Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a roadmap to becoming a millionaire? Well, according to Dennis Kimbro’s new book, “The Wealth Choice,” there absolutely is.
Roland Martin sat down with author, Dennis Kimbro to discuss the roadmap to becoming a millionaire.
MR. MARTIN: Welcome back.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a roadmap to becoming a millionaire? Well, according to this book, The Wealth Choice, there absolutely is.
Here to talk about it is the author, Dennis Kimbro.
Welcome to “Washington Watch.”
DR. DENNIS KIMBRO: Roland, thanks for having me.
MR. MARTIN: All right, Dennis. Now, I’ve talked to you before. We’ve been on different panels and spoken, and this is not your first book dealing with the issue of wealth, but you spent seven years breaking down this book, The Wealth Choice?
DR. KIMBRO: Seven years’ study. For seven years, all I did is go all around this country. Number one, I held six focus groups around the country. I had one in Washington, D.C.; one up in North Carolina; three in the Atlanta area; a small one in Omaha, Nebraska; [and] an even smaller one out in Las Vegas.
Number two, Roland, I used a full-blown survey. One hundred and eighteen questions I asked these black millionaires. And last, but not least, about 50 to 60 interviews. So, over a seven-year period, I can tell you that I interacted with about 1,000 black millionaires.
MR. MARTIN: And the key here is that you’re not talking about actors, rappers, entertainers. You’re talking about regular, ordinary people –
DR. KIMBRO: And that’s why the story needs to be told – because these are men and women who started with nothing and hit their financial goals and aspirations and objectives, and no one put a microphone or a ball in their mouth [sic]. Over a seven-year period, I can tell you unequivocally that wealth is not a function of gender. It’s not a function of race. It’s not a function of circumstance, not a function of condition, how the cards were dealt, which side of the town you were born on.
But it is a function of choice, and it is a function of discipline, and it is a function of effort and faith and believing in yourself.
MR. MARTIN: Now, when you say “discipline” – talk about that, because there’re people who say, “Look, man. I’m just not believing that these folks were able to save, able to invest and do these things, having other bills.”
DR. KIMBRO: Well, when you do talk about discipline, I found seven laws, seven best practices that these black millionaires adhere to, if not on a weekly, monthly or certainly a yearly basis. Number one is knowledge. Wealth begins in the mind, but ends in the purse. We live in a society that’s predicated upon the fact if you want to earn more, then you’ve got to learn more. And these men and women were a sponge for information.
I remember I had a great interview with L.A. Reed of “X Factor,” and I had his bio years ago. And I said, “Antonio, I see where you took eight to ten weeks out of your busy schedule to go ahead and take a management executive class at Harvard.” I said, “You’ve been very successful with LaFace Records. I mean,” you know, “you’re making money hand over fist. What would compel you to do that?”
And he said, “The bottom line is that the music business is a business, but I learned [a] long time ago that when you cease to develop and grow and take in information, you begin to die.”
So, these folks were – you know, they had a sponge, and they just wanted to sink[?] in the information.
We live in a capitalistic economy. And you take the Latin derivative of the word “capitalism,” c-a-p-u-t, and what does it mean in Latin? It means “head.” What is the one thing you’ve got to use in order to survive in a free and open society? A formal education will get you a job, but self-education will make you rich.
MR. MARTIN: How, though, do you get somebody, though, to come to the realization that they have to make proper choices and make adjustments? Because many folks live in the now. “I want that now.” “I want that car now,” “that house now,” as opposed to what I can have later.
DR. KIMBRO: Yeah, and that’s what wealth is. You know, this is not your basic finance book. I don’t tell you to go ahead and get a sheet of paper and write down all your assets and write down your liabilities and develop a monthly budget. That’s well and good. But this book is not about cash, Roland. This book is about courage. It takes courage to save 5 to 10 percent of your earnings. It takes courage to curtail your spending. It takes courage, as you ask, to forsake today for tomorrow. And it takes courage for you to find a new set of friends because your personal associates – your friends that you have now: a) don’t believe in your dream and disempower you.
As Steve Harvey told me – he says, “You’ve got to make life choices before life makes those choices for you.”
MR. MARTIN: When you’re talking to young folks, they are in a position where they really haven’t started yet.
DR. KIMBRO: Yep.
MR. MARTIN: So, what’s the one thing you tell them that they should be focused on, laser-like, right now on the path to wealth creation?
DR. KIMBRO: Number one, see the possibility. You know, dream big dreams.
I didn’t choose to be here. You didn’t choose to be here. The fact of the matter is that we were chosen. So, what is the music that’s in your heart? Why are you here? Find your unique gifts, and find a way to monetize that.
And you[’ve] only got to ask yourself three questions to find your unique gifts. Number one: “What do I love to do?” What do I have a passion for? What can I throw my whole heart and soul into?
Question number two: “What would I do for free?” If no one gave me financial reward for my efforts; you know, if no one gave me [remuneration] for what I was doing, what would I do for free? Because when you’re doing what you love to do, and you would do it for free, your work is your play. And if your work is your play, you’ll never work a day in your life.
So, find your unique gifts. Find your area of excellence, and pour your whole heart and soul into it.
MR. MARTIN: One of the things I talk to folks about is the notion of I look at my time like a lawyer looks at billable hours, because folks will say to me, “Let’s get together and do lunch.”
DR. KIMBRO: [Chuckles.]
MR. MARTIN: And then, “Well, let’s have a second or a third.”
And once you look back, you say, ”Wait a minute. I just took two, two and-a-half hours and then another two and-a-half hours, another two and-a-half hours.” When you start looking at how much time people are taking from you –
DR. KIMBRO: Exactly.
MR. MARTIN: — that’s time keeping you away from building wealth.
DR. KIMBRO: And time is critical. I mean these black millionaires are very particular about their time. Roland, if we lived a normal life – and what is a normal life? Seventy-four, 78 years? You do the calculus. That’s 29 to 30,000 days on Earth. That’s all you get: 29 to 30,000 days. Time is not running out, but your life is, and the key entrepreneurial question is, “What are you going to do with the rest of life that you have left?”
The average African-American watches 76 hours of TV a week. There’s only 168 hours in a week. So, they spend half of their waking time watching TV, where the average black millionaire only watches four hours of TV a night, which equates to 28 hours a week. What are they doing any[?] other time? They’re taking in information. They’re reading books. They’re networking. They’re chasing their dream.
So, the fact of the matter is be veryparticular of your time.
MR. MARTIN: All right. Dennis Kimbro, The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires.
Folks, check it out.
We certainly appreciate it, man. Thanks a lot.
DR. KIMBRO: Roland, thank you very much.
MR. MARTIN: All right.