FUTURE BILLIONAIRE – proclaimed a shirt worn by a Collegiate member of the Gamma Gamma Chapter at the 2005 PSE National Convention. I admire his attitude. According to Forbes.com, there are 691 billionaires in the world, including my next-door neighbor. A goal of becoming a billionaire is a lofty goal—but why not? As Napoleon Hill shares in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich: “Whatever the Mind of Man Can Conceive and Believe, He Can Achieve!”
When I was in college, one of my goals was to become a millionaire by age 30 and I’m sure many of you have a similar goal. It took me a little longer than planned to achieve my goal, but without written goals, I may never have achieved it and I doubt you can either. In 1999, I updated my list of goals to become financially independent and retire early, to build a new home in an exclusive community and to make a sizable charitable commitment – all within five years. These goals were all achieved! One of the greatest college football coaches of all time, Lou Holtz, once attempted to coach in the NFL but failed miserably. After being fired and at the lowest point in his life, he performed a self-evaluation and made an original list of 107 goals. He shared the list with his wife who was quick to point out that he needed to add goal 108 – to find a new job! He has accomplished nearly every goal including dining at the White House and meeting the Pope. From the moment he made his list of goals, he became a participant in his life instead of a spectator. Therefore, I encourage you – no matter what your age – to make a written list of goals and to pursue them with every breath!
Some people might criticize a goal of making money – of wanting financial independence, to become a billionaire, a multi-millionaire or maybe just a millionaire. To those people I would quickly point out that those who are financially successful possess resources enabling them to help others. There are probably few better examples of this than Bill Gates, the wealthiest person in the world. He is constantly in the news regarding his generosity – often giving millions to charities and others to help make the world a better place.
My belief is that each of us has a responsibility to be charitable along the road to success. There is a great, best-selling book, The One Minute Millionaire – The Enlightened Way to Wealth, by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen. If you haven’t read the book yet, I would encourage you to read it. Their goal is to help create a million new millionaires who are enlightened – who ethically make, keep and share their wealth. What an awesome mission! I am confident that everyone who commits to becoming one of the million new enlightened millionaires will become one.
Along your journey to financial independence, please keep the PSE National Educational Foundation in mind for charitable giving. Each year, the Foundation awards more than ten thousand dollars in scholarships to assist young men and women with the cost of their education. With your help, the number of scholarships and the amount of each scholarship could be increased. With your help, the Foundation could some day award more than one hundred thousand dollars in scholarships. Many of us have included the Foundation in our wills or have donated appreciated assets or cash to the Foundation. Such generosity is greatly appreciated, but has not been sufficiently acknowledged. A new program is being developed by one of the Foundation’s Committees to help facilitate charitable giving and to more appropriately recognize such generosity. By participating in the new program, you will be able to leave a legacy by joining PSE’s Legacy Club. I encourage each of you to give considered thought as to the degree you can participate now and in the future and then take action. I strongly encourage one of your written goals to specifically relate to your commitment to share your wealth. I wish you well on your journey to becoming an enlightened millionaire – or billionaire!
Tim Hyland is the PSE National Education Foundation Chair.