Our thoughts and beliefs affect all areas of our lives; our success, relationships, health, and finances. Over the years I’ve come to recognize a very common belief about money that limits our ability to prosper. This belief not only applies to our financial lives but every other area of our lives as well. Continue reading to find out if you have this belief and if you do, learn what you can do to change it.
I was chatting with a friend the other day and I commented on how he’s been working on the same house forever. He went on to tell me more about the project. It’s a 14,000 square foot home for a couple of 30-somethings. It has eight bathrooms and a budget of 10 million dollars. After my initial “holy crap!” I said, “I need to get into their line of work.” He said… wait for it… “They don’t work. It’s family money.”
What?! We don’t even get birthday cards from our family. So the idea of a 10 million dollar home completely blows my mind. Like, how much money does this family have that one member is building a home worth $10 million?
The old me would have said something like, “who needs a house that big?” Or, “must be nice to not have to work.” But the current me kind of chuckled at how crazy different their reality is from anything I’ve ever known. And then I said, “Good for them. That’s not how I’d spend $10 million on real estate. But I hope their building something that brings them joy.”
And I truly meant it.
The old Holly would have been bitter because I had a belief that there was a fixed amount of wealth to go around. If one couple had $10 million to build a home, that meant there was $10 million less to go around. Which meant there was less for me.
I believed that wealth was a zero-sum game. Or maybe it’s easier to think of it like a pizza. I thought that when someone did well and got five pieces that meant there were only three pieces left for everyone else. I didn’t consider that you could simply make more pizzas.Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another. – Milton Friedman Click To Tweet
As I began to learn more about money, I learned that wealth isn’t a pizza with eight slices. It’s like literacy. There’s not a fixed number of people who can be literate. Throughout history, as more people learned to read and write, the literacy rate grew. Literacy begets literacy.
Wealth creation works the same way. There’s not a fixed amount of prosperity in the world. Like literacy, wealth can grow.
In his book, Business Secrets from the Bible, Rabbi Daniel Lapin teaches that money is spiritual. Yes, legal tender, like $100 bill is physical. But the concept of money is not. When you view money as a physical object, you believe it is finite. If it’s finite, then you can only get money by taking it from someone else.
When you see money as spiritual, it becomes infinite and everyone can win. Engaging in economic transactions creates money. This is why the stock market continues to grow and the central bank continues to mint new money.When you view money as an object, you believe it's finite. If it’s finite, you can only get money by taking it from someone. When you see money as spiritual, it becomes infinite and everyone can win. – Rabbi Lappin Click To Tweet
Here’s a modern-day example of how wealth is created. In 2007, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky started Airbnb. Ten years later, the company boasted a $31 BILLION valuation.
Was this money taken from the prosperity pizza leaving $31 billion less for the rest of the world?
Quite the contrary. Airbnb created new a new opportunity for virtually anyone to create wealth. My husband, Jer, and I traveled to Mexico earlier this year and saw firsthand how platforms like Airbnb are helping families make ends meet.
A skeptic might argue that they’re taking from someone. The skeptic would say they’re stealing business from the big hotel chains or the hostels. But after a recent last-minute trip to Hawaii, I beg to differ. Trying to find decent lodging last minute was an adventure, to say the least.
The creation of Airbnb has not only been good for the founders, but also their employees, investors, property owners, travelers, airlines, rental cars, and the travel industry as a whole. There’s even a whole new niche of businesses created to serve property owners. I’ve also noticed growth with other vacation rental sites like VRBO. Like literacy, wealth begets wealth.
Now for the moment of truth. Do you possess a belief that wealth is a fixed pie?
If you do, go easy on yourself. We all have diverse backgrounds and experiences that have come together to form our worldview. Many of these experiences you didn’t choose so you don’t have to continue to carry them with you. Give yourself permission to embrace a growth mindset and keep learning and improving.
Whether or not you see wealth as a fixed pie, these three practical tips will help you live with more wealth and abundance.
1 – Educate Yourself
I love books. They’re something I can pick up in the evening when I have downtime, or grab and bring with me to appointments. When I traveled for work I listened to tons of audiobooks. Here are some of my favorite titles that will help you build wealth.
You can find lots of other resources here on my blog. Podcasts and YouTube offer more wonderful opportunities to learn. And don’t forget to look into classes through local churches or community education.
Most of us weren’t taught about personal finances in our schools or families of origin. But that’s no excuse to stay stuck with a negative belief. Empower yourself to thrive financially by learning more about money.
2 – Think Collaboration over Competition
I’ll admit that this isn’t something that came naturally for me either. From the beginning, we’re taught to win. We’re graded on a curve and only a handful of people can get the highest grade or the biggest raise. Only one team can win the sports ball trophy and only one runner comes in first in a marathon.
But business and wealth creation don’t work this way. Over the last 20 year I learned that collaboration always wins.Your success in business isn't graded on a curve. There aren't a fixed number of A's or bonus dollars to be divided. That's why collaboration always wins long-term. Click To Tweet
Before going out on my own, I worked for a large corporation as a business coach. I have fond memories of one business owner, in particular, who was leaps and bounds ahead of his competition in terms of sales and profitability. While he’s a driven and competitive person at heart, he’s a collaborator when it comes to business. He was the only client I worked with who would freely share his knowledge, resources, and staff with his competitors. His collaborative mindset served him then and continues to serve him today as he remains on top of that business and is creating an exciting life most of us could only dream of.
3 – Be a Giver
Secret number 34 in Business Secrets from the Bible is that giving money makes you feel rich. The reasons that givers win with money could be (and now is) an entire blog post of its own. I’ll keep it simple for this post but if you want to learn more about how giving makes you rich, check out this post here.
In this book Give and Take, Adam Grant explains how the world is made up of givers, takers, and matchers. Most people are matchers. When a matcher works with a giver, they want to help them and see them win. When a matcher works with a taker, they can’t wait until the taker eventually gets what they deserve.
Nobody likes a taker, so be a giver instead. It will change your mindset, relationships, and your happiness.
In every area of our lives, our success is tied to our beliefs. While many of the beliefs we learned growing up are beyond our control, we have the power to change them. By educating yourself, collaborating, and giving, you’ll shift your mindset and enjoy a more abundant life. And there’s nothing you deserve more than a life that’s overflowing with love, health, and wealth.By educating yourself, collaborating, and giving, you’ll shift your mindset and enjoy a more abundant life. Click To Tweet
What belief about money has held you back from fulfilling your potential?
Share in the comments below or come tell me about it on Facebook.
This post was originally published in March of 2018. It has been completely revamped for accuracy, comprehensiveness, and readability. Please enjoy and feel free to share this newly revised content.