Did you know that practicing good etiquette can actually have a positive effect on your personal wealth? Take a look at this short article to see how.
How Every Decision You Make Can Make You Richer – or Poorer
You go to lunch with a colleague. Everything is good. When the waiter puts the bill on the table, the total is $26.
Do you pick it up? Do you wait and hope he does? Or do you suggest you split it?
On the surface, this is a minor decision. But in truth, it is one of a million chances you’ve had, have, and will have to become wealthier.
A cheapskate might look at it this way:
If I pay the whole bill, I’ll be $26 poorer. If we split the bill, I’ll be $13 poorer. If I can get him to pay it, I’ll be $13 richer.
To the cheapskate, the best decision is obvious. So when the bill arrives, he gets up to “go to the bathroom,” hoping he’ll be $13 richer when he returns.
But I have a different view. Wealth building, like quantum mechanics, often operates according to laws that seem contrary to what is “obvious.”
Paying the tab, in other words, might actually make you richer. Because the $13 you spend on your lunch partner might give you a return of much more than $13.
Your generosity might signal to him or her that you are the kind of person one can trust. It might tell him you are someone who is willing to give first without demanding recompense. If he sees you in that light, a relationship might be seeded by this small investment on your part. A year later – it is possible to imagine – one might recommend you for a promotion when he himself gets promoted to head up your department.
It depends on your assessment of his character.
If he impresses you as a person who believes – as you do – in reciprocity, you will know that the $13 is a wise investment. If, on the other hand, he shows you that he is a person who believes in exploiting others, the wise move might be to pay only your share of the bill and not develop the relationship any further.
In either case, you are richer.
In the first case, you are richer in a potentially lucrative business relationship. In the second case, you are richer in knowledge – knowledge about him that can help you avoid trouble or seize opportunity in the future.
I am making two points: First, almost every event in your life is an opportunity for you to become richer. And second, by seeing every situation as a wealth-building opportunity, you can take the actions that will gradually make you very rich.
The people I call “instinctive wealth builders” understand this on a gut level. They see every transaction – social, personal, or business – as a wealth-related opportunity. They are always angling, even subconsciously, to increase their wealth.
Most of us aren’t born with that instinct. For us, a casual conversation is just a casual conversation. And choosing to join a club or hire or fire an employee is that and nothing more.
But the moment we put this principle into practice, we see the world very differently. Its potential is no longer limited. It is enormous, maybe even infinite. And we view every action we engage in as a chance – big or small – to increase or diminish our wealth.