Nowadays, in this Information Age, the age of the microwave, of “I want it now,” we forget of our ancestors–the farmers and ranchers who knew “The Secret”–who knew you had to plant the seed, water it, weed it, and nurture it for years before you reaped a bountiful harvest. It’s called hard work.

We may be more interested in the “get-rich-quick” schemes that look so sexy, but building wealth is not sexy. It is very simple and easy.

As motivational speaker and trainer Jim Rohn said, “It is easy to do, and easy not to do.” We’ve all heard of the power of compound interest. The concept is a dollar invested will grow for years and years with interest.

Simple and easy, right? I say the power of compound interest not only applies to your money, but also to your education and experience.

I am reminded of my quest for knowledge on investing and becoming an investor. Back in 2002, I read the book, “Rich Dad’s Guide to Investing” by Robert Kiyosaki.

After reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” and “Cashflow Quadrant,” I was Robert Kiyosaki’d out. At the time, I was just at the beginning of my career, and the book blew me away; it was awesome. But, I only had a little experience and education at that time. What I didn’t realize was that a lot of great information went over my head.

Then, I read Rich Dad again in 2009. I was able to apply a lot more of the information (i.e., set up my financial plan), and I saw even more value in the book than I did the first time I read it. You see, over time, I was more and more educated and had gained more and more experience, which enabled me to understand more of what the book was trying to teach.

A great book tells us, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing.” There are some philosophies, ideas and concepts that you have to hear over and over for the possibility to become a reality . . . in your mind first.

You can’t just listen to them once, read them once, or go to the seminars once. If you want real wealth and a great, comfortable retirement, the seed you plant is not only with a dollar, but also in your mind.

I was joking with my husband, when he nagged me as I was on my way to yet another class on investing, asking, “Haven’t you been to that class before?” My response–in my sure-firecracker mode–was, “Do you go to church once and learn the whole Bible? Honey, success is not convenient.” He wasn’t too pleased with my quick retort.

But, the point is … in this fast-paced world, we get bored easily. That’s why so many books come out each year . . . and we buy them. Music is outdated in a couple of weeks … and we buy the next latest-and greatest melody or rhyme. Like it or not, you have to listen and look at that crucial information, that life-changing information required for your success, over and over.

I know that may not be sexy. But each time, you will gain more value; the compound interest of your education sprinkled with even more experience will allow you to understand and apply the philosophies, ideas and concepts, for complete mastery down the line.

I love the story of the bamboo tree. You prepare the soil, pick the right spot, then plant the Chinese Bamboo Tree. You water it, and wait. You wait an entire year, and it looks like nothing is happening.

There is no bud, no twig, nothing. So, you keep watering and protecting the area and taking care of the future plant, and you wait some more. You wait another year, and still nothing happens. Now, you are a persistent person not prone to giving up, so you keep on watering the plant. You water it, check the soil, start talking to the ground, and maybe even click your heels together in some kind of growing dance you read about in National Geographic. Another year passes, and there is still no sign of growth.

It has been three years. Should you give up? Someone told you that it might take a while to really see the fruits of your efforts, so you keep on doing your thing. More water, more talk, more dancing. The neighbors are starting to wonder about you. Another year passes. No tree.

You are now at a crossroads. If there is no tree on this date one year from now, you will stop watering. Period. So, you begin year number five with the same passion as day number one. You water, you wait. You keep watering and waiting. You water some more and, then, could it be? Is it really? Yep, there it is, something sticking out of the dirt. You come back the next day, and wow it has really grown. In fact you come back each day for about six weeks, and finally the Chinese Bamboo tree stops growing–but it is over 80 feet tall. Yes, 80 feet in six weeks.

Well, not really. It is 80 feet . . . in five years.

The point is simple. If you had given up for even the shortest period of time, there would be no tree. It took almost impossible persistence. The Chinese Bamboo tree is there one reason and one reason only–because you never gave up on it.

So the point is, don’t give up. Do the easy things–track what you spend and earn, put a little bit away every paycheck to plant (invest), etc. I know you want the riches and wealth now, but remember the wisdom of the ages. The power of compound interest applies to your money, your knowledge, your efforts and your returns–the wealth you dreamed of and the retirement you hoped for.

So, plant the seeds, water them, weed them and nurture them. I was once told . . . if you plant the seed of a tree now, you will get to rest under its shade later. To your financial freedom.

Nannette Atuahene-Barrie is a real estate consultant, educator and investor who specializes in helping you to become financially free when you buy a home, sell a home or invest in real estate.
She holds financial literacy workshops regularly in the Antelope Valley.