The richest 1% of the world currently control 48% of the world’s wealth.
The top 80 wealthiest people in the world control approximately $1.9 trillion, which just so happens to be the amount controlled by 3.5 billion people on the other end of the spectrum.
Can you believe that? There are 80 people in this world that collectively share the same amount of money as 3.5 billion people!
Global inequality continues to be a hot-button issue with many of us as we realize that we’re in the bottom 99%. In fact, the Occupy Movement originated in 2011 for this very reason.
Many individuals who did not have wealth were disgusted by the richest 1% who “are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing our future.”
Is this true? Are we victims? Or are we all just too chicken to create wealth on our own, and therefore demand a handout from those that earned it with their blood, sweat, and tears?
While many of us would like to believe that each one of these 80 wealthiest people inherited their wealth, in actuality only 11 did.
The other 69 have built their immense wealth from very little. Look at Warren Buffett, for example. He grew up as a middle class child, but got addicted to the world of business and investing at a very young age.
Today, he is worth $72.3 billion (with a “b”). Nobody gave him this money. He earned it because he has always taken actions like the rich would and avoided the actions of the poor.
Since he has so much wealth, should he be required to give his money to the rest of us just because we haven’t become as successful? I don’t think so.
Instead, we should all be studying the things the rich do and should be actively doing them ourselves!
1. The rich believe in the law of income.
The rich believe that they will be paid in direct proportion to the value that they deliver to the marketplace. In other words, if they are integral in forming a product that nearly everyone in the world wants/needs, then they should be compensated accordingly.
I personally know the inventor of the self-dimming rear-view mirror, which is now in almost every car in America. Do you think it would be fair to only pay him $15 an hour for the time he put into this invention? Or, since his product has been an amazing success, perhaps he should receive a portion of the proceeds from each sale? I believe in capitalism and am a big fan of the latter.
Poor people believe that we should all be paid the same amount, regardless of the outcome that we produce. With this mentality, innovation would likely cease to exist and the poor would still be poor, and on top of this everyone else would be poor along with them. I don’t know about you, but this is not the future I want for my children.
2. The rich focus on opportunities, not obstacles.
There once was a shoe salesman that found himself in a far-away country, trying to sell shoes to the natives. The only problem was, nobody there wore shoes and the sale was often quite difficult. The salesman soon gave up in frustration and decided to leave the area. On his way out, he met another shoe salesman. “Don’t bother entering this town,” said the first salesman, “These people don’t even wear shoes.” The eyes of the second salesman grew wide, “No one has shoes?? Then I could sell a pair to everyone in town! How fortunate we are to stumble upon an untapped market!”
It’s all a matter of perspective. The poor often see obstacles and quickly give up, while the rich see the the opportunities and enter arenas that many wouldn’t dream of.
3. The rich associate with positive, successful people.
Rich people know that attitude is everything. If they continually hang out with people that complain about the weather, bad-mouth the government, and speak negatively about the state of the economy, then they will likely start doing the same thing! If, however, these same people start hanging around individuals that continuously talk about success, opportunity, and the positive things in life, chances are that they will see the world from an entirely different perspective!
Instead of the world being a terrible place to live, it suddenly becomes a glowing land of success and opportunity. A great example of this is United States citizens vs. immigrants into the States. Immigrants are 4x more likely to become millionaires than those of us that grew up here. The main reason? We talk about the negatives of living in this nation, while immigrants see it as the land of opportunity. Quite frankly, it is what you make of it.
4. The rich are willing to promote themselves and their value.
Rich people aren’t afraid to tell you what they’re great at. Most of the time, they aren’t embellishing. It’s the truth. Poor people might be great at many things, but they always seem to downplay them into nothing (either because they think negatively of salespeople or because they’re not confident in themselves). Therefore, you assume their skills are just that — nothing. If you want to be wealthy, you must learn how to become a salesperson and at the very least, sell yourself.
5. The rich grow bigger than their problems.
The poor see a problem and they chalk it up to bad luck and quit trying. The rich run into problems and might scratch their heads for a while, but they don’t give up. They’ll work and work until they discover a solution to the problem so they can win in the end.
A few years ago I heard a compelling story that fits this idea perfectly. There was a plot of land for sale that had always been classified as “residential.” Many investors in the area knew that the value of the property would be worth 25 times the selling price if the property were commercial, but many had tried and failed at this appeal, so the property remained for sale at a severely discounted price.
But then one brave woman took on the challenge. She purchased the property, hired a team of lawyers, and after a few months of painstaking efforts, was able to get the land classified as a commercial property. Even with the cost of the team of lawyers, she earned 20 times her investment (in just a few months mind you). By tackling and overcoming the problem, she became a very wealthy lady.
6. The rich think ‘both,’ the poor think ‘either or.’
Economists came up with the term “opportunity cost” long ago. Put simply, this means that if you choose one thing, then you are ultimately forgoing something else. In other words, if I have $5 and I buy an $5 ice cream cone, then I am ultimately giving up that pack of gum that I wanted as well.
This is how poor people think too. They have a set amount of money and they think that they can either spend it one thing or another, but not both. It sounds logical, doesn’t it? But the rich focus on how they can get both.
Following along the same lines as the example above, let’s give a rich person $5. They too want both ice cream and a $5 pack of gum, but instead of thinking either or, they decide to go for both. To do this, the rich mindset would not buy the ice cream or the gum initially, but might instead buy a 24 pack of water for $5. They walk down the road a ways, sell each water bottle to passers-by for 50 cents and earn a total of $12. Now they can enjoy their ice cream, gum, and still have $2 left to spare! The rich have a “both” mentality, not “either or.”
7. The rich focus on net worth, not working income.
Poor people often talk in terms of hourly pay, whereas wealthy people know that an hourly income is not nearly as important as someone’s net worth. One can earn quite a lot of money per hour, but if they don’t learn to keep any of it, they will still be broke in the end. The rich person knows that a large net worth will net many opportunities and will create more wealth in the future.
8. The rich constantly learn and grow.
Many kids today think that they’ll be able to work just hard enough to earn their degrees, and then they won’t have to pick up another book for the rest of their lives. They might turn this dream into a reality, but they’ll likely be poor forever.
The rich starve for knowledge because they know that the more they learn, the more likely they are to succeed. The average millionaire reads one nonfiction book a month because they want to grow themselves into the person that they want to be. The average broke person will read nothing and will never change. As I like to say, “the rich constantly learn and grow, and the poor think they already know.”
9. The rich don’t mind taking the hard road.
The wealthy don’t mind taking the hard road because they have a long-term mindset. The current life might be difficult, but they know their actions today could benefit them tremendously in the future, so they trudge along and keep their eye on the future prize. By staying focused and doing the things the rich do, many of them will become successful and wealthy as well.
Author: Derick Sall, Contributor for Business Insider