How can I become rich in a poor country?
Answered By Micheal Contini
Take what I’m going to tell you here, with a grain of salt.
I’ve made most of my wealth in the US (pre-dominantly).
Which is to say, I’ve been playing the GET RICH GAME in “easy mode”, so to speak.
So, yeah…That’s my disclaimer.
That said, I’ve got many friends and business acquintances around the globe, who’ve gotten rich in developing countries.
And from listening to their stories and even travelling with them to their home countries, I noticed that there’s a system of behavior and beliefs all of them have in common.
It’s exactly that “system”, which has made it possible for them to get rich in their countries.
And it’s not “work hard” and save 10% of your paycheck and invest in the S&P 500″, or some other platitudes like this.
Far from it….
Amir, for example, is a good friend of mine who grew up in Egypt.
To say that he was raised in poverty, wouldn’t do him justice.
After seeing the neighborhood he spent the first part of his life in (he took me to Egypt a while back), I got a completely different perspective on what it means to be poor.
The streets in his home town….Oh man….
No sewege system. Rats running around. Flies everywhere. The nauseating smell of feces….A complete lack of hygiene and basic infrastructure.
But all those things, the dirt and whatnot, aren’t even the worst factors, Amir told me.
You kinda get used to the lack of roads, transportation, and cleanliness. It’s easy to find ways to work around that.
The biggest problem is the lack of hope and vision for people.
There’s no jobs. Corruption is rampant and people have very little money to begin with.
And Amir’s family was on the lowest rung of society.
His father worked as a day laborer, and his mom was a seamstress.
Together with his 3 siblings, they lived in a dirty, self-built hut, just outside of Cairo.
But Amir was different than other kids. He was always somewhat of a people watcher.
Looking at all of the other families in his neighborhood, and seeing how almost none of them made it out of there, made him see through the “Matrix”.
All of those people and families, who stayed trapped in poverty, would get a very basic education (at best) and then start to work as day laborers or as low-skilled workers, trying to earn money in a job.
But those that improved their lives and at least managed to move into a better neighborhood, all made money in a business.
Does that make sense?
Good. Let’s get back to Amir for a sec….
How did Amir manage to start a successful business and get rich in those appalling conditions?
By turning shit into gold.
And I’m NOT saying that as a joke. I’m mean this literally.
Amir made his intitial money in the…Well, let’s say “waste reduction industry.”
As a ten year old, he and his older brother Farook, would walk two hours into a wealthy neighborhood, and start cleaning the streets in front of people’s houses.
Some days they’d get paid a couple pennies. On other days, they’d get chased away and go home with empty pockets.
It dawned upon the two brothers though, that they wouldn’t exactly get rich this way….
But they had one huge advantage that wasn’t even apparent to them, in the beginning.
From talking and listening to all those wealthy (or at least NOT completely impoverished) people, Amir and his brother had identified one big, painful, stinking problem all of these people shared.
Their toilets would bog up. Regularly.
And although there were plumbers “on the market”, who could be hired to repair toilets….None of them seemed to do a good enough job, to get hired again!
That was Amir’s and Farook’s chance.
They started to repair people’s toilets for a modest fee and started to offer and provide additional services on top.
So, while one of them wouldn’t repair the toilet, the other brother would clean the bathroom for free!
Can you guess what happened?
The two brothers developed a reputation for impeccable service and work.
And although, some stingy people wouldn’t pay them a measly ¢ for the additional cleaning job, the additional clean-up job “wowed” most of their customers triggering the powerful feeling of RECIPORCITY.
In other words, those clients felt indebted to Amir and Farook and would pay them extra, hire them again and again, or even recommend them further.
But most importantly, the two brothers used their reputation and all the testimonials to work their way up into wealthier and wealthier households, demanding an ever increasing pay.
Soon, they were hiring boys from their neighborhood and expanding into other markets, such as waste transportation, recycling and providing plumbing services to upscale hotels (tourism is a HUGE industry in Egypt).
What’s to learn out of this? What’s the SYSTEM OF BEHAVIOR that led to riches?
- Take responsibility. I’m not going to pull a “self-help guru” on you, and explain why responsibility is important. You know why. Your country is fucked. The goverment won’t help you. There’s corruption everywhere. You have no money. No one is going to save you. It’s on you to learn the skills and take the actions, that’ll make you rich.
- Build a business with a cause. Don’t JUST go after money (at least initially). Improve lives and reduce suffering. Find an unsolved or not sufficiently solved problem people have. This shouldn’t be a challenge in an under-developed country. Waste reduction. Electricity. Road construction. Transportation. Shoes made out of recycled tires. Clothing.
- Acquire the skills and knowledge necessarry to get the problem solved. No excuses. You have the internet. You can learn on the job. Do whatever you can. You don’t have to be a programmer or a tech genius. Just creative enough.
- Provide a product or service, which solves said problem. A service-based business usually works best, as it requires little to no start-up cost and has a low overhead.
- Learn to attract affluent people. Other rich people are your ticket to riches. They have the money to pay you. Provide an impeccable service and product. Be on time (in many developing countries this alone makes you stand out positively). Be well-spoken and polite.
- Build continuity into your offers. Make it one of your biggest goals, to secure a monthly recurring revenue. This gives you a lot of certainty.
- Learn to Sell & Market. Amir didn’t stop at providing his service to homeowners. He smartly positioned himself as a premium service provider, and began selling himself to increasingly “higher-ticket” customers and refining his persuasion process. He used testimonials and endorsements to his advantage.