The Definitive Guide to Business

Why Spike Lee has no problem asking people for money—and you shouldn't either

Spike Lee doesn't shy away from talking about money.

After all, "raising money is part of being a filmmaker," the director of "Malcom X" and "Do the Right Thing" tells online investing service Wealthsimple.

"I've got no problem asking people for money. Because I believe. I believe in my talents, my storytelling abilities, and also the people I surround myself with on the projects that I make."

And success hasn't stopped the acclaimed director from scraping together funds from individuals: In 2013, Lee raised more than $1.4 million on Kickstarter to make "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus."

Filmmaker Spike Lee
Mike Coppola | Getty Images
Filmmaker Spike Lee

When it comes to being able to ask people for money, Lee is in good company. As author Steve Siebold found after interviewing more than 1,000 self-made millionaires for his book, "How Rich People Think," the rich aren't afraid to fund their future using other people's cash.

"Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant," Siebold writes. "The real question is, 'Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?' If so, the wealthy know money is always available because rich people are always looking for great investments and superior performers to make those investments profitable."

"The wealthy know money is always available." -Steve Siebold, author of "How Rich People Think"

People in the middle class think you need money to make money, but that belief is "limiting at best and destructive at worst," Siebold says. "The truth is you have to have great ideas that solve problems to make money. If you do, you will attract money like a magnet."

Attracting money probably won't happen overnight; it requires patience and resilience. As Lee tells Wealthsimple, he's had his fair share of rejection, too. "Here's what I've learned, though: It only takes one yes. No matter how many people say no, you only need that one yes and you're off and running. You can't let the no's defeat you. Because that's all it takes — just one yes."

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