Why Your Background Doesn’t Determine Your Wealth

11th February 2024
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The thought that your background does not determine your wealth can become an excuse for many people that believe they can’t be successful in business because of where they come from or something that has happened in their past.  

Making Excuses

I was guilty of this back at the start. I would make those excuses. I would look at someone doing really well and I would say it’s ok for her because she comes from a middle-class family so her parents probably gave her money to start off with or she’s probably married to somebody who has a really good job in banking and lots of money. Subconsciously I was thinking, she isn’t the same as me, she doesn’t come from the same poverty I came from.

That is when I discovered for the first time the term money mindset. I started reading about it and it all made sense. I realised some of these beliefs that I held on to and I really did believe they were stopping me from moving forward. 

Setting The Scene

Here is my backstory for those that don’t know. I grew up in council housing in Lincolnshire, UK, which means the government paid for my housing because I was part of a low-income family.

 I didn’t really notice the difference in lifestyle between myself and my friends until I was about 11 and I received a scholarship to a prestigious private girls’ school. After sitting with a group of girls at lunch, I was left out of the conversation as they talked about holidays they had been on, cars their parents drive etc. I was the person in line with the ticket to get free lunches. I was the person with a second-hand uniform. I knew I was different.

As time went on people didn’t like me because I was poor. That feeling and segregation went on to play a big part in my life later on. When I started in my business it didn’t feel like I was allowed to pull up a chair because I wasn’t like other people. My train of thought moved to

  1. People from where I come from don’t make money.
  2. Rich people are bad people.

And that is just how it is. Little did I realise I was actually self-sabotaging all the time to avoid becoming rich because I didn’t believe I could. If you don’t believe you can do something, you won’t try to make it happen. 

Your Past Can Hold You Back, Only If You Let It

A money mindset for me isn’t about just believing it will happen and the ‘thoughts become things’ kind of way. The best example was when I was working with a wonderful woman, she was a wedding planner from a privileged background. She wasn’t pushing herself in her business when it was obvious she could be more successful. When I questioned her money mindset I found out that her parents worked so much that she never saw them. She had a 3-year-old son and had that same fear for him. She wanted to be around for her son and didn’t think she could have both that family life she craved and a successful business. 

How Can We Change The Perception Process Behind Background and Wealth?

I think the reality is you have to come from a completely different energy. Three things that I did to really help my money mindset and I saw a change almost immediately.

1. I would have to do more money mindset work. 

I had to do much deeper work because there was stuff that I truly believed about my childhood that meant I didn’t think I was worthy.  I thought that it was greedy to earn money. I needed to change my mindset by asking myself these questions:

  • Do you believe you can even earn as much money as you’re saying?
  • Do you want a six-figure business or a seven-figure business? 
  • Do you even believe you can do that? 
  • Do you believe it’s something that you can do? 
  • Do you believe that only happens to other people? 

Once you’re aware of those questions and their answers that is when you will start listening to what you’re telling yourself and stop doubting the voices in your head. 

2. I would have to change my thought process. 

For instance, if you believe that you will never make money, people from where you live don’t make money etc.  then you need to put something in its place. I started to write down affirmations on repeat, which, being totally honest, I found uncomfortable. I found the way that it worked for me was to prove to myself the opposite. I said negative affirmations to myself and then went out to challenge those thoughts on discovering I was wrong. This really helped with stopping those nagging thoughts in my head and I eventually spotted listening to them. 

3. I need to be really wealth conscious.

I think when you come from a background where you didn’t have any money you tend to not be as financially aware. I didn’t want to look at my bank statements or acknowledge any debt, I just put my neck in the sand and that didn’t fix anything. If you want to earn more money you need to move your focus to your finances. Pay off the debt, know how much you want to make this month, set monetary goals and look at it daily. 

Be the Catalyst

All in all, just remember that you get to choose who you want to be. Even if generations of your family were in poverty or your background, meant that people in your family were bad with money in some way. Just remember that you can be the catalyst to change all of that to change those patterns. We get to choose who we’re going to be and how much money we’re going to make. I will leave you with a line in a song by Frank Turner that I’ve always really liked. That says it doesn’t matter where you come from. It matters where you go. No one gets remembered for the things they didn’t do. That to me sums up how your background does not need to determine your wealth or how successful you are now.

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