Issue No. 48 - $1.91
Saturday, June 26, 2010
A man observes evergreens growing along the roadside and thinks that they look pretty, covered with snow. Another man sees the same trees and thinks, "These trees would look good in people's living rooms at Christmas. I wonder what they would pay for them?"
The first man has an ordinary mind. The second, the mind of a natural-born moneymaker.
In The Prime Movers, Edwin A. Locke provides some interesting insights into the way moneymakers think:
He argues that an active, inquisitive mind is a hallmark of the successful entrepreneur. The most successful entrepreneurs in history, he says, had this sort of mind.
Take my friend Bernard...
I have a friend, an émigré from Manchester England, who has this kind of moneymaking mind. I have known him for more than twenty years. During that time he has started at least a dozen successful companies. Every company he forms, it seems, becomes successful very quickly. He has become a wealthy man and enjoys a wealthy man's lifestyle, but his interest in making money has never waned.
In that respect he is very different from me. I became wealthy by making plans and working my ass off. And once I made more than I needed I stopped paying attention to it.
He made his money effortlessly. Or so it always seemed. And he continues to make money because he really enjoys the process.
He makes money not just by starting successful businesses and investing in real estate (my primary vehicles) but by buying and selling exotic cars, boats, antiques and expensive watches. Every time I see him he is driving a new car. One month it's a Bentley. The next month it's a Ferrari. He buys slightly used cars and enjoys them and then turns them over for a profit. He has become an expert in barter and countertrade. He never pays full price for anything. He knows how to get the best price for everything. And he loves the game.
Bernard may not have my net worth, but he's got more than enough for the rest of his life and he seems to enjoy making money much more than I do.
I admire that about him. I like talking to him about all his recent deals. His excitement gets me excited. It also embarrasses me when I discover that he pays a fraction of what I pay for just about everything.
What if you don't have the Mind?
I have another friend, Jeff, who used to be my partner. He was making $400,000 a year when he suddenly sold his business and retired. Today he makes a living teaching Tai Chi. His income is modest, but he lives in a beautiful house, belongs to a private yacht club and takes vacations every two months.
Like Bernard, Jeff enjoys his life. He works when he wants to, rests when he wants to and enjoys the best that life has to offer.
Jeff's secret is that he knows how to buy the best of everything for pennies on the dollar. I am always amazed at how he and his wife can meet us in Chicago, Nicaragua or China, stay at fine hotels and do everything we do but on a budget.
I'm convinced that Jeff and Bernard both have very special brains minds. Like Edison, Jobs and Ford, they think differently than I do.
Raw intelligence is not the issue. These guys are smart but don't think they are any smarter than I am. And anyway, if it were a matter of intelligence, Einstein and a slew of other geniuses would have been wealthy men.
I call what Bernard and Jeff have the multimillionaire's mindset. I've also called it the Rich Mind.
This is the first of several essays I'll be writing on this point: how to think like a multimillionaire.
And here's the goal: to discover exactly how they do what they do by figuring out how they think. If you study this and subsequent essays seriously – and implement the suggestions I'll be making – you may be able to "upgrade" your brain to one that will allow you to have the kind of life they enjoy.
I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing it for myself. I've mastered one part of the equation: making money through entrepreneurship. But the other part – enjoying a multimillionaire's lifestyle on a limited budget – has so far eluded me.
Some Preliminary Observations
To get started, here are some observations I've made from studying my two friends and from reading about great wealth builders like Jobs and Edison and Ford.
1. A "normal" person is concerned with protecting his ego. When dealing with a problem he doesn't really understand, he pretends he understands the contributing factors and doesn't try to find out what anyone else thinks. A person with a multimillionaire mind asks questions inces-santly. He has no ego when it comes to learning. He knows that knowledge is power.
2. A "normal" person has a consumer mentality. He looks at a hot new product and thinks about how he would like to own one. A person with a multimillionaire mind has an entrepreneurial men-tality. He looks at it and thinks, "How can I produce this or something similar in my own industry?"
3. A "normal" person is wish-focused. He daydreams about making gobs of money. A person with a multimillionaire mind is reality-based. He is always analyzing his own success and the success of others and wondering how he could learn from it.
4. A "normal" person, when confronted with a challenging idea, thinks of all the reasons why it might not work. A person with a multimillionaire mind sees the potential in it and disregards the problems until he has a clear vision of how it might succeed.
5. A "normal" person resists change. A person with a multimillionaire mind embraces it.
6. A "normal" person accepts the status quo. A person with a multimillionaire mind is always looking to make things – even good things – better.
7. A "normal" person reacts. A person with a multimillionaire mind is proactive.
8. A "normal" person looks at a successful business owner and thinks, "That guy's lucky." Or "That guy's a shyster." A person with a multimillionaire mind thinks, "What's his secret?" And, "How can I do that?"
Most importantly, a person with a multimillionaire's mind likes living like a multimillionaire. He doesn't shortchange himself when it comes to comfort and luxury. Rather than believing always that pain leads to gain, he thinks, "If I'm smart I can have my cake and eat it too.
You can start your mental transformation by studying this list and assessing your own impulses. Be honest. Identify the habits you don't have and try to develop them. Rather than think of this process as work, think of it as fun.
I've been talking about this rich mind concept for years. Everybody at ETR has had it drummed into him or her. Charlie Byrne, our senior editor and consultant, has taken a special interest in it. He's been studying my friends and other natural moneymakers for years. He's especially interested – like I am – in not just making the money, but enjoying the process.
A while ago, Charlie came to us with a proposal for a new product. He wanted to create the first newsletter that explored wealth building from this particular perspective. "Most of the newsletters out there are about investing in stocks and bonds and futures and so on," he explained. "But there are so many other ways to make money. And so many ways to save money. I want to do a newsletter that's about having fun with it and living the lifestyle."
He got the inspiration when he was visiting Wall Street on a research project. Several blocks from Wall Street is another street called Liberty Street. Charlie decided to name the newsletter after that.
He worked with a guy named Charles Newcastle, a bona-fide moneymaker with a multimillionaire's mind. Charles began his career as a commodity and currency futures trader back in the 1980's. Since then, he has launched 41 successful businesses (and advised on many more). Charles has been successful in real estate, money management, collectibles, Internet ventures, software development and database marketing to name a few.
But the most important thing to keep in mind is that he didn't lose one dime in the market in 2008 and 2009.
Together they have been working on the concept for about six months. They beta tested the newsletter as a membership club and have been adding new benefits to it almost every week.
Last month, for the first time, I had a chance to see the new working model. It was pretty exciting, I have to say. It incorporated my own ideas and many more. It's something I intend to read in the future, to upgrade my own brain. I want to be able to enjoy the fun of making money and the pleasures that go with it. And I want to be able to get all these good deals that Bernard and Jeff enjoy. I think this club will be able to help me do that.
Liberty Street League will cover all sorts of moneymaking opportunities. Not just stocks and bonds and real estate, but commodities, precious metals, bonds, and other "under-the-radar" investments.
But it won't be a guru-driven newsletter. Charles will be looking all over the world, starting with my friends, to find out how people are having fun making money today.
I've been impressed with the contributions they have secured for the new, revamped issues. Included among the experts are none other than the likes of Doug Casey, Jim Rogers, Charles Newcastle, Marc Faber, Gary North, and Alexander Green, among many other professionals.
Here's an example of what they will be offering, base on a sales letter that they are finishing up right now:
Plus they've convinced me to throw in the manuscript I've been writing on the subject...it's not exhaustive, but it does have some good ideas. Like...
As I said, I'm going to be joining LSL so that I can be stimulated by all these good ideas. You can do so too with a very small investment.... just fourteen cents a day...or you can make the change yourself by reading future articles in ETR on the subject and getting to work on changing your mental habits, as I've explained in the first part of this essay.
If the newsletter interests you, check out the Liberty Street League here.
[Ed. Note: Michael Masterson welcomes your questions and comments. Send him a message at AskMichael@ETRFeedback.com.]
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