The Millionaire Next Door

Foundation for Cultivating Wealth Begins in College

Think of America’s workforce distributed along a continuum.  At one end you have hunters and gathers (those who must work everyday because they have no wealth).  At the other end, you have cultivators of wealth (those who stockpile income and inventory their productivity).  But it is not just about investing.  Those who are extreme cultivators are employed in categories where their labor is directed into building springs of future income and wealth.  This is a concept that needs to be discussed in our schools. 

Educators/professors are typically savers and investors.  But in a way they do not inventory, they do not cultivate.  So what if a professor gave 3,000 lectures?  He will not be paid again unless he gives the 3001st.  It is a minority of educators who ever publish/inventory their hard work in the form of books, study guides, workbooks, etc. 

I was reminded about this after reading an article in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance,  Best Values in Private Colleges.  Ranked number one was Washington and Lee University.  Before I finished graduate school, I was offered a teaching position there.  It is likely that this job offer was made because my dissertation professor wrote the best selling textbook used at W and L and thousands of other schools throughout the world.  He was the ultimate cultivator, inventorying and enhancing his wealth by writing books and executive training systems.  As an academic entrepreneur, he owned his own publishing company and international consulting business.

You can greatly enhance your chances of succeeding in life if you have one great mentor, especially an academic entrepreneur, to show you the way.  The younger you are when you are trained this way the greater the probability of attaining socioeconomic success.   I have profiled many millionaire next door types in my books who had academic entrepreneurs as mentors. Two of them, Mr. D.D. (The Millionaire Mind) and Mr. Allan (The Millionaire Next Door), majored in applied physics and own several income producing patents.  They can trace their patents back to their senior theses and the mentoring of their major professors.

Even today cultivating wealth via the patent route is not uncommon.  For example, Melissa L. McCoy, a 2012 Georgia Tech graduate(bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering), is the co-inventor and patent holder of a digital manufacturing authentication technique. 

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