Creating Wealth = Changing Mindset

by | Jul 30, 2019 | Finances, Lifestyle, Mindset

An abundance mindset is a paradigm that is grounded in the belief that ‘there is more than enough’ for everyone. In an abundant world, there is no lack of – whether it’s money, love, connections or anything else we desire.

On the other hand, a scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough, where we feel we need to hold onto what we have, that life is a zero-sum game where someone else has to lose for us to win – all leading to feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety. 

I have a little story to share about myself and how my past shaped my beliefs today. 

I was born and grew up in the city of Bangalore, which was then called a “Retirement City” and “Garden City”. A green city known for retirees who flocked the city to make it home. In contrast Bangalore, now known as Bengaluru is home to 12 million people (and growing) who flock the city and is now known as the “Silicon Valley of India”.

Growing up there, back in the 80’s and early 90’s, Bangalore had glorious weather. Cool 70’s, breezy, tree-lined and safe streets, amazing restaurants and friendly caring neighbors. We didn’t have a lot of money growing up but we definitely had a great childhood. Playing cricket on the streets after school with a few sticks held propped up by stones for wickets, a cheap ball, and not much else. We didn’t have much in terms of money but we were resourceful enough to make things work. But money was important sometimes.

I was in my 4th grade when I switched schools and met Shaila, one of my first friends in my new school. I was a skinny 9-year old with short mop of curly hair on my head.  I developed a love-hate relationship with Shaila. She was a very pretty girl but more importantly she had a pretty bike that I really wanted to have. A brand-spanking new, girly, maroon bike called BSA-SLR. I still remember the gleaming new bike with its curved handles and it’s pretty maroon color.  I WANTED IT.

It was a stark contrast to my bike- a cheap used black Hero; an ugly old bike that my dad picked up somewhere, probably for little or nothing at all. The bike was way too big for me and it was a men’s bike to boot. Peeling black paint. I hated it with every ounce of my being. But I think I envied the pretty girl with the pretty bike just a bit more than I hated my bike 🙂

I wished everyday that somehow I could have that pretty BSA-SLR and I would wake up and it would be there waiting for me to ride it to school. But off I went on my big ugly Hero. We couldn’t afford it. It was a splurge at Rs 600 back then (10 USD now). Either ways I couldn’t have it. It made me mad. But unknowingly it also shaped my future.

I think it was at the tender age at 9 that I really decided I would never in my life want something so bad that I couldn’t have. That I would always have plenty of money in my life to have the things I really wanted when I became an adult. That I would never again feel a “lack of” anything in my life. It was.a decision. I didn’t know it at that time but I was making a decision to have a financially abundant life at nine.

Fast forward 30+ years, I dated a man who clearly had a scarcity mindset and realized what a huge difference the mindset can make to our bottomline. He had grown up in a home where his parents constantly quarreled over money and there was never enough. He felt he would never have enough and sure enough he didn’t when I met him.

Over the course of that relationship I helped him (I think!) shape his mindset about money. He is now a proud owner of a few rental properties and also ended up with over a 50% increase in his income in less than 4 years. 

I say this not to brag but to illustrate how a mindset change can literally change one’s life. I saw this literally in front of my eyes. His fortunes went from nothing to a substantial amount in a few years when he focused on cultivating the right mindset. He figured out how to make much more once he refused to be a prisoner to his past woes with money. The less he worried about it. The more it came.

Money (and everything else we want) is funny that way.

I strongly believe that if one’s mindset is one of scarcity -even if they make enough- they will spend or lose enough that they never feel they have enough. “Enough” isn’t just about “making” it’s more about “feeling”. Our subconscious makes our innermost feelings a reality. We can’t run away from it. There’s nowhere to hide from ourselves.

In talking to potential investors who reach out to me to invest or otherwise ask for financial advice, I’ve clearly noticed two kinds:

  1. People who focused on the missed opportunities in the past. Ex: I should have bought that house or invested in that “xyz” opportunity I had “y” years ago.
  2. People who focused on what they can do to plan their future ahead Ex: I have “x” dollars where do I invest to get to my goal of “y” cash-flow a month.

Type #1 as you might have guessed are the folks who need a mindset makeover more than they need investment advice. It doesn’t matter what they do, they will never have enough or make enough because they are focused on past opportunities and feel they have “missed the bus” on making money.

I’m guilty of thinking small or with a scarcity mindset sometimes as well but I have to quickly course correct when I know I’m operating from a place of fear and lack.

I wanted to share a  few things that help ground me when I’m feeling fear and uncertainty about money, my relationships and/or my future

  1. Focusing on my journey – What would a 9-year old me (or even a 15 or 18-year old me) think of me where I am today?  Would she want to be me? Would she be happy for my life today? Would she consider me  a success? It ground me. It helps me appreciate how far I’ve come. And how much further I’m capable of going.
  2. Sharing my resources – Whether it’s time, talent or money. Sharing it with people gives me an inherent sense of satisfaction and an appreciation that I have something useful to contribute in my life. That I can help people. the Bible says you should give a “tithe” and a tithe is a 1/10 of your resources. I think while some of us are not willing to give away a 10% of our income after giving away 40% in taxes but still. how much can you comfortably give to help? Can you give your time if you can’t contribute to others financially? It all comes back.
  3. Feeling grateful – Anyone will tell you grateful people are happy people. Are we naturally wired to be grateful? I think not. We are naturally wired for survival, to see what’s wrong, what’s amiss and for fight or flight. Gratitude is a learned habit. Learn it if you haven’t already. Just simply write down three things you’re grateful for each day. When fear or uncertainty shows its ugly head, write down three things at that moment that you have that you’re grateful for. It’s a powerful way to rewire and take your focus off your fears and concerns
  4. Investing in myself –  I believe in surrounding myself with the best. This is the one I keep coming back to. Having inspiring amazing people in your life will change your life. When you pay to attend events or sign up for expensive groups – you are generally not paying for the education or the knowledge although you do get that. What’s more valuable is the quality of people that you get to surround yourself with. It will make the biggest difference. A real estate mastermind costs over $20-25K a year and what you pay for is the amazing network you get plugged into. The mindset changes in brings in you and the opportunities it opens up. 
  5. Stepping away from comparisons to others-  In the social media age, this one is admittedly hard to do. Everyone on Facebook seems to having the best life ever. Perfect families. Perfect couples. Perfect lives. Let’s be realistic. Most of them aren’t posting about the “behind-the-scenes” shitty stuff happening in their lives. Every single one of us has challenges and problems we are facing. Comparison is truly the thief of joy and social media is definitely a culprit in propagating the feeling that someone else has it better than us. Ironically, I say this as I share my blog on social media :). The truth all of us have less than perfect lives. We are all doing the best we can with what we have. Focus on your life and being the best you can be. 

That is all.

I will end with the somewhat-funny (but true) note I left for my investors previously and now to all of you reading this blog –

“I love real estate but my life’s purpose and long-term vision is to help underprivileged children in third-world countries get access to life-saving surgeries that they otherwise can’t afford (which barely costs a few hundred dollars for us here). I hope I can help create a lot of wealthy people and in the future my wealthy investors can help me fund my purpose and fulfill my vision “

In short, I have a vested interest in helping you become wealthy so you can contribute to my cause in the future 🙂