The Richest Man in Babylon

If you didn’t make it through my first post in this series, I don’t blame you. What was supposed to be a 300-word post turned into 2000. Long story short, I have an assignment to publish a blog a week for the next 14 weeks based on the readings in my Introduction to Entrepreneurship class at BYU-Idaho. Those assignments are being published on my blog.

My attitudes on money have changed a lot over the last 15 years. Growing up, I was taught that people with money were not to be trusted. Either they came by their wealth unscrupulously, chose career over family, or both. This concept was repeatedly reenforced with language such as “good ol’ country folk who are as poor as church mice”. Poor was good. Wealth was bad. The one person with wealth that I really spent any time around was frequently given a pass in the rhetoric because he was born poor, one of 12 children in a 2-room cabin in the hills of Kentucky.

My wife came from a very different background, equally as unhealthy. Money was plentiful but spending often extended well beyond their means.

This week, after having the concepts discussed several times in class, my wife and I decided to read The Richest Man in Babylon together. In 2 days I am more than half-way through, and so far I am very impressed with the content. Much of what I have read so far is very reminiscent of other books we have read together such as The Alchemist and The Jackrabbit Factor.  What is interesting is that at this point in our lives, we seem primed and ready to hear the message of this book in a way we weren’t ready to receive before.

It took us a long time in our marriage to find the will power to live on less than we earned. Now that we have developed that discipline, we are hungry for the next steps in our financial progression.

The key text that jumped out to me from the book so far was this passage:

“A man’s wealth is not in the purse he carries. A fat purse quickly empties if there be no golden stream to refill it.”

I am looking forward to finding ways to build that revenue stream. Wealth is not a bad thing. We watched another video this week from Jim Ritchie, who after retiring at age 35 has spent much of his adult life in full-time service and do-gooding. I’m looking forward to finding wealth in healthy and appropriate ways, to be able to serve and build up those around me.


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