How to become wealthy

Mara came in our room last weekend, flopped on the bed, and said, “How do I get rich and famous?”

I asked her why she wanted to be famous.

“Well, if you get famous, then people want to do stuff for you, and they give you stuff, and you get all kinds of cool free things.”

So, I asked, is the point of being famous to enable yourself to be rich?

“Yeah, pretty much.”

Okay, then the real question is: “How do I get rich?” We could spend some time talking about what it means to be rich (we have). We could talk about how money has symbolic value only and means nothing of itself (we have). But the question she was asking is valid, an intent we can all understand: How do I ensure that I have what I need, materially? How can I set up my life so I’m not riding the struggle bus? What do I have to do to live in abundance rather than scarcity?

And then I surprised myself by having an answer:

Create value.

“What’s valuable?”

Anything can have value. In a sense, everything does have value of some kind. But unique, thoughtful, deep, skilled work has more value because it’s helpful, meaningful, and rare.

Pick something you can do, something you like doing enough to do it every day.

Then consistently work on it. Make stuff. Share it. Give it away, at first. Practice and practice, but don’t worry about hustle. Practice to improve your skills. Practice to get better at the thing you like doing. Practice for flow.

Keep doing this, keep making stuff, keep sharing stuff, and people will start showing up. At first, it won’t be many people. Your family. Your friends. A few bored bystanders.

But then more people will show up. They’ll be interested. They’ll have opinions about what you’re doing, and why, and how you should do more of it or less of it or in a different way, or how you should market it or promote it or expand it.

Ignore them, mostly.

Keep practicing. Keep doing the work, keep making the stuff, keep sharing and giving most of it away.

Start selling some of it. Then sell more. If you can find ways to duplicate what you sell, so your focus can be on creating rather than copying, that’s even better.

Focus and be consistent.

Create on a schedule.

Share widely. Sell selectively.

That’s it. That’s the whole deal. There are endless variations. There are infinite distractions. The details don’t matter. The focus matters. The consistency matters. The value matters. The details will be forgotten, but the value you create—the wealth you give the world—will have an impact, and it will return to you.