Thou Shall Prosper by Daniel Lapin
One Line Summary
Rabbi reveals the secrets to Jewish wealth
It’s no secret that the Jewish people have always been stereotypically associated with money. Despite being only a minority race, they hold a disproportionate amount of financial wealth. And now you are going to find out why.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a rare mix. Not only is he a religious leader in his community (Rabbi), he also is a successful business consultant. These two perspectives make for an interesting world view.
I always want to learn from people who are doing what I want at a high level. In this book, Lapin shares all his secrets for why Jewish people have always seemed to thrive financially. Hint, it’s not what you think.
The book is broken up into ten commandments of financial wealth, each one adding a piece to the puzzle. By the end you’ll have a clear view of have to create riches in your own life.
Why it’s Awesome
Lapin starts off the book by mentioning all the misconceptions about why Jewish people are thought to be financial wizards. Common beliefs include:
- Jewish people are smarter than others
- Jewish people always support each other
- Jewish people are unethical and dishonest
- Jewish people have some genetic capacity for being rich
Lapin explains that these are largely just excuses made by people who don’t understand how Jewish people operate or how to create wealth. The secrets lies in what he calls The Ten Commandments. Not ones in the Bible, the ones for getting rich.
I’ll go through each commandment here briefly.
Believe in the Dignity and Morality of Business
Lapin could drop the mic right here and essentially be done. This first commandment is the most important.
Lapin explains that Jewish culture has a deeply engrained belief in the ethics and morality of business. It’s there from the moment one is born until they die.
I’ve had a couple close Jewish friends and I can say many of them mirrored this exact belief. They were passionate about money and making money, more so than I could understand myself.
Gold is good. It’s understood to the Jewish people that God wants people to be rich and prosperous.
As long as these riches are made in a way that comes from giving value to other people, Jewish people have a love for business. And that makes them incredibly good at it.
It’s ironic to me that as much as our culture puts success and materialism on a pedestal, we simultaneously have a culture that largely shames business and financial success.
This isn’t to say that all business people are ethical or always do ethical things. But Jewish people believe in the inherent goodness of business itself, not individual actions.
You must believe that making money is a worthy endeavor.
Think about how a belief that business is unethical, no matter how subtle, might be sabotaging your ability to be financially successful. Do you think that it’s wrong that the 1% have what they have? And if you do, how does that effect your ability to get there yourself?
Another question you should ask yourself: if God is love and abundance, why would anyone need to struggle financially? Why would we not all be entitled to living the financial life we desire?
Business is good. Money is good. Repeat that to yourself until it becomes true for you. Otherwise it’s unlikely you’ll ever get far financially.
Extend the Network of Your Connectedness to Many People
I talked about networking to you in my review of How To Be A Power Connector and Never Eat Alone. Lapin mirrors many of the same beliefs, talking about the value of networking and why it’s crucial for business.
Get to Know Yourself
It’s unlikely you will be successful in business without knowing who you are. Business requires you to niche yourself in a specific role and specialization so you can provide value to a target market. Without getting crystal clear on who you are, that can’t happen.
Do Not Pursue Perfection
Perfection is an ideal never reached. So while that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your best, it does mean that sometimes you just have to let your ideal go.
Many times before I shoot a YouTube video, I get a clear mental image of what I want that video to look like. But it doesn’t always turn out that way. And so despite my best efforts, sometimes all I can do is just put it out there.
Ego loves perfection because ego is about finiteness. But it’s not realistic. It doesn’t take into account that the game of life and learning never ends.
Lead Consistently and Constantly
People who are financially wealthy are often leaders. Even if they aren’t an employer that leads a company, they lead themselves. Learn to become a leader.
Constantly Change the Changeable, While Steadfastly Clinging to the Unchangeable
Circumstances in life often change. A new market opens up, a business goes bankrupt, your family goes on vacation, etc etc. But there are also constants that must be recognized.
When it comes to the changing circumstances, go with the flow. Don’t cling to a changing reality because that’s only going hurt.
However you should cling to the universal constants that never change. These are the principles that always remain no matter where you go. Find them and hold onto them.
Learn to Foretell the Future
You should always be practicing your predicting ability. If you’re not constantly analyzing the life you are living, it’s unlikely that you will become rich.
The two main reasons Lapin says we fail to predict the future are because we fail to recognize patterns and let our emotions blind us.
How often have you found yourself in a situation you knew wasn’t good for you, over and over again? That’s a pattern recognition failure.
We also let pride get in the way. Lapin explain that those who are successful and stay successful put aside their ego and surround themselves with critical feedback.
Know Your Money
Money is not separate from the rest of your life. As Daniel Lapin puts it, it’s a representation of your knowledge, energy, and so many other factors.
Act Rich: Give Away 10% of Your After Tax Income
This principle is commonly known as tithing. I talked about this in my review of Spiritual Economics, but the general idea is that tithing can make you think wealthy.
When you genuinely give money away to someone on the street, you actually selfishly benefit from that with a shift in your self-image. The subconscious message you are implying is I have enough money. I am in abundance.
After all, who can afford to give away money except for those who have more than what they need?
People love the idea of retirement because they don’t love their work and they desire completion. Retirement creates this mental fantasy of it finally being “over” and finally being able to relax and enjoy life.
Lapin says never retire. That doesn’t mean you won’t change career, only that you’re never done. Your work is never done because it’s ultimately not about you. It’s your higher calling.
Now, if you’re working at some dead-end job that you hate, that probably sounds pretentious as fuck. I agree. That is why you should make every effort to discover what purpose you’re truly here for.
Why Does It Suck
Lapin has a lot of random political, scientific and even religious beliefs that I don’t agree with. If you agree with him, great. But otherwise you’ll have to wade through a lot of fluff to get to some of the really important gems in this book.
The Wrap Up
Definitely recommend this book for someone looking to turn their financial life around. Don’t let anti-semiticism / racism blind you from accepting powerful wisdom when it’s presented to you.