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Mind Over Money: Key Differences Between a Rich Mindset and a Poor Mindset

Updated on March 22, 2024 Updated on March 22, 2024
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Maybe you are rich. Perhaps you are poor. Perhaps you have experienced being both at some point in your life. If you haven’t figured it out, being rich isn’t all about money. It’s about well-being, abundance, time, success, and the right mindset.

Social issues contribute to poverty; however, rich vs. poor mindsets can also drive wealth and success.

Many poor people with a rich mindset are financially poor due to circumstances. And there are many trust fund babies with a poor mindset.

A simple shift in your mindset can point you in the right direction to becoming as wealthy as you want.

1. Resourcefulness

A rich mindset understands that the first goal is to gain a surplus of resources. Then, use that surplus to accelerate things. Accelerate education. Accelerate a business. Accelerate the next generation.

A poor mindset immediately sees a surplus as an opportunity for consumption and inflates its lifestyle.

Challenge Yourself: Create a 30-day list. If you have to wait for your paycheck to buy something, it better be something you absolutely need. Think about where you can accelerate things and build your personal advantage.

Newton's cradle, with the first ball swinging

2. Gaining Momentum

A rich mindset seeks to spend their time, resources, and energy on work that continues to pay off long after the effort has been invested. A rich mindset is all about getting a flywheel spinning and building momentum. They are creating systems that continue to generate value on their own.

A poor mindset is all about short-term returns. Hours-for-dollars. Resources invested without an immediate return are resources wasted.

Challenge Yourself: Investing is critical, and you need to find space for it. Your 401k is a great start. Another area of focus is your personal productivity.

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3. Risk vs. Reward

risk reward

A rich mindset is willing to invest resources with seemingly no reward right away. Not everything has a clear path to profitability; you have to take a chance and try. It’s about risk vs. reward. 

A Poor mindset’s immediate thought is, “What’s in it for me?”. Why pay money to fly to that conference, pay for the hotel, and spend all the time when they’re not even paying you?

Challenge Yourself: You need to be willing to take calculated risks because no reward worth discussing comes without risk. Being uncomfortable is Important; it means you’re growing.

4. Meaningful Relationships

A rich mindset seeks to build relationships based on trust, shared values, and mutual respect. People with a rich mindset help others and cultivate relationships without expecting anything in return.

A poor mindset thinks, “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.”

Challenge Yourself: You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Start making new friends who have a rich mindset. Go to a local meet-up group and meet some people you can learn from.

Be the dumbest person in the room. Make connections with smarter people, and you’ll all win. Smarter people make smart people even more successful.

rich vs poor success

5. Reputation

A rich mindset understands that its reputation is everything, that trust and respect are earned slowly, through hard-fought, bloody effort – and that both can be lost instantly.

A poor mindset believes it can get away with compromising its reputation to make a quick buck.

Challenge Yourself: Take the high road. Always consider the consequences of your actions/decisions.

6. Luck Meets Opportunity

A rich mindset knows that the world isn’t fair and deals swiftly, humbly, and practically with reality. It knows the world owes it nothing, that the universe is indifferent to its existence, and that the default for life is suffering and death. All successes are improbable and should be appreciated as such.

A poor mindset is consumed by the unfairness of the world and wastes time complaining about it. It feels like the world owes it something and waits for it to be handed out.

Challenge Yourself: Entitlement. Get something you want this week. Then, if you get it, appreciate that luck met opportunity. If you don’t get it, appreciate your effort and take some time to try and understand why. Be humble.

Two people giving each other air fives.

7. Celebrate Others

A rich mindset celebrates the successes of others, embraces the competition, and often befriends it. You have two choices, tear down another person’s success or be inspired by the example.

A poor mindset feels jealousy and bitterness about the successes of others, and it looks at everything as a zero-sum game.

Challenge Yourself: There will always be people who have accomplished more and most likely have done it better than you. Find a competitor and make them your mentor. Lead with humbleness and gratitude, and you will be greatly rewarded.

“Change The Way You Look At Things And The Things You Look At Change” – Wayne Dyer

8. Mentor Mindset

A rich mindset understands that one can never know everything and that something can be learned from everyone.

A poor mindset deludes itself into believing it knows everything and those opposing perspectives are wrong before even hearing them.

Challenge Yourself: Seek to place yourself in a situation where you are inexperienced and uncomfortable. If you are against gun control, read some well-thought-out arguments for gun control. If you are for gun control, read some well-thought-out arguments against gun control.

Allow yourself to build a broad well-informed perspective and allow yourself to change your mind. The most idolized people in history are almost uniformly unafraid of changing their opinions based on new information.

9. You Can’t-Do It All

A rich mindset understands that it cannot do everything and that even if it could, it would create greater value by focusing on its core strengths. It knows that the right team is greater than the sum of its parts.

A poor mindset deludes itself into thinking that it can do everything if it just works hard enough.

Challenge Yourself: Read Essentialism. Just because something needs to be done doesn’t mean you need to do it. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s not about getting less done. It’s about getting only the right things done. It’s about the pursuit of the right thing, in the right way, at the right time.

02/16/2023 04:37 am GMT

10. Embracing Competition

A rich mindset embraces competition and knows that iron sharpens iron.

A poor mindset is discouraged by Competition. It complains, “Someone else got there first,” or “They’re obviously going to catch up to me; I might as well quit now.”

Challenge Yourself: Listen Money Matters was late to the personal finance game. Before I started, multiple people had sold their brands for millions of dollars – people I’ve met. Yet, somehow, there was still space.

Lady Gaga existed before Taylor Swift, and one doesn’t hamper the success or potential growth of the other. There’s a piece of the pie for everyone, and the first step is showing up.

11. Know When to Quit

A rich mindset quits strategically. It plans to quit in advance when it realizes the potential gains of pursuit are either unreachable with current resources or aren’t worth the pain of the work involved.

A poor mind quits in reaction to pain and short-term discomfort.

Challenge Yourself: Quitting a job over an argument with a boss vs. using that argument to fuel their job hunt and getting an alternative before they leave their current position. Shitty things happen every week; let those experiences propel you forward. Don’t be so reactionary.

12. War of Attrition

A rich mindset sticks it out when the going gets tough, provided that the pursuit is worthwhile. It understands the idea of “The Dip” – that anything worth doing will be hard. It understands that the rewards are reaped by those who push through the difficulties of a pursuit precisely because the will to push through is scarce.

A poor mindset sticks things out due to stubbornness. It places too much importance on sunk costs.

rich vs poor the dip

Challenge Yourself: I attribute much success in my professional life and business to the war of attrition. People quit; you need to outlast them. However, understanding that spent time and money is gone, so their expenditure shouldn’t heavily weigh on your decision.

13. There’s No Such Thing As Done

A rich mindset understands that there is no “I made it.” No “done.” Challenges and learning define life.

A poor mindset believes that one day they’ll be able to “retire” – to kick back and do nothing. That all work is simply “paying dues” on the way to a life of leisure. Ironically, this kind of mindset stifles the ambition and drive required to ever get to the point of having that kind of life as an option.

Challenge Yourself: If you didn’t have to work for the rest of your life, what would you do every day? This hobby, be it gardening, cooking, teaching, etc., should be something you focus on and cultivate.


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Show Notes:

Order of Man Podcast

Menfluential Conference 

The Dip By Seth Godin

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Laura Fiebert - Head of Operations Laura is a huge part of what keeps LMM going. She edits the podcasts, books the guests, writes, manages social media (except twitter, she hates it) and a million other things that keep the wheels turning. Most importantly makes sure everything gets done.

She's an avid knitter, wine drinker, and thrifter. A passion of Laura's is second-hand shopping and refashioning vintage clothing. She now has a side business reselling thrift store finds using Poshmark. You can check out her closet here Very soon she'll be launching a site documenting how she runs her Poshmark business so she can teach others how to make money thrift flipping.
She loves cheap champagne, traveling and crappy reality TV.
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