Everywhere I go, people say they want ‘capital,’ without knowing what precisely capital is, or even what they really need. In actuality, the word capital comes from the Latin root word ‘capitas,’ or knowledge in the head. In other words, real capital is not money, but useful knowledge, wisdom, education and intellectual confidence. And so, for those simply looking for money for their idea, business, enterprise or life, respectfully, they are looking for love in all the wrong places.

I have found this to be the case in my own life. My number one asset has been my personal confidence in myself and my ideas, as well as my habit of never giving up. I have been an entrepreneur since I was 10 years old, but I have never pursued money for money’s sake. It was never a primary need, nor my goal. My ideas are my assets, and my passion is my fuel. Of course, financial capital does play a role, but it is a supporting role, not a leading character.

This is where my quote comes from, “there’s a difference between being broke and being poor. Being broke is a temporary economic condition, but being poor is a disabling frame of mind, and a depressed condition of the spirit, and we must vow to never, ever be poor again.”

Onward and with HOPE,

John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE, Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass) the only African-American bestselling business author in the U.S., and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum. Mr. Bryant serves on the board of directors of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation, an NYSE Euronext publicly traded company, and a division of $54 billion Ares Capital.

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