Think about the amount of money you need to pay your bills for one month. Multiply that amount by six. Remember that figure. This number is what I call “The New Zero.” Pay your bills with the day job, and put any money you make on the side into the bank. The New Zero is half a year of expenses saved in the bank.

If you have less than six months of expenses in the bank right now, you should think of yourself as being in the hole or in the negative. The idea is to create a sense of urgency for yourself. Let this fuel a hunger and drive within to create financial padding for yourself.

There are two ways to get more money: save it or make it. Most people who want more money in the bank think the way to get there is by saving. This is a form of scarcity. Sure, you should prevent waste and excess spending, but if your goal is to have more money, your efforts are always better spent making money rather than focusing on saving it.

People with an abundance mindset look for opportunities to create wealth, not merely to preserve more of the limited amount they have.

Saving is the poor person’s way to get rich. You’re not going to save your way to being a millionaire; you have to go out and get money. You must create your own wealth.

To Create Wealth, Solve Problems

How do you create wealth? By solving problems. You can’t just do what you want all day and expect that automatically to lead to making money. Sure, it’s possible to reach a point where the way you make money involves doing what you enjoy, but you don’t get there by accident. You get there purposefully.

Time is money, and people will give up their money if you give them time. To give someone time, you need to do work that solves a problem for them, and you need to be good at doing that work.

The interesting thing about money is that everybody wants it, but they’re scared to talk about it, and they like to hate on those who have it (The crab mentality strikes again!). People act like money is a bad thing and say things like, “Money is the root of all evil,” but that’s not at all true. There’s nothing inherently evil about money. It’s simply a multiplier and an enabler of purpose. (They also get the quote wrong: it’s the love of money that is the root of all evil.) Money itself can’t think or act; therefore, it can’t be evil. It’s simple: if you want money, stop acting like it’s a bad thing and shunning those who have it. Money is nothing more than an indicator of the value you create in the world.

Success is not a fixed quantity. Value itself can be created out of thin air. In a client relationship, you are giving some of your time to do work in exchange for money. You do this because you believe the money you’re getting is worth more than the time it took you to do the work. The client feels like the work they’re getting is of greater value than the money they’re giving up—otherwise they wouldn’t pay. What do we have here?

We have two parties who believe they’re both getting a good deal. Neither would have engaged in commerce had they believed what they were giving up was of lesser worth than what they were gaining. Each party believes they’ve received something of greater value than the price paid. What this means is value was created. The two of you created value and injected it into the marketplace and the world economy. Yes, you’re profiting, but so is the client. You’re increasing profit for the economy, and everyone in the world becomes a little richer because of the value created.

Don’t Be Selfish

The problem is you were not taught to get money. You were told money doesn’t make you happy and that it’s not important. That’s only partially true. More money does not always equal more happiness. That much is a fact, but money is absolutely important. Money is, unarguably, one of the most important things in life. You need it to survive. But you weren’t taught to get it—you were taught to preserve what you have, which is scarcity thinking. It’s no wonder you have no money: you weren’t taught that getting it was important! You were taught to be happy with what you have, to be satisfied, and that seeking more is greedy.

More is greedy only if you’re thinking only about yourself. Think of all the good you could do for your family, friends, parents, relatives, neighbors, community, and the world if you only fulfilled your potential. You don’t have to be content with just getting by.

Why are you not hungry to get more? Because you were taught that more is wrong, greedy, and bad. You were taught to be poor and stay poor. Yet, staying poor not only robs you of the life you want to have, but it robs everyone you could help if you had the financial means to do so. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more for yourself, but if you have a moral opposition to that, why not seek more for others? Why not apply yourself to creating as much wealth as possible to further the good of all humanity? In that sense, more is selfless. To refrain from seeking more for the sake of helping others is, by definition, selfish: you care only about yourself. You’re content with just getting by, serving only yourself, and refusing to fulfill your potential. That is the definition of selfishness. Yet, because you were taught that more is selfish, you believe that mediocrity is where you belong and that to desire something greater is greed.

It’s not as if you have to go out and take money from other people and leave them with nothing. You get money only if you’re able to create enough value to exchange for it. If you’re to get more money, you must create value, and, as we discussed, engaging in the act of commerce injects value into the marketplace. You will get paid only if the value you provide to others is greater than they believe their money to be worth. Therefore, if you make money, it’s as a result of creating an even greater amount of value.

If you don’t have money, it’s because you haven’t created enough value for the world. Get rid of this idea that more is bad or evil. More is survival. In a business sense, any line that stays flat will fall, so if you’re not growing, you’re dying. If you’re not actively increasing, you’re actively declining. As a business, you must profit—it’s your duty to profit. If you’re not profiting, you’re actively going out of business. If you’re just getting by, you’re actively going out of business. If your growth is a flat line, you’re actively going out of business. Growth is vital. You should be growing, not getting by, and you should be increasing, not declining. It’s no act of great courage to be satisfied with mediocrity.

You need to see mediocrity as selfishness. Selfishness is to lack consideration for others, and is that not exactly what you’re doing when you say that “just getting by” is good enough? How can you help others if you barely have the means to take care of yourself? Imagine the best, most productive version of yourself that is humanly possible. Think about what this version of you could create, build, and produce. Think of all the good that can come from that.

Money is a multiplier of who you are now. Do you consider yourself a good person? Are you a generous person? If so, how is it not selfish for you to refuse to multiply that generosity by your lack of action?

It’s a shame for you not to live up to your potential and a shame for you to think and dream small. You need to start thinking bigger. A million dollars is—say it with me—not a lot of money. The moment you understand that is the moment you begin your journey to attaining it; it will be only a matter of reality aligning with your mindset, and nothing can stop you at that point.

You don’t want a million dollars? You should want a million dollars. You should want ten million dollars. Does that feel uncomfortable to you? You need to get comfortable with it because if you can’t even normalize the idea of that much money, you will never attain it. Think of all the great things you could do with a million dollars. Again, there’s nothing wrong with wanting this for yourself—you should—but if for some reason you’re convinced it’s wrong to want that for yourself, how can you not at least want it for others? Think of the good you could do for others if you had that kind of money. By not wanting it, you’re saying those things are not worth doing. By not taking the action necessary to get it, you’re saying you don’t want it with your lack of action.

Stop Viewing Money Emotionally

Normalize what is big to you and stop thinking small. How do you normalize something? Repeated exposure. Get around people who think bigger. Consume material from those who take massive action. Stop thinking in terms of enough and start thinking in terms of greatness. Start thinking in terms of your potential and stop viewing money emotionally. Money is a tool and an enabler of purpose. You need money to enable your purpose, so if you’re not focused on getting money, you don’t actually care about your purpose.

We all need to eat, and we all have basic needs to meet, such as putting a roof over our heads. If you can’t eat, that makes life really tough. There’s nothing fun about seeing your family struggle or seeing them go without food to eat or a place to live. Money can buy those things and help you make a better life for your family, which will bring about happiness. Does that mean more money will always equal more happiness all of the time? Of course not. Money only amplifies who you are now. It doesn’t turn you into a different person; it just increases the intensity of what already exists. It’s not going to make you happier, and it’s not going to make you more generous. Lots of people think they’ll be generous when they’re rich. They won’t be. If you’re not generous now, you’re not going to be generous when you have money. If you’re not happy now, you’re not going to be happy when you have money. Money is an amplifier of who you are now.

Yes, money can buy fun things—it can buy great things. There’s no need to pretend that we can’t derive satisfaction from things that money can afford us, but money doesn’t give us happiness. It gives us fleeting shots of dopamine. After the chemical spike wears off, we come right back down to where we were. If you’re unhappy, money will multiply your unhappiness. That fact will initially be masked by the emotional high derived from the things money can afford, but after those feelings pass, the unhappiness remains. The only difference right now is if you don’t have money and you’re unhappy, you may think money will make you happy. But getting money will only make you realize money doesn’t make you happy. There’s nothing wrong with going after money, and there’s nothing wrong with making money (you can do a lot of good things with it), but if you see money as a source of happiness, you’re going to be disappointed.

Your sense of purpose has to come from somewhere else. As long as we focus only on ourselves, we will never find true fulfillment. You should want more—you should want more for others. If you understand that money amplifies who you are right now, it’s empowering because it helps you turn your focus inward.

Who are you now? What do you care about? What is your purpose? Whom do you want to serve? Source your desire for more from your mission and purpose in this world. More money won’t change who you are; it will only augment your effectiveness.

What is the point of money if not to spend it? Once you have your own needs and desires taken care of, you can do a lot of good for others with your money. Learn to see mediocrity as selfish. Learn to see “just getting by” as a shame. It’s your responsibility to fulfill your potential, want more for others, and think bigger than yourself.

Key Takeaways

  • Time is money, and people will give up their money if you give them time. To give someone time, you need to do work that solves a problem for them, and you need to be good at doing that work.
  • Saving is the poor person’s way to get rich. You’re not going to save your way to being a millionaire; you have to go out and get money. You must create your own wealth.
  • If you have less than six months of expenses in the bank right now, you should think of yourself as being in the hole or in the negative. Set a goal to reach six months of savings as soon as you possibly can—and let that be your new zero.
  • Wanting more money is greedy only if you’re thinking only about yourself.