If you’re struggling to make ends meet or just not where you want to be financially, open your eyes and look around.
In most cases, your net worth mirrors the level of your closest friends. Is it time to start looking for some new friends?
I’ve asked that question hundreds of times on stage all over the world, and it never fails to get people fired up and even angry.
I’m not suggesting you go and unfriend all your friends just because they don’t have a lot of money. And I’m not suggesting that you choose your friends based on how much money they have.
However, as Einstein said, consciousness is contagious.
If you want more money, you should consider spending time with and befriending people with more money.
Exposure to people who are more successful than you are has the potential to expand your thinking and catapult your income. We become like the people we associate with, and that’s why winners are attracted to winners. In other segments of society, this is accepted, but the rich have always been lambasted for their predisposition to engage the company of people with similar financial success.
The reality is, millionaires think differently from the middle class about money, and there’s much to be gained by being in their presence. Perhaps even more surprising: Many millionaires are surprisingly humble and don’t view themselves as having “arrived.” Many of them believe millionaires are simply people who don’t know how to become billionaires.
After all, why would someone settle for millions if they possessed the awareness to earn billions? That’s why millionaires are always attempting to gain entry into that exclusive group of people who are among the wealthiest in the world.
The average person wants to meet a millionaire to tell their friends they met a millionaire. Millionaires, on the other hand, want to associate with billionaires to learn how they think. One group is watching the game; the other is playing the game. They only question that matters: Which one are you?
Honestly ask yourself: How many rich people are in your inner circle of associates and advisors? Set a goal in the New Year to double the amount of time you spend associating with people who are richer than you are. Doing so just might make you rich.
The correlation between your friends and your level of wealth is one that is taught improperly from the start.
Most parents never teach their kids about the importance of making contacts. They hope their kids are popular and make friends so they enjoy their days in school.
Wealthy parents have a different approach. Sure, they want their children to enjoy their years growing up. But they also know that building contacts, even as early as high school, can make the difference between a life of average success and one filled with uncommon opportunity. While most parents are hoping their kid becomes the quarterback of the football team or the most popular cheerleader, the rich are concerned about building the child’s social infrastructure for the future.
The message of associating with the wealthy often sounds elitist or discriminatory against the middle class. But it’s not. It’s nice to say everyone, regardless of financial status, has access to all the good things in life. It’s also naïve and untrue. Right or wrong, wealth offers privileges, and one of the most fundamental ways to start the wealth-generating process is to get around rich people and watch how they think. It’s an eye-opening experience.
The bottom line: Like attracts like. People with high-level formal education like to associate with the academic elite. Physically fit people enjoy spending time with others who are fit. Religious people like to have fellowship with people of faith. And rich people like to associate with others who are rich.
As Will Rogers said, “A man only learns in two ways: one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”