No one can deny that the economic climate in the U.S. and the world has been in a decline for a while now. The problem has been around long before the most recent “crisis” in the housing and banking systems. It’s basically a two-fold problem: debt backed currency, and a lack of true value. The first problem is not one that individuals can really do much about on a grand scale. The second problem is one everyone can do something about even if it’s in a small way.
Many jobs end up being nothing more than pushing paper or shuffling goods. Now I don’t mean to put anyone down at all. What I am saying is that when the majority of the population is employed in jobs such as a retail clerk selling goods from China and other countries to fellow citizens also employed in similar positions, we start to have a problem. Less and less is being produced and more and more being consumed. How long can we sustain sitting in cubicles answering phones for insurance companies or selling products from other countries or just shuffling papers in an office as a means of “production?”
At the end of the day, we all have to eat, sleep in a bed, take showers, and wear clothes. All these things relate to physical goods. Even information products are items that can be sold and add value. Services are a one off. While services are necessary I believe that the economy has shifted to an imbalance of services versus products. Colleges seem to be breeding this to the extreme with most college positions being for services or management. Youth unemployment shows this as it is surging and has been for the past few years. Check out this article on Global Youth Unemployment. One of the best articles I have read on the subject of youth unemployment can be found here.
As time progresses everyone, especially the youth will have to create true wealth. We will have to be the ones creating the jobs and starting businesses. No one is going to do it for us. Create the wealth for yourself in a sustainable manner and you will be in a much better place. Consequently it will enable you to help others even more.
All true wealth comes from the ground in one form or another. The oldest wealthy were the land owners because of the crops that could be grown on it and the buildings that could be built on it.
So what exactly are some ways to create True Wealth™?
#1. Grow a garden. Even if you’re in an apartment I’d bet you could find a way to grow a little food on your patio in pots and perhaps raised beds. Having the ability to produce your own food is a type of true wealth. If you have more than just a few pots, all the better. There are great resources all over the internet including on my site on how to create raised bed gardens.
#2. Provide some percentage of your own energy needs. A great way to do that would be to install a small amount of solar panels over time if you can afford it. If you take this rout make sure you get an inverter that can handle scaling up. If you put a couple panels on each year, you can spread the investment out over time and still provide some of your own energy needs. Another way to provide energy needs would be to harvest your own firewood where it is legally permitted. Season it properly and use it in your fireplace or barbecue.
#3. Create a business or a product. Creating a business is becoming more and more necessary as jobs (and true wealth creating jobs) decline. If you can find a way to make your business or product generate even more true wealth for your clients, then it can truly impact them. Creating a product can be anything from something you make from other resources, to an instructional ebook or DVD on how to do something that would be useful to someone.
#4. Look into investing in land and precious metals. Again, wealth comes from the ground. The thing about land is you can’t print more of it, therefore it will always be valuable. Sometimes you can find great deals on land if you look for it. It would be wise to look for land that could produce food or set up in some other way to generate income.
#5. Build social capital. No matter how good or how wealthy you are, you can’t do it alone nor, would you want to. Building your social network (in real life and online) can help you because you can’t do it all. People have connections, resources, talents. Beyond that they can just simply be your friends.
What are some other ways to build true wealth in 2012?