These 7 Things Will Make You Poor
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I grew up in a missionary household. I wasn’t pampered growing up, nor did I have a silver spoon. I’ve taken great risks in life, including immigrating to a foreign country to start a new life (the USA) with very little money and most recently, quitting my well-paying Vice President job in the corporate world to pursue my own thing.
But even in these circumstances, the one thing that I never did was ever blame my parents for us being poor. What would be the point? And what would blaming them accomplish if it wouldn’t serve to change anything?
So rather than complaining, I used that as fuel to tell myself that I don’t want this for my own family when I grew up. Don’t get me wrong, looking back I could see that God took care of us. We had food, water, and shelter. But growing up, I’ve always wanted more flexibility and freedom, and the financial means to do what I want to do. I was tired of always wearing only donated clothing. I was tired of never getting presents on our birthdays and holidays. I was sick and tired of not being able to go out and eat whenever and whatever I wanted to. I wanted options.
Look, I’ll admit that you might have it worse than me. I’ve heard of people who have severe handicaps, people addicted to drugs, people born into severe poverty in poor Asian and African countries, or even people here in the US that are laden with what seems like insurmountable debt (in the hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt alone). I’ve heard it all. But nothing is so bad that you can’t overcome it. The fact of the matter is, let’s be real, what’s the alternative? Giving up never did anything for anybody.
Here are 7 things that will doom you to a life of mediocrity and financial slavery
- The blame game -Always having a reason why you can’t do something. Typically this is some sort of but-look-at-my-background excuse. People often repeat the cycle. The cycle of their parents and grandparents and so on. Whenever I hear this, I can’t help but agree that there are definitely factors that will have an influence, both positive and negative. But one thing for sure is that nothing is permanent. There’s no excuse for anyone to repeat the cycle of poverty in which they were born into. This isn’t the medieval ages where you’re born into the peasantry so you’re doomed to life of farming for your feudal lord. Everyone has options to get up and go and decide to live a different life.
- Living in the past – People who rise to the occasion and become successful spend very little time looking at the past; they spend much more time looking at the future. Look, I get it. You aren’t there yet. And the road is long. But constantly looking in the back mirror is not helping you navigate what’s in front of you. Focus on the future. Plan out and execute on what’s in front of you, not on what’s behind you.
- All talk, zero action – This is huge. Most people struggle with this. And that’s why the majority is average. That’s why it’s called average. And when people actually do end up taking action, the actions are super small that serve to only check off a to-do list. Stop it with the to do lists! Some people live to check off their to do list. Some have this problem so bad that they invent things to put on their check list. That is absurd. You need to take giant actions. Not just one time. But consistently.
- The hourly mindset – People who typically live paycheck to paycheck have employee lifestyles. They get paid by the hour. This is not sustainable. Why? Because our own personal capital and time is not infinite. There’s a limit to how much we can work. Rather than having an hourly or paycheck mentality, you need to switch it to be more of an outcome/result driven mentality. People who think with this type of mentality don’t think in terms of hours worked. It’s all irrelevant. The only thing that matters is the end result. So whether you worked 40 hours that week or 80, it doesn’t matter. If you see yourself pull out your phone or look up to check the clock throughout the day, this is a huge red flag that your life will be a mediocre life.
- Being “realistic” -Highly success people aren’t realistic. Have you noticed that? If they were realistic, they would be just average right? By thinking big and unrealistic, they are able to achieve better than average results. The masses fight for the leftovers while the big thinkers and doers reap the biggest rewards. So don’t set targets and goals that are pitifully small that seem realistic to you. Because even if you hit those goals, who cares? They were pitifully small to begin with so you’re back to square one. Nothing substantial was accomplished. Be unrealistic.
- Envy and bad mouthing the successful – I’ve found this to be one of the biggest differentiators between those who are average and those that are not. Those that are average are jealous of people doing better than them whereas people who are successful look to others that are more successful than them as fuel and motivation. Does this make sense? The average person, in a way, is very immature. Flip your mindset. Find people around you that are doing better than you and try to emulate their success. Don’t hate on them. Be inspired by them.
- Living for the weekends and the vacations— People who are truly successful love Mondays as much as their Fridays. In fact, there is no difference. Again, the end result is what’s focused on, not the hours or days put in. If you’re living for the Fridays and the vacations, then your life is going to be extremely short. Because there just aren’t that many weekends. There are only 52 weekends in a year. And most people don’t take more than 1 vacation a year. So that means at most you’ll have 40 or so vacations if you start working at age 20. After 50 or so vacations you’re either dead or too old to work. That’s just math. Instead, let every day be a meaningful one.
If any of these 7 things hits close to home for you, rather than feel offended (because it’s pretty natural for us human beings to get defensive if someone calls us out on something – heck I do it too), you should decide to change. It all starts with a simple decision. A decision to no longer be enslaved by your mindset and your surroundings.
Once you make this decision, you need to commit to this change. If you really want to take this to the next level, share your revelation with others. Tell them how you used to think and how you’re going to change going forward. Be held accountable to as many people as possible so if you start backsliding you’ll get called out on it. As human beings, we’re not perfect. It’s hard to do things by yourself. So the more people that’ll call you out on stuff, the easier it becomes to stay on track and not deviate from your path.
There’s a reason why most people are average. Because by definition, the typical person has to be average. That’s why it’s called average! The successful do things differently because they think and act differently. Here are what sets the successful apart from those that are average:
- They don’t blame others or their environment
- They don’t look at the past; only the future
- They don’t live to check off a to do list; they take massive action towards MASSIVE goals
- They have a results-oriented mindset, not a how-many-hours-worked mindset
- They are unrealistic; only the average settle for realistic goals
- They don’t envy those that are more successful than them; instead, they are inspired by them
- They don’t live for the weekends and vacations
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