“I don’t have your attitude,” Jeff said to me. “I just don’t have the mindset of someone who can make a lot of money.”
“Do you want to make a lot of money?” I asked him.
“That’s the sad thing,” he said, smiling wryly. “I do.”
“Well then,” I said, “why don’t you forget about your attitude and focus on your behavior?”
“What do you mean?”
“Why don’t you stop thinking about why you can’t make a lot of money and do something to make it happen?”
I handed him a piece of paper. “Start by writing down how much you’d like to be worth in 20 years.”
He did it.
“Now,” I said, “let’s talk about how you can build up to that number, year by year.”
By the end of an hour, he had net worth goals for 20 years running. His target for the current year was very achievable. He was motivated.
“This is great!” he said.
“How do you feel about it?”
“I think I can do it.”
Attitude can change behavior, but it is much more common for behavior to change attitude.
To put it another way: Getting wealthy doesn’t depend as much on whether you are a positive person or a negative one as it does on the specific actions you take, or fail to take.
There is so much misinformation about this subject in the self-help industry.
The wannabes out there want to believe there is a mental switch inside them that, if they could find it, would instantly transform them from couch potatoes to human money machines.
“The switch is somewhere in your brain,” they argue. “Find it, trip it, and the rest is easy.”
Yes, it is easy to become wealthy… if you follow the practical, action-oriented wealth-building advice we give you in ETR.
But if the only thing you are willing to do is think about getting richer, you are going to be disappointed.
You may not like what I’m saying, but you need to hear it. Please trust me on that.
I am not saying that I don’t believe in positive thinking. I absolutely believe that it helps in many ways.
When I brush my teeth every morning, I smile at myself in the mirror at least a dozen times to give me energy and put me in a productive mood. And when I’m going to give a speech, participate in a wrestling match, or make a presentation, I use visualization to mentally prepare myself to do well.
But those things are not going to turn me into a money magnet.
To develop the power to create wealth, you need to take certain very specific wealth-building actions. And each time you complete one of those actions, you will feel a deep change inside you.
That’s what you really need — a change in your wealth-building habits and behaviors.
Keep reading ETR and you’ll find out what those habits and behaviors are.[Ed. Note: Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]