Business man frustrated with not understanding the words he's hearing

New Rule of Money #6: Learn the Language of Money

What the words you use have to say about you

When a student goes to medical school, she learns the language of medicine and is soon speaking of diastolic pressure versus systolic pressure. When I went to flight school, I had to learn the language of a pilot. I soon spoke words such as altimeter, aileron, and rudder. When I shifted to helicopters, I used different words such as cyclic, collective, and rotors. I could not have succeeded as a pilot if I did not know these words. The same holds true for learning the language of money.

If you want to be rich, you must learn how to speak about money the way the rich do. When you learn the language of money, you learn the language of the 10 percent of the world that does not have to worry about money. By investing a little time every day to learn the words of money, you have a better chance of being part of this 10 percent.

More important, by learning the words of money, you will lessen the chances of being fooled by the false prophets of money-the same false prophets that preach the old rules of money: save money, buy a house, get out of debt, and invest for the long term in a well-diversified portfolio of mutual funds.

The good news is it doesn't cost much to learn the vocabulary of money. In fact, you can learn most of it for free by researching online, checking out finance books at the library, and reading financial news.

Knowledge begins with words

Since money is knowledge, it follows that knowledge begins with words. Words are the fuel for our brain, and words shape our reality. If you use the wrong words, poor words, you will have poor thoughts and a poor life. Using poor words is the same as using bad gasoline in a good car.

A good place to begin learning the words of money is with our free financial glossary on

But words alone are not enough. They are simply a manifestation of your mindset. Changing your mindset begins with changing your words. The following are the words that people with different mindsets in the CASHFLOW Quadrant use.

Employee (E)-quadrant words

A person who comes from the E quadrant might say, "I'm looking for a safe, secure job with good pay and excellent benefits."

Words like these tell me that a person's core value is security in the face of fear. People who embrace security as a response to fear like to have things in writing, knowing exactly what they'll make and what their benefits are, such as health insurance provided by the employer. For them, the idea of security is often more important than money.

Employees can be presidents of companies...or janitors. It's not so much what they do but the contractual agreement they have, that's important to them.

Self-employee (S)-quadrant words

A person who comes from the S quadrant might say, "My rate is $75 per hour." Or, "My normal commission rate is six percent." Or, "I can't seem to find good people to work on this project and get the job done right." Or, "I've got more than twenty hours into this project."

Those in the S quadrant like to be their own boss or "do their own thing." When it comes to money, those in the S quadrant don't like to have their income dependent on other people. If they work hard, they expect to get paid for their work. Conversely, they understand that if they don't work hard, they don't deserve to get paid well. They have fiercely independent souls.

Business owner (B)-Quadrant words

A person operating out of the B quadrant might say, "I'm looking for a new president to run my company."

Those in the B quadrant are almost the opposite of those in the S quadrant. They like to surround themselves with people who can do the job better than they can. Their true motto is, "Why do it yourself when you can hire someone to do it for you, and they can do it better?"

Those in the B quadrant like to work on their company and hire smarter people to work in it.

Investor (I)-Quadrant words

Someone operating from the I quadrant might say, "Is my cash flow based on an internal rate of return or a net rate of return?"

Investors make money with money. They don't have to work because their money is working for them. Because of this, they know how money works. They understand the language of money, and they speak it fluently.

What do your words say about you?

Have you ever stopped and listened to the words that you use? A good exercise this week would be to slow down and listen to yourself. Find out what you say and how you say it. You may find that at your core, you're someone different than you thought you were.

The same holds for those you work with or who work for you. Listen to their words this week as well.

In the end, our words are good indicators of what's really important to us. The good news is that once we understand who we are at our core, we can then decide if we like that person or if we want to aspire to be something more. But it all starts with listening.

Original publish date: June 27, 2016

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