Words of Wisdom from a Multi-Millionaire

Recently I’ve been asking other business owners and friends a very specific question. The question is:

Can money buy happiness?

Every person over 30 years old has realized money doesn’t buy happiness. When they started their businesses, they had dreamt of massive wealth, beautiful homes, high-end cars and lots of toys. As they grew older, they began to realize that money what wasn’t what it was all cracked up to be.

Two years ago, I read a book titled “How to Get Rich” by Felix Dennis. Felix Dennis is a multi-millionaire and shares his journey to wealth throughout his book. It’s a fantastic book. In one of the final chapters, he wrote the following:

“Ask me what I will give you if you could wave a magic wand and give me my youth back. The answer would be everything I own and everything I will ever own.”

Here’s a man who dedicated most of his life to building wealth who is willing to trade it all to be young again. This is very powerful and has had a big impact on me over the last year or so. In real estate, we tend to work 7 days a week, week-after-week.

He wrote:

“Seeking substantial wealth is almost always a fool’s game. The statistics show that very few people ever succeed. Most of them should never have made the attempt in the first place….the search will take up a great deal of your waking life for many, many years….Time is finite. Which is a fancy way of saying that you only have so much of it – then it will run out.”

Felix is saying that the price he paid with his time to accumulate wealth was too high. In other words, he overpaid and is suggesting that we be careful of overpaying, too. Felix has realized that TIME IS MORE VALUABLE THAN MONEY. I’ve been fond of saying “Time is Money.” This is actually incorrect.

Back to Felix…

“If you are young and reading this, then I ask you to remember just this: you are richer than anyone older than you, and far richer than those who are much older. What you choose to do with the time that stretches out before you is entirely a matter for you. But do not say you started the journey poor. If you are young, you are infinitely richer than I can ever be again.

Money is never owned. It is only in your custody for a while. Time is always running on, and the young have more of it in their pocket than the richest man or woman alive…And yet you wish to waste your youth in the getting of money? Really? Think hard, my young cub, think hard and think long before you embark on such a quest. The time spent attempting to acquire wealth will mount up and cannot be reclaimed, whether you succeed or whether you fail.”

Here’s another great quote from Douglas Adams:

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

An incredibly wealth man has said that he would trade every dollar he owned to get his time back. Will we learn from his experiences?


I think the recession and market crash has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate what’s important in our lives. Many of us now realize that our health, friends and family are the most important of all. My concern as the economy turns around is that we will fall back into the trap of focusing entirely on selling more homes and making more money. Will these lessons we’ve learned stay with us going forward?

Consider a little more from wealthy Felix…

“Am I happy? No. Or, at least, only occasionally, when I am walking in the woods alone, or deeply ensconced in composing a difficult piece of verse, or sitting quietly with old friends over a bottle of wine. Or feeding my stray cat. I could do all of those things without wealth….

Felix’s book, “How to Get Rich,” is 300 pages long. This little section about the price of wealth I’ve been referring to is only five pages long. I didn’t expect to find these thoughts in a book titled “How to Get Rich.” When Felix concluded these five little pages, he wrote:

“I suspect it will have little effect on you, though…. the last one thousand five hundred words was an “important bit.” In my heart of hearts, I know it was the most important bit you will read in this book.”

Felix has indicated that the most important thing he wrote in his 300-page “How to Get Rich” book is NOT to get rich. The price you must pay with your time isn’t worth it.


  • Chris

    Reply Reply November 7, 2011

    Incredible, true and almost common knowledge. It’s too bad most people don’t believe it until it’s too late.

    I always feel like money can mean safety. I’m not sure if that’s true anymore or not.

  • John

    Reply Reply October 3, 2010

    I realize this is an old post, but thought I would comment anyway. What a fantastic post. Great comments. I reflect on how my own life has changed. I once felt that life could not truly be lived without a annual income of $500k. I thought this when I was in my 20’s. I never achieved that level of income and wasn’t happy. I changed my own belief, that happiness is found in the journey and not the destination. I am now have a beautiful wife, beautiful daughter and another child on the way. Life is full of happiness, yet our household income barely topped $100k. My wife and I both work 3/4 time and are headed to 1/2 time. I am amazed at how happy we have become by eliminating the things (expense) in our lives. A happy life does not require much cash.

  • Ed Neering

    Reply Reply April 28, 2010

    It’s extremly great to see the different view points from the people sharing their insights. To me I find that the importance is to be balanced. Not to put too much emphasis in just one of the equities of life. Social, Recreational,Contributions, Business, Financial, Family, Primary Relationship, Physical/Health, Spiritual and Mental/Emotional. Love Earl Nightingales view of balance- Balance is like walking on a tight rope and juggling at the same time. Very few people ever achieve true balance. I am sure we all have friends that work extremly hard at one and totally lack in others, Ever see a really rich Body Builder? Or a CEO who has a great family relationship? The only true measure comes through the acknowledgement that we need help in other areas.

    Thank-you Rob for another great post. You are truly a contributor of life. Enjoy the Journey everyone.

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 30, 2010


      Thanks for your comment and feedback! I love your point about a really rich Body Builder or a CEO with a great family relationship. How true!


  • janeswenson

    Reply Reply April 23, 2010

    Twelve chapters written by King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes aptly
    describe achieving and obtaining everything a man could possibly want.
    Chapter 12 concludes the matter. Read it in a good modern translation
    like The New World Tanslation of the Holy Scriptures. You are fortunate
    to still have youth and an opportunity to discover how to be as content
    as possible now and to have a beautiful hope for the future. As you know,
    many will not agree with such a view point. Each person must find his
    own way, hopefully, with careful research and study. Connect the dots.
    Best regards, a fellow Realtor of 30+ years.

  • Del

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Some very good words from one that found out the hard way. His candor is certainly aprreciated. I’m 61 and happy with want is needed, not wanted. A very wise and extremely wealthy man said it best. Please read all of >>
    Eccl 2:3-11.
    Eccl 5:10….A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income. This too is vanity. King Solomon.

  • Debbie Moran

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Outstanding post…thank you. Sometimes you put things in such great perspective..

  • Jan Nores

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Aloha Rob,
    I almost passed this by in my rush to get away from my computer and the masses of emails…so glad I slowed down to smell this beautiful flower of wisdom.
    I have been letting my real estate career consume me on & off for the last 26 years and it is only when I get a wake up call, like health crisis or someone close dying, do I jolt myself out of it!
    This blog is like a breath of fresh air,I will be mindful as I go through my days…
    Mahalo for sharing!
    Jan Nores R(S)
    Hawaii Life Real Estate Services, LLC

  • Charles G. Horn, MBA, CDPE, RE/MAX of Princeton

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Wealth is subjective. I’d rather BE Happy and HAVE wealth, than BE Happy and HAVE no wealth. I’d rather BE Young and HAVE wealth, than BE young and HAVE no wealth. I’d rather BE Old and HAVE wealth, than BE old and HAVE no wealth. I’d rather BE spiritual and HAVE wealth, than BE spiritual and HAVE no wealth. I’d rather BE intelligent and HAVE wealth, than BE intelligent and HAVE no wealth. I’d rather HAVE healthy children and HAVE wealth, than HAVE healthy children and HAVE no wealth. But whatever I am (BE), and whatever I Do (DO), and whatever I have (HAVE), I will do the best with who I am, what I do, and what I have. Live your life on purpose. Make it a better world. Be true to yourself and others. Reach out and help others in need. If Family is first, make business decisions accordingly. Never spend time with a client when you have a family commitment. Which can you afford to lose, if you had to lose one?

  • Derrick Ali

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Kudos to you Rob!!!

    And yet again another wonderful article!!!


  • Justin

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Very interesting.. How’s this change your perspective on life Rob? YOu working less now? I actually find that my job supplies me with new friends, & I’m more addicted to achievement that money.. Look at Tiger Woods.. All the money he could want to spend, & he obviously needed something more, right.. Money itself won’t supply us with joy, but I love achieving.. I like to set goals & make “things” happen.. I get a rush off of scoring a really low round of golf because I played well (By the way.. Golf is not a waste of time, contrary to previous comments of yours.. :) I get a rush off of pumping up my girlfriend on her job & creating a plan for her success.. In success, you’ll find that the exciting big pay check is less exciting than closing the deal.. I love sales because it fuels my competitive drive.. I’m not working sales to earn millions, but it just so happens that alot of money has fallen in the way of my NEED to fuel that competitive & achievement oriented drive.. Great article, but if the reality is, if you’re working your job JUST for the money, then that sucks.. Get out.. A professional athlete is doing what they love, & making alot of money.. No problem with that.. Doing what you love, is the only way you’ll make alot of money.. Generation X’ers who slaved for a paycheck is less mainstream now.. Like you said, the recession will create a new wave of weathly small businessness because they finally will take that leap of faith in starting that company they always wanted.. Good for them.. Do what you enjoy, & you won’t feel stressed about going to work in the morning, & won’t feel you’ve wasted time like our Millionairre author ensenuates..

    • Rob Minton

      Reply Reply April 26, 2010


      The biggest change for me has been in my priorities. I still work a lot. In fact, I work 7 days a week, but it’s not my first priority anymore. My first priority is my family and this comes above everything else. I no longer will sacrifice time with my family for work. My daily goal is to be finished with work by the time my kids get home from school. This way I can help them with their home work. I can also have dinner with the family and attend all of their extra curricular activities. Sure I have to pass on many opportunities to meet this goal. It’s a choice I’m happy to make. This hasn’t always been the case for me. In the past, I had work as a priority. I would miss time with my family to make a buck.

      Not any more…

      You can learn a lot from Chic Fil A. They made a decision to close on Sundays so their employees could be with their families. They’ve obviously sacrificed millions in sales because of this decision. Would you do the same thing? Would you sacrifice a home sale to be with your family?

      In real estate, we tend to make our clients the priority. Everything else falls by the wayside. This, I believe, is a mistake. Clients come and go. Clients are replaceable. Family isn’t.

      Rob Minton

  • eKay

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    I agree with him basically; however, nowdays it is almost impossible to live a life without at least attemting wealth. The other way is to live paycheck to paycheck and strugle; because the cost of basic life is higher than used to be. The average income needs a second job just to cover the basics. So where is the time one can enjoy?

  • Judi

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010


    How true this is…real estate is one of those businss’ that will suck the life out of you and your family, if you let it. When dealing with people you will never be able please everyone, therefore, learned to do the best you can in every situation, beyond this, it’s out of your control, and this is what takes up your time…

    Learn to leave your business at the office and come home to live a great life with your family and friends…you are so right on!


  • Dean Jackson

    Reply Reply April 22, 2010

    Great post!
    I think you and I may be the only people I know who read that book.
    I have highlighted and read that part many times.
    Time wealth and happiness wealth are way more important than money weatlh.
    Thanks for sharing…

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