Money

The ultra-rich break the rules more often, says psychologist who counsels them

666497395MB00002_Around_Emi
Graham Denholm/Getty Images for the VRC

Few people have more insight into the inner workings of the rich than Brad Klontz, a psychologist and certified financial planner who works with the uber-wealthy.

As a managing principal of Your Mental Wealth, a financial advisory firm that emphasizes behavioral psychology, Klontz helps many millionaires and billionaires plan for their futures.

In an interview with The New York Times, Klontz reveals what he's learned about how the wealthy think about success.

For the ultra-rich, he says, becoming successful is about breaking the rules. When they encounter a roadblock, it simply means they have to find another way.

"They have this feeling that rules don't apply to them," Klontz tells The New York Times.

"If they're told something can't be done a certain way, they think that doesn't apply to them and find a way around it."

While that mindset may seem entitled, the financial planner says it's also a great way to overcome obstacles or solve problems.

"[Wealthy individuals] have this feeling that rules don't apply to them." -Brad Klontz, psychologist and certified financial planner

Steve Siebold, a self-made millionaire who spent 26 years interviewing some of the world's wealthiest people, echoes this finding.

"World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn't easy and the need for comfort can be devastating," he writes in "How Rich People Think."

Elon Musk
Tim Rue | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Elon Musk

Plenty of recent examples support this theory. Elon Musk challenged some of the biggest legacy brands in the world when he created Tesla. He disrupted the standard model of selling cars and challenged the notion that American auto manufacturing was on its way out.

He also intends to colonize Mars, getting one step closer with every rocket launch he oversees at SpaceX.

Richard Branson did what many thought was impossible, launching an airline and challenging some of the biggest business titans in the world. Branson risked his own life to draw attention to Virgin Atlantic , flying a hot air balloon over the Atlantic Ocean.

"The pursuit of business goals or their passion, that is giving them joy," Klontz says. "The money is a side effect."