Do You Think Like a Millionaire? Here’s How to Start
Do you dream of being a millionaire? Have you imagined what you’d do if you earned consistent income that gave you freedom and time? Would you travel the world? Buy your dream home? Maybe you have ideas about investments and ways to stretch your money even further, or perhaps you have a cause or charity you want to donate to.
When you imagine this lifestyle, do you see it as a far off dream and fantasy, or do you see it as a reachable reality? If you can see it happening to you, would it happen by luck and chance or do you think you could use your skills and knowledge to create that wealth?
The truth is, if you want to be a millionaire, you’ve first got to set your mind to it.
I know, you’re thinking it can’t be that simple. And, you’re right. Becoming a millionaire isn’t just a trick of the mind.
But it is the first step, because without a millionaire mindset, you’ll never be a millionaire.
In fact, you’ll never be anything unless you first believe you can be. Shifting your mindset is the first step toward achieving any goal.
So, before I share some habits and perspectives you can change to develop a millionaire mindset, let’s look at how mindset shifting works and why it’s so important for achieving a goal.
Why is Mindset Important?
Sometimes, when people talk about mindset, it can drift into an ethereal, abstract place that makes changing your reality seem like magic.
I’m here to tell you, it is not magic. When you change your mind, your reality changes because your brain changes.
Our brains are extremely malleable - they change easily. It’s a survival technique we developed to help us find what we’re looking for.
Have you ever seen an “I Spy” or “Where’s Waldo?” book? They are children’s book with pages full of small images with the goal of finding a specific object. The more you hold the picture in your mind of the object you’re looking for, the easier it is to find.
That’s a simplified example of the complex process that happens when you shift your focus, but it illustrates the point pretty well.
Your brain does everything it can to help you find what you’re looking for. The more you focus on something, the easier it is to find.
If you keep thinking about it, you’ll find more and more examples of how this works in your life.
- Ever think of something - maybe a type of dog, a car or a style of clothing - and then suddenly it appears everywhere you look?
- Ever thought of a song and then heard it playing almost everywhere you go?
- Ever think about something you’d like to do and then overhear people talking about it?
Sometimes this phenomenon can seem pretty magical. You might say with some surprise, “I was just thinking about that!”
Though it can appear kind of spooky, it’s actually just your brain taking the signal that you’re looking for something and then pointing out the information when it appears.
The world is like those “I Spy” and “Where’s Waldo?” books - it’s full of so many sensational pieces of information, your brain has to filter stuff out. Your intentional thoughts tell your brain what to be on the lookout for.
A mindset shift is like setting an alarm in your brain, “this is something I want, please let me know when it comes around.”
But that’s only the mechanism behind how a mindset shift works, what it actually does, and what it inspires you to do is far-reaching.
What a Mindset Shift Does
The term mindset was popularized in the 1990s by the psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck. Her research led to the understanding that people with a growth mindset perform far better than those with a fixed mindset.
The difference between a fixed and growth mindset is essentially the difference between pessimism and optimism. People with a growth mindset believe they can change, grow and reach goals, while people with a fixed mindset believe they are as smart and capable as they will ever be.
As we discussed in the above section, your mindset determines what you’re able to see, and Dr. Dweck discovered that people with a growth mindset saw more opportunities than those with a fixed mindset.
If you don’t even see opportunities, you certainly won’t be able to take them, which greatly impedes your ability to succeed and reach goals.
But that’s not the only thing she discovered.
People With a Fixed Mindset
- Have a desire to appear smart
- Feel like challenges are signs that they should give up
- Don’t put forth effort to accomplish goals
- Take criticism personally
- Find others’ success to be threatening
- Externalize their failures
- Believe their fates are determined
People With a Growth Mindset
- Have a desire to grow, change and learn
- See challenges as opportunities for growth
- View setbacks as a chance to refocus
- Know that mastery takes effort
- Take criticism as an opportunity for growth
- See others’ success as inspirational
- Feel a sense of free-will and control over destiny
An optimistic mindset puts you in a place to seek out opportunities, find them more easily and have a better chance at success.
So, whatever goal you want to achieve, shifting your mindset to believe you are capable and in control of achieving that goal sets you on the path to making it happen.
Whereas, resting on a mindset where you feel success is based on a series of external events, puts you on a dead-end path that is far away from your dreams.
When you step back and look at it, it’s easy to see that your mindset directs you either toward or away from your dreams, and if you want your dreams to come true, the first step you have to take is believing it’s possible.
Developing a Millionaire Mindset
You’ve probably heard the piece of advice, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.”
What this advice is really saying is, if you want something, you’ve got to believe you can get it. That belief has to be so strong that you’re already living your life as if it is a reality.
Of course, that doesn’t mean if you want to be a millionaire you’ve got to rack up a lot of debt buying clothes you can’t afford. But it does mean that if you want to be a millionaire, you’ve got to think like one.
You need to believe it’s possible so much that your life is already set up to achieve it. This is the first step. When you do this, opportunities for achieving that reality will start to open up to you. Your mind will begin to think of ways to make it happen, and you’ll be ready to do what it takes.
10 Millionaire Mindset Shifts
Below, you’ll find some mindset shifts you can implement that will give you a millionaire mindset. Not only are these ways to shift your focus toward growth, but they are the ways successful millionaires approach things.
- Money is for investing - When we think of millionaires, sometimes we think of yachts and mansions and lavish lifestyles - we think of spending money. But the truth is, most successful millionaires got that way not because they know how to spend, but because they know how to invest.That doesn’t mean you need to learn about real estate investments or stocks and bonds, it simply means shifting the way you think about money. When you get an extra $1000, instead of thinking “what can I spend this on?” think “where can I invest this, so it can eventually become $10,000.” (hint: training and developing your skills so you can own your own business)
- Money doesn’t come from luck - Millionaires don’t gamble. They only place their bets on sure wins. In other words, wealthy people don’t believe in luck and neither should you. They know that gambling is entertainment, not investment.Don’t take this too literally. You’re not going to see a millionaire playing a lottery ticket, but you’re also not going to see a millionaire spending money on a business they don’t think will be a success. They take money seriously, and wise millionaires don’t spend frivolously.
- Money is expansive, not limiting - A major difference between a wealthy person and someone who struggles to make ends meet is what they do when money gets tight. Someone without a millionaire mindset might start making cuts to their budget or even suffer and struggle with loss and debt.A millionaire mindset looks at that situation and attempts to find opportunities for growth. They may make cutbacks for unnecessary expenses, but they first look for ways to make more money. Successful, self-made millionaires are always thinking about how they can expand what they have.
- Never stop learning - Jumping off of that last point, millionaires are always willing to invest in themselves because they know that it’s one of their surest bets. Knowledge is invaluable, and learning from the right teacher can be the best investment you ever make.Don’t limit your opportunities for expansion because you don’t believe you have what it takes. Believe that you can learn what it takes. The millionaire mindset knows knowledge never goes to waste.
- Aim high - Look back on the list of what happens when you have a growth mindset. You’ll see that there’s no mention of the world failure. That’s because failure isn’t in the millionaire mindset vocabulary.When you have a millionaire mindset, you aim as high as possible, as big as possible, because you know that even if you don’t achieve it, you’ll still learn valuable lessons and be much closer than you were before you began.
- Become comfortable with spotlight - Success comes with a stage. In order to gain any kind of success, you have to be known. That doesn’t mean you need to be celebrity-level famous. It just means that in order to attract money, you have to first attract attention.Publicity and becoming an authority on a subject are the keys to success, so if you want to be a millionaire, you need to be comfortable being in front of people and promoting yourself.
- Jealousy is limiting - When you’ve got a millionaire mindset, you’ll see other people’s success as inspiring and perhaps a direction to set your aim. On the other hand, people without a millionaire mindset get jealous and resent other people’s success.This distinction is important because jealously is a judgmental and defensive behavior. If you truly believe you can be a millionaire, other people’s success won’t have any effect on you. It’s when you don’t believe it can happen to you that you start to get angry at everyone else it happens to.
- You are in control - It’s been mentioned a few times, but it’s important to mention again, especially to reiterate that last point. A limiting mindset externalizes everything. It is fatalistic and believes life happens to you.A millionaire mindset believes the opposite. Self-made millionaires know that success is within their control. They know that the way they view the world, and the actions they subsequently take as a result of that viewpoint, are what’s steering the ship, not anything else.
- Have successful friends - We have a tendency to associate with people that confirm our beliefs about ourself. When we have a negative view on the world, we seek out friendships with likeminded people.But people with a millionaire mindset seek out friendships and associations with wealthy, positive, successful people. They don’t do this to “schmooze” or try to gain something. They seek out these relationships because it affirms their beliefs about themselves and their world.
- Results are worth more than time - Before you become successful, there’s a tendency to think in terms of hourly wage or being paid for your time. This mindset can be very limiting, because your time and energy is very limited. There’s only so much time you can offer someone.A millionaire mindset looks at value in terms of results. In other words, they expect to be paid for the quality of what they offer rather than how much time they spent producing it. This viewpoint is expansive because you can offer endless value, regardless of time.
How to Change Your Mind
Shifting your mindset doesn’t just happen. It requires effort and time. You can’t just expect to read the list above and start believing something completely different than you ever have before.
Your brain makes connections between thoughts and beliefs all the time. If you believe that success is only for the lucky, every time you think limiting thoughts like “I’lll never be rich” or “I have nothing to offer,” you reinforce that belief.
Beliefs get stronger the more they are reinforced, so if you’ve had a lifetime of kicking yourself while your down, you’re going to have some work to do.
But here’s the good news, the more aware you are of a limiting belief, and the more desire you have to change it, the faster it is to change. A lifetime of limiting beliefs can absolutely be turned around in a month’s time if you put forth the effort.
There are 3 steps to shifting your mindset. Follow them in order to begin to change your mind. Whatever you do, keep a focused effort on changing your mind, and your mind will change.
- Be more mindful - Those limiting thoughts can be quite tricky. Something triggers them, and before you know it, you’ve been in a deep spiral of negativity for 10 minutes. So, the first thing you have to do to change your mind is be aware of whats in your mind.Listening to a guided mindfulness meditation for 10 minutes every morning and night is a great way to practice awareness and train your brain to be more conscious of the limiting thoughts. You can also start a journal or set a few alarms during the day to remind yourself to check in.
- Label your thoughts - When you find yourself having a negative, limited or fixed thought, label it. Make a conscious mental note. For example, maybe you’ve noticed that you roll your eyes whenever you see a wealthy person. When you catch yourself doing it, consciously point it out, “I’m having a jealous reaction, which is a limiting behavior.”It seems kind of robotic, but it works. Your brain loves labels, so you may as well use that to your advantage. The brain categorizes information for a number of reasons, when you label a thought or feeling, you help speed up that categorization.
- Think the opposite - Once you’ve recognized the thought and then labeled it, now you’ve got to reinforce a new connection. Remember your brain is trying to place that thought or feeling with a belief. You want to be in control of this process.In the example above, after you label the thought as jealous and limiting, think a positive, expansive thought like, “I’m inspired by their success. I want to be successful like them.” The key here is, think the thought even if you don’t believe it. Just think it anyways. Force your brain to make a healthier connection, and it will soon be a natural belief.
Putting it All Together
We’ve covered a lot of information, so I want to close out this article by reviewing what you’ve learned.
- Becoming a millionaire begins with your beliefs - your mindset.
- You see the world in a way that confirms what you believe about yourself.
- Believing you have endless potential means you will see endless opportunities.
- Self-made millionaires see everything in terms of expansion and growth.
- To have a millionaire mindset, you must stop seeing the world as limiting.
- Limiting beliefs can be changed by recognizing them, labeling them and reinforcing the opposite.
- You have to make a conscious, determined effort to have a millionaire mindset.
How will you start to cultivate a millionaire mindset?