Accumulation is a central theme of The Master Key System and the philosophy of success as outlined by Charles F. Haanel. Whether we desire more wealth or more health, we need to be successful in order to attain it. As we go through life, we all want to know the answer to one pressing question:
Are you destined to be a success or a failure?
While there are many factors that can influence the outcome, Haanel defined one main quality that can help you to answer this question. Haanel quoted James J. Hill, a very wealthy and famous industrialist of the time, to illustrate how just one trait can take a man from modest beginnings and bless him with almost unimaginable wealth.
Accumulation is the power to reserve and preserve a part of the supply that we are constantly receiving, so as to be in a position to take advantage of the larger opportunities that will come as soon as we are ready for them. Has it not been said, “To him that hath shall be given”? All successful business men have this quality well developed. James J. Hill, who died leaving an estate of over fifty-two million dollars, said, “If you want to know whether you are destined to be a success or failure in life, you can easily find out. The test is simple and it is infallible: Are you able to save money? If not, drop out. You will lose. You may think not, but you will lose as sure as you live. The seed of success is not in you.” This is very good so far as it goes, but anyone who knows the biography of James J. Hill knows that he acquired his fifty-two million dollars by following the exact methods we have given. In the first place, he started with nothing. He had to use his imagination to idealize the vast railroad that he projected across the western prairies. He then had to come into a recognition of the law of abundance in order to provide the ways and means for materializing it. Unless he had followed out this program, he would never had anything to save.
Accumulativeness acquires momentum: The more you accumulate, the more you desire; the more you desire, the more you accumulate; so that it is but a short time until the action and reaction acquire a momentum that cannot be stopped. It must, however, never be confounded with selfishness, miserliness, or penuriousness. They are perversions and will make any true progress impossible.
Every person whom I know who is wealthy says pretty much the same thing. We hear it echoed in many forms. If one but follows a few simple rules, one can be on the way to achieving wealth – perhaps even great wealth – because the principles are the same.
- Don’t spend more than you earn.
- Ten percent of whatever you earn is yours to keep. (In other words, save 10% of your income.)
- Stay out of debt. (Cut up those credit cards!)
- If you are in debt, then pay it off as quickly as possible.
- When you attain some money, invest it wisely.
- Always look for the best deal or a good bargain when purchasing something.
- Don’t be afraid to question a bill.
- If you believe a bill is in error – even for the smallest amount – stand your ground and fight for what is yours.
- When investing, don’t follow fads or get-rich-quick schemes; follow the tried and true investment techniques that have been producing millionaires for generations. (You can find these techniques online or in many a good book.)
- Live modestly and enjoy richly. (What’s the difference between a Lexus and a Toyota? About $20,000 – at least! Think about it.)
- Only buy what adds to your power and bottom line.
I hope that these tips help you. They’ve helped me. I’ve been in debt and consider it to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life. If you can, by all means avoid it! Nothing can crush the spirit or limit a person’s possibilities like debt. If you are in debt, then do everything you can to get from under it and begin accumulating wealth.
Too often, I see people frittering away what little they have on things they don’t need. Instead of gaining anything of value in this world, they have lots of trinkets that mean nothing. Much like the Indians who sold Manhattan island for some beads and shells, many people sell their lives for the name of a car, an HD TV, a pair of shoes, and much less.
I always question whatever I am going to buy. I ask myself how is this going to improve my life or increase my enjoyment of life. When I do that, I find myself saving my money and keeping it in my pocket instead of putting it into someone else’s.
Accumulating wealth is one of the biggest reasons people read The Master Key System. That’s great! By studying the System and using these techniques (many of which Haanel echoes in his works) you’ll find yourself becoming wealthy. Will it happen over night? Probably not. But always remember to look for the long term gain – it’s a race of endurance, not speed. By merely saving $5 per week, you can accumulate $250 over the course of a year. Is that a lot of money? No, but it can grow into a sizable chunk of change over time. Like Benjamin Franklin said: “A penny saved is a penny earned.”
Read great books because it’s exactly like saving money and getting huge interest.