The Winner’s Mindset

“Winners focus on winning. Losers focus on winners.”

-Conor McGregor

The past few years I’ve come to understand just how important mindset is to becoming successful. While this blog focuses mainly on acquiring wealth and achieving early financial independence, a winner’s mindset is vital to achieving any of your goals.

From a young age I’ve always been told I could do anything I set my mind to. I could go to my dream college, travel the world, complete a marathon, etc. Many of those boxes have largely been checked off but bucket lists should always be evolving.

Lately I’ve been focusing on long term goals which require consistency. I need to consistently do a good job at work because then I will consistently get a large paycheck which allows me to consistently increase my net worth. Doing a good job at work means consistently going to bed at a reasonable hour so that I can get up early and look presentable. I try to replicate this with my fitness and my education. I need to lift weights and read consistently or else I will get fat and stupid.

While my last blog post may contradict what I’m about to say; for the most part, I think getting rich in USA is relatively easy. I’ve been to twenty-four countries across five continents. Only Canada and Australia stick out as arguably easier places to amass wealth.

Think about it. To get rich in America you can go to any state school, study a useful subject such as Computer Science or Accounting and then get a job. Sure you have to work for the man but he will pay you well.  If you study the right subject you should come out of school making six figures. After taxes and frugal spending you should be able to save at least half. You will also get raises for doing a good job. Repeat for 5-10 years and boom: financial independence.

Of could this is overly simplified. Perhaps you traveled for four years after college so you’re playing catch up. Or didn’t study useful subjects. Or you didn’t invest most of your savings early in your career because you thought the stock market was going to crash. Well, I did all of those things and it didn’t hurt me too much. Still on track for financial independence by 35.

Now try to do that in Colombia or Greece or Vietnam or Russia. Not happening. Those countries don’t pay enough. But if you were to scroll through my Twitter feed or watch a protest on CNN you would think America is some inequal fascist regime without jobs. Life could definately improve here but there has never been a better time to be alive!

Protestors and professional victims need to change their mindset. The world (America in particular) is brimming with opportunity. But instead many simply choose to complain.

HUD secretary Ben Carson said recently that, “Poverty is largely a state of mind.”

People went insane over the quote but Carson (who grew up in poverty) is 100% correct. If you believe you will never be rich then you’re right! I’ve always found it interesting that people who are always getting screwed over are the same people who consistently make terrible decisions. Society is not out to screw you over!

I didn’t grow up with much money but I knew I would be rich. Last year my wife and increased out net worth over $100,000. You could take away all the money we have saved since being married and, starting from zero; we would be millionaires in less than a decade. Being born a millionaire isn’t as useful as being the type of person who acquires a million dollars. We have the right mindset!

It’s why most weatlth is lost by the second or third generation. It’s why lottery winners lose all of their money. They haven’t developed a winner’s mindset!

As can be seen on my Twitter profile, I’m a big fan of MMA and soccer. Being a fan of Portugal, I started watching Cristiano Ronaldo play during the Euro Cup in 2004. At 19 he lost that heartbreaking final in Lisbon but continued to improve and at 32, he’s won almost every trophy of significance, many of them more than once.

Marta, considered by many to be the best woman’s soccer player of all time was recently quoted, “Cristiano’s winner’s mentality is the reason why I support Real Madrid.”

Ronaldo grew up skinny and poor. Once he was given the chance to play at Manchester United and then at Real Madrid he trained tirelessly. He told people early in his career that he wanted to be the best ever. Many players such a Wayne Rooney had more natural talent but took it for granted and didn’t evolve. Talent is overrated, you need to train hard and have a winner’s mindset. There are countless losers with high intelligence and/or athletic abilities that have made nothing of their lives.

Some say Ronaldo is the hardest worker in the game today. Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh said something similar after speaking with him at a party last summer.

We spoke about training regimes and the psychological aspects of competition and after a while, I started to realise: ‘This guy is just like Conor.’ Just a one-track mind, no interest in anything else. Civilians would call them obsessed or say there was something wrong with them, but you can’t get to that level unless you have that personality.

Of course Conor McGregor also has a winner’s mindset and works tirelessly to achieve his goals. He was the first UFC champion to hold belts in two different divisions at the same time. This week his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather was finalized. It may break the record for most PPV buys ever, making him tens of millions of dollars in the process. Not bad for one night of work. He is obsessed with self-improvement, not on what others say or do. From his GQ cover story regarding political protestors:

“I feel like you’re in charge of your own situation. When you start blaming others for your situation, like I see all these people screaming at these politicians and I was like, ‘It’s the wrong mindset!’”

All of us mere mortals get complacent with life. We complain about our jobs, our wealth, the food, our fitness, etc. This will happen. But focus on limiting your complaining. You can improve, but it starts with your mindset.

Start by limiting stress regarding things that aren’t in your control. It doesn’t matter who the president is. If doesn’t matter if you grew up poor. Changing your mindset will change your life.

This article has 5 comments

  1. Four Pillar Freedom

    Love this post – I think mindset truly makes a difference. Once you get your mind in the right place, focused on winning and constantly getting better, it’s just a matter of time until success comes knocking at your door.

  2. parth

    A ‘Real Madrid mindset’ google search got me here. There has been a growing realization about some of the things mentioned in this article – like the mindset of Cristiano and Real Madrid in general. Being a soccer follower I see this in their game.
    Came here for some motivation, got some.

  3. Financial Orchid

    Absolutely agree – it’s the mindset, and the lifestyle choices.
    When I’m dating people for the first time, I never look to see whether they are signaling with fancy cars, or taking me to expensive restaurants. I am interested in their values, mindset on money, spending habits, and when I see them using to track expenses, or talk to me about interest rates, financial plans and goals, and make awesome gourmet meals at home, brings lunch to work, I know I’ve found a winner.