How do people get rich?
Work harder? Save more? Have an investment strategy? Play the stock market? Invest in property? Become a business owner?
Sounds about right?
While they’re all good strategies for gaining abundance and prosperity, it only paints half the picture when it comes to building wealth and developing a millionaire mindset.
After all, you’ve probably tried working harder. You’ve probably tried saving more. You might even have dabbled with investment. But if you’re reading this article, let’s face it, it hasn’t worked for you yet. So maybe you’re ready for these unconventional truths on how to get rich.
We teamed up with ‘The Zen Millionaire’, a.k.a Ken Honda, Japan’s most successful and prolific personal growth author, who studied over 12,000 millionaires to find out what makes them tick, and the mindset you need for financial abundance.
So here’s Ken’s list of 10 surprising things that rich people do differently:
1. Rich People Are Interested In Money
Okay, so this might not sound that surprising, but the first thing Ken noticed is that millionaires like money. Like really, genuinely like it.
Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches— Napoleon Hill
Millionaires care about money. They think about money. They talk about money. Making money isn’t just a job. It’s a passion. It’s a hobby. It is a burning desire. It invigorates them. It is their definite purpose.
What is surprising is that people who want to be rich think you can become rich without taking an interest in money, which is madness.
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Think about it this way. Who makes the better student? Someone who spends all their time practicing, learning, researching, and studying? Or the ‘Nah…I’ll just wing it’ guy?
Abundance and prosperity don’t just show up on your doorstep (unless maybe you’re born in a palace) – if you want to be rich, you have to immerse yourself in the topic. You have to flood the subconscious mind with it.
You have to take a genuine interest in money. You have to learn how to think rich.
2. Are Rich People More Intelligent?
The shocking answer could be yes. But not in the way you think.
According to Zen Ken, the happiest and most fulfilled millionaires were those that had high emotional intelligence around money. He calls this Money EQ.
While Money IQ deals with financial intelligence, business savvy, knowledge of the markets, and all that jazz, Money EQ deals with your emotions when you think of money.
Put simply – having high Money EQ means you have a healthy relationship with money.
Just as someone who neglects their emotional intelligence would struggle to reach their full potential, if you neglect your Money EQ, you’ll never be a sustainably and happily wealthy person.
Even if you work hard and make the right investments, and even if your conventional Money IQ is high, if your subconscious mind is sabotaging you, you will struggle to build wealth.
If you choose to work on one thing from this list, it should be raising your Money EQ.
Imagine two people.
The first may believe that the love of money is the root of all evil. Or maybe they think it’s hard to come by and easily lost. Perhaps they’ve been brought up to believe that asking for money is wrong, or that there’s never enough money, or that money doesn’t grow on trees.
Now, imagine the second person. They believe abundance is abundant. They believe prosperity flows easily. They know being wealthy doesn’t make you a bad person. They think that making money is actually fun, or think of all the beautiful things they could do for others with their money.
Based simply on those beliefs, who would you expect to be wealthier? Which has the higher Money EQ? If you need it spelling out – it’s the second one.
It’s that simple. Your money mindset either attracts abundance or repels it. Your emotional intelligence around money determines whether you see opportunities for prosperity or obstacles.
When you begin to see money as a friend, it will treat you as a friend and come to visit.
When you begin to see wealth as a colleague, you stop working for money and start working with money.
(Tip: To discover your unique Money EQ, you can watch Ken Honda’s free masterclass on how to rise above your negative beliefs, build the wealth you desire, and finally forge a healthy relationship with money.)
3. Wealthy People Understand Abundance is Abundant
From abundance, he took abundance, and still abundance remained.— The Upanishads
What is abundance?
In the personal growth world, we tend to throw the term abundance around a lot. And so we should. It’s a lovely word. But what does abundance mean? An excellent definition that works for everyone is that abundance means having more than enough.
You can be abundant in anything. But rich people tend to think that the world has an abundance of abundance, while poor people believe abundance is scarce. Given the choice, you want to develop an abundance mindset.
A common limiting belief among people struggling with financial success is that there is generally not enough to go around. Hereditary wealth is a significant factor since more affluent people naturally inoculate their offspring against such limiting beliefs around abundance.
The next generation of successful people, having never gone without, instinctively understand that there’s plenty of pie to go around and that they are deserving of their piece. While those who are brought up by parents struggling to pay the bills, or denied life’s luxuries because of a lack of money, naturally internalize the scarcity mindset from a young age.
Of course, sometimes this sense of lack itself can be the catalyst for becoming wealthy, but this still requires adopting the abundance mindset, so do yourself a favor and acknowledge that there’s enough out there for you too.
4. Rich People Love Calculation
Another thing Ken noticed about the millionaires he interviewed was that they love calculation and spotting opportunities before weighing up whether it’s a good return or not.
They make use of specialized knowledge to help them make good decisions and eliminate negative influences on their assets.
While this typically falls under the category of Money IQ, notice the word ‘love’ there.
For some people, calculations and budgeting can be a huge source of stress. But a self-made millionaire is likely to enjoy calculating. It’s kind of like doing a crossword puzzle. It’s an enjoyable problem to solve.
5. Rich People Think Long Term
Perhaps it’s the freedom from having to make ends meet, but a successful person tends to think long-term about money. It’s a key component of building wealth.
While us paupers might plan our finances a few weeks, months, perhaps even a year ahead, the most successful people are thinking decades, maybe even generations ahead.
Ken’s mentor, Wahei Takeda (the Warren Buffet of Japan), always used to talk in terms of ‘when I come back for the next life.’ He was thinking of the future of the planet. As Ken says:
“I think there are certain things that I should do before I die. So, for my children, grandchildren, and also, when or if I come back next time, I want the earth to be nice and happy.”
6. Give Generously
Perhaps the most beautiful thing about money is the power it gives the holder to make positive changes in the world. Sure, the tax avoiders and ‘evil’ corporations get the headlines, but you’d be surprised at just how philanthropic the average wealthy person is.
Beyond the warm rosy glow you get from doing something nice for humanity, the act of giving has another added bonus. It’s a message to the Universe of your abundance. Think about it, if you give money away, it’s the ultimate expression that “I have plenty. I have more than enough” – and (if you’re into the law of attraction) that means that money will naturally find its way back to you.
7. Rich People Love Taking Risks
Just because someone is rich doesn’t mean they can afford to lose. Some would make the sensible argument that you have even more to lose. But that doesn’t stop successful people from taking risks.
Whether it’s with investment opportunities, pivoting the direction of a company, or selling a piece of real estate, you have to become comfortable with risk-taking. Of course, you use your love of calculation to help limit and mitigate the risk, but as the old saying goes: ‘Nothing ventured, nothing gained.’
8. Rich People Value Human Relationships
Another observation Ken Honda made is that being rich, both financially and in life, is a matter of relationships. And in his studies of how millionaires think, he found that one of their top values was human relationships.
Of all the assets these wealthy people sought to protect, their credibility and the strength of their relationships were the most important.
And although not necessarily a direct source of income, rich people recognize their network is definitely worth investing in, and possibly your most valuable asset.
9. They Recognize That Money Represents Value
If you create massive value for others, you have the right to be as rich as you want.— Steve Siebold
For those of us not born into money, the surest way to make money is to provide value. The more value you provide, the more likely your bank balance will reflect it.
It’s crucial to release negative emotions and negative thoughts about money. Money, in and of itself, is neither good nor bad. If you can adopt the belief that riches are proportional to the value you give the world, and be inspired to create as much value as possible, then both you and the world will benefit.
10. Rich People Thank Their Money
Arigato in, arigato out, as money flows and as it goes!— Ken Honda
When Ken Honda asked his mentor, Wahei Takeda, what the secret of his great wealth was, he expected the answer to fill one of his many books. So it was to his great surprise when he replied with just three words:
“Arigato your money.”
‘Arigato’ means ‘thank you’ in Japanese. Whether consciously or not, the world’s wealthiest people are always grateful to their money, whether receiving or spending it.
You always have a reason to be grateful to your money. It’s a strange concept. Even my spellcheck just tried to correct ‘grateful to’ to ‘grateful for.’ But when you start treating money less as an abstract concept and more like a beloved friend, you’ll notice the difference.
Spending money on bills? Don’t be resentful for losing money. Say ‘arigato’ to your money for providing you with electricity, warmth, and wifi. Spending money on food? Say ‘arigato’ for a lovely meal. Receiving your paycheck? Say arigato. Every financial exchange is a beautiful trade.
Try it yourself. It really works. And even if it didn’t, gratitude is the one thing you can never have too much of.
The Secret Japanese Art of Healing Your Money Wounds
Now you have an insight into some of the more unconventional ways of how to think like a rich person, but there’s probably one aspect you need to work on before all others – healing your money wounds.
Money wounds are the limiting beliefs about money that rich people just don’t have. Sometimes this is down to a privileged upbringing, and they never had these wounds. Sometimes it’s because of perseverance and determination to never suffer from these wounds in the same way as their parents did.
But one way or another, you need to identify any of the potentially damaging beliefs you have about your relationship with money, and you need to change them.
To become rich, you have to think rich. And that all starts with believing money is good for you, and you are good for it. It sounds a little out there, but if you’re willing to approach Ken’s work with an open mind, you’ll see why people pay him $30,000 for the value his coaching sessions bring.
As a Mindvalley Member, you can access his 21 Day Coaching program ‘Money EQ’ for free as part of your membership. If you’re not a member, don’t worry; Ken’s free masterclass will still teach you enough to drastically transform your money mindset.
Sign up for the masterclass to learn:
- The 7 Most Common Money Beliefs Holding You Back — take a quickfire quiz to find out which beliefs you need to disrupt today to see an immediate rise in your levels of wealth.
- Discover Why Earning More Will Never Make You Feel Rich — instead adopt the ‘abundance on demand’ mindset that will quickly shift you towards more prosperity.
- Identify and Heal Your Money Wounds — We all have hidden childhood stories in our minds that are running our relationship with money — often with disastrous effects. Discover what yours are and how to heal them permanently.
Remember, if you’ve been toiling and ‘doing all the right things but still find your financial situation less than desirable, it could just be that your Money EQ needs a booster shot.
Having a high Money EQ is not a gift or talent. It’s a skill anyone can learn, by following the right steps to retrain the brain. And when you do this, you instantly start experiencing money, abundance, and prosperity in a whole new way.