[This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.]
Two major books were published in 1926 that rocked our world: Winnie-the-Pooh and The Richest Man in Babylon.
Although “stuffed with fluff,” Pooh Bear might have had a larger impact on American pop culture, but it’s The Richest Man in Babylon that has made a massive financial impact on untold millions of readers, myself included, over the past 89 years.
Written by George Samuel Clason as a collection of parables, The Richest Man in Babylon is a unique book that lacks a central storyline and a reccurring cast of characters. Instead, the book is a collection of stories about one thing: building wealth. The book seeks to answer the question: If wealthy people have the same 24 hours in a day, and work just as hard as others, how do they acquire such incredible wealth?
Can wealth creation be taught? According to Clason, yes!
In one of his parables, Clason tells the tale of Arkad, a merchant and the richest man in the city of Babylon. The king of Babylon asks Arkad to share his wisdom with 100 students in an effort to increase the collective wealth of the population.
You see, the same problem existed in ancient Babylon that existed in 1926 and still exists today: most people are broke. Clason refers to this “broke” condition as having a “lean purse.” To cure the problem of having a lean purse, Clason, through the story of Arkad, offers the following seven lessons:
1. Start thy purse to fattening.
Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, asks a very simple math question to his students: What would happen if, every day, you added 10 coins to your purse but only spent nine? The obvious answer, of course, is that wealth would increase by one coin each day.
Therefore, the first step in building great wealth is to simply set aside one coin each day. Specifically, Arkad instructs his students to set aside 10 percent of their earned income, which I think is a great place for anyone to start.
(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)