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The Fixed Pie Fallacy, Fixed Money vs Infinite Wealth, & More

Today at a Glance:

· Question: What would 100% effort look like?

· Quote: Increase your expectations

· Framework: Money vs Wealth

· Tweet: Zooming Out

· Article: 16 Negotiation strategies you need to know

Question what would 100% effort look like?

If you were to give 100% effort to the main priority of your life, what would your life look like in 6 months?

If you were to commit fully to doing one thing, without fail, to put 100% effort and focus in, what could you produce...

Quote to increase expectations

“You’ve got to tell the world how to treat you [because] if the world tells you how you are going to be treated, you are in trouble” — James Baldwin

Develop self-worth.

Expect to receive it and people will rise up to the level of your expectation.

A Framework for Abundance:

Money vs Wealth

Whether you’re in business, an entrepreneur or just an ambitious person looking to improve, there’s a fundamental understanding around success that we need to call out.

This is the difference between Money and Wealth.

Most people question, how do I get more money?

Except, this is the wrong question.

Money, is has a lot of bad press. It gets caught up in bad intent, greed, lack, we are taught to want more of it but not too much, we’re also taught that it ‘doesn’t grow on trees’ and it’s in the hands of the rich and hard to obtain.

In essence, we are taught to think about it from a fixed mindset, we must hold on to it or it will disappear.

Why is this?

It’s because someone else is missing out, it’s scarce and hard to come by.

When it comes to money, therefore, and how to get it, we must first understand exactly what money is and why we should go after what we want (guilt free and abundantly).

Let me break it down.

Money is simply a medium of exchange, a transfer mechanism. A system, method, way to transfer wealth. Therefore money is not bad, it’s a mechanism of exchange.

And this is where people get it wrong, they conflate money for wealth. Money is not wealth.

Wealth is the thing, money is the vehicle.

The issue is if you mistake money for wealth and you grow up in a household like most families the amount of money coming in from a salary is pretty fixed year on year. Therefore you view wealth as fixed also.

Therefore we need to change the narrative.

One of the coolest things having children is teaching them a new way to think about wealth and showing them that you can create wealth through skills, for example, writing stories, doing art work, coaching, or even growing vegetables, and turning skills into wealth which results in money. They then understand that if they want more money, they can create more value in the world. This moves away from the time for money idea and into the world of exponential gains but that’s for another day.

You can always create more wealth. It is unlimited. Wealth comes from innovation and creativity. It’s from a place of abundance. Wealth can be both created and destroyed.

If you fix up an old house and you renovate it, you have created wealth, you have increased its value, you didn’t take the value from anyone else, no body lost out because you did up your house and invested in improving it. Wealth is an infinite game.

If I create another online course in the School of Success, I am creating value. It comes from an idea and then it’s put out into the world as value in the form of helping people develop high impact valuable skills they can use to improve their lives.

In my books and coaching I teach people how to increase their self-worth, to go after what they truly want and build a life of freedom. These concepts are so interwoven, but once you pull at the thread, you start to untangle the knotted ball of incorrect thinking.

Okay, so, if we’re fine to want what we want and we have accepted to the notion that there’s an abundance of wealth in the world, someone else isn’t going to miss out if I get what I want, it begs the question, why do we get making money and making wealth mixed up?

Paul Graham says it best in his essay titled How To Make Wealth” found in the 2004 literary work Hackers and Painters: big ideas from the computing age.

“If you want to create wealth, it will help to understand what it is. Wealth is not the same thing as money. Wealth is as old as human history. Far older, in fact; ants have wealth. Money is a comparatively recent invention. Wealth is the fundamental thing. Wealth is stuff we want: food, clothes, houses, cars, gadgets, travel to interesting places, and so on. You can have wealth without having money. If you had a magic machine that could on command make you a car or cook you dinner or do your laundry, or do anything else you wanted, you wouldn’t need money. Whereas if you were in the middle of Antarctica, where there is nothing to buy, it wouldn’t matter how much money you had. Wealth is what you want, not money. But if wealth is the important thing, why does everyone talk about making money? It is a kind of shorthand: money is a way of moving wealth, and in practice they are usually interchangeable. But they are not the same thing, and unless you plan to get rich by counterfeiting, talking about making money can make it harder to understand how to make money.
Money is a side effect of specialization. In a specialized society, most of the things you need, you can’t make for yourself. If you want a potato or a pencil or a place to live, you have to get it from someone else”.
- Paul Graham, Co-Founder Y Combinator amongst many other things

I want to focus your attention in on that sentence, wealth is what you want.

You can be wealthy, without having much money. If I get comped flights around the world, hotels, cars, I am wealthy, I have a wealthy abundant life and it can be created by doubling down on your unique specialisation and giving it to the world.

When you focus on what you want, you inspire that greatness within to rise up. You wake it up and go after what you want. This is where it gets really exciting.

As Victor Frankel stated say “yes” to life. By embracing want and going after it we say yes to life. This is wealth mindedness, it comes from a place of possibility and ingenuity. It’s the definition of freedom.

Let’s look at the distinction that Graham calls out.

“Money is not wealth; money is a way of moving wealth. It’s transfer mechanism, which is why talking about how to make money can be counter intuitive”.

Money is the output of your unique capability expressed and mastered.

When I started out in business, I joined a corporate barter agency. I was involved in negotiating deals whereby we exchanged media space that brands wanted for their products and allowed the them to part pay in their product and cash.

For example, Jaguar Land Rover has a field full of brand-new cars, but their marketing budget is dwindling, along comes the barter agency to save the day. Jaguar, you give me the cars and some cash, and I’ll give you some media space. This way they still get to expand their marketing efforts and use their product to pay for it. Barter. It’s as old as time. Fast forward to the modern day, the system still exists except just that money has just become an easier transfer medium within the same system.

Barter creates innovation in thinking, but the things that are traded are the wealth. The exchange mechanism was barter, now that has been replaced with the concept of money.

Negotiating in barter got me thinking from an early age about new ways to do deals, I saw the very best industry do this at the highest levels, to bring creativity to the bargaining table. I learned how to structure innovative and lucrative partnerships for all parties. It was eye opening, and more than anything it opened my mind to what was possible and how real wealth was created, expanded and multiplied many times over.

The problem with how we view money and wealth is it stems from one of the most dangerous fallacies ever.

This is keeping you in your place. It’s killing your goals, dreams and vision of what you believe is possible. This is the Fixed Pie Fallacy.

It’s the idea that there’s a fixed amount of wealth in the world.

When we enter into a negotiation, sale or business relationship with this mindset instilled in us, there are limits on the creativity and innovation that you’ll draw upon when times get tough or roadblocks occur.

When it comes to wealth, the reality is there is no pie for wealth. When you create more wealth you add more value to the world, you make it better, you serve at a greater level and you have done exactly the opposite of limitation.

You’ve expanded the pie, made new pie, innovated. You can always make more wealth. Don’t misconstrue money for wealth.

The problem us humans is most of us aren’t taught to think like this from a young age so we retain this poor programming around what money is and carry it into our adult lives. This sucks as this is where we stop and dreams go to die.

This is where your dreams stay locked up inside you. It’s where you don’t take the risk, which is in fact the riskiest strategy of all. Staying put. We become the very thing we are looking to avoid.

Maybe we grew up in a poorer socioeconomic household, times were tough, it mattered if we spilled the milk, there was not enough to go around, money was a source of anger, anxiety and frustration. This translates to an idea we get from our parents and our environment, that there’s only a fixed amount of wealth in the world to go around and this was reenforced because we understood Wealth to be Money.

This is a deadly and common misconception.

When you grew up, if you saw your parents earning a fixed amount of money and it determined what you could do, where you went on holiday, the car you drove, the toys you got, the clothes you wore. It seemed like wealth had all the control over what you could do and so when wealth was viewed from this context, it looked as if there was a fixed amount of pie.

Fast forward to adulthood and we start to see entrepreneurs, friends, business people doing well for themselves, where’s all this money coming from we question?

We get confused, jealous, negative and sadly we don’t question it again.

Subscribing to this belief, that money is wealth and the wealth pie is fixed, there’s only so much to go around, keeps millions of people trapped.

This type of thinking is the problem.

If you mistake money for wealth, you see that you have a fixed salary and assume that’s the total size of the pie rather than focusing on skill development, creativity and resourcefulness.

You have the opportunity to create massive wealth and abundance in your life. You were born to do something great, you have it within you.

If we take this fixed pie idea (The Pie Fallacy) into our business negotiations this limits us because we aren’t bringing the necessary creativity and thinking into the negotiation.

You must get creative! It’s the key to changing your thinking. Once you understand that money is not wealth, and wealth can be created, you realise that you can change your negotiations, your outlook, your ability to get the things you want.

Everything changes with this understanding.

You can get the higher salary when you bring more value to the table. How do you help the company do what they currently cannot?

I made this mistake, early on in my career, I wanted to keep up with my friends, instead of realising that it’s not about comparison, its about what you can uniquely do that brings so much value to the company that they are more than willing to compensate you for it.

If it’s a business negotiation, are you focusing fully on your perspective? Or are you thinking in an integrative fashion? Are you thinking long-term? Are you providing flexibility, creative thinking and focused on understanding your counterpart?

There might be a fixed amount of money to go around but this is not the wealth in the world. Wealth can be created. Wealth is what you want.

WEALTH IS EVERYWHERE. It’s inventions, it’s breakthroughs, clean drinking water, sunblock, iPhones, FaceTime, Gyms. It’s whatever you want.

Therefore, when you do something people want, when you create it, you create wealth.

The wealth already exists, do you have something to attract the wealth?

In negotiation there’s distributive negotiation and integrative. In distributive negotiation, there’s a fixed amount of pie, you are competing for the largest share but it can never be larger than the pie.

In integrative negotiations you’re creating the resources, ideas and expanding the pie. It’s bigger than the pie, it may not even look like pie, it’s creativity being expressed in value.

Distributive vs Integrative Negotiations — Tim Castle

In your negotiations, when you approach them from a place of abundance, i.e. what you want, there’s no scarcity, you are creating something that didn’t exist before.

Creativity and innovation. It’s fully proactive and possibility minded.

How to think about Wealth

  • Double down on your unique specialisation

  • Wealth is things we want, travel, clothes, cars, houses — look at how much wealth is around you all the time

  • Money is just the way you move wealth

  • Money is not the same as wealth

  • Build valuable assets, skills and creations

  • Wealth is created — there is no fixed pie

  • If you add value to something and increase its value, you have created wealth, you haven’t made anyone else poorer in the process, so there’s not a fixed pie.

  • The Fixed Pie Fallacy — believing there is a fixed amount of wealth to go around and if one person has a lot of the wealth then that takes away from someone else.

Errornous thinking is keeping you stuck. Money follows wealth. The more specialised the value you can create the more wealthy you will become. Wealth equals freedom and freedom is the goal.

Therefore entrepreneurs do well in this regard as they constantly create new products, build new software, bringing the vision to life, through apps, code, through art, through ideas transformed into inspired action.

Fixed pie thinking and scarcity is horrible, you’re comparing, worried about life, focused on missing out on the dollar yet this isn’t what created the dollar.

You’re looking outside for the answers rather than inside. You’re looking for safety instead of taking the risk of creativity. It’s all so reactive, externally motivated and fleeting.

If this resonates the question to ask is what is your fear costing you?

Therefore, when it comes to Money vs Wealth, Scarcity vs Abundance, Playing it safe vs Freedom, Innovation vs Fixed pie, we must fight with everything we’ve got to remember that creation will always triumph over limitation.

Go out into the world this week and focus on becoming better at your chosen specialisation. Double down on your unique skills, put it out into the world and refine it. This is the way to think about money and building wealth.

Most of all go after what you want, come from place of abundance. Create your life of freedom.

I hope this spoke to you.

If it did, please share it with a friend. Repost and Like.

To your success,


Tweet on Zooming Out:

The interesting thing in this post is the benefits of gain clarity allow you to execute regardless of how you feel. When you have clarity you have confidence and therefore you will be internally tuned into building what you want.

Practical advice for goals setting and Zooming Out so you can make progress, laying brick by brick of your vision down daily. Clarity enables this.

Article on 16 Negotiation Strategies

A few of my favorites from the list:

· Growth. Closed mouths don’t get fed!

· Give value first, show don’t tell.

· Ambition

Well worth a few minutes of your time this weekend.

Ready for the next step — Get started today with The School of Success


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