30 Ways Rich People Think Differently Than the Rest of Us
Have you ever looked at some of the millionaires on television and wondered what makes them different from you? It must be something. After all, they’ve hit the big time, and you haven’t. What could you possibly be doing wrong?
As it turns out, it’s got nothing to do with what you’re doing. It’s your mindset. In other words, you’re not thinking yourself into wealth and fortune. The modus operandi and way of thinking of the rich are very different from that of the middle class and the poverty-stricken. It’s so different that it will require a complete paradigm shift on your part to get even close.
It appears we stay trapped in our current financial situation because we lack the thought processes the rich utilize. But all is not lost, not by a long shot. This is not a mindset most rich people were born with.
For the heirs of the wealthy, it’s a mindset they were raised with. Think of the Getty and Vanderbilt heirs. They were raised with wealth and fortune as their perception of normal. However, there are plenty of self-made millionaires out there who come from middle-class roots. Some of them come from even more humble beginnings. They’ve hit the big time, and they’ve learned to alter their thinking. If they can do it, can’t you? Of course, you can. All it takes is a conscious decision. It’s time to retrain your brain and start thinking about the way rich people are thinking.
1. The root of all evil
We’re taught the saying “money is the root of all evil.” The actual saying is “the love of money is the root of all evil.” People think if they covet money and are obsessed with it, it’s a bad thing. Rich people don’t see it that way at all.
Rich people believe poverty is the root of all evil. Every waking moment is spent in the pursuit of making sure they don’t lose it all and become poor. Remember, “poor” in their vocabulary is different than ours. For rich people, poor means losing a few million but having plenty left over. For the rest of us, poor means having no money in the bank and credit debt we can’t pay.
We all know money can’t buy happiness. The rich know that, too. That doesn’t mean they don’t see that money does make the world go ’round. They also know that while money isn’t everything, it sure makes life a lot easier.
2. Selflessness is for others
Our parents told us to be selfless. If someone is in need, we should help them. That’s why we know many people about whom we can say “he’ll give you the shirt off his back.” We give what we can when we can, and it gives us a sense of satisfaction. We feel like we’re playing a role in saving the world. But are we?
Rich people will tell you that no amount of money will save the world. That’s why they’re not prepared to part with theirs to help others. Sure, they’ll make donations and support charities. Why don’t they give more? The simple answer is that they believe in selfishness as a virtue instead of selflessness.
They believe in giving, but only to a certain point. Their logic is that they can’t give away what they don’t have. They take care of number one so that they can be in a position to help others.
3. Don’t wait for it to come to you
Rich people don’t believe in sitting back and waiting for the money to come to them. That’s the lottery mentality that a lot of middle class and poor people have. They’re always talking about what they’ll do if their ship comes in. Instead of finding the ship and steering it to port, they spend their lives waiting for it to find them.
Middle-class people can spend a lifetime waiting for their big break. They are hoping God, their boss, the government or their spouse will provide them with the wealth they want and deserve. All the while, time marches on. And they wake up each day to another day that they’re not a millionaire.
Waiting gets you nowhere. At least, that’s what rich people think. They believe in taking action to get the wealth they want. Instead of sitting and talking about doing things, they go out and do them. They solve problems and devote their energy to growing their businesses and increasing their wealth.
4. Know what you do
Those in the middle and lower classes believe that if they want to get rich, formal education is the best way to achieve it. This is not necessarily the case. A formal education might ensure you get a good job, but it won’t make you a millionaire.
You’ll be working for “the man” for the rest of your life. You can do post-graduate degrees and obtain honors and master’s degrees if you want to. Don’t assume they’ll make you wealthy.
A lot of self-made millionaires dropped out of college to start their businesses. Some of them began straight out of high school and had no formal tertiary education. They determined a niche in the market. They acquired the knowledge and skills needed that they wanted to sell.
Whether the experience was obtained formally or informally is immaterial. Provided they have the necessary knowledge and skills; they’re good to go. They don’t care how they get there. Their goal is to get there.
5. Look beyond tomorrow
Those of us in the middle and lower classes tend to look in the rear-view mirror with our minds firmly focused on the past. We think about our “glory days” and how they’ve passed. Then we worry we’ve wasted our lives as we have nothing to show for them.
Harping on the past serves no purpose. Thinking back to being passed over for that one promotion that would’ve set us up for life doesn’t help. Dwelling on the past can be the cause of depression.
The wealthy have their sights set firmly ahead. They are always thinking about ways in which they can improve their businesses.
Many are thinking of plans to expand their existing businesses or new businesses they can start. They have well-defined goals and objectives, and look to achieving them in everything they do. The unknown variables the future excite them because it opens the door for their limitless potential.
6. Let logic prevail
Rich people employ logic when they think about money. Their reality dictates their attitude toward money. They see money as a tool to help them exploit further opportunities to make more money. For them, money is all about the options it presents them.
People from the middle- and lower-income brackets tend to look at money with an emotive eye. It brings out our deepest fears. These fears are not necessarily realistic. But fear that can drive a lot of other emotional responses.
There is the constant worry you won’t have enough money, especially when you live hand to mouth. It’s frustrating always to have to work within the tight confines of a budget. Most people tend to scrimp and save so they can afford to retire.
Rich people can afford to look at money from a dispassionate standpoint. They don’t need to fear running out of money or not having enough to retire on.
7. Pursuing a passion
Most rich people are doing their dream job. They have followed their passion and turned it into a job that earns them millions. They don’t walk away from a day’s work unhappy with what they do. Instead, they get paid for doing what they love. Imagine the power of going to work and loving every minute of it.
When you’re not rich, the odds are you’re slaving away at a job you don’t love. Circumstance and the need for an income drive your job choices, not your passions. People who are passionate about teaching are working in the private sector in other positions because the salaries are higher.
They cannot afford to follow their passion. Often, it traps them in a cycle of a job they hate but can’t afford to leave. They exist on the corporate myth that working harder helps you achieve more. This is not always the case. Sometimes, working smart or following your passion will unlock doors and wealth for you.
8. Bring it on!
Blessed is he who expects little, for he shall never be disappointed. If you set low standards, you can achieve them without feeling like a failure. However, continually expecting nothing more than you’re capable of will get you nowhere.
It’s like being on a treadmill. You’re moving, but you’re not getting anywhere. This is the fate of many of the middle class and poorer classes. Having little or no expectations of yourself makes you comfortable. However, it doesn’t make you productive.
Rich people are up for a challenge. They set high standards for themselves and have a set of expectations they want to live up to. These expectations may seem to defy the reality of their abilities.
But they’re something to work toward with every action. Rich people are goal-driven. They are looking ahead at what it is they wish to achieve. Without such high expectations, would they reach the pinnacles of wealth they do? It’s doubtful. Drive and willingness to accept a challenge are the key.
9. It’s all in the who, not the how
Rich people believe in themselves. It’s all about the persona and who they are. That’s why you might see they have a bit of a swagger about them. They tend to ooze self-confidence.
The rest of us believe we have to do something outstanding to achieve success. However, rich people think they have to be someone exceptional to achieve success. Take a minute and let that sink in.
We spend our lives doing things and waiting for the results that come from it. It’s important to see that and move beyond it. It’s not all in the doing, a lot of it is in the learning.
Most rich people have hit bumps in the road. Very few have had success from the moment they struck out to make it big. There have been successes and failures. They have learned from each one of those. Each has contributed to making them better at what they do, which garners them even more success and money.
10. Look outside your bank balance
Rich people aren’t afraid to borrow money to fund their ventures. They’ll get investors to help them support their next “big idea.” If they have a proven track record, this won’t be a problem. It’s a little more challenging when investors have no idea if you’re worth the risk of them parting with their hard-earned cash.
When you have an established wealth pattern, you won’t need to use your own money when you want to buy another business or start a new venture.
Those of us yet to make our mark and our first million have the wrong mindset. We believe we need to have money to make money. So, we never start the businesses we’ve dreamed of. We never launch that invention that could change the world.
Why? Because we believe we need to have saved up enough money to start our businesses. And when is that even going to happen, since we’re only earning enough to service our debts?
11. Rich people can read the market
Rich people know what drives the market. It’s simple. The fear and emotions drive the market we average people feel. The greed of investors drives it. When you know this, and you understand the market, it’s easy to identify possible trends. This helps rich people to make wise investments and add to their already enormous wealth.
People with a good handle on the market have a sound understanding of human nature and emotions. They can predict what will cause a panic in the market, and know how to exploit that to their ends.
The insatiable greed that drives the market is something rich people use to make decisions about investments. Fear and greed are the factors they take into consideration in their reading of market consideration.
The middle and lower classes see the market as a system driven by logic. It’s strategic, and follows a linear pattern. They don’t realize how their own emotions, such as fear, can drive the market.
12. They pass it on
Rich people teach their children how to be rich. From the outset, as soon as they can understand, the children of rich parents know something about them is different. They soon become aware of the difference between themselves and “other” people.
It’s easy to distinguish between the “haves” and the “have-nots.” That’s not to say that rich people teach their children to be snobby brats with elitist views. They show them about the reality of the world around them.
The children of rich parents are trained from a young age to want to be as rich as their parents. They might get a bit of help when they start out, but many will strike out on their own, determined to make their mark.
The have-nots tend to teach their children to survive. That means they teach them to budget and save. They make their children risk-averse because of the fear of what would happen if their venture fails.
13. Don’t worry, be happy
The way rich people view having money is different from average people. Rich people know having money makes life easier and more fun. They’re not afraid to admit it. Money solves problems and makes life enjoyable.
You have peace of mind when you have a lot of money. All things told, they cannot imagine living without having a lot of money. It frees them. They don’t have to worry about financial obligations. When it comes to finances, they’re way less stressed than everyone else.
People from the poorer classes and middle class see money as a necessity for survival. They don’t see it as a source of pleasure as such. For them, it’s more about getting enough money to make it until the next month. Money is said to be one of the most significant stressors in relationships for those who don’t fit into the rich bracket. There never seems to be enough of it. And the continual pursuit of it is exhausting and stressful.
14. Fun vs. learning
Strangely, you’d think the richer classes would value entertainment over education. After all, they’ve already made a success of themselves and made their fortune. Surely, they’d want to enjoy it. In many instances, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Rich people don’t feel the need to seek an escape through entertainment. Many of them place far more value on learning. This does not necessarily refer to formal education. They read extensively about the industry they’re part of. They read about a wide variety of topics. But most of all, they read about how to capitalize on their success and grow their wealth.
In a bid to escape the grinding realities of their lives, the middle class, and poorer classes, turn to entertainment. Entertainment takes their minds off their troubles. Only temporarily, of course. Afterward, the same problems are awaiting them again.
Despite their obsession with formal education, they don’t spend much time on self-education. They don’t foster and encourage life-long learning long after they’ve obtained their degrees.
15. Birds of a feather flock together
Rich people tend to associate with like-minded people. These people are typically wealthy as well. They have similar goals and expectations for themselves. This means they have a lot in common.
Those who fit into the average bracket tend to see rich people as snobs. They think because the rich hang around with the rich, they’re elitist. This isn’t always the case. What keeps rich people away from the middle class is the middle class’s negative attitude toward money.
The middle class spends a lot of time complaining about the state of their finances. Rich people don’t want to be around that negativity. It’s like a poison that spreads from the middle class to the upper classes.
Middle-class members will try to label the rich as snobs to make themselves feel better. They’re living quiet lives of desperation trying to survive. Making it sound as though it’s the rich class’s fault they don’t mix them feel better about the mediocrity that is their life.
16. Different Focuses
Rich people don’t focus as much on savings as poorer people do. More impoverished people don’t focus as much on earning as they do on savings. The focus of the two groups is different.
Rich people tend to focus on the gains they can accumulate from taking risks. They don’t worry as much about keeping a savings buffer. It’s the nature of their personalities. They thrive on uncertainty and venturing into the unknown. They spend time seeking financial advice on how to make more money than on how to save the money they have.
The rest of us are so focused on creating a nest egg for our retirement. We clip coupons and do whatever else it takes to save every cent possible.
This blinkered vision prevents us from seeing opportunities and seizing them. These are the very things we need to do if we want to join the affluent class. If the nest egg is your only focus, you’re going to miss out on going for big money.
17. It’s a bit like poker
When you play a game of poker, sometimes you must take a risk. You must consider your options. If you’re too prudent, you’ll avoid the risk. But there will come a time that you must gather your courage and go ahead. Think you can read your opponent and he’s bluffing? Assess your hand. If it’s good, call his bluff. If it’s not, fold or hold on and call his bluff anyway.
This this kind of risk-taking that distinguishes the rich from the middle classes and poorer classes. They know when to take the risk. They do some prior investigation, weigh up the risks and possible rewards and decide based on that. Once they’ve decided, they stick with it without prevarication. They win some, and they lose some.
The middle classes and poorer classes tend to hesitate when it comes to risk. They go into analysis paralysis. By the time they’ve made up their minds, the opportunity has passed them by.
18. The great unknown
The rich thrive on the uncertainty of the future. It is full of unknowns and limitless possibilities. It is precisely this fact that terrifies the middle class and poorer classes.
Average people seek comfort and security. It gives them a sense of ease. Rich people are prepared to put that all on the line to take advantage of an opportunity. The way average people approach the future is the path of least resistance. It’s easier to take no risks. But “easy” never got anyone anywhere.
The willingness of the wealthier classes to risk their comfort in pursuit of an opportunity separates them from average people. They know becoming a millionaire isn’t guaranteed, but they’re prepared to take the risk anyway.
The fact that they don’t fear the future makes it simpler for them to take that leap of faith. They know it may not be comfortable every step of the way. But they adapt and find a sense of comfortability despite existing in a world of uncertainty.
19. Having your cake and eating it
A lot of members of the middle class will piously warn the rich that they can’t have it all. They’ll say that they’re going to sacrifice their children to earn big money.
This is an argument they’ll use to justify not seeking their fortune. They hide behind statements like “I’d rather have a great family than a lot of money.” The mistake they’re making is assuming that having both is impossible. And it’s not.
This equation and balance between work and family can be achieved in any setting, whether you’re rich or poor. It’s a conscious decision. When you decide to have a great family, it doesn’t mean you must sacrifice the opportunity to pursue a business that will make you very wealthy.
It’s a balancing act, of course. But making money and having a happy family are not mutually exclusive. This is something that the rich understand. They don’t see it as a choice. They see it as a challenge to make the best of both.
20. Keeping it real
Rich people understand the value of living within their means. It sounds as if that’s easy for them because they have plenty of money. That may be true. However, a rich person who cannot afford a luxury yacht he wants will work until he can afford it. Rich people have a realistic sense of what the things they want cost. They weigh up if they can afford it or not before buying it.
Do a survey, and you’ll find that most average people live beyond their means. They have a lot of debt they need to service each month. A lot of them are incurring new obligations to service old liabilities.
They are inclined to want to “keep up with the Joneses” and buy things they cannot afford. This debt burden brings with it a great deal of fear and anxiety. It follows you wherever you go. And its end seems never to be in sight. This can affect your quality of life.
21. Being wealthy and healthy
The middle class and lower classes work so hard trying to make ends meet at the expense of their health. They neglect their physical and mental well-being so they can work to earn money. As a result, they’re susceptible to illness.
Also, an average person may not be able to afford the food that makes up a healthy diet. This can cause the early onset of disease. In short, ordinary people are unable to draw the line connecting health and wealth. They may not have as many health resources as the rich, but they do not make use of those they have.
Rich people know being healthy helps you to become wealthy. They consider their health as a contributor to the generation of wealth.
Therefore, rich people look after their health. They make sure they get the best healthcare money can buy to keep their bodies and minds in tip-top shape. They also work out regularly at a gym.
22. Focus on success
Rich people don’t only think about being successful. They don’t dream about it. They are fixated on it. The rich are obsessed with success. For them, success is not only defined by money. It is made up of several facets. Money is part of it. Acknowledgment plays a role. Being a winner is another. They are always thinking of ways to maximize their success.
Average people think the word “obsession” is a swear word! They believe if you become obsessed with something, you’ll neglect something else. Being obsessed with your career will make you a bad parent.
That’s why average people only think and dream about success. Their lack of obsession is missing. Tap into it, and an obsession with success will be the first step in the direction of achieving it.
You’re advised to create a plan to achieve your goal and make a success of yourself. Stick to the milestones on the action plan. Let them obsess you so that you reach them.
23. A dislike of waste
Regardless of how much money rich people have, they don’t like to see it wasted. You’ll find many of them get angry when food is wasted. They don’t like seeing their money slipping through their fingers unnecessarily. They find it unacceptable, and will not hesitate to act to avoid waste.
Many of the wealthiest people in the world are not obsessed with buying things they don’t intend to use. They’d rather have a few good suits than a wide array. When the time comes, they’ll replace the suits.
Average people can sometimes spend money on things they don’t need. They buy a lot of these things to make themselves feel happy.
This is a way of coping with the dissatisfaction their lives bring them. They don’t have the same approach to waste. It’s possible they view it as a part of life. This means that their hard-earned money sometimes goes down the drain. They’re not as frugal as they should be.
24. They love a bargain
Average people are always looking for a bargain. They clip coupons, buy in bulk, and wait for end-of-season sales. It helps them to afford to buy more with the limited resources they have.
This eases the spending of the monthly budget, which allows for a little bit more money to direct toward savings. It can be a bit of a pain to shop this way, but it’s the only way they can do it.
Believe it or not, some rich people have the same approach. They also clip coupons, buy in bulk and wait for end-of-season sales. That may sound crazy to average people. After all, rich people have plenty of money, so they don’t need to work on this system.
They don’t need to scrimp and save. Many wealthy people will argue that if you want to stay rich, you don’t waste money. You save wherever you can and keep an eye out for a good bargain.
25. Never say die
Many average people will pursue the dream they believe will be their chance to be wealthy. However, their efforts fail. Once that happens, they withdraw into themselves and never try again. The fear of failure is too high. They choose to quit.
Rich people don’t see quitting as an option. For them, failure is not the end of the world. It’s a learning experience. They don’t let it get in their way or get them down. It doesn’t leave them retreating and not trying again.
They don’t like a failure, just like the rest of us, but they don’t let it define them. If they don’t succeed the first time, rich people tend to keep trying. They will continue trying until they succeed. This drive is what separates them from the rest of us.
Average people need to accept that their first attempts may be unsuccessful. They should take heart from the fact that some of the world’s wealthiest people failed before they succeeded.
26. Reach for a team
Few multi-millionaires can boast that they achieved their success on their own without the help of anyone. This is unlikely to be true. Most successful, rich people have a team that they work with. The team is made up of people they trust and are willing to have in their “inner circle.”
Rich people believe in allowing others to assume certain responsibilities because they know they can’t do it all. When their business is in its infancy, they might have to do it all. But as soon as they see success on the horizon, they start to employ people they know will help them grow their business further.
Average people try to do it all alone. It scares them to share their growing success with others. They continue to try and do things alone, even once their business has grown.
The fact that they can’t cope with the demands of a growing business without getting help can cause the business to peter out and fail.
27. They can read people
You hear stories of people who’ve been conned out of their life savings by unscrupulous financiers. If you dig a little deeper, the victims of these scams come from the middle-class and poorer classes.
Their desperation to grow their savings so that they are sustainable means they are more susceptible to the scams. They don’t take the time to assess the person and their behavior and “read” the situation.
Rich people can size a person up and within seconds decide if they trust them or not. They know that if they believe the wrong person, they could lose it all. That’s a risk they feel they cannot take. They learn to read people from their body language and behavior and decide.
Rich people can pick out a fake in their area of expertise. With a few well-structured questions, they can decide if you know what you’re talking about or not. If you’re not an expert, don’t pretend to be one!
28. They don’t suffer fools gladly
If there’s one thing rich people won’t tolerate, it’s mediocrity. They want your all, or they don’t want you at all. When they delegate a task, they expect it to get executed immediately. No prevarication, hesitation, or inability to act will get tolerated.
Many wealthy people come across as ruthless in the way they conduct their business. They do not hesitate to fire people who have not delivered what they promised. This is because they don’t believe in carrying dead wood along for the journey. They also don’t want to be seen to accept less than the best when it comes to those who work with them.
Average people settle for mediocrity. They don’t feel they deserve more. When you have an average managerial job, you work hard, trying to manage your subordinates.
However, those workers who do nothing get away with it. And their managers accept it. A more ruthless approach would get people working or out the door.
29. They don’t forget where they came from
It’s a strange phenomenon. When someone from the poorer class elevates themselves to the middle-class, they shed their roots and move on. They don’t want to look back at where they came from.
Sometimes they’ll help their family, who is still in the poorer class, but sometimes they’ll leave them behind. Breaking the poverty cycle is very hard, so you cannot label these people as cruel. They’re realistic.
However, rich people tend to remember their roots. A lot of them return to the communities they came from and invest in them. This is something that is prevalent among those rich people who grew up poor in a bad neighborhood.
They go back and try to help their community and improve their quality of life. They start programs to help children and families in need.
But they won’t bankrupt themselves in the effort. However, they believe that going back to their roots keeps them humble. And it reminds them not to let their wealth go to their heads.
30. They encourage creativity
A lot of business success comes from the ability to think outside the box. Successful people are creative people. Creativity is often associated with being artistic. That’s only one aspect of creativity. Another is the ability to solve problems with unconventional approaches.
People who unlock their creativity can come up with solutions that make the difference between success and failure. Many wealthy people have had to come up with innovative solutions to build their businesses work. Most rich people believe that creativity is one of the key characteristics of a successful person.
Average people don’t place the same emphasis on creativity. Very few of them factor it into the recipe for success. They tend to conform and behave conventionally. Their approach to problem-solving would be rated as average.
This hampers their efforts to make room for themselves in the millionaire’s club. The same problem-solving skills as other people will not get you very far. You can train your brain to think outside the box.