Wealthy people have much more in the bank than average people. That part is obvious — it's how they get there that's less clear.
According to self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, who interviewed over 1,200 of the world's wealthiest people for his book, "How Rich People Think," there's a critical difference in how rich people and everyone else choose to get paid.
Average people choose to get paid based on time — on a steady salary or hourly rate — while rich people choose to get paid based on results. What's more, rich people are typically self-employed and determine the size of their own paycheck.
"It's not that there aren't world-class performers who punch a time clock for a paycheck, but for most this is the slowest path to prosperity, promoted as the safest," he writes. "The great ones know self-employment is the fastest road to wealth."
The reason so many people continue to work to earn a steady salary is for the sense of security that comes with knowing exactly how much money will be flowing in each month.
"The truth is, having a job is no safer than owning a business," Siebold argues. "As counterintuitive as this may seem, people who work for themselves have the power to proactively seek out business and increase revenues at will. They can work as many or few hours as they wish and change the direction of the company any time they choose."
Of course, there are risks involved in starting a business, but wealthy people "know the greatest risk is not betting on themselves," Siebold says.
While the world-class continue starting businesses and building fortunes, average people settle for steady paychecks and miss out on the opportunity to accumulate great wealth. "The masses almost guarantee themselves a life of financial mediocrity by staying in a job with a modest salary and yearly pay raises," Siebold says.
They "wait on the sidelines, terrified to get in the game for fear they will lose the little money they have. Meanwhile, the world class is earning more in a year than the average person will make in a lifetime, and the heart of the reason is the unwillingness to let go of a security that does not actually exist."
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