If you're typically a get-real, all-about-the-truth person, then you'll love this post.
If not, you're going to hate this. Consider yourself warned.
As a mentor to hundreds of startup founders, I get a lot of questions about getting into the right mindset to achieve business and financial success. It's a good question; after all, if achieving financial freedom were as simple as setting a goal to be rich, everyone would be a millionaire.
No - becoming wealthy requires something more, and it starts, as most things do, with your mindset.
The following is a list of 9 common beliefs I've seen over and over that literally put a giant concrete wall in between people and their financial goals. Which ones might you have?
- I need to put my family first. This is such a sweet sentiment...but unfortunately, one that might keep your bank account looking like an arctic thermometer reading. I once saw an entrepreneur ask about going on a podcast to promote her business. She was thinking about canceling it, since she had earmarked that time to spend with her family and accidentally double-booked herself. Thankfully she did the right thing and put her business first...because she could never hope to provide her family with a better lifestyle unless she showed up and put in the work in her business. That was the right answer -- but so often, people try to achieve a work-life balance to the detriment of the very thing that will build real net worth in the long run.
- Money doesn’t buy happiness. This phrase helps people all over the world feel better about their situation. Unfortunately, it's wrong. Money can buy happiness, and it does every day. The truth is, there are unhappy people who are broke and unhappy people who are rich. It's the same with happy people. If you believe that money won't make you happy, you'll give yourself an excuse to not pursue it. That's fine...just don't be surprised when you don't reach your financial goals.
- I just need to set better goals. As I noted earlier, goals don't equal success. Nearly every person on the planet has the goal to be financially free. Then what? Goals don't produce success...but habits do. If you understand what habits wealthy people have, and you adopt those habits, you'll become wealthy. Start with saving, investing, and minimizing taxes, and you'll be off to a great start.
- I don’t have enough to invest. This is complete garbage -- another excuse to go clubbing instead of putting that five dollar bill into your savings account. Every broke billionaire started the same way: Broke. It's the habit that matters, and when you build a habit of saving and investing a few dollars every day, those dollars add up. It's not magic, it's math.
- It takes money to make money. Again, false. As a new twenty-two-year-old entrepreneur, I sold my first service without owning any of the equipment I needed to fulfill it. People need your product or service -- go out there, sell it, and use that money to take the next steps. Any smart, hard-working individual can get out there and make money, even if it's with a job at first.
- I don’t have the right knowledge. This is my favorite. Today, with the Internet, we're smarter than any humans who have ever come before us. So if all it takes is knowledge, why isn't everyone a millionaire? It's not about what you know, it's about providing value to another human being who will pay you for that value. That's what money is -- a trade for something that's valuable in a different way. Keep learning, but start applying what you do know today.
- Wanting to be rich is too selfish. This excuse prevents many people from achieving your financial goal, because they assume money is some evil spirit sent from the underworld to corrupt us all. Hogwash. Money is an enabler, a vehicle that helps you go from where you are to the beach in Hawaii whenever you want. If bringing your family to Hawaii is selfish, sign me up.
- I just need to work harder. Hard work does not equal success. I know all kinds of hard-working people who don't have two pennies to their name. Sad, but true. Financial stability is about understanding how money works and using leverage to grow your net worth. Wealthy people are always thinking about how to save, grow, and maximize the amount of money they have. I promise you they're not thinking about working harder...if anything, it's the opposite. And that's not because they don't have to work, it's because they know hard work doesn't necessarily equal wealth.
- I’m OK that I’m not rich. You know what, if you're OK with your net worth, that's amazing. I applaud you and your happiness. But it was never OK for me, and if it's not OK with you, then that's OK! As soon as you settle, that's where you'll end up. If you never settle, and you keep learning and growing and developing better habits, then you'll reach your financial goals one day. If you know in your heart you're worth so much more, keep going.
But, chances are, you've asked yourself why some people get wealthy and others don't. Take a look through this shortlist and ask yourself if you've fallen into any of these traps. If you have, it's never too late to climb out.
In fact, only you have the power to overcome these nine common beliefs that stop people from getting rich and move confidently toward your financial goals.
Go make some money already!