Thinking Differently About Life and Money

What differentiates the minds of individuals who have money from those less financially secure? Is there a shared mentality? According to one expert, the answer is yes.

“Thinking really is the catalyst,” says Steve Siebold, the author of How Rich People Think. “The differences begin with how we think about money.”

People who have money, he notes, just think differently from everyone else, particularly when it comes to education, career and confidence. They are passionate, action-minded and practical. “The rich see money through the lens of opportunity and freedom,” says Siebold, who has conducted more than 1,200 interviews with the world’s wealthy over the last 32 years, “as opposed to other financial classes, who think it’s the root of all evil.”

Specific knowledge matters. Meanwhile, most people with money balk at the long-instilled societal notion that a traditional education translates to a bigger bank account, he says.

“I see almost no correlation between formal education and self-made wealth,” he says. “A number of the people I’ve interviewed have no college education, and some even quit high school.” Instead, the self-made wealthy value the acquisition of specific, practical knowledge needed to identify and solve problems.

Passion trumps all. “Anybody can become rich,” Siebold says, “but most people don’t believe it. It’s sad because they are going to struggle with money their whole lives.”

That’s not to say, however, that Siebold directly correlates happiness with wealth. In fact, often the opposite is true, especially in the absence of one very important variable—passion. “The single biggest thing I’ve learned is to pursue your passion,” he says, recognizing the cliché, but also noting that some of the wealthiest, yet unhappiest, people he’s interviewed lacked passion for their professions.

Entrepreneurs who were emotionally invested in their work, on the other hand? Siebold says, “Those people were both rich and happy. They kind of win the game all the way around.”


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