I’m sure you are thinking this is some kind of scam or sales pitch. I can assure you, it’s not. Others might be thinking, can riches really make all your dreams come true and bring happiness? The answer is YES it can!
I am a licensed contractor and professional furniture maker. As a contractor I can make a decent living. But I spend more of my time as a furniture maker. Most would agree that furniture makers can barely make a living, and I am not exception to that rule. That’s why I supplement my income by writing articles for woodworking magazines. I also have done a national video series, and I have a small but modest following on youtube. So that must be where i made my fortune. No, it’s not. I will be the first to tell you, I am a terrible business man.
So you must be thinking that I inherited a lot of money, or come from a wealthy family. No, that’s not the case, either. I was born into a working class family in a small tiny house. There wasn’t much money to go around, but we did okay. I was an average student in school, with some trouble in high school. I took up auto mechanics after high school at a tech school.
From there I spent time under the hood of cars in different garages. I realized I liked working with my hands. This was my first gem in what would be my future fortune. “Satisfaction of a job well done.” But working with my hands wasn’t enough, something was still missing. I came to the conclusion that mechanics was not truly what i was meant to do, so I had to find what was to be my calling. Without warning I just quit my job and walked out.
So when I mean I walked, I really meant it. From there I backpacked through Europe. I even made it around the far East. With no clue where to go and almost no money in my pockets I spent the nights in different homes, hostels, cars, and parks. I met all kinds of people from all different backgrounds. I even met my future wife there. When I thought I was at a dead end, someone would show me the way out. I saw money could not fix everything. And someone once told me, “Money is like ice cream, when you have it, it melts away.” This became the second gem that would contribute to my wealth. “You don’t need money to be a good person.”
Eventually I made my way back home. I took my first two gems and invested them. With my last $14 I made some fliers and became a self employed handyman. Over the years, I got my contractor’s license. I was earning money with my hands and doing a good job at a fair price for my customers. Eventually, I moved into my dream job, which is building furniture. I found I could work with my hands and combine the thoughts and creations in my mind. Now I had the perfect combination.
Almost two decades have past since then, and I still LOVE everyday in my shop. I haven’t tried to grow bigger with my business. To do that I would have to become a salesman, office clerk, accountant, and boss. All of which would take me away from doing what i love. building with my hands. I don’t have any dreams of fame and fortune. I have no need for a fancy house, and a cool sports car. I don’t want a motorcycle or a fishing boat. I have my tools and my shop. Even if i died tomorrow, I would have no regrets. That’s when i realized my greatest jewel in my riches pile,
“A content person is in want of nothing.”
So that’s it. My three simple rules to becoming rich. I’m sorry if you read this blog hoping to hear how to market your woodworking or create some new way of selling. But even if I did have some insight on that, would it be enough? If you sell one, then you want two. And if you can make some money then you want more. It never really ends unless we learn to be content with what we currently have.
When I take a break sitting outside my shop, I hear the birds sing in the trees. I watch the rabbits bounce in the yard, and the clouds roll by. My life is a simple one. It’s not cram packed with schedules, meetings and appointments. I make enough money to get by. My free time allows me to helps others and be the best friend I can to those close to me. Helping strangers has given me some of my best friends.
So in the end, my travels, journeys and lessons in life have made me a very rich person. Not with dollars in my pockets or a large bank account, but with contentment in my heart. Oh yeah, the peace of mind also gives me a dance for my feet.