Updated: July 10, 2020
Billionaire Bill Gates once said, “If you are born poor it’s not your mistake, but if you die poor it’s your mistake.”
And that’s a kind of mistake you don’t want to take to your grave, and burden your family and loved ones after.
Fortunately, there are easy-to-recognize signs, which can help you see if you’re heading down that path — here are 15 of them.
1. You lack financial discipline.
It’s not how much you make, but how much you save that matters more.
I’ve met a manager earning more than P100,000 a month but has no savings and burdened with debts; and an office employee with less than P20,000 monthly salary and yet has savings and investments.
Who do you think will retire rich between the two?
2. You don’t like learning new things.
It matters a lot when you keep educating yourself, especially on money matters. There’s a wealth of information out there that’s just waiting for you, most of them free to access.
Jim Rohn says it best when he said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
3. You give up as soon as things become difficult.
If it were easy, then everyone would do it — this includes learning about finance and investments, putting up a business, building passive income, following your passion, and many other things worth doing in life.
Work with dedication and persistence so you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
4. You’re always looking for get-rich-quick schemes.
Get-rich-quick schemes are rarely true, more often unsustainable, and almost always illegal or a scam.
The time, money, and effort that you’re wasting in looking for these schemes should instead be spent on time-tested and sustainable strategies for becoming rich — frugality, investing, entrepreneurship, etc.
5. You blame everything but yourself for your financial struggles.
The government, your boss, your family, your friends — they all contribute to the quantity and quality of opportunities that come to your life. But in the end, your personal economy is ultimately the outcome of your own actions.
Your grit to succeed is a major factor in achieving wealth.
6. You spend a lot of time with the wrong people.
Entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, is also famous for saying that a person is the average of the five people they spend most time with. And several studies in the field of social psychology supports this.
So if you want to become rich, then spend less time or get rid of the greedy, excessive, negative, lazy, and controlling people in your life.
7. You don’t manage your fears.
Here’s a secret — everyone is afraid to fail — but those who succeed are the ones who did it anyway despite having those fears.
Learn how to increase your risk tolerance, quickly adapt to change, and work with unexpected outcomes.
Don’t let your fears of what could happen be the reason why nothing ever happens in your life.
8. You cannot control your greed.
Greed is an unhealthy addiction, because it makes you want more than what’s necessary, which puts you at risk of losing what you already have. Moreover, greed can cloud your judgement and cause you to do things that are illegal.
The best way to control your greed is to set financial goals so you’ll know how much is enough to fund your dreams.
9. You live with a short-term perspective.
Everyone looks forward to holidays and long weekends, and it’s great if you like planning for what you’ll do during those days. But if that’s all you ever do, then you have a short-term perspective that needs to change.
Have long-term goals, and be as detailed when it comes to planning for them, especially your retirement.
10. Your goals are not big enough to scare you.
People like staying within their comfort zones. Unfortunately, nothing great ever grows in it. If you want big things to happen in your life, then pursue goals that seem impossible to achieve. These will be the stories you’ll tell your grandchildren when you grow old.
Test your limits and you’ll discover that you’re capable of more things that you thought you couldn’t do.
11. You lack focus.
Every successful business has a product that first catapulted them to massive profits — Apple’s iPhone, Microsoft’s Windows OS, Jollibee’s Chicken Joy, San Miguel’s Pale Pilsen Beer — the list just goes on. And behind every great product is someone who focused on developing them until it sold millions.
Get rid of your spaghetti brain. Don’t work on too many goals and Follow One Course Until Successful.
12. You’re waiting for a miracle to happen in your life.
Albert Einstein has credits for saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Are you one of those people who simply wish that their life could change for the better and yet does nothing else but wait for something good to happen next? Being hopeful for the future is good, but it must be followed through with determined action.
13. You don’t ask for help when you need it.
They say that experience is the best teacher, and learning from the experience of others is the best way to avoid making preventable mistakes. Achieving financial freedom is a long and difficult journey, but it becomes easier when you have role models and mentors guiding you.
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Don’t let your fears nor your pride prevent you from receiving help from those who’s been there where you are.
14. You linger on regret.
We all make mistakes, and we will continue to commit them no matter how hard we try. When it happens, accept the consequence, learn the lesson, and do your best to move on; avoid having your thoughts linger on what should or could have been.
The past is done, but the future is still there waiting for you. Make your future self proud of what you did today.
15. You’re simply drifting through life.
If your life hasn’t changed much in the past five years, then you’re probably too busy at work and not productive with your life — these are two different things.
Work will always be there, but the chance to pursue your passion and achieve your dreams won’t be. Stop procrastinating and start doing things.