You have one brain, two hands, two legs and 24 hours in a day. How can you use these God-given resources to achieve the success you desire in a world of over 7 billion people? Some years ago, in my university days, I got involved in an argument with a group of students. The majority were of the opinion that it was impossible to earn the equivalent of $10,000 in a month, in today’s value, without malpractice, coming from a rich family or gaining favour from the elite. At the time, the internet wasn’t yet a thing in the country.
The most stories we heard about the internet was internet fraudsters. There were few high paying jobs, and you had to work through the bureaucracy and corporate politics to get paid that kind of money. It turned out that just 2 of us out of about 7 people believed it was possible to earn that kind of money legitimately. But we were unable to prove it.
Now that I know better, if I were to go back in time to defend the fact that anyone of us could actually make more money than that regardless of where we lived, I’ll be sharing this 7 simple ways to create legitimate wealth with them. The reason most people don’t implement this simple hacks is that they feel it’s cheating. But it’s just wisdom and common sense.
- Use other people’s work
Imagine your boss asked you to lift a heavy piece of furniture, let’s say an 1867 piano. The instruction was to move the piano from hall 1 to hall 7. He doesn’t care how the piano gets there; he just wants it there. Will you try to be impressive by trying to move it by yourself or will you get other people to help you move it?
It may seem like an obvious answer, but what most people do in real life is equivalent to trying to move the piano alone and hope to be applauded for doing the job single-handedly. They look at the person who persuades other people to help them as cheats. You see, you can brag about being the person who did the heavy lifting alone and call the one who seeks help lazy, but no one cares how the piano got there. They just want to know that it got there and in good condition.
The most disservice people do to themselves is trying to accomplish something alone so they can take all the credit; or because they don’t trust other people to do a better job. The smarter thing to do is to get help. If you have a business, get the work of other people to help you; and pay them with what you can. If you spend a lot of time on domestic shores and feel it steals into your time to do productive work, hire someone to help. Today, there is a large market for freelance services. It’s not that hard to get people to help for a small fee. Your two hands and two legs are not enough to do everything that needs to be done in your career, business or life generally. Get more done by using other people’s work.
- Use other people’s knowledge
Every one of us alive today will attribute most of our knowledge from other people. From what you learned from parents, guardians and siblings, to peers, teachers, lecturers and the media. There is an infinite amount of knowledge out there. For everything you want from life, there is someone, who has knowledge that can help you get it. There is no reason to spend seven years learning by trial and error when someone can show you the same knowledge in just a few hours.
Unfortunately, most people want to figure it out by themselves. In school, we are mostly taught to try to figure out how to move the piano, and discouraged from asking someone for help. So most people suffer in silence trying to fix what they have little knowledge about because it feels like cheating in an exam hall to seek other people’s knowledge.
You have to accept that you can only know very little. Shorten your learning time by using other people’s knowledge. The internet, today if filled with other people’s knowledge available for free. Hire people who are smarter than you. Surround yourself with people that know better than you across different fields. Your one brain is not enough to get you the financial freedom you want.
- Use other people’s money
Let’s look at my friend, Sam (not his real name). Sam had a business idea but lives in a rural area. He started his business despite the limitations where he lived. His business proved to be a profitable idea, but Sam was not able to hire skilled labour to grow his business. If he waited to save from his business earnings, it will take him 5 years to save up enough money to move to the city, rent an office space and hire skilled workers. So Sam reached out to me to ask for money to help him do today what will take him five years to do with his own money.
We negotiated and agreed that Sam will pay me a certain interest each year for giving him my money. Sam takes my money, rented an apartment in the city, hired skilled workers and is able to grow his business to make more than enough money to pay his debt and interest. New jobs were created, a real estate owner got to rent an apartment, the lender and borrower were happy
This is what happens in the world of commerce every single day. There is a limitless amount of money out there. Money is created every day, from governments printing and borrowing money to financial institutions issues credits. Smart people don’t wait to create wealth with their own money; they use other people’s money.
Ever wonder why your governments continue to take loans? Well, there it is. Why wait 10 years to construct that bridge if we can take other people’s money, construct it today and start benefiting from it. Now whether the government uses this money for the intended purpose is beyond the scope of this article. It’s similar to whether people take loans to invest in a profitable venture or to live above their means. The point is that if you want to achieve financial success faster, and you know what you are doing, and have the integrity to back it up; you can use other people’s money.
- Use other people’s time
Your 24 hours a day is not enough to get much work done. In fact, when you take out sleeping time, commute, leisure, eating and time for miscellaneous activities, you only have about 6 hours a day to do productive work. When you consider that you don’t have much time to remain young, you’ll understand how limited you are with time. You cannot achieve an extraordinary life with your time alone. You must engage the time of other people.
Imagine that Sam in my previous story got 10 people to devote 6 hours a day to work with him; that’ll give him an additional 60 hours a day. Now, instead of 6 hours of work, he gets 60 hours of work per day. Do you sincerely expect to get the same result with him when you have only 6 hours a day of work? That’s how you use other people’s time.
- Use your network and other people’s resources
Most people complain about how unfair society is; how you need to know somebody to succeed. While the presence of nepotism cannot be denied in many societies, success in every society is largely influenced by relationships; relationships that are strong enough to allow you to benefit from their resources.
For instance, let’s take two unknown authors who want to publish their books. One hopes that his hard work and passion demonstrated in his book gets him attention. The other author is a friend with someone close to a publisher that can get her book reviewed on New York Times bestselling books. Which of the authors do you think is most likely to succeed? It may seem unfair that the most passionate writer doesn’t get the attention he deserves, but that’s how life works. You’ve got to use your lifelines.
On the other hand, you may get a job in a Fortune 500 company purely from your CV and performance at the interview. But to grow through the ranks, you need your network and other people’s resources. What got you here, will not get you there.
- Use other people’s ideas
Google was not the first search engine. They used other people’s idea. Facebook was not the first social media. They used other people’s idea. You don’t have to come up with an original idea to be successful.
Very often I meet people who claim to have an idea so great that they don’t want to share it with anyone, for fear of being copied. If you are this category, congratulations and good luck. But for most people, you don’t need a unique idea to become successful. You just have to look for what someone else is doing, that could be better and do it better. Instead of making all the trial and errors to see if your novel idea work, wouldn’t you rather take an idea that is proven; an idea someone else has made a lot of mistakes on, and build on that?
- Use automation systems
Never in history had there been a time when people could create a business that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This is an unbelievable advantage that makes you feel like a real cheat. Just about anyone can use digital technology tools to reach millions of people to create massive impact with little effort and manpower. By the time you are reading this piece, I could be playing with my kids at home, sleeping or just working on something else. But the system ensures that I don’t have to be there to keep running. The technology was made to work for you; use it.
If you want to legitimately make the kind of money you think is only reserved for privileged people, you have to leverage other people’s work, time, knowledge, network, money, idea and technology. If you found this piece helpful, we’ll appreciate if you’ll share it with someone. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!