The wealth mindset – it’s been the theme of many books, like Napoleon Hill’s famous “Think and Grow Rich” bestseller (I have yet to read it, but many people have told me that it changed their life). What is it that allows one person to go from abject poverty to a 5-bathroom, 15-room mansion, for example, while another remains within his or her less fortunate circumstances? When most people hear rags-to-riches stories, they appreciate the concept – maybe even glean some inspiration from it – but the idea of going from “just getting by” to “success beyond one’s wildest dreams” often falls under the category of “Things that will never happen to me.” So how does it happen?
We compared the results of people who took the Success Likelihood Test on Queendom, focusing on socio-economic status specifically. What we uncovered was a stark contrast between those in the $75 000+ salary range, and those under $25 000, in six areas specifically:
Fear of success
People with this fear tend to walk away from opportunities. They are afraid of getting their hopes up, or that their success will bring on responsibilities and expectations that they won’t be able to handle. They also tend to believe that they don’t deserve success to begin with.
Fear of the social consequences of success
The basis of this fear is the impact that personal success will have on loved ones. There is a fear of jealousy, of being ostracized or, on the contrary, of becoming the center of attention.
Fear of failure
This is a pretty straightforward fear, and often ties into the belief of not being good enough (i.e. self-esteem). A fear of failure can be extremely debilitating, holding a person back from taking risks, setting goals, and doing anything outside their comfort zone.
Drive and ambition
This is the impetus that moves a person forward. A person who sets goals and puts the effort into achieving them increases their success potential exponentially.
The role that self-esteem plays in success is invaluable. Those who don’t believe in themselves are less likely to succeed – and even if they do get a taste of success, it is more likely to be short-lived because they won’t feel like they deserve it.
Locus of control
Those with an external locus of control believe that success, and their life in general, is not within their control. They feel as though they are a victim of their circumstances/their lot in life. Those with an internal locus of control believe that it is their actions that determine the direction that their life takes.
We isolated adults over the age of 30 in low and high salary ranges ($75 000 and over vs. $25 000 or less). Queendom’s statistics reveal that people at the 75 000+ level show a lower degree of fear (of success, of failure, of the social consequences of success), and a higher level of ambition and drive. They are also had a higher level of self-esteem (a score gap of 12 points), and take a more proactive approach to life, choosing to believe that whether they succeed or fail is entirely in their hands.
What sets apart successful and unsuccessful people is mindset. Failure is an experience, not a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s not that rich people don’t fail – they do, several times throughout their life – they just choose not to make that the theme of their life. Johnny Cash said it so well: “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
Here is some other tidbits from our study:
- 4% of those in a high salary bracket believe that if they are successful, friends and family will only come to them when they want money (compared to 14% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 19% of those in a high salary bracket are fearful that others will judge them harshly if they make a mistake or fail at something (compared to 27% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 68% of those in a high salary bracket set challenging goals for themselves (compared to 47% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 81% of those in a high salary bracket believe that if they try hard enough, they can succeed at anything (compared to 69% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 71% of those in a high salary bracket feel that they are ready to handle the extra stress and responsibility that comes with being successful (compared to 63% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 68% of those in a high salary bracket will take on a difficult challenge even if there is a chance that they will fail (compared to 50% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 66% of those in a high salary bracket would not be satisfied if their performance at work was considered “average” (compared to 51% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 82% of those in a high salary bracket desire to push themselves to be the best at what they do (compared to 67% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 40% of those in a high salary bracket admit that they have been plagued by self-doubt at some point in their life (compared to 59% of those in a low salary bracket).
- 34% of those in a high salary bracket downplay their achievements to others (compared to 41% of those in a low salary bracket).
- Both groups believe that a person can rise above his or her background and be successful (over 90%).