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7 Money Beliefs That Kept Me Poor

mens coach mens program Jun 01, 2024
Benny Wills
Read time: 7 minutes

 

Let’s talk about money.

I used to hate it. I used to wish it didn’t exist. I didn’t want to figure out how to earn it. I thought it was bad and unimportant.

I was wrong.

My attitude about money was unhealthy and rooted in ignorance. For a long time. And it held me back. In every way possible.

Money is not bad and it is important. It's as important as the basic needs it pays for. Food, clothes, shelter, etc.. Nothing can take the place of money in the area in which money works. Period.

So today I’m honing in on 7 limiting beliefs I had about money that kept me poor.

 

1. We shouldn’t have to pay to be alive.

I held on to this one for over a decade. I was thinking narrowly, through a victim lens. It reduced my perspective on money to nothing more than a means of survival. I ignored its potential for achieving goals, creating opportunities, and enhancing the quality of my life. It prevented me from seeing money as a resource for growth and positive impact.

It kept me trapped in a cycle of working merely to cover basic needs. Rather than pursuing higher aspirations or personal growth. This led to resentment, helplessness, and a lack of motivation to improve my life.

I hated money and holding this belief was a heavy weight to carry. I was perpetually stressed about finances and angry that I had to work.

Feeling like we shouldn’t have to pay to be alive was selfish and a hindrance to my progress. I thought I deserved a rich life without having to contribute anything in return.

My view was skewed. We’re not paying to be alive. We’re being called to participate. To find our role. And money is the agreed upon measure of our efforts.

It wasn’t until I learned that money is a result of service that things started to click. Which leads me to number 2.

 

2. Capitalism is evil

It’s not. In theory anyway.

Money is the effect of our cause, our service to others. Money then becomes our means of exchange to obtain the production and service of others. It’s beautiful and symbiotic. And the essence of capitalism in its purest form. Value for value.

Capitalism is about identifying a problem or a need and solving it. And then getting paid as a result.

Capitalism encourages innovation. Businesses compete to create better products and services, driving progress and improving standards. Competition then leads to options in the marketplace for the consumer.

In a capitalist society, individuals can start businesses and pursue their own economic interests without centralized interference.

Thirst for money and power can corrupt a person and lead them down a compassionless path. But it’s not necessarily capitalism’s fault. The ruthless capitalist lacks ethics and morals. In pursuit of dollars it's important not to lose sight of who you are, who you’re serving, and the outcome you’re hoping to achieve.

A person who lacks ethics and morals, integrity and principles is a burden to any society. Capitalist or otherwise.

 

3. Rich people are greedy

This is a sweeping generalization that can be easily disproved.

I distinctly remember the moment this belief was shattered for me. Sonya and I had just left our lives as actors in Hollywood to become real estate investors. We were having a conversation with our friend / mentor and he asked us this question:

Who thinks about money more, rich people or poor people?

Rich people, obviously. Right?

Wrong.

Poor people think about money more than rich people because they have to. When you’re broke, or barely getting by, your thoughts are dominated by money. By costs, expenditures and prices.

People living in scarcity tend to want to take more than they want to give. They conclude that “things aren’t fair.” And the solution is to leech off of the success of someone else. To get a piece of what someone else has earned. For nothing.

It’s classic victim mentality.

I used to think that rich people were greedy because they don’t give more of their money away. But again, I was wrong. Many of them do give money away. They support causes and charities. They invest in projects and enterprises they want to see succeed.

Selfishness and generosity aren’t qualities reserved for a particular class. Rich, poor or anywhere in between. It comes down to the quality of character.

I’ve found that rich people tend to give away something more valuable than money. They give away their knowledge. Their experience. If you ask them, they will tell you exactly how they got rich. They'll share mistakes they made and lessons they learned.

A rich man knows that giving money to a poor man won’t solve his problems. If he is given money, he will likely remain poor. Because he hasn’t learned anything yet. But give a poor man knowledge of how to get rich and you have given him something much more valuable than money.

The “give a man a fish” parable is an apt one here:

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime"

I’ve been lucky enough to spend some quality time with a number of wealthy people the last few years. In doing so, I have unearthed the ultimate hack.

You can't ask a rich person for their money, but you can ask them for their story. And they'll usually be more than happy to tell it to you.

 

4. We aren’t taught about money in school. That’s not fair!

It is what it is.

The education system in America is flawed to say the least. But blaming school for why you’re poor or why you don’t know anything about money is just outsourcing personal responsibility.

I learned Spanish in school, but it didn’t stick. Who’s to say a class on finance would have?

To learn anything, you have to want to learn. No one is keeping the secrets of success a secret. Anyone can choose at any time to educate themselves on money. And ironically, you don’t have to spend any money to do it.

There is no force, no hidden hand, no secret agenda keeping you poor. Resources on how to make money are everywhere. No one is stopping you from reading a book on how to get rich. Or attending a seminar, taking a course, listening to a podcast, or watching videos on YouTube.

It has never been easier to learn how to make money. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, it’s just never been easier.

If you want to earn more, improve your financial literacy. Stop wasting time complaining and learn how. It’s as simple as that.

 

5. I’m an idea guy, not a money guy.

Which meant I wasn't much of an idea guy. Because all it takes to be a money guy is ideas.

I had a pivotal mindset shift when I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.

It was going from, “I can’t afford it,” to, “How can I afford it?”

The “I can’t” mindset is passive and final. It closes the door to possibilities and creative solutions. It reinforces a fixed limitation and discourages further thought or action. By saying "I can't afford it," I created a mental block. It kept me from exploring potential opportunities or thinking of ways to achieve my goals.

“How can I afford it?" is active and empowering. It opens up possibilities. It encourages you to think creatively and look for ways to make something happen. It shifted my thinking toward problem-solving. Instead of accepting defeat, I began looking for ways to overcome financial challenges.

By asking "How can I afford it?", you take control of your financial situation, rather than feeling victimized by it. You open yourself up to opportunities and take steps toward financial independence and success.

 

6. You have to sell out to be rich

Some people do. But that doesn’t mean you have to. It’s not a prerequisite like I used to think.

Again, I was ignorant. Wealth can absolutely represent the harvest of your contribution.

Many successful businesses are built around a strong mission and set of values. These companies then attract customers and employees who share their values.

This belief overlooks the many ways in which a person can achieve financial success without losing integrity. Individuals can build wealth in ways that align with their principles. And contribute positively to society.

For me, this belief was rooted in jealousy. I wanted an excuse for not pursuing excellence, for not having to work hard, and this belief conveniently filled the gap.

 

7. Money doesn’t buy happiness

True. You can’t buy happiness. But I used this one as a crutch. As an excuse for not taking charge of my financial situation.

Money is the difference between surviving and thriving. And it has contributed a lot more toward happiness than poverty has. The more money you have, the more options you have. And the more options you have, the more freedom you can enjoy.

Money affords you luxuries like:

  • Where you can live
  • What you can drive
  • Where you can go
  • What you can do

It also opens channels for you to be able to give more freely.

You can’t buy extra time in life, but you can buy your current time back. Financial freedom allows for more creative pursuits, passion projects and recreational activities. It funds the experiences in life that enrich your time.

 

In Conclusion

The amount of money you earn will always be in direct proportion to the demand for what you do, your ability to do it, and the difficulty of replacing you.

The more value you provide to the marketplace, the more value (money) you will receive in return.

I love being an entrepreneur. I love solving problems and offering solutions. I love getting paid to help people. It has brought harmony and balance to my life.

One of my favorite things to work on with a client is solving the money riddle. It gets me fired up. If you have the drive but don’t know what to do, holler at your boy. Book a call with me. Let’s dig in and figure out how you can get paid for what you know.

Also, last month I announced the Community I was starting. Since then my founding members and I have been building it. We’re going live at the end of the month.

Don't miss the boat. Click here to get on the waitlist and be the first to know when the enrollment window opens.

As always, thank you for your time.

Much love,

Benny

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