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How to Become Rich Even If You Are Poor Today

how to become richWant to know how to become rich? It’s not really all that difficult, but I wouldn’t say it’s easy either…especially if you’re poor today. BUT, if you first understand how you’re wired and how you tick, AND you can slowly move yourself from a broke mentality to a rich mentality, then the question of how to become rich can certainly be answered AND achieved! Again, it’s not easy…but it is possible, and I’m going to do my best to walk you through the steps that will get you there.

How to Become Rich Even If You’re Poor Today

I’ve spent quite a few hours counseling people that live below the poverty line (ie. under $25,100 for a family of four). I’m a little embarrassed to tell you this, but long before my days of counseling, I would have told you that poor people are just lazy and don’t want to educate themselves or find a real job, so they just continue to sluff off, earn little, and stay broke…

Well, the truth of the matter is, that was simply an immature understanding that I had of the poor.

In reality, many of those in poverty:

  • work multiple jobs,
  • are single parents trying to provide for themselves and their children,
  • have very little time to plan for the future (They’re just trying to live another day!), and
  • they have to fill out so many government forms for various aid (with all the time that they really don’t have), it’s just mind boggling!

Not surprisingly, the list above prevents the poor from progressing financially.

Since they have little money and very little time to spare…

  • All their decisions are often late and reactive (ie. ignoring the need for new tires until one of them blows and messes up the rim and wheel well. Now the bill isn’t $400 for new tires, it’s $800 because of the additional car repairs that stem from ignoring the issue for too long).
  • Decisions that are made on time are often expensive because they can’t take the time to price match and negotiate. They simply pay the cost they’re told.
  • Stress levels are high and the likelihood of making dumb choices is greater (ie. criminal acts, abuse, etc.)
  • They’re more likely to splurge out of self-pity (mainly, going out to eat and picking up snacks from the convenience store)
  • Developing bad habits is typical – like smoking, drinking, and drug use. It’s a way to escape the difficult life they’re in…but the expense of these vices guarantee that they’ll stay in their broke state forever…
  • And sadly, they stop believing in what’s possible and simply accept their reality today

If you want to know how to become rich, stop focusing entirely on the step-by-step process of how to get out of debt, save money, and invest for your retirement. You’re not there yet. What you need to focus on is your belief – in yourself, in your abilities, and in your glistening future!

So how the heck do you get started? I’m so glad you asked…

How to Become Rich – Begin to Transform Your Mentality

I recently counseled a couple that was drowning in debt and had more money going out than they had coming in each month (they were upside-down roughly $500 every month). They were frustrated, scared, and had very little hope for the future. I tried pumping them up by verbalizing what was possible – that someday they could have all their debts paid off, they could have an emergency fund, and they could even be investing money for their future retirement!

Their posture, their look, their reaction — nothing changed. I could have said, “Tomorrow is going to be sunny” and gotten the same response…

They simply didn’t believe that they could get so far ahead financially.

Thinking back on that moment, it would have been like someone telling me that I could someday pick up a car above my head. Uh huh…sure I could… NOT!!

In order to put yourself into action, you first need to have the belief that what you’re driving toward is possible, and that’s why we need to tackle that space between your ears before we can even start talking about money.

1) Turn Off the TV

First of all, television is a soul-sucking device that is, for the most part, a huge waste of time. I mean think about it. Instead of learning about our interests, spending time with our family, or getting ourselves active outside, we’re sitting on a couch lifeless…doing nothing…and barely activating our brains at all. And there’s absolutely nothing beneficial about that.

Secondly, what we’re watching on TV is killing the belief we have in ourselves. We’re seeing:

  • Actors and actresses that are more beautiful than we’ll ever be,
  • News reports that basically tell us that our world is a terrible place, and
  • Intelligent people that talk down to us…the lowly middle-class citizens that can only make a difference in the factories

By and large, TV is bringing us down emotionally – making us feel terrible about ourselves, our situation, our country, and keeping us from creating a better life for ourselves.

2) Turn On the Self-Help Podcasts

Instead of watching reality TV and getting even more dramatic than you already are, why not transform yourself and constantly motivate yourself to be better, do more, a live a better life?

Ranker’s 30+ Best Self Help and Motivational Podcasts should help get you there. Listen to just a couple of these beauties and you’ll be ready to leave the house and achieve!

3) Read/Watch Inspiring Victories Often

After I watch a documentary, I think to myself, “Well that was interesting.” and then I head out of the room to go get a snack. BUT, when I watch a movie like Rocky or Cinderella Man, I find myself doing push-ups during the movie…Then, once it’s done, I head out of the room to make a sales call or try something new with my site.

If you want to learn how to become rich, all you have to do is figure out what motivates you. Is it a podcast? A particular movie? A newspaper clipping about a man that rises from the ashes of poverty? Figure out what it is for you and listen to it, watch it, read it again and again and again. Keep the motivation going and you’ll be more likely to succeed!

how to become rich4) Study Those That Are Successful

We all know people who are expert fathers, amazing athletes, successful speakers, or, for what we’re talking about today, crazy rich. Want to know how to become rich? Start talking to rich people. It really is that easy. If you know someone that is likely a millionaire, ask if you can take them to breakfast and start picking their brain about how they did it and how you could do it to!

Even if you’re shaking your head right now because you don’t have anyone that you could approach about making money and how to become rich, you’re still not off the hook. There are about 50 fantastic financial success stories at your disposal at your local library:

  • Suzy Orman
  • Dave Ramsey
  • Robert Kiyosaki
  • David Bach
  • Ramit Sethi
  • T. Harv Eker
  • Jim Rohn

…and many others. These authors will teach you about how they struggled, what they learned, and how they ended up winning in life. And, if you don’t have time to read, get the audio-book for Pete’s sake!

If you want to be successful, continually study those that have the success you want. Plain and simple. End of story.

5) Dump Some Old Friends and Pick Up New Ones

If you’re lower-middle class or below, I’d say that out of every five friends that you have, at least three of them are never going anywhere in life.

  • They complain,
  • talk about how the government is keeping them down, and
  • they probably even keep you down with their “realistic” opinions.

It’s time to dump these friends once and for all.

Of course, you don’t literally have to walk up to them and say you’re leaving them…but just start intentionally keeping your distance. Instead of seeing them once a week, start limiting your time to once a month, and then even longer spans if you feel comfortable.

Then, start filling your time with those that are successful – even moderately successful. Anything is better than sharing drinks with friends that still talk about good ol’ days of high school…even now in their mid-30’s. They’re going nowhere, and if you stick with them, they’ll make sure you go nowhere with them…

Related: 5 Reasons You Should Leave Your Loser Friends Behind

6) Talk Positively to Yourself

Want to know why I’m so big on self-help podcasts, inspirational movies, and quality friendships with those that are successful? Because without them, your mind is more prone to tell you that riches aren’t possible, that you’re not worth it, and that you’ve failed before and that you’ll almost certainly fail again. I’m not sure why it is (and after a quick Google search, I’m not sure anyone does), but I’m sure you can agree that in many different instances, your mind has kept you down.

You’ve got to make a conscious effort to breathe positivity into your own self, because if you don’t, the negative will surely come in and ruin your colorful parade…

Related: 5 Signs Subconscious Negativity is Sabotaging Your Happiness (and 7 Ways to Stop It!)

7) Seek to Inspire Others

“Tis better to give than to receive.”

We have all heard the above quote many times in our lives, and many of us have proven it true. It just feels more gratifying to impact someone else’s life with a gift than it is to put something selfishly into our own stocking.

The same is true when it comes to positive thinking and affirmation of others.

If you can master the skill of picking others up, inspiring them to action, and leading them to a successful future, then you can no doubt do it for yourself! Learn to impact the lives of others and yours will certainly grow rich as well.

How Positive Thoughts Move You Toward Success

So what’s the big deal with positive thinking anyway? Why did I just spend so much time outlining ways to improve positivity in your life? Through many different research studies and observations, it has been proven that positive thinking:

  • builds your skills,
  • boosts your health, and
  • improves your work.

Increase Your Perceived Options

Ask any wealthy person how to become rich and stay rich and they’ll likely tell you to review all your options and study them often. Then choose the best one, pursue it, succeed at it, and then move onto the next best option and repeat the process.

Your options could be:

  • a better job, with more upward potential than the one you’re in
  • an education that would help you advance in your career
  • starting a side hustle that might develop into a thriving future business

When you’re positive, you’re more likely to see these options. If negativity floods your soul more often than not…you’ll likely see just one option, which of course is the one that leads to failure…

Boost Your Health

It’s seriously unbelievable how much your thoughts can impact your health. According to studies performed by John Hopkins researchers, those that had a constant negative outlook were 1/3 more likely to have a heart attack than those that had a family history of heart attacks. Isn’t that just crazy?!

If you think positively, you’ll put far less strain on your body. And, your chance of future disease is less than if you sit around worrying and assuming that something bad will happen to you.

Improve Your Work

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, published a well-renowned paper that often refers to the theory of “broaden and build,” which basically means that positive thinking allows you to see more options (as we noted above), but it also enables you to build new skills and resources that you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Think positively and you’ll learn more, do more, and therefore achieve more than those that never open their mind far enough to even notice the opportunity that’s been kicking them in the butt for years…!

How to Become Rich With Your Newfound Belief In Yourself

After months and months of overcoming your negativity (let’s be honest, we’ll probably never be completely rid of it, but at least you can get to the point where you recognize when it’s creeping back into your life…and then you can proceed to squash it like a bug), you can finally start to jump on the traditional steps for how to become rich:

  1. Save up $1,000 for a mini-emergency fund
  2. Pay off your consumer debt (use this debt snowball tool)
  3. Save up a real emergency fund (3-6 months’ worth of expenses)
  4. Invest 15% of your income for your retirement
  5. Save for your kids’ college
  6. Pay off your house early
  7. Become wealthy and give

When you consciously ditch the negative in your life and embrace the positive energy instead, your odds of becoming rich will improve exponentially. Do nothing…and you’ll stay in that cycle that you’ve become all too familiar with – no money, paycheck, money falls through your fingers, no money, paycheck…etc etc etc.

If you seriously want to become rich, you’ll follow these steps and those doors will open up for you. Are you ready to get started??

Battle of the Mind Money


My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


  1. Although I like your blog, you didn’t really answer the title in the heading for this one. The most important thing you said was to think positively, but let’s say you’re working a minimum wage job. What next to be “rich”?

    • Hi David. First, you’ve got to change your mindset – which is the hardest part and which is why I spent most of the post talking about it. Once you change your mindset and start asking yourself, “How?” instead of telling yourself there’s no hope, THAT’s when things can start to change.

      There are many answers to your question – it all depends on the person. It might be that they start their own side hustle and develop that into a full-fledged business. Or, maybe they use that added income to take some classes toward a degree that they’re interested in. Whatever it takes to be passionate about what you do and earn more money doing it than you are today.

      Make sense?

      Are you asking for yourself and your future? Let’s brainstorm!

  2. Thank you for your reply Derek. Imagine you’re a shop assistant on the minimum wage – you’d get blank stares if you told them to ‘think positively’ and ‘set up a fully-fledged business.’

    I do agree with something Dan Lok said: something like “I read Think and Grow Rich. I did a lot of thinking, but there wasn’t much riching going on!”

    How to get rich slowly is pretty ‘easy’ – make sure you invest 15-20% of your salary over your lifetime, and you’ll have a million dollars or so at 60. However, what steps to take to get there in 5-10 years? Or even to double your income within a year? How does a shop assistant go from a lower wage to over 100K a year?

    It reveals the problem out there. “Think positively” is only good for those who already have a business-minded brain. For the others, as Dan Lok (he’s a finance guru on Youtube) said: “Most of you aren’t going to make it.”

    Sure, it is possible, there are many good examples, but it’s also true that most people will never make it in terms of being rich. Only 1-5% make it, depending on your definition of ‘rich.’

    Have you written an article on how to go from $18 an hour (that’s the minimum here in Australia) to over $100K a year? That could be a very good follow up.



    • Hi David. Nice summary comment – very helpful. I haven’t ever written the ‘$18 an hour to $100k a year’ post, but it sure would be a good one! I’ll put it in the roladex and hopefully get to it in the near future.

      For now, my response to your shop assistant example would be:
      – think about what else they’re good at – write a list of 5 things
      – ask their friends if they would ever pay for them to do this thing for them (fix cars, build cabinets, paint your living room, detail cars, etc.)
      – then offer to do this service for them for a fee, and ask for referrals once you’re done

      Starting a side hustle really isn’t rocket science. Even a shop assistant can do it!

      • Hi Derek

        You just re-tweeted this, and I read it, having forgotten this was among the first of your articles I’d read! Your blog has become one of just a few I make sure to read like a Sunday news column.
        I’m back in a transformative stage, about to leave work next week after two years with the same company. I’ll want to keep momentum up, looking for a new position. But as I could potentially be unemployed for a while, I’ve also decided to go to the gym regularly, read a lot, keep active, eat well (and to keep this going).
        Am hoping too I’ll frugal enough to be able to invest a bit, even if it is literally a bit. The end goal is to improve my salary but I am able to step back and do this. Someone working paycheque to paycheque doesn’t do this.
        How you think is important. I know one colleague who’s going to spend a lot of money going back to uni in order to get a better job/career, whereas I know a foreign student who got offered a job managing AirBnB properties. You don’t need a degree for this, just to be savvy and well organised in the new economy! I know there are opportunities like this out there but not always easy to see.

        • Hi David. Good luck on the future opportunities. Based on your organization and discipline, I’m sure you’ll be better off in the future than you were in the past!

  3. Thanks for the post. Bill Gates Quote: “If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake”. This is true for so many reasons and one of the important things is the mindset. Unless you think you can do, you cannot take the next step. Some of the tips are really entertaining and informative as well.

    • Boom! You got it, Mac! Thanks for the comment.

  4. Derek: Assess my situation. I am a 32-year combat veteran of both the US Marine Corps and the US Army Paratroopers. I am highly decorated,fought in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan .I was able to pursue and complete my BS, MBA, JM(law degree) and PhD. All was well until loosing everything in 2008/09 during the financial crisis. Wife, home, money, gone= homelessness. It happened again in 2019. While homeless and living off of SSI(749,00) and disability(1750.00 a month) I was able to write three(3) books, living in a abandoned church and trying to start a online business. Suggestions?

    • First off – where do you live? Like, what is the cost of living there? Trying to gauge if your $2,500 a month is livable or incredibly difficult.

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