By: Steve Siebold
After interviewing more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people over the past 30 years, and finding more than 100 differences in how they think about money compared to everyone else, people often ask me: What’s the one best piece of advice you can give me about money?
My response: Stop telling yourself that getting rich is outside of your control. The truth is that making money is an inside job.
Most people don’t understand the nature of building wealth, which is why generation after generation approaches it the same way and almost always fails. Schools teach the basics of balancing a checkbook, adhering to a budget, and basic math. This trains children and young adults to think about money in linear, logical terms, which can seal their financial fate before they even finish high school.
Getting rich begins with the way you think and what you believe about making money. If your parents were broke or in the middle class, you will end up the same if you adopt their beliefs and philosophies about money. The only reason people settle for a mediocre, middle-class existence is because they are unaware of how to move beyond it.
The secret has always been the same: thinking. While the masses believe becoming wealthy is out of their control, rich people know that making money is really an inside job. It’s a cause and effect relationship. The cause of our behavior is our belief system, and the effect of our behavior is the result we get. Change the cause, and by default, you automatically change the behavior and bottom line result.
The middle-class maxim in America is: get a good education, find a good job, get married, have kids, and be grateful for what you have. Not bad advice, but it certainly won’t set anyone up for world-class success. The truth is a small percentage of people own the majority of wealth because most people settle for less than their share. We are taught to strive for comfort and to survive while experiencing as little pain as possible. So ultimately, most people deduce that you have to win the lottery, inherit money, or just be plain lucky to get rich.
Let’s set the record straight once and for all: Anyone can become wealthy. It has nothing to do with your education or where you come from. It’s not what you do that guarantees wealth, it’s what you are. In other words, it’s not the labor that creates the fortune, but the thinking behind the labor. That’s why people like Donald Trump go from millionaire to bankruptcy and come back richer than ever. People like Mr. Trump have a fundamental belief that they are supposed to be rich, fulfilled, and happy. They believe they have every right to be rich and nobody is going to get in their way.
What kind of person do you need to become to build the life you want to live? Write a plan of action that will help you grow into this person. Start by telling yourself that you deserve to be rich, have every right to be rich, and that being rich is an inside job. It’s up to you and only you.
Now that you know the number-one secret, the question becomes: What are you going to do about it?
Steve Siebold is author of “How Rich People Think,” and a self-made millionaire who has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people.