From high school dropout to self-made billionaire, Li Ka-Shing, Hong Kong Billionaire with a net worth of an estimated $26.3 billion, came from very humble beginnings when he was growing up in China. Li believes that with the right attitude and determination, equipped with the right tools, anyone can become as successful as he is.
In an article, he outlined a plan whereby if followed, anyone should be able to buy a house and car within five years. His plan is likened to the Art of War for success – seekers and entrepreneurs can act for financial success. Translated into English by Edmund Ng of CeoConnectz, we check out these essential points from Li-Ka Shing in mastering the art of prosperity.
1. Always Have a Cheap but Healthy Diet
The first set of funds: Used for living expenses. It’s a simple way of living and you are only assigned less than twenty bucks a day. It starts with a daily breakfast of vermicelli or bee hoon, an egg, and a cup of milk. For lunch try a simple set lunch, a snack fruit. For dinner go to your kitchen cook your own meals that should consist of two vegetable dishes and a glass of milk before bedtime. When you are young, your body should be able to adjust well to this simple but healthy way of living.
2. Buy Lunch for People Whom You Respect
The second set of funds: To make friends, expand your interpersonal circle. This will eventually pay off in more ways than just socially but also financially. Do keep in mind your other budgets but make sure to buy your friends 2 lunches a month. Who should you buy lunch for?
Always remember to buy lunch for people who are more knowledgeable than you, richer than you, or people who have helped you in your career. Make sure you do this every month. After one year, your circle of friends should have generated tremendous value for you. Your reputation, influence, and added value will be clearly recognised. You’ll also boost your image by being kind and generous.
3. Become a Bookworm
The third set of funds: To learn, spend a monthly fee of about RM50 to RM100 to buy books. Because you don’t have a lot of money, you should pay attention to learning. When you buy books, read them carefully and learn the lessons and strategies that are being taught. For each book you read, try putting these stories into your own language and re-tell them. Sharing with others can improve your credibility and enhance your affinity in interacting with others.
4. Grow Yourself by Travelling
The fourth set of funds: Use it for holidaying overseas. Reward yourself by travelling at least once a year. Continue to grow from the experiences of life. Stay in youth hostels to help save cost and stay within a stringent budget. In a few years, you would have travelled to many countries and have different experiences and fresh perspectives on life. Use that experience to recharge yourself so that you’ll continually have passion for your work.
5. Save and Invest
The fifth set of funds: Invest! Save the RM500 in your bank and grow it as your initial startup capital. The capital can then be used to do a small business. Small businesses are safe. Go to wholesalers and look for products to sell. Even if you lose money, you will not lose too much money. However, when you start earning, it will boost your confidence and encourage you to have a whole new learning experience of running a small business.
Earn more and you can then begin to buy long-term investment plans and get long-term security on your financial well being for yourself and your family. This is so that no matter what happens, there will be adequate funds and the quality of life will not decline.
6. Learn to Sell Like a Wolf
It would be great to find a part-time sales job. Doing sales is challenging but it’s the fastest way for you to acquire the art of selling and this is a very deep skill that you will be able to use for the rest of your career. All successful entrepreneurs are good salespeople. They have the ability to sell their dreams and visions.
You’ll also meet many people that will be of value to you in the later part of your career. Once you are in sales, you will also learn what sells and what doesn’t. Use the sensitivity of detecting market sentiments as a platform for running your business and in the identification of product winners in the future.
7. Don’t Wear Clothes You Can Barely Afford
Try to buy minimal clothes and shoes. You can buy as much as you want when you are rich. Save your money and instead buy gifts for your loved ones and tell them your plans and your financial goals. Tell them why you are so thrifty. Tell them your efforts, direction, and your dreams.
8. Learn From Others by Offering to Help Them
Businessmen everywhere need help. Offer yourself to do part-time work any kind of opportunity. This will help to hone your will and improve your skills. You will start to develop eloquence and soon, you’ll be closer to your financial goals.
9. Start Planning A.S.A.P.
Life can be designed. Careers can be planned. Happiness can be prepared. You should start planning now! When you are poor, spend less time at home and more time outside. When you are rich, stay at home more and venture outside less. This is the art of living. When you are poor, spend money on others. When you are rich, spend money on yourself. Many people are doing the opposite.
10. Don’t Let Your Ego Rule You
When you are poor, be good to others and do not be calculative. When you are rich, you must learn to let others be good to you. You have to learn to be good to yourself even more so. When you are poor, you have to throw yourself out in the open and let people make good use of you. When you are rich, you have to conserve yourself well and not let people easily make use of you. These are the intricate ways of life that many people have not yet understood well.
11. Discipline Yourself and Stay Focused
There is nothing wrong with being young. You don’t need to be afraid of being poor. You need to know how to invest in yourself and increase your wisdom and stature. You need to know what is important in life and what is worth investing in. You also need to know what you should avoid spending your money on. This is the essence of discipline.
Try to avoid spending money on clothes but and only choose a selective number of items that have class. Try to eat out less. If you do go out to eat, make sure it’s for lunch or dinner and always foot the bill. When buying people dinner, make sure you buy dinner for people who have bigger dreams than you and who have work harder than you.
Make sure all of these tips you have learned are made into habits. No matter how much you earn remember to split your salary into five parts. Take care of your body so that it will still be in good shape. Invest in your social circle so that you will constantly learn new things form. Expanding your network will also have an important impact on how much you earn eventually. Travel every year and expand your horizons. Also, keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry. If you follow this plan diligently, you will soon see a big surplus in your funds.