Did you start your own business to get rich? If so then it’s not enough to work on your business. You need to work on yourself as well. Tom Corley has studied self-made millionaires and discovered about thirty “rich habits” those who were successful had in common. In his new book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, he describes these habits and how they can help build wealth. Here, he elaborates on a few of his favorites:
The large majority (86%) of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s research said they devoted time every day to building relationships with other successful people. They also avoid toxic people, trying to limit their exposure to them as much as possible. They often volunteer and are involved in networking opportunities which allows them to “build relationships with other success minded people” he observes.
Learn Every Day
Corley says that 88% of the millionaires in his research devoted thirty minutes or more each day to reading for self-education. “You have to stay current, but you also have to stay ahead of the crowd,” he says. “Reading books and periodicals is important.”
Pursue Your Own Goals
Too many people try to achieve goals that a parent or someone else influential in their life suggested, but that can be a trap, he says. “Put your ladder on your own wall. Pursue those things you are passionate about,” he recommends. He found that 80% of the wealthy people he studied were obsessed with pursuing their own dreams and the goals behind their dreams.
“Negativity crushes businesses,” he warns. That’s not psycho-babble, he says. It’s been demonstrated that negativity narrows your focus. “If you have problems you are trying to solve you won’t be open to all the possible solutions. You’ll be locked into the problem.” And that negativity can become a habit. (It’s definitely not a rich one!) Staying positive, on the other hand, “broadens your perspective. You see all kinds of possibilities.” In fact, Corley says that “positivity is a key to problem solving.”
Make Multiple Streams of Income
Roughly two-thirds (65%) of those who were financially successful had a minimum of three sources of income to draw from, making it easier to weather setbacks. Corley said examples included real estate and real estate investments, financial investments, royalties (books, oil, timber, patents), etc. Sometimes these multiple streams of income feed off one another. “My writing and speaking crosses my CPA business because it gets me clients,” he says.
Never Give Up
Over a quarter (27%) of the self-made millionaires Corley researched failed at least once in business. But it didn’t stop them. They picked themselves up and went on to try again, he says. “In fact, most could not quit even if they wanted to. They were too passionate about what they were doing.” Their passion, persistence and expertise paid off eventually, and they became millionaires.
Corley can relate. He struggled to find a literary agent, and then a publisher, for his first book, Rich Habits. Once it was published, he struggled to get publicity, sending out over 1000 copies to book reviewers and getting no response. Finally he caught the attention of the host of a popular Internet TV show, Farnoosh Torabi, who interviewed him. The interview went viral, with over 2 million hits in 24 hours. That led to other media interviews (including a story I wrote that ran on MSN Money) and his book became an “overnight success.” He wrote about this journey in a story titled A Success Story of 9,259 Failures.
The bottom line is that we “all have habits, some good, some bad,” says Corley. But if you can develop more “rich habits,” you tip the scales in your favor. “The key is to adopt habits that will move us forward in life towards success,” he says.