By Ferris Eanfar, Managing Partner, Vision Bancorp
Many people no longer believe wealth is created from hard work, discipline and patience. In fact, these concepts are so repulsive to some people these days that I had to consider whether to even include them in the first paragraph of this article. That brief, seemingly benign but profound moment of hesitation reminded me of a fundamental principle that can be observed from studying the rise and fall of civilizations: Whenever large segments of a society start vomiting, complaining, cursing or convulsing at the mere sight of the words "work," "discipline," and "patience," you know that society is speeding blindly toward global irrelevance and self-destruction.
Many people have come to believe that the American Dream is just that, a "dream." As a result, they often either give up and live their lives in quiet desperation working in jobs they can barely tolerate or they feel entitled to instant financial success through various get-rich-quick schemes. Experienced television producers and marketing executives have seized upon the concept of the American Dream because they know that virtually all people would love to strike it rich. They make it seem like winning millions of dollars is easy. Lotteries are advertised to make us think we all have a realistic chance at winning the big payoff. But after observing many successful entrepreneurs over the years, I know the reality in all these cases is that the "American Dream" is not only unattainable through those schemes, their advertised version of the American Dream isn’t even true to the core spirit of the American Dream.
The American Dream is about more than an instant payday; it’s about the journey. As cliché as that may seem, it’s absolutely true. How many times did you cheat on a test when you were in school, only to feel like the "payday" (your good grade) was undeserved? Did that feeling allow you to truly enjoy the benefit of a good grade? Probably not if you’re honest with yourself. Now apply that logic to your life today. Sure, it would be nice to win any lottery, but all lotteries are dependent upon luck and luck is not something you can depend on, which means it’s no substitute for hard work, discipline and patience.
Additionally, there is something instinctively gratifying about making money by helping other people. This is one of the core principles of our corporate culture. I always tell people, don’t focus on the money; focus on improving the quality of people’s lives and the money will come. If you can find a way to help people, financial independence will find you.
Ultimately, every person wants to achieve the goal of financial independence, but how we make our money is at least as important as how much money we make. And the collective decisions that we each make are what defines the spirit and the success or failure of a nation. That means that you are your country’s DNA because a nation cannot survive unless its individuals have the tools, conditions and personal values to thrive.
About the Author:
Mr. Eanfar is a Managing Partner at Vision Bancorp, which specializes in commodities-backed asset management and commodities trading. His professional experience spans diverse environments including technical development, media, finance, military and government affairs. Mr. Eanfar can be contacted at the website: https://visionbancorp.com.