The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

My previous read, Rich Dad Poor Dad, enriched me with a positive push towards embracing changes in life with a smile. Kiyosaki had made a passing reference to The Richest Man in Babylon in his book.

And, I must say this reference stayed with me after I finished reading Kiyosaki and I thought why not pick it up as my next read. And sure enough, got it listed as a popular ebook by George S. Clason.

And, here began the twist. The author George Samuel Clason turned out to be an interesting character. He was an ex army and had published first Road Atlas of United States and Canada.

And then, he began printing small pamphlets about thrift and financial success. They were written in the style of parables and were distributed by his banker friends. The most famous of these pamphlets was ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’. This pamphlet was later expanded and published as a book and has since then retained its popularity as a classic non fiction. Enterprising, indeed!

To tell you the truth, reading the background story of George S. Clason sparked my interest in the book, that is regarded as a classic today and yet was in its own time, little more than an alluring brochure for bankers!

The Richest Man in Babylon, is written in parable form. All the action takes place in the richest city of bygone era Babylon, where a handful of characters and their entrepreneurial skills are used as examples, to educate the readers about money making, investment strategy and business plans.

I enjoyed the ingenious approach of storytelling. The book is written in simple English. Stories are short yet deep. The richest man of Babylon “Arkad” is the central character. He had made it big, after hitting the lowest in life. His life story had an awe inspiring aura and his friends and townspeople urge him to reveal his secret so that they can also amass wealth.

Arkad is generous in his advice. And, step by step, divulges his secret Five Golden Rules. And lo and behold, the first rule, he prescribes is that one must pay himself first, before he spends the money or repay his debts.

Actually, this was the skeletal rule in Rich Dad Poor Dad as well. And certainly one of the most lucrative one for me. This rule attunes perfectly with the philosophy of putting one’s interests above the rest. And, as life has taught me, this really makes sense. You can’t help anyone else if you are not able to help yourself first. So, I did develop an instant affinity with the present book.

Though I must say the book commends the time tested old method of sticking to the conventional source of income and investment and does appear slightly jarred in today’s times when there are much faster and better ways of earning and increasing your money in short duration. Yet it goes without saying that a firm foundation is essential to build a beautiful castle. And The Richest Man in Babylon lays this foundation in an alluring story.

The book is unique in its simple yet effective approach towards money management. The message is loud and clear. Keep working towards your goals in a calm steady manner and you will taste success for sure. A time tested formula indeed! Enjoyed, it was a good read.

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