Why Do the Rich Get Richer?

April 19, 2019
Terri Maxwell

Why Do the Rich Get Richer?

Being born into a wealthy family does not guarantee that a person can legitimately CREATE wealth later in life, which is not the same as inheriting wealth. What rich people do have is the belief that wealth is attainable. They expect it. 
Are you ready to create wealth? Get started on your journey with our free Self-Transformation Course!

We’ve all heard the saying “The rich get richer.”

It might seem that way, but is it true? If you don’t consider yourself rich, maybe we can learn FROM the rich, specifically beliefs about wealth and creating prosperity.

Does It Take Money to Make Money?

What most rich people have, is the belief that wealth is attainable. They expect it.

There have been many studies from several renowned research institutions that point to the notion that those born into great prosperity have a built-in expectation that wealth is attainable. They have seen and experienced it first-hand. They rarely have doubts or fears about their ability to create wealth.  

Interestingly enough, in a recent survey of adults conducted by the Succeed On Purpose team, we found that a mere 2.7% said they were born into extreme wealth, while 12.2% said they had created an extremely prosperous life as an adult. This data supports that you don’t need to have been born into wealth to create it.

We are now examining those 12.2% who said they had created extreme wealth and are finding a few key parallels.

It’s Not the Money that Makes Money, But Rather What You Believe

Succeed On Purpose Earl Nightingale Quote

Whether rich or not, a person’s beliefs about money and wealth affect their ability to create it. If they believe they can create wealth and expect it, they most likely can create it. If they believe it comes along with negative attributes and/or have doubts around their worthiness, their ability to create will be hampered.

Think about your beliefs about money and wealth for a second. Do you believe you can be wealthy? Do you expect that you can create wealth? Do you believe that you would have to sacrifice empathy, compassion, and/or morality?

The Morality of Money

Some studies have also found that wealthy people are less empathetic and feel they deserve special treatment; attributes that are less than desirable. Many movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and popular television shows Empire and Succession perpetuate these ideas.

It’s possible that these negative stigmas have impacted our beliefs about the morality of prosperity.

Do We Block Our Own Ability to Create Wealth?

Holding a negative perception of wealth and fearing that having it will inevitably come with undesirable traits, creates a subconscious block to creating it.  

But what if we looked at it differently? As mentioned, there are many people who have been born into humble circumstances and later created significant wealth as adults. Statistically they are more successful, AND more generous.  

My grandfather taught me this at an early age. He would pull out the encyclopedia and point to stories of self-made business leaders, such as Andrew Carnegie who created massive wealth and was considered to be one of the most generous leaders of this time. Gramps would say, “Terri, you get what you focus on. Figure out what you love to do and expect to be prosperous. Don’t let your life today hold you back. Focus on success.”

As a result, I sought role models from my era, people like icons Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Oprah Winfrey to name a few.

All were born into average or impoverished circumstances but went on to create massive fortunes while ALSO living with remarkable generosity and grace. It’s like they had the best of both worlds.

The question then is, how can we learn from the rich while maintaining our own moral compass? Kind of like asking ourselves “how can the non-rich, get rich…and do good?”

Asking THAT question is where breakthrough ensues.    

The truth is… any person can learn how to create wealth while remaining compassionate and purposeful. For tips on how to do this, check out our free Self-Transformation Course.

Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy – True or False?

It is in that same Succeed On Purpose study where we found another common misconception about wealth creation. The majority of respondents believed it requires “working hard" to have money.

When asked “What are your earliest memories about wealth and money?”, 62% of respondents said, “It takes hard work to create money and wealth.” (Figure 1)

Furthermore, when asked, “How easy is it for you to create prosperity now?” almost 73% said, “I must work hard to create what I want.”

This is simply not true. Although wealthy people work hard, it’s usually because they enjoy what they are doing, or are internally driven to succeed. Conversely, there are many self-made millionaires who work normal hours, take weekends off, and take regular vacations and breaks.  

Figure 1:

Figure 2:

Source: 2019 ProsperityBeliefs Survey; ©Succeed On Purpose.

Removing the Barriers to Creating Wealth

Those who created wealth, have several things in common. They examined their beliefs and expectations about money. If they were negative, they challenged and changed them. Remember, the belief and expectation that wealth is possible is very powerful.

Second, they looked for role models who embodied BOTH prosperity and generosity.

They also modified their idea of HOW to create wealth. In addition to misconceptions about rich people being selfish, the majority of people correlate wealth with the requirement of hard work.

So, yes, the rich get richer… IF they believe wealth is attainable. 
The average also get rich… IF they believe wealth is attainable. 
And, the poor can also get rich… IF they believe wealth is attainable. 

If YOU believe wealth is attainable and you’re ready to create more prosperity, join me for our next Prosperity Challenge and prove to yourself that you have the ability to create abundance and prosperity.



With the soulfulness of Wayne Dyer and the entrepreneurial spirit of Richard Branson, Terri is a world-class business growth expert, social impact investor, and serial entrepreneur whose purpose is to inspire potential. With her own money, Terri built a portfolio of purposeful companies, Share On Purpose, Inc., and now invests in and creates mission-driven start-ups.

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Terri has launched, owned, sold, rebranded or turned around more than 40 companies. She is known for her game-changing business models and personal transformation frameworks.

Everything she built came directly from a wellspring of perseverance and soulful resiliency, which she openly shares through her first purposeful brand, Succeed On Purpose.

Get Career Clarity
Your career plays a significant role in your life, but what if you’re unhappy with your chosen path? Or you aren’t sure what path to even take? That unease can have far-reaching implications. It’s time to get career clarity.
What Is the Definition of Success in Life?
Success doesn’t have an exact definition. It doesn't have to be about money or a job title unless that matters to you personally. But, how do you identify your own definition of success?
Mindset Matters: 4 Strategies for Fulfillment
The key to maximizing the quest for more is to focus on mindset. Consider these Mindset Tools to achieve goals and overcome obstacles, accepting massive setbacks along the way as part of the journey.