“Rich Is A Religion” by Mark Stevens, 2008
Mark Stevens (author of my all-time favorite marketing book “Your Marketing Sucks”) shares his personal life examples, and examples from his well known wealthy friends, that illustrate how your attitude toward money and wealth is really the key to having them both. This is an important book for you to read if you are focused on lifestyle design, building your own independent path, and providing for yourself and your family in all economic environments. It’s a perfect companion to some of my other required reading such as “The 4-Hour Workweek” and “Think and Grow Rich”.
The book is not a “how to get rich quick” guide by any stretch of the imagination. Mark conveys far more important philosophical differences between those who have a healthy attitude toward money and wealth, and those who do not. Saying to yourself “of course I have a healthy attitude toward money – I want all I can get” doesn’t cut it. And I think that’s why he chose the path of describing wealth creation as a “religion” because it reflects a core belief system that treats money, spending, value, leisure and time all with respect.
Mark turns conventional wisdom about wealth on its head by reinforcing the point that the most important money you can have is the money people can’t see. If you spend your hard earned dollars on external validation designed to impress others (expensive cars, fashion, over sized McMansion), where will it leave you when you really need the money, either for a crisis or an opportunity? Remember the Lending Tree commercials with Stanley Johnson who had the great home, club membership, new car and said he was “in debt up to my eyeballs. Somebody help me!” ? Even Frank Lopez in Scarface warned Tony Montana against “the guys who want it all….chicas, cars, flash”.
Mark illustrates how the truly wealthy think differently about money, and that they go to great lengths to avoid spending it. The inspired examples of Sam Walton, Carl Icahn, Tom Carvel and others who have amassed great sums, and spent freely when the money would create a return, and would shut their wallets tight when they felt their money was not being spent wisely. The fact that these men could afford to spend on anything they wanted to, never meant that they should.
Mark challenges the myths that we have all been brought up with, and which keep most people on the treadmill. He outlines the philosophy for creating your own environment and lifestyle based on the creation of wealth, not the exchange of time for a paycheck. What I like about this book is that he is telling you the “what” and not the “how” – so once you get your mind around the concepts you are free to use your imagination to create the lifestyle and freedom on your own terms. I was fortunate enough to spend an hour with Mark discussing his views before the book was released, and I can tell you that he is passionate about this book because he lived its lessons.
“Rich is a Religion” will change your attitude toward money. From a joyless world of you working for money to an inspired world of money working for You.