Every day tens of thousands of people think they can make their fortune online. They dream of making millions while they sleep, of having a stylish home paid for in cash and of being able to relax on the beach as they gaze across to their Ferrari parked in full view of all the other holiday-makers. Yet, for around 99% of people who have this dream it never happens.
New research points to a possible reason. Psychologists at the University of Central Florida tested the mathematical abilities of people – with an interesting twist. They randomly split a group of people up and compared their maths ability; one group simply did the maths tests, the other group were motivated to believe they could do maths.
Guess what? The group that were prompted to have belief in themselves were actually better at maths than the other, “control”, group.
This suggests that simply believing you can do something makes it more likely that you can. Self-development advisers have been telling us that this is the case for years. People who use NLP techniques also claim the same. However, this is one of the few pieces of scientific research that points to the same conclusion.
So what does this mean for those people who dream of making millions online? It suggests that many of those failures occur because people don’t have enough self-belief. All they need, perhaps, is some “metacognitive prompting” to help them become motivated and they will be more likely to succeed.
What is “metacognitive prompting” – and how might you get it? Essentially, it’s just a series of triggers that help you “get” something. A good example was a study done in Aberdeen some seven years ago. This looked at metacognitive prompting in school children. What they found was that simply by having a more able student in a group, the individuals in that group actually performed better in writing practice.
This all goes back to a Russian psychologist called Vygotsky, who suggested we learn best from people who are slightly better than us at a particular task.
In other words, if you want to make millions online, the best thing you can do to make that more likely is to surround yourself with people who are already doing just that. They will trigger your brain, help you learn and increase the likelihood of success. And if you don’t know any online millionaires, all you need to do is find people earning slightly more online than you – no matter how little more – and they will be bound to help. Success breeds success – and many of those Internet failures could simply be because the people who dream of success are actually only connecting with other failures.