Initially, T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth seems cast from the same mold as Loral Langemeier’s The Millionaire Maker (my review): full of vague promises, unsupported claims, and thinly-veiled sales pitches for products and seminars. It’s true that Eker is guilty of some of these faults. But ultimately I could not help but like the book once I stopped thinking of it as a personal finance guide and began to consider it as a motivational tool.
I’m sure that many people would dismiss Secrets of the Millionaire Mind as useless. There’s not a lot of concrete information here about how to improve the details of your financial life. (Though the scant advice presented is sound). Instead, this book encourages readers to adopt mental attitudes that facilitate wealth. It’s about changing your psychological approach to money, success, and happiness.
Eker believes that we each possess a “financial blueprint”, an internal script that dictates how we relate to money. This blueprint is created through lifelong exposure to money messages from friends, current events, entertainment programs, and, especially, our family. Unfortunately, our blueprints usually contain errors that prevent us from achieving our dreams.
Eker lists seventeen ways in which the financial blueprints of the rich differ from those of the poor and the middle-class.
- Rich people believe: “I create my life.” Poor people believe: “Life happens to me.” (This is HUGE. Every successful person I know is control of her life. Unhappy people are constantly complaining to me how this, that, or the other thing prevents them from doing something.)
- Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.
- Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.
- Rich people think big. Poor people think small.
- Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.
- Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people. (This is important, too — it seems to hold true among my friends.)
- Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people. (Another important one.)
- Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.
- Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.
- Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.
- Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.
- Rich people think “both”. Poor people think “either/or”.
- Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
- Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.
- Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.
- Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them. (This is big for me right now. I’ve accomplished most of the goals I set for myself, and need to set some new ones. But I have this nagging fear, because I’m moving into the unknown. Eker says that successful people act in spite of this fear. They move beyond worry, they “fake it til they make it”, learning as they go. Unsuccessful people do nothing at all.)
- Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.
Out of context, some of this advice seems glib. In the book, however, Eker explains each point, demonstrating how successful people discard limiting beliefs while the unsuccessful succumb to them.
For example, here is an audio excerpt of the passage from the book that finally won me over. In it, Eker talks about how rich people believe they are in control of their lives while poor people let life happen to them. (This excerpt is 9:15 long, and is a 12.73mb mp3.)
Though Eker’s book is ostensibly about wealth, it’s actually about happiness and success. This is one of those books from which it’s important to extract the core lessons and to apply them to your life in ways that are appropriate. Don’t take everything at face value. Take the information and use it in ways that work for you. For me, for my place in life, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind was perfect. Eker’s seventeen lessons were exactly what I needed to hear right now.
This is an excellent book to borrow from a library. I listened to the audio version of this book (via Audible), and highly recommend it in this form. Eker reads it himself in an almost too-enthusiastic style. Yet when you surrender to his eagerness, it works.
You can find more information on Secrets of the Millionaire Mind at:
- The publisher web site where there is also an author page.
- An interview with T. Harv Eker.
- The official T. Harv Eker site.
- A review of the book.
I’m surprised that there’s not more information about this book available online, especially on other personal finance sites. I expected some sort of reaction, even if it was a negative one. Nobody seems to have read it.