The #1 most important character trait for building wealth

How to build financial freedom from the inside out
Seth Kniep
Oct 3, 2017
Do you ever have a really tough day? You have a setback. Something happens you don’t expect. It’s going to cost you more time, more money, and more emotional heartache. You feel overwhelmed and discouraged. You wake up and don’t feel motivated. You think, “What is wrong with me? How come this person is succeeding and that person’s doing amazing? What about me?”

Those days happen. They happen not just to you and me, but they happen to everyone. The difference, what really matters, is not you having a hard day. The most important thing is how you choose to respond.

There are two ways people choose to respond to every problem in life. They blame others or their circumstances, or they take ownership themselves. That’s what I want to encourage you to do.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling Amazon, selling on eBay, are in the real estate business, or train and coach. The truth is, we’re still human.

I had a friend I confronted who would say things like “People are just stupid.” He was constantly complaining about his industry.

I asked him, “How is your compassion for people growing?”

He said, “If people didn’t make dumb mistakes, then things would be easier.”

Then I asked, “How are you growing through this? How are you learning?” 

His response was, “I don’t have compassion for stupid people.”

I said, “Dude, you have a serious pride issue. You have to deal with that.” He was getting in his own way of success.

There are some legitimately dumb people out there, or those who are complete jackasses, and no matter what you do, they’re going to be mean. I understand that, I am aware of that. I don’t think life is sunshine and rainbows like my daughter did when she was younger. I’m not ignoring reality; there are some people who are really difficult to work with!

Here’s the problem: when you encounter a situation or person, the challenge for you is not what they’re doing. As long as you think it’s only their issue, that they have to change, you are not going to grow. You have to stop and say “What can I learn from this?”

I can’t control them. I release control of them. I choose to take ownership for my shit. We all have shit, let’s be honest. Anyone who says they don’t is living in a land of fiction and are someday going to hit reality. We all have issues. But that’s empowering, because we can say, “Hey! I’ve got issues. I want to grow and learn.”

If I could go back to myself 10 years ago and have five seconds to talk to 29 year-old Seth, here’s what I would say: “The only person who can get between you and reaching your goals is you. That’s it.”

When I confronted this friend, his response was, “You’re not in this industry, so you really have no right to say that.” But people struggle with issues no matter where they go or where they are. It doesn’t matter the industry: people struggle because we’re still human. We get hungry, we get tired, we get tempted, we get sore, we get excited, we get discouraged.

If you ever feel like you’re untouchable, like someone wouldn’t understand because they haven’t been in your shoes, let me tell you that sometimes the truest friend you have will say the hardest things. But they will say it in love and with a big hug. They’re not trying to hurt you. And how you respond to it will make you so much stronger.

There is no easy path to success. Every time you watch an actor or actress on a TV show, do you realize they had to sacrifice more than the average person to get there? They had to work their ass off to get to that point. Or when you hear of someone being on the receiving end of selling a massive company, that wasn’t a couple lucky months. That was extremely hard work and years of chiseling. The most important thing that made them successful was not skill or ability. It was from the inside. It was character.

My Amazon store, my eBay store, our Instagram store, our real estate investment, my coaching, my entire business is a reflection of my heart. It’s a reflection of both the good things and the things that need to grow. It’s an outflow of who I am on the inside.

Entrepreneurs, stand in the mirror and say, “Look on the inside. Who am I? How can I grow?” Because I promise, the greatest challenge you will ever run into as an entrepreneur is yourself. Just as I do. That is how you grow strong.

Being broke is hard. Being wealthy is hard. Choose your hard.

If you grow your character, you can build wealth.

I grew up as a kid with the mentality that if you are rich, you are greedy. What’s funny about it is that I have met many more broken greedy people than rich. You might say, “Seth, that’s impossible, how can you be poor and greedy? How can they be greedy about something they don’t have?”

Not all, but many people I know who are broke are not broke because something terrible happened to them. It’s because they are continuously greedy about what they want. They find something and consume it. They don’t have the self-discipline to set that money aside and invest it.

I know there are legitimately poor people out there, don’t get me wrong. I used to be one of those poor people. But it was largely because of issues in my heart. I had to learn how to not continually grab and seek instant gratification. I had to learn a different way of thinking. I had to invest for the future.

It was a mindset and a character issue for me. Again, if you’re poor, I am not looking down on you. I have been poor, and it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. I just have found more greedy people who are broke than greedy people who are rich.

I know it’s comfortable to say, “Oh yeah, those rich people are so selfish, and they only got rich because they were lucky.” That’s a bunch of BS. All the rich people I know had to work so freaking hard to get there. They had to have the discipline to stay up late at night, get up early in the morning, and sacrifice so much to get to that point.

Do you know what you need more than anything else to build wealth? You need people to trust you. If people don’t trust you, they won’t give you money.

To build trust, you have to give trust. If you are in a mindset of criticizing and saying “that’s wrong,” you have to let go. You have to give people the benefit of the doubt and start trusting them. Then, here’s the beauty of it, in return they will start to trust you.

The best way to gain people’s trust is to truly trust them. I’m not saying walk blindfolded and make dumb decisions; I’m saying give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best and be prepared for the worst. There will be shams and counterfeits, but thank God for those, because if we didn’t have them, how would we know who the real ones are?

Building wealth, earning success, and becoming an entrepreneur is a mindset. It is a willingness to delay gratification. I want to live like someone else, so that someday I can live like no one else. That requires me not doing what the masses are doing. That’s what I want to challenge you with.

If you are reading this, you probably have the heart of an entrepreneur already. You want to do something different with your life. You’re sick of sitting under a boss and being trapped in the cycle of a 9-5. I get that, I empathize with you.

But I want to share something with you, to be bluntly open and honest. Your greatest challenge will be you. I say that to myself as well. If you can get over yourself, you can say, “This person was a jerk, but I’m going to do something amazing with my life.” Don’t focus on them! Then you can learn so much more.

Some days are going to feel like hell. Some like heaven. Other days will be okay. But through it all, the adventure you get for that is paramount. It is so much better than anything else.

I hope that helps you understand some things I am learning as I go. I still have so much to learn, I’m not saying I’ve arrived. I’m just sharing with you what I learn along the way. 

I have to get out of my own way. It’s like shadow boxing; you’re getting in the way of you. You have to say “Get out of the way, you’re messing me up.” I have to get out of my own way so that my immediate desires, emotions, triggers, and passions don’t get in the way of doing what is best for me and my family. And then you’re free. You have the boldness to speak truth to people and you really don’t care what they think because you are free.


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Seth Kniep

Married a pearl. Fathered 4 miracles. Fired his boss. Turned a single dime into $104,857. Today, a self-made millionaire, Seth and his team of 8 badass coaches teach entrepreneurs how to build passive income on Amazon.

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