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Financial Literacy - Financial tuneup
SPOTLIGHT
Keith Cameron Smith
The middle class settle for comfort, while millionaires focus on freedom.
Investment tuneup

Spotlight: Keith Cameron Smith

Your book seems to strip down dozens of motivational books to their essence.

What I tried to do in my book was to stay away from specific areas like real estate or stocks or small businesses and instead encourage people to pursue their own passion to create wealth. What would they love to do to wake up and make money every morning? That's the key to it. By far, one of the biggest things I learned talking to all these millionaires was they really enjoyed whatever they were doing.

You maintain that the wealthy expect different things from money than the rest of us. How so?

The very poor and the poor are stuck in survival mode; they just want to survive. The primary goal of middle-class people is comfort; I just want to have enough; I just want to be comfortable. When you get into the rich and the very rich, their primary goal is freedom; I'm going to do whatever it takes to experience freedom. That's the biggest difference. It's OK to have a plan for survival. It's OK to have a plan for comfort. But just make sure that most of your mental energy is focused on freedom. Then you'll start experientially understanding the old saying, "Seek and you will find." If you seek to survive, you will. If you seek to be comfortable, you will be. But if you seek freedom, you will find it. It just takes longer to create freedom in your life than it does to create survival. Does it take longer to grow a weed or an oak tree? Financial freedom is like an oak tree, where survival or comfort is like growing a weed or a little bush; it doesn't take too long.

Do you remember when you turned the corner and began to think like a rich man?

Yeah, I do. I can remember banging my head against the inside of an elevator. I had just worked 11 hours at a golf course as an assistant pro, and I was going to work at a high-dollar restaurant that night from 7 until midnight, and I was banging my head against the elevator, thinking, "God, there's got to be an easier way to make money than this." Shortly after that, I decided I was done working for somebody else. I was going to learn how to earn profits. That has made all the difference. From the age of 15 to 25, I worked for wages. At 25, I started working for profits, and at 33, I became a millionaire for the first time.

-- Posted: Oct. 22, 2007
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