As a Wall Street investment banking executive for many years, I discovered the power of invested capital to create companies, build new industries like biotechnology and the Internet, and create billions in stock market value. But as a business and life coach and spiritual teacher, I realized that our greatest resource is the inner wealth that lies within us — our spiritual or inner qualities such as insight, intuition, vision, and so on. Learning how to awaken and invest this tremendous inner wealth will enable you to reach your goals, increase your income, and find deep personal fulfillment.
Many have heard Russell Conwell’s story Acres of Diamonds about the south Asian farmer who sold his rather rocky farmland to go elsewhere to make his fortune. This seemingly poor-quality farmland later turned out to be the Golconda diamond mine, one of the richest ever discovered. How many of us judge ourselves as not being special enough, not being smart enough, not knowing the right people, or not having what it takes? Each of us is sitting on our own acres of diamonds, and we can choose to lament the cards that were dealt to us or to recognize that not only are we diamonds in the rough, but indeed, most of us are sitting on a huge treasure trove of inner assets that can be directly correlated to the material world.
Share with the World What Is Uniquely Yours
Each of us has many choices of how to create income. Most of us spend the majority of our waking time in work-related activities. If you look at work as simply an activity that generates a paycheck, then ultimately you will have to find meaning in other parts of your life. Do what you enjoy, but if you enjoy helping people, you don’t necessarily have to work in a not-for-profit company. Recognize that the experience is more than just the work itself — what you bring to your work is a major part of it. When you begin to value yourself and what you have to offer, you will ultimately share with the world what is uniquely yours.
British author J. K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter book with the little savings she had and some public assistance. But her most valuable investment was her great imagination, her ability to paint pictures with words, and her vision of a fantasy world of muggles, wizards, and dragons. Many of Rowling’s friends and neighbors certainly had some doubts as to whether she ever would make any money as a writer. Yet within ten years, Rowling’s unique Harry Potter brand, encompassing books, movies, and merchandise, was worth several billion dollars, representing a return on investment that dwarfed even those of the early shareholders of Microsoft.
Come from Your Strengths
When I was growing up, I was ashamed of the fact that I looked different from and was shorter than my classmates. What I would have given to have been six feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes rather than being five-foot-six and Chinese American. But when I went to Wall Street, one of the hottest fund managers was Gerald Tsai, a Chinese American who was born in Shanghai. I discovered not only that it was okay to be Chinese but that there were quite a few advantages to it. I could walk into a crowded room, and while I might have some difficulty remembering everyone, most everyone would remember me. Also, I had inherited a solid work ethic, and one of my gifts was my ability to take in what might be an overwhelming amount of information and be able to not only sort it out but glean insights from it.