Sometimes, getting a reward means taking risks. This is especially true in the world of entrepreneurship.
As it turns out, successful business owners — the kind of people with millions of dollars from successful ventures — think differently than most people do, in a pretty big way.
It’s a matter of mindset. Chances are, you’re stuck in what you could classify as a “middle class” mindset. And that mindset is limiting. It’s a style of thinking into which you’ve been subtly socialized throughout your entire life, and that you might not be completely consciously aware of.
And that middle class mindset is riddle with fetters that are holding you back from achieving greatness. It affects how you run your own business, including what kind of approach you take to marketing.
This “middle class mindset” is made of mediocrity. It’s just that — the middle. It’s conservative about risk, and happy with having just enough. It’s a mindset where you follow implicit social scripts — good grades, a “good school,” a stable salaried 9 to 5, etc.
It’s a pattern of thinking that can stand in the way of innovation. And not only does this have an impact on your personal life, and on your ability to generate wealth through your business, but it also sabotages your marketing campaigns.
A recent article from Kissmetrics explains why.
Why a ‘Middle Class Mindset’ is Sabotaging Your Marketing
[image source: Kissmetrics]
Most experts agree that there’s one critical difference between rich people and poor people.
It’s not inheritance. (Thanks for nothing, mom and dad.)
It’s not the stock market. (Because that’s glorified gambling.)
And it’s not real estate. (Because it can be a cost suck instead of an investment.)
It’s your mindset.
Corny, right? Like some new-age, hippy, The Secret thing.
But there’s some truth to it. Here’s why.
“The first thing you have to do is decide to become a millionaire, multimillionaire, or billionaire if you want. … Then you must reinforce that decision, over and over,” according to a CNBC paraphrasing of sales expert Grant Cardone.
Grant is the author of The 10X Rule, which basically says most of our problems stem from the fact that we’re thinking (and therefore acting) too small. And too infrequently.
It’s not so much the pie-in-the-sky ideals. But the mental exercise that forces your daily activities to change course in order to meet a new ‘standard’.
Keith Cameron Smith, a personal finance author, spent two years working closely with ultra-rich people and noticed a similar distinction. According to the same CNBC article:
“The biggest difference Smith observes between millionaires and the middle class is how they frame their circumstances and present information to themselves. While millionaires ask themselves empowering questions, the middle class tend to lean toward disempowering ones.”
He goes on to clarify, “Empowering questions cause you to reach for your full potential. The questions you ask yourself determine the results you get in life.”
And then brings it home with, “Millionaires are more creative than reactive.”
Author Steven Siebold equates this to a difference in worldview. A different understanding of the word ‘risk’. One group is playing offense while the other plays defense.
“Step out of your comfort zone. Look at all your options. You will have to be at least a little uncomfortable if you want to become rich. You might even have to fail and that’s great, because if you’re not failing, you’re not doing much.”
That warm and fuzzy ‘mindset’ difference is typically referred to as a middle class mindset. One that’s full of limitations and self doubts and ‘invisible scripts’ as Ramit Sethi calls them.
One classic? The “stop buying $4 lattes and avocado toasts to get rich” example. The problem with this one, though, is basic match.
Here’s Ramit running the numbers:
“No amount of saving avocados is getting you a house. The median price of houses listed in America is $245,000. (Laughable, since the median price of an apartment in NYC is over $2 million, but just go with it.) If you want a 20% down payment on that $245,000 house, you’ll need to cut back on 2,578 avocado toasts. At one $19 toast per week, that would take you 49 years to save a 20% down payment.”
[image source: Kissmetrics]
I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell don’t have 49 years. Hell — we work in technology. Most of us will have a heart attack by then.
The ‘middle class mindset’ is like the story of Icarus. Fly too close to the sun and you’ll get burned. Instead, keep plugging away at what you’re comfortable with. What comes easy. That way, you won’t miss Happy Hour on Friday.
You might be pessimistic right now. You might claim that these cited gurus are all trying to ‘sell you the dream’ so that they can literally sell you the dream.
You’d have a point. And you’d also be missing the point.
Because this same illusive ‘mindset’ phenomena applies to marketing as well. Even Seth Godin weighs in:
“The 10x marketer understands that the job isn’t to do marketing the way the person before you did it, or the way your boss asked you to do it. Strategic marketing comes from questioning the tactics, understanding who you are seeking to change and being willing to re-imagine the story your organization tells. Don’t play the game, change the game.”
The point here is that plugging away at tiny tactics — the ones that make a 1% difference instead of 10% difference — keeps you from doing the work the matters. The work that moves the needle.
And it’ll keep you firmly positioned in the (marketing) poorhouse.
I’ve personally seen this in my own work. Most of my failures (and there are LOTS to choose from) are the direct result of wasting too many hours chasing 1% improvements. When I should have been focusing on 10x ones.
That’s like tweeting once or twice a day. Not enough to ever break through the noise.
Or dashing off 500-1000 word blog posts. Which simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
To learn more about how a “middle class mindset” stands in the way of truly effective content marketing, check out the full post over at Kissmetrics.