Once I passed the magic million-dollar mark, I began looking around me and asking the question, “Why is it that everyone doesn’t use these simple principles to become wealthy?” As I continued my research, I found that there were seven reasons why people don’t become wealthy. Let us deal with each of them in turn.
1. IT NEVER OCCURS TO THEM
It never occurs to them that they can become wealthy. Because of their upbringing and early conditioning, perhaps coming from a home where no one had ever been wealthy, and associating with poor people, they never thought that they too could become wealthy, just as millions of others have done before them.
2. THEY NEVER DECIDE TO DO IT
Many people wish, hope, dream, and fantasize about how their lives would be different if they had a lot of money. They admire and envy people around them who are doing better than they are. They worry about money all the time. But they never make a firm, do-or-die decision to become wealthy. As a result, they never even take the first step. They don’t learn wealth-creation techniques. They don’t upgrade their knowledge and skills so that they become more valuable at their work. They make excuses and rationalize their situations by saying that success is simply a matter of “luck” and they didn’t get any.
3. THEY PROCRASTINATE
If it does occur to them, and they decide to become wealthy, they never get started. They procrastinate. They move to that wonderful fantasy place called “Someday I’ll.” “Someday I’ll save my money rather than spending it all.” “Someday I’ll upgrade my knowledge and skills.” “Someday I’ll work harder and make myself more valuable.” “Someday I’ll get out of debt.” They end up living on “Someday I’ll” for most of their lives. One of the great secrets of success is for you to “vote yourself off the island!” Stop making excuses and start making progress.
4. THEY FEAR FAILURE
Because of destructive criticism in early childhood and mistakes they have made as adults, they are paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake, of losing their time or money. Even if they are presented with an opportunity, they go into a form of paralysis. Their fear of failure causes them to create all kinds of reasons not to take action. They don’t have the time. They can’t make the minimum investment.
They don’t have the necessary knowledge and skills. Like a deer caught in the headlights, they are paralyzed by the idea of failure, which causes them to never take any action at all. As it happens, most fortunes in America were started by the sale of personal services. The people had no money, but they had the ability to work hard, to upgrade their skills, and to become more and more valuable. As a result, more and more doors of opportunity opened up for them.
5. THEY FEAR CRITICISM AND DISAPPROVAL
Many people think that if they set a goal to better themselves financially, the people around them will ridicule them and criticize them. They’re afraid that those people will watch over their shoulders and gleefully point out all the mistakes they make. Because they fear the disapproval of others so much, they often attempt nothing at all. Here’s the solution. When you decide to become wealthy, don’t tell anyone. Keep it a secret. Go to work on your goal privately, and only tell people when they see your life improving and ask you how you did it.
6. THEY STOP LEARNING AND GROWING
To achieve something you’ve never achieved before, you must learn and practice something that you’ve never done before. The rungs on the ladder to financial success are knowledge and skill. To be financially successful starting from nothing, you are going to have to learn, develop, and practice an entire series of new skills that will enable you to become valuable and even indispensable in your work. Abraham Lincoln once said, “I will study and prepare myself and someday my chance will come.” When you study and prepare yourself, by some universal principle, you always get an opportunity to practice your new skills. But it is up to you to develop them in the first place and to continue to develop them throughout your lifetime.
7. THEY LACK PERSISTENCE
Most people don’t persist long enough to succeed. Successful people will tell you that the major reason for their success was that they refused to quit. They refused to give up when the going got tough. They persisted over and over again, year after year, even in the face of complete bankruptcy and financial ruin. They never stopped. It is amazing how many people give up and quit working just a few steps away from the key turning point in their lives, after which they would have been a big success.
Persistence and determination are the ultimate guarantors that you will achieve all your financial goals.