The Rich Think Differently

I really enjoyed Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv. Eker because it focused on one of my favorite topics: how the rich think differently than the poor and middle class.

I stumbled upon this concept a few years ago when I read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and it was a profound paradigm shift for me. Since then, many of the books I’ve read on wealth have echoed the same concept including Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.

As a hardcore self-determinist, the idea of taking destiny into my own hands by changing my thought patterns has a Matrix-like attraction. It’s inspiring to know that everyone has the ability to succeed, as long as they recognize that their way of thinking has been holding them down.

Keep an Open Mind

In the book, T. Harv Eker says that some of the best advice he ever got when he was poor was from a rich man who once told him, “if you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, there’s something you don’t know.”

The wisdom in those words is subtle, but powerful. It sums up the fact that poor and middle class people often get stuck in a particular way of thinking. For one reason or another, they’ve closed themselves off to anything outside their comfort zone. They might not admit it, but deep down, they’ve become comfortable with their financial position.

The strongest evidence for this concept I can think of is a phenomenon that often occurs to lottery winners. It’s fairly common for someone to win a multi-million dollar lottery only to be back to broke or worse within a few years. The takeaway is that money isn’t what makes you rich, it’s your mindset.

Financial Thermostat

This metaphor that Eker used was one of my favorite parts of the book. He compared a person’s financial temperament to a thermostat. Some people’s financial thermostats are set very low and others are set very high.

If bunch of cold air blows in through your front door as you let someone in from the winter, the temperature in your living room will temporarily drop; but it will eventually find equilibrium with whatever your thermostat is set to.

According to Eker, the same holds true for your bank account. It will always find equilibrium with your financial thermostat. If you have it set too low, your money will run out, even if you win the lotto. To figure out where your thermostat is set, just look at your bank account.

Your Filing Cabinet

There were quite a few little nuggets I took away from this book. When I read books, I usually take notes in my Moleskine, and this book took up a lot more pages than most.

I also liked his metaphor for the human brain. He likened it to a filing cabinet filled with various folders that we collect over the years. When faced with a decision about money, we make the best choice we can based on our available files.

If we were never given the files of the rich, that information is just not available to us at decision time. This helps to explain why we can go our entire lives doing what we think will make us rich, but never get there.

For the rest of the book, he gives readers what he calls “wealth files.” If you follow his advice, you will replace the old files in your filing cabinet with these more wealth-friendly ways of thinking. Here’s a sample:

Be a Problem Solver

In the book, Eker describes an entrepreneur as a person who solves problems for people at a profit. The more problems you solve, the richer you become.

Poor people focus on problems, the rich focus on solutions.

Luck Happens to Rich People

For one reason or another, the rich just seem to be luckier than the poor. He doesn’t offer an explanation for this phenomenon except for the idea that poor people tend not to put themselves in a position to get lucky. Rich people tend to take more risks and therefore reap more rewards.

Focus on Making, Keeping, and Investing Money

Eker says that getting rich is really as simple as making, keeping, and investing money; but most people tend to focus on spending money.

He explained the harsh reality that there’s no one holding a gun to your head, making you live in the house you live in, drive the car you drive, or wear the clothes you wear. Your lifestyle and spending decisions are largely discretionary. You can choose to spend less, thereby keeping more and becoming rich.

Get in the Corridor

Take action to get into the business of your choice by getting into the arena by any means possible. The best and cheapest education for an industry is to get a job at the bottom. In the example he used in the book, he decided to take a job as a busser at a bakery to do research on opening his own shop.

Stop sitting around, waiting for the right moment, the right education, or enough money to get into the business you want to be in. Just get in the corridor!

Admire Successful People

According to Eker, rich people admire successful people while poor people resent them. There is a commonly-held belief amongst the poor that the rich are somehow evil, unholy, dishonest, and greedy. The result is disdain for the success of others.

This resentment might just be one of the reasons they aren’t rich.

Bottom Line

This book is right up my alley, and you’ll like it if you like the type of content I cover on Genius Types. I believe that the path to wealth is through the mind, and this book is a great place to start.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv. Eker