Not only is Steve Siebold a self-made millionaire, but he spent over 25 years studying other millionaires.
Then he wrote a book about it.
"Getting rich begins with the way you think," he asserts, "and what you believe about making money."
The operative word there is believe.
In How Rich People Think, Siebold outlines the patterns he saw after interviewing hundreds of millionaires. His research showed something fascinating: "[It] wasn't the lack of desire that held the masses back from getting wealthy, but the lack of belief in their own ability to make it happen."
There's that concept again: belief.
Here are the six critical beliefs the wealthy employ, which anyone can adopt -- and should, if they want to get rich:
1. Money is a friend
According to Siebold, the wealthy see money as "one of their greatest allies and friends." By contrast, the middle class "sees money as a never-ending necessary evil that must be endured."
This is a critical distinction. If you think of money as an adversary, how likely are you to spend time with it, grow it, nurture it, or attract it? Wealthy individuals tend to personify money, viewing it as "a friend that has the power to end sleepless nights of worry, physical pain, and can even save their life."
Been treating money like the enemy? Perhaps it's time to make a new friend.
2. Set "unreasonably" high expectations
While the middle class tends to set low financial expectations so as to never be disappointed, the rich set extremely high ones -- and often meet them.
"Ancient wisdom says you get what you expect, yet many people decide to limit their lives to middle-class mediocrity in an effort to protect themselves from failure," Siebold writes.
Want to earn $500K next year? Say so. Expect to. Be bold.
It's the same thing you've always been taught: Dream big. Only now it's backed up by the fact that these are real things the über wealthy actually do.
3. Making money is a game
According to Siebold, the wealthy look at business and earning as "a game they love to win." It's fun for them to move the needle, watch numbers go up and down, or have a hand in a business expanding.
Again: mindset shift. Playing a game is more fun than fulfilling responsibilities. It's like thinking of your life as a real live version of SimCity: what level do you want to get to this month or year?
4. Fear isn't useful
Everyone knows, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." But according to Siebold, that's also where wealth begins.
"World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn't easy and the need for comfort can be devastating," he asserts. "They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty."
It's not that the wealthy never feel afraid; it's that they don't let fear run the show. They don't let it stop them from standing up to someone or investing in a risky-but-promising endeavor or quitting something that isn't right or starting something up. They make big moves because they're willing to accept that they really don't know what will come next.
Get comfortable with uncertainty. Believe you'll know what to do when the time comes.
5. There's always plenty of money
If a wealthy person has a great idea they're unable to finance at the time, Siebold says they consistently "use other people's money to make it happen."
Why? Because the rich know there's always some other rich person looking to invest in good projects and people.
If you have a great idea but think you "don't have the money" to go after it, think again. It could make you a millionaire.
6. Getting rich is natural
This is perhaps the most fundamental mindset shift of all.
Most people in the middle class don't believe they're "worthy of great wealth," while wealthy individuals believe "success, fulfillment and happiness are the natural order of existence." According to Siebold, "This single belief drives the great ones to behave in ways that virtually guarantee their success."
Most people believe it's normal to be normal, and rare to be extraordinary. In other words, they think it's normal to make a normal amount of money, and rare to make an extraordinary amount.
But the mega-successful believe it's normal to be mega-successful.
Thus the middle class struggles not because they are inherently worse off, but because they believe they will struggle. "Who am I, they ask themselves, to become a millionaire?"
Who are you not to?
If you change your beliefs to see money as a friend, aim high, play it as a game, become willing to embrace uncertainty, use others' resources when necessary, and tell yourself it's only natural for you to make millions, then you're likely to be rewarded ... richly.
"Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will." - Nelson Mandela