After going from broke to self-made millionaire, the founder of Nasty Gal learned a major way rich people think differently about money

Sophia Amoruso never set out to be rich.

In fact, before she founded vintage-clothing company Nasty Gal, which would grow into a $100 million-plus business, she approached money “with an elevated level of distaste,” she explains in her book, “#GIRLBOSS.” “I saw it as a materialistic pursuit for materialistic people.”

At the time, she was broke, dumpster-diving, and a frequent shoplifter. It wasn’t until Nasty Gal took off and Amoruso started to see major financial gains that her approach to money shifted.

“What I have realised over time is that in many ways, money spells freedom,” the self-made millionaire writes.

“If you learn to control your finances, you won’t find yourself stuck in jobs, places, or relationships that you hate just because you can’t afford to go elsewhere. … Being in a good spot financially can open up so many doors. Being in a bad spot can slam them in your face.”

Amoruso isn’t the only one to recognise that money can be liberating. After studying over 1,000 of the world’s wealthiest people, self-made millionaire and author Steve Siebold noticed that rich people view money as an ally, and they aren’t afraid to admit that it that can solve most problems.

“The great ones know money is a critical tool that presents options and opportunities,” he writes in his book “How Rich People Think.” “It is a friend that has the power to end sleepless nights of worry, physical pain, and can even save their life.”

Meanwhile, the rest of us — including teenage Amoruso — tend to view money as an enemy. “Most people have a dysfunctional, adversarial relationship with money,” Siebold explains. “After all, we are taught that money is scarce — hard to earn and harder to keep.”

However, there are times when money can buy happiness — and the rich recognise and admit this.

“If you want to start attracting money, stop seeing it as your enemy and think of it as one of your greatest allies,” Siebold writes.

NOW WATCH: 4 lottery winners who lost it all

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.