“Your habits are the reason why you’re rich or poor,” says Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. “In fact, it’s often two or three habits that separate the wealthy from those who are financially challenged.”
Corley studied millionaires for 12 years, and concluded these seven habits are critical to success to become a self-made millionaire.
Corley states reading is the number one habit to adopt if you want to become wealthy. According to his study, 85% of millionaires read two or more books a month. But its not just any books its books that help them grow intellectually. Self improvement books, psychology, business, economics and true stories of other successful people.
“The key to success in life is growing your knowledge base and skills,” says Corley. “Devote 30 minutes or more each day to learning by reading books. If you do, it will set you apart from the competition, as most people do not read.”
They find mentors
Ninety-three percent of self-made millionaires in Corley’s study point to mentor for the reason to their success.
“Finding a success mentor in life is one of the least painful ways to become rich,” says Corley. “It can put you on the fast track to success.”
Corley come in many types. It could be family member, a teacher, a senior member at work or even a book. Mentors do not have to be real relationships, I have learnt from from the likes of Dale Carnegie, Robert Kiyosaki and Sun Tzu than tI have learnt from any teacher. There is a final type of mentor and I find this the most interesting type of mentor that Corey found was “you”.
Yourself. Also called “the school of hard knocks,” you can mentor yourself by learning from your own mistakes. It’s the hardest because it requires lots of self reliance, mental resilience and lots of time and sometimes money. Despite its difficult its also the most powerful since the lessons you learn have a strong emotional component. It’s hard to make the same mistakes twice when they cost you a significant loss.
They make and follow through plans
Millionaires do something that Corley calls “dream setting”. They think of dreams as a ladder, and the rungs are your specific goals and actions. Millionaires break their goals down into actions that make up their to-do list. It forces them to ask the right questions and develop realistic plans about how they will get to the next phase and then implement them.
They create multiple passive income streams
Self-made millionaires do not rely on only a single source of income, says Corley. Instead, they develop multiple streams, and most have at least three. Income alone will rarely make anyone rich, its important to develop streams of passive income. That is, income where you do not sacrifice time to make it. For example investing!
“Sixty-five percent had three or more streams of income that they created over time,” he says. “Diversifying your sources of income allows you to weather the economic downturns that always occur in life.”
They Avoid Time Wasters
Millionaires know money can be recouped, but the bigger risk is wasting time. You can’t get time back. Time is the only resource that is constantly declining. We all have the same 24 hours in the day its up to you how you spend it.
Sixty-seven percent of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s study watch less than an hour of TV each day, and 63% spent less than an hour a day on the Internet in activities such as Facebook or watching YouTube videos.
If you don’t make money from social media then I would delete it. When I quit social media I read more books in 1 month than I had read in the previous year. These books were essential for me to crush bad habits, build mental resilience and expand my business knowledge.
“Seventy-six percent of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day,” Corley said. Aerobic exercise includes anything cardio-focused, such as running, jogging, walking, or biking.
Cardio is good for the body and the brain. Corley argues that “Exercise also increases the production of glucose. Glucose is brain fuel. The more fuel you feed your brain, the more it grows and the smarter you become.”
Even walking just 30 minutes a day has life changing impacts.
They seek out likeminded people
“The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook.”
It’s equally important to avoid negative people and influences, Corley said, emphasizing that “negative, destructive criticism will derail you from pursing success.”
They’re Early birds
“Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” says Benjiman Franklin and it seems like it’s true. Nearly 50% of millionaire get up 3 hours before the work day.
But this doesn’t mean sleeping less. 89% of the self-made millionaires reported sleeping seven or more hours every night. Sleep does work behind the scenes, its crucial for cognitive development and memory formation.
They don’t go follow the herd
Corley argues “failure to separate yourself from the herd is why most people never achieve success.”
In a world addicted to their phones it those who go practice digital minimalism who are able to use their time better and get ahead in life. In a world trending towards increased specialisation, its generalists who get ahead
In a world where businesses are obsessed with emotional intelligence, Amazon is the most valuable the company on the planet. If you are unfamiliar with Amazon’s organisational culture it can best be described as dog eat dog Machiavellian jungle.
They seek feedback
People are terrified of negative criticism but it can often be the most helpful way to improve yourself. Without feedback you are just stabbing in the dark at success. Wit feedback you have light, you have the necessarily information to succeed in life. Don’t be afraid to get your feelings hurt. As Marcus Aurelius wrote in The Meditations “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength.”
To conclude it is clear for Corley’s research that there are habits you can develop to become financially successful but it’s important not to stretch yourself. You do not need to develop all of these habits all at once. I recommend spend a few months just reading as many self improvement books as you can, if you feel stretched for time, change your priorities and eliminate distractions. Success isn’t about doing extraordinary things it’s about doing extra ordinary things consistently.
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