Are you looking for problems?

There are two types of problems in the world;

1.  The problems you think you have;
2.  The problems you don’t think you have;

Just in case you haven’t noticed, if you don’t think, you will have no problems.

What has that got to do with making money?

The majority of people would pay to get rid of their problems without thinking about other options; in other words, spending money is their default option to solve problems, that’s why the majority of these people have little money.

You can make a lot of money if you can do the following two things well;

1.  Find a problem or make people think that they have a problem (all problems  are imaginary);

2.  Provide a solution to that problem (most people would give you their money for the solution);

I have also noticed that wealthy people seem to spend a lot of time looking for problems; they get excited when they find them because they know that’s where the money is if they can find the solution or find the people who can provide the solution.

On the other hand, a majority of these people seem to spend most of their time avoiding problems, they get frustrated when they find them, and spend most of their time complaining about those problems and wish they didn’t have to see them.

I have come to a simple conclusion….

Rich people look for problems, poor people look for work.

Let me explain why…

Let’s look at residential property for a moment. I was told that about 25% of the residential properties in Australia are in such poor conditions that they need some work done to them. The poor conditions of a property can severely affect the sale price and valuation for what could be a very good asset. In other words, this situation represents a big problem.

Let’s look at an example I know personally very well, an older apartment in Elwood, an inner suburb of Melbourne, the internal condition was so poor that you need to replace just about everything to make it livable, but the building structure itself is solid and sound. The vendor was having difficulty selling it due to its condition. An investor bought it at $290k and spent $25k to bring it up to a livable standard, the valuation came back at $370k, and this happened last year in a slow market.

Apart from the extra money made in this exercise being $55k ($370k – $290k – $25k = $55k), I would like to show you something even more significant in the thinking behind it.

In this whole exercise, there are two categories of people;

1.  The investor;
2.  The tradesmen who supplied all the goods and services for $25k;

Let’s have a closer look: the investor did no physical work and spent little time and effort, and made $55k; the tradesmen sourced all the material and did all the physical work and made $25k, and they still have to pay for the material and other subcontractors out of that $25k;

What is the difference?

The difference between the rich and the poor is the way they think.

The investor in this case was looking for a problem, because he understands problem = money, and they bought the problem.

On the other hand, the tradesmen were looking for work, because they think work = money, and they bought the work.

I know some people might think that if I had enough money, I would have been acting like that investor to buy and have other people to do the work, since I don’t have enough money that’s why I am looking for work.

We all know that’s an excuse as we can find plenty of examples around us that people can do this without their own money. It’s our thinking habit about money that wouldn’t allow us to do what this investor could do.

It is very obvious that we don’t have to have enough money to look for problems, we all know how to do that, we just haven’t linked that to money as part of our automatic reaction.

The truth is that if we can’t make money with no money, we can’t make money with money.

So next time when someone asks you “What is your problem?” you really don’t need to take it personally, they may just want to look for a money making opportunity :)

Bill Zheng is founder of Investors Direct Financial Group, a leading property finance company providing financial solutions for property investors and developers. Bill is a keynote speaker at many property and finance conferences throughout



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Bill is founder of Investors Direct Financial Group, a leading property finance company providing financial solutions for property investors and developers. Bill is a keynote speaker at many property and finance conferences throughout Australia. Visit

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