We all want to be millionaires. It would be wonderful to have enough money, so that nothing was out of reach. But, most of us do not think like millionaires. My interest is to learn to think in new and useful ways and understand wealth consciousness. I learned that being around millionaires and their neighborhoods helps develop wealth consiousness and helps to understand how these interesting people live and think.
Here are some things that I learned about the differences between wealthy and poor people.
Driving habits of the rich
There are many things that I notice from visiting wealthy areas. The way people drive in certain areas is very indicative of their income. People who are wealthy and in the process of generating more wealth tend to drive faster than normal. In many wealthy parts of Los Angeles (near Beverly Hills, but not in beverly Hills) the drivers will tailgate you and I feel like they want to run me off the road. Please keep in mind that if you (the reader) is in India, it is common to tailgate in India and drive inches behind the car ahead of you. But, in America, we feel intimidated if someone is really close behind us if we are going above 35 miles per hour (50km/ hour). It is dangerous as well. I really feel that part of the reason they drive so fast is because they have a lot to do, and are impatient people. I feel that perhaps one of the components of their success is that they feel compelled to get things done really fast. Do these accelerated wealth builders tailgate because they want to overpower others? Are they merely in a huge hurry to get to their next item on their agenda? Or, do they just think fast and act fast — and is that quickness what accounts for their huge success?
On the other hand, in wealthy, but relaxed places like Beverly Hills and Laguna Beach, there are rich people who are more interested in relaxing and spending than in wealth generation. People drive slower in these places and are more polite as well! An interesting distinction!
Driving habits of the economically slow
I notice that in California as a whole, people drive at a moderate rate of speed, but are very selfish and don’t let others into their lane. I also notice that in other states with slower economies, people are really slow. It is common in New Mexico (an American State), that it can take drivers up to 4 seconds to put their foot on the pedal after an opportunity to proceed presents itself. I start honking my horn if they waste my time like this — I feel it is rude to be too slow. On the other hand, it is also rude to drive too close behind others who are obeying the speed limit. I notice that in some of America’s other states, people talk slower, and think slower. I guess that I am used to a particular SPEED of life, and that I have culture shock when I am around slow Europeans, sluggish Indians, or other lackidasical people!
Finding solutions verses feeling flustered
I find that poor people find themselves to be helpless in many situations. A poor person will buckle if the price goes up on something they want (at least my clients do when I raise their prices). The rich are often very confident and feel they can handle these types of situations gracefully– and win! The rich person will first try to negotiate the price, and then compare various options while the poor person will just panic and complain. A very different mindset!!!
A sense of power
There is a certain sense of power that the rich have. Even if they don’t use language that demonstrates their sense of power, their inner confidence is something that you should feel. I love being around millionaires because I can just feel their coolness without them uttering a single word! Wealthy people tend to feel that they are in control. If there is an obstacle to their power, they will calmly find a way to remove that obstacle. Buddhism claims that we are all enlightened, but merely haven’t developed the consciousness to appreciate that fact. Wealthy people similarly feel in control even when they are not — they simply feel that they ARE in control even though they haven’t YET determined how to remove the obstacles to their control — a temporary delay in their already existant power. What a way to think! I like it!
Business planning the poor way
A poor person will have unrealistic expectations in business, lofty goals, and a poor sense of execution or how to pick the right people. The poor person might be tempted to share their future success with friends and family who are poorly suited for the job. The poor person would have a tremendous boost to their ego for “helping out” and “doing a good deed” people who deserved their help. The poor person might criticize the wealthy man for being “mean” or “narrow minded” simply for being calculating and reasonable about who to hire and why. Unfortunately, the poor person is in for some difficult times when they find out what business is really like — and what to do if their friends are lazy or poorly suited to their new jobs — if they even accept those jobs. The poor person would be tempted to “help out” their unemployed friends who deserve help that nobody else would help. The poor person will soon find out that you are not doing anyone a favor by giving them a job. It is the person who is working for you who is doing YOU a favor — assuming they are any good at their work.
Business planning of the rich and famous
A wealthy person will have a more in tune sense of how the business could start, evolve, develop, what needs to be done, and what personality traits would be beneficial for particular types of jobs. A wealthy person will realize how flexible and adaptable they need to be, and not to get attached to any particular methodology or outcome. Additionally, a smart leader will pick good managers below them who can do most of the daily management of the business with little or no intervention. This will free up the owners time to grow the business rather than being bogged down by mundane hassles. A smart business owner will always be looking for ways to expand the business, rather than being complacent. Those who are complacent always remain on the lowest level — but, those who always strive in the upwards direction can attain infinitely!
Spending and dressing habits of the well to do
The irony here is that rich people in America dress like bums. I was intimidated about hanging around in American’s richest neighborhood at first. Then, I went there, and realized that every single person dressed like a bum. T-shirts, ripped jeans, baseball hats. They dressed almost as badly as I do. There are rich people who dress well — many of these are the “New Rich”, or those who aspire to be rich or fashionable. Some people like making a show of themselves and spend a lot on it. But, the people who have the real big bucks often drive very ordinary cars, and wear very ordinary clothes — at least in America. India is a bit like this too, where you will see lower-middle class girls wearing very expensive silk saris and rich girls in Bangalore wearing ripped old jeans. Some people think that the secret to wealth is being used to spending lots of money, or being used to being around expensive things. Drug dealers in the ghetto have this mentality — but, they still live in America’s worst areas and have what I call the “poverty consciousness”. Spending a lot and dressing well might help you develop the wealth consciousness to a certain extent. It is not the most important component of wealth consciousness. But, on the other hand — if you are going to develop wealth consciousness — shouldn’t you be accustomed to handling large amounts of money?
Taking charge and not allowing obstacles
The successful businessman takes charge. They don’t let personal considerations get in the way of business. The poor businessman lets their feelings get in the way, and lets people get in their way. A smart businessman simply makes decisions and sets policies based on sound thinking — he will handle objections confidently. The poor businessman will refuse to make any decision that might rouse any feelings of objection from anyone — and hence cripples themselves.
Looking ahead for evolution and adaptation
The millionaire businessman realizes that he lives in a changing world, and that his business planning will have to change. He therefor is always looking for how to refine his business techniques, and adapt to the current conditions. Whether he is adapting to more modern times, or adapting to the particularities of a current economic condition — he is adapting. The minute you don’t adapt and cling to what you or others are used to out of fear or narrowmindedness, you cheat yourself from the potential benefits of adaptations. Remember, if you are in the computer business, if you are even a few months behind your competitor, you could be out of business and your newly developed product will not sell!
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