How to Think Like a Rich Person

I have to admit, I like Donald Trump. Sure, he’s arrogant. But his understanding of business and how to make money is phenomenal. He’s truly one of the best.

Here’s the thing; the secret to Trump’s millions is not some magic secret that the rest of us aren’t privy to. He thinks like a rich person. It’s that simple. Thinking like a rich person isn’t really that difficult. Here’s how I see it:

See Opportunity in Everything
The Donald was just on CNN talking about the financial crisis that is occurring around the world right now. Larry King asked for Trump’s advice to the “average American family” in weathering the storm. Without pausing, Trump said “Now is the absolute BEST time to buy a house.” Now, this may seem counterintuitive, in a country that is reposessing more houses than it is selling. But, he is absolutely right. As Trump says, the banks now own all of these houses they don’t want. Now is the time, if you have the means, to get a REALLY good deal on a house. The banks want to offload these places to people who can afford them, and they will do it for cheap, and they will definitely finance you to do it, because they already have the money! 

The point is, when everyone else is talking about what they can’t do financially, rich people are talking about what they CAN do. See beyond the crisis, and find your own opportunities to succeed.

Focus on the Solutions, Not the Problem
The reason Trump is so rich is because he is a really exceptional problem solver. He spends his days meeting with people, talking on the phone, and flying around the world making deals. His job, every day, is to identify problems and then come up with solutions. He thinks, “How am I going to buy this company?” then he reasons, “By selling this this and this”. He thinks, “How am I going to survive this financial crisis?” then he reasons, “By keeping my money in gold and oil.” Problem solving. It’s how real businesses survive long term. It’s how rich people do business. And, it’s how you can really start to succeed. 

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
Rich people are rich because they see the whole picture, all the time. They don’t get caught up in details, petty arguments, and they definitely don’t have time for people who waste their time. Sure, they can still be friendly and polite (well, maybe not in Trump’s case :-), but they always have a mission – to do what they need to do to grow their business and turn a profit. And that means staying out of the weeds. How to do that? Delegate. Eliminate unnecessary communications. Delegate. And then delegate some more. 

I’m not professing to be the resident expert on becoming rich. But I do believe that with the right attitude, anyone is capable of achieving whatever success they set out to achieve. That could be wealth, it could be fame and popularity, or it could be to carve out a nice, comfortable existence for you and your family. Whatever your motivation, it’s what you make of the situations that occur in your life (even those that are out of your control) which will ultimately determine the outcome. 




Knowledge is Power, Understanding is Success

This week I’ve been reflecting on how far I’ve come in the past several years, as I’ve made the transition from worker-bee to creator. I used to be the typical high-tech worker. I knew how to do a lot of stuff, like build a web site, write a communiqué, build a document library, write a technical manual. But I didn’t really UNDERSTAND any of it. I didn’t really get how what I was doing in my little cubicle was affecting the rest of the company. I just worked away at my little job, and took home my paycheque.

Understanding Comes From Experience
Anyone can pick up a book, take a course, or be shown how to do something. But understanding  why you must take action “A” to achieve result “B” is key to success. I know how to tie my shoes. I know the techincal process I need to go through to put one lace over the next, loop it around and pull through. But it’s something entirely different to understand why I must tie my shoes. Until I do, I’ll be a sloppy, tripping mess.

So how do you make that transition from just knowing something to really understanding it? Experience. There’s no other way. I must take knowledge I’ve acquired and put it into practice. I must get up and do it every day, as long as I need to until I understand it. Only then can I see the true value in the knowledge I’ve acquired.

The Bottom Line is the Big Picture
I think a lot of people in the social media world are getting caught up in the little details. They are getting stuck in a rut of acquiring knowledge, and not taking the time to really understand what they are learning. Instead of working to acquire understanding, they keep busy rifling around looking for some social media expert to give them all the answers. They are relying on other people to give them top 10 lists, strategies and quick fix solutions instead of spending their time working on understanding. They are reading endlessly, but putting nothing into practice.

Be Accountable for Your Understanding
If there’s one thing I’ve grown to understand over the years, it’s that I am responsible for my own understanding. The experts are not there to solve all my problems. The role of the expert is to pass on knowledge to me. Then it’s up to me to take that knowledge and build an understanding for myself and how that knowledge applies to my situation and my goals. And that can only be done by coming up with my own solutions, applying them and gaining the experience I need to move forward.

There is a world of knowledge out there for the taking. There are dozens of great teachers in the social media space who are willing to send that knowledge out to you. But none of them are going to spoon feed you the answers – it’s impossible for them to do that and it’s too much to ask. You are the only one that can take the knowledge you’ve been given and turn it into your own understanding.