It may sound like a simple statement, but it’s true!
Raise your standards, increase your wealth.
Finding financial freedom really comes down to 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. So, guess where you should focus your efforts?
By raising your standards, you immediately begin to impact the quality of your thoughts (psychology). In fact, if you only concentrated on becoming financially alert, you will find yourself naturally adjusting your mechanics automatically.
Here are a few ways you can raise your standards:
1. Adjust Your Peer Group
No, I’m not talking about ditching your friends and family. 🙂 But, I am suggesting you find and keep people in your life that are already getting the results you want. If you don’t, it’s quite easy to slip back into the comfort of your surroundings. If you want to grow with anything, you’ll need to keep an open mind. Negative beliefs around money are the number one reason people never even get started. Look for others who can challenge you.
Not sure where to start? You can always find a mastermind, investment clubs, service organizations, online communities, etc. Find new friends that share similar values and financial goals. Over time you will build a natural support system and brain trust to bounce ideas off. Also remember to interact with people in different financial positions. Engage with those who have more, and teach those who do not have as much.
2. Find A Mentor
Don’t be afraid to talk with someone who already has accumulated wealth. Wealthy people come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Despite what the media may portray, you are equally likely to meet a millionaire who is an a$$hole as you are to meet a millionaire with a heart of gold. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that more millionaires (because they have abundance) are more inclined to help than someone who has less.
Of course, a mentor isn’t typically sitting there with free handouts for just anyone. They want to find those hungry enough to do the hard work in order to get the results (as a coach, these are the same qualities I’m looking for in my students). A mentor will help you to raise your standards and provide you a perspective that can help cut through your limiting beliefs. If you’re interested in how to find a money mentor, check out my previous post – How to Find a Money Mentor.
3. Read More
Here’s a simple, but often overlooked activity to do. Raise your standards by reading MORE. Books give you access to the greatest minds of all time and you can reap huge advantages by learning their perspectives and beliefs. Here are a few of my favorite personal finance books:
Rich Dad Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki – An excellent book for those just starting their journey towards financial freedom.
Cashflow Quadrant – Robert Kiyosaki – Great overview of basic cash flow and investor types.
MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom – Tony Robbins – In depth look at asset allocation, hidden fees, and shaping your beliefs for action.
The Millionaire Real Estate Investor – Gary Keller – Awesome overview, detailed guide, and motivational book on why and how real estate is one of the best wealth building vehicles ever!
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill – Classic words that still resonate as true today as ever.
4. Pay Yourself First
If you’re not doing this already, STOP and do it now. I don’t care if you work at McDonald’s and make minimum wage, the mere act of “paying yourself first” will help you to build a crucial habit required to build long-lasting wealth. I’ve found the easiest way to do this it through savings automation.
Check with your bank to see if they have any active programs available, or use a bank like CapitalOne 360 to set up a savings account that will automatically deduct from your main checking account. I would suggest starting at 10% of your income (or as much as you can do), and gradually increase it as your income rises. Future increases could be allocated to 401K contributions, Roth IRAs, etc.
You will be surprised. Most people find out they can actually live off much less than they thought – especially when they don’t see the money coming into their account. Out of sight, out of mind! 🙂
5. Give First
Here’s another paradox to digest. Give first. It may seem a bit counter-intuitive at initially when you’re trying to build your wealth, but giving from your heart has immense positive side effects.
The simple act of giving automatically re-calibrates your brain. You quickly realize that there is abundance that you never knew existed. Having a belief in abundance then allows you to attract and act in a manner that attracts wealth.
Giving also allows you to have gratitude for what you already have. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it many times more. Being rich is a mindset, not a dollar amount. Gratitude is the ultimate gauge of real riches.
This strategy has worked wonders in my own life and the abundance you receive goes way beyond money.
Readers, what other ways could you raise your standards to be more, do more, have more, and share more?