What Rich People Do That Poor People Don’t
Back in 2004, a single mother on welfare by the name of Candy Adams won a cool $10.5 million from the Ontario lottery & Gaming Corp.
After becoming a millionaire literally over night, she started blowing her money on designer clothes, luxury cars, big houses, crazy parties and expensive vacations.
A decade after winning big, she had spent it all, every last penny… and she was back to living in a rented house and riding the city bus to her part-time job.
Candy’s story teaches us that wealth is not about money, but about mindset.
A rich-minded individual with only $100 to his/her name is much better off than a poor-minded individual with $1 million to his/her name.
If you don’t remember anything else from the rest of this article, please remember this — building wealth has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with your mindset.
1. The Rich are voracious readers.
“Read, read, read. Read everything.”
— William Faulkner
Warren Buffett, arguably the world’s greatest investor of all time (worth approximately $73.8 billion), was once asked about the key to success, he responded by pointing to a stack of books and answering —
“Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
He is not alone.
Mark Cuban (worth $3.4 billion) dedicates three hours a day to reading.
Bill Gates (worth $90.2 billion) reads 50 books a year, nearly a book a week.
Elon Musk (worth $15.2 billion) is an avid reader that claims he learned to build rockets by reading books.
If you want to become rich, you need to be reading books about how to become rich, not Googling “easy ways to make money”.
You become rich by expanding your knowledge base in areas like business, money, salesmanship and marketing — this can only be accomplished through reading.
2. The Rich are relentlessly resourceful.
“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
— Benjamin Franklin
When the founder of Pinterest was first working to build popularity around his app, he was what some might call relentlessly resourceful — persistent in his journey towards success, while having the ability to quickly and cleverly overcome obstacles and difficulties.
At the time, Pinterest wasn’t worth the $5 billion that it is today, nor did it have anywhere close to its massive following of 150 million monthly users.
So, in order to attract new users, Pinterest’s founder would sneak into Apple stores and set Pinterest as the default landing page on their display devices.
When customers would visit Apple to test out a Macbook or the latest iPhone, the first thing they would see after opening the screen was Pinterest.
This is how Pinterest gained users early on.
The majority of people in this position would either make excuses or give up the moment their big idea wasn’t gaining traction — blaming their environment, blaming themselves or blaming others.
Rich people don’t make excuses. Rich people are relentlessly resourceful, they always figure out a way to succeed and make more money, regardless of their circumstances.
When rich people are dealt a bad hand, they don’t blame the dealer, they shut the hell up and still figure out a way to win.
In the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
If you want to be rich, face every one of life’s challenges with these words in mind.
3. The Rich don’t save, they invest.
“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in a savings account? I rest my case.”
— Robert G. Allen
The concept of investing has been a subject of pure obsession for centuries now —a practice many of the world’s wealthiest and wisest swear by.
If you were to save $1,000 a month for the next 50 years… in 50 years you would have $600,000. This is a shit ton of money, certainly nothing to bat your eye at.
But, if you were to invest $1,000 a month for the next 50 years in an index fund that offered you a 7% return, in 50 years you would have nearly $4.9 million.
Like Mr. Robert G. Allen, I rest my case.
Albert Einstein famously stated, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.”
He was right, no other worldly wonder has the ability to make a poor man rich.
4. The Rich believe in positive energy and people
“Recognize the fortunate so that you may choose their company, and the unfortunate so that you may avoid them… do not die of another’s misery.”
— Robert Greene
Rich people recognize that they are the average of the five people they surround themselves with, so they surround themselves with a rich, successful and powerful bunch.
Anyone who wants to argue this may… but there is a reason politicians hang out with politicians, entrepreneurs hang out with entrepreneurs, professional athletes hang out with professional athletes, etc.
Highly rich and successful people surround themselves with individuals that are also highly rich and successful — and in turn, they avoid individuals who are unlucky and unfortunate.
***Please keep in mind, there is a difference between surrounding yourself with misfortunate individuals who have been brought down by events out of their control. I believe these types of individuals deserve all the time, money and attention in the world. A duty of the rich and successful is to help individuals who genuinely need it.
But, many times, individuals who are unhappy, unlucky and experience a lot of misfortune… bring it upon themselves.
Rich people realize they can only help individuals who are ready and willing to help themselves.
Rich people only offer help to butterflies with broken wings, not leeches searching to drain their time and energy without offering anything in return.
5. The Rich live with big expectations, setting clear easily-definable goals
“You’ve got to be careful if you don’t know where you are going, ’cause you might not get there.”
— Yogi Berra
When the lost Alice happened upon The Cheshire Cat, she asked for directions, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat answered Alice with a big (rather creepy) toothy smile, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
The story of Alice in Wonderland teaches us a valuable lesson — in life you better know where you want to end up, and you better figure out how you’re going to get there.
Let me ask you a few questions… How much money do you want to save this year? How much debt are you wanting to pay off this year? How much money do you want to be worth in 10 years?
Chances are, you haven’t thought about any of these questions. Humans have a bad habit of falling into a day to day routine where we subconsciously begin to go through the motions… and because of this we don’t feel like we are going anywhere.
If you want to be rich, don’t say ‘I want to be rich’.
If you want to be rich, set a specific number that you want to hit, and then map out how you are going to get there.
I could be wrong, but I don’t believe Warren Buffett woke up, decided he wanted to be rich, and then tapped his shoes.
No, I think Warren Buffett had a roadmap.
6. The Rich learn from other people’s mistakes
“After you burn your mouth on hot milk, you blow on your yogurt.”
— Old Turkish Proverb
While the cliche, “Never make the same mistake twice” is annoying, it is repeated so often because people are terrible at following it.
Fools make the same mistake over and over again. Smart people make a mistake only once. Rich people learn from other people’s mistakes.
In the words of Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the richest of the Rothschild Banking Dynasty and at onetime the richest man on earth —
“It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a fortune; and when you have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it.”
Quite a few people will say making mistakes is the only way to put yourself in a position to one day succeed, which may be true — just don’t make a costly mistake.
Building wealth is less about risking money for big gains, and more about not losing it to stupid mistakes.
What rich people do that poor people don’t — they realize they are rich before they ever make any money at all, then they work every damn day to create a reality that matches the wealth in their mind.
By Cole Schafer