If your goal for 2011 is to improve your finances, changing the size of your wallet begins with changing how you think about money. The biggest difference between rich people and the middle class is the beliefs, thoughts and philosophies about money between the two groups. Not only are they numerous, they're also extreme!
Fear and Scarcity vs. Freedom, Abundance and PossibilityDriven by the fear of loss and uncertainty of the future, the masses focus on how to protect and hoard their money, especially during difficult times like these. World-class thinkers understand the importance of saving and investing, but they direct their energy toward accumulating wealth through serving people and solving problems. When an economic correction occurs, the fear-based saver suffers catastrophic losses that may take years to recover. While the world-class suffer similar losses, they quickly turn their attention to financial opportunities that present themselves in a society of suddenly terrified people. While the masses are selling for short-term survival, the great ones are buying for long-term success. One group is operating from fear, the other, from abundance. Instead of clipping coupons and living frugally, reject the nickel and dime thinking of the masses. Focus your energy where it belongs: on the big money.
Logic Rather Than EmotionFew people are able to think about money without clouding the subject with negative emotion. An ordinarily smart, well-educated and otherwise successful person can be instantly transformed into a fear-based, scarcity driven thinker whose greatest financial aspiration is to retire comfortably. The world class sees money for what it is and what it is not, through the eyes of logic. The great ones know money is a critical tool that presents options and opportunities. They also know if you're not happy without it, you won't be happy with it. But while money has little to do with happiness, it's one of the most important tools in the game of life, and without the psychological chains binding them, champions earn all they can. When it comes to thinking about money, put your emotions on the shelf and let reason be your guide.
Don't Wait for Your Ship to Come In; Build Your Own ShipThe average person subconsciously believes he's going to be discovered, saved or made rich by an outside force in the future. The world class knows no one is coming to their rescue, and if their life is going to be uncommon in any way, it will be through their own efforts. The foundational principle they live by is self-reliance and personal responsibility. They're not counting on the government to bail them out or their family to care for them in old age. Champions don't wait for things to happen, they make things happen. While the masses wait around for help, the great ones go to work and fight, never counting on help or support to arrive. They know that getting rich is an inside job.
Action Mentality vs. Lottery MentalityThe masses love the lottery because deep down they believe it's their only chance to get rich. The fact is they're probably right. Not because they're not capable, but because they don't have faith in their own abilities, and their beliefs about money limit their financial success. The middle-class is self-destructive, especially when it comes to money. They will always struggle financially unless they are somehow able to break the mold cast in childhood telling them only crooks and lucky people get rich. The world class has empowering beliefs about money that leads them to effective, daily action that serves as the foundation of their financial success. The great ones know talk is cheap, and the only way to get wealthy is to take action. The truth is the middle class has all the desire they need, but they lack the beliefs to wake their desire. The cause of their inaction is not lack of desire, but lack of empowering beliefs regarding the acquisition of money.
Hard Word vs. LeverageIf hard work was the secret to financial success, every construction worker and cocktail waitress would be rich. The wealthy strategically focus their efforts on the most profitable areas of their business while leveraging their contacts, credibility, and resources to maximize the results of every action they take. World-class performers work hard, but not in the traditional sense. Hard work to the wealthy means out-thinking their competitors and leveraging the collective brainpower of their advisers. While the middle class is mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the day, the world class is fresh and excited about thinking of new solutions and ideas that will keep the middle class employed. As a result, the middle class lives paycheck to paycheck and the world class lives without limits. The only real difference lies in their approach and ability to use leverage in place of linear effort. The average person is playing life's proverbial slot machine, while the wealthy own the slot machines.
Believe You Deserve to Be RichThere is a persuasive belief among the masses that tells them they don't have the right, nor are they good enough as human beings to ask, hope or pray for prosperity beyond their basic needs. Who am I, they ask themselves, to become a millionaire? Who am I to get what I really want? Who am I to live a lifestyle fit for a king? The world class asks, why not me? I'm as good as anyone else and I deserve to be rich. If I serve others by solving problems, why shouldn't I be rewarded with a fortune? And since they have this belief, their behavior moves them toward the manifestation of their dreams. Whether they actually deserve to be rich is irrelevant. Like all beliefs, they don't have to be true to be acted on. This is why some of the smartest people are among the poorest, while people of average intelligence build fortunes through their beliefs, positive expectations and focus.
If you want to get rich, dissect your beliefs about money and upgrade them to the world class. If you want to improve your finances in 2011 and become wealthy, it starts with your mindset. The bottom line: Think like a millionaire to become a millionaire.
Steve Siebold is author of the new book How Rich People Think, which compares 100 thoughts and beliefs about money between rich people and the middle class. Siebold is one of the world's most noted experts in the field of mental toughness training. He's interviewed some of the world's richest people over the past 26 years to find out how the wealthy really see money. His mental toughness clientele includes world-class athletes, Fortune 500 companies, and entrepreneurs. Click here for more information and to download five free chapters of the book.
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