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Do You Think Like a Rich Man or the Average Joe?

Can the way people think actually affect their financial status?

Can the way people think actually affect their financial status?

Being rich is a dream most people cherish. It's a highly coveted state of life, where most desires and passions are made real through the power of money. But though the advertised formula of amassing wealth–honesty, hard work, and perseverance–is common knowledge and often championed, the promised result of riches, it turns out, isn’t that common at all. Is it possible, then, that there is more to being wealthy than just “hard work”? Can the way people think actually affect their financial status?

Steve Siebold, in his book “How Rich People Think,” explores this question. For years, he interviewed about 1,200 millionaires around the world in order to get important insights into the psyche of the wealthy and see how their psychological patterns differ from the average wage earner. And what he has found brought forward a school of thought where mentality plays a bigger influence in getting rich than anything else. Here, we highlight five key findings from his research.

1. The Rich Man Acts, the Average Joe Waits

From his interviews, Siebold found that most middle class people have a lottery mentality, wherein they wait for that one lucky strike that would boost them to instant riches. The rich, on the other hand, rely on problem-solving and taking advantage of that space, investing and using their time wisely to get to a desired goal instead of waiting around.

Siebold states in his book, "While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems."

2. The Rich Man Sees Money Logically, the Average Joe Sees it Emotionally

Siebold emphasizes that the rich sees money as a tool to gain opportunities and options in life. Whether they have a little or a lot doesn’t affect their goals or re-shape their life in any way. The middle class often succumbs to the tendency of tying their life to the amount of money they have and having that fear of losing money. Siebold says, “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.”

He writes that money shouldn't be seen as an enemy. In fact, you should think about money as one of your greatest allies. There's a brilliant quote in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand that encapsulates this clearly and begins by pointedly asking, "So you think that money is the root of all evil?"

Stop seeing money as your enemy.

Stop seeing money as your enemy.

3. The Rich Man Focuses on a Specific Knowledge, the Average Joe Stops at Formal Education

According to Siebold, “Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge.” During the course of his research, he has found that, interestingly, the wealthiest people in the world do not think of higher education as critical to wealth acquisition and success.

The middle class, however, believe that gaining additional degrees would pave the way to wealth. Siebold says this is attributed to their tendency to adopt a linear line of thought that hinders them from perceiving a higher level of consciousness. "The wealthy aren't interested in the means, only the end," Siebold writes.

4. The Rich Man Lives Like a Poor Man, the Average Joe Lives Like a Rich Man

Well, it’s not exactly poverty to an extreme extent, but the rich, Siebold found, often live below their means, whatever level that is. It’s not a case of wanting to save every last penny, but that rich people have this mindset that, because of their wealth, they can “afford” to not live richly. On the other hand, the Average Joe is concerned about status and showing off their well-earned money that they often end up living way above their own means.

This is particularly notable because in our world today, "flaunting wealth" has achieved meme status, and is a staple branding strategy for young "influencers" online.

5. The Rich Man Believes in the Virtue of Selfishness, the Average Joe Believes it’s Evil

In an interview with Business Insider, Siebold said, “The rich go out there and try to make themselves happy. They don’t try to pretend to save the world." Rich people are not afraid of pursuing higher ambition because they believe they are deserving of it. They envision making money for themselves and meeting all their financial goals but they don't stop there. They make it happen.

For the average person, though, this mentality is met with disapproval and Siebold believes that is what’s keeping them at a financial disadvantage. The rich believe in taking care of their own needs first and then, when they’re in a position to extend whatever they can to help, that’s when they do it. Siebold says, "If you're not taking care of you, you're not in a position to help anyone else. You can't give what you don't have.”

Do you agree with Steve Siebold’s findings? His ideas have started a conversation and challenged society’s norms when it comes to money and getting rich. Were you able to identify with any of his key findings? Share your thoughts in the comments!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Althea del Barrio