Table of contents
Share This Story!

Money Mindset – RFS

This week Katie and I were running the money mindset workshop from Rebel Finance School.

The aim of the workshop is to help people change their beliefs around money and feel more positive about their financial future. We talked about beliefs, we discussed the concept that you get to keep the limitations that you fight for and how your beliefs control what is possible for you, and finally we got into the most commonly held financial beliefs.

This is where it get’s a bit controversial! A belief is a story, an idea that we hold as fact or complete truth. When you start attacking the things that people hold as true it can get a bit zesty to say the least!

It takes money to make money

Ever since we have ran our first Rebel Finance School we have surveyed people’s money beliefs and this one always comes in the top three. “It takes money to make money” The deleted part of this sentence that no one says out loud is “therefore why bother trying as I don’t have any money”

How do I know this? Because this is what I used to believe and this is what tens of thousands of people have since tried to persuade me is a statement of fact.

In the workshop we got to the point of tackling this belief and I glanced at the comments. Someone wrote “It ABSOLUTELY takes money to make money”. They shouted at me through the power of caps lock!

We had spoken about the thought that “you get to keep the limitations you fight for” and yet several people immediately came into the chat telling me that I was absolutely wrong for challenging this belief. This one was a matter of fact and we all know it!

I don’t think I did enough in the workshop to challenge this belief, so this article is my effort to free you and others from this damaging belief.

You can make ten grand easily

Sometimes I get myself in hot water with what I say. I remember walking down the street in sunny Los Angeles with Katie and two other friends. We were talking about money and business, you know the usual.

I said “It’s easy to make ten grand. You can make £10k by mistake!”

My friend immediately took offence and told me I was insensitive saying that. I got a full dressing down that it is not easy for people to make money and it takes money to make money etc. etc.

I was confused. I genuinely believe that given time, the right strategies and effort anyone can make £10,000 or more. Yes even you dear reader. In fact, I dedicated fifteen years of my life, and still do, to helping people to do this.

My friend wanted to start her own business. She wanted to start a dance studio. She told me it was IMPOSSIBLE without money. She needed space, she needed capital to start up.

Those of you who have been on Rebel Business School know that one of my most famous workshops is “5 ways to build a business with no money”. I knew it was possible so I offered to help.

My friend took me up on the offer and we organised coffee and to work on her business. I showed her that she could borrow a space or rent a space and presell tickets to her dance classes online before anyone even showed up.

We had coffee, chatted for a bit then went to the Airbnb where I was staying. That same day she built the website and we worked side by side. I showed her how to hook up a payment system, we created marketing materials, we looked for her ideal clients and within a few hours we were ready to promote.

I remember the moment the first sale came in! We both jumped for joy as she had her first student, her first client. Then another one came in, then another one. The more we worked on promoting it, the more clients came and pretty soon she had her first full weekly classes.

The funny thing was that my friend made £10k in her first month. I had to work really hard to fight the urge to say “SEE!”

Did it take money to do this? No. It took time, energy, effort, and some knowledge.

We live in the most amazing time where the knowledge you need to start a business is free. There are so many amazing podcasts, support systems and blogs that will give you what you need at no cost to you at all. You can participate in the Rebel Business School Courses completely free, you can listen to my podcast Rebel Entrepreneur completely free.

Does it take money to make money? NO WAY! That is a belief that was made up, a common expression that people act as if it were true.

Where does the expression “It takes money to make money” come from?

It probably came from a Roman playwright who lived around 200 BC. His name was Titus Maccius Plautus and he was writing a comedy.

Yes, you read that right. The expression can be found as far back as 2,250 years ago and was first written as a joke. We have then since come to repeat it to everyone and act as if it were true.

You repeat anything with enough strength and enough belief over time, and people will come to believe it.

Does it really take money to make money?

There are people who watch our course and listen to our content who build up an evidence file in support of their case that it takes money to make money. They list their arguments and tell me:

  • You have to have money to be able to invest money, therefore I can never get wealthy.
  • The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, therefore I can never get wealthy.
  • I have been poor all my life and there is no way out other than winning the lottery or inheriting money.
  • You need a loan to start a business, there is no way to build a business and make money without it.
  • The education system is elitist and only the wealthy get a good education.
  • You can’t scale without capital injection.
  • If I don’t have money I can’t hire the right people to help me build my business.
  • You can’t buy an investment property without a deposit.

It is a pretty impressive list. We create these beliefs, and then look for evidence to back up them up and prove that we were right all along. That entrenches the belief and means that as time goes on we are less and less open to opposing ideas.

Since I changed my mind on this belief I have been building up a list of evidence as well, in an effort to support my new belief. It takes time, energy and effort to make money but anyone can do it.

My evidence that is possible for me and by extension you:

  • When you get a job you don’t have to pay for it. They don’t charge you to go to work, in fact, they hand you money in return for your time and energy. You can get thousands of pounds or dollars a month and it won’t cost you a penny. It will cost your time and energy.
  • You can build a business for free. We could sit at a laptop, come up with ideas and have you making cash within a few hours. I have done it again and again. In fact, I have proved this so many times I have gotten bored helping people to do this which is why I moved to teaching finance.
  • People then say well “the laptop cost money, so SEE, it does take money to make money!” Go to your library and use a computer for free, or use a friend’s machine when they aren’t using it, what are you reading this article on? If you have a phone you can start producing something of value if you want to.
  • Some of the best education in the world is free and available to all. And now YouTube translates it into any language in the world, people don’t even have the excuse of language any more. Rebel Business School teaches you how to build a business for free.
  • You could go outside in your neighbourhood and offer to mow grass or wash cars in return for money. All it takes is gumption and energy.
  • Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have made it possible to sell before you create. I helped an artist come up with a concept for a comic book and put it on Kickstarter to presell it. You can listen to her as she is surprised by how fast the sales come in. Here is episode one where we help her pick an idea.
  • It isn’t money, it’s ideas that get you started. You have an idea and then you sell it to someone who gives you money for the product, service or idea you have created. You can make a fortune from an idea well implemented.
  • It is now more possible than ever to find an audience and sell yourself, your product or service online through the advent of low-cost marketing. You can go online and use the LinkedIn Sales Strategy we teach on Rebel Entrepreneur to find customers, you can use Facebook to discover an audience, and there are so many free tools that you could use to make money.
  • We have thousands of case studies from Rebel Business School from people that have done it. The first course I ever ran we helped a recovering addict to be the first person to make money on the course. I have more proof than I could ever need.

There are arguments for the belief that is takes money to make money. And there are a lot of arguments against it. Who is right?

Which belief is right?

It doesn’t actually matter. I don’t care which belief is right! I care which belief is useful, which one empowers me, and allows me to live a full and prosperous life.

The belief I want to cultivate and strengthen is the one that supports me. If you want to persuade me it takes money to make money, then go ahead. I won’t be listening because I know the cost of that belief.

If you truly believe it takes money to make money you are trapping yourself. You are stopping yourself from starting, from building wealth, and from living the life you want to live. Not only that, you will be doing the same for your kids as you argue for those beliefs and pass them on to them.

Why not give up being right and think about what will help you the most? What might allow you to make progress, be happy, and move faster to your goals?

Safer to believe “it takes money to make money”

I have started to believe over the years that it is safer to believe it takes money to make money than it is to have a go and potentially fail. There is a danger to putting yourself out there and trying.

You might fail.

If you don’t have a laptop you might have to ask for help. If you don’t have customers you will have to ask someone to buy. There is one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt, if you start you will be rejected at some point.

For some people the pain of rejection is far greater than the pain of not having enough money. Which would you chose?

Your confidence might get bashed, your ego knocked as you learn how to get going and take a few rejections at the start. Will you recover?

Maybe we should change the belief to “it takes being willing to be rejected to make money” Are you willing to fail and be rejected in pursuit of the life you want to live?

I am 100%.

Are you looking for a reason to give up?

Maybe you really can’t be bothered. This all sounds like too much work. I am sure that lots of people don’t really want to put the time and effort into creating money so it is easier to say they are trapped by society.

It is so much easier to blame the economy, society, or the system for my position than to do something about it.

If this is you, it is ok. You don’t need an excuse you don’t have to do it. You can rest, chill and do as you please, just don’t blame the system.

You create your life.

Are you looking for a reason to be angry?

Sometimes we become angry and just need something to fight, something to blame, someone out there that we can attack for our situation.

We genuinely believe that it is the system, the government, or capitalism that is the problem and we want to be angry at them.

For years this was me. I hated the government, I hated the system and felt trapped by it. I spent years and years arguing about the system and I was angry.

In the end, it got me nowhere at all. Eventually, through mentors, books and learning, I gave up being angry, I gave up fighting the system and I focused on creating the life I wanted to live.

You only have so much time and energy in a day. You can spend it fighting, being angry as I did when I was younger or you can pour your energy, time and creative juices into making progress and creating the life you want to live.

You can be right or happy

You can be right or you can be happy. It is up to you.

We all look for proof, to back up our beliefs and feel right. We generate proof that we can’t get ahead and then say “SEE it is impossible for me”.

The unfortunate thing is that then the people that are trapped go out there into the world and try and persuade others that they are right, trapping more people. Then the belief spreads and soon enough people / society believe something and we are all trapped by it.

You get to hold onto your original belief and stay trapped. Or maybe you could chose to adopt a belief that; “maybe I can make money from nothing” or “Maybe I can use my time and energy to create income that I can use to buy assets?”

Your beliefs are your beliefs. And you get to keep the ones you fight for.

Does it take money to make money?

It does if you believe it. If you believe this to be true then it will be your reality and you probably know where this leads.

I have met people who have bought properties without a deposit, I have met people that have created million pound organisations with nothing but their time and energy. There is enough evidence that it isn’t true if you want to find it.

It only has to be true if you believe it.

What would you like to believe? What will support you in creating a happy and prosperous life for you and your family?

I would LOVE to know what you think. Does it take money to make money? Is it all made up? Have you created money from thin air before? Please tell me in the comments.

Join the Donegan mailing list

One Comment

  1. Robert Matthews July 8, 2024 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Hello Alan: This is my comment that I wrote during your last episode and which you quoted in the announcement I just received. I am also including the paragraph that follows my comment:

    In the workshop we got to the point of tackling this belief and I glanced at the comments. Someone wrote “It ABSOLUTELY takes money to make money”. They shouted at me through the power of caps lock!

    We had spoken about the thought that “you get to keep the limitations you fight for” and yet several people immediately came into the chat telling me that I was absolutely wrong for challenging this belief. This one was a matter of fact and we all know it!

    Since you are inviting comments may I just say a couple of things. I enjoy your presentations very much; there is always something to learn. I was not shouting at you; if you’ll look at my email address, this could help to explain that I did not intend to shout. I am as passionate about personal finance – possibly even more so in some areas – than you, and it was simply the courage of not just my convictions but also my experience that evoked my response. The second paragraph that I included is also important. Please read it again; am I truly telling you that you are absolutely wrong? That might be bordering on a bit unfair. I believe you may be conflating a different – -and quite legitimate experience – with opposition to the beliefs you hold dear. I do not think you are wrong, any more than I am. “This one was a matter of fact and we all know it!” Wow….can we ease up just a bit? I read very closely everything in this current email about this subject, particularly the woman who pre-sold tickets for the space she needed for her event, etc. I’m afraid – and with respect – could arguably show that money is (I don’t want to shout) needed. Your point about “when you get a job you don’t have to pay for it” is, of course true. But money, in some way some form some amount is needed. I take issue with how absolute your claim is – not that it is incorrect. I will leave you with your words here, which are an excellent example of taking a statement such as mine, then making an inaccurate assumption about the kind of person who generated it: You said “If you truly believe it takes money to make money you are trapping yourself. You are stopping yourself from starting, from building wealth, and from living the life you want to live. Not only that, you will be doing the same for your kids as you argue for those beliefs and pass them on to them.” I must tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. I have always believed it takes money to make money. It has also been true for me. But I have never thought it would stop me from doing anything, including building wealth (and your background, as you have described it, is decidedly more luxurious than mine was). I am living the life that I want to live…but it took work and it took money to get here. I will share something else that I have found to be true. My wife and I live in Marin County, CA, the sixth most expensive county to live in in America. I am a retired teacher, and we have a very, very modest fixed income, BUT (not shouting) we have invested well in instruments that give us a modest but sufficient passive income (hoping the Orange will not be selected again and destroy our economy). Our home is paid for via taking the huge risk of using savings to pay it off, and divert the mortgage payments – and every other cent we could find – into savings and investments while we were still working. It worked. We retired early, we now spend a couple of months in Italy every year, we have two very nice 15 year old cars – I love it when you show a BMW…and we do have to live a bit frugally, but this more than compensated for by having our unencumbered life together and being able to travel. Here is the (OUR) secret: Some people have everything but it is never enough. My lovely wife and I have everything, and it IS enough (shouting this time). I send you my kind regards…Robert Matthews

Leave A Comment

Related Articles

  • Blog, uncategorized

    By Published On: October 13, 2023

    We make mistakes, we get things wrong, we aren't perfect. You might be shocked to hear that or maybe you have realised the Donegans are human just like everyone else?We designed the course, we learnt from a huge number of people and we have been developing it ever since. At first it was just the [...]