Regain Your Banking Function
“Becoming Your Own Banker” by Nelson Nash has radically changed my mindset on wealth and thinking long term. It is difficult to explain all the benefits of the Infinite Banking Concept in a single blog post, but, I would summarize it as a perfect blend between The Austrian School of Economics and sound financial planning.
Nelson’s main philosophy is that everyone should be in business for themselves and regain control of the banking function in their lives. This is not a get rich quick scheme, but rather a process of taking full financial control and responsibility of your wealth.
“The very first principle that must be understood is that you finance everything you buy–you either pay interest to someone else or you give up interest you could have earned otherwise.”
— Nelson Nash
Wealth Is A Long Term Plan
As I watch my twin sons play, it is easy to notice their personality differences. Hunter exercises far more caution than Sawyer in unfamiliar environments, and on the other hand, I see Sawyer fearlessly diving right in. Working together they provide a balanced team.
I think about my own meandering path towards learning, and it makes me wonder is it possible to see their trajectories so early in life? Can you predict if your children are going to be successful?
“Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.”
— Rosa Parks
Rich Dad Poor Dad
Years ago I found a book by Robert T. Kiyosaki entitled, Rich Dad’s Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Million-Dollar Business.
When I found this book I’d just finished university with a 3-year pass degree in English Literature and didn’t have any prospects on how to change my trajectory.
A degree in English Literature does not provide a competitive advantage in a free market, nor does it prepare you to be an author making money in a commercial setting like Amazon.
It’s a frustrating hurdle that I couldn’t cross. To add insult to injury I needed to borrow money to pay for this information I could have easily learned on my own reading a few books.
The Infinite Banking concept provides a great solution to tackling the debt incurred during post-secondary education. By using a whole life dividend paying life insurance policy, the way Nelson Nash describes, a family can easily gain the benefit of education, while retaining wealth rather than giving it to the commercial banks.
Why didn’t I succeed after university?
Was it fear? I don’t think so. I loved books and dove wholeheartedly into the study of English. The reality, however, is that a Department of English Literature is no place for a storyteller.
That’s what I am at heart.
It’s the same with an entrepreneur trying to work as an employee.
Robert Kiyosaki told an anecdotal story of a Rich Dad and a Poor Dad. I understood immediately. My father worked hard all his life, but without financial education, he had been buffeted by markets beyond his control.
Robert also tells a story of a woman who scoffed him, saying that what he wrote wasn’t literature. Robert laughed and replied that he wasn’t trying to write literature, he was writing books that would sell.
If university created doubt about commercial writing versus classical literature, I have come to terms with it. My destiny has always been to go down the commercial route.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit
I loved Robert’s writing but couldn’t find a mentor anywhere to teach me business. The next best thing was to try my hand at multi-level-marketing. Most people would cringe when they hear this, but as brutal as it was, I learned a few things.
It was Robert Kiyosaki that recommended joining a network marketing business to learn emotional intelligence, in other words, learn how to handle rejection and lots of business skills at a low cost.
For the record, I have been rather embarrassed by my involvement with Multi-level-marketing up to this point, but I’m starting to feel different. It was a stage of growth, maybe a little naive, but a courageous effort.
When you are part of a network like this there is a good chance your family will view you as a pariah. What I discovered is that a lot of people are extremely resistant to change, and even when they are presented with a sound opportunity, they could potentially react with anger.
Change is difficult.
The First Live Entrepreneur
Building a list of leads is extremely important, so the first thing your “handlers” will do is get you to compile all your contacts that could potentially be customers for the products you will sell, and if you are really lucky, wish to help build the business with you. After the list is built, the fun part starts when you call each of them on your lunch hour at work to set up meetings.
If you’ve never tried this before I recommend that you prepare for some rejections. This aspect definitely built my character, since by nature I would characterize myself as shy, certainly not an aggressive salesman.
One of the gentlemen that agreed to sit down and listen to what I had to say was Frank Strathearn.
I look back now and wonder why he took the time to listen. He was a busy guy with things to do, and yet he sat and listened to my pitch. Maybe it was pure curiosity or an interest in the opportunity.
Thinking back it would the equivalent of a snotty nosed school kid sitting down with a successful business owner and asking him if he’d like to invest in a rickety lemonade stand.
Co-incidently Frank was the first authentic entrepreneur that I met.
He was different than the marketers back at the Quixtar meetings because he was actually making money and he’d never read Rich Dad Poor Dad! Here was a man of action, building a solid foundation of wealth from Real Estate Investing.
Frank already made significant passive income from investing in Real Estate, and it dawned on me during the meeting that he would be a far better teacher than anyone I would meet in Quixtar. Although I didn’t leave the network marketing immediately, it was the was the beginning of the end.
I was immediately fascinated with the process of making money, and not just fantasizing about it. From my brief encounter with Quixtar, I put way more money out the door than ever came back to me.
Learning The Ropes
Whenever I have discussed having a degree in English Literature, many people asked why I didn’t go into teaching. Teaching was never my goal in taking English. Honestly, I wanted to get into the art program but missed the cut at both Sheridan and Brock University.
Five years of university and a piece of paper to show for it. No sales skills what so ever. I learned how to critique literature, and was familiar with a ton of it, but the only writing I did was useless and would never sell in a commercial space like Amazon or Chapters.
My heart has always been with books, and it has taken a long route to move towards a balanced approach to writing and marketing books. Indie authors must learn a healthy dose of business and marketing to be successful.
Later I would meet Frank again at the Golf and Country Club, here he would be a key player in hiring me on as a self-employed contractor for the curling ice. Over the next 3 or 4 years Frank stayed on as the Curling Chair and we were able to work very closely with each other.
I have written about others that have had a great influence at the club as well here.
There is a saying, “If you want something to get done, give it to a busy man.” I always remember him flying in by the seat of his pants with an armful of papers looking stressed.
The other aspect I saw first hand, was how Frank managed to reach into the community and find fellow business owners willing to advertise on the ice surface. Through Frank, I saw an increase of revenue by at least $10,000 per year.
He had also mastered the art of spending less than he earned. If you met him while he was driving his old work van you would never know that he was successful. It is easy to see that he is a busy man, judging by the evidence of ongoing projects in various stages of development on the floor.
Remember the feeling you get when someone brings you a coffee as you wait for a haircut in the mall? Well, multiply that by 10. Frank helped us clean up our house, offered suggestions to make it more marketable, and put together the financial plan to transition to our next home.
Infinite Banking Concept
The second stage is how to think about growing your wealth.
It’s my top priority to have enough for my family. Part of this means allocating resources in an efficient way to use at a future date.
If I spend all that I earn in the moment, what happens?
Recognizing the need for saving has come up over and over. Spend less than you earn, and invest the difference. Buy cash flowing assets. How is this solid base constructed?
Nelson Nash has shown me that although it is exceedingly rare, long term thinking like farmer’s and forestry businesses must think in generations. This is also legacy thinking. What kind of ideas and wealth will you pass on to your children, and their children?