Rich people are different, and it's not only because they have tons of money. It's also about their mindset. They think differently. The right thoughts lead to the right actions and the results – vast riches.
Steve Siebold, author of How Rich People Think, over the last 30 years has interviewed more than 1,200 of the world's wealthiest people. What did he find? It's not that they are necessarily smarter than the average Jane or Joe, their secret is that they look at money in a completely different way than everybody else.
As for what puts them atop the money tree, they hold fast to six key beliefs.
The path to riches is not a straight line
Siebold says most of us are taught to trade hours for dollars, which is the reason the average person makes little money. The rich earn their fortunes tapping into creativity and coming up with new ideas that serve people. "They understand that if you want to make money, you look for problems to solve. You start by identifying problems and use creativity to come up with a solution," says Siebold. He says it's not about how many hours you can work or the amount of midnight oil you can burn; it's training your mind to think about old problems in new ways. Use non-linear thinking to earn more money.
Be emotional and logical
While you don't want to blend the two, truth is, there's a time to be emotional and time to be logical. Siebold says the middle class tends to blend emotional thinking in their decision making process, which clouds their judgment. "If you're passionate about something it can skew your judgment. For example, you can't be objective about your spouse," says Siebold.
The rich use left brain, logic-based, emotionless thinking when it comes to matters of earning, investing and saving money, he contends. The rich use emotions to motivate them to take action and they rely on logic when it comes time to do the work. However, amateurs invest on emotion. He cites the recent Twitter IPO where there was so much emotional, with everybody wanting not to miss out, that the opening price was high, but by the close of the first day of trading, the stock was about a $1 less than it's opening price. "When people let emotions enter into investments, they buy on greed and sell on fear, versus looking at the fundamentals, like the history of a stock. Emotions and money don't mix," says Siebold. Know when to be logical and when to let emotion spur you to smart actions.
There's no shortage of money in the universe
Because money is created through ideas that solve problems, and there are more problems than will ever be solved, that means there are an infinite amount of ideas that can yield big bucks. While many people see the world plagued by problems, the rich, says Siebold see those same problems as opportunities to amass even more money. "Look at Facebook. Apparently there was a problem with people wanting to connect, which nobody was really focused on. But Facebook found a way to connect people. Facebook built an empire on offering a way to find people, to connect," says Siebold.
Expect to be rich
While some folks are focused on, "why can't I?", those who end up with wealth, ask, "why not me?" Simply put, they expect to be rich. Siebold says too many people have a "lottery mentality" and have been brainwashed to believe the only chance they have to get rich is by picking the right numbers or playing slot machines. The rich, on the other hand, expect to earn more money every year and they are not shocked when the millions keep rolling into their lives.
What's the difference? They have trained themselves to expect big things to happen, and consequently they are confident enough to take bold, aggressive and fearless actions in their pursuit of wealth. Siebold explains how this works. "Because they have a positive mindset, right off the bat, that works in their favor. Then once they get a little success it starts feeding on itself. If you expect to make money, then you will behave in a way, take appropriate actions to make that happen. Then you start stacking success."
Remember what your mother told you about self-fulfilling prophecy? You think, therefore you are. Expect to be rich and you're more likely to make that happen.
Who says I can't have it all?
Despite the mantra that you can't have it all, that falls on deaf ears for rich people. "The rich know you can have whatever you want, and through leverage you can earn more while working less," says Siebold. What does he mean by this? He says the secret of the rich is that they don't really work like the rest of us. He uses the example of Donald Trump. "He's leveraging everything he has – his time, influence. The show The Apprentice just made his name, his brand bigger. Believe me, he and other rich people aren't working like us, they aren't sitting in an office from 9-5, yet they they make more in the first five minutes of their day than some of us do all year," says Siebold.
He explains that they are not working in the traditional sense. The rich have a different model, "They are talking to people, making contacts. They have other people working while they are leveraging."
Self education is critical
There's a big debate in this country about the value of a college education, given the hefty price tag and a still less than stellar job market. While few would say skip higher education altogether, Siebold says formal education may not be a the golden ticket. Sure it will help you make a living, but self-education, he says, will make you a fortune. "What I learned in college in the 80s, or what someone learned in college 10 years ago, may not be all that useful given the world today," says Siebold. College is good for general knowledge, but those who become rich know that specific knowledge can lead to the path of prosperity. "Specific knowledge is worth more. You find a niche, offer specific solutions and work it," says Siebold.
While the masses seek entertainment, the wealthy are reading, listening to audio programs, attending seminars and networking with powerful people who can help raise their level of awareness, says Siebold.
But the good news is, given the vast resources online, self education is increasingly possible. "You can learn from the greatest minds online. It's easier to get rich today in America more than ever. Start with solving a problem."