Whether we know it or not, sometimes we hold onto beliefs that can actually inhibit our ability to make money. I’ve been guilty of some of the thought patterns explored below, and once I learned to face and negate them, greater income sources opened up to me.
See if you, too, harbor any of these bad money beliefs.
1. “Only certain people get rich.”
Maybe you grew up in a family that experienced a serious lack of funds and deep down believe it’ll always be that way, as if you somehow inherited “poorness” like a disease. Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s faulty to think that only people such as Oprah or Bill Gates were intended to be blessed with large sums of money. Even Ms. Winfrey was poor once, and if richness can happen to her, it can happen to just about anyone. Why not create a $1 million business this weekend?
2. “There are no jobs out there.”
Buying into doom and gloom job reports give some people an excuse to give up their search for employment. As author James Altucher notes, however, millionaires learn to look for hidden opportunities and make their own entrepreneurial moves. Get inspired by this guy who left Google to sell brain pills.
3. “Giving income away will make me lose cash.”
It seems logical that if you have $500 and give away $100 to help a family in need, you’d only have $400 left over. Conversely, if you choose to keep that $500 and skip helping the people whose light may have pricked your heart, common math would tell you that you’d still have $500 for yourself. But life doesn’t work in logical ways; it works mysteriously and circuitously, whereby you may find that opening the door to being charitable comes back to you in fabulous ways.
4. “It’s a zero-sum game – to win, somebody has to lose.”
Simply because one person gains $1 million doesn’t mean that another person has lost out. Instead of viewing money as a big pie whereby those with larger slices are cheating those with slivers, Bill Gates once spoke of a concept called “the creation of wealth,” whereby companies like Microsoft generated funding that wouldn’t have been there otherwise. I view it almost as money being printed out of thin air instead of funds being stolen via some “the rich get richer and poor get poorer” idea.
5. “Impoverished people are holier, less selfish, etc.”
Yes, we’ve had great examples of folks who’ve walked this Earth that intentionally lived in poverty and focused more on non-material attributes. But that doesn’t mean doing so makes us saints. You can be just as effective by having money and using it in altruistic ways to help others, instead of taking a vow of poverty if your life isn’t meant to duplicate that direction.
6. “Wealthy people are jerks.”
Some rich people are full of themselves. Some rich people are kind and caring. Certain disadvantaged members of the public are lovely, whilst others are cruel. Money in and of itself is merely a tool. Having a lot of it only magnifies a person’s true character. Great wealth doesn’t create character.
7. “I’ll hit the lottery one day.”
Out of all the major lessons I remember from the popular book titled The Millionaire Next Door, the one that sticks out is that millionaires don’t always look like the flashy Rolls Royce driving folks we see in the movies. That’s because some of them plod away at doing all the non-glamorous things it can take to get rich: driving older cars, living beneath our means, etc.
As long as we’re solely waiting for some sweet Powerball-winning day to make us rich, it kind of takes the onus off of getting there the hard way. Like one stockbroker told me, “Continue on with your get-rich-quick plan, and in the meantime, save money as well.”
8. “I’d better lower my prices/salary in order to gain sales/clients.”
If you’re trying to get rich through your business, there could be times when you’re tempted to cut your hourly rate or the prices of your products or services in order to make ends meet. This could be a great business move – after all, the marketing term “loss leader” wasn’t invented for nothing.
However, if you’re constantly undercutting your own value just because you’re afraid of losing clients or due to fears that what you bring to the table is not good enough to compete with others, it could be more symptomatic of deeper issues.
A graphic artist who provides high-quality image editing might decide that her level of expertise and skills are worth $50 per hour. If clients looking for a cheap deal try to talk her down to $10 per hour and she accepts, the artist may discover that she’s effectively lowered her annual salary below the poverty level. Instead of kowtowing to cheap clients out of anxiety, it would be better to politely decline and move on to others that are more than willing to pay higher rates for quality work.
9. “My business has to be shady to make money.”
The talk of the Internet recently was about a New York-area hotel that had the gall to charge people $500 for any negative reviews posted about them on sites like Yelp. Setting aside the fact that the practice might actually be illegal, most readers agreed that instead of threatening guests with fines for negative reviews, the hotel should actually do their best to provide positive customer experiences and gain great reviews naturally.
Amazon is king when it comes to “the customer is always right” theory. They even allow consumers to return Kindle books within seven days if they don’t like them – one of the many ways the online retailing giant has won the trust of goo-gobs of people that love to fork over their credit and debit card numbers to “The Everything Store,” as goes their motto.
Businesses and leaders who adopt the same thought-process – that is, harboring quality customer relationship management training, honesty and good ethics – are the ones that stand a greater chance of making their owners and employees rich. Those firms and folks that believe they must adhere to shady, confusing practices that rely on trickery to make a lot of money are the ones that will burn out like a shooting star streaking across the night sky.
Featured photo credit: Dollars in Wallet via static2.bigstockphoto.com