A few years ago I was chatting with a gentleman here in Nashville about education and what it’s worth. Interestingly enough most Americans are spoon fed that education is everything…and yet those who have degrees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, are not sure they would do it all over again. While they love the idea of saying they have a Masters, or a fancy PhD, an education doesn’t always compute to guaranteed success and or money.

For example, most recipients of a Masters degree average sixty to seventy-five thousand dollars a year.  Those with PhD’s can get upwards of $150K, but that level of education comes with a high price of school debt, loans, various insurances, continuing education and other requirements.

The millionaire mindset | GatesInteriorDesign.com

Now fast forward to the question of whether you think education is it worth the cost. Is it? I for one believe that the first few years of college are absolutely necessary. It teaches us so many things like people skills, responsibility, resourcefulness and valuable friendships.  College taught me how to tip toe into reality and become an adult.

What I find fascinating is this concept that education, for those who crave success,  is the golden key to fast cars, quick results, and super stardom. The reality however, is success is not measured in text book studies. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Ralph Lauren, Mark Zuckerburg and Michael Dell are just a few names that did not finish out their education in the proper societal channels, but obviously have killer mindsets. Would they not be considered the epitome of what Americans consider success?

I have spoken with so many women entrepreneurs (Varian Brandon, Chris Alexandria, Stephanie Burns, Barbara Viteri..just to name a few) who are killing it in their industry. Despite this proof of success, many women fail to believe they can be “successful” because they don’t have the proper education. Do the above women have formal educations? Yes. Would they attest their sucess to their education? No. Why? Because it has little to do with what they are capable of and their abilities.

The aforementioned are proof of that. It comes down to belief systems, and mindset, knowing that you have what people want. For women this often becomes a worth issue. Not feeling like they are enough to play with the big boys. In reality it has nothing to do with education, it has to do with taking risks, working your ass off, and mindset.

In fact, most successful entrepreneurs today barely passed high school, could never make it through college and would be considered least likely to succeed. Hmmm, and most likely to succeed from my high school – where is he now? He’s a mechanic in Connecticut. But the girl who no one saw coming, well she graduated from Harvard and is an environmental attorney. Did she need the degree from Harvard? No, but tell that to her self conscious 20-year-old self trying to make in this big world.

According to Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In, “When a man fails , he points to factors like,’I didn’t study’ or ‘I didn’t like the subject matter’. When a woman fails, she is more likely to believe it is due to inherent lack of ability, and lack of education.

Ask a man to explain his success and he will typically credit his innate qualities and skills. “Dude, I’m awesome!” Ask a woman and she will attribute her success to external factors like the help of friends, hard work, or sheer luck. “Oh gosh I couldn’t have done it without my friends and I’m just so lucky!”

So what does it take to create a million dollar mindset?


1) Focus

So many people by default focus on the lack that surrounds them. Want to know what your thoughts have been? Look around. What you focus on expands. So rather than focus on what you don’t have, focus on what your dream life looks like and act as if it’s already happened.

  • Heres a great example, my dear friend Kim Salter of Design Thoughts Interiors wanted to get pregnant. They tried for eight years, struggling with infertility. So rather than focus on what wasn’t she set out to focus on the big picture of what was, changing ALL of her computer passwords to IWBPb2009 (I will be pregnant by 2009). Hope you changed your password Kim! But what a great daily reminder of FOCUS! Liam is now five!!

2) Increase your COI

Your center of influence is the key to your success. You’ve heard the saying, “you are only as successful as the top five people you surround yourself with.” If those five people are holding you back or stagnating your progress, move on to move up!

3) The power of Now

Eckhart Tolle had it right. Get rid of your ego and be mindful of what is right in front of you. Our ego’s often run rampant, filling our heads with nonsense. Crushing our self-worth, telling ourselves we aren’t enough, and causing our default button of negativity to set in – look around, have your thoughts been negative?

4) Everything is a success

Mindset. As humans we are so steady on that one BIG goal that we fail to see the journey as the real success. Those small everyday steps may seem insignificant but a mansion is built one brick at a time – be thankful and grateful for your bricks.

5) Change

Ah, the dreaded six letter word. I mention this to some of my friends and their butt puckers. Sure you can keep going straight, but at some point you have to turn. Without change you won’t grow. And there will never be a “perfect time”, so as Nike says, Just do it!

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