Money is made or lost in the mind. What goes on in our minds will reflect our actions. Those actions, done on a continuous basis, become our reality. There are three money mindsets that we tend to have, and we move fluidly between one and the other.
This first one is the most basic. We think, plan for and look for ways to meet our basic needs. This includes food, housing, water, debt payments, transport, phone bills, electricity school fees, etc. These are priority expenses.
However, the survival mentality goes beyond just those expenses. It can also include the things we like although we don’t necessarily need them, for example entertainment expenses, holidays, books, magazines, etc. A lot of people get stuck here. They reason that because they are enjoying life, they must be doing well.
They may look better and more comfortable than those who are trying to manage basic expenses but at the end of the day, it is still survival mentality. If you only think survival, you will only get survival. ‘Hustling’ exemplifies this survival attitude. It is perfectly okay to survive but that can’t be it. Part of our brains have to be used for something else.
This mindset wants to get things done. You have actions going on in your life that show you don’t live in survival. Let’s just start with the fact that you save. If you lost your income suddenly today, at least you will have a few months of breathing space. You may be in a chama and you go for meetings every so often. You may also have land, shares, deposits, funds, etc. You will sit with fellow achievers and talk about what investments you could possibly make.
You could even be running a business and it works. It pays you, your employees and customers are happy. The trap here is that you get caught up in the doing and in many cases, think that it makes you wealthy.
To an achiever, action is equal to success especially when they have nice amounts in their bank or investment accounts to prove it. However, you are unclear which direction you are going. Many achievers think they are okay but they find themselves in trouble because of not evolving to the next mindset. Achieving is a good start, but it doesn’t end there.
We keep hearing about how only a small proportion of people own majority of the world’s wealth. I think only a small proportion of people think strategically and have cultivated the discipline and patience to do so. Let’s use an example: I know a consultant who has decided to take a sabbatical for six months. He had actually saved to buy a car but has now decided to use those funds to sustain himself during this period.
A survivor cannot do this – they just haven’t planned financially for this and the car may currently be more important as it makes them look good. An achiever may not comprehend stepping aside for this amount of time and do what looks like nothing. Somebody strategic will understand this move. He intends to develop himself, think and come back stronger and with better value for his consultancy business. He needs time away to do this.
Strategic thinkers remove themselves from ‘busyness’ to see further than most people can. They are very clear what they want to achieve so it’s not just about having assets. They know the answer to what those assets will do for them and they started working on it years ago. They do fewer things that take time but those that have a higher result.
Many people who have created wealth have done it from intentional actions and willingness to take the risks to prepare themselves and invest the time and resources. Theirs is always a long term game.
In our lives we may have to do a bit of everything. However, the intention should be our mindset’s progress. Will you survive or will you thrive?