Not too many financial courses or articles start with a review about your Beliefs about money. I start here, because how you think and feel about money is more important than almost anything else. Your best efforts and strategies will be for nothing if they don’t line up with your inner Beliefs.
There are many limiting Beliefs that deal with money. Here are just a few. Rich people are greedy and mean. You need to be really smart to have money. You have to be lucky or born with money. I’m poor so I’ll never have money. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Let’s look at some of these Beliefs, and how they might get started.
Rich people are greedy and mean. Have you ever seen a movie or a television show that featured happy well adjusted “Rich” people? Society promotes the idea that Rich people are misers, don’t care about others, have no morals, and got their money by cheating and taking advantage of others. If you really BELIEVE Rich people are like that, but you think of yourself as a GOOD person, that is an internal conflict that will never allow you to be RICH. Your Belief will sabotage any attempt for you to be Rich, because it is not in line with your Belief. Your mind can’t hold two opposite pictures of the same thing. You, as a nice person, and you, as Rich. If you truly BELIEVE that the number of “TOYS” you own is a measure of success, you will never get out of debt.
You need to be really smart (University or College Degree) to have money. If you want to keep your Universities and Colleges full, you better hope everybody buys into this belief. But is it really true? You need to be intelligent, and seize opportunities when they arise. You need to understand people and systems. That is not the same as Education (School) smarts.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, May Kay Ash, Henry Ford, Micheal Dell, Walt Disney, and Simon Cowell. Ever heard of them? Were Wilber and Orville Wright, Aeronautical Engineers? (They were bicycle mechanics credited with the first successful airplane flight.) Intelligence usually turns out to contain large amounts of, common sense, persistence, effort, will, and desire. These are just as, if not more, important than “Education”. It was Einstein who said “The only thing that interferes with my learning, is my Education”. Don’t get me wrong, an education is always a benefit, just never let the lack of an “education”, be an excuse! And never stop Learning.
Believing that you have to be born rich, or win a lottery, are also popular Beliefs. The problem with these Beliefs is that statistically , they don’t hold up. Generally, wealth only lasts 3 generations, and over 60% of lottery winners are back to their original financial situation within 7 years. The number 1 retirement plan in Canada is winning a lottery. What are your Beliefs about money??
After your basic Beliefs, the WHY is the next major factor. What is your reason to Accumulate Wealth? A better life for your family, more time, ability to travel, etc.
Mine is very simple. Freedom from having to wake up to an Alarm Clock, and having my day planned by someone else. The WHY is very important, because there will be many times that we will face tough decisions, setbacks, frustrations, and wanting to give up. It is at these times, if the WHY is big enough, that it will help us to get through the tough stuff. The Baby Steps are not hard, just not always easy.
The last major part of Step 1 is being able to overcome the Brain Washing that is applied to you everywhere you turn.
Always read and understand the fine print!
You have to spend money!! You NEED more Stuff!! Advertising plays on every belief that you have, if it will cause you to spend money. This is probably the hardest part about Wealth Accumulation. You can’t spend money on “stuff” you really don’t “need”, and Accumulate wealth at the same time. Saving is a concept that Society works very hard to promote publicly, but contradicts with every advertisement.
The Bank adds tells you that, “Your Richer than you think”, or “Saving can be this comfortable”. The next add is for a winter vacation that you can put on your Bank Credit Card. The Bank wins either way, BUT YOU DON’T! I have found that once I get people to actually listen to the adds, and how stupid they are, and how blatant they are, the adds loose their affect. Wealth Accumulation means not spending ALL your cash. It also means having to say NO to yourself sometimes. That is where the importance of the WHY comes in. Is the WHY more important than a short term “want”???
Can you DO WITHOUT TODAY, SO THAT YOU CAN DO MORE TOMORROW? If you answered yes, then you have taken the First Baby Step 2 Wealth.