Better Budgeting: The Millionaire's Mentality

The Millionaire's Mentality

Guest Article
by Martin Avis

Upon receiving a million dollars and losing his job, a millionaire would say "What a great opportunity! How can I use my capital to build a real fortune?" Instead, my friend has started looking for another job.

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A friend of mine was given a million pounds ($1.4m) this week. He isn't a millionaire though. For the last three years he has been Managing Director of a small company owned by a very rich man. The very rich man is a millionaire 250 times over and his wealth is growing faster than he can count it.

My friend's million is his share of the proceeds from the sale of the company. His boss was made an offer which he viewed as a good return on his investment. So he sold out. My friend got his million and lost his job.

Now, a millionaire would say "What a great opportunity! How can I use my capital to build a real fortune?" Instead, my friend has started looking for another job.

At 43-years old he can't imagine life without a 'proper job.' He is an institutionalized employee.

Being a millionaire, isn't really about having a million pounds or dollars. You need to have a millionaire's mentality.

What is that magical mindset, and how does it differ from the way regular 9-5 folk think?

John Paul Getty said it:

"Luck, knowledge, and arduous work - especially arduous work - are all necessary for a man to become a millionaire. But above all that, he needs what can be called the 'millionaire mentality'. That essential state of mind and conscience which mobilizes the intelligence and all the talents of an individual to accomplish his tasks and realize the goals he has set for himself in business."

The only thing I would disagree with the great J.P. on is 'arduous work.' Sure, to get anywhere you need to work hard, but if you love what you are doing, it is hardly arduous. I prefer to think of 'smart work.'

Keep an Open Mind

True millionaires see the world slightly differently. Their minds are open to opportunities. A good example of this alternative way of thinking is Richard Branson, the boss of Virgin Airlines. The story goes that he had taken a bunch of journalists to LA for his inaugural flight to that city. After a pleasant few days in a top hotel, the journos were all in the lobby waiting for a limo to take them back to the airport. One young woman went up to Branson and asked him the following question:

"Richard, I don't want to be a hack all my life, what is the secret to making money?"

Branson looked around and said, "Just keep your eyes open and the answer jumps right at you. Look at those outdoor heaters the hotel has around the pool, for example. I've never seen them before, and with the English weather the way it is, I'd bet they would sell like hot cakes at home. Find out who makes them and see if you can get the UK distribution rights."

Out of interest, the woman checked it out and was told she could buy the rights for $3,000. She didn't bother.

Last year, the company that did buy those rights was sold for $25m.

Goals

Goals are the roadmap to our success. With a good map we get to our destination with the minimum of fuss. Without one, we flounder and get lost.

Every millionaire - whether they have the money yet or not - is goal-focused.

Whatever process you use to set yourself goals, this is one aspect of success that you should never stint on. The simplest method - and one which works well for me - is to have a 'goal moment.' Fifteen minutes set aside each week to focus your mind on your life's 'most desires results.'

On a sheet of paper, landscape (I use a yellow legal pad), make four column headings:

1. Goals for the next five years
2. Goals for the coming year
3. Goals for the coming month
4. Goals for the coming week

Starting in column 1, write down all your long-term objectives. Write them in detail. So, you wouldn't put 'move to a bigger house', you would put, 'I now live in a five-bedroom, four-bathroom house set in 10 acres of woodland, with a detached double garage, an indoor swimming pool and my own gymnasium.'

Make it as real as possible, and make it present tense.

Do the same for every aspect of your life or business you want to change in the long term.

Then move on to the one-year column. Do the same thing, but this time, try to make sure that your one-year goals don't conflict with your 5-year plan.

So, to continue the above example, you wouldn't have a ten-bedroom house in 25 acres in the one-year plan. But you might have a four-bedroom house in the smart part of town.

The one-month goals should be things that you need to achieve in the short to medium term in order to make the longer term things happen. They might include concrete business objectives or self-improvement plans.

The weekly goals are all the things that you are going to do in the coming week to make the monthly goals a reality.

Be aware as you write all these things down that this is not a vague wish list. It is a contract with yourself. Each week, when you rewrite the whole thing out again (this is a really important part of it), sign and date the bottom of the page.

What does all this goal-setting do for you?

It gives you:

Focus

Real millionaires, and millionaires-in-waiting, have the ability to focus on achieving their goals to the exclusion of all else.

They simply do not allow themselves to become distracted.

Regular folk are like butterflies. They skip from one good idea to another, attracted by the next big promise or clever sales line. Then they complain that none of the schemes they try ever work.

It isn't the scheme, it is the schemer. People who reach the top in any endeavor do so by staying focused on their prime objective.

Estee Lauder said, "First comes the shy wish. Then you must have the heart to have the dream. Then, you work. And work."

And Dale Carnegie, who knew a thing or two, said, "Condition yourself to determine clearly in your mind the goal that you want to achieve, and then, without letting yourself get sidetracked, head straight for your ideal."

Self Belief

Nobody ever got rich by thinking that they couldn't. Absolute self-confidence is a vital part of the real millionaire mentality.

Everyone has nagging doubts the whole time, it is part of being human. True achievers know how to conquer negative thoughts and smother them with ever more positive ones.

Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's, had a great technique. Whenever he had negative thoughts, he would imagine himself writing them out in detail on a blackboard. Then he would visualize an imaginary hand wiping the board clean.

He was reprogramming his subconscious to concentrate on the positive things and not focus on the negatives.

As Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it." That applies just as much to the bad things you can dream as the good. So why make the bad things come true?

So, you may ask, am I a millionaire? I believe I have the millionaire's mentality. As for getting the cash, no problem. It is on my list.

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Copyright © 2001 by Martin Avis. All rights reserved.

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