Is that elusive goal of “millionaire” status still seemingly out of reach to you? For years I thought that attaining millionaire status was just “luck of the draw”. Some people were “meant” to be rich, and others were “meant” to be poor. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to change my dire financial situation, so I figured that was a sign that I wasn’t destined to be rich – or even financially stable.
Wealth: The Not-So-Elusive Truth About Having Money
Even though I felt like financial stability was out of my reach, for some reason I kept trying to find it. I was so sick and tired of struggling for money, and I knew I must be missing something. Eventually I stumbled onto personal finance blogs and books. It’s been a long, tough road of ups and downs, but we are finally winning with money.
I’ve had to read and re-read many books and blog articles in order to get the truth about wealth through my thick head. I’ve had to search deep inside myself and find out the real reason behind my and my husband’s money struggles. And guess what I found out?
I learned that there are reasons why people remain poor despite their efforts, and reasons why people get rich despite starting out with dire, dire circumstances. The reasons, honestly, are endless. But here are ten of the most prominent lessons I had to learn about why some people get rich and why so many others stay poor. Do any of them apply to you?
1. There’s No Shortage of Money
For years I thought that there was a finite amount of money and it was divided up between the haves and the have nots in whatever proportion it was. It wasn’t until I read the Grant Cardone quote “There’s no shortage of money, only a shortage of people thinking big enough.” I read this quote in another book, but it turns out that Grant, a highly successful business mogul, has his own book on the subject, and it gets rave reviews on Amazon.
Recommended Reading: The 10X Rule: The Only Difference Between Success and Failure
Ironically, I learned about Grant’s massive action theory through a podcast episode I listened to, and it’s already doing BIG things for us in our financial life. More on that later. The point is that in order to really increase your wealth, you can’t succumb to the belief that money is in shortage in the world. It’s just a matter of learning how to get it and learning how to manage it.
Related Reading: 50 Great Side Hustle Ideas
2. Education is Vital
Which leads me to the next thing millionaires know about gaining wealth: they know that education is vital. Tom Corley, in his book Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, shares that 88% of the wealthy read non-fiction articles or books for 30 minutes or more every single day.
Why? Because they understand that education is vital to their success. It’s for that reason that I never stop reading books and blogs on money and success, and for that reason that I continually share powerful articles and books on this blog as well. Education is what has gotten us out of roadblocks and barriers to financial freedom.
Despite what you might think or feel, you’ll never know it all, and neither will I. Make education on the subjects that are most important to you a top priority, and you’ll soon learn enough to achieve what you want to achieve.
3. It’s Not About Destiny; it’s About Choices
I know I may get some flack on this one, but after living nearly 50 years on this earth, I firmly believe it’s true. I was talking to someone not long ago who is struggling with money. Their job is a job that many would consider unworthy, but they definitely make above the poverty scale wage – in fact they make well over $20 an hour.
As we discussed their money situation, this person said to me “I guess it’s just the hand I was dealt.”
Truth: No one makes you work at the job you work it, and no one makes you manage your money the way you manage it.
I know that’s a tough truth to face, and it’s one Rick and I have had to face multiple times in our journey to get out of debt. I’m not saying this to hurt you. Instead, I want to you be encouraged in knowing that you do have options. You can get a better – or different – job. You can change your spending habits.
When we hit our second tough financial stretch this year – just this month – I was frustrated. Sick of the one step forward two steps back dance.
Just for accountability reasons, I went back and looked at our expenditures (yes, I track ALL of my spending) for the last six months. Although many of the expenses were justifiable, I did find $2500 that we could have not spent. $650 of that was for a dermatologist appointment that I could’ve spent closer to $200 at. There were a couple of spots on my face I was concerned about.
The dermatologist said they weren’t anything to worry about, but I made him remove them anyway and send them in for testing. Turns out the dermatologist did know what he was talking about and I wasted $450. I’m not regretting that I went to the appointment, but I am regretting that I didn’t trust his expertise and made him remove the spots.
The rest of the stuff was mostly little expenditures here and there. Months where we could’ve cut the grocery and the gasoline bill a bit more. Some small restaurant expenditures.
I could justify these expenses all day long but the fact of the matter is that if I wouldn’t have spent this extra $2500, our major house and car repair bills wouldn’t have hurt quite as badly as they did.
Successful people know that their choices, however seemingly insignificant they are, make an impact on their future.
4. What You Believe Makes a Difference
Somebody else who is struggling with money said to me the other day “I just can’t see us being able to afford (that) anytime soon.
Guess what: If you can’t “see” it, it’s not going to happen. Where money is concerned, I call this Beating the Broke Mindset. As long as you believe you’ll always struggle for money, you will. Once you start believing you have the power to make changes, you will.
If you want the kind of success that ensures you’ll achieve your goals, you need to start believing that you can do it. You need to start seeing yourself as successful. As you do, you’ll retrain your mind to make choices that line up with how you see yourself.
5. There are Many Roads to Wealth
Wealth doesn’t just have to come via inheritance. Or a high paying job. The key to wealth is to create one or more streams of income and learn to manage that income well.
I would also add that while you can get wealthy on just one income, don’t limit yourself to just one income. Start exploring your dreams. What do you like to do? What are you good at? And how can you take those things and make an income or some side hustle money out of them?
Just because Warren Buffett got rich through investing doesn’t mean you have to. Just because Robert Kiyosaki got rich through real estate doesn’t mean you have to. Figure out what you’re good at and start educating yourself on how to make money at it. Then, learn how to manage that money in a way that promotes growth and not poverty.
6. Time is Valuable – Use Yours Wisely and Don’t Procrastinate
Two-thirds of wealthy people spend less than an hour a day watching TV or surfing the Internet – unless it’s job related.
In other words, they don’t waste time. Instead, they spend their time learning how to make more money and how to make the money they have work for them, so that they can spend more time doing the things they love, like being with family and friends.
Piddling away the average 5+ hours a day on screen time that does nothing to improve your quality of life is a choice we can all make – or we can choose instead to partake in activities that will improve our quality of life and the padding on our bank account.
It all depends on what your goals are.
7. Health is Valuable – Take Care of Yours
I struggled for years with emotional eating. Instead of eating to fuel my body, I ate to get a short-term high that would help me forget that my life wasn’t the way I wanted it to be. Other people do this all the time and it results in potentially deadly diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease.
We can’t always control our health, but we can do everything in our power to give our bodies a fighting chance against disease. Or we can help them along the road to diminishing health by filling our days with processed foods and inactivity.
Money and Success are nothing without the good health to enjoy them. Take care of your body. You deserve it!
8. Wasting Money Diminishes Your Chances of Getting Wealthy
This may seem obvious, but I’m bringing it up because our own road to tens of thousands of dollars in consumer debt was paved largely with small, seemingly inconsequential purchases. Dinners out. Clearance clothes from Target. Cable TV subscriptions.
I hate to tell you this, but all of your “it’s just a little bit, it’s just $20, it’s just $50” purchases are hindering you from achieving the financial security you so desperately want. They did for us for years.
It was only when we started to track our spending and to stop making those little purchases in favor of building wealth that we started to see true change in our money situation.
And guess what: we are surviving not spending money on restaurants and trips to the water park or amusement park. In fact, we’re thriving because we’ve largely stopped spending money on those things. We’re “living like no one else lives now so that later we can live like no one else lives” only in a really AWESOME way where we can pay CASH for cars and vacations.
9. Goals and Wishes are Two Different Things
Have you ever found yourself saying “I wish I had more money”? I have. I “wished” it for nearly twenty years. It wasn’t until Rick and I sat down and made a doable plan for eliminating our debt and building our wealth reserves that those “wishes” started coming true.
Wishes will stay wishes forever until you set some goals and make a doable, step-by-step plan to achieve those goals.
Recommended Reading: The Law of Success In Sixteen Lessons by Napoleon Hill
10. Who You Surround Yourself with Makes a Difference
This might be tough to hear, but if you continually have people with no dreams, goals or discipline as your inner circle of friends, you will likely continue to struggle financially and otherwise.
If you want more out of life but can’t or don’t want to change your inner circle of friends who might be encouraging you to stay with the status quo, at least develop online relationships with those who have like-minded goals.
We don’t have many IRL friends who have the same dreams of success and wealth that we do, but we have a solid group of online friends that inspire us every single day to keep on moving forward.
This group of friends, bloggers and podcasters help us to pick ourselves up when we fail, to learn new things that keep us moving forward, and to challenge ourselves to keep improving.
They help us to overcome obstacles like fear and a lack of knowledge. They encourage us when we’re feeling defeated. And because many of them have the same types of visions for their own success, they know what they’re talking about.
If you have big dreams and aspirations of becoming a millionaire or business success, start hanging around with people that have those same goals and dreams. Learn from them. Let them speak knowledge into your life. And encourage them in return.
Becoming a millionaire or reaching whatever other dreams you have is not impossible. It just takes a simple willingness to learn and to keep taking steps forward toward your goal every. single. day. You in?