The following segment originally aired on the January 26th, 2011 show on BrandStar Entertainment’s morning TV show, The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television. The featured guest was Author, James Ward.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: In these economic times, many of us are counting our pennies and trying to save. BrandStar Entertainment’s popular “Author’s Corner” series on The Balancing Act on Lifetime welcomes James Ward, Author of “Wealth Virtues.”
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: In this inspiring book where Ward uses Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues—saying they can lead to a cycle of positive wealth & savings.
James: Benjamin Franklin actually had a quote that said, “If you are to gain wealth, you are to think of saving as well as getting.”
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: So, how can Benjamin Franklin’s virtues help us in modern-day American, in terms of saving a creating wealth?
James: It’s interesting. He wrote these for himself on a voyage back from England when he was in his 20’s. He wanted to put together something for himself that allowed him not just to succeed—but really to look at the way he wanted to improve his life continually over time and day to day.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: And what did he learn?
James: When you look at these virtues, for example—FRUGALTY. That is an easy one to start with, only because it’s that virtue that allows us to kind of prepare ourselves to make good decisions on whether or not we want to spend something—whether or not—the balance of wants versus needs.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: How would one prioritize a purchase?
James: ORDER is a very interesting one because it allows us to prioritize things that we want to either purchase or not purchase. Another one to look at is HUMILTY. A lot of people tend to forget that, but it’s that thing that we inside can say, “You know, we sometimes fail—and it’s ok.” But you learn from that and you go on.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: So, these virtues can help us create a type of cycle of positive wealth?
James: The cycle of positive wealth is a tool that I created. Basically, a decision tool that allows people to make better financial decisions, empowered with the use of Ben Franklin’s virtues.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Were you a Ben Franklin fan growing up?
James: I guess I was and I read his biography, but he certainly is a fascinating man and certainly one guy to actually listen too. Considering his success, his personal, as well as the notoriety he has historically.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: Let’s talk about the personal part, because I know in the book you talk about how you found yourself in a challenging financial situation and it was one that your wife had to rescue you from.
James: It’s interesting. When we were first married, we were pretty deep in debt. Probably around 20 to 30-thousand in just credit card debt. We also had a significant car loan. I look at that as things that I brought to the marriage because the decisions in was making at the time didn’t necessarily follow what Franklin was recommending. I didn’t have those “in my hip pocket” so to speak.
James: One of the things my wife Linda told me to do was that we needed to turn that $450 a month car payment into something more like $250 so we can take the balance and start paying things down. We now work as a team, to allow ourselves to really take a look at our wants—versus our needs. Then, with our 3 children—3 girls—I want them not only to succeed like we feel we have. With our financial future, we want to make sure that we’re not a burden on them and then use those same teachings from Franklin’s virtues to help empower them to be. Like, not having to end up in debt, or to be successful in whatever they want to pursue.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: It’s a good life lesson. There are so many books out there that say, “You can be a millionaire tomorrow. Just follow these 10-easy steps.” Your book is different and your definition of “wealth” is different.
James: When I first started writing “Wealth Virtues,” I wanted to keep one thing in mind and that’s simplicity. I think so many times, people get wrapped around the axle in thinking they have to be at this level of wealth—like Bill Gates or Rockefeller. It’s not like that—and it DOESN’T have to be like that. With simplicity in mind, I decided that my definition of wealth. I think one to share with everybody was the ability to take in more than you’re spending, to acquire more than you’re spending and to save more than you owe. Once you get to that level of my definition of wealth, then people can proceed on to further their own definition or to even become prosperous, starting with that point.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: What about the person who says, “It’s too late for me. I have already dug myself so far into a hole, there’s no way I’m going to get out.” Is this true?
James: No. I encounter quite a few folks that say to me, “You know, it’s just too hard for me right now and I’m not the age to start.” It’s not in the book, but one of the stories I relate back to them is the story of Harlan Sanders. Everybody of course knows him as “Colonel” Sanders.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: The man behind KFC!
James: Now, he didn’t start to even franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 65. So, it’s one of those stories that people have that same reaction—“REALLY—65?” So, you’re never too young and you’re never too old to start NOW.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: So, how are you and the wife doing? Did she help you out?
James: Absolutely. We’re doing much better and we’ve in fact… like I said… we are a great team in terms of being able to handle our finances. I think the information in “Wealth Virtues” will help others to become as frugal, but yet as wealthy as we have become.
BrandStar Entertainment – The Balancing Act on Lifetime: For more information on “Wealth Virtues,” please visit wealthvirtues.com.
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