Ask anyone, "do you want more money?" and the answer is usually "yes!" More money can mean many things: freedom, fun, adventure, escape from bills, no more worries, a brand new BMW. Whatever it is we want, money is often the means to get it.
Why is it we don't have everything we want? We are definitely smart enough - we have after all sent a man to the moon, should we not be able to make a few extra thousand dollars? We certainly work hard enough - statistics have Australians working 40-60 hours per week. Americans have barely two weeks annual leave per annum. There is no lack of work ethic here.
So what keeps us from achieving the wealth we truly desire?
Is it lack of knowledge? No - there are thousands of books and articles on how to build wealth and there are thousands who have done it before - it is achievable. The answers are out there, for anyone to access.
Is it lack of desire? Surely not since most people express a true craving for more cash and can see the real benefits of building wealth.
The distinction between those who make millions and those who do not is not about intelligence, drive, work ethic, knowledge, skill, opportunity, or even luck. The difference lies almost entirely with beliefs and attitude. These distinctions boil down to seven basic secrets of what I call the "Millionaire Mindset".
Secret #1: Beliefs about Money
Millionaires have specific beliefs about money and wealth. This is the most fundamental and most important aspect of becoming (and staying) a millionaire.
Millionaire beliefs include:
* I deserve to be rich.
* There is more than enough wealth to go around.
* When I grow rich, so do others.
* I grow rich by adding value to people's lives. I do this by providing services, knowledge, or products that enrich others.
* Creating wealth is enjoyable and fun.
* If I desire it, I can achieve it, attract it, possess it, enjoy it.
* I am the captain of my own ship.
* I am not alone - in building wealth, I have many partners who assist me in the design, implementation, and administration of my products and services. We all benefit from the growth of wealth.
* Nobody suffers as a result of me being rich.
* Wealth brings the opportunity to assist others.
* I am very grateful for everything I have in my life already.
* I am on this planet to enjoy my life.
* I am already wealthy beyond measure.
How many of those beliefs do you share with the millionaires? Chances are if you do not have all the wealth you desire it is because you may have some limiting beliefs about yourself and money.
We develop our money beliefs primarily from our family and from our early experiences with money. Do you remember your first conscious thought about money? Was it a positive one? Quite often our experiences with money are negative or unsupportive, associated with guilt, blame, fear, jealousy and all manner of low-level emotional states.
Culturally we are also bombarded with messages about money. Have you heard of these ones?
* Money does not grow on trees.
* Money is the root of all evil.
* It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to pass through the gates of heaven.
* The meek shall inherit the earth.
* There is virtue in poverty.
When you think about it, these maxims are not at all helpful if you want to grow wealth. If you subscribe to these beliefs, then your ambitions will be in constant conflict with your underlying notions about wealth. The result? A stalemate. No wealth can be grown in these conditions.
Secret #2: Reasons for Building Wealth - The Carrot and the Stick
Millionaires have very specific and very compelling reasons for WHY they build wealth. These reasons keep them focussed on their goals. These may include the desire to experience freedom of choice, provide a solid education to their children, assist their favourite charity, eliminate personal debt, ensure a secure future for themselves, or simply to have fun.
Regardless of the particulars of 'why' they want to build wealth, all the reasons fall in to two distinct categories. These are the 'Carrots' and the 'Sticks'. Both 'Carrots' and 'Sticks' are essential components of the Millionaire Mindset.
'Carrots' are the juicy incentive. Just like the horse that has the carrot suspended out in front of him to keep him trotting along, aiming for the yummy treat, millionaires also have 'carrots'. These might be a new Jaguar, a house on the beach, overseas travel, a fancy wardrobe, a solid education fund for their children, the ability to donate to their favourite charity, a sense of freedom, a sense of adventure, the freedom of choice. The reasons are both tangible and esoteric. Basically the most important thing is that the 'carrots' feel good.
'Sticks' are the painful reminder of what they don't want. My aunt who is now very wealthy says the primary reason she worked so hard for financial independence is that she never wanted to experience again the poverty of her childhood. It was such a painful experience that it served as a whip, a 'stick', to drive her wealth creation activities. Other wealth creation 'sticks' might be the pain of oppressive debt, fear of retirement without sufficient funds, the worry of wondering from where the next meal will come.
Anthony Robbins claims that people will do more to avoid pain than they will do gain pleasure. This is a key observation in the development of the Millionaire Mindset. In order to carry through plans for wealth creation, the millionaire on the make needs to have both 'carrots' and 'sticks'. The sticks keep the feet to the fire, keep the awareness of pain as a spur to keep trying, to keep working the plan. The 'carrots' however provide the inspiration, the joy, and the rewards. The wealth 'horse' moves a lot more effectively if it has both 'carrots' and 'sticks' encouraging it along.
One last word about 'sticks'. If you have too many of them, your life becomes filled with fear - fear of poverty, fear of debt, fear of an under-funded retirement. This is no way to lead a life, and certainly a very anxious way to approach developing wealth. Some 'sticks' are a good way to get started, and then focus more on your 'carrots'. Not only are these much more fun to think about, they will make the process of building wealth far more pleasant and enjoyable.
Secret #3: It's not about the money
Every wealthy person knows that creating a fortune is never about the money itself. It is however about what the money can do. Money allows the experiences that provide pleasure. Ultimately building wealth is about feeling good - nothing more, nothing less. Can you feel good without building wealth? Absolutely! This is why a wealthy person feels good, feels 'wealthy', regardless of the balance of their bank account. For the wealthy person, accumulation of wealth is a process that is as enjoyable as the results.
Wealthy people are not hung up on outcomes or on the balance sheet. Wealthy people focus on the process of adding value to their clients, to their colleagues, to their employees, to their field of work. They know that in adding value, the laws of reciprocity dictate that value comes back to them in the end. In this way they can feel good at any given time. Creating wealth is as much about service to others as it is about feeling good in their own life.
Secret #4: Awareness is a key skill of wealth creation
Those who create and attract wealth have a heightened sense of self. They are keenly aware of what might be stopping their personal growth including personal effectiveness, limiting beliefs, low-level emotional patterns, and lack of knowledge or skill. They take active steps to eliminate blocks to their success.
Those with a Millionaire Mindset are also keenly sensitive to their environment. They surround themselves with people who support and assist them with their goals. They hire coaches, select mentors, and pay for the best advisers they can afford. They avoid individuals who are negative, pessimistic, or caustic in any way. They design inspiring surroundings that remind them of their personal vision and reflect their individual values. Everything around them is a reflection of who they are at the core and resonates with their vision of themselves already in possession of the wealth they desire.
Secret #5: Focus reveals opportunities
Along with heightened awareness, focus on key priorities operates like a giant floodlight: opportunities are revealed by the powerful, focussed light. Without clear focus, these same opportunities may still exist, but because awareness is unfocussed, the individual may not necessarily notice them.
Secret #6: Repeat baby steps
Having focus and heightened awareness is not enough to become wealthy. Inspired and deliberate action is required to create results. Wealthy individuals take measured steps in creating their outcomes. They know that some action is better than none and that baby steps in the moment lead to significant results over time.
Secret #7: Connect to joy, in the moment
True wealth comes in the experience of joy, in the moment. This is in fact a choice brought on by awareness of our connection to the whole of mankind, the whole of the universe. When we feel integrated and a part of the great experience of life, we can relax and savour the experience of the moment, now. A great sense of peace thus allows the flow of joy, happiness, and ultimately wealth and prosperity.
So how do you actually create wealth?
This is the question people always ask first when they want to escape poverty and make more money. It should in fact be the last question to answer. You cannot attract wealth if you do not have the right beliefs, reasons, focus, awareness, and attitude. Any financial project will flounder without these elements in place first.
With that caveat out of the way, how do you build wealth?
The simple answer is that there are a multitude of methods and strategies. You can employ one or many. These include:
* A traditional business enterprise
* Investing in shares, managed funds, bonds, etc
* Property investment
* An online business.
What we know for sure that there are very few 'jobs' that pay an extraordinary salary that turns in to massive wealth. Business and investment is really the key to wealth that does not depend on you actually turning up to deliver a service.
How do you get started on the technical side of things of wealth building?
First of all, pick the strategy that you will enjoy. If you are a technophobe, then maybe an on-line business is not for you. If you enjoy home making and decorating, maybe property investment is something for you to pursue. Whatever you choose, you have to enjoy it and make it fun!
There are plenty of good resources out there to teach you the nitty gritty of investing, business building etc. Don't feel you like you have to go it alone! Get advice, get help, get a coach, get a mentor. Educate yourself - read, read, read. Then take action - baby steps of course!
As a starting point, here are some great resources for you:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert Kiyosaki
Cash Flow Quadrant - Robert Kiyosaki
The E Myth Revisited - Michael Gerber
You Were Born Rich - Bob Proctor
The One Minute Millionaire - Mark Victor Hansen
Think and Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill
There are plenty of more books, links, and articles on my website www.innercompass.com.au to help lead you in the right direction.
Now go forth and prosper!
I wish you a life of love, laughter, joy, health, and prosperity.
Copyright 2006 Zo Herbert Routh, Inner Compass
Cancer survivor Zoe Routh is the Head Coach at Inner Compass, a personal development organisation that helps busy professionals work less and achieve more. Inner Compass offers practical strategies and solutions to improve personal effectiveness and live an inspired life.
Zoe has worked with groups and individuals since 1987. She has worked as a trainer, coach and facilitator in helping people achieve their personal best.
Inner Compass offers articles, resources, and coaching programs to help busy professionals radically improve their personal effectiveness to live an inspired life.