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  • Emily Hawkins

The 4 Rules Poor People Live By

Updated: Dec 3, 2019



Let me define a poor person. This person isn't living in a van down by the river and I'm not talking about the homeless. There's a much poorer group of people. They could be your coworker, your neighbor or even your best friend. It's not necessarily what's in their bank account that makes them poor (although that can be part of it), it's their mindset.


Poor People Rule 1: Let everyone else dictate your time.

Do you always say yes to everything asked of you without thinking about how it fits your goals?


If you let others dictate your time you will be tired, unaccomplished and probably overlooked for promotions and bigger opportunities because you're bogged down in the noise.


Rich People Rule: Next time when someone asks you to do something ask yourself, does this drive my goals forward? If not politely decline or volunteer someone at a more junior level that could rise the challenge.

Poor People Rule 2: Friends are chosen by social status or to get ahead at work.

Have you ever talked to someone who was clearly trying to use you for their betterment? This is a poor person. This person doesn’t understand that true friendship is based on giving and take.


I went to a funeral a few years ago where an older man had passed away. The room was standing room only and during the funeral, the minister asked for anyone to speak and share stories of this man. The funeral lasted hours as person after person stood with a funny or touching story about this true friend.


Walking into that funeral I felt sorry for this man for not being wealthy. Walking out I realized he was probably the richest person I knew.


Rich People Rule: Give, love and share your gifts with people you feel deeply connected to regardless of where it may take you.

Poor People Rule 3: Take credit for success and blame failure.

Poor people think that the only way to the top is by stepping on everyone to get to the top.

There’s an old saying that states “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Only through working and involving others can we truly move our vision forward.


Rich People Rule: Utilize the talents of the people around you and you’ll have a more sustainable solution. Give those talented people credit and they will follow you anywhere. Take the blame for your actions those same people will develop deep trust with you.

Poor People Rule 4: Instant gratification is king.

Poor people constantly look for instant gratification. Because of this, they spend money quickly on flashy clothes, cars, trips or even dinners. These things make them instantly feel successful until the credit card bill arrives.


If you asked these same people to invest in self-help, marathon training or anything that took longer than 30 days and would have them sacrifice something in order to wait on the return you’ll probably hear “My budget is really tight" or "I don't have that kind of time."

I know these people well. I speak to them periodically. They share their big goals and visions with me and once I tell them the timeline and investment I get one of the following, "I don't have that kind of money" or "I really need to see results fast."


I heard this same line from people even when I was charging practically nothing for my services.


What if I told you you could get a version of what you want in 6 weeks, 2 years or 25 years. You would probably choose the 6-week version, right?


What if I told you these were ages of wines? Would your answer be the same?


The Primary Rule of Rich People: Taking action takes time, consistency takes time and growth takes time. The time will pass anyway, why not come out a better person.

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