Originally published on Entrepreneur Magazine on March 8, 2016.
The way you think shapes the world you will create. Successful people (aka millionaires) think differently than most people. I am not saying that you aren’t a success if you aren’t a millionaire, but looking at those who are struggling to pay the bills will only show you what not to do.
Why do millionaires think differently than you? Because they know other ways don’t work.
Here are the five shifts to your thinking that can help you produce more value in the world and, therefore, add more wealth to your bank account.
1. Growth versus fixed
When you are set in your way of thinking, you believe you have it figured out. You exist on a fixed mindset. You tend to do what you have always done. You don’t see the benefit of learning more and lack curiosity to seek new ways.
Growth thinking is when you are constantly learning. It is similar to professional athletes who are top in the world yet still practice and work with coaches to continuously fine-tune their game. Growth thinking is the basis for new approaches and keeps you continuously striving for more impact and value.
Making the shift is to seek a path of mastery instead of complacency. Mastery is the decision to learn more — and be more.
2. Abundance versus lack
Focusing on what you don’t have is lack thinking. Seeing that you have to grab it all and hold on tight is also “lack” thinking. When you see opportunities as limited, you are focused on what you don’t have.
Abundance thinking is opposite and allows you to go beyond the norms. When you have an abundance mindset you don’t see competition — you see the opportunity for all.
For example, there are those who constantly think, “I don’t have the money to…” This is about the lack in your life. Those who think in abundance, however, ask themselves, “How can I make this happen?”
Making the shift to abundance starts by changing your point of focus. Thinking about what you don’t have will only get you more of that. Thinking about the opportunities available to you will make them more attainable.
3. Create versus wait
Waiting for it to get better is not going to get you what you want. Waiting for the economy to turn around is frankly lazy. Waiting for referrals to come to you is not predictable nor is it going to give you the massive growth in wealth.
Millionaires create what they want. They see opportunity and figure out a way to do it.
Take Elon Musk, who has created massive developments with Tesla Motors over the last few years to create more powerful batteries that have changed electric vehicle viability. Tesla was the first production electric vehicle with a range greater than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. Elon didn’t wait — Elon created.
Making the shift to “create” is making the decision that you are in control of your future. You want to find the way to make it work.
4. Against the grain versus with the pack
You see this in business all the time. Business owners start businesses and tend to mimic their competitors. They strive to stand out by being a little bit better or working to have lower prices as a way to compete. But staying with the pack is not going to give you the financial break through to new levels.
Millionaires tend to think differently by going against the grain.
Look at what Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp did in 2009 when creating Uber. They looked at an industry that had not progressed in decades. They saw an opportunity and took action to create a powerful and disruptive new solution to getting from point A to point B.
Making the shift to see opportunities against the grain means deciding to focus on creativity and innovation.
5. Imperfect action versus waiting for perfection
Perfection is a trap. Seeking perfection is what keeps you stalled. Perfection is not the opposite of action, but those who strive for perfection in everything they do tend to over-think everything in their journey to success.
Those who are willing to embrace imperfect action are much more likely to fail, learn, fail some more and learn some more. This pattern is what makes achievement possible.
Shifting from perfection to action is deciding that now is the best time to share your ideas and get feedback from your market. Taking imperfect action is what will give you the feedback to continuously improve.
If you want shift your mindset, you have to be willing to distinguish between your story (or your truth) from “the” truth. And make a committed effort to see the world differently.