In a previous article, I interviewed USA Today columnist Pete the Planner who called out the fact that, "Every financial statistic you look to from a personal finance standpoint, points to the idea that anyone in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, in order to have some semblance of a retirement, is going to need at least $1 million."

In my interview with Grant Cardone, he reinforces this idea and takes it one step further, pointing out that you need at least $1 million in the bank just to remain part of the new middle class. You can watch the interview here:

"The entire middle class is built on a comparison," says Grant Cardone. "Some other country, some other neighbor, somebody else is doing better or worse off. But if you look at the facts today ... the voting class of America is the middle class."

Grant Cardone Believes The Middle Class Is a Trap
"The truth is, the middle class is a trap," says Grant Cardone. "The average middle class person makes somewhere between $40,000 and $115,000 per year. I know people in New York City where you live and Miami where I live, and at $115,000 there's a good chance that there's no money left over to save at the end of the year."

Grant Cardone sees the middle class as the focus area for politicians because this segment of the population are the ones paying for so much of what drives America today - from student loans and housing to cars and other goods. The middle class is the economic purchasing power in our country and despite Grant Cardone's mom reinforcing how lucky he was to be part of the middle class, he quickly discovered it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Getting Out of the Trap by Shifting Your Thinking to a 10X Mentality
So if you need at least $1 million to be part of the new middle class and you're likely to get trapped there, then what's the solution to the new middle class trap? Grant Cardone wants to share with people the mistakes he's made and what he got right.

"Operating in increments is the way our parents teach us. Even as a child they teach us you have to walk before you can run. Actually, that's not true. A baby stumbles along quite fast. You can run before you can walk," he says. "Google uses The 10X Rule. They don't think in increments, they want to multiply their revenue by 10X. Twitter, on the other hand, tried to grow in increments, it couldn't grow fast enough so it gets killed in the marketplace."

Grant Cardone understands that you can't become wealthy and retire unless you deploy a 10X mentality in everything you do. "You have to start in increments - I'm not saying that you don't. A job is an increment. Income is an increment. But at some point in your career, you need to invest. You need your Benjamin's that you've worked so hard to earn and save to start having babies; because when the babies start multiplying that's how you create wealth. You can't just create wealth on the back of hard work," Grand Cardone explains.

Learning from Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone build a $350 million real estate empire, in addition to creating customized sales training programs for Fortune 500 companies, writing 5 books including a New York Times best seller, If Your Not First, You're Last. He shares his wealth of insights to more than 22 million members. In other words, he's looked for all the ways he can operate his business at 10X and practices what he teaches.

I sincerely enjoyed interviewing Grant Cardone and appreciate just how hard he works to share what he's learned with his audience. If being a millionaire is the new middle class and you must operate at a 10X level to be successful, then the question we should be asking ourselves is how do we get to $10 million or more to ensure we have the kind of financial freedom we all desire.

While this may feel like a daunting question at first, refer back to Grant Cardone's main point. It's not about earning that kind of money, it's about getting your money to multiply. That's the place where most of us lack focus. What keeps us in the middle class trap is going paycheck to paycheck or operating our business with an incremental growth mentality.

To break out, we need to think different; we need to find ways to grow exponentially, not incrementally. Only by breaking the incremental mindset can we put ourselves onto an entirely new growth trajectory. That's why Google obsesses with 10X Moon Shots while companies that struggle focus on the next quarter's sales numbers.