I grew up on a farm in Nebraska. My family has always worked hard for their money, and as a result, I have always equated working hard with making money, not knowing that my beliefs could not be further from the truth. When I educated myself on human behavior and financial strategies, I learned that it's actually people who make their money work hard for them, not people who work hard for their money, who end up making more money. Since creating my millionaire making program, I have learned that I am not alone. There are many people who share the same myth.
Just like our views on many things people, relationships, food, and health to name a few our beliefs come from our parents, our teachers, and other adults in our lives. And it goes back further, beyond them, back to the state in which they lived, or what they learned from their parents, what their parents learned from their parents, and so on. This belief is ingrained, and because it's usually subconscious, the cycle continues — until someone breaks it. You can break the cycle. Beliefs about money are many and varied, but in my research I have found that there are a few that predominate.
Rare money. Some of us had parents or grandparents who lived in the Great Depression, an era that rooted entire generations in a scarcity mindset. These people pass on to their children the idea that money is not widely available and that when it does arise, spending should be limited and saving is a must. If any of the following has ever crossed your mind—“A penny saved is a penny earned,” “Don't put it in savings,” or “We can't afford it”—then you have this perspective and these days looming rain. Money doesn't grow on trees. This threat creates a scary relationship with money.
Money is evil, dirty, or bad. Some of us have parents or grandparents who believe that roads leading to bad places are paved with green. They have only ever seen the drawbacks of the rat race, the disadvantages of the pursuit of money, and the courage and pleasure of those who have too much money. Some even believe that rich people are bad people. Novels and films often highlight the idea that it is crooked people who make money. The meek will inherit the earth. Such prophecies create a hands off relationship with money.
Money comes every month. The most common way to earn a living is to work, either with a company or as a skilled professional, for a weekly wage or an annual salary. Historically, it provided the safe and secure thing that the head of the household needed. However, that level of risk is usually offset by an equivalent level of reward — low and low. For most, even those who do very well, working for a company or as a skilled professional is a limited opportunity. Except for outrageous exceptions, the average CEO of the average company making six figures a year will still experience only a few raises in his lifetime. Slow and steady wins the race. Such fables create a careful relationship with money.
Money is not for me. Some people feel that they don't deserve to be rich or that there is only so much millionaire cake to share. Creating wealth and financial freedom is available to everyone. It's our right to be rich, and my hope is that people take their space and know they deserve it. By making money, you don't take it from someone else; this isn't Bonnie and Clyde Go to the Bank. By making money, you create a greater capacity to contribute, and it is your job to do this. They are better than me. Such a saying creates a losing relationship with money.
Money is a man thing. There was a time when men made and managed household money. That time wasn't that long ago, and some of you probably grew up with that kind of conditioning. Despite gender trends, for example, men tend to carry more money in their pockets than women and are more likely to invest than women, the reason behind this is not genetic; they are false realities created from years of conditioning. Women and men need to understand that money knows no gender. One of my programs that really resonated with up-and-coming wealth builders was “Wealth Diva: A Man Is Not a Plan.” This is a must-have seminar for every man and woman, and the daughters and sons they love. Let him take the bacon home. Such a perception creates an apathetic relationship with money.
Money is good medicine. For some, retail therapy goes a long way; no trouble new blouse can not cure. Today, we live in a culture of consumerism, and many of us use money to fill unsatisfactory holes in our lives. Some people grow up with a sense of entitlement about money, assuming their parents or a trust fund will always pay for everything, and in the process, they become careless about what they have. This is a vicious and unproductive cycle. New cars get old, closets are full of clothes, and toys pile up in the playroom. This is not to say there aren't beautiful things to buy and spend; after all, money should be fun. But like overeating, spending too much on the wrong things can leave us feeling lethargic and sad. Go shopping. Such bombarding messages create a relationship that is disrespectful or indifferent to money.
Money is always a threat. For most of us, money is always an issue. Bills are troublesome, keeping up with the Joneses is exhausting, entrepreneurs are deemed insane, and one's life station is, well, not moving. And getting rich is even worse. Money can be such a burden, not to mention all those paperwork and responsibilities. This view of money creates the perspective that money is actually a problem, not a solution. It's hard enough just to survive, let alone thrive. Such pessimism creates a negative relationship with money.
Talking about money is taboo. Many of us have been brought up to believe that conversations about money are no fun. Money and financial success, and failure, are considered personal subjects that should not be discussed and certainly should not be taught. Some of us ask our parents how much money they make, and even now, there are people who don't know their spouse's salary. The results have had unintended consequences and have created a world where very few people are having real conversations about money and finance, conversations they need to learn and succeed. These things are not discussed in polite society, my dear. Such abuse creates a foolish relationship with money.
In each of these examples, it is clear that unless your parents made a conscious choice to think and act differently, they were conditioned to have the same mindset as them. If you make the decision to break this cycle, you will have the opportunity to teach your children to have more productive beliefs about, and more profitable relationships with, money. When you understand the beliefs you hold, you will work to change them. Through the action steps in this process, and with the help of mentors and respected friends, you will change your behavior. By sharing your desire for new beliefs and asking your mentors and respected friends to help you discover any subconscious boundaries you may be placing on yourself, you will be teaching your brain to follow your behavior. Start now by restating your beliefs. For example, if you find that you hold any of the examples above as a belief, you would:
1. Change “money is scarce” to “money is plentiful” and support a bold relationship with money.
2. Change “money is bad, dirty, or bad” to “money is good and acceptable” and create a direct relationship with money.
3. Change “money comes every month” to “money comes from various sources” and create opportunistic relationships with money.
4. Change “money is not for me” to “who better than me to earn money” and create empowered relationships with money.
5. Change “money is a human business” to “I can and will know and understand money,” and create a wise relationship with money.
6. Change “money is a good medicine” to “money is a tool to help make my life better” and create a relationship of mutual respect and care with money.
7. Change “money is a threat” to “money is a solution” dand create a positive relationship with money.
8. Change “money talk is taboo” to “money talk is very important” and create an extensive relationship with money.
You can see how much better it is to be brave, active, opportunistic, empowered, wise, respectful and caring, positive, and knowledgeable than to be afraid, hands off, cautious, defeated, apathetic, disrespectful and indifferent, negative, and stupid. The choice is yours and it looks like you are on your way. You've taken a big step by deciding to actually take the first step. By making the decision to start now, you have created an opportunity to increase your financial awareness and change your life.