Thomas Green On Mindset

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. Today, I am answering questions on mindset, and the first question is:

How do I acquire the millionaire mindset? I’ve heard a lot about getting the right mindset and the law of attraction but I’ve heard no practical advice.

One thing I would say about millionaires is that there are an awful lot of them who don’t have a great mindset, so we’d need to clarify what it is that we’re talking about in relation to the millionaire mindset. I think what you mean by that is the people who are “self-made”, so there’s no reason for them to do well necessarily, and as a result of hard work and perhaps things that they have learned and things that they have persevered at they have become a millionaire. But it’s worth making the distinction between people who have a million pounds or dollars, either in net worth or in cash, and they don’t have a mindset that you would want to model.

Next part of the question is about getting the right mindset and the law of attraction. Of all the mindset stuff I’ve done, I think I like the law of attraction the least. I don’t think it’s a law, I think it’s a principle, which means that just because you do a load of the right things, it’s not like gravity, it’s not a law which is going to always happen. It’s something which makes it more probable that will happen and I like to think of that more as cause and effect. So, you provide the right causes and eventually, you’ll get the effect that you want.

In terms of practical advice, think about the information that enters your mind on a daily basis via any source. So, whether it’s books, whether it’s videos, audios, whether it’s the people that are around you and the words that they say, all of these things will have an influence on a) what’s going on in your mind, and b) the types of actions that that is likely to produce. In terms of practical advice, I would say read a lot of books that are written by people who you would like to have a mindset like theirs. When you’re doing something where you could be listening to something else, like a commute, for example, always be listening to the types of information that you would like to be a part of your personality. I suppose I’d refer to it as conditioning yourself. With every piece of information that you listen to which has “the millionaire mindset”, what you’re doing is just influencing yourself a little bit. And I doubt that there’s a scientific basis for this.

I think it was Zig Ziglar who said something along the lines of, for every negative piece of information that you hear you need to counter that with sixteen positive pieces of information. If you think of it as a scale, you need sixteen times as many positive messages for every negative message that you hear. And so, if you think about your life prior to wanting to acquire a millionaire mindset and you think about the surroundings or the environment you’re in, whether it be the news that you hear on a daily basis or perhaps your peer group or maybe even schools or colleges or whatever it might be, a lot of that tends to be negative, or at least made up of negative people.

And so, when I say you condition yourself, it needs to become part of your personality. If you do that, you’ll find that you are a lot more positive as a person, but it will very likely not influence whether you’re a millionaire or not because you’re changing who you are as a person, but there’s been no cause which produces an effect in the market. What’s really important about this mindset stuff is that it’s practically applied. So, most likely you’ll hear a lot of information on perseverance because it’s a highly sought after trait to be a perseverant person. And you’ll know that in any endeavour if you condition yourself with positive messages, it’s going to require perseverance for you to succeed, but knowing how to do something and actually doing it are two very different things. You’re going to have to take that mindset and apply it to whatever industry you’re in or perhaps a business or your job, and through that application, that is how you get results in the real world. That is how you go about doing it, you condition yourself, and then you need to apply that information in your life in order for it to make an actual difference.

What are ways to develop a growth mindset?

How the question is posed, I suspect that this person has had some exposure to Tom Bilyeu, and Tom uses the terms ‘growth mindset’ and ‘fixed mindset’. And if I’m not mischaracterising, then the growth mindset is someone who is willing to learn, and if they learn then they can do better in life and there are no limitations based on the fact that they started out and they didn’t have any particular talents. With the fixed mindset, his position is that you have a particular talent in something and regardless of how much you learn about that thing, you’re never going to be as capable or competent as someone who has a particular talent on it. And he would refer to himself as the learner and as long as you have the ability to learn then you can do anything because you can pick up skills and you can improve yourself, whereas a fixed mindset is someone who if they don’t have any skills they essentially stay that way.

And I think within that explanation is the answer to the question. The more and more that you learn and the more you pick up skills on a particular topic, you’ll get into the habit of when you encounter a particular problem, all that’s required is for you to learn and to get better at that thing, and that’s how you overcome that problem. If you do that enough times then it’s likely to have an impact on your mindset because let’s say you encounter ten problems and in each instance you go away, you learn something and you’re better as a result of it and then you overcome that problem, then chances are the eleventh time that you encounter a problem you’re not going to just say well, I don’t have that skill and therefore I can’t do this. You’ll say this is another instance where all I have to do is, I have to make myself better in order to do better, and I would say if you took on that approach then you would have a growth mindset. If you encountered a problem and you said well, I don’t have those skills, I can’t do that, that is a fixed mindset. I would take the Tom Bilyeu approach and refer to yourself as a learner. You might not know everything, but as long as you’re willing to go and learn it within reason there isn’t anything that you can’t do.

How do I change my mindset?

I would think that the question has an outcome in mind and that is you would like to change your mindset in order to get a different outcome in life. And so the mindset that you would want to adopt is someone who has already gotten the outcome that you’re looking for. Now, in relation to business at least that would be the business owners or entrepreneurs that I referred to when I said that if you want to adopt a different mindset then you need to listen, learn, read, be around people who are where you want to be. And you don’t change your mindset or your personality with one book or one video or being around one person, you are doing it through what Tony Robbins refers to as ‘immersion’.

You’re immersing yourself in a particular environment which is going to make you think differently. And another way of thinking about this might be language. I was brought up speaking English because everyone around me speaks English. Now, there are a few – an extreme minority I might add – who decide that they are going to learn a new language. So, the question becomes, what would give you the highest probability of being able to speak that language? How often would you need to surround yourself with, let’s say, Spanish-speaking people in order to get fluent at speaking Spanish?

The people who are really serious about speaking Spanish would potentially go and live in a Spanish-speaking country. Taking this back over to business for a second, if you’re really serious about changing your mindset then you’re going to have to be around that language as often as you possibly can in order to change your personality. How I go about doing that is audio and video because that’s just the way I learn best. So, as often as I can I am listening to positive messages which are going to give me a better education in business.

And what you find first of all is that you’ll be learning and picking up an awful lot, but when you have really spent hours, weeks and months listening to different types of business education, you’ll find that you have to listen to more and more in order to pick up less and less. So, you need to listen to, say, a whole book, for example, in order to pick up maybe three things that you can use. The principle here is the more you spend listening to positive messages and hearing from the people or the topics that are going to get you closer to your outcome, the more likely you are to change your mindset.

What mindset has made you successful?

I’ve referred to success or being successful as the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal – that’s Earl Nightingale – and so what it is that makes you successful is deciding what it is that you want, that you deem worthy and that you decide is meaningful, and progressively taking steps towards achieving that goal. I do think that mindset is very important, but in terms of what’s more important between having the skills to be able to do something and having the right mindset, you can have the skills and have a bad mindset and it can still work out for you, you can still achieve that goal that you’re working on. But if you have the mindset and you don’t have the skills then I think your mindset will help you, but it’s going to be a lot easier for you if you already have the skills. If we take something that is perceived as difficult, let’s say programming, let’s say I wanted to program a particular piece of software. Now, if I was already a programmer, if I already had those skills, then that’s going to be so much easier for me to do if I already have the skills.

But if I have the mindset and I don’t have the skills, I can work very hard on acquiring those skills, but I’m going to be significantly behind someone who already has knowledge and expertise in that area. So, I don’t want to belittle mindset in any way, I think it’s very important for anyone who’s trying to practice the principle of a slight edge or who is looking to be excellent in their field. But if you’re just starting out, if you’re just beginning, then you really need to acquire the skills that you need in order to do something rather than working on your mindset because what I’ve seen as a trend is a bunch of people on the internet who have great mindset experience but not any skills. So, all they are able to do is teach mindset to people rather than teach them skills.

Zig Ziglar has a phrase, and he says in order to get everything that you want all you have to do is get other people what they want. In order to do that mindset’s not going to be enough for you. You need to have skills and you need to be able to provide tangible value to people. So, by all means, work on your mindset but realise that mindset alone isn’t going to be enough for you.

How do I develop a business mind?

This comes back to expertise. So, develop your expertise in business and you can do that through multiple sources. It might be doing business courses, it might be reading books, it might be listening to podcasts, it might be being around business people that you want to model. The more you’re able to do those things, the more you will develop your business mind. We only have a certain amount of time in a day and if you’re spending that time, let’s say, playing video games or something, the more you are not developing your business mind.

I would also say that you need to balance education with application, and I actually think there’s a way to do this, there’s a way to develop a business mind without doing almost any education at all, and that is just by doing it. There are plenty of people who have gone into business, let’s say, and they haven’t done any of the things that I’m referring to. They haven’t read any business books. They haven’t surrounded themselves with business people or spent any time on their education. All they’ve done is they’ve looked to solve a problem for people and they’ve done it in the way that they know how. I think there is a Henry Ford example where he was in court and they tried to prove he was ignorant in some sense. It’s an example of someone who has very little education or perhaps hasn’t spent any time doing the things that I’ve talked about but who has got pure experience. So, in your attempt to develop a business mind, couple your education with application as much as you possibly can.

What is the mindset of a billionaire?

There are lots of ways that I could interpret this question and there are a lot of commonalities between billionaires that have been studied. The thing which I think would be most beneficial to share is that these people work as though it’s not work, meaning they’re doing 90, 100-hour weeks in some instances. And partially the reason why they’re doing that is because they love what they do. Warren Buffett, for example, hasn’t needed to work for quite some time. He’s far past the age of retirement, but because he loves what he does there’s no reason for him to stop doing it. The other thing to bear in mind once you get to the stage of a billionaire is that businesses are very scalable. You could probably have a local or perhaps regional business and do very well from that, but the chances of you being a billionaire are quite small. Whereas if your business can scale either nationally or worldwide, if you can help a billion people, it becomes more probable that you’re going to be a billionaire.

The only thing I’d mention about this topic as well is that people conflate the difference between net worth and cash. There are some people who their net worth is staggering but it’s all measured in shares. If you own a massive company and then suddenly the value of that company takes off, then your net worth might be very high but the money you have in your bank account hasn’t changed at all. And so the way to think about this if you own a property is that your net worth includes any value that you have in your property, but it doesn’t mean that you have any more money on a daily basis, it’s just your net worth. It’s worth considering the fact that if a company failed, which many of them do, the owner of that company wouldn’t have anywhere near as much money as people say that they do.

And the only reason I say that is because being a billionaire I don’t think is a worthy goal. Warren Buffett has said that there’s very little difference between being a billionaire and being a millionaire. We eat at the same restaurants. We wear similar clothes. The only real difference might be air travel which most people don’t do on a regular basis anyway. So, set your goals based on who you want to become because that’s what will make you proud of not being a billionaire.

What kind of mindset is required for personal growth?

There are a lot of ways that you can attain personal growth, and I think that really the only thing that you have to do in relation to that question is to know what your outcome is, or what your worthy ideal is, and then to progressively work towards it. I think if you want something but you’re not willing to work towards it, that’s more like a wish. If you’re willing to actually do something about it that is where the growth comes in.

What is mindset?

Earl Nightingale used to refer to this as attitude. He said it was the single most important word. Some may say it’s about how you think about things. And James Allen would say as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. I’ve referred to it as your personality. If you change your personality you will change your mindset. I enjoy these types of questions just because we’re defining terms. Socrates would say the definition of terms is the beginnings of wisdom, and I would probably share a quote in order to answer the question.

Jim Rohn would say the same wind blows on us all but it’s not the wind that determines where you’ll end up, it’s the set of the sail. And Earl Nightingale used to say that there’s a similarity between human beings and ships or boats or yachts, in the sense that when you set out on a boat you have a predetermined destination. If you ask the captain of the boat, they know exactly where they’re going and how they’re going to get there, and if you don’t have either of those two things then who knows where you’re going to end up.

What are some differences between rich people’s mindsets and poor people’s mindsets?

I struggle with this one a little bit because the definition of rich and poor, I would say, is based on either the amount of money that you have or the amount of net worth that you have. And as I’ve said previously, there are rich people who have awful mindsets and poor people who have great mindsets and vice versa. I actually don’t think that it’s about rich or poor. I think that your mindset can influence those two things, but they’re not the defining factor. I think to attempt to answer the question, Jim Rohn used to say something along the lines of as a human being you’re not a tree.

You’re not stuck in a particular place and can’t change. If you want to change your circumstances then you can. You have the ability to do that. And I think the difference between a, should we say, “good or bad mindset” is someone who realises that. If you think that you can’t change your circumstances – and to come back to the analogy of the tree – if you’re like a tree, you can’t change where you are or what your circumstances are, then that would be a “bad mindset”. And if you are aware that because you’re a human being your gift or your strength is that anything that you decide to do in your life you can work towards it, and as long as you try and keep trying then you’ll be able to achieve that end. So, I’ve rephrased the question slightly, but I would say that’s the difference between a good or bad mindset.

What is the mindset of a great leader?

There’s an awful lot of talk on leadership. I can’t recall exactly where the definition was from, but one which I really like is a leader knows exactly where an organisation or a team should go, which direction it should go in, is able to communicate that to the rest of the team and get them engaged in that goal or that outcome and see where the rest of the team fits into that goal. So, it’s all very well a leader having a particular goal, but if the team isn’t really that engaged in that goal, they don’t really care that much about it, then that person is not really that much of a great leader.

The rest of what makes up the mindset of a great leader might be what happens when you come up against obstacles in your attempt to achieve that goal? I’ve mentioned some of this previously, which is having the no-excuses mentality, which is essentially when you’re working towards a particular goal, there isn’t an excuse which is going to be valid, meaning I will find a way. That is how I interpret leadership or having a great mindset of a leader, but because there are so many ways in which you can interpret leadership, I am happy to hear from you on what yours might be because it’s a big topic.

What are some quotes that have changed your mindset?

I’ve shared some of them in the rest of the questions. The one that I always like to share is in order to do better you need to be better, and if you want things to change for you, you have to change, mainly because the emphasis is on you and no one else, and if you want to change your circumstances then it’s down to you to do that. But coming back to some of the things that I’ve mentioned previously, when you are conditioning yourself or when you’re immersing yourself in this particular way of thinking, this is an ongoing process for you, so continue to look for as many as you possibly can. And I will put some up on the video if that’s the format that you’re watching.

How do I overcome the poverty mindset?

One thing which is really worth mentioning here is to think about your standards. Tony Robbins would talk about your ‘shoulds’ and your ‘musts’, so people meet their musts but they don’t meet their shoulds. In order to get what you want you just need to change your standards. Coming back to the question for a moment, if you have a poverty mindset it’s likely that your standards are very low. I would say the first thing to do is to check whether that’s the case in as many areas of your life as you possibly can, decide what your standards are or what your musts are, progressively work towards that ideal, and condition yourself with information from people who have already reached that goal.

How can I be a growth mindset person if I’m naturally a fixed mindset person?

I think one to acknowledge with that particular question is a lot of people have a fixed mindset, and that is probably the reason why you have one. If it were the case that you were surrounded by people with a growth mindset, then it would likely be the case that you would have that mindset as well. In order to have a growth mindset, all you need to do is surround yourself either with people or information that is of a growth mindset, and the more you do that the more probability it is that you’re going to have a growth mindset. So, like in the other questions I’ve spoken about, it’s about conditioning. One thing to note though, it doesn’t have to be done with the people that you surround yourself with, it can be the information you decide to surround yourself with. So, it can be done multiple ways, but the more you do it, the more likely it is that you’re going to end up with a growth mindset.

What are worth reading books on thoughts on the topic of mindset?

There are a few which I’d recommend:  

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy

But because we are conditioning ourselves or immersing ourselves in this particular type of information, it’s an ongoing process, so don’t stop with just those.

How can you develop the mindset of a champion?

All of the things that we’ve talked about so far, which is surrounding yourself with positivity, positive messages, conditioning yourself, immersing yourself, as much and as often as you possibly can, they all apply here, except with the slight difference which is adding modelling into this particular example. If you did want to become a champion, who would you want to model? Now, that language, I would presume, is related to sports rather than business but basically, you do absolutely everything, you do as much as you possibly can do, to model the champions that you already see. The other reminder I would add is to have a great reason why because if you want to be a champion that’s probably going to require a lot of suffering. You’re probably going to want to give up but the person who has the right why can bear any how.

What’s the mindset of Generation Z?

I would say we need to be a bit careful not to fall into any generalisations here because there are always exceptions. And I would also add, different generations have at least partial responsibility for how the world looks now. If I were speaking to a person of Generation Z and I was going to tell them, for example, what to look out for, I would say be very careful believing any limitations which are put on you externally, especially a time like now where many people are talking about recessions. 2020 is infamous for, shall we say, bad news. There also seems to be a culture of victimhood and there are plenty of people who are still doing well.

Earl Nightingale used to say that there is no product that couldn’t be made better and there is no service which is done as good as it could be, which means there is opportunity for absolutely everyone to do it better. Don’t believe people who tell you that there isn’t any opportunity because there is, it’s everywhere. And if you are of Generation Z, if you have a worthy goal or a worthy ideal that you want to work towards, you go for it because chances are you will improve the circumstances of a lot of other people, both in improving things for people who consume your product or service and also providing jobs for people along the way.