The Difference Between “Poor” and “Broke”

Contrary to popular belief, "poor" and "broke" do not mean exactly the same thing. Both involve a lack of money. However, being poor is a mindset. Being broke is only a temporary condition.

People who are poor say, "I can't afford it." A person who instead asks "How can I afford it?" is not poor even if she has no money, because she is thinking like a rich person. It is your thoughts that lead to your actions and your actions create your future.

Even when you are faced with circumstances that are outside your control, you can still control how you respond to the situation. A person with a rich mindset sees opportunities, the silver lining on the clouds. Your mindset is key.

Even when Robert and I were homeless, we did not consider ourselves poor, only broke. Even when we were $400,000 in debt, we did not think of ourselves as poor. We thought of ourselves as rich people who happened to be broke at the time. This attitude - along with hard work, perseverance, and creative thinking - propelled us forward so that instead of becoming stuck in the rat race we progressed from broke to wealthy.

Many people are finding themselves facing very tough times right now, financially speaking. They may be feeling angry, frustrated, bitter, depressed - and that is certainly understandable. What will determine if these people bounce back or stay trapped by their financial situation will be their attitude. If you are broke, look not only at the problems you are facing, but also the opportunities. Think creatively and look for new ways to solve your financial problems. Inside of you is a rich woman, waiting to get out!

Original publish date: October 28, 2009