The Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth – Richard Paul Evans

By | May 21, 10

The Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth – Richard Paul Evans

There is a path to wealth that all wealthy people follow to achieve financial freedom. Some people find it by trial and error, some by studying the lives of wealthy people, and some from their millionaire mentors.

Richard Paul Evans found out the way to become wealthy from his self-made millionaire mentor years ago as a poor teenager. Having used his mentor’s strategies and made millions, he now shares the exact strategies that he gained from his mentor in his book: The Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth.

This is a book you will be happy reading. It can help you too to make millions and become wealthy.

Here is an excerpt from it, enjoy it. the-5-lessons-a-millionaire-tuaght-me

The Teacher

When the student is ready the teacher shall appear.
– Chinese Proverb

When I was twelve years old, my father, a building contractor, fell through a stairwell on a construction site and shattered the bones in both of his legs. He had no disability insurance and no medical insurance, and so the financial result was nothing short of catastrophic. I come from a large family, and with eight children, money was always tight; but as my father lay in bed, unable to work for nearly a year, we were in the direst of circumstances. We were forced to sell our home and move into a three-bedroom duplex. We lived off food storage and, to some degree, the generosity of those around us.

During this difficult time, I had a life-changing experience. One of our neighbors, a very successful businessman and financial adviser, invited the youth in our area to a lecture at the neighborhood Christian Church. He wanted to teach us about money.

We were confident that he knew something about the subject. He owned a professional basketball team, drove an expensive car, and owned buildings and businesses all over the West.

He was also a self-made millionaire. He came from Ashton, Idaho, a tiny farm town with only two thousand residents – “if,” he told us, “you count the dogs and chickens.” He was born during the Great Depression, and like so many others at that time, his family was destitute. They rented two rooms in the back of someone else’s house. They had no running water, and in the freezing northern Idaho climate, the only heat source was the small stove they cooked with. He learned to work as soon as he could walk, toiling as a common laborer picking potatoes on the area farms alongside the migrant workers. He had come a long way since then. He was the wealthiest man I knew.

The first thing he did that day was to pull a hundred-dollar bill from his wallet and hold it up in front of us. I started at it in wonder. I had never seen one before. He asked, “Is money evil?”

Even though it was an evil we all wanted, sitting in the confines of a church we all quickly agreed that it was.

“The Bible,” said a teenage girl piously, “says that money is the root of all evil.”

He smiled. “You are referring to the New Testament scripture in 1 Timothy, chapter 6, verse 10,” he replied. “And it does not say that. It says that the love of money is the root of all evil. There’s a big difference. In fact, just one chapter earlier in Timothy, the apostle Paul says that if ‘any provide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’ How can you provide for your own without money?

“How about the parable of the Good Samaritan? Jesus told us to be like the Good Samaritan, yet how many of you here today could afford to pay for a stranger’s hospital treatment and housing for a week? The Samaritan was able to help because he had the financial means to do so. Without it he could only have offered minor assistance.

“For many, religion seems paradoxical on the subject of wealth. On the one hand, it seems to tell us that money is evil. On the other hand, God often blesses the righteous with wealth and material prosperity. For instance, in the Old testament, after Job endured his many trials and proved his devotion to God, he was given back twice his wealth and possessions. So was God rewarding Job’s righteousness with evil? Of course not.”

Our teacher’s tone became more serious. “Like most things, money can be used for good or evil. The church you are sitting in right now was built through substantial monetary contributions. Every week I see people in our area being helped through the generosity and financial ability of others.

“At your age, you have no idea how much money is spent on your behalf – oftentimes by people you will never meet and never thank. The day will come when you must make a decision: will you be one who helps others or one who looks to others for help? It’s your choice. You can be part of the problem or part of the solution. If you want to be the latter, then listen carefully, because what I have to tell you today will change your life.”

Considering my family’s plight at the time, I listened very carefully. The lessons he taught that day lit a flame of hope within me. For the first time, I believed that there might be more to life than the seemingly endless financial desperation that had been my family’s lot. I thought about his words constantly and began living the principles he shared. I immediately saw a difference in my own life, and that made the belief burn still brighter. By the age of sixteen, I had become somewhat financially independent. I bought my own clothes, my own car, and paid for my own entertainment. By eighteen, I had saved the equivalent of $7,000, enough to finance my schooling and a church mission. By the age of twenty-six, I had saved enough to put 25 percent down on a house on a beautiful tree-lined street. By the age of thirty-one, I had paid off my home.

Less than twenty years from the time my millionaire friend gave that talk, I returned to him with several million dollars I wanted his help in investing. He smiled when he saw me. “I understand that you’ve done all right for yourself.”

“I have you to thank,” I said. “You taught me what it takes to succeed financially.”

“You have yourself to thank,” he replied. Then his smile turned to a look of concern. “I’m afraid you were the only one who listened to me that day.”

“Maybe I was just the only one who thought he had to.”

The Millionaire In The Mirror

Why is it that wealth seems so distant from most people? Recently my eight-year-old daughter asked my wife if she’d ever seen a millionaire. My wife smiled and said that she had.

“Was he wearing a crown?” she asked.


“Was he in a limousine?”

“No, he was just walking.”

“Were people dancing around him saying, ‘God millionaire, go millionaire?’”

Millionaires are not as removed as you might think. There are more than three and a half million millionaires in the United States alone. In fact, if you have an average American’s income, you will earn more than a million dollars in your lifetime. So will you someday be a millionaire? According to current financial trends, it’s not likely.

Recent statistics given by the Federal Reserve indicate that household debt is at a record high relative to disposable income. In 1946, household debt was 22 percent of personal disposable income. Today it’s roughly 110 percent. Not surprisingly, personal bankruptcies in America have more than doubled in the last decade. In fact, more Americans now declare bankruptcy each year than graduate from college.

What about our retirement? If we take one hundred Americans and follow their financial path to age sixty-five, fewer than four will have an income above $35,000, while five times that number will live below the poverty line. More than 50 percent will be wholly dependent on relatives, Social Security, and welfare. In America, the discrepancy between the haves and have-nots has never been so wide.

If Americans’ individual financial prospects seem so dire, then who and where are these millions of millionaires? They are not all businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, or white-collar professionals. Some are hairstylists and welders and farmers. So what’s their secret? What is it that makes these people wealthy and others not?

Is It Luck?

“Fickle fate” is a vicious Goddess who brings no permanent good to anyone. On the contrary, she brings ruin to almost every man upon whom she showers unearned gold. She makes wanton spenders who soon dissipate all they receive and are left beset by overwhelming appetites and desires they have not the ability to gratify.
– GEORGE S. CLASON, The Richest Man in Babylon

Wealth is more than just luck. Only 2 percent of today’s millionaires inherited all or any part of their homes or property. Fewer than 20 percent inherited even a small portion of their wealth. And those victims of luck-induced wealth don’t often retain their prizes. One study showed that of those who came into fortunes through lotteries, more than 80 percent were bankrupt within five years. The fate of those receiving other windfalls, such as insurance claims and inheritance, isn’t much better.

Is It Intelligence?

If wealth were simply a matter of intelligence, a disproportionate number of millionaires would have stellar IQs and academic merit badges. This is not the case. Most of today’s millionaires did not graduate with high honors. Most of them did not even qualify for a top-rated college. In light of this, it is not surprising, then, that Warren Buffett, the self-made multibillionaire investor, was rejected by Harvard Business College. In fact, research shows that millionaires’ average grade point average is lower than a B.

On the other hand, highly academic, well-educated people often act like complete fools when it comes to personal finances. It is common knowledge among financial consultants that America’s most educated citizens – doctors and lawyers – are notoriously bad at handling their money.

What is it?

If it’s not luck or superior intelligence that makes the millionaire, then what is the common denominator (besides money, of course) that the wealthy have and the rest of humanity does not? It’s simply this:

The wealthy understand the principles of accumulating wealth and live them.

Some wealthy people learned the principles of accumulating riches through trial and error. Some – like myself – learned from mentors or parents. And for some, it just came naturally. But whatever this knowledge’s source, I do not know a single self-made millionaire who does not understand and apply the five principles my millionaire friend taught us that day.

This is good news for everyone else. Because it means that wealth is less a matter of circumstance than it is a matter of knowledge and choice. It means that we can choose to live the lives we desire. So ultimately it comes back to you. Where do you want to go?

Take Responsibility For Your Money

Money makes a good servant but a bad master
– French Proverb

When it comes to money, far too many of us are asleep at the wheel. Many Americans view money as an uncontrollable, almost mystical entity. It’s not. In its most basic form, it’s just metal and paper. And if you don’t control your money, it will control you.

Taking control of your money begins with taking responsibility for it. That means knowing how much you have, where it is coming from, where it is going, and what it’s doing in the meantime. Taking responsibility for your money means not completely turning it over to a bookkeeper or a spouse. It’s a matter of personal stewardship. It’s like parenting: you cannot leave control of your children to someone else and just hope that they will turn out all right.

It’s not just the poor or uneducated who fall prey to fiscal irresponsibility. An acquaintance of mine with more than ten million dollars to his name woke one day to find himself nearly broke. The group of investors he had hired to manage his money had tied it up in risky investments that had not only wiped out his capital but left major debts in excess of what he owned. He had been too busy in other ventures to watch where his money was going.

Another acquaintance, finding his bank account depleted after burning through tens of thousands of dollars, said to me, “We have nothing to show for it. All I can figure out is that we spent all our money on Happy Meals.”

Unfortunately, most people’s closets are more organized than their finances. If you’re one of the fiscally irresponsible, it’s time for change.

Recommended Resource

This is a great book by all standard, and I very much gladly recommend it to you.


The Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth



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One thought on “The Five Lessons A Millionaire Taught Me About Life and Wealth – Richard Paul Evans

  1. Reginald

    I am an aspirant businessman,your story is truely inspirational,I’m South Africa and monetary issues are universal not only America

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