This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Money: Master the Game" by Tony Robbins. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What is Money: Master the Game about? What advice does motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins give about creating a better financial future for yourself?
In Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins assures you that a financially stable lifestyle isn’t difficult to achieve. To live this lifestyle, Robbins emphasizes that you have to change your limiting beliefs about money and build an investment strategy that will secure you for the long run.
Check out the advice Robbins gives to master money and live your dream lifestyle.
Tony Robbins’ Money: Master the Game Overview
In Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins argues that anyone can master money, achieve financial well-being, and create their dream lifestyle. In Robbins’ view, mastering money means building an investing strategy that yields passive income for life and gives you the choice of when, where, and whether to continue working.
Conversely, neglecting to master money means that you’ll always need to trade your time for money. Robbins argues that earned wages alone can’t create true wealth if we spend that money instead of putting it to work. If you spend what you earn, you’ll need to trade more hours for more dollars—but if you invest your money, it can create income while you’re inactive.
Money Empowers You to Create Your Life
Robbins explains that money is not the end goal, but a means to achieve your goals. When you master your financial life, money becomes a tool with which to create the life you want:
- Materially, you can afford necessities, luxuries, and a good life for yourself and your family.
- Personally, you get back your time and can now spend it as you choose—whether that means more family time, more adventures, or doing work that you love.
If you fail to master money, it will take control of you. You’ll have to spend all your time getting more by trading hours for dollars at a traditional wage-earning job. Instead, Robbins asserts, you must learn to make money work for you by investing to build passive income.
In addition, becoming skillful with money gives you confidence that spills over into the rest of your life. When you know your finances are in good shape, you can live with greater assurance that you can withstand any trials and tribulations.
While financial well-being can give you freedom from work, Robbins explains that many independently wealthy individuals choose to keep working on their own terms. Work is not the enemy, but a sacred opportunity to serve the world by giving back with the talents you’ve been given. With financial independence, you choose to work when and if you want to, and you choose what you work on.
You Need to Create Your Experience
To master money, you first need to change your mindset: Tony Robbins in Money: Master the Game writes that at any moment, your beliefs and emotions color how you perceive that experience, and they determine how you respond to it. For example, a man who’s convinced that all banks are untrustworthy will feel jaded and take little action to build his financial future.
(Shortform note: Robbins goes into more detail about how to change your mindset and behavior in Awaken the Giant Within with his six-step process of Neuro-Associative Conditioning. In short, you need to disrupt the old patterns—such as believing that investing is too hard and avoiding financial responsibility—and replace them with a new, empowering behavior and belief.)
To change your life, take conscious control of what you believe, how you feel, and how you act.
Robbins asserts that each of us has already taken conscious control of these choices at some point in our lives. Think of past goals you achieved—whether making a high school sports team, getting into a good college, or landing a great job. In each case, you consciously chose to believe it was possible, you got emotionally attached to that outcome, and you took action to make it happen.
Change Your State and Story
After explaining how to change your mindset in Money: Master the Game, Tony Robbins writes that you might have limiting beliefs and emotions that prevent you from mastering money. Limiting beliefs operate in your subconscious mind—and you likely don’t notice or examine them—but they have a substantial impact on your behavior. Telling yourself that you can’t—that money is too scarce or that the game is rigged—only causes you to feel disempowered and to become complacent about your finances. This perpetuates your present circumstances, reinforcing those beliefs in a negative spiral that won’t break unless you challenge it.
(Shortform: Researchers have found that our beliefs develop when we’re young, so we often don’t remember choosing to believe them. They come mainly from childhood experiences and what our parents and peers profess to believe. These beliefs become encoded in our brain, but we can reverse that encoding by changing our thoughts. The more we commit to different beliefs, the more our brain gets used to firing along those pathways instead of the old ones.)
So to change your financial situation, you must change how you think and feel about money. Even if a story or belief is true at present, Robbins asserts, it can still be unhelpful. Sometimes, you need to believe something that isn’t true yet in order to break that negative spiral and take action. For instance, even if you have little money, believing, “I’m so poor,” can trap you in a scarcity mindset that inhibits you from overcoming your circumstances.
Change Your Strategy
Once you’ve changed how you think and feel about money, you need to change your strategy—because thinking and feeling positively won’t work unless you take effective action. As an investor, you use your money to generate passive income by buying assets—stocks, bonds, and commodities—that offer dividends as the market rises.
(Shortform note: In The Millionaire Fastlane, MJ DeMarco recommends switching from a consumption mindset to a producer’s mindset by constantly asking yourself about the things you buy. For example, ask “What value does this provide me? How did the company market it to me?” about common items like your shampoo, your choice of phone and laptop, or your clothing. This will get you used to thinking like a businessperson rather than a consumer.)
Changing your strategy is arguably the most important tip Robins gives in Money: Master the Game, as he greatly emphasizes investing as the key to long-term financial stability. Robbins explains that to change your strategy, you need to apply three fundamental principles that top investors follow: making a financial plan, creating steady gains while minimizing losses, and finding a fiduciary financial advisor.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Money: Master the Game summary :
- Tony Robbins’s approach to changing your money mindset and financial strategy
- Why money is not the end goal, but rather a tool
- Why you should play the long game rather than trying to get rich quick