Being rich is really about two things:
- Accumulating Wealth and
- Keeping the Wealth You’ve Accumulated
When you study rich people like I have, particularly the self-made rich, you hear a lot of very inspirational stories about how ordinary individuals accumulated their wealth.
It’s clear to me that the worse the circumstances, the more important it is to have a calling, main purpose or lifelong dream.
Those things give birth to enormous passion and passion is a type of energy that fuels the pursuit of any purpose, calling or dream.
Passion gives you the energy to overcome any obstacle placed in your way and enables you to push on until you realize your dream.
Another equally important part is keeping the wealth you’ve accumulated.
The stories of individuals who have lost their wealth, after accumulating it, are important because they teach valuable lessons.
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Holding on to the wealth you’ve accumulated is just as important as accumulating it.
Getting rich requires that you forge certain specific habits that make getting rich possible.
- Daily Growth – Daily self-improvement is a must for those who are pursuing wealth. You must make a daily habit of acquiring knowledge. You must also, on a daily basis, hone your skills – perfecting them until you become expert in them.
- Rich Relationships – Forging relationships with other success-minded people is critical to success.
- Dream-Setting – Building goals around each one of your dreams makes it possible for you to realize each of your dreams. Every dream is like a rung on the ladder. You climb the ladder of success, one rung at a time. This takes time. Eighty percent of the self-made millionaires pursued some dream or vision. They then built goals around their dreams and never quit trying, even if it meant bankruptcy or divorce. In fact, 27% did fail. But they still did not quit. They regrouped, got back up and kept trying.
- Be Persistence – Persistence, I found, eventually results in good luck. Good luck pays dividends in the form of success and wealth.
- Taking Only Calculated Risks –
- Develop a Niche in Your Career or Business – Those in my study who had a unique expertise in a particular area were paid the most by their company or were able to charge more to customers or clients than their competition. You can develop your niche on the side, in the mornings, at night or over the weekend through self-study or by taking classes at night.
- Create Multiple Streams of Income – Sixty-five percent of the millionaires in my study had at least three streams of income. This creates a hedge against failure and poverty. When one stream suffers, the others come to the rescue.
- Be Patient – Eighty percent of the rich in my study did not become rich until age 50. Fifty-two percent did not become rich until age 56. It takes a long time to create wealth. You have to learn to be patient if you want to become successful.
- Save Money – Ninety-four percent of the rich saved 20% or more of their income. They began saving long before they became rich. They then put their savings to use by taking certain calculated risks.
- Take Calculated Risks – Success requires risk. You have to take some risk in time and money in order to build wealth of any kind. I’m not talking about gambling here. I’m talking about an entirely different type of risk called calculated risk. Calculated risk is a type of risk that requires you to do your homework. Good luck finds the prepared. This risk requires that you gain some experience and working knowledge in some area and then put that knowledge to work by taking action. It might be real estate, investing in some private business, starting your own business, etc. The millionaires in my study took risks with their savings. Fifty-one percent invested their savings to start up or invest in private businesses or make investments in specific areas such as real estate, unique products or unique services.
- Be Optimistic and Enthusiastic About Life – Seventy-one percent of the self-made millionaires in my study were optimistic about life. They believed in themselves. They enthusiastically pursued their dreams and goals. Their optimism infected everyone around them. They became magnets for other success-minded people. This helped them in creating teams that would eventually help lead them to success.
- Control Your Thoughts, Emotions and Your Words – Eighty-one percent of the rich made a habit of controlling their thoughts and emotions. Not every thought needs to come out of your mouth and not every emotion needs to be expressed. Doing so damages relationships; relationships that could otherwise open important doors for you and members of your family.
- You Can’t Succeed on Your Own – The rich build teams. They find apostles for their cause – individuals devoted to them and who share their vision and purpose. The team players benefited financially from their success. You need the cooperation of others to help you succeed in life. The rich are good at forming teams of people who are able to cooperate together, focused on pursuing a singular dream or purpose. No one does it on their own.
- Be Open-Minded – You can’t learn anything if you are closed minded. Being open to new ideas, new ways of doing things and the opinions of others is critical to learning and growth. Growth is the parent of success. You must grow into the person you need to be in order for success to visit you.
- Give First, Get Later – In order to get, you must first give. You must give value to others either in the form of service or through some product offering. Giving always comes first. It was no surprise that 79% of the rich in my study volunteered for charities or non-profit groups. They made a habit out of giving their time, money and expertise.
- Finish What You Start – The rich don’t quit. They stick to something until they succeed, go bankrupt or die. Eighty-percent were focused on achieving some goal and 55% spent one year or more on one singular goal. They do not leave projects uncompleted before starting other projects.
- You Can’t Get Rich if You’re Unhealthy – “You can’t make money from a hospital bed.” That’s what one millionaire told me during my research. The rich exercise every day, they moderate their consumption of junk food, they drink alcohol in moderation, they avoid fast food restaurants, they floss every day they eat healthy foods and most don’t smoke cigarettes. Consequently, 82% of the rich said they had no health issues.
- Don’t Be Cheap – The rich are generous with their time and money. Because they operate from an abundance mindset they are not afraid to donate their time and money. There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Many of the rich in my study were frugal with their money when it came to their personal expenses, but were nonetheless generous to others in need.
- Be Fearless – The rich have made a habit of overcoming their fears. They are not superstitious and believe they can overcome any obstacle that is put in their way.
- No Excuses – The rich believe they are the architects of their lives. They don’t give excuses, they don’t rationalize failures and they don’t blame anyone but themselves for their circumstances in life. They take individual responsibility for their behavior, their choices and their lives.
- Be a Cheerleader – Rich, successful people are great cheerleaders. They encourage other success-minded people who are pursuing a dream or some purpose in life. Their own success helps them understand that all things are possible in life, irrespective of where you start out in life.
Staying rich requires that you forge certain specific habits that ensure the wealth you’ve accumulated does not disappear.
- Put Your Wealth to Work – Accumulating wealth is important but you must also put your wealth to work if you want to keep it. Putting your wealth to work means investing it wisely in stocks, bonds, real estate and other business opportunities.
- Set Aside Part of Your Wealth for Retirement – Save 10-20% of the income you make and put that money into long-term retirement assets that you don’t touch until you retire.
- Watch What You Spend – Do you know where your money goes? You should. Tracking what you spend opens your eyes so you may know exactly where your money goes. Tracking your spending allows you to make adjustments to how you spend your money. If you don’t track your spending it can get out of control. This Lifestyle Creep can cause your wealth to disappear over time. I’ve written often about the need to avoid Lifestyle Creep.
- Avoid Spontaneous or Emotional Purchases – Never buy anything on impulse. It is almost always the wrong thing to do. That spontaneous or emotional purchase will lose its luster after only a few weeks. Then you’re stuck with something you don’t need and that does not generate any income.
- Live Below Your Means – Living below your means keeps you from falling into the trap of Lifestyle Creep. No matter what good fortune visits you in life, do not change your standard of living. Don’t supersize your life by buying things you really do not need. Live a modest, simple life.
Never forget wealth is a two-step process.
The game doesn’t begin and end with getting rich.
You must forge Rich Habits that guarantees the wealth you accumulate sticks around for a long time.