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10 Ways The Successful Think Differently

Earlier this week I received an email from author, keynote speaker, phenomenal leadership coach and good friend Andrew Sillitoe. His email was about the connection between people like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Sir Steve Redgrave, Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins. Before you think it, no it isn’t sport! The connection also associated them with Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.

So what is it?

Well it’s simple, they all have a winning mind set. They simply think differently to average people.

One of the most common ‘problems’ that people come to me with is surrounding money, the majority of the time simply not having enough of it. What I tend to find is that that most people are not thinking with a winning mindset.

You may well be someone with money ‘problems’ and I have put together 10 different scenarios for you that the successful will think differently to the average person from Steve Siebold’s How Rich People Think. He studied millionaires from all over the world for over thirty years to learn some of what you are about to read!

I use the term ‘successful’ but I am very aware that to be successful you don’t have to be rich in monetary terms. My wonderful mum for one will determine how successful she is based on how well she brings up me and my siblings (can I add I think she has done a brilliant job, thanks mum!).


Average people have a lottery mentality. Successful people have an action mentality.

“While the masses are waiting to pick the right numbers and praying for prosperity, the great ones are solving problems,” Siebold writes. “The hero [middle class people] are waiting for may be God, government, their boss or their spouse. It’s the average person’s level of thinking that breeds this approach to life and living while the clock keeps ticking away.”


Average people think the road to riches is paved with formal education. Successful people believe in acquiring specific knowledge.

“Many world-class performers have little formal education, and have amassed their wealth through the acquisition and subsequent sale of specific knowledge,” he writes. “Meanwhile, the masses are convinced that master’s degrees and doctorates are the way to wealth, mostly because they are trapped in the linear line of thought that holds them back from higher levels of consciousness…The wealthy aren’t interested in the means, only the end.”


Average people long for the good old days. Successful people dream of the future.

“Self-made millionaires get rich because they’re willing to bet on themselves and project their dreams, goals and ideas into an unknown future,” Siebold writes. “People who believe their best days are behind them rarely get rich, and often struggle with unhappiness and depression.”


Average people earn money doing things they don’t love. Successful people follow their passion.

“To the average person, it looks like the rich are working all the time,” Siebold says. “But one of the smartest strategies of the world class is doing what they love and finding a way to get paid for it.”On the other hand, middle class take jobs they don’t enjoy “because they need the money and they’ve been trained in school and conditioned by society to live in a linear thinking world that equates earning money with physical or mental effort.”


Average people set low expectations so they’re never disappointed. Successful people are up for the challenge.

“Psychologists and other mental health experts often advise people to set low expectations for their life to ensure they are not disappointed,” Siebold writes. “No one would ever strike it rich and live their dreams without huge expectations.”


Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich. Successful people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

“That’s why people like Donald Trump go from millionaire to nine billion dollars in debt and come back richer than ever,” he writes. “While the masses are fixated on the doing and the immediate results of their actions, the great ones are learning and growing from every experience, whether it’s a success or a failure, knowing their true reward is becoming a human success machine that eventually produces outstanding results.”


Average people believe you need money to make money. Successful people use other people’s money.

Linear thought might tell people to make money in order to earn more, but Siebold says the rich aren’t afraid to fund their future from other people’s pockets.

“Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant. The real question is, ‘Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?’” he writes.


Average people would rather be entertained than educated. Successful people would rather be educated than entertained.

While the rich don’t put much stock in furthering wealth through formal education, they appreciate the power of learning long after college is over, Siebold says. “Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful,” he writes. “The middle class reads novels, tabloids and entertainment magazines.”


Average people think successful people are snobs. Successful people just want to surround themselves with like-minded people.

The negative money mentality poisoning the middle class is what keeps the rich hanging out with the rich, he says. “[Rich people] can’t afford the messages of doom and gloom,” he writes. “This is often misinterpreted by the masses as snobbery. Labeling the world class as snobs is another way the middle class finds to feel better about themselves and their chosen path of mediocrity.”


Average people focus on saving. Successful people focus on earning.

Siebold theorizes that the wealthy focus on what they’ll gain by taking risks, rather than how to save what they have. “The masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally they miss major opportunities,” he writes. “Even in the midst of a cash flow crisis, the rich reject the nickle and dime thinking of the masses. They are the masters of focusing their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money.”


Average people love to be comfortable. Successful people find comfort in uncertainty.

For the most part, it takes guts to take the risks necessary to make it as a millionaire––a challenge most middle class thinkers aren’t comfortable living with. “Physical, psychological, and emotional comfort is the primary goal of the middle class mindset,” Siebold writes. World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn’t easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty.”


Average people believe they must choose between a great family and being successful. Successful people know you can have it all.

The idea that wealth must come at the expense of family time is nothing but a “cop-out”, Siebold says. “The masses have been brainwashed to believe it’s an either/or equation,” he writes. “The rich know you can have anything you want if you approach the challenge with a mindset rooted in love and abundance.”

So I will leave it up to you to decide whether you are an Average or Successful person but if you would be a client that would come to me with money problems and would have the average mindset in the majority of the above them maybe it’s time to try something new?

Until next time… make it happen.

p.s. Have you downloaded my free ebook Staying Positive: 10 Simple Tips to Staying Positive? Click here to download it now!


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