Let’s face it – just about everyone dreams of being a millionaire. Even if you’re not the type with expensive tastes, just knowing that you don’t really need to worry about splurging every now and then, and knowing that your basics are guaranteed to be covered, can be a huge relief. Although there are certainly millionaires who inherited their wealth and really haven’t done much to earn it, there is an even bigger percentage of millionaires who pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and earned every single penny of their fortune. They worked hard, they chased their goals, they put in the sweat equity, and they managed to create the life they wanted for themselves.
So, even though it may seem like becoming a millionaire is out of the cards if you don’t have inherited wealth, we’re here to tell you that it certainly is not impossible. You absolutely can become a millionaire – but it won’t be a walk in the park. It does take a lot of hard work, and sometimes, it may not be as exciting as you think it is. Most millionaires don’t achieve their status overnight – it takes time and effort. That means the best time to get started is, well, right now!
Here are 15 simple secrets that all millionaires know – memorize them and put them into practice in your own life if you want to achieve that millionaire status.
15. They always spend less than they earn
Many people who aren’t millionaires envision that when you reach that coveted status, you’ll suddenly be throwing bills around recklessly, splurging on luxury goods non-stop, and basically just spending money like it’s water. Uh… hate to break it to you, but that’s not what millionaires do – that’s what former millionaires do. While millionaires aren’t afraid to splurge on something here or there, they know that in order to stay a millionaire, you need to be spending less than you earn. It’s just simple math, but most people can’t seem to figure it out. When your earning power goes up, you can absolutely upgrade your car or house or wardrobe – within reason. If you increase your spending the same amount that you increased your income, well, then you’re back to where you started. Most millionaires aren’t the flashy kind you may see depicted on television or in movies – they live quiet, fulfilled lives.
14. They don’t bother with get rich quick schemes
Millionaires know that get rich quick schemes just don’t work. Sure, there are certain ventures where you may earn money faster than others, but anything that promises to make you a millionaire overnight is probably just a huge scam. They know it takes hard work and dedication to reach their goals in life, financial or otherwise, so that’s exactly what they do. They trust in things like compound interest and investing and are willing to put in the time and let their money grow (while they keep working hard to earn more in the meantime, obviously). It’s simple – they know that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and is consequently a waste of their time. So, while people who can never quite seem to attain their financial goals are desperately trying to find the quick fix solutions, millionaires are playing the slow game – that’s what sets them apart.
13. They’re not flashy with their purchases
One of the easiest ways to tell a millionaire from someone with an average income is… there is no easy way. That’s because most millionaires aren’t flashy with their money – they didn’t get to be millionaires by spending every dollar that found a home in their wallet. Just consider the fact that Warren Buffet, one of the most successful businessmen in the world, lives in the same modest house he bought decades ago. He could obviously upgrade without even blinking an eye but he chooses not to – and that’s just one of the reasons he stays on top. Millionaires don’t feel the need to prove they have money by dropping cash in a conspicuous or ostentatious way – they just buy what they want within reason, to satisfy themselves rather than to impress others. The type of people you see spending money with abandon and trying to make sure everyone sees how much cash they have to blow are the type of people who will never attain millionaire status.
12. They realize financial freedom, not just cold hard cash, is the key to happiness
Think about this – when you make more money, generally, you have more expenses. Obviously, this doesn’t just mean buying a way larger house than you need or a crazy expensive car. It’s just the day to day things – if you have a hugely successful business, it probably requires some expenditures. If you need someone to manage your wealth and make smart investment choices, you need to pay someone who is able to do that. However, in general, just having tons and tons of cash won’t ever make you happy. It may make you more comfortable, since you don’t need to worry about not having enough money to pay your bills, but it won’t make you happy. What truly makes you happy is financial freedom. What exactly does that mean? Well, it means you’re free to change your life whenever you want. If you realize you need a vacation, you have enough banked that you can take off for a month with no worries. If you absolutely hate your soul-sucking job, you have enough money to sustain yourself until you find another opportunity. You’re not stuck in any situation because of the fact that you don’t have enough money to make a change.
11. They know you need to have hustle and a strong work ethic
There are certain millionaires who may receive some type of windfall – perhaps they get an inheritance, or some worthless stock they buy a ton of ends up increasing in value overnight, etc. However, for the most part, millionaires earn their dollars with plain old sweat equity. That’s right – we’re talking about hard work. Most millionaires stay on top of their game precisely because they’re not willing to rest on their laurels and just coast in life. They’re always hustling, they’re always working to take their business or themselves to the next level, and they’re always willing to be the hardest working person in the room. Sometimes, it’s not always the easiest thing – you might have to sacrifice having beers with friends after a long day at work, or miss an episode of your favourite television show because you’re busy learning a new skill. However, in the long run, that kind of sacrifice sets you up for success.
10. They set goals
I mean, this one just makes sense. If you start working hard and putting in the effort, it may feel like you’re getting a lot done, but in the long run you probably aren’t. That’s because, in order to truly achieve the success that millionaires achieve, you need to have specific goals in mind. You need to know what it is you’re working towards. Sure, you may have a reasonably successful business without setting goals, but you’ll just never take it to that next level. Whatever your dream job or business is, take some time to think about what your goals are on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis. Figure out what you need to do to achieve those goals – and you’ll already be one step closer to your dream life. It may seem like a waste of time, but the amount of millionaires who consider goal-setting a crucial part of what they do prove that it isn’t.
9. They don’t watch a lot of television
Some of your favourite television shows may have characters who are millionaires living glamorous lifestyles, but you won’t find many millionaires who are lounging on the couch watching episode after episode of reality television. Tom Corley, the president of an accounting firm in New Jersey, put together a study on finances, and the results of that survey can be found in the book Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. What Corley found out is that only 23% of individuals considered wealthy said they watched over an hour of television a day, whereas 77% of individuals with less income said they watched over an hour of television a day. Sitting down to watch an episode or two of a show you enjoy may not seem like a big deal, but in the big picture, all that time adds up. Chances are that hour of television will just be wasted time, whereas if you had spent that hour learning a new skill or working on your business, you might be one step closer to millionaire status.
8. They’re constantly learning
Millionaires have busy schedules, but they make it a priority to constantly keep learning new things. And no, we’re not talking about formal education at a post-secondary institution. There are plenty of millionaires who never bothered to attend university at all. We’re just talking about learning in general – listening to podcasts that are relevant to their business, reading, checking out things like TED Talks. Basically, any way you can get some new information into your brain and get those brain cells working. They prioritize learning and make time for it in their lives because they know how important it is to success. So, if you haven’t cracked open a book in years and fill all your downtime with sheer entertainment, well, you may want to change some of those habits in order to reach millionaire status. There are plenty of clever ways to make the best use of your time, such as listening to podcasts or audiobooks while commuting or working out.
7. They incorporate time blocking
Many people think that multi-tasking is the key to success. After all, it proves you can juggle different projects at once, and balance it all, right? Well, not quite. Many studies have shown that people are just never as effective when they’re multi-tasking as they think they are. Instead, most millionaires opt to utilize time blocking. What exactly is time blocking? It’s the practice of creating blocks of time where you focus on specific tasks. So, one block may be when you handle your e-mails and dealing with your inbox. Another time block may be when you set up meetings, whereas another may be when you schedule phone calls. Even though it may seem like you’re getting less done by focusing on less at once, in the long run, you’ll be more successful by giving each task focused attention rather than trying to bounce back and forth between tasks.
6. They don’t overreact
Everyone has to deal with situations in life that are stressful on a regular basis. It’s just part of being an adult – you need to learn how to handle them and go on with your life. Unfortunately, many people get bogged down with those frustrations and find themselves exploding as something comes their way that just proves to be too much to handle. Millionaires have figured out how to ensure that never happens. They face just as many tough situations as others do, but have a knack for controlling their temper and attitude to ensure they never overreact to a situation. Overreacting sends a message that isn’t exactly a good one – a message that you fly off the handle, that you can’t be trusted in a crisis, etc. That’s precisely why millionaires have a secret – they don’t overreact. They can certainly be assertive when they need to be, but they know that the situation doesn’t always call for angry words – sometimes silence is the best answer.
5. They have a to-do list
This is similar to the idea of setting goals, but it just goes to emphasize that millionaires don’t become millionaires by accident – they get there because they don’t leave things up to chance. They set goals and make sure they’re achieving everything they need to achieve in order to reach their goals. In his book, Tom Corley found that approximately 81% of wealthy individuals stated that they kept to-do lists, and of those, a large portion said that they successfully completed about 70% or more of their daily tasks. So, even if they don’t achieve absolutely everything on their to do list, they manage to take far more steps in the right direction than someone who is just aimlessly wandering through each day trying to arbitrarily get things done. Having a plan is one of the easiest ways to succeed – you know exactly what you need to be doing and how you need to get to where you want to be.
4. They eat well
When it comes to specifically what type of diet you feel best eating, that varies – some people swear by vegan diets, whereas others need meat every single day. Some go gluten-free, others decide that paleo is the best option for their bodies. Whatever the particular style of eating you like best, one thing is for sure – millionaires aren’t filling their body with junk food. That’s because food is essentially fuel – it has a huge impact on how your body feels and functions on a daily basis. If you’re filling your body with processed junk, it’s going to be sluggish and feel, well, like junk. If you’re eating tons of healthy, whole foods on the other hand, your body will be performing at its highest level – which is exactly what you want. So, while they may indulge from time to time in a guilty pleasure treat, on the whole, millionaires eat fairly nutritious diets.
3. They’re early birds
There are some hugely successful individuals who are night owls and are able to get their best work done in the late hours of the night. However, for the most part, the vast majority of millionaires prefer to wake up before the sun even rises. They take the saying ‘the early bird catches the worm’ to heart, and make sure they’re awake and ready to catch that worm as soon as the opportunity presents itself. It may seem crazy to wake up at 4 or 5 a.m., but many successful millionaires know that they’ll be pulled in a thousand directions once everyone else wakes up and tries to get started on their own day. So, they ensure their success by establishing a morning routine that allows them to get a bunch done in the early hours of the morning before anyone else is even awake. Sure, those early morning alarms may be unpleasant, but being a millionaire certainly isn’t.
2. They exercise
This one has the same explanation as the millionaire’s tendency to eat well. Millionaires want to take care of their body to make sure they can continue living the successful life they’re living, so they make exercise a priority in their busy schedule. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to have a ripped physique under their business suit – it just means they exercise on a regular basis to ensure their bodies are functioning at the optimal level. And while some super successful millionaires opt to pay a famous personal trainer to come meet with them and tell them exactly what to do to stay in shape, others prefer the far cheaper and simpler solution – just lace up those running sneakers and go for a jog in the neighbourhood. So, in order to adopt this secret millionaire habit, you don’t need to have a personal trainer or a membership to an expensive gym – you just need to fit in exercise of some sort on a regular basis.
1. They do what they love
You can definitely become a millionaire doing just about anything if you work hard enough, save most of your income, and keep your eye on your long term goals. However, if you’re trying to become a millionaire doing something you absolutely hate, well, it just won’t be worth it in the long run. Most millionaires have one thing in common – they absolutely love what they do. Whether it’s the industry they work in or the company they founded, millionaires spend many hours working and hustling because they truly do enjoy what they’re doing. So, if your goal is to become a millionaire at some point in the future, instead of forcing yourself to go into a lucrative career that you absolutely detest, find what you truly love to do. If you’re passionate enough, you just may be able to find a way to monetize that passion and work your way to success.
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