You're likely reading this article because you're interested in the differences between the way poor vs rich people think and act. You'd probably like to apply the habits of the rich in your own life, right? Well, one thing stands out - it starts with a rich mindset.
If you're serious about success, then you need to understand the difference between rich and poor mentality. As you study the lives of rich people, you'll notice one consistent theme: a growth mindset.
One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Dale Carnegie. "Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
Having a rich mindset is ultimately about self-growth and persevering until you reach your desired outcome. The best place to begin? Understanding the rich vs poor mindset.
Ready to learn what sets apart the rich mindset vs poor mindset? Let's dive in!
The difference between rich and poor mentality
If you've spent any time on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, you've no doubt seen people posting content about their incredibly lavish lifestyles. For some, the images are real. But for others, behind the scenes, there's a lot of debt, poor credit, and zero savings.
In the extremely popular and captivating book, The Millionaire Next Door, the author has studied millionaires over several decades. Do you know what he found? Most millionaires aren't living out in Hollywood. Most millionaires are right in front of you - living in your neighborhood, driving that second-hand Toyota, and sporting the iPhone from 5 years ago.
There are so many lessons to learn from these millionaires. They're business owners who've built their empires from the ground up, women and men who've maintained their old lifestyles while building real assets and using a rich mindset.
It's important to realize that truly rich people often won't flaunt it. And it's partly why they continue to increase in wealth. They're not buying the latest gadgets, the most expensive vs inexpensive, instead, they're building assets.
This is a key differentiator between rich vs poor people. Living in luxury can be one of the habits of the poor mindset. But becoming rich is possible, and there are many more wealthy people out there than you might imagine. These are people who have built wealth quietly using a stealth wealth approach.
What is a poor mindset?
On the other end of the spectrum, you have a significant number of people stuck in a poverty mindset. Poverty and being poor is complex. Our environment, exposure, and life experiences can keep us trapped in its cycle.
It can be difficult to overcome this. However, you can carve your way out by deciding to adjust your mindset. So what are the thought patterns that can hold you back from becoming wealthy?
1. A poor mindset believes things will not change.
Poor mindset convinces people that their circumstances are fixed and that living paycheck to paycheck is the best they can do. They think that there's not much they can do to improve their circumstances. This is a big difference between rich and poor mentality.
2. An attitude of poverty believes they can't overcome challenges.
Someone using habits of the poor mindset believes that what life has thrown them has never been seen before and their challenges are impossible to overcome. They may also feel judgment towards those that are rich.
What this person fails to realize is that everyone goes through rough patches. Oprah didn't rise to where she was without facing major personal and professional challenges, and neither did the likes of the late and great Kobe Bryant.
Instead, they had a wealth mentality, and below, we'll walk through certain habits that rich people have that set them apart from the rest.
10 Rich mindset habits to start emulating now
Now that you know the difference between the rich vs poor mindset, let's get into specific rich mindset habits that you can start working on today.
1. Rich people always have a vision
Before you hit the ground running, ask yourself this: what is your vision? Jonathan Swift said it right when he said "Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others."
Do you have hopes and dreams you're constantly thinking of achieving? Is your vision big beyond what you think you are capable of today? Will what you see for yourself change your life, the life of your family, or your community in the future?
If all you see is where you are today, challenge yourself to build a vision. Once you do, realize it's not a one-and-done affair. Instead, it's an everyday process where your mind dreams further of what's possible. The rich are persistent and keep working towards their vision and goals; a huge difference between the rich mindset vs poor mindset.
2. Rich people have productive routines
Netflix, YouTube, and TikTok have been dominating the entertainment scene of late. Millions of hours are viewed each day. While it's great for them, it does little for you - and rich people know this. Most rich people are more productive with their time.
Rich people are intentional. They have routines. And they understand that you don't just wake up as a diligent individual out of nowhere. When we talk about routines, we don't just mean waking up at 5 am every day. That's only a tiny part of it. Instead, we're referring to the overall environment rich people put themselves in.
Rich people are intentional about the friends they keep. They pay attention to what they feed their minds. And rich people put themselves in environments where success is most likely.
Routines consist of all these components - time, environment, and habits. For example, when you need to get some work done at home, do you work from your bed? You probably end up getting much less done. Having a designated workspace will get you much further ahead.
Basically, create a life that makes success inevitable. The reliability of a routine can help you succeed. Rich people know this and are intentional about having a consistent routine.
3. A rich mindset is results-driven
Rich people focus on outcomes. They take full responsibility by setting goals and achieving them. And they aren't building routines for bragging rights. No one is waking up at 5 am so they can post about it on Instagram. No. Rich people are focused on the results and will commit to doing what it takes to achieve them.
Routines alone will improve your quality of life. But they won't do anything for your bank account. Routines coupled with focused action will yield results.
So what's the best way to achieve results? Know what you want. When you have a clear idea of what the end goal is, it will be so much easier to work back and figure out what it takes to get there!
4. Rich people admit when they don't know
Guess what makes you a smart person? Admitting what you don't know and knowing how to ask meaningful questions.
Rich people know this and are on a constant search for knowledge as part of their rich mindset. If you're learning from a mentor, ask smart questions for informational purposes.
Learn in regards to the challenges they are facing, understand what they are trying to achieve, how they are planning to achieve their goals, and what they've learned from past experiences.
Listening always pays off and rich people know this. They gather intel on best practices, new opportunities, and potential challenges and solutions. They use this skill when learning, negotiating, exploring, networking - basically every human interaction they have!
5. People with a rich mindset don't work for money
You heard that right. Rich people work to learn. Poor people often work for their next paycheck. This is a huge difference in the rich vs poor mindset.
You see it all around you. Poor people end up working from paycheck to paycheck barely making ends meet. Rich people in the meantime grow their skills and abilities and continually rise up the ranks.
Once you make money the end goal, you'll be stuck working for it, without growing in your talents and abilities to earn more income. If you work to learn, you'll be well on your way to success.
6. Rich people have mentors
Life is all about relationships. You've heard the saying before "your network is your net worth." It's true. But that doesn't mean you should go out there and dump your friends. Instead, it means you should broaden your circle.
You see, rich people connect with other people. They identify stars in their field, study them, and through a leap of faith, make that connection. It all goes back to your vision. Who inspires you? What do you admire about them? What do you hope to learn from them? And it doesn't just stop there.
A rich mindset asks how you'll make a connection with that person. To connect with anyone you'd like in the world, you have to serve them first. Understand their world and figure out how you can add value to them. They'll be much more receptive to mentoring you once you've built a relationship.
7. Rich people always look out for opportunities
Shark Tank is a fascinating show. Every week, handfuls of entrepreneurs stand before the sharks and pitch a new idea. Some of them are wild.
Would you ever imagine a sponge in the shape of a smiley face making hundreds of millions of dollars? Or a toilet stool that makes bowel movements easier revamping how people handle their business? Scrub Daddy and Squatty Potty did just that. Their founders were visionaries who saw opportunities in the mundane day-to-day activities of life.
Not seeking to improve things is one of the habits of the poor mindset. But not someone with a rich mindset. A rich person always seeks to improve upon what's out there - and there's always room for improvement. Both in good economies and bad.
Past recessions birthed companies like Airbnb, Disney, Venmo, Slack, and Uber. Recessions and times of economic uncertainty create some of the greatest comeback stories you can ever imagine. It's times like these where differences between people with rich vs. poor mindsets stand out.
8. Rich people believe in abundance
In the rich vs poor mindset, there's often one core belief that holds poor people back. It's a belief that resources are limited. It's a belief that if my neighbor Jane succeeds, then there's less room for me to succeed.
It can often lead to resentment and an assumption that rich people only look out for their own interests. To a person with a poor mindset, resources are always scarce.
Rich people, on the other hand, believe in abundance. You've succeeded? Great! Who else can too? Rich people know there's plenty to go around. They do not engage in an "us vs. them" mentality. They focus on providing as much value as they can to as many people as they can. That's their formula for success.
Zig Ziglar summarized it well when he said, "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want."
9. A person with a rich mindset learns how to manage their finances
No one is born knowing how to manage their money. Sure, some people are born into families where financial management is modeled well for them. But for the majority of us, that's not the case.
Rich people know this and are proactive in managing their finances. A rich person has a budget. A wealthy person has learned how to invest in the stock market. A successful person made it a priority to get out of debt.
Beyond that, rich people understand how to use money to their advantage. Instead of racking up thousands of dollars in consumer debt, rich people will leverage it to start a business if they need to. They use debt to build and they pay it off responsibly.
10. Rich people are not afraid to fail
Rich people are not afraid to fail. They're not afraid of trying something new. They see a problem and they are quick to think of solutions to it. No one has 100% accuracy with finance and investments, sometimes you just have to take a calculated risk.
Failure doesn't worry them, because they have not failed as long as there are life lessons to learn. They are willing to go out on a limb sometimes, at their own risk, because they want to improve and try to be more successful.
You've certainly achieved wins in the past, but you've probably also had things not go according to plan before those wins. Look back at each of them and you'll notice the lessons you learned in order for you to get to the point of success.
Use a rich mindset and become wealthy!
Now you know the difference between rich and poor mentality. Becoming rich is not hard, but it does take time and effort.
You just need to start cultivating habits that will get you there and understand a rich mindset vs poor mindset. Practice habits that will make you wealthy, not habits of the poor mindset.
Like many before you, you too can become a millionaire. It won't happen overnight, but with consistent and diligent effort, you'll be well on your way to achieving wealth.
So I'll leave you with these questions: What is your vision? Where are you going? Who do you want to be? Today is a great time to start developing your rich mindset and working towards your goals.
To learn new things about habits and finance, listen to our podcast, Clever Girls Know. Or check out these books for even more information about money.