Or does thinking differently make you rich?
Okay, here’s a thing… At Money Fight Club, we’ve long been interested in whether people who are wealthy, or who become wealthy, are psychologically different to the rest of us?
Articles and documentaries abound showing us how self-made billionaires work 36 hours a day, never sleep or take holidays and have a singularity of purpose and an appetite for risk that makes the rest of us look like lightweights.
Do we humble, not so wealthy mortals want to endure the pain that comes with the gain? Yes, it would be nice to be a little wealthier, but at the expense of fewer holidays, less of a social life and reduced time with our friends and family? Maybe we’ll give it a miss.
If you look at wealth and wealthy people this way it’s easy to count your blessings and… do nothing. And ‘do nothing’ is the default position of people who are not money fighters. Doing nothing is easy and it can always be justified – after all, life is so busy and so full already, whose got time to do yet more stuff – even if wealth beckons at the end of that extra effort?
But let’s look at it a different way…
Are people who are wealthy hardwired to think and act differently to the rest of us? Or, if we change the way we think and act, could we become wealthier? Or, at least, increase our opportunities to become so?
Luckily there’s quite a bit of research out there about wealthy people (no, we’re not talking about Hello! magazine).
On a day to day basis they make more decisions than the rest of us, so they become very good at, well, making decisions and, very importantly, making them objectively.
It is this practice that steadies their nerves and gives them the emotional clarity they use to make sound decisions without getting into a flap, or putting decisions off as too hard. They make a decision and move on to the next one – they do not ‘ummmm’ and ‘ahhhh’ (or sit around and worry about what they’ve done).
Wealthy people are also great at organising things – businesses, charity events, ensuring the maid has polished the gold taps in the guest bathroom and so on.
The rest of us find it difficult to make decisions and worry about making them (or not making them). We’re rubbish at organising things – including organising our time so we have time to make more decisions; about the best mobile phone contract, who to choose as our gas and electricity supplier and what tariff to opt for, or how to save for retirment…
- So, what would happen if we practiced our decision making and organising skills more often?
- What could happen if we just increased the amount of decisions we made every day?
- And could we organise more things and organise those things better, including diarising time to search for, say, a new mobile phone contract rather than just hoping a brilliant deal will present itself when we go online to look at YouTube videos of cats dancing?
Research indicates the decision making is a bit like a muscle. Exercise it and it gets strong. Make more decisions daily and when it comes to the bigger decisions – Should I take out a pension annuity or drawn down an income?, for example, you’ll be better able to make them.
The small decisions helps us get better at avoiding decision making fatigue. Couple that with prioritising decisions – such as making more critical and important ones at the beginning of the week, or earlier in the day, will also help.
Think and behave like a rich person and, who knows? You decide.