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Monday, December 5, 2011

Freedom from Financial slavery

YEAR: 1926
PAGES: 144
PRICE: $9.99(Amazon Price)

The key to wealth resides with those who understand the principles that govern financial success. George Clason in his book “ the Richest Man in Babylon” explains these principles; how money can be generated and how it can be continually sustained to generate more income.

‘ A part of all you earn is yours to keep’, that part as Clason points out in this book can be as little as a tenth of one’s earning with which more wealth can be acquired. With this he proposes seven cures that will prop our purses to fattening; Start thy purse to fattening (with a tenth of one’s income as explained earlier); Control your expenditures; Make the gold multiply ( invest the money in some other venture that would yield additional income); Guard thy treasures from loss; Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment (building one’s own house); Insure a future income (pension scheme); Increase thy ability to earn.

The author makes use of parables to drive home his point on financial independence. The story telling approach makes the readers to better relate with principles that is espoused here. Although the parables are written in ancient English, but the messages in the stories, carry a lot of meaning.

The book addresses issues of gainful investment rather than gambling. It explains the fact that regardless of the amount one earns, more can be made out of it. The history of Babylon which the reader explains in the last chapter, opens ones mind to the fact that a nation can be developed with limited resources but the leadership in place, determines what the nation would eventually become.

From the brief description of Babylon, we are let into the fact that Babylon only had a fertile soil and a river, no other natural resource to aid in what became known as a nation from where the richest men emerged.

The role of work cannot be under emphasized and from the parable, it’s importance is highlighted:

...If thou get a master, work for him as hard as thou canst. If he does not appreciate all thou do, Never mind. Remember, work well done, does good to the man who does it. It will make him a better man..(page 125)

..Work has become my best helper. It has enabled me to recapture my confidence and my skill to sell (page 132).

Asides the fact that one needs to save a part of their income, Clason makes it clear that it is not enough for one to just save, but that money needs to generate more income, hence the need to make profitable investments. After identifying the need to work, it is clear that there is always a time for one to move to become one’s own boss, after learning the skills that would be needed and asking questions from those who have gone ahead in that business line to avoid incurring loses.

Although in this book, the idea of one becoming an entrepreneur is highlighted in the form of a slave and master relationship, but it’s purpose is not defeated. The book is a total package, a strong weapon to deliver us from the pangs of financial slavery. It is not enough to spend over half of one’s time on earth serving others, with no strategy on becoming their own boss hence no savings, people literally ‘spend’ everything as they earn.

From the parable, we understand that entrepreneurship is a risk especially at the onset, but gradually the benefits becomes obvious. Life offers a lot of opportunities to the patient smart/hard workers; it is not an easy or fast route but like we often hear, there’s “dignity in labour”.