Review of Steve Siebold's Book 'How Rich People Think'

Is Wealth More About Thoughts Than Actions?

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Many personal finance experts agree that successful budgeting and money management isn't about tactics. It's an issue of mentality. In other words, strategy and tips are less important than the overall mental shifts a person needs to go through to manage their finances well.

That’s the premise behind this book by Steve Siebold, How Rich People Think. He took 26 years to interview some of the richest people in the world to write this book. His conclusion: to become rich, he had to think like a rich person. While you may not aspire to be "rich," but you should want to be better at managing your money. This book provides insight into the mental shifts that can help you achieve this.

Get Out of the Broke Mindset

For the first 25 years of his life, Siebold thought about money the way most people do. He says once he changed the way he thought about money, it began to flow to him. While this may or may not be true, some of his insights are interesting and worth considering.

Each chapter in his book (there are 100) highlights the differences between the way most middle-class people think about money versus the way the wealthy think about money. For example, according to Siebold:

  • The middle class focuses on saving money. The wealthy focus on earning.
  • The middle class believes money is complicated. The wealthy believe it’s simple.
  • The middle class believes rich people are crooks. The wealthy believe rich people are driven.
  • The middle-class worries about money. The wealthy dream about it.
  • The middle-class believes getting a job is the safest way to earn money. The wealthy believe being an outstanding performer is the safest way to earn it.
  • The middle class thinks about spending. The wealthy think about investing.
  • The middle class believes riches come from formal education. The wealthy believe it comes from being an expert.
  • The middle class thinks money is about acquiring stuff. The wealthy think it’s about freedom.
  • The middle class thinks the rich should support the poor. The wealthy believe in self-reliance.
  • The middle class doesn’t quite understand the connection between money and health. The wealthy know money can save your life.

An Easy Read

These examples and more are covered in chapters two to three pages long. Each chapter begins with an example like the ones above. The examples are followed by a page or two that elaborate on the idea. Each chapter ends with a famous quote, a suggested resource where people can go to learn more about that point, a critical thinking question, and an action step.

Siebold's perspective is not representative of all forms of wealth, nor does it represent all wealthy people. It may, however, give you some insight into how some people of wealth earn, enjoy and think about money. It may also make you a bit more hopeful; after all, according to Siebold: "People who believe their best days are behind them rarely get rich, and often struggle with unhappiness and depression. Self-made millionaires get rich because they're willing to bet on themselves and project their dreams, goals, and ideas into an unknown future."