A Conscious Decision Not to Be Poor

Robert Terson

Dennis Kimbro, a professor of business at Clark Atlanta University, spent seven years interviewing 1,000 African-American Millionaires, which led to the publication of The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires. According to a story in the Chicago Tribune by Sheila M. Poole of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 12, 2013, “Kimbro pored over census and federal research data and sent out 118-question surveys to identify and interview the rich in a variety of fields. As people heard about his project, they steered him to successful business owners and executives.”

The story goes on to say, “Kimbro said there are several guidelines that these successful people have followed. They include attaining knowledge, making decisions, having faith in themselves when no one else did and making their money grow.” And this: “They made a conscious decision not to be poor, and at one point in their lives, they could have been classified as poor. 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 conditions or circumstances and it’s not a function of how the cards were dealt. Wealth is a function of choice. It’s a function of decisions. It’s a function of effort. It’s a function of faith. That’s the bottom line.”

As the preachers in the African-American churches are so oft to say: Will someone give me an Amen!

Perusing through professor Kimbro’s book, I found this poignant passage: “So who are these wealth creators and what do they stand for? They believe in hard work, and they invest in themselves and constantly work toward self-improvement. They are more likely to place emphasis on receiving financial gain from their work and do not allow failure to deter them. And they don’t waste their hard-earned money on the indulgences of the very rich; rather, they live and spend according to middle-class values. These are individuals who are driven by an unwavering aim; who cut their way through the opposition and forge to the front; who, in this information age, where everything is push or be pushed, dare to hold their ground and push hard. What are stumbling blocks to the poor and defeated are but stepping-stones to the strong and determined; poverty and humble birth do not bar the progress of men and women with the grit to seize their chance.”

On November 9, 2012 I wrote a blog entitled “Success is a Decision You Make.” I hope you’ll take a moment to read it, because professor Kimbro’s conclusions support what I said in that post.

If you want to be successful, if you want to be rich, what are you waiting for? First, make the decision and then display the unwavering determination to make it happen.


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