Money Secrets of the World’s Richest People … Revealed

Colleen Oakley

secrets rich peopleLike 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.

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  • sallysue1

    This is great, I’ll check out the book. What do you do though when your talents and passions aren’t things that society values enough to let you earn a high income doing? That’s always been my issue, I save a lot but to earn in the 6 figures I’d probably have to completely change career fields. The median income for my field (which requires a Master’s degree) is about 50k.

  • Tina

    What field is that? That is the starting income for many fields.

    • sallysue1

      Librarianship. The starting income, at least in my state, is usually around 28k-32k for most positions. It is possible to make in the 6 figures as a librarian but it’s rare.

  • Daxgolf

    Did see much in this article that was worthwhile – pretty much a rehash of old information. Maybe the message is to sell something that was previously successful and convince others it’s novel.

  • cecile anderson

    This sounds like an ad for the book. I don’t think the single mom he mentions would relate. One needs resources to create more resources. Focus is great, but education, social capitol and a culture that embraces all types are essential as well. People don’t like to hear it, especially those who identify with the Haves, but I suspect this book is not directed at the rainbow of people who populate this country. If you are already privileged by the social capitol I mentioned, by the absence of social barriers that plague many, then of course focus and finding a niche could help your income.

    • JWavy

      Sigh, while your point is well-made (Cecile), I KNOW people who started with ZERO resources! NO social capital and usually very limited education–who are now relatively successful! Those things you mentioned are all great, and usually very helpful–but are not always a necessity. Not to be dismissive or demeaning, but it’s exactly that type of thinking that limits a lot of people, and keeps them broke.

  • patricia

    Most people want a step by step guide. They want their hand held . Yes a lot of people inherit, educate, is given, at the right place at the right time, win their way to riches. But to me a self made person, their is something in your mind, heart, soul that burns in you and won’t let go until they succeed.