Better Questions for Wealth Creation

What is keeping you from becoming wealthy? Your mindsets and limiting beliefs. Get the roots of these out, and wealth will flow.

If you think I am only talking about money, that’s one root you will have to remove too. Money is one of the signs of a wealthy mindset, and it is usually one of the LAST things to show up. Most wealthy people embedded wealth habits into their lives in order to create pathways for different types of wealth to flow to them.

Money acts like water does. If you consider how water works (it can be stored, frozen, it flows downhill, and it can carry other things. It’s hydraulic pressure can smash bridges, uproot trees and carry away houses.

But water also works in cycles – _we know this cycle, and we know the pressures and forces that can work for or against us. We build dams, place boulders on eroding shores, dig canals, build boats and surfboards, and place water lines in our streets. We create ways to direct and manage the flow of water where we want it to go, and reduce its damaging possibilities by protecting wetlands, diverting overflow and creating drainage pathways.

So how does that work with money? (Again money is not the sole object of our desire, but it remains an easy proxy for value delivered, and it’s easy to measure.)

Money works in cycles. Economists study the flow of money in the broader market and make predictions about what they think consumer and shareholder behavior will be, similar to a weather person. Looking at past patterns and conditions gives us some level of certainty about what will happen as similar conditions develop.

In order to become a master of money, you need to understand how the money cycle works in your life. Below are ten questions that will help you determine whether you have the mindsets that will help you divert wealth toward you, or whether you are inadvertently creating barriers for wealth in your life. Remember, wealth shows up in the form of:

  • • _O_p_p_o_r_t_u_n_i_t_y_ _
  • • _R_e_l_a_t_i_o_n_s_h_i_p_s_ _
  • • _Q_u_e_s_t_i_o_n_s_ _/_ _C_u_r_i_o_s_i_t_y_ _/_ _I_n_s_i_g_h_t_ _
  • • _C_o_m_p_e_t_i_t_i_o_n_ _
  • • _H_e_a_l_t_h_ _
  • • _Mental Toughness
  • • _C_l_a_r_i_t_y_ _
  • • _Peace of Mind
  • • _G_e_n_e_r_o_s_i_t_y_ _
  • • _R_e_c_o_g_n_i_t_i_o_n_ _
  • • _C_l_i_e_n_t_s_ _/_ _C_u_s_t_o_m_e_r_s_ _
  • • _R_e_w_a_r_d_ _(_M_o_n_e_y_ _o_r_ _O_t_h_e_r_ _f_o_r_m_s_)_ _

What keeps these things from showing up? Different types of wealth and the barriers preventing it for you have different sources. What might yours be?

1. Are you blaming your current state on other people?

Perhaps you’ve never gotten over having not had the perfect parents. The reality is, you would not want the perfect parents anyway. That would be a terrible experience.

Or maybe you blame a boss who won’t listen, a school that wasn’t very good, or relatives who are not supportive.

So what?

Work ethic is free. Libraries are free. Applying for new jobs is free. Volunteering in order to gain new skills is free. Saying ‘Hello’, and making new friends is free. Finding groups that agree and support your goals are not particularly hard to find.

When I wanted to gain sales skills, I researched who was the BEST performing insurance sales person in my area, and I offered to work for him FREE for 90 days in order to learn how to make calls, sell products on the phone and see ways to create systems for selling.

When I wanted to be a better teacher, I researched who the BEST education consultant in the United States was, and signed up for his clinic – _4 years in a row. I worked in his system to become a coach and presented, and his assistance helped me achieve a 0% fail rate 4 years in a row. All students passed my class with a 91% average.

When I wanted to become a better business person and leader, I put my TV in the closet and spent a year reading a book a week on leadership and business acumen.

When I wanted to become a better public speaker, I found an association whose purpose was the speaking business, and where I could network with people who had already been successful and would help me (some free, some paid) with advice on how to navigate the speaking industry successfully.

The ‘other’ _person to blame is the ‘dark side’ _you that does not regulate your judgement of yourself, those around you and is mostly cynical and judgmental of others and their intentions.

2. Are you acting as a know-it-all?

If you are acting as a know it all, you are repelling curious people and attracting yes men who do not have confidence to have a difference of opinion. Knowing it all is a sure way to fail, as you cannot possibly know it all. We can (and should) learn from everyone. Be curious about new places, new people, the ways things work, why things work like they do, and suspend judgement. You might know SOME, or even quite a bit. But to really be recognized and rewarded for what you KNOW, you first have to find a way to SERVE with that knowledge. Knowledge offered without service is usually taken as criticism, or it makes people feel dumb. And since people do not want to feel criticized or dumb, they will avoid you. And you’ll be left with people who can’t offer you much in terms of growth, networks or relationship wealth, because there is not much to give.

3. Are you feeding fear?

Fear is actually a powerful ego at work. It may sound counter intuitive, but the reality is that when we are fearful, we are acting in service to self, because we think we might look bad, lose something of value or perhaps confirm a ‘truth’ _we have created about ourselves. If you are not minding where your mind goes, you’ll ruminate on all the ways you will be embarrassed, the ways your unworthiness will be proved, or all the ways you will potentially fail. When we do this, we discount all the evidence to the contrary – _we have been successful at many things, and have gained many skills in life – _why can’t we repeat that here?

Another way to look at fear – _see how many other people have made it? What makes you so special that the SAME things that worked for others to create great relationships, healthy lifestyles and incomes that allow for choice will NOT work for you? To believe that you cannot succeed is a supremely selfish mindset.

4. Are you too comfortable?

You might find you think you’ve made it. Perhaps you have had some experiences, been part of a winning team or overcome a few mindset issues. The truth is you cannot stop – _ever. Consider how a vehicle works. A car, or a wagon, or a bike, or any other wheeled vehicle has to continue to WORK in order to climb hills or traverse even ground. The ONLY TIME coasting works is on a DECLINE. If you have become comfortable, I can guarantee there are wealth elements of your life on the decline.

There is a reason that 70% (or so) athletes go broke within 5 years of retiring. There is a reason 85% of lottery winners go broke within 7 years of winning. They begin to coast – _the fruit of the labor came in before their mindset and work ethic were ready for it, and they lost it.

Your comfort zone IS your income zone. The level at which you are comfortable and perhaps think you are a bit above where others in your zone are will be the level you REMAIN until you do something to begin growing yourself again.

Force yourself to stretch – _did you know a rubber band, once stretched, never returns to its original shape? And neither will you. Keep stretching and growing in purposeful directions.

5. Are you too judgmental?

How do you respond to those who have much more than you? What do you assume about them?

How do you respond to how others who work differently than you, see the world in other ways, or value different things than you?

You are projecting your own insecurities on to others, and responding to your own discomfort by telling yourself stories about others which are unchecked (meaning you made up the evidence) and unhealthy.

A truly wealthy person will see right through this kind of criticism and begin to avoid you. It repels them, because they do not see themselves or others that way, and they know that maintaining a generous view of others is ESSENTIAL to building wealth in all areas.

6. Are you making too many excuses?

An excuse is a well planned lie to yourself. You’ve built up stories which you have made into your own myths. And you’ve come to believe that those myths are true.

It’s too hard.

I don’t have the personality.

I am not wired that way.

I don’t have the money.

I don’t have the time.

To challenge them now feels heretical. Yet you must. Confront your heresies, create new foundational truths and begin again. Stop justifying your current state and stop telling yourself lies.

This might mean starting over in some relationships. It might mean working on your work ethic. It might mean learning a new skill or studying a new domain, like finance or innovation or psychology – _gain depth in areas you have been avoiding that will ensure you avoid risk in smart ways and embrace opportunity in bold ones.

7. Are you too people pleasing?

In Ruby Payne’s seminal work on poverty, she found that a CORE VALUE of those in poverty, no matter their race, was people pleasing behaviors.

People who lack wealth make decisions that have deep financial consequences in order to maintain status with family or friends. You might hear things like, “Family comes first,” _and the way this plays out is that if, for example, Mom gets ill, the expectation is to jump in the car and go and stay with her for as long as it takes, despite the fact it might cause a person to lose their job, be evicted and need to go on welfare.

Stories like this are common for people without a wealth mindset.

Another way this plays out is that instead of working on their dream, people are so people pleasing that they can’t say no to a night out, a weekend away or another kid’s birthday party. And their dream dies a death by a thousand cuts because they don’t spend any time on it.

It’s very likely that some of your biggest supporters as you chase your dream will be close friends or family, who will understand what you are pursuing. But it is also true that some of your biggest detractors and distractions will also be your family and close friends, and you should be prepared to pursue your goals in spite of negative feedback. Do not feel the need to nurture the egos of those who will tear you down if you make decisions different to theirs.

Another cause of people pleasing is too much concentration on the opinions of others. If we spend too much time living the life others have designed for us, we are not designing the life we want for ourselves.

Sometimes in life you have to act in service of self in some ways so that you have the ability to be more generous.

8. Are you jealous?

The rich are greedy.

The rich are selfish.

The wealthy are immoral.

Some are. But so are some middle class and some lower class.

Wealth does not CREATE character, Wealth MAGNIFIES character. Whatever was there before will only be magnified by having more options and more responsibility, which is what happens with wealth.

Those that cannot handle options and responsibility will be given limited time and limited money, in the form of employment. They will also have limited relationships governed by someone else – _the boss chooses your workmates and your workmates sometimes choose to move on. If you do not get over your jealousy, which is driven by a deeper insecurity about whether you could do a thing or not, you will remain without Wealth.

Consider this – _why does a robber steal?

Convenience? Maybe. Possession? Certainly. Beliefs? Absolutely.

Something in a thief’s psyche tells them that: 1) they have been let down somehow, 2) they will never be able to earn what another person has, 3) the other person must have done something immoral to have the possession, and so 4) I am justified in stealing this.

A person who believes something someone else has was earned AND that THEY can EARN IT TOO does not steal and is not jealous. Instead they are glad for other people’s success. They realize the pie is big enough for everyone to succeed.

Who are you jealous of, and why?

I once asked the CEO of a major bank, who makes over $10 million per year about his mindset toward wealth. I asked him if I could play Devil’s Advocate. He agreed.

I asked him how he responds when people think he earns too much. His response included these three points.

“First, how much is too much? In my opinion, people typically consider about 100% above what they make to be the ceiling of what is moral. If I ask a person who makes $50,000, usually around $100k is their answer. A person who makes $100k will say $200k and so on. I don’t know how much is a moral amount to make. I think how you are responsible what you are given is more important than ensuring you don’t make more than a certain amount.

This leads to the second questions – _certainly I’ve been in the right place at the right time to earn some roles, but I’ve also been prepared for the roles. A previous role I had paid $1 million per year, and I was responsible for 5,000 employees and 250,000 customers. So in order to ensure that 250,000 customers had their money and transactions cared for, I was paid $4 a customer, and I was paid about $200 per employee to ensure we developed the right talent and services for our 250,00 customers. Both of those are relatively low numbers, and show that our value is in how we learn to scale our value.

Finally, those that are critical of an amount someone makes do not know how that person spends their income, how they give back in terms of time and money, and what other ways they might choose to make the world better in the ways they can.” _

Jealousy then, based on his response, seems to be driven from three things: 1) a moral judgement that is probably biased and without merit, 2) an inability or lack of knowledge about how to identify your abilities and learn to scale their impact, and 3) an assumption made about the character of those that have more, what it takes to achieve it and how they use what they have.

How do you plan to challenge your jealousies in regard to those that have wealth in ways you do not?

9. Are you inauthentic?

Do you display the same beliefs and expectations in all circumstances, for all people?

Who are you, really?

In what situations are you still wearing masks?

Are you too concerned about the opinions of others, and wear a mask, or pretend to be something you are not?

Did you know that truly wealthy people can see right through the masks? If you aim to attract wealth, you’ll have to learn to take the masks off and be who you are. This means being a bit more open about your beliefs, even if controversial. It might mean being a bit more open about your flaws and failures, as uncomfortable as that might be.

The psychologist Carl Rogers wrote “That which is most personal is most universal.” _

Those things that you do not want people to know, or that you feel might make you look like a failure, those are actually the things that attract wealthy people to each other. They are more willing to learn, more open minded, and have greater clarity about where they are well suited to help (or not).

Start with a list – _Who AM I, And Who AM I not?

10. Are you a wallflower?

Shyness and introversion are excuses that will keep you from attaining wealth in many forms.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot be happy, only that if you do not overcome these particular mindsets you will lack in some areas of wealth.

Shyness is a learned response. Somewhere in life you were rewarded for not being more outgoing, or it somehow was anxiety inducing to step outside of your comfort zone. Now it’s well worn path in your brain and that well worn path is bringing you well worn results.

Introversion is nothing more than a preference in how to spend energy. It is not a personality. If you play into your introverted comfort zone, you will assured of not meeting

people you need to meet, taking actions you should and never being wealthy in regard to your networks or net worth. Extroverts have other challenges, but introverts, who lose energy by being with people will simply have to budget in times for walks, naps, reading and other solitary activities that help them recharge mentally and emotionally.

11. Are you staying too solitary?

I can do it myself.

I do not need help.

Asking for help is for the weak.

I don’t want to show incompetence.

I will feel out of control.

Any of these statements float around in your head?

Sometimes barriers to our dreams come in the form of things we need to learn. Like finance. If you want to attract wealth, you MUST learn how money works, from business and tax perspectives.

Sometimes though, it takes longer to learn something, or to do something, and it is in an area where we don’t exactly shine.

Outsource it.

There is no shame or guilt in designing a work week that you want. For me, I don’t want to work more than 6 hours a day. 8 to 3 is good. So I had to identify the tasks I should be working on in that time frame that added the most value for clients, and then I outsourced the rest. Now, I simply put my to-do list together each morning, it might be 2 or 3 big things I need to accomplish, and once they are done, I can stop for the day or I might choose to work on a project I am passionate about. But I might also read a book, learn from a video, take a walk, have a nap, play with my kids, or go out somewhere interesting. Your true wealth is not in an amount of money, but in the time and options you create.

Without a doubt, you will also become what you listen to, read, watch and spend time with. If the average person you spend time with makes $80K, that’s likely your ceiling too. If you consider yourself the smartest and most wealthy in the room, you are likely on a decline and in a comfort zone. Pursue people that challenge you – _they will also help you.

Put it all together now. At the beginning, I listed several forms of wealth. They were:

  • • _O_p_p_o_r_t_u_n_i_t_y_ _
  • • _R_e_l_a_t_i_o_n_s_h_i_p_s_ _
  • • _Q_u_e_s_t_i_o_n_s_ _/_ _C_u_r_i_o_s_i_t_y_ _/_ _I_n_s_i_g_h_t_ _
  • • _C_o_m_p_e_t_i_t_i_o_n_ _
  • • _H_e_a_l_t_h_ _
  • • _Mental Toughness
  • • _C_l_a_r_i_t_y_ _
  • • _Peace of Mind
  • • _G_e_n_e_r_o_s_i_t_y_ _
  • • _R_e_c_o_g_n_i_t_i_o_n_ _
  • • _C_l_i_e_n_t_s_ _/_ _C_u_s_t_o_m_e_r_s_ _
  • • _R_e_w_a_r_d_ _

Draw a circle with six lines, trying to make them equal distance apart, like a bicycle wheel with spokes. Label each point around the outside of the wheel with a form of wealth and give yourself a rating from 1-10 (1 is the center of the wheel, 10 at the edge).

Now draw a line connecting the dots. How misshapen is your wheel? Would it provide a bumpy ride? Would it move you at all?

Consider this. What is your lowest score, and what area is it in?

What steps could you take to move that up 1 notch in 1 week? I don’t want you to move from 2 to 8, but from 2 to 3.

What mindsets are preventing that movement? How are you thinking that might be challenged by taking action to move a notch up? Once you have accomplished a one notch movement with one area, apply the same to other areas. One notch, one week at a time. Consider that if all of yours were at the level 1, it would take just 120 weeks to move all of them to 10. That is just over 2 years, and not a long time developing yourself into having an unstoppable mindset.

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