Like most broke university students, Steve Siebold wanted to get rich. But unlike most college kids, he did something about it.
“In 1984 I was a sophomore in college,” he recalls. “And I was sitting in class listening to business professors telling me the odds of succeeding in business were so slim that it would take years to get there.”
But Siebold wasn’t interested in waiting years.
So he tracked down a millionaire—and requested an interview. That millionaire, in turn, introduced him to another millionaire and so on. Since then, Siebold has interviewed more than 1,200 millionaires and even billionaires. “It’s really a 30-year study at this point,” he says.
Given all of the, ahem, rich knowledge that Siebold has collected over those three decades, he decided to share his insider findings in a book, “How Rich People Think.” His biggest takeaway? “[Becoming a millionaire] isn’t about money,” he says. “It’s about psychology.”
Intrigued to learn more about how the mind can possibly pave the way to millionaire-hood, we sat down with Siebold to pick his brain.
LearnVest: Do you truly believe that anyone can get rich?
Steve Siebold: Well, there are obviously exceptions—say, if you’re psychologically handicapped or have other serious setbacks—but, for the most part, the average person in America can get rich. After being around wealthy people for so many years, I’ve learned that they’re no smarter than the rest of us. They’re just ordinary people with extraordinary focus and drive who are looking for gaps or what’s missing in the marketplace—for what can be filled.
But aren’t some people just naturally born with that entrepreneurial spirit? Can it really be taught?
Sure, some people seem to be predisposed to being entrepreneurs. One guy I interviewed built a $90 million company from scratch, and he seemed to just have that inner drive, which can be an advantage. But all you really need is the desire.
Take a single mother who can’t pay her bills or get a job—she has a strong need. And if you have a strong enough desire, you can develop the skills necessary to become an entrepreneur. That’s the way most Americans become rich.