The Mediocre vs The Successful

How to be a millionaire.



The Mediocre make excuses for why they can’t improve. They think they're too young or too old. They don't read books.

The Successful try to improve every year. They read books and textbooks.


The Mediocre think that the government or their employer owes them money.

The Successful understand that they must provide value to make money. They start businesses, make money for their employer, renovate properties, or invest.


The Mediocre think that risk is something to avoid.

The Successful understand that the biggest risk of all is not taking any risks.

Money Management


The Mediocre buy liabilities. Liabilities go down in value over time. A big TV, a nice sofa, a fancy refrigerator, an Apple watch, designer clothes, and a flashy car, for instance.

The Successful buy assets. Assets go up in value over time. Stocks, real estate, and crypto.


The Mediocre spend money on material goods.

The Successful spend money on experiences.


The Mediocre spend time for money. They wait in a 1-hour line for a free slice of pizza, for instance. They drive to a gas station 30 minutes away to save $1 on gas.

The Successful spend money for time. They buy the FastPass at Disney Land, for instance. They delegate non-critical tasks to save time.

Investment Strategy


The Mediocre think that cash is safe. They don’t realize that they are losing 10-15% of their money a year to inflation. They will lose half of their purchasing power in 6-9 years.

The Successful think that cash is trash. They understand that cash is inflating away. To avoid inflation, they invest in assets like stocks, real estate, and crypto.

Emergency Fund

The Mediocre think they need an emergency fund. They think it's a good idea to hold an emergency fund that inflates away at 10-15% a year.

The Successful don't have an emergency fund. Instead, they invest in the S&P 500. If they have a real emergency in the short term, they'll still have (at worst) 50% of their emergency fund. In the long run, they'll make money.

Passive Income

The Mediocre want passive income. They don’t realize that they will pay full taxes in the year they make the money.

The Successful make tax-free income. They buy real estate, stocks, and crypto. They make capital gains that are not taxed until they sell. To never pay taxes, they never sell. They simply take out a loan using their assets as collateral.

Investor Type

The Mediocre don’t know if they’re a long-term investor, a day trader, a swing trader, or an options trader.

The Successful know their investment strategy. They could be 80% long-term investor and 20% swing trader, for instance.

Asset Analysis

The Mediocre do not analyze assets. They buy whatever stock or crypto is trending.

The Successful do extensive research before buying an asset.


The Mediocre either don't diversify or they diversify too much.

The Successful diversify into real estate, stocks, and crypto. They concentrate investments in each of these markets. They have a few rental properties, a few stocks, and a few cryptos.


The Mediocre do not hedge.

The Successful hedge their investments. They do upside and downside hedging. For example, they do an out-of-the-money call option rather than going all-in. If the market goes up, they make money on the call option. If it goes down, they lose money on the call option but they make money by going all-in at a lower price. They also hedge stock and crypto picks when necessary. They buy some Shopify stock to hedge their Amazon position, for example.

Mr. Market

The Mediocre look at asset prices and get scared when they see red and excited when they see green.

The Successful understand that the market will go up and down randomly in the short term. They get excited when they see red because it could mean there is an opportunity to buy assets.

Market Cycles

The Mediocre want to invest when the market is rallying. They have fear of missing out.

The Successful understand that there are market cycles that determine when the best time to invest is. They wait for the right time to invest (a crash).

Retirement Accounts

The Mediocre max their company-match 401K and Roth IRA contributions.

The Successful prioritize high-return investments early on in their investing career. They buy real estate, stocks, and crypto. They contribute to a Roth IRA after they are already wealthy. They do not use 401Ks.

Real Estate

The Mediocre think that buying any house is a good investment. They think that you need to put 20% down on a nice new house. They think that renovations are expensive ($50k for a kitchen). They spare no expense because they don’t know they can get a better deal.

The Successful understand that they should only buy wedge deals (below-market properties that often have infestations, bad electrical wiring, overgrown lawns, damaged flooring, and old paint). They only put 3.5% down so they can buy more properties. Then they find a contractor and ask them to do a rental-grade remodel – not a brand new, top-of-the-line renovation. They just want safety and quality at a reasonable price. Then they refinance the property. Then they rent out the property.


Price of Goods

The Mediocre don’t understand economics. They think that the price of goods goes up because businesses are greedy.

The Successful realize that prices go up because more people want the same goods or there is a supply shortage.


The Mediocre don’t understand that Bitcoin is simple supply and demand.

The Successful understand that there is a fixed finite supply of 21 million Bitcoins. The supply shrinks over time as people buy. Over the long term, the price will continually increase unless there is a reversal in the demand trend.

Ian Greer © . All rights reserved.