The Big Lie About Money

I’ve made mistakes. I’ve made a ton of them. The beauty of making mistakes is that there is a lesson to be learned in every single one of them.

When I first started my peer tutoring company a couple of years ago I got pretty excited. I thought this was going to be my ticket to financial freedom. The problem was that I had created another job for myself. I now had two jobs; one full time and one part time in my business, which meant I had to work more in exchange for a small increase in earnings.

I learned a powerful lesson from this experience – that getting another job wouldn’t get me ahead. I also learned about ‘the big lie about money’.

How many of you have ever noticed that there are a lot of people caught up in the rat race to get ahead? We all want more money, more toys, more time so that we can do more. We want more of everything. We all want to have financial wealth and abundance so that we can do whatever we want whenever we want. I believe that all of this is attainable as long as we our willing to re-examine our beliefs about money.

The problem is that most of us try to get ahead by working harder and longer hours to earn more money. The funny thing is that money isn’t even the problem. The problem isn’t out there; it’s in here – It’s in our heads! Our minds are a powerful thing and they simply haven’t been programmed for wealth. They haven’t been wired for riches.

The reason for this is because you were told a little fib when you were young. You were told a little white lie:

“Study hard and get a good job and you will have money and security.”

We were told that if we had a good job then we wouldn’t need to worry about our future; the company would take care of us. We would be financially secure with a good retirement and benefit package.

This was ingrained in our minds when we were very young. It was ingrained in us by our teachers and by our parents. It was ingrained in us and we began to believe it. We began to think it was the truth.

The truth is a lot of people have lost because of this belief and they may never recover. I know a handful of people who are well past their retirement age and they are still working hard at a full time job. They are not being taken care of; they are taking care of themselves by working in a job.

I also know a few engineering graduates who worked really hard to get their degree and they are still jobless. They believed in a system that doesn’t work. They believed if they worked hard and got good grades, they would get a good job. Once they got a good job the company would take care of them.

I believe this idea is not the truth. It is a lie. I also believe that the wealthy have known this for a very long time. The wealthy are rich because they know something that we don’t; they think differently than the masses when it comes to money.

Where Did We Go Wrong

I believe the problem is with the educational system. The traditional educational system was formed many years ago. Since the beginning, the educational system has taught us how to be professionals – lawyers, doctors, engineers and teachers; and also trades – mechanics, carpenters, brick layers, etc. It has taught us scholastic studies but not money studies.

It was the educational system that has failed to teach us how to manage money and develop the attitude to build wealth. If we didn’t learn this in school then we must learn this from our parents. The problem is that our parents grew up in the same educational system that we grew up in. They learned the same basic things about money that we learned – to study hard, get good grades and get a good job.

The only thing with this idea is it’s an old idea. It limits your potential and it limits what’s possible. If you want to lead a limited life then get a job. The idea of getting a job has been around for so long that we forgot to check in and see if this idea still works for us today. Instead we simply trusted and believed it was a good idea. We didn’t bother to ask ‘why’ it was a good idea.

Our beliefs about money and the way we think about money stems from years of education by our parents and teachers. We were taught to get paid for our time. The problem with trading your time for money is that at some point you run out of time.  Suddenly this old idea about money doesn’t seem to make sense anymore.

The fact is that we are all growing and evolving at such a rapid rate that this idea alone is not enough. Times are changing and so is the way we think about money. We are living in a very exciting time where change occurs so much faster than it did 20 years ago. In order to change our financial situation we will need to change the way we think about money.

Beliefs Examined

Be courageous and re-examine your old beliefs. If you truly want to make massive changes in your life then you will take the time to be responsible for your own mental activity. You will do this by getting clear on your beliefs.  Become aware of what you currently believe.  You can do this by asking the following question,

‘What are my beliefs about money?’.

Then take the time to write down your answers on a piece of paper. Once you have a list begin to go through each one and honestly ask yourself why you believe this. Can you honestly come up with solid concrete reasons for each belief? Take the time to do this and you will be surprised by what you find. You will be surprised to learn that most of your beliefs were not built on a solid foundation.

For more on unrooting beliefs see: Do You Have Mental Blocks?


  • Belt_Stretcher

    Reply Reply July 5, 2007

    So what’s the lie?? What a cliffhanger!

  • Cristina

    Reply Reply July 5, 2007

    Thanks for this Steve,
    I have also been working a full time job while running my business part time. I know that I need to start doing the opposite….running my business full time.
    I also agree about the education system and about parenting….have any of you read Rich Dad Poor Dad….ingrained thought patterns are what we need to erase and replace them with more positive thoughts.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply July 5, 2007

    Hey Cristina – Yes, I have read Rich Dad Poor Dad, this book inspired the article.

    Cheers and thanks for your thoughts,


  • Aspiring Entrepreneur

    Reply Reply July 7, 2007

    “The lie that we were told at a young age was to study hard and to get a good job so that we will have security.”


  • Steve

    Reply Reply July 7, 2007

    Hi Aspiring Entrepreneur,

    Love the feedback! (especially from entrepreneurs, I’m biased)

    “The government isn’t building this country, entrepreneurs are!” ~ Stephen

  • Louise Beasley

    Reply Reply December 30, 2007

    Dear Steve: I get what you are saying, however I also get the feeling there is “blame” involved with regards to parents and teachers, our peers. It is unconscious to most people that they instilled these “Faulty Belief Systems”, “Myths” within us. It was carried on through generations and so the saying, “get a job, work hard and you will be financially free” became factual, yet faulty at the same time. Laying blame takes away from reality of how it truly was and that it is within us. As we continue growing through personal development we become aware that this saying doesn’t serve us, that it is Faulty and so we can breakthrough as to why it was there and Let It Go. We can forgive those who came before us, as they thought they were telling us something good, words of wisdom that would be of benefit to us. I have taken a Course called Breakthrough and that is what it does. It is a 7 Step Process that takes a person back to when they first heard a Faulty Belief and helps the person to Let it Go, as it hasn’t served them sell throughout their lifetime. It is a great experience to breakthrough the Beliefs and come out on the other side. Louise B.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply December 30, 2007

    Hi Louise,

    I can’t deny it. There is a tone of blame in this article.
    Sometimes I find myself half way between who I was and who I really am.

    Thanks for providing that insight.

  • Kerwin So

    Reply Reply February 25, 2008

    Hi Steve, I’m pleased to have stumbled across your blog. I agree with the main point you made in this article, i.e. that times are changing and we can no longer count on one company to take care of us financially to our grave. However, I was left wondering a bit about how much you’ve reflected on your experience starting the peer tutoring company. It sounded like that venture didn’t take off as you’d hoped. What did you learn from that experience?

    You are 100% right that there is a lesson to be learned in every mistake — and actually, the more mistakes we make, the more we can potentially learn. Personally I applaud you for having the courage to try and start your own company. The idea, I hope, was not to work 2 jobs and thus twice as hard, but to start up a side business and nurture it to the point that one day it might take off and replace your primary job (which you’re staying at mainly to pay the bills). If that was the case, I see nothing at all wrong with that. A lot of people venture into side businesses without leaving their primary job and the security that provides, just to test it out. Ideally, (and this is something I’m reaching for myself) the side business would be something you do out of passion for the work or business itself, and not necessarily just the money it can provide. I hope this makes sense. In any case, keep up the good work and I look forward to your future posts!

  • Steve

    Reply Reply February 25, 2008

    Hey Kerwin – thanks for your thoughts.

    You hit it right it on. I actually started the peer tutoring to experiment in a side business because I love to teach. It came to a point where I wasn’t enjoying the peer tutoring as much as I did when I started. I found that the students were looking for a math tutor but I wanted to provide something more…. hence this blog evolved.

    Not only did I learn that I wasn’t completely passionate and excited about tutoring but I also learned that I wanted a business model that would allow me to create more passive streams of income. Blogging and web based businesses definitely do this.

    thanks for dropping by….

  • Ron Kawatsky

    Reply Reply July 6, 2011

    There you go Steve. I think some are missing the point you’re making. If you start a business that wouldn’t otherwise operate without you being there – you have a job. If you’re passionate about that job, that’s great, just don’t fool yourself. You would still be trading hours for dollars. Regarding wealth – taking a page from Kiyosaki – the rich don’t work for money. They create businesses that operation via systems.

  • Steve

    Reply Reply July 6, 2011

    @ Ron ;)

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