There are countless ways to become a millionaire, but most people who achieve that level of financial success share many powerful habits, according to Tim Corley, who has made an in-depth study of self-made millionaires.
Here are some of the real difference makers. How many of these do you practice?
Multiple streams of income. They might have earned that first million in one endeavor, but as they amass wealth the rich hedge their financial futures by putting money in all sorts of investments from stocks and bonds to real estate to small businesses. This diversity insulates them from excessive loss should one sector turn sour. This is a great strategy for retirees at every income level. Owning rental properties, operating a small consulting business and making income-generating investments all create additional income streams to ease the burden on your nest egg.
Set dreams, then goals. Financial successful people usually got there by pursuing a very specific dream and setting concrete goals to achieve that dream. Corley says you can use the same process to set a course for the perfect life. Write down your dream life in 500 words or less. Then make a list of the dreams that must come true to achieve that life. Now, list the goals you must hit to turn those dreams into reality. Finally, pursue those goals until they are achieved and your dream life is a reality.
Get a mentor. Most millionaires can easily identify one or more people in their lives who have molded their thinking and taught them important skills. These mentors often parents, teachers or bosses. Sometimes a book can actually serve a similar role in one’s development. I consider Clark Howard and Donald Trump to be my mentors. My association with Clark taught me that it’s possible to profit by providing people with straight forward, unbiased, transparent information about the critical topic of personal finance. My exposure to Trump during my appearance on The Apprentice, showed me the importance of following your dreams and sticking to your beliefs even in the face of relentless criticism.
Stop wasting time. Tick-tock. Every hour you waste flipping around the TV dial or scrolling through Facebook is one that can’t be used to chase your dream. Corley says 67% of the millionaires he surveyed spend less than one hour per day on TV, and 63% spend less than on hour per day surfing the web for kicks.
Never quit. Persistence is everything. Corley says 27% of the millionaires he surveyed failed in business before having their eventual success. Persistent people are unstoppable. They find ways around obstacles large and small. They ignore naysayers. They don’t take no for a final answer. They keep moving forward, every minute of every day.
Habits are powerful because they are so ingrained. But they can be changed. All it takes to adopt any of these practices is awareness and determination. Decide what habits you want to eliminate, and which you want to make. Track your behavior every day to insure the change is happening and adjust accordingly. In an average of 66 days, says Corley, you will have new habits and be on your way to a better life.