Author: Michael LeBoeuf
Publisher: Crown Business, New York
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
Inability or failure to discover and maximise one’s latent potential accounts for why most people have not achieved their purpose in life. This also explains why most people have not attained their desired financial independence because they do not realise that they have the millionaire potential within. Let us therefore X-ray this text entitled “The Millionaire in You” as a solution to this challenge.
The book is written by Dr. Michael LeBoeuf, a renowned business consultant, professional speaker and seminar leader.
In this book, LeBoeuf says there is a potential millionaire and a wonderful life of personal freedom living within you, and the key to making it a reality is to see the possibility and make the right choices to create it. He stresses that there are only four things you need to know about money and these are: How to make it; how to save it; how to invest it; and how to enjoy it.
According to LeBoeuf, only very few people manage to do all the four, although almost anyone can do them. He says the answer lies in applying a simple principle he calls “LeBoeuf’s Law”. This law is about investing your time actively and your money passively. LeBoeuf says if you make a commitment to yourself and are willing to do what it takes to become a millionaire, you almost certainly will. He stresses that you should not tell him that it cannot be done, because he has done it, and millions of others have, too.
LeBoeuf says the purpose of writing this book is to make you become financially independent and enjoy the same freedom that he enjoys. He adds that there are three steps involved in creating the millionaire in you. According to him, the first is to see the possibilities; the second thing is to do what it takes to create your fortune and enjoy it; and finally, you need to step back, celebrate your financial freedom and enjoy it.
As far as structural segmentation is concerned, this book has three parts. The first part is thematically tagged “See it!” According to LeBoeuf, any American today, and by extension, anybody today with basic common sense can become a millionaire. All it requires is the ability to see possibilities, and then know how to proceed and follow through, he says, adding that four major insights are central to the issue of making money.
The first insight is called the “Time and Wealth Grid”. In LeBoeuf’s words, “It’s the scourge of modern-day living that plagues most of us: If you have money, you don’t have the time. If you have lots of time, you’re hurting for money. And most of us could use a whole lot more of both. Welcome to the time/money trap”.
He says if you want to know how prevalent this problem is, just visit the jam-packed California freeways, the Long Island Expressway, commuter trains or other urban traffic arteries during the rush hour. LeBoeuf reveals that what you will see is literally millions of people frantically rushing to and from work, where they put in long hours so that they can make the payments on a house and a lifestyle that they do not have time to enjoy.
According to him, to get out of the time/money trap, one needs to understand how one got there in the first place. People fall into the trap by thinking with a paycheque mentality, says LeBoeuf. He asserts that because most people think with a paycheque mentality, they assume that having more of one requires sacrificing some of the other. The author adds that time and money are not one-dimensional trade-offs unless people assume they are and choose to live their lives that way.
As far as the interpretation of the diagrammatical analysis of the time and wealth grid is concerned, LeBoeuf identifies five different types of people. These are the Slave; the Grasshopper; the Employee; the Owner; and the Winner. He stresses that the Slave has little or no wealth or discretionary time, while the Grasshopper has plenty of time and little or no wealth.
LeBoeuf says the Employee represents those work regular hours for a decent living wage that pays the rent and puts food on the table. The Employee trades time for money, and focuses on earning to spend. The author analyses that the Owner has plenty of wealth but little discretionary time. “The Winner enjoys the best of all possible worlds. The Owner is rich because of what he owns. The Winner is wealthy because he has money and time to enjoy it,” submits LeBoeuf.
As far as the second insight is concerned, he discusses his law which says you should invest your time actively and your money passively. “Actively investing your time means deciding how your time will be spent rather than spending it according to current circumstances or the dictates of others,” he educates.
The author adds that a good time portfolio invests waking hours in four basic activities, that is, learning, earning, living and giving. LeBoeuf says when it comes to investing money, most people pay brokers, financial planners, etc., huge sums to actively manage their money for them. “Those fees and commissions contribute to the investment pro’s wealth instead of the investor’s,” he asserts.
LeBoeuf says the third insight of wealth-creation is simplicity, and it is the master key. Quoting John C. Bogle, he submits that simplicity gives us the power to do less of what does not matter, and more of what matters. “The paradox of our time is that as things become increasingly complex, the more we need simplicity,” LeBoeuf says, adding that there are two simple but extremely powerful rules for managing time and building wealth. The key to managing time is the 80/20 Rule, while the key to accumulating wealth is the Rule of 72, he says.
The last insight discussed is higher life expectancy tagged the “Twentieth century’s greatest gift”. LeBoeuf stresses that though marked by financial challenges, the higher life expectancy guarantees the advantage of having more years to pursue wealth. He therefore suggests that you should resolve to make the most of your longevity bonus; create your own endowment; and realise that delayed gratification is not denied.
In the second part of this book summarily christened “Do it! “, LeBoeuf discusses ten choices for achieving personal and financial freedom. These are that you should live the life you want instead of the life others expect; stack the odds in your favour instead of against you; be a super saver instead of a big spender; increase the market value of your time instead of working long hours; and do less better instead of trying to do it all.
Others are that you should capitalise on the unexpected instead of being derailed by it; own the market instead of trying to beat the market; limit your losses instead of letting bad luck ruin you; listen to those who know instead of those who sell; and finally do whatever you want to do now instead of regretting it later.
In the last part of the book, that is, part three, he says you should celebrate and enjoy. “Congratulations! You’ve reached the winner’s circle, where you can enjoy the harvest of your years of learning, working, saving and investing. You now have the freedom to spend your time any legal way you want,” submits LeBoeuf. He asserts that having abundance of money and time puts one in control of one’s life, but it is not going to automatically make one happy.
LeBoeuf advises that once you reach financial independence, doing the following four things can greatly enhance the quality of your life: Stay financially independent and out of the time/money trap; make it a point to keep physically and mentally active; experience the joy and personal satisfaction of giving back and making the world a better place; and finally, realise that the true joy lies in the journey and not some mythical destination.
On style, one thing that always works for LeBoeuf is the simplicity of his language and uniqueness of presentation, which he has also exhibited here. The tips offered in this book are illuminating and motivating. He uses literary/classical allusions to achieve conceptual amplification and lend credibility to his message.
However, the four insights elaborately discussed in the first part should have been clearly segmented into chapters for a distinct structural pattern.
On the whole, this text is a classic. It is highly recommended to those who aspire to achieve permanent financial abundance, freedom and enjoyment.
GOKE ILESANMI, Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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