Monthly Archives: March 2013

Tips for Building Wealth 15

Conserve, conserve and conserve a little bit more, my friends!
Sell one of your cars and commit to riding the bus or train to
work. Turn off the lights in a room you are not occupying. Use a
space heater in the room where you are sleeping, eating, reading
or watching television instead of using the central air and heating
units. You will save a ton on the utility bill! Stop leaving the bar
of soap in the water and only use a dab of toothpaste. I know you
have noticed how much toothpaste ends up in the sink and/or how
often you go through expensive bars of soap. Simple tips like this
will save money over time. If you eat out too often, money will fly
out the window, door and smokestack. I would suggest you always
shop for the cheapest but best auto, home and life insurance. Great
deals can also be found at local neighborhood garage sales.
Remember, overindulgence, consumption, greed and waste can
and will derail a dream in any stage of its development. One of the
reasons Americans are disliked is because of our attitude of entitlement.
We feel a certain right to use more natural resources than any
other nation in the world. We throw away more food than most of
the world consumes. Bring a lunch to work instead of eating out.
One year, I decided to bring my lunch to work every day, and I
was able to save over $1,500 with which I opened a money market
account to buy stocks. Our thirst for oil/gas is unmatched, and I
believe murder is out of control because of our greed and selfishness.
The neighborhood in which I grew up had crime and murder
as a way of life. This was tied to greed, ignorance and a desire for
quick and easy money. Remember, only what you work for is truly
yours to enjoy and benefit. This lesson, if learned and applied, will
enhance the status of your dream-building process.

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 14

Make a budget and stick to it, no mater what happens.
Even God had a budget my friends! God established a budget of
provision and knew when to distribute those provisions when necessary.
“42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and
wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over
his household, to give them their portion of food in due
season?” (Luke 12:42)
Here is a suggestion for how your budget should be allocated:
Charitable Donations=10-15%
Savings=5-10%
Housing=25-35%
Utilities-5-10%
Food=5-15%
Transportation=10-15%
Clothing=2-7%
Medical/Health=5-10%
Personal=5-10%
Recreation=5-10%
Debts=5-10%

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 13

Save money wherever you can.
Here are some tips for saving money that I gleaned from Dave
Ramsey’s book “Priceless.”
• If you save $100 per month for forty years at 12% interest, you
will end up with $1,188,242.
• Imagine if a 30-year-old couple funded a Roth IRA at $250
per month at 9% interest. At age 70 years old, they would have
$1,104,876…tax-free!
• Imagine if the same couple made $40,000 per year and also
saved 15% in a 401(k) ($6,000/year, $500/month, at 12%
growth). At 70 years old, they would have at least $5,881,798 in
the 401(k). Total at retirement=$6,986,674

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 12

Create opportunities in tough times.
Joseph created another stream of income by selling what was
stored up for a time of famine.
“13 Now there was no bread in all the land; for the
famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and
the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.”
“16 Then Joseph said, “Give your livestock, and
I will give you bread for your livestock, if the money is
gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and
Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, the
flocks, the cattle of the herds, and for the donkeys. Thus
he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock
that year.” (Genesis 47:13, 16-17)

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 11

Find the right mate.
Having someone with whom to share your dream is irreplaceable,
my friend. This creates the environment for love and growth.
Amos 3:3 states “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”
You will never build your dream with someone who is unwilling
to support and agree with that dream. He or she will be your polar
opposite and drain the energy and desire to see your dream come
to fruition. So many dreams are dead because of an adversarial
marriage or relationship. I recommend the book “Getting Ready
for Marriage” by Jerry D. Hardin and Dianne C. Sloan. In it, the
authors discuss three types of love: The first is emotional love:
“Emotional-love is the feelings of being in love, which at times
predominate over rational thought. Our feelings of love are conditional,
and feelings can change.” I believe this level of love gets
us into the most trouble, because you love the way your partner
looks, and looks change, my friend. This puppy love feeling will
not last forever and when it is gone, what will you have to hold on
to? These emotions cannot last forever and do not allow us to focus
consistently. Because of this emotional rollercoaster, our ability to
focus on other things is impaired.
The second type of love discussed by Hardin and Sloan is
friendship love: “Friendship-love is the intimate and affectionate
support of one another. A friend is your needs answered and
your life shared.” This level of love taps into the core of what you
would like to accomplish in life, and a true friend will have your
back no matter the situation or obstacle.
The final type of love, according to Hardin and Sloan, is commitment
love: “Commitment-love is a pledge binding one to another.
A covenant for the rest of your life, faithful and permanent:
that is Commitment-love.”
Over the past 18 years, I have been in a few serious relationships,
during which some of my partners fought against a number of
things I wanted to accomplish in life. Whether it was to finish college
before making any other major life decisions or deciding where
we wanted to reside, opposition was not far from reach. We agreed
to build our savings, yet somehow the funds would be used for
other reasons. One of my partners decided she did not want to work
anymore, and told me not to count her money. She never truly supported
me when I was the pastor of a church, and, on some levels,
did things to sabotage my ministry such as coming late to worship
services, wearing inappropriate clothing, saying negative things to
parishioners and generally trying to make me uncomfortable in my
dream to pastor and teach the people of God. This behavior made for
a very unfulfilling relationship. The wrong mate can be a complete
embarrassment to your image. Nighty-five percent of self-made millionaires
live in married households. Find the right mate!
“25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall
rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with
wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27
She watches over the ways of her household, And does
not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children rise up
and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises
her: 29 “ Many daughters have done well, But you excel
them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be
praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let
her own works praise her in the gates.”
(Proverbs 31:25-31)

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 10

Stack some chips.
Saving money allows us to experience the hundredfold return
of the Lord. Remember, my definition of the hundredfold return
is we will “suffer attack but never suffer lack.” Despite the reduction
of my income by 75% over the last three years, I still live in
my home, and my lifestyle has remained unchanged, for the most
part. I do not travel or eat out as much or purchase as many bigticket
items, but my quality of life is very good. Why has my life
changed very little in tough economic times? I stacked some chips
and was able to live at a normal pace.
The counsel that Joseph gave Pharaoh saved his nation.
“35 And let them gather all the food of those good
years that are coming, and store up grain under the authority
of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.
36 Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for
the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of
Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
(Genesis 41:35-36)
When you refuse to save or make excuses for not saving you
will have squandered your future.
“There is desirable treasure, And oil in the dwelling
of the wise, But a foolish man squanders it.”
(Proverbs 21:20)

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 9

Put in the hard work.
I always tell people that anything you did not work for is
probably not yours. Anything worth having comes at a price, and
nothing is free. Someone somewhere paid for it. The scriptures are
filled with nuggets to support this principle.
“ 6 Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways
and be wise, 7 Which, having no captain, Overseer or
ruler, 8 Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers
her food in the harvest.
9 How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When
will you rise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little
slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep— 1 So
shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And
your need like an armed man.” (Proverbs 6:6-11)
The ant will work tirelessly to see its dream of a safe, clean and
well-fed colony and will defend that dream to its death! Our forefathers
and – mothers had this work ethic down to a science. They
would work three jobs if necessary to provide for their household.
Somewhere along the road, we did not teach this “me” generation
this most important value. Once again, the feeling of entitlement
without hard work, determination and dedication to a craft or profession
is missing in the inner city. Purpose in life helps to drive our
ambition for greatness. Without purpose there can be no greatness.
While in college, I work at the Boys and Girls Club in the
evenings. I worked at the main library on campus until closing
hours, which was 12:30 a.m. I delivered pizzas for Domino’s
certain weeknights and weekends. After college, I worked several
jobs to meet the needs of my household. So, I’m very accustomed
to putting in work, my friend. Even while in junior and senior high
school, I worked cutting grass, making pizzas at Pizza Hut and
various odd jobs. I have no empathy for folks who are unwilling to
put in the work necessary to build a dream.

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 8

Get you some real estate.
It’s called real estate for a reason – it’s real estate. Stocks, bonds
and mutual funds are great, but real estate is what’s most real – most
tangible. Owning my home has afforded me tax credits or breaks,
as well as discounts on life, car and health insurance. Most of the
people I grew up around did not own their homes, so no one had a
source of true wealth. Home ownership opens the door to loans to
start a business or finance an education. Most people do not own a
home for several reasons. One reason is bad credit or the mismanagement
of credit. High balances on high-interest credit cards will
limit your ability to attain a mortgage loan. Another reason is the fear
of responsibilities that come with home ownership, such as maintenance
and taxes. If you are afraid of the responsibility of home
ownership, I question whether or not you have real goals, visions or
dreams. Maybe you are trying to fake it till you make it. Some feel
they cannot afford a home, which is a shame, because there are so
many programs in this great country designed to help almost anyone
become a homeowner. Real estate is one of the most important keys
to realizing your dream. It represents a piece of the pie, the American
dream and the American way of life. Ninety-seven percent of
self-made millionaires in this country own their own home. Get you
some property as soon as possible, my friend.

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Tips for Building Wealth 7

Leave those credit cards alone.
Debt is giving to the past, while God is focused on the future.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended:
but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which
are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which
are before,” (Philippians 3:13) “The rich ruleth over
the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.”
(Proverbs 22:7)
If you do not have the money to buy an item, you should not
buy that item. This is why saving is so important. I am training my
children to save for the things they want. Prioritize your goals and
work toward an objective. If they learn these principles, they will
never have to finance a car loan, as they will be able to pay cash
for the vehicle of choice. They may not be able to purchase a brand
new Mercedes-Benz S500, but they can buy a certified used one
with low miles and keep the interest in their own pocket or bank
account. Stop purchasing new cars every three to five years. Look
more to used cars, which have better value, as a new car depreciates
significantly once you drive off the car lot. Of course, there are
exceptions to this rule – for example, home healthcare professionals,
pharmaceutical sales representatives and others who need new
or program vehicles for obvious reasons.

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist

Yosemite is breathtaking!

I had a chance to visit Yosemite this weekend and words cannot express the majesty and beauty of this national treasure. I stayed at the Sugar Pine Christian Camps in Oakhurst, California and the people of Sugar Pine Christian Camps are some of the most hospitable people to be around. I felt like I was back home in New Orleans where you never meet a stranger and the presence of God was everywhere throughout the several hundred acre camp site. If you are looking to set a trip for your group whether small, medium or large Sugar Pine Christian Camps can accommodate up to 300 individuals. To get more information on the camp visit www.sugarpine.org or call Debbie at (559) 683-4938. Thank you Lord for creating Yosemite and thank you Sugar Pine Christian Camps for peaceful lodging!

Devin Oten
DO Enterprises
www.DevinOten.com
Writer, Public Speaker and Philanthropist