Redefining The Prosperity Code
Part 1

by Rick Stecker

Unmasking the Mystery Behind our Perception of Wealth

When you think of the word prosperity, what thoughts come to mind? Visions of someone comfortable  and well off? Views of living in the lap of luxury? Vibes about creating a boatload of money?

Those familiar descriptions give you the conventional meaning of prosperity, but it has become clear to me there might actually be more to the equation than we’ve led ourselves to believe.

My own study of small businesses and entrepreneurs, after being forced to rebuild my own prosperity plan, inadvertently showed me other ways to define the term that cover more ground than just building a fortune.

It made me think, ‘Could it be, maybe we’ve had it wrong about prosperity?’

I discovered secret elements embedded in the prosperity equation that actually expand its capacity to include other kinds of wealth building. Yet those factors often escape our notice.

I found that as much as half of this alternate narrative on prosperity centers on steady rather than hefty growth, and it’s not always about money.

This new outlook gradually gained in relevance this past year when the nation’s economic outlook seriously blew a couple of tires.

My purpose here is to break down that mystery and reveal the new prosperity code, uncovering the richness that exists behind the old out-of-date exterior.

The simple point is this: When you understand what lies beneath, you’ll know prosperity is within your reach.

Prosperity Comes in Two Portions

The first mystery, unknown to most, is that Prosperity comes in two flavors. And while they appear similar on the surface, they actually describe two different applications.


The first of these two Prosperity types is Abundance.

Abundance can be defined as possessing an excess, having plenty, or growing a surplus. All are reasonable applications of Prosperity’s usual description. However, in this first case it’s more an excess in capability rather than wealth, which we’ll talk about later.

Abundance manifests itself in two basic activities that, while looking for all the world just like conventional Prosperity, have more to do with expression than acquisition. The two activities are:

  1. The enterprise you put your hand to will grow.
  2. The investment you make will bring a many-fold return.

Someone pursuing Abundance along either, or both of these paths will experience success in reaching their goals, but in new and different ways.

The actions they take will each produce a particular brand of Abundance, whether they:

  • Start up or invest in a small business,
  • Originate or develop methods to meet customer needs,
  • Build or foster an attention-getting online portal, or
  • Serve or supply a necessary community purpose.

These folks may not bask in luxury at day’s end, but they will reap a harvest by what they sow, whether it’s with their time, capabilities, or resources.

The reward will correspond with each type of investment. There will be satisfaction for a purpose completed, or delight over people supported, or fulfillment for the success of a project.

Yet here’s the mysterious outcome that eludes many. When those who persist in their pursuits, no matter the path, and find their enterprises expanding and investments compounding, they will have attained Abundance.

They may not identify themselves in that way, yet with the Abundance they do achieve, they will have partnered directly with Prosperity.


Prosperity’s second, not so mysterious, type is Affluence.

When we talk about Affluence, we’re talking straight up about riches and wealth. This is considered the usual definition for Prosperity, the one to which most people adhere.

Mystery comes into play, though, because most people think they want Prosperity, when what they’re really after is Affluence. It can be confusing.

Affluence is described with words like success, fortune and opulence. Those are the goals that the majority who desire luxury or a large bank account will pursue, whether they are aware of it, or not.

Yet, in all fairness, many who reach that goal will do so not just because they desire riches or wealth, but as a result of the passion they hold for their grand visions.

They have big ideas for the projects, ventures, and enterprises they are shaping or developing, which gives them a primary purpose over and above their wealth-building focus.

That said, to come to the place of Affluence you must by definition have already gained a fair measure of treasure. That’s because, in another mystery to many, Affluence itself comes in two distinct expressions:

  1. Riches; when you’ve gained the wherewithal to comfortably meet your needs.
  2. Wealth; when you’ve acquired enough capital to influence your market.

Those defined as having riches can live comfortably, provide for their needs, sustain a business and a staff, make a profit, and perhaps most important, endure hard times. They have clearly attained Affluence.

There is a difference, however, that becomes apparent when you consider that those with accumulated riches, while considered well off, have not as yet reached the next level of Affluence.

Those with an amassed fortune sufficient to impact the actual direction of their marketplace, they are the ones who occupy the second level—wealth. In effect, they have the capacity to change market conditions.

Still, one other facet can describe those who have immense wealth, and it may even constitute a third category of Affluence. There are those who, with their personal resources, can create an entirely new market.

To me, that would constitute opulence, and while I don’t define it directly as another level of Affluence, it might be something to consider in future discussions.

Prosperity’s Length and Breadth

There’s no getting around it. Each of these two primary aspects, Abundance, Affluence and all their properties, qualify as the real measures of Prosperity.

As I see it, these new definitions for a condition of riches transcends the usual and customary. It adds a new dynamic that embraces more members, those who may have previously thought themselves outside the previous boundaries.

What does that accomplish? It adds a dimension of hope for those who may have stopped short in their pursuit of Prosperity. They may not have realized they were already there, or that it was still within their reach.

For them to continue their pursuit would do nothing more, in my estimation, than add creative energy to an economy that still sorely needs the infusion provided by entrepreneurs.

If prosperity is to be had, and I believe it to be part of our birthright, it must be pursued.

In this first installment of a five-part series, I have set the stage to explore more of the nature of Prosperity. In Part 2, we’ll unravel the Prosperity Equation.

About the Author

Rick Stecker is a business branding coach, writer and speaker helping entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Rick's first job after college was as a police reporter covering crime for a daily newspaper. Then came a stint on the high seas in Navy public affairs aboard an aircraft carrier.

What followed was 25 years in business and corporate communications at both the national and international levels. After a corporate buyout forced a career change, Rick tapped into his accumulated business experience, with all the challenges faced, lessons learned, and questions asked, and built a coaching and consulting business, Grounds To Grow Coaching.

Rick authored his first book "Making Choices Like A Champion" to help others grow their capabilities and enhance their performance. Rick is writing his second book, "The Entrepreneur and the Secret Book of Business Branding" to help entrepreneurs establish personal and professional brands. Rick also continues to write for the Internet, and can be contacted through his website