The 3 Differences Between My Rich and Poor Friends

Do what the wealthy do if you want to build wealth for yourself

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash

I’ve gathered a variety of friends over the years. Some are rich, some are poor, and most are somewhere in between. But what’s the difference between those that made it and those that didn’t?

If I think of my rich and poor friends, the differences between them are quite stark in many ways. I can clearly see why the former became rich while the latter remained poor.

These are the three main differences I see.

Difference #1 — Mindset

I know that this has become a bit of a cliché these days, but mindset is the main difference between my rich and poor friends.

My rich friends almost all mention mindset when I ask them how they managed to get wealthy.

In contrast, my poor friends all blame others for their lack of wealth. If I mention mindset, they think it’s BS. They think people get rich because they were either born rich or got lucky.

I have a schoolfriend that was the first in our village to become a millionaire. He’s now a multi-millionaire. Almost everyone thinks he got lucky.

But here’s the thing. He didn’t badly in school and was always near the bottom of the class. His family was relatively poor. He left school at age 16 and got a job as a laborer. Yep, he worked a minimum wage job.

So, how did he end up a multi-millionaire? He decide he wanted to be one. He watched and learned. He networked with other builders. He started putting together small teams to bid for small building jobs.

His first project was building a wall for someone in the village. He did the laboring and he paid a bricklayer to build the wall. He earned more for the job than the bricklayer did.

From there, he expanded over the years until he was building whole houses, and eventually whole estates.

It was all due to his mindset. His building buddies weren’t interested in doing what he did. They just wanted to be paid an hourly wage.

#Difference #2 — Intentionality

This is another huge difference between my two groups of friends.

My rich friends are always intentional about what they do. If they decide to invest, they make a plan and stick to it. That builds wealth over the longer term

My poorer friends often mean to invest, but because it’s not intentional, they rarely get around to it. They’ll do it someday. But someday never arrives.

The same is true with work. My rich friends mostly built good careers for themselves. They chose a career and then worked toward making it work.

My poor friends just want a job to pay the bills. They didn’t give any thought to the long term.

When I went to university, most of my poor friends told me I was an idiot. Why would I live on a pittance for three years when I could get a job that paid more?

When I replied that it was because I wanted a better life, they just didn’t understand. They claimed that getting a job would give me a better life.

Those that build their lives intentionally are more successful than those that don’t.

Difference #3 — Thinking Short-term

This is related to the point above.

My rich friends always take a long-term view. They ask how a decision they make today will affect their life in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.

My poor friends ask how a decision they make today with affect them today, tomorrow, or next week. They simply don’t care about next year.

Years ago, one of my (very) poor friends ask me how he could get $20,000. I can’t remember exactly what I told him, but I gave him a solid plan of how he could have $20,000.

He listened intently. He seemed to be taking it all in. I thought I was making some progress and might help change his life for the better.

He said it was a great plan. Wow, I thought, he’s changing for the better.

But then he mentioned that there was one problem with my plan. He said that while the plan was great, he wanted $20,000 now and not in a few years’ time.

So, what happened? He ended up with $0 both at the time and in the future. He could have made $20,000 in a few years but chose not to. His thinking was too short-term.

More from me:

Average Net Worth By Age — How Do You Compare?

My 5 Side Hustles That Will Earn $8,000 a Month by 31 December 2023

Financial Lockdown Is Coming — Are You Prepared?

5 Things I Had To Give Up To Become Wealthy

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