Everybody wants to be rich and nobody in their right mind deliberately sets out to be poor. However, many of us are unknowingly doing some things to reduce our chances of getting rich.
The author of ‘How Rich People Think’ Steve Siebold, spent some time interviewing millionaires around the world to know what separates them from the poor and middle class. His findings can be narrowed to the mentality of the rich, which is what separates them from the poor and middle class.
The differences between the rich and the poor or middle class can be seen in the following areas:
1) The rich are committed to constantly learning and growing, while the poor and middle class think they know it all.
How many of us know people who are quick to provide free advice and solutions for other people’s financial problems, without implementing such advice in their own lives? This is the attitude of most poor people. The rich know that the fastest way to get rich and stay rich is to work on developing themselves and their minds. They therefore develop and grow themselves into being the best they can be. They know that to be paid the best, they must be the best in their fields.
2) The poor and middle class think that money is the root of all evil, while the rich believe that poverty is the root of all evil.
The average person has been programmed to think that the rich are lucky or dishonest. They believe in their subconscious mind that it is a sin to be rich. The problem with this thinking is that it kills one’s drive and ambition. It is not a sin to want a better life for yourself and it is possible to get rich honestly. Majority of the poor do not actually believe this is possible, they therefore condition themselves to make just enough money for them to survive, with little or no more to spare. After all, who wants to be seen as a dishonest or greedy person, when many people in the world are poor and starving?
3) Rich people associate with other rich and successful people, while the poor and middle class associate with those of their financial status.
On the surface, this may look like a shallow mindset or way of thinking by the rich, even snobbish to say the least. However, the rich just want to surround themselves with like-minded people, knowing that positive energy is contagious, same goes for negative energy. They therefore ensure to associate with positive and successful people such as themselves, in order to avoid the attitude of doom and gloom that many of the poor tend to project. They also do this to disengage themselves from negative energy and attitude that many poor people have towards life in general.
4) The rich take responsibility for their actions, while the poor and middle class like to shift the blame for their situation to others.
The poor and middle class always have a story or an excuse as to why they are not rich. They would rather blame the government, their boss, the economy or their spouse for their financial predicament, unlike the rich. The poor are waiting for God, the government, their boss or their spouse to save them from themselves!
As it is said, Heaven helps those who help themselves. The rich know this and take their lives into their hands. They know that they are solely responsible for creating their lives and work hard towards bettering themselves, without excuses.
Just like Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, who laboured for his success, despite the fact that the odds were against him (his father Unoka, a coward and weakling left him nothing to start his life with), the rich know that their lives are in their own hands. They leave no stone unturned to defy the odds against them.
5) The poor and middle class rely on their certificates alone to make them rich, while the rich know that certificates alone do not guarantee wealth.
As a way of joke, it is often said that Nigeria is full of people with degrees and certificates. This does not mean that majority of such certificate owners are rich. The rich on the other hand, focus on acquiring specific knowledge than relying only on certificates to make it in life.
The rich acquire high-income skills that translates into 6 and 7 figure incomes for themselves, while having their certificates as a bonus.
6) The poor and middle class place immediate gratification over investment in the future. They think that getting a good job alone is what it takes to become financially free or rich. They rely solely on their paycheck, it’s no wonder that when many people who have high-paying jobs get sacked, they exhaust their money in no distant time!
The rich however, know that becoming rich does not depend only on having a steady paycheck, but investments and savings go a long way towards acquiring wealth. In other words, rich people manage their money well while the poor and middle class mismanage or squander their money well.
The rich are committed towards saving for the future, unlike the poor and middle class. They see money as a seed that can be planted to earn more money, while the poor and middle class see money only as something to enable them acquire what they love. Unlike the rich, they think short-term and run their lives based on immediate gratification.
7) The rich follow their passion and do things they love to make money, while the poor and middle class earn money doing things they do not love. Even if the rich may start off doing things they do not love, it’s always for a short period of time and on a temporary basis. The poor however, get stuck doing what they hate on a permanent basis.
According to Siebold, ‘one of the smartest strategies of the world class is doing what they love and finding a way to get paid for it’. On the other hand, the poor and middle class take jobs they do not enjoy because they need the money and they have been programmed by the society and their training in school to believe that hard work equals success. The the rich however know that smart work equals success. If this were not true, the labourers we see around us everyday should be one of the richest people in our country!
8) The poor and middle class live above their means, while the rich live below theirs.
What an irony, that those who really have wealth do not go about dressing flashy or flaunting their wealth. Whereas, those who do not have as much are the ones that go about, making sure that people recognize and notice them!
Look at Mark Zuckerberg, who goes about simply dressed in jeans and tee shirts. How about Bill Gates? In Nigeria on the other hand, what we hear is ‘do you know who I am?’ The poor and middle class mentality is that of ‘I better pass my neighbor!’
The rich live below their means so that they can have more cash to save and invest for the future, thereby creating even more wealth for themselves. If you want to be rich, focus on earning, keeping and investing your money. If you want to be poor, focus on spending your money!
9) The poor and middle class teach their children how to survive, while the rich teach their children how to get rich. What then happens is that the children of the poor end up working for the children of the rich.
The rich teach their children to see the society the way it truly is. They teach them early in life about the world of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. As such, they understand the concept of wealth early in life and are able to strive for it later on in life.
10) The rich are action-takers and problem solvers, compared to the poor and middle class. The poor and middle class focus on much talk and mindless chatter, against action. They focus on complaints instead of providing solutions. When the rich come together however, their discussions focus on ways to increase their wealth and networth. They come together to connect with like minds because like it is said, iron sharpeneth iron. Winners stick together and losers stick together as a matter of comfort.
The rich focus on providing solutions to problems which eventually brings them wealth whereas, the poor and middle class run away from problems. The rich know that problems do not go away and train themselves to be able to provide solutions to problems. They know that the bigger the problems they can handle, the bigger the businesses, responsibilities, customers and ultimately, wealth they can handle. They see problems not as obstacles, but as opportunities for growth.
11) Rich people know when to take risks, while poor and middle class people always play it safe with money.
According to Siebold, leverage is the watchword of the rich. The rich are willing to take educated risks, knowing that if things come to the worst, they can always make their money back. They play the money game to win, while the poor and middle class play the money game to not lose.
The poor and middle class have low expectations so that they do not get disappointed. The rich believe so much in themselves and in their abilities, and are more optimistic than the poor and middle class.
12) The poor and middle class aspire for comfort, while the poor and middle class find comfort in uncertainty.
According to Harv Eker, the author of ‘The Secret of the Millionaire mind’, if your goal is to be comfortable, chances are that you will never get rich. But if your goal is to be rich, chances are that you will end up mighty comfortable.
It takes guts to take the risks necessary to make it as a millionaire, a challenge that many poor and middle class people shy away from. Remember that their ultimate goal is to be ‘comfortable’. The rich however know that the more comfortable one has to be, the fewer risks one will be willing to take, which are necessary to create wealth. Comfort kills, if you want to be wealthy, you have to learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty.
13) The rich act in spite of fear, pain, doubt and uncertainty, while the poor and middle class allow themselves to be discouraged by fear, pain, doubt and uncertainty.
14) The rich see obstacles as opportunities for growth and wealth, while the poor just focus on obstacles as problems. The rich know that every experience, whether success or failure, is a learning experience. They are therefore not afraid to fund their future from other people’s pockets, so long as an opportunity is worth pursuing or investing in.
15) The poor and middle class believe that they have to make a choice between having wealth and having a great family life. The rich know that they can eat their cake and have it. They believe that they can have anything they want if they approach the challenge with creativity and and mindset rooted in abundance.
There you have it. Is it any wonder why most people fall into the poor and middle class category? Many of us are programmed to think like these from birth because our parents were equally trained to think like that by their own parents.
It is time to break the circle and create a new breed of individuals who will take their lives into their own hands. No more excuses or waiting on the government to decide our finances. Knowledge is power, let is put this knowledge to good use because being rich is definitely better than being poor