I don't often buy a newspaper on a Saturday, but couldn't resist today's The Times as it carried the promotional headline 'How to Get Rich - Free CD inside'.
Not, of course because I am poor you understand :-) I am simply interested in all things entrepreneurial. And most of the 'Get Rich Quick' books and guides which are popping up at the moment seem to be riding on the wave of interest generated by the new wave of cult business shows - like The Apprentice and Dragons' Den.
Yes, these guides do often help someone get rich - and that is usually the author.
So I was a bit disappointed when I opened the paper that my free CD was in fact called 'Overcome Emotional Spending' by Paul McKenna. Yes, my husband will certainly vouch for the fact we would be an awful lot better off if my spending could in someway be psychologically curbed, but logically, spending less is not really a way to get rich - as its effect is of course limited to what you earn in the first place.
The only way to truly get rich is to earn (or find ways to generate) a shedload of cash.
Not spending it helps you get there faster of course - but then, if you're going to go down that route, why bother going to all that effort to earn it in the first place?
Anyway, I stuck with it and read the accompanying 'How to Get Rich' article, where McKenna points out that real riches really have nothing to do with money and that most of the things that give people true joy are actually available to all of us and are also completely free (spending time with the kids, love & sex, walks in the countryside etc. etc.). So what Paul is really encouraging us to do is identify the things that we believe would truly make us happy, and then to use NLP techniques to try to 'live' the feeling we believe those things will bring us, until they actually manifest in our lives.
Visualisation techniques are of course nothing new, and everyone from Napoleon Hill in his iconic 1937 book 'Think and Grow Rich' to the cult DVD 'The Secret' has talked about harnessing the power of the mind and using the 'Law of Attraction' to manifest everything you desire.
I am actually a great believer in all this - having also had experience of the negative side! Six months after my company Red Letter Days crashed into administration I was going through old papers in my study and found a 'life plan' I had written about a year earlier stating that, by 2006, I wanted to 'Get rid of Red Letter Days; spend more time with my family, with time to be creative, to write and to be myself.'
All of which came to pass in the most dramatic and unintended way (the Universe usually dishes up its solutions in the quickest most effective way). But I have to admit the Crash - as stressful as it was - did bring about my move to Bakewell in the Peak District, which is the most beautiful, inspirational place to live; the start of a new business which is based from my home, which brings me far more happiness than running Red Letter Days ever did and which is is much more 'me' - plus a publishing deal to write my first book, on entrepreneurship.
Personally, I think McKenna is absolutely right. Far too many of us chase money thinking it is the be all and end all of happiness. Far better to focus on the things that will truly make you happy - and then simply allow the Universe to find fabulously creative ways to allow those things to manifest in your life.
True riches are actually much more about giving rather than taking anyway - which is why some of the most successful, happiest and by the way most materially wealthy entrepreneurs I have met founded their businesses on things they had a real love or passion for, which they wanted to share with others.
And most people who are truly 'rich' in this way ultimately find that they have no use for the trappings of money anyway.
So relax, and enjoy your Sunday!