What the Rich Don’t Do

What the Rich Don’t Do

The rich inhabit a world all their own, distinct from the middle class. This disparity in mindset, habits, and behavior isn’t merely a result of their money—it’s often the root cause of their wealth. Differing habits, thought processes, and decision-making strategies can separate the self-made rich from the poor and middle class. Let’s delve into some of these divergences.

What do the rich do differently?

  1. The rich don’t sell their time for a paycheck. 
  2. The rich don’t waste time or money. 
  3. The wealthy don’t work for other people. 
  4. The rich don’t try to impress others with designer names. 
  5. The rich don’t say yes to every opportunity. 
  6. Wealthy people aren’t looking for others’ approval or validation. 
  7. The rich don’t have a fixed mindset. 
  8. The wealthy don’t stop learning and growing. 
  9. Wealthy people don’t take foolish risks. 
  10. The rich don’t have a victim mindset. 

These characteristics define self-made millionaires, not those born into wealth. These are things that people avoid to help them get rich.

The Rich Don’t Sell Their Time for a Paycheck

Most income is directly tied to time—hourly wages or a fixed salary. This model hinges on the idea that more hours worked equals more money earned. But this isn’t the case for wealthy individuals. They’ve broken free from this constraint, focusing instead on building value that isn’t time-bound.

Those amassing considerable wealth seldom rely on hourly wages or salaries. Their income isn’t a function of time spent but reflects the value created. They focus on building assets—businesses, investments, or intellectual properties—that generate income over time.

The rich understand a crucial concept: trading time for money has an upper limit—there are only 24 hours in a day. But creating value can be limitless. They invest their time upfront to build assets—businesses, investments, or intellectual properties—that continually generate income, irrespective of the time spent.

Consider the example of a successful author. The time invested in writing a book is substantial upfront, but once it’s published and selling copies, the author earns royalties passively, no longer directly trading their time for each sale. This is the power of value creation over selling time—it enables wealth to grow exponentially rather than linearly.

This concept extends to investment as well. Wealthy individuals invest their money in stocks, real estate, or other ventures that can potentially provide returns far exceeding the initial investment. They let their money work for them, providing a continuous flow of income that isn’t limited by their working hours.

So, the rich don’t sell their time for a paycheck because it doesn’t scale. Building assets that create ongoing value allows them to overcome the limitations of time-bound income and amass wealth more effectively.

This may be the most essential thing that the rich don’t do, sell their time for someone else’s profit. Instead, they use their time to grow their wealth.

“He who works all day has no time to make money” — John D. Rockefeller

The Rich Don’t Waste Time or Money

They recognize time as their most valuable asset—finite and irreplaceable. Therefore, they delegate tasks outside their expertise and conserve time for high-value activities. Similarly, frugality plays a substantial role in wealth creation at the start. It’s not just about accumulating money; it’s about intelligent allocation of resources.

The rich are great time managers allocating their efforts to the projects showing the greatest return on investment. The rich are also great allocators and managers of capital, managing money so it grows exponentially.

The Wealthy Don’t Work for Other People

The wealthy often operate their ventures. Instead of letting someone else dictate their income and schedule, they choose to be at the helm, maximizing control over their destiny.

The rich tend to have their own dress code and write their schedule. One of the reasons many entrepreneurs start their businesses is to avoid ever having a boss telling them what to do.

The Rich Don’t Try to Impress Others with Designer Names

Unlike common perception, many affluent individuals don’t flaunt designer labels. True wealth isn’t visible in clothing tags—it’s in the financial statements. The rich understand that a flashy lifestyle doesn’t equate to financial status.

The rich aren’t trying to impress anyone with luxury cars, fancy watches, or designer names. They buy what they want for enjoyment, not to impress others. Most people who buy luxury names to impress others are LARPers pretending to be rich.

The Rich Don’t Say Yes to Every Opportunity

Saying ‘no’ to good opportunities allows the rich to focus on the great ones. They appreciate the power of prioritization, a strategy that saves time and reaps higher rewards—the rich filter opportunities for probabilities of success and the risk/reward ratio.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

Wealthy People Aren’t Looking for Others’ Approval or Validation

Wealthy people understand their financial success doesn’t hinge on others’ opinions. They’ve found self-confidence in their abilities and rely on this inner faith to make crucial decisions.

The rich have faith in their opinions and abilities and mentally shut out the naysayers and trolls—they bet on themselves.

The Rich Don’t Have a Fixed Mindset

A growth mindset propels the rich. They consider failures as temporary setbacks and valuable learning experiences. This adaptability fuels innovation, propels them forward, and attracts prosperity.

The rich have the right mindset to build wealth from the start. They knew where they started wasn’t where they had to stay.

The Wealthy Don’t Stop Learning and Growing

The learning never stops for them. They’re committed to self-improvement, constantly acquiring new skills and knowledge. This lifelong learning commitment ensures they stay ahead and continue to flourish.

The rich are life-long learners and value knowledge and know-how highly.

Wealthy People Don’t Take Foolish Risks

While they’re not averse to risks, they calculate every move meticulously. They know that hasty decisions can lead to significant losses. Thus, they balance their adventurous and aggressive side with thoughtful deliberation.

Taking aggressive, intelligent risks can make you rich. Smart defensive risk management can keep you rich.

The Rich Don’t Have a Victim Mindset

Lastly, the wealthy steer clear of blaming external circumstances. They take full responsibility for their actions and outcomes, recognizing that the key to success lies within them.

Key Takeaways

  • Value creation is chosen over selling their time
  • Conserve and judiciously allocate resources
  • Seek independence and control in work
  • Understand that displays of materialism don’t signify wealth
  • Prioritize opportunities for optimal results
  • Inner confidence supersedes external validation
  • Embrace a growth mindset, seeing failures as lessons
  • Commit to ongoing self-improvement and learning
  • Balance risk-taking with calculated decisions
  • Reject the victim mentality, accept responsibility for actions


The underlying principles of these differences reflect a mentality focused on value creation, frugality, independence, and growth. Those amassing wealth embrace a lifestyle far from showing off things they own. They stay in tune with a relentless pursuit of knowledge and personal development. Their mindset highlights the power of prioritization, calculated risks, and taking responsibility. Grasping these traits provides insight into the mindset of self-made millionaires.