3 Mindsets That Guarantee Failure

Most people do not understand economics and capitalism. The amount of money in the US is not fixed. If you make a successful business or make a lot of money, you are not taking money away from other people.

3 Mindsets That Guarantee Failure
Photo by Trevor Bobyk

There are 3 mindsets that guarantee failure in life:

  1. Greedy Capitalism vs Philanthropic Capitalism
  2. Rationalism vs Relativism
  3. Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Greedy vs Philanthropic Capitalism

Most people do not understand economics and capitalism. The amount of money in the US (or the world) is not fixed. If you make a successful business or make a lot of money, you are not taking money away from other people. This is a common mindset issue that stops people from financial success. They think that it is morally wrong to have money. But that is completely incorrect from an economic perspective.

There are two sides to an economy: money supply and production. If you make a successful business, yes, you are getting money BUT you are also increasing the production side of the equation even more. Why is it 'even more'? That's the genius of capitalism. Customers would not engage in a transaction unless the product benefitted them more than the dollars they spent. And a business would not transact unless it made more money than each product was worth to them. So both sides are better off – it's a win-win. There was extra value given on both sides of the transaction. When you scale to millions or billions of transactions, this has a huge impact on the production of an economy and production is truly what matters. It doesn't matter if the amount of money increases, that doesn't make anyone more wealthy (if it is evenly distributed). What really matters is the production side. If we can produce more laptops (production), then more people can have laptops. If we make more money (money supply), the price of laptops would go up and the same number of people can have laptops. Printing money does not solve production problems. But making successful businesses DOES solve production problems. By making a successful business, you can make the world a better place.

Money isn't wealth, money is a measurement of wealth. It doesn't matter if there are 10 Trillion total USD or 100 trillion – either way, it is equal to production. Production is wealth. The best estimate for production is GDP. If you can increase GDP, you increase the size of the available wealth for everyone. If you make a business, you can increase GDP. If you create a business, two magic things happen:  (1) you increase the size of available wealth for everyone, and (2) you create a product that can help people. How much better will the world be once electric cars are widely adopted? How much easier is everyone's life now that Amazon can deliver anything to you in 1-2 days? How much easier is life when you can get your groceries or meals delivered to your door with Hello Fresh or DoorDash? Businesses, products, and services help people, otherwise, they would go out of business. Business (when done right) is philanthropy.

Why does the greedy model of capitalism guarantee failure?

It makes it impossible for you to make money. Humans always want to do what is moral (or seems moral to them), so if they see business and money as immoral, it will always escape them.

Rationalism vs Relativism

The rationalism vs relativism debate has been going on for more than 2500 years. In short, rationalism argues that there is an objective truth to the world that is the same for everyone. Like gravity or the temperature outside – people don't have their own gravity and the temperature is the same for everyone in a given area.

A relativist believes that every individual has their own 'truth'. They believe that the temperature outside is up to every individual to decide for themselves. If one person thinks it's 60°F, then it is for them. If another person thinks it's 100°F, then it is for them, even if the temperature is really 85°F. Relativism is clearly absurd, but many people still believe in it to this day. Why? Because it is a perfect ideology for the intellectually lazy. It gives them a justification for believing anything that they feel at that moment. Whatever they think at any moment is the truth, therefore they never have to think critically.

Why does relativism guarantee failure?

If someone thinks that everything is relative, they will never make a successful business or have successful relationships. They will only be able to think about how they feel at a given moment and then delude themselves into thinking their feelings and whims are reality.

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

People with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be improved through hard work. People with a fixed mindset believe that they cannot improve their intelligence with hard work.

In the face of challenges, people with a fixed mindset give up easily, see effort as useless or harmful, ignore constructive criticism, and as a result, will likely fail in life. When people with a growth mindset run into challenges, they work hard to overcome the challenge, even if they initially fail. They view constructive criticism as a shortcut to success. As a result, they ultimately achieve success in life.

The fixed mindset is a self-fulfilling prophecy. People with a fixed mindset may unintentionally self-sabotage to reinforce their negative worldview.

People with a fixed mindset believe that talent (and success) is innate, that failures define you as a person, and that effort is for people who aren't good enough.

Why does the fixed mindset guarantee failure?

People with a fixed mindset fundamentally believe that they cannot get better. They will never practice, never develop skills, and therefore never become a skilled employee or a founder.