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T. Harv Eker on how to be richer
T. HARV EKER is convinced anyone can be rich. But what holds most people back from being rich is an internal script or "money blueprint" that tells them that they can't or shouldn't. In his bestselling 2005 book Secrets Of The Millionaire Mind as well as his seminars, Eker teaches people to identify their money blueprint and revise them. He also delineates the differences between rich people and the poor, insisting that the rich create their own circumstances while the poor are controlled by their circumstances.
Not everyone, of course, buys Eker's theories. Critics says that his focus on personal psychology as a driver of success ignores very real sociological factors such as gender, race, class and sexuality as possible determinants of one's income bracket. A talented, ambitious and hardworking woman, for instance, might have to spend a lot time and energy battling structural discrimination, which an equally talented and diligent man needn't be concerned with. A man from a poor background would have to climb more rungs on the ladder before he can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with his counterpart from a higher class.
But Eker, 64, thinks even these should not hinder an individual from success. And come July, he’s conducting a 3-day Millionaire Mind Intensive course at the Singapore Expo Hall organised by Success Resources Singapore to direct participants on its path. He explains why a "revised" frame of mind is required as the first step towards financial abundance.
Does anyone have the potential to be a millionaire?
Potential, yes. Willing to do what it takes to be a millionaire, no. Most people want the results of success, but they're not really willing to do the work it requires. And I want to be upfront here: I don't have a get-rich-quick scheme. Becoming ich takes a lot of focus, energy, time and resources. And above all, it takes your willingness to do whatever it takes.
The average reader profile of The Business Times is a white-collar executive earning approximately 2.5 times the median income in Singapore. Assuming such a person is smart and driven, what holds him back from earning more money?
I believe in a process of manifestation, that your thoughts lead to your feelings, which lead to your actions, which lead to your results. So it all starts with your thoughts. What creates your thoughts? Why do you think the way you do? Why are you in the career you're in? Why do some people choose to make those extra five calls that night instead of going out for a drink with their friends?... To answer your question of how your readers can do better than where they are now, maybe they're thinking at Level 7 or 8 when they want to be on a level 9 or 10. Until their thinking process goes to a level 9 or 10, they will not achieve a level 9 or 10 success.
You know, I've spoken to hundreds of people, and I believe many have a thought pattern that says something like: Wealthy people are bad in some way, shape, or form. Now if you believe that wealthy people are bad and you want to be a good person, then the game is over for you before you even begin. You can never be rich. The fact is, there are rich people who are bad, and poor people who are bad. Money just accentuates who you already are... If you’re one of the millions of people who think great wealth makes you greedy and corrupt, you’ll stop yourself past a certain point of achievement and success.
What was the defining moment in your life that shaped your perspective that attitude is everything?
I came from a business background and spent 10 years after college being completely broke. Most nights I have to choose between putting $5 of petrol in my car and eating dinner. I went through 12 different jobs in 10 different businesses. And I always had this one belief: That if you get in the right business at the right time, you will get rich. So I was always looking for what's hot in what industry, and going into that. But it wasn't working. So finally, a friend of mine called me up. He said, “I am making a fortune with this product (which was actually a coupon book). I'm over here in the west coast, in Los Angeles. You're over there in Florida in Fort Lauderdale. You're my best friend. Why don't you take the whole east coast? I am making so much money, I don't care. I can't even service all the people where I am. So take this product. Go do it the way I tell you to do it. You're going to make a killing.” And I went, “Oh God, finally, I’m going to make it.” Four months later, he was making 10 times as much as he was earlier. And I was still broke. And for the very first time, it hit home for me that it's not the vehicle – the problem was me. I decided then that I would focus on my own personal development, my own character, my own habits and thought processes. And then a couple of years later, I had a successful chain of fitness stores and became a millionaire.
You argue from a purely psychological perspective. But some say there are many sociological factors that determine a person's financial success such as race, gender, class, sexuality and age – factors that are outside of a person's control. There are also various forms of structural discrimination that restricts one’s opportunities.
Of course there are limitations. A farmer working in Biafra won't necessarily have the same opportunities as someone in the US or Singapore. But if the conditions are generally right for success, then what I'm going to say will offend some people, in that I believe all of these things that you just mentioned – race, gender, class, sexuality – are, for the most part, excuses made by people who have a victim mentality. The proof is in the pudding: If one person of one race or gender or creed can make it, why can't another? They used to say that if you're black, you can't succeed. But when Obama became president, black people lost that excuse instantly. As for the glass ceiling facing women, there are hundreds of thousands of very wealthy women. As far as I'm concerned, over 80 percent of people who become wealthy are self-made millionaires and billionaires. They didn't come from money at all. They wanted it badly and they did what they needed to do. Listen, in my experience, everyone's going to have obstacles. Everyone. The only question is, will those obstacles overcome you or will you overcome those obstacles?
The 3-day Millionaire Mind Intensive course at the Singapore Expo Hall organised by Success Resources Singapore runs from July 26 to 28. For tickets, visit millionairemindsg.com