To begin thinking like a millionaire, one must first start acting as one. Well, thanks to new research by Tom Corley, it’s now a whole lot easier than you’d think. Check out Cluboid’s rundown of the habits and behaviours of the rich and famous.
People assume that it takes money to make money. They believe in an ironic cycle of ‘the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,’ that stops the average Joe from ever ascending the ranks. Well, while it may be statistically more likely for those that have money to make more of it, becoming ‘rich’ in your own right certainly isn’t a given. In fact, for every child of a millionaire who has earned themselves ‘millionaire’ status, there has also been another who hasn’t.
Success isn’t a circumstance, it is a mindset. The determination to make millions isn’t something you can buy, it instead comes from a shed load of self-discipline, and using that discipline to establish productive habits. It’s not what we have - it’s how we use it. After all, we have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyoncé does. That being said, how exactly are the Beyoncé’s of the world using the mere 24 hours a day that the universe afforded them? Well, we’re glad you asked. Here are the 10 most common habits of the rich and famous, based on the findings of Rich Habits founder, Tom Corley.
We mentioned that discipline was possibly the most important trait of the successful, so how better to practise it than by hauling yourself from the comfort of a warm bed? By rising early you receive a daily opportunity to combat your inner lazy person and practice the habit known by motivational speaker, Robin Sharma as ‘Mind over Mattress.’ This is a mindset which will put you in very good stead in the business world, and earns you back a significant amount of time that would’ve otherwise been written off. It turns out, that by getting up just one hour earlier every morning, by the end of the year you would gain an additional 15 days.
Barack Obama, Howard Schultz and Richard Branson are all notable early birds, and even Buddha himself was known to rise as early as 3am to begin meditation with the Tibetan yogis. Not only does early rising correlate with better mental health, but it also establishes a better diet and routine which both help to optimise productivity. Corley’s research found that 44% of the wealthy woke up at least three hours before work was due to start compared to only 3% of the bracket deemed as ‘poor’.
Winning mindsets start by fueling the body efficiently. Successful people know that food is fuel, and in order for the brain to work at it’s most productive, it must be maintained the same way as a piece of machinery. Certain foods provide vitamins and antioxidants that actively impact the body’s ability to stay strong, stimulated, energised and will even optimise memory and concentration. You are extremely unlikely to feel motivated to change the world if you are depriving your body of the nutrition it needs to run at its best. Frankly, you’ll feel hard pushed to get out of bed.
Corley notes that the amount of wealthy people consuming less than 300 calories of ‘junk food’ a day is 70%, whereas 97% of poorer people reported eating more than 300 calories of junk food every single day. As junk food affects energy levels significantly, it’s no wonder that those eating better were able to accomplish more.
Similarly, exercise will also keep you on top form by maintaining a healthy heart and improving circulation. Many successful people - such as Dwayne Johnson and Ellen Degeneres - swear by early morning exercise regimes, including things such as golf, yoga, running, swimming or meditation. The British Journal of Sports Medicine claim that not only does exercise benefit your heart, but “physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are beneficial to brain structure, brain function and cognition”. Corley’s research cements its importance to success by noting that 76% of wealthy people exercise 4 or more times a week.
This is an important one. Success is not linear, and it certainly won’t come easily. People who have fought for success all share an inner strength and absolute refusal to give in. That certainly doesn’t mean that they haven't ‘failed’ at some things along the way, it just means that they weren’t deterred by it. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school numerous times, Lady Gaga was dropped by her first record label just 3 months after signing with them, and Dr Seuss was turned down by a whoppping 27 publishers before receiving even a hint of interest in his writing.
Successful people become successful people due to their resilience and ability to get back up after a knock. It may sound like a simple concept, but how many times have you been deflated by negative energy or a colleague who dismissed an idea you were actually quite excited about? How often has your opinion of something changed because someone else didn’t see the value in it? People who excel in their fields take validation from one person, and one person only: themselves. The earlier you learn to dive head first into opportunities truly trusting yourself, the faster you will see things begin to happen. Take it from college dropout, turned Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
Lawyer, investor and business extraordinaire, Charlie Munger once declared ‘In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn't read all the time—none... ZERO’, and this speaks volumes. Reading greatly increases one’s awareness of different topics, inspires creativity and improves your ability to understand different perspectives. This in turn, makes you far more valuable to colleagues, clients and customers.
Of the 88% of wealthy people that claimed to read for at least 30 minutes a day, only 11% read purely for the purpose of entertainment. 77% instead spent their time investigating, through use of audiobooks, biographies, historical texts, career-related texts and books aimed at self-development. Successful people aim to improve themselves, and actively seek out skills and knowledge that sets them apart from competition. In doing so, they uncover new and exciting money making opportunities. What is really boils down to is getting into the habit of focusing avidly on one’s continual growth. Of those in Corley’s study that claimed to be struggling financially, only 1 in 50 engaged with texts designed for self-improvement. Naturally, this exposes them redundancy and replacement, as those around them continue to move (and improve) alongside a thriving business. That doesn’t mean to say that there is only value to be found in non-fiction texts, however. Fiction has also been proven to have positive effects on attention span, pattern recognition and sense of creativity, not to mention vocabulary.
Successful people operate with the mentality that everyone they meet can teach them something, and are much more open-minded because of it. It allows them to always maintain an open stream of communication with people they have met, which keeps the channel of opportunity open. If a job or position becomes available, are you more likely to advertise for it, or suggest it to someone you’re already in talks with? Getting your name out there means that you remain in the forefront of people's minds, and therefore you create lucrative opportunities for yourself.
When we say ‘they network’, we don’t mean that they’re out of the house 7 nights a week schmoozing. Networking can be as small as engaging with some influencers on Twitter, sending out a few emails or dropping someone a quick phone call - just as long as some element of outreach is done on a daily basis. This kind of behaviour helps generate meaningful bonds, and provide masses of scope for business ventures.
Forbes also determined that recommendations were the number one driving force for consumer purchases, so the more people you’re connected with, the more people you know by association. Not only that, but if people know what you’re in the market for, you may even inadvertently land yourself a better job. Nearly ¾ of the wealthy people interviewed by Corley actively network, in addition to completing monthly volunteer work.
They say that millionaires, on average, have 7 individual sources of income. This means that the majority of business that successful people have going on is bubbling beneath the surface. For example, Ashton Kutcher - although primarily known as a Hollywood actor - invested in the online videocalling application, Skype when shares sat at only $2.75 each. After Skype sold to Microsoft for $8bn, Kutcher’s original investment skyrocketed. He continues to be very active on the investment scene.
Similarly, many stars choose to invest in property which they then renovate and rent or sell on for sizable profits. Hollywood A-listers Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio are all known for their presence on the American real estate markets, and continue to flip properties then pocket the difference. It is but one of the ways that the savvy business person keeps on top of their finances and ensures that wealth remains stable and consistent, even if one or two things fall through. The earlier you can learn to sensibly hedge your bets in this way, the more practised you will be when distributing much larger sums of money.
Similar to number 3 in our list, those that have reached success have an unwavering belief in themselves. This again, sounds like an obvious point, but it is much more difficult that you might think. The ability to withstand negativity or critique in such a way that your self-image never falters is quite the skill to possess.
Bruce Lee once said: ‘Absorb what is useful, discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own,’ and this perfectly encapsulates the winning mindset. By acknowledging that you are the sum of a completely unique set of circumstances that can never be recreated in the same way again, successful people enable themselves to come back fighting every single time because they believe in what they are capable of. This inherent belief in themself means that they say ‘yes’ to every opportunity, and never let doubt discourage them from bravely stepping into the unknown. They give themselves wholeheartedly, even sometimes risking failure, in the hope of self-improvement and gain. People trust them because they trust themselves. This, like any other skill, must be practised daily to be maintained. Many successful people choose to practise positive affirmations and visualisation as a method of encouraging themselves and keeping their eyes on the prize. If you put all of your energy into rejecting self-doubt, then ‘failure’ doesn’t feel like failure. It feels like an opportunity to learn.
Those who have achieved success in their fields, have learnt how to master the art of organisation. This is because they value time and are exceptionally well versed in self-discipline. This also means that ‘downtime’ is also scheduled, so it encourages a very healthy work/life balance. After all, slow and steady wins the race, and if you’re burning the candle at both ends then all you’re really doing is making bad habits that definitely can’t and won’t be sustainable. Even Obama himself maintains that he must have his uninterrupted 45 minutes of gym time every morning, and family dinner every night.
Not burning yourself also means that they accept advice and help when it is needed. Many successful business personalities will tell you about the value of an inspiring mentor, and see the help that is offered not as embarrassing but as encouraging. They look at guidance as time-effective problem solving, and another form of self-improvement. Pride will only exhaust you and prevent you from reaching your targets long term. It is essentially self-sabotage. Remember - the classic smart person’s mistake is thinking no one’s smarter than you.[
To some, challenges are obstacles that they just cannot be bothered to tackle. To others, they are an opportunity to show the world what they’re made of. Much like the old sales adage, ‘An objection is not a rejection, it is simply a request for more information,’ successful people approach challenges with the intent to fix them. Not only that, but they generally do it quietly.
If someone rants and raves about a business issue they are having, they are in essence proclaiming ‘I can’t handle this,’ which can do a lot of damage to your reputation. If your boss, potential partner or client get the impression that you’re snowed under, you could very well miss out on an exciting venture or promotion. You risk making yourself look much less capable and more importantly, less reliable.Successful people approach challenges with an attitude that instills faith, and consequently could cement further collaborations. In essence, they’ve turned something negative (a challenge) into something positive (business potential).
It is unlikely you are going to be paid millions to do a role that doesn’t require an element of risk, let’s be honest. The risk in most people’s case is opposing the views of the many to pursue something they believe in. It’s because it’s risky, that it’s actually quite rare, and as we all know: rare equates to value.
Self-made millionaires are the intelligent people who challenged the status quo by being unique and unapologetic about it. Everybody thought that Lady Gaga was completely insane at the beginning of her career, but now we see that she was actually incredibly brave to start as she meant to go on. She carved her very own niche in the musical market, and consequently earnt herself legitimate icon status. The point being, sheep don’t make millions. Those that unashamedly swim against the tide are the ones who change the world. Tim Ferriss, entrepreneur and motivational speaker instructs us ‘learn to be difficult when it counts’, as in actual fact, it pays to be inconvenient sometimes. You don’t need to apologise for feeling a certain way, you don’t need to censor your ideas for acceptance, and you certainly don’t need to be sorry about following your gut. You just need to act on it. 79% of the wealthy feel that they are responsible for their financial situation so operate with some accountability. Interestingly, 82% of those struggling feel they are victims. Guess which attitude seems to be working?
Well, we’ve learnt that hitting millionaire status is bloomin’ hard graft, but it can be attained through sincere and avid dedication to your cause. It’s all about small incremental changes that amount to big, lifestyle overhauls. Set your sights on success by injecting a few of these habits into your daily routine to go from average joe to business pro. In doing so, every day will be like adding a coin to a metaphorical piggy bank, except when it’s full, the contents will be far more valuable. After all, you invested all the same, but this time it was in yourself.