Is Your Mindset Keeping Your Poor?

Steve Siebold how rich people think

Over the weekend I was poking around on Penelope Trunk’s wonderful homeschooling blog when I came across one of her posts from September titled, “Back-to-school time is for poor kids.”

The title immediately caught me off guard, because like millions of people, I remember getting ready to go back to school every September and my family wasn’t poor. At least, not on paper.

While I’d say my family was solidly middle-class—both my parents had decent jobs, we took vacations every year, went out to dinner every week, and I always attended private schools—some of my parent’s actions told another story.

According to Steve Siebold author of the book How Rich People Think, wealthy people view the world much differently than the rest of us. For example, instead of living above their means, like my parents often did, rich folks live below their means because they can afford to do what they want and still have money left over.

As I scrolled through the Siebold’s list of how differently the rich and the wannabe rich think, I couldn’t help feeling like he was exposing much of my flawed thinking.

Business Insider broke down Siebold’s insights, and more than a few of them stood out to me.


  • Average people think selfishness is a vice. Rich people think selfishness is a virtue.
  • Average people have a lottery mentality. Rich people have an action mentality.
  • Average people see money through the eyes of emotion. Rich people think about money logically.
  • Average people earn money doing things they don’t love. Rich people follow their passion.
  • Average people believe you have to DO something to get rich. Rich people believe you have to BE something to get rich.

I could go on.

Like many, I’ve been firmly caught in a good number of theses examples of “poor” thinking (earning money doing things I don’t love, reacting emotionally to money, and praying to God I win the lotto even though I don’t play) while still wondering why I wasn’t living the life I wanted.

Over the past few years, I’ve become increasingly aware of how my mindset affects my life. When I’ve harbored negative thoughts about myself and my situation, things have continued to move in a downward, more depressing trajectory. But when I’ve switched my thoughts and kept a positive outlook on life, positive things happen.

While I think the line between rich and poor is a bit more complex that how we think, I do believe that how we see ourselves and the world has a tremendous outcome on what we are able to accomplish.

Can our thinking really determine if we will be rich or poor? Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

*Want to connect with a growing network of go-getters? Meet us over in the #GOALdiggers Facebook group!

Related Post

  • StacyAustralia

    Most definitely our thinking can determine if we will be rich or poor. I believe in the law of attraction and everything we put into the universe we will receive back. If we are constantly fidgeting over our finances and worried about money- we will constantly be broke. Someone once told me (I believe I was at church) “you have to open your hand to receive and to give.” If we spend so much time holding on to these negative thoughts we are not allowing the positive thoughts to flow in. I am trying very hard to change my mindset about money. I came from a working class family and we didn’t necessarily take summer vacations. Most of my money views I learned from my mom. She lived check to check. I grew up with the mindset ‘money is meant to be spent.’ My dad was more of a saver. He always told me to save but I never knew how. My parents weren’t together so I had first hand experience of my mom’s money habits over my dad. However I saw firsthand how my dad could go to a dealership and get a brand new car without any money down (his credit was just that damn good.)
    I’m trying so hard to get my finances together. I have had several opportunities to get it in order (I had roommates, I had roommates while working 2 jobs- do you realize how much money I could have had stacked. SMH. You live and you learn and now I am trying to learn.
    Thanks for the article as always it’s right on time!!

  • Shawn Richards

    Loved the article. LOL @ “praying to God I win the lotto even though I don’t play.”

  • Angela Myers

    Being poor is certainly a mindset, and thinking poor can keep u living paycheck to paycheck. By income level standards, I am considered to be in the “top 20% of wage earners”, however some of my habits and mental thinking keep me “poor”. We see this a lot with celebrities and athletes (Mike Tyson, M.C. Hammer, even Michael Jacson filed bankruptcy!)

    I also think we should remember that there is a difference between being “rich” and being “wealthy”. Wealthy people typically leave legacies for their children, their children’s children, their children’s children children, and so on (think Hiltons, Rockafellers, Oprah, Bill Gates). There are some rich people that are only rich for their life and MAYBE their children’s lives. For example, how long do you think it’s going to take Bobbi Kristina to blow through her Mom’s money? Even with the residuals she will be receiving, at some point she might have to earn some income. But in contrast a Hilton will never have to work.

    I am certainly working on better financial habits, but more importantly I’m working on the mental chains that keep me thinking poor!

    • Britni Danielle

      I totally agree Angela. So true. I love Chris Rock’s bit about being rich vs. wealthy. I’m trying to build WEALTH (and I will).

      • Angela Myers

        I’ve never seen his bit, but I’m going to look for it tomorrow on YouTube! LOL

  • Lorri

    Your mentality has everything to with what you have and where we are going. I have to check myself on this because I carry bad thinking when it comes to money. I always get income but don’t control it like I believe in my future. Getting better the more I read and become aware.

  • Iris

    This year I challenged myself to treat my money differently. Although I have more growing to do, I am proud to say that I lived up to the challenges and the rewards were great. Every year I say; I am going to pay off my car and credit cards, every year I fail. But this year I not only said I was going to do it, I made a reasonable plan to get it done.

    First… You have to be aware of all of your debt. Don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore the painful numbers as they grow every month. No matter how many bills you do not open, they still exist with interest. Write down all of your debt on paper. Put it in a place where you will see often, like your wallet. Now every time you grab for that credit card you will see a reminder of all the money you owe.

    Second… Stop spending money you don’t have. How do you know you don’t have it? Simple, do you owe someone else money? Yes? Then you don’t have it.

    Third… a little hard work, never hurt anyone. Some people bring in a little extra cash with a side hustle. For me it was doing overtime at my 9-5.

    Last but not least… stay focus on realistic goals! Write down the amount of money you owe. Next, write down how much money you can put towards your debt, every month. Make sure what you put towards your debt, will not interfere with your other bills or savings. Be realistic about how long it will take to get rid of your debt and be ready to sacrifice and FOCUS!

    Then I shared my experience with others on my blog. Telling other people how to accomplish something that you did is rewarding especially when it works.