If you’re looking to get rich, the best place to start is in your head. According to experts, accumulating wealth is more about mentality than anything else.
T. Harv Eker — who not only studied incredibly wealthy people, but worked his way up from nothing to millionaire status — noticed a crippling choice that the average person makes over and over again: “Most people choose to play small,” Eker writes in his book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.”
He says that most people settle for the bare minimum — to have enough money to survive — and aren’t willing to take the necessary risks to achieve great success and wealth.
“The masses operate from a fear and scarcity-based consciousness,” explains self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, who studied over 1,200 wealthy people. “Their fear is if they lose money they won’t be able to make it back.”
You can’t get rich with low expectations, the self-made millionaires preach. “When your intention is to have enough to pay the bills, that’s exactly how much you’ll get — just enough to pay the bills and not a dime more,” Eker writes.
While average people are playing not to lose, rich people are playing to win.
“The goal of truly rich people is to have massive wealth and abundance. Not just some money, but lots of money,” Eker writes. “Big thinking and big actions lead to having both money and meaning.”
They both say playing to win in any aspect of life requires an element of risk taking and a level of comfort with uncertainty, but it could be the difference between living an average life and living a rich life.
Note, however, that neither Eker nor Siebold is giving investing advice. “Playing to win” and choosing to “play big” is a mindset that pays off for many wealthy people and may fit everything from gunning for a major promotion to getting up three hours earlier for more productive days, but investing greats such as Warren Buffett don’t translate this approach into an investing strategy that applies to the typical investor — instead, Buffett in particular recommends the relatively conservative low-cost index funds.