How to Think Like a Millionaire

June 11, 2018 8:13 pm

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There’s a huge difference between how the wealthy think about their time, and in particular, how they go about making an income versus someone that’s walking the financial treadmill of being employed in a job, as part of the rat race.

The book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” presents four categories in how people make an income, which we will explore in this article and then look at five ways to help you to think more like a millionaire.

EMPLOYEE

To be an employee is the most common, yet often the most ineffective way to go about making money, because ultimately, as an employee you are trading time for money – and someone else is pulling the strings.  For this reason, there’s a limit to what you’re able to do in order to increase your income.

The real differentiator tends to be based on employment experience and education rather than the intrinsic value you provide, which is where being a small business owner can be better – as you’re rewarded in direct proportion to the value you provide rather than how you appear on paper.  There’s nothing more frustrating than being paid the same amount, or even less, as a colleague that is nowhere near as efficient as you are – whereas if you own your own business then you are rewarded in direct proportion to the tangible output and value you provide, rather than simply by showing up and putting in the hours.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNER

Many people today are taking the entrepreneurial leap to run their own small business; but often find themselves trading the comfort, stability, and reassurance of having a regular income where they simply turn up to work do their tasks and get paid with a whole heap of stress and uncertainty.  As a small business owner, at least in the first year, they are likely to have doubled the amount of time they are working and halved their salary!

The financial rewards of having a small business can be substantial, but for most people they are simply trading a job for a job they own.

BIG BUSINESS OWNER

Small Business owners, in this context, relate to people that ‘own their job’ such as a massage therapist or personal trainer; where they are still trading their time for money.  The limitation being that you can be a great massage therapist, charging $100 an hour, yet there are only so many hours in each day that you can realistically work.

Big businesses, however, leverages systems and other people to create their income.  Let’s take an ice cream van. The small business owner mentality runs an ice cream van generating $200 profit from selling ice creams.  The big business owner, however, goes out and buys five ice cream trucks and employs five people to serve ice cream. He now has leverage.  He has created a system and a network that is scalable. This is how the wealthy become wealthy – they build systems.

INVESTOR

The investor has true leverage; rather than work for his or her money, in the conventional sense of swapping time for money – they put their money to work for them.  Think of it this way, if you have $500,000 in a savings account that is earning interest of 10% each year – then, by doing nothing, that savings account is generating $50,000 a year.  Now, the challenge is getting that initial $500k in the first place, but the concept remains – investors create assets that generate income automatically in perpetuity.

Now that we have a grasp of the four ways of making money, let’s look at three general principles to help you adopt the millionaire mindset:

  1. DREAM BIG

You want to dream big.  Why? Because today, you can have be and do anything you want – you just have walk the path that leads there.  Those with the millionaire mindset understand the importance of having big dreams as it’s like adding coal to a steam train; it stokes the fire of motivation that causes us to take action.

  1. ENVISION A PROSPEROUS FUTURE

Many highly successful people talk about the importance of having a vision board, where you connect with your hearts desires and spend time visualising a future life that fulfils you – just like how athletes use positive visualisation techniques to picture themselves winning the race, you want to set yourself up for success, you want to expect success and lean into the experiences you want.

  1. LEARN MORE

There’s an idea within wealth psychology that states the “more you earn the more you learn”.  That said, there are plenty of people with Master’s Degrees and even PhDs who are struggling to make ends meet.  Whilst getting a solid education is sound advice, it should be noted that there are many people who dropout of college and financially surpass their well educated friends by setting up a simple business.

Indeed, when we look to several stories of success from Sir Alan Sugar (now Lord Sugar) to Mark Zuckerberg the common denominator is that these people break away from the constraints of the traditional education system and focus on “doing” rather than passively learning.

It could be said that traditional education teaches people to be employees, rather than financially free business owners or investors.  This is where supplemental education comes in from watching YouTube, Lynda.com or even Udemy.

Indeed, you’ll often find highly educated white collar workers attending weekend seminars on topics such as real estate investing, amazon trading, and digital marketing led by college dropouts, who have made their millions by getting out there and doing it…. see today, in the information age, you don’t need tons of formal education to make money – you need applied education that is focused on attaining a particular outcome, and to take action on it.

  1.  START A BUSINESS

Today, you can easily start a business for under $500, and whilst there’s a learning curve and element of risk involved it’s worth the risk as it’s extremely difficult to become wealthy through the route of employment.  Robert Kiyosaki explains that you need to own your own business in order to create financial independence and encourages people to shift their focus from making a salary to making a profit; a salaries are what keep us comfortable – whereas profits are what make us rich.

A common mistake, however, for many people setting up a business that are not used to having the entrepreneur mindset is that they will try to do everything themselves, which is why entrepreneurs’ are so prone to burning out.  You want to leverage as much as you can, from people to technology systems; for instance, it would make a lot more sense for you to invest in custom software systems rather than try to do everything by yourself, as the learning curve alone will eat into your profits, as time is money… and the more time you ‘waste’ trying to do everything yourself, the less money and quality of life you’ll be in the position to receive.

  1.  START INVESTING

A common misconception is that people think you need loads of money in order to begin investing, yet if you have just $100 in your bank account, you should start investing, as this will get you into a good practice and build the millionaire habit of creating assets.  

That’s the one main difference between the “rich and the poor” – the poor have a tendency to spend money in order to derive pleasure or gain comfort in the immediate term (e.g. a fancy car or expensive outfit) whereas the wealthy have a tendency to invest their money in order to derive long-term financial stability (e.g. houses, savings accounts, stock portfolios) that appreciate over time and turn them into millionaires.

A top tip, therefore is to transfer 10-20% of each paycheck into a separate investment account and 10-20% into a seperate savings account.  This way, you won’t notice the money not being available to you – yet you are building a nest egg for the future that combines the security of savings with the earnings potential of investing.

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