Only one person has ever given me the right answer and, Giles Brown of TNT
UK Limited, I acknowledge your greatness. Giles’ boss at that time, Andrew Fitzmaurice, couldn’t guess it and he’s currently the CEO of a listed company.

Surprisingly to most people, the word is SAVE.

To elaborate, once you are successful, if you are earning £100,000 per month and spend every penny (and particularly if you’re not accumulating assets), you’ll have a great standard of living, but never be truly rich. Yes, you’ll be living a millionaire’s lifestyle but, one day, if the income dries up, it’s game over – unless you’ve been saving. And trust me, nothing lasts forever.

Next, never fool yourself that you are saving REALLY. You need to be able to look tangibly at a bank account month by month and see the balance rising.

I read an article that said “if you cut all of your credit cards up by the end of this article, you’ll be rich one day!!” I did. The article explained that if you have £10,000 of credit card borrowings, each year it will cost you £2,500 just to stand still. If you cut them up, guaranteeing you can’t spend more, and work at paying them off, you’ll find yourself better off in an almost turbocharged fashion. Firstly, once you reduce the debt to £0, you will save £2,500 each year and, once you go past £0 and save £10,000, your bank will pay you for keeping it there.

I remember opening the post one morning having saved and struggled to become debt-free (apart from my mortgage) and a bank statement said that we’d earned £1,000 in interest. In those days the five of us used to go away for a fortnight for that amount and I said to my wife “The bank are paying for our holiday!”

Is your bank paying for your holiday, or are you paying for the holiday of the boss of the credit card company? Which option would you prefer? Take action now and start saving!

Similarly, if you’re buying something, never accept the price you’re quoted. I once read that the richest people will haggle over the price of goods in a charity shop! If you think about it, they’ve achieved great wealth and they intend to stay wealthy.

You can read more from Mark Mills in his book, ‘Natural Born Entrepreneur’, available for free download here