“One of the reasons that millionaires are economically successful is that they THINK differently.” – Thomas J. Stanley, The Millionaire Next Door
The second most important concept to realize when it comes to finances and winning with money is that half of all of your earning potential is tied to whether or not you BELIEVE that you can earn. In The Millionaire Next Door, a 25 year study of millionaire’s in America, Thomas J. Stanley found that of all the 6, 7 and 8 figure earners in the US, something unique is found with all of them. Even if they LOSE all their wealth, MOST can EASILY begin to earn at that level again. Why is it that they can 1. earn that type of money in the first place (as of 2009 if you paid taxes on $112,000 or more, you are in the top 10% of wage earners) and 2. earn it again after you lose it? Especially when you consider that 90% of wage earners will never earn that much money per year in their lifetime?
The reason that the high earners can easily do it again, is because they KNOW that it’s possible. They have done it before, and therefore they believe. Our minds and the belief set that we carry with us has much more power than we give credit to.
When we first started our business, I (Zach) had never earned more than about $15,000 per year when I was working day jobs and then touring as a musician. I was 27 when we started our photography business, I had a 3rd grade education and had no marketable skills other than being able to play guitar well. But one thing dominated my mind when we started our business. I was TIRED of being average with everything I did!
That discontentment led me to a very strong desire to LEARN how to solve the problems that we had in the beginning of our business. Once I got a taste for knowledge, a taste of some small successes, then my belief of what was possible began to grow with it. Once we made the decision to run our business how we wanted instead of how everyone else was running theirs, we started to have success. We stopped listening to what most were doing (since most were doing well below average) and started INTENTIONALLY listening only to the top ten percent in our field and doing what they did.
The more we hit our goals (which were created to stretch our belief system), the more we believed that we could have success which translated into more success. Many people have the mindset that successful people must be jerks, people who take advantage of others or they are just plain lucky or were given their success by someone else. The REALITY is, that 9 out of 10 millionaires in America are self-made, you don’t know that they are millionaires because they don’t “act” rich (whatever that means), they drive 2 year old or older cars and are debt free (they didn’t become debt free when they had money, but when they were broke). They know how to work hard and they believe that they can go out and make the world better for themselves and those around them. They have overcome the Mind-Gap, the belief of what is truly possible.
Your homework for this week is to spend some time in your journal and ask yourself what YOUR belief system is around money and finances. Ask yourself these questions:
1. What do I want money for and what is it designed to do in my life? (Getting paid in business is the applause of your clients and nothing more. In your personal life, it is simply a tool to accomplish tasks like giving, saving and spending on things that HELP others. It should not be the goal of anyone’s life just to earn lots of it to use on yourself to buy things, because that will never make you happy).
2. Do I really believe that I could earn a larger amount of money than I am earning now?
3. Was I taught through my upbringing incorrect belief systems about earning and what money is designed to do?
4. Do I need to reassess my belief system and change my mind-set about earning?
Leave a comment below and let everyone know how you view money and what it is designed to do, and what your belief system growing up taught you about it.