Most millionaires in America are self-made. They started from scratch like the rest of us and worked their way to financial freedom.
Becoming a millionaire is no mystery if you can copy what other successful people have done. Lucky for us, Tom Corley has studied thousands of millionaires and discovered the things that most of them have in common.
I have seen some of these traits while working as a personal trainer for a big box gym. Being in contact with these successful individuals made me see firsthand how they behave. I agree 100% with the habits I am about to show you.
Habits of self-made millionaires
1. They practice frugality
Let’s get one thing straight. Most millionaires are frugal.
Now, this is not the main reason why they become millionaires. But it is one of the many qualities that makes them successful.
Practicing frugality doesn’t mean you are cheap with everything in your life; it simply means you prioritize your spending. Allocating resources in places that will give you the best return on your investment.
Frugality is a rich habit because, initially, resources are limited. Wasting precious money on luxury cars, expensive clothes, or dinners will ensure you don’t have much left to invest in the things that matter.
Another reason being frugal works for most millionaires is that if you can live with less now, you could probably operate a business with limited resources.
Being frugal gives millionaires an advantage over those other business owners that like to overspend.
Quality sleep is essential to making the right decisions. Most millionaires sleep at least seven hours. And although many can get by with less than seven, the majority agree that the more sleep you get, the better.
Your ability to make good decisions is based on how rested you are. Good sleep is another rich habit of the elite.
Even now, taking time to unwind at the end of the day will help you reach deeper sleep faster.
Sleep is associated with problem-solving abilities. When you get enough sleep, you can negotiate a better salary, convince your partner to save up for a dream vacation or even start a budget.
Reading is good in general. But when you are in the beginning stages of your journey, you want to focus on reading about subjects that can improve your business or career.
Fiction reading does not help with business. Instead, you can read topics like interviewing well, entrepreneurship, business regulation, or even taxes.
Self-made millionaires are masters of their craft. They love learning more about their businesses and from other people as well.
Love for learning is a skill that can be developed, and it’s all about doing it long enough until it becomes part of your life.
You can start by following blogs like the one you are reading now. Look for authority figures in your career who are a couple of steps ahead of you.
In addition, learning can take many forms, such as:
- Taking a college class.
- Connecting with a mentor.
- Reading a book from a subject matter expert.
- Listening to a TED talk.
- Watching youtube videos with actionable advice.
If you want to be a millionaire, constant learning must become part of your life.
4. They’re positive
Life is hard, but running a business is even harder.
Most self-made people have made their money by creating their own businesses. A business is the platform where they build their success.
A positive attitude is a requirement when you have to face rejection, especially in the initial stages when a lot of things go wrong, and you just want to quit. Being positive is an excellent quality when you want to improve your money mindset.
Positivity is learned in childhood, but can also be developed later on.
Positive thinking helps to lower stress.
It makes it easy for people to be around you also. And a happier team attracts more talent as well.
You can be the hardest working person in the world, but if you get sick, you won’t make it too far. Even if you only get sick once.
Achieving your financial goals will take energy and time.
Tom Corley found out that these self-made warriors exercise at least 30 minutes daily doing some aerobic activity.
Exercise improves mental functioning, which helps you think clearer and make better decisions.
It also reduces stress and improves your immune system. Both can help you work longer hours with less back or hip pain.
Being sedentary leads to chronic diseases down the road.
Most people develop high blood pressure or diabetes because they never developed proper habits early in life.
If you work full-time and have a family, your time may be limited, but there are always creative ways to work out at home and make the most of your exercise time.
6. They work with mentors
Working with mentors is another habit of successful people. They are not afraid to ask for help from people who know more than them.
Most regular folks feel they have to know everything and must have all the answers. But the rich think differently.
They know that hiring a professional or a mentor will save them thousands of hours from trying to learn stuff on their own.
This matches my experience training rich people at the gym. Mostly everything I taught related to fitness could be found by watching a video or reading a book.
But it would take you anywhere from six to eight years to learn something I could teach you in six to eight months!
Life is too short, but finding a mentor will help you stay ahead of the game in whatever area you want to improve.
Rich people are good at planning.
They plan short term, but also look ahead into the future. This mindset allows them to set high goals while pivoting when neccesary.
Action plans can also be long term like saving for retirement.
Planning is a millionaire habit because if you don’t set a direction for your life, someone else will step in and send you in the direction that benefits them.
Research shows that millionaires save at least 20% of their income for retirement, even with the income from their first job.
Wealthy people like to be around positive individuals that have goals in life.
Being surrounded by people who believe in your mission motivates you to keep going with your goals.
Most self-made millionaires worked on developing relationships with people that helped them succeed. Self-made doesn’t mean alone; it means building the right team.
Success follows success. So when you start achieving some financial goals, you become something like a magnet that attracts others with a similar mindset.
9. They postpone gratification
If you want to go from poor to rich like most selfmade people, postponing gratification should be at the top of your list.
Millionaires know how to use dopamine to their advantage. By delaying gratification, they don’t let dopamine control their lives.
It is easy to give in and buy stuff when we want, rather than when we need it. Postponing gratification leads to many wasted dollars that could have been invested for better returns.
Delaying this dopamine rush can take practice. It is much easier to pull out your credit card and buy something for yourself now. You may even rationalize it by thinking you’ve worked hard for it.
But millionaires know the power of delayed gratification, and they can wait for a payday that is 100 times higher rather than the momentary satisfaction of some small purchase.
10. They budget
Budgeting is a wealthy quality because you need to know where your money is going.
Budgeting is a skill that takes practice. It is the ability to categorize all your expenses and then assign a set amount to each category. When the money in that category is spent, you must be disciplined to wait until next month when the budget resets.
Millionaires know this secret very well. Because every phase of your life works with budgets. Such as:
- Personal expenses
- Business expenses
- Even calories can be budgeted.
Budgeting is on top of the habits of self-made millionaires and it is how we managed to pay our mortgage quickly.
The best part is that once you have the discipline to start a budget, you can continue expanding and improving your budget to match your lifestyle.
11.They build systems
Building systems is like creating copies of yourself that do the work while you sleep.
It also helps to develop standard operating procedures within your life and your company.
These procedures work whether you are there or not.
Building systems is another thing that the rich do early on while climbing the financial ladder.
In the beginning, you have to be a jack of all trades. You must know a little about marketing, networking, and entrepreneurship.
But as you gain a measure of success, the next step to growing your company is to create systems that can be replicated and then have people run these systems.
Millionaires know this very well. They can run entire companies, sometimes companies that are not even in the same industry because they know how to leverage the power of systems.
You can also create systems in your life right now.
If you want to copy this financial habit of millionaires, try building systems to track your expenses. Create a spreadsheet where you can see your costs every month.
You can build a system for exercising. Finding youtube videos that you can follow to increase your stamina or, even better, get yourself a personal trainer.
Will you be the next self-made millionaire?
The number of self-made millionaires keeps increasing as more and more people learn the secrets I share in this article.
Even if you don’t plan on being a millionaire (most millionaires don’t), you can have financial freedom by following the strategies mentioned here.
The best time to start working on your habits is now, and good habits stay with you for the rest of your life.
A thought becomes an action.
An action becomes a habit.
Habits shape the rest of your life.
So it is time to look at your habits and evaluate which ones are taking you closer to your goals and which aren’t. If you find yourself in need of new good habits. Now you know where to find them.