How do you define wealth? Stuart Zadel shares a couple of stories that highlight the concept of wealth in this post.
Well hello, and welcome. This is Stuart Zadel and welcome to this month’s video success tip.
WHAT IS WEALTH?
Now I’m going to start by asking you this first question which is this: What is wealth? And it’s quite an interesting question.
If we go back about 100 years or so, society seems to have changed completely in that time frame. If we go back 100 years or so, wealth was generally probably a wealthy farmer, or a tradesman of some sort, or a small business owner. And that wealthy farmer had crops that produced a lot of, if not all, of their own food, they probably had a few animals be it for or for food or for whatever as well.
And now fast forward over 100 years and we have almost completed migrated from the land. Where 95 people probably work on the land and 5 people doing whatever, some sort of administration type roll.
Now it’s the reverse, you get 95% of people working in administration or the city, versus those in the land about 5% or less – I don’t know the exact figures but you get the gist of what I’m saying. And these days, everyone is chasing money. You know from the 80’s onwards it has certainly taken off – the ‘Gordon Gecko Greed’ is good type thing. And it’s all about money… but I think it’s really interesting to ask this question:
What is wealth? Is wealth the number of digits in your bank account?
I mean, the citizens of Cyprus last year certainly weren’t… the digits in their bank account certainly weren’t as valuable as they thought they were… and when they disappeared and the banks closed overnight and decided to help themselves to some of the clients’ money at the government’s discretion.
So is that wealth? Is it the amount of property that you own? The quality of food that you eat? The possessions that you own? And now, I’m thinking about a couple of stories that have played into all of this and about the current system that we are being indoctrinated into – so a couple of questions or a couple of thoughts.
A couple of stories.
So last week, I had dinner with one of our more successful clients. I had dinner him and his lovely wife and his 2 lovely children. And this gentleman actually emigrated out from Vietnam a long time ago, and we were just talking about dinner and all this sort of stuff and he said “I couldn’t believe it, when I got here to Australia, the food, the fruit and the vegetables tasted terrible. They tasted bland, they tasted like cardboard!”… compared to his own native homeland of Vietnam.
Now isn’t that interesting we are in a park in Sydney having home-cooked organic food that he loved to cook and bring to our ‘picnic’ but back there in Vietnam, which people would argue is a lesser developer country or not as wealthy on average or what the West would perceive as wealthy, yet they’ve got better quality food. Fresh, straight off the tree, very few fertilisers and pesticides on a commercial scale and a lot of it home grown.
Here he comes to an advanced western society that is wealthy and the quality of food is less.
Now, of course, this has been highlighted absolutely this week with the frozen berries being contaminated and perhaps causing Hepatitis and a number of other issues due to a lot of the chemicals being used on it. It turns out, where were those chemicals being used? They weren’t in Australia and you’d want to be checking into the ones that are being used here if they are in fact much better at all or if we just haven’t learnt what they do yet.
But a lot of these berries sources maybe from China or maybe from Chile, and are causing maybe a lot of illness. Now why are they sourcing berries from all the way across the world? Well it comes down to money. They can produce them cheaper, probably due to Australian labour costs versus over in those other countries and all that. And you go, ‘Okay, well it is cheaper, and I can make more wealth because I have more digits in my bank account,’ but what is wealth, is wealth the number of digits in your bank account or is it the state of your health?
I want to give you another story.
A gentleman who came to my experience (I run a once a year 3-day event called The Experience – it’s 25 years of my knowledge, time, effort, study and money into one all-encompassing personal development event) and a gentleman there was a very wealthy vineyard owner south of Perth in WA.
And during the course of that event he comes up to me and goes “Stuart, you know one of my biggest achievements last year was making my own organic apricot jam from my ancient organic apricot trees and gifting it to my friends…”. So here is a gentlemen who is a wealthy successful, wine-label vineyard owner, his greatest joy in life was growing his own food and giving it to his friends.
So I ask you again the question: What is wealth?
Now another story I want to quickly bring to you is from this week’s Book of the Month. I think there’s a few people that don’t acknowledge that something isn’t right in the world and this week’s Book of the Month is by Russel Brand called Revolution, a UK Comedian and a guy with some pretty interesting points of view and he talks in it about how the system is basically completely broke.
The financial system is broke, the food system is broke, and it has been set up to serve an elite minority, not the majority of us on the planet. And he gives the example here of ‘apples’. Apples that are grown in Britain are flown to Africa to be cleaned and waxed and are then flown back here to be eaten in Britain. I mean does that make sense?
Picking an apple of a tree, putting it on a plane, flying it internationally, doing something to it, and then bringing it back to be sold? Isn’t this just crazy? Clearly the system, and the money to do that – and you’ve got to say why is this allowed to happen?
Obviously, the taxes and the import duties and whatever are benefiting certain people whether it be governments or individuals or the elite that are making money when this stuff changes hands. Obviously it would be a lot better if the local farmer just sold his local apples at the markets.
Now we’ve got all sorts of places where we can buy that in Australia and plenty of companies that claim to be the fresh food people but many of these companies sell what’s called ‘Birthday Apples’ you know… an apple sits up to a year in storage in Australia in cooling and is treated with chemicals to keep them shiny, bright and new. And they call them ‘Birthday Apples.’ Again, very different quality to that you would pick straight off your tree.
One more story.
So where am I going with all this? Well I’m talking about ‘What is Wealth’… one more story I want to bring you back to New Years Eve – I sat with a group of friends, about a dozen of us, at a friend’s house.
Now we had beautifully all prepared mostly raw, organic, vegan absolutely beautiful food, and I sat there by the fireplace with my friends and I am just thinking ‘No amount of money can buy this experience’.
I don’t care if you’ve got billions of dollars you could not buy your way into that group of friendship and that party, and to have food prepared with love that took all day to prepare that was organic and that was raw. I mean no restaurant in the country can match the quality or even I think the presentation of that food, it was just absolutely divine. And I just sat there and thought “What is Wealth?”
FOR YOUR NEXT PURCHASE
So for your next purchase and involvement in property, I want you think about what really is wealth? What is valuable to me? So I’m going to suggest some things – wealth comes in many forms which I have said before – one of them in particular is your food.
So your next property purchase – I ‘m so sure you always have to be looking for a return on investment financially. I’m going to suggest to you that you might want to go an acre block of land somewhere and start growing your own food. Heck, many of you even live in one right now where you could start doing that. So I’m going to give you a challenge in a moment.
Now, if that’s too pricey for you… See one of the reasons I think you want to get wealthy, if you’re going to play by this system for now, is you want to grow your own food. If you don’t grow your own food, I want you to buy organic. Now when you buy organic you will be paying a little bit more than the average food. Now not in all cases, some organics are pretty much the same prices, it can even be cheaper on occasion, but in general you will pay 30-50% more, sometimes double and sometimes even more than that and you say ’that’s expensive’ and again I say ‘What is wealth?’
Okay so that’s a choice you’ve got to make.
Now, my next suggestion is to buy an acre of land and have a farmer farm it for you. You can come to a joint venture arrangement and split the proceeds or the produce. Someone will farm it and grow stuff for you and you take the rest for your family, and that comes to my challenge in a moment.
And then the other idea I want to give you is share-cropping. There are a number of co-ops where you can invest in to own the land title. The coop have professional farmers, growing all their own food. Then, you can buy food off that property at a greatly reduced price because you’re one of the co-op owners.
I’m aware of many of these around the Tweed Valley and Northern NSW. And I’m sure there’s many everywhere if you start looking into it… so the question is you know… ‘What is wealth?’
The final thing I want to leave you with today is a challenge: produce most of your own food. Yeah, I’m absolutely 100% very dead set serious about this. If anyone of you saw the TV series called ‘The First Settlers, they had very modest housing. I think they had to build it themselves. They worked hard, they tilled the land, they grew their food, they built their houses, they did everything.
At the end of the experiment, these people were the fittest they had ever been. They were mentally keen and alert, and they were the happiest and wealthiest they had ever been.
So isn’t that really an interesting dichotomy to think about? Where we’ve come from, where we’ve been, and perhaps where we’re going. And I’d like to think that in this case, history might repeat itself. And it will for the good, if you take that decision. So ill leave you with that question – What is wealth to you?