Shattering Money Myths

Part of the Making Millions For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To increase your chances of making millions, you have to break your faith in several conventional myths about building wealth. The following list shatters the most common money myths and provides reasons why they can't (and shouldn't) stop you from becoming a millionaire:

  • You don't have to accept your “lot in life.” The way things are isn't necessarily the way things must be. The first step to changing your life in any area — not just financially — is formulating the desire for something different. Only when you have the desire to change your financial future can you figure out how to make it happen.

  • Wanting money doesn't make you selfish, materialistic, or evil. Money gives you the means to lead the kind of life you want: fulfilling, interesting, secure, and independent. Being financially rich gives you choices so you can live a more rewarding life.

  • Having wealth doesn't mean someone else has to be poor. Economics, whether personal or global, isn't like a math problem where something added to one side has to be subtracted from the other. You don't have to take anything away from anybody else to build your wealth. (Of course, this also means that rich people haven't taken anything away from you to build their wealth, so you have no reason to resent people who have more money than you do.)

  • Becoming rich doesn't require dishonesty. Certainly, some people have made their fortunes through fraud or other dishonest means (Enron, anyone?), but those people are more usually interested in shortcuts to wealth than in truly understanding and managing their money. You can live your values and still create your own financial security.

  • You don't have to have a lot of money to make more money. Small sums can add up to big dividends if you properly use the money you do have. The poverty mentality thinks, “There's such a tiny bit of cake; I may as well eat it.” The rich mentality thinks, “I'd rather have this tiny bit of cake than eat it and have none.”

  • You don't have to be lucky to create your own financial security. Some things in this life are outside your control, and you'll doubtless encounter unexpected setbacks on your road to wealth — a car or home repair or a medical emergency that delays your savings or investing goals, for example. But you can overcome even bad luck by using your desire and self-discipline to direct the things you can control.

  • Making money isn't a race. Competition certainly fuels some people's desire to build wealth, and sometimes these competitors are tempted to do things they shouldn't for the sake of a bigger payoff. But if you stay focused on your own goals and ignore what the other guy is doing (except to the extent that you can learn from it), competition is no longer a factor.

  • You don't have to give up anything to become wealthy. Financial security is a choice, not a sacrifice. There will be trade-offs, of course; you may not buy or do something today so you can buy or do something else later. But that, too, is a choice. You're deciding what's most important to you, so whatever you don't buy or do today isn't really a sacrifice — it's just something that isn't as important to you.

Wealth doesn't come quickly or without effort. It requires a combination of thinking about what you want and doing the things that will get you there. Thinking without acting is just another way of dreaming. Thinking plus acting equals achieving.

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