The old adage, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” is no longer valid, and may never have been true in the first place. There are literally thousands of inventions and new products sitting in garages, workshops, and laboratories across the country, and they will never see the light of day simply because the inventor, lacking the capital to manufacture and market his idea with his own resources, is unable to attract investors.
Though there must be a way to find the money to back such a project, where can you turn to look for guidance?
At some point in your life, you have likely heard the phrase, “You can’t go home again.” However, as popular as the saying may be, it’s entirely wrong: Millions of young adults are moving back home to live with their parents, sometimes with children of their own.
According to a 2011 Pew Research Center Report, the country is now experiencing “the largest increase in the number of Americans living in multi-generational households in modern history.” More than 10% of all households (11.9 million) include members of multiple generations, the majority of which were an adult child living with a parent. The number of children returning home has become so commonplace that they have earned the appellations “baby gloomers” and “boomerangs.” One of every four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 indicated that they had returned to live in their parents’ house after being independent; one in five of those between the ages of 25 and 34 reported the same.
During the past presidential campaign, the Keystone XL Pipeline became a political football. Since that time, the pipeline’s planned route has been changed to avoid potential harm to the Ogallala Aquifer and is currently awaiting final approval from the State Department.
Many Americans, however, are surprised to learn that the Keystone Pipeline already exists, transporting since 2010 590,000 barrels of “heavy” crude oil a day, 2,148 miles from the oil sands surrounding Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska and subsequently to holding facilities in Patoka and a ConocoPhillips refinery at Wood River, Illinois. The Keystone, owned by TransCanada, is one of many crude oil pipelines currently crossing the border between the United States and Canada, including the Express and Enbridge lines.
In the last half-century, the names of Ross Perot, Sam Walton, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett have appeared at the top of the lists of wealthiest Americans, all of whom have been the subject of biographies chronicling their rise to the pinnacle of riches. A reading of those life histories provides no evidence of membership in secret societies, no teachers or advisers who may have passed along confidential knowledge about savings or investments, no super-human skills, and no extraordinary abilities or qualities beyond intelligence and a strong work ethic.
If there are no secrets to wealth-building, what do successful wealth-builders have in common? What personal attributes are equally valuable in industries as diverse as retailing, software development, and investing? Are these identifiable common traits, in fact, the secrets to their success?