How Do Successful People Think: 21 Differences Between Rich People Mindset & Average People Mindset

by - March 03, 2022

Believing in yourself alone won’t make you rich, but it’s enough to drive you to take the action that will make you rich.

The differences in the way people think about money results in wealthy people who are continuing to amass fortunes while the other group is sitting on the sidelines worrying about the bills they have to pay.

These sorts of beliefs are usually programmed in childhood by well-meaning parents, teachers, and others of influence.

However, rich people managed to change these beliefs along the way.

This article contains 21 differences between rich people mindset & average people mindset.

Ready? Let's dive right in!

01. Average people focus on saving… Rich people focus on earning.

The masses are focusing on saving and protecting the money they saved. They’re driven by fear of loss.

The world-class thinkers understand the importance of saving and investing. However, instead of fearing the future, they’re directing their energy towards building wealth and looking for opportunities to serve others. “One group is operating from fear, the other, from abundance.”

02. Average people believe money is earned through labor… Rich people believe money is earned through thought.

The middle class believes that making money is a linear process connected directly to time. They believe that the only way for them to make more money, with the exception of raises and bonuses, is by working more hours.

World-class, on the other hand, believes that big money is made in a non-linear way. They generate wealth through ideas that solve problems. They believe that the more ideas you generate, the more money you’ll earn. Then they leverage other people’s efforts, maximizing the result of every action they take.

At the end of the day, one group is mentally and physically exhausted, the other one is fresh and excited thinking of new ideas that will keep the first group employed.

03. Average people believe money is the root of all evil… Rich people believe poverty is the root of all evil.

The biblical passages stating that money is the root of all evil has been misquoted by the masses. The middle class believes that money, itself, is the root of evil.

The wealthy, on the other hand, blazes past these limiting beliefs. He knows that while money won’t guarantee happiness, it gives you freedom and makes your life easier and more enjoyable.

The world-class sees money as a positive tool that has the power to create freedom for them to live the life they want.

What the average person fails to see is that the wealthy are those who are paying more taxes in a year than the average does in a lifetime. They’re the ones who are donating substantial sums to charities and keeping them going.

04. Average people believe being rich is a privilege… Rich people believe being rich is a right.

The masses believe that wealth is a privilege awarded only to lucky people. The world-class believes that they have the right to be rich as long as they’re creating massive value for others.

With such differences in beliefs, the average resort to the lottery in the hope of getting rich. They believe that it’s their only chance to get rich. Meanwhile the world-class goes to work solving others’ problems.

05. Average people believe money is complicated… Rich people believe money is simple.

The middle class believes that making money is a mysterious secret. That one has to be super smart or lucky to become wealthy.

The world-class believes that money flows from ideas. The more value you create, the wealthier you become.

You trade solutions for the money. The bigger the solution, the bigger the paycheck, it’s that simple.

06. Average people believe rich people are crooks… Rich people believe rich people are ambitious.

The average person believes that rich people become wealthy through dishonest and deceitful ways.

The world-class knows that most fortunes were built through ambition and drive.

The average person is willing to criticize the rich in order to minimize their achievement and justify his own mediocrity.

Meanwhile, world-class thinkers are taking full responsibility for their own life and are directing their energy towards taking action and solving problems.

07. Average people worry about running out of money… Rich people dream about how to make more money.

The average person was programmed since childhood to deny money’s significance by believing that he shouldn’t care about money.

At the same time, the average person is spending an inordinate amount of time worrying about money.

The world-class thinkers, on the other hand, are focused on building wealth so they won’t have to worry about money.

Once they become among the wealthy, they continue to work because they love what they’re doing.

08. Average people believe the road to riches is paved with formal education… Rich people believe the road to riches is paved with specific knowledge.

The Middle class believes that prosperity is only reached through a good formal education that will allow you to get a good job.

The world-class thinkers know that a job is the slowest path to prosperity and thus, while understanding the importance of education, they realize that formal education has little to do with building wealth.

Instead, they amass their wealth through specific knowledge that they often look for in other rich people.

09. Average people believe in financial scarcity… Rich people believe in financial abundance.

The middle class believes that money comes in a limited amount. That it is hard to make and harder to keep.

Meanwhile, the world-class thinkers, strongly, believe that money flows from ideas and since ideas are limitless, there’s no limit to how much money you can make.

10. Average people think about spending… Rich people think about investing.

The masses are living beyond their means. They’re earning so little that they have to spend it all in order to live decently.

The world-class performers, on the other hand, are living way below their means, simply because they can never spend all they’re earning.

Instead of focusing on saving money, they direct their focus toward investing and generating new ideas.

11. Average people focus on pleasurable activities… Rich people focus on money-making activities.

The majority of people drag themselves every morning to a job they don’t like while simultaneously worrying about getting fired. They do it because they need the money and because they had been conditioned by society to think that physical or mental effort equates money.

As a result, the masses spend a substantial amount of time entertaining themselves. They use pleasure as an escape from the stress of their lives.

Meanwhile, world-class thinkers focus their attention on making money from doing the things they love. Their passion fuels their efforts and as a result, they’re enjoying the time they spend working.

12. Average people are waiting to be rescued from financial mediocrity… Rich people know no one is coming to the rescue.

The masses are passively waiting for their lives to improve. They’re waiting for someone to rescue them. The hero they’re waiting for might be God, the government, their partner, their employer…

The world-class, on the other hand, knows no one is coming to the rescue. They realize that it’s not about getting what you want, but the person you become along the journey.

Self-made millionaires are happy, not because they’re rich. Their happiness stems from setting goals and fighting hard to achieve them. Money doesn’t make them happy.

If you’re not happy without money, you won’t be happy with it. Money makes life easier but it has little to do with happiness.

13. Average people believe rich people are smarter… Rich people believe rich people are more savvy.

If the key to building wealth is intelligence, every summa cum laude college graduate would be rich.

Some people were born with a natural gift for making money, but most rich people have learned this skill following the example of another rich person.

The world-class thinkers know that the key to building wealth is getting well informed about earning and investing money. They’re not particularly more intelligent than the average person; they’re just more savvy when it comes to making money.

14. Average people believe money changes people… Rich people believe money reveals people.

The masses believe money turns people into greedy, selfish and corrupt people. This is one of the excuses people use to blame money for as many things as possible and justify their own mediocrity.

The world-class thinkers, on the other hand, know that money or any kind of power and freedom reveals the true person. If a person is a cheater before he was rich, he’ll be worse when he’s wealthy. If he was a humble person before he was rich. He’ll be even better with more money and power.

15. Average people believe in working for money… Rich people believe in working for fulfillment.

The masses are going to jobs they hate simply because they need the money. They don’t know of any other way to make money except for working hard and putting in more hours.

The world-class thinkers go through an extensive searching process to discover what they love and make money out of doing it.

They could be working longer than the average person, but they love what they do and thus it feels as if they’re not working at all.

16. Average people believe you have to do something to get rich… Rich people believe you have to be something to get rich.

The masses believe that there is a secret to success. That there are certain things you need to do in order to become rich.

The world class, on the other hand, believes that it’s not what you do that guarantees wealth, it’s what you are.

The world-class has a fundamental belief that they have the right to be rich, fulfilled, and happy. These beliefs lead them to behave accordingly.

No matter how many times they fail, they end up achieving outstanding success.

17. Average people play it safe with money… Rich people take calculated risks.

Operating from a fear and scarcity perspective, the masses are extremely cautious when it comes to their money. They’re afraid that if they ever lost their money, they won’t be able to make it back.

The world-class employ money to make more. They know that while the gain can be sudden and staggering, there will be losses along the way.

In the end, they’ll always be able to make more money.

The more experienced they become, the smarter they get, and the faster they can earn money.

18. Average people believe jobs are the safest way to earn money… Rich people believe outstanding performance is the safest way to earn money.

The masses believe that getting a good education and getting a good job is your way to prosperity.

World-class thinkers, on the other hand, believe that this path, promoted as the safest, is actually the slowest path to prosperity.

They, instead, believe that the fastest way to wealth is to work for yourself and decide how much money you want to make.

19. Average people deny the importance of money… Rich people know money is a critical component of life.

The middle class believes that by denying the importance of money they’re telling the world that they’re above materialism. At the same time, they’re struggling with the fear of ending up broke.

Meanwhile, world-class thinkers are focusing on making more money knowing that it’ll create more opportunities and give them more freedom.

20. Average people equate money with stress… Rich people equate money with peace of mind.

The masses associate money with negative feelings. They see money as a necessary evil that must be endured as a part of life.

The world-class thinkers see money as a liberator that is giving them financial peace of mind. they know that money can make many problems disappear.

21. Average people think small…Rich people think big.

The masses are more focused on small details and petty problems. They’re wasting so much time and energy on gossip and drama that they have little to none left for creative thinking and problem-solving.

Meanwhile, world-class thinkers are ignoring the small thinking and are using every unit of mental energy available each day to think big and solve others’ problems.

Action Step: a practical guide to change your thoughts and become wealthy

- Make a list of the five major beliefs you have about money that you know are true… and challenge the validity of each one.

- Identify every middle-class belief you have about money or rich people and upgrade each one of them to the world-class level.

- Start telling yourself on a daily basis that money is your friend and a positive force in your life.

- Start telling yourself every day that you have everything you need to be as rich as you desire.

- Decide right now that you will take full responsibility for your life, that you’ll never blame anyone else for anything that happens in your life.

- Decide today to become a life-long student and take control of your own self-education. Read books, listen to audiobooks, and attend workshops on subjects that can help you build your fortune.

- Talk to a couple of people who seem to be doing what they love while living a fabulous lifestyle, and ask them how they did it.

- Read a biography about a self-made rich person you admire.

- To stoke your desire, create a written vision for what you want your life to look like five years from now.

- Make a list of the top five reasons you want to be rich.

- Make a list of the freedoms you will gain when you are wealthy.

- How much money is enough for you? Identify your number and create a plan to achieve it. You can always adjust your number and your plan as you evolve.

- Decide today to make money a bigger priority in your life and make a commitment to becoming wealthy.

- Think about what you want and what you’re willing to sacrifice to get it. Your discipline and dedication must match your desire.

- Describe your ultimate job, career, or business in writing.

- Create a daily plan of action that will move you closer to building financial independence.

- Raise the level of expectation you have for your life and do not be surprised when good things happen.

- Make a decision to limit the amount of time you spend with people with middle-class beliefs about money. Remember that consciousness is contagious.

- Set a goal to double the amount of time you spend associating with people who are richer than you.

- Make a decision to increase your level of self-reliance in all areas of your life.

- Make a list of 5 things you must do today that are uncomfortable but will help you build your financial fortune.

- Make a decision to go for your dreams while you still have the chance. Remember that one day your time will run out.

- Do some research and find out if anyone is making a living doing what you’d love to do.

- Decide today to begin directing all the mental energy you spend worrying about money to building your fortune.

- Identify the biggest problem in your business or industry, that if solved, would earn you a fortune. Then go solve it.

- Always look for the obvious, simple, linear solution first. If that doesn’t work, start brainstorming the unobvious, more complex, non-linear solutions.

- Write down 10 of your biggest and best business and investment ideas and select your favorite to court potential investors.

- Do a personal and professional risk assessment of your finances and career. You may discover that starting a business is less risky than you think.

- Mentally prepare yourself for the tidal wave of criticism you are about to encounter on your way to riches by expecting it. Don’t ever be surprised when the masses attack you.

- Decide to be proud of your ambition, and ignore people who tell you wanting to be rich is wrong.

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Portions of this article were adapted from the book "How Rich People Think” by Steve Siebold, 2010. All rights reserved.

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