America has long been seen as the land of opportunity. After all, there have been plenty of rags-to-riches stories in U.S. history. Take Oprah Winfrey, for example. She’s just one of the many billionaires who grew up poor.
That begs the question of whether coming from little money can help motivate someone to make a lot of money as an adult. There’s no denying that many children who are born into poverty never escape it. But “Rich Habits” author Tom Corley has found from studying wealthy and poor individuals over a three-year period that many self-made millionaires grew up poor. “Ironically, according to my research, being poor actually endows you with certain advantages over the middle class and the wealthy,” he said. Find out what traits poor people have that can help them become rich and achieve the American dream.
The Poor Are More Willing to Take Risks
Corley found in his “Rich Habits” study that 41 percent of the 177 self-made millionaires he surveyed were reared in poor households. “Yet, somehow they managed to break out of their poverty as adults,” he said.
One of the keys to their ability to get out of poverty was their willingness to take risks to get to the top. “Growing up poor forces you to take risks in the pursuit of wealth,” Corley said. “Overcoming the fear of taking risks, therefore, becomes a habit.” However, he found that once the self-made millionaires in his study had become rich, they became less comfortable with risk because they didn’t want to lose their hard-earned wealth. But before you get to the top, you have something to learn and here they are.
Know When Opportunity Comes Knocking
“There is gold everywhere. Most people are not trained to see it.”
One of the biggest lessons in Kiyosaki’s book is to stop chasing money and start uncovering your opportunities. To do this, be intentional about increasing your financial intelligence. Knowledge is power. With it comes a new type of clarity to see just how many wealth-making opportunities are right in front of you.
Get started by:
- Acquiring the assets you love and want to take care of and invest in.
- Working for free, building contacts, and finding ways to serve others.
- Using your imagination and creativity to identify opportunities. As Kiyosaki explains, “In the Information Age and the age of the Internet, millions of people under the age of 30 are getting rich using their imaginations to create apps that change the world—from Facebook to Uber to Snapchat and others. Those with imaginations thrive while those without it are still looking for a job . . . a job that may soon be replaced by robots and technology.”
- “Inventing money” or finding opportunities that others missed because they don’t have the right skills, knowledge, resources, or connections. As the author says, “Financial intelligence is simply having more options, figuring out ways to create opportunities or altering situations to work in your favor.”
- Gaining experience at identifying great opportunities by applying what you’re learning in the real world.
GET The Rich Mindset
“Money—which isn’t real, by the way, but just what we agree it is—isn’t our greatest asset. Our mind is. Train it well. Millions can be made from nothing more than ideas and agreements.”
We all know someone who appears rich but is one bad day away from bankruptcy. If this summary of Rich Dad Poor Dad teaches you anything, it’s that you can make a million dollars per year and still be broke. It’s all about your mentality. For example, this might look like a millionaire buying a 50 million dollar house they can’t afford, purchasing seven luxury cars, and spending exorbitant amounts of money on clothes.
Truthfully, a person with a Rich mindset who only has a $25,000 salary is better positioned to experience exponential wealth. This is because they will use their money wisely to buy assets, capitalize on various income-generating opportunities, and quickly multiply the money they keep. However, the person with low financial intelligence will sink further into debt, letting their bad habits get the best of them.