and university, most of my friends spent their holidays partying and having fun. They experienced instant gratification.
Instead of partying, I would spend all my holidays taking up speaking engagements to hone my presentation skills, reading investment books, analyzing company reports and writing chapters of my first book. I knew that by ‘sacrificing’ my immediate enjoyment, the rewards in the future would be tremendous! Sure enough by the time I graduated from University I had streams of passive income from my best-selling book and two businesses that I had set up. I was earning more money than many of my lecturers while many of my friends were struggling to get their first job with their first paycheck.
Frankly, I never felt deprived. I had so much passion for what I was doing that indulging in drinking and idle lounge-lizard chatter just seemed like a huge waste of time. Nor did I miss social companionship. I had a steady, supportive girlfriend (now my wife), and a core of close buddies in these businesses we ran (and had so much fun and profit), while still studying. In fact a couple of them are still working with me today.
Let me give you another example. When it comes to spending money, I am extremely hesitant. Once I saw a mobile phone that I really liked. It was priced at $800. I kept staring at that phone over and over again but eventually walked away. I found it just too painful to part with $800 for a phone. My friends thought I was crazy as I was earning over $1,000 an hour at the time, whenever I spoke. But then again, I knew that the moment I spent that $800, it would be gone!
On the other hand, whenever I go to a bookstore, I think nothing of spending $800 buying a whole series of marketing, business and investment books. In fact, I once spent $12,000 attending an NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) training course in the United States, without even thinking twice.
Why? Because I know that if I spend that $12,000, the ideas that I get from those books and seminars, when applied, will generate me millions and so they have! But most people do the exact opposite. They think nothing of squandering $3,000 on a ring but think twice before buying a good book for $30! No wonder they are poor! So, develop the habit of delayed gratification – and spend wisely – and you will see your money multiply.