- Scott Jarred, CFP
7 Lifetime Habits of Millionaires
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."
Wise words from Aristotle. And a good reminder that what often separates success from failure is our own willingness to do what it takes to be successful. Yes, there are certain habits that separate the wealthy from the rest of the mortals. The good news is that these habits aren't restricted to only a select few. With a little hard work, anyone can form the same habits of millionaires.
Forming the habits for financial success doesn't happen overnight, though. Ask any wealthy person how they got there, and they most likely won't tell you that it was luck. Achieving financial success takes discipline - and constantly refining that discipline - throughout the entire journey. Discipline is how you get from Point A to Point B. One of the best ways to instill discipline is by forming and sticking to the habits that inch you closer to your destination.
In many instances, the destination is always evolving for successful people. A critical component to the wealthy mindset includes a long-term view of success. Once they achieve one accomplishment, they are often onto the next soon after. For them, success has no expiration date; rather, it's a lifetime process. Their journey is a constant mix of setting goals and cultivating the necessary habits to achieve them. Essentially, the long-term view helps keep successful habits in play over a lifetime.
Studying the successful habits of the wealthy can help you hone the skills for reaching your full financial potential. To get you started, here are seven lifetime habits of millionaires:
1. Rise and grind. Successful people tend to get up early and get to work early. After all, the early bird gets the worm, right? The wealthy are always striving to get that worm - both pre and post-millions. They aren't afraid to put in long hours of work to get it, either. At the risk of throwing in another cliché, Rome wasn't built in a day. Neither is financial success. Millionaires are well aware of this, and maintain the habit daily to maintain their wealth.
2. Stay in-the-know. It's hard to make smart financial decisions when you don't know what's happening in the world around you. We live in a global economy; an event on one side of the world can easily impact the other. Millionaires are never in the dark when it comes to current events, whether it be finance specific or general world news stories. They make it a point to read the paper, watch and/or listen to the news and look at market trends.
3. Find a hobby. Despite its appearance, the life of a millionaire isn't all about making money. At least, a healthy lifestyle isn't all about making money. To be successful financially or professionally, you have to be passionate about things that don't come with a zero on the end. These interests give your life a deeper meaning, and re-energize your mind and body so that when you do go to work, you're the best you that you can be. Whether its traveling, family time, boating, surfing or painting, millionaires know the importance of "me" time.
4. Follow the golden rule. Or in other words, treat others the way that you want to be treated. You don't have to be a ruthless shark, ready and willing to take everyone around you down to be successful. Karma tends to creep up when we least expect it; burning bridges today can come back to you tomorrow. Try treating your colleagues and peers with the same respect you would want them to give you. Most millionaires have discovered that taking a humble approach has a greater impact in the end.
5. Reflect on the past. One of the most critical factors to reaching your full financial potential is the ability to learn from your past mistakes. There is no tougher critic on yourself than you. As a result, we will often keep gambling with our money to fill the void of financial loss or we may even forsake the market altogether. But if you can't reflect on what went wrong and learn how to overcome past mistakes, personal growth is stunted. Millionaires often say the best lessons they learned were from themselves.
6. Keep going. The motivation to be successful can light a fire in all of us. The flame just burns brighter, stronger and longer in some people. For many millionaires, perseverance isn't just a habit, but a way of life. Even after reaching their full financial potential, the drive to be successful doesn't leave them. Their long-term view makes them well aware that there will be stumbles along the way, they may even fall. But they stick with it through the good and the bad.
7. Set and refine goals. To touch on an earlier point, setting goals for is a crucial ingredient for success. They're the milestones that help you reach your destination. But, what happens once you've reached your destination? Well, many millionaires would tell you that nothing changes. Just because you've reached a certain level of financial success doesn't mean it's game over; there is more success to be had! Millionaires often revisit their goals, and refine them based on their current circumstances.
Enacting all of these habits - or even one of them - doesn't guarantee that you will become a millionaire. Not only that, but we all have different definitions of financial success; for some, becoming a millionaire may not be one of them. But there is a greater lesson to be learned here: We are what we repeatedly do. Forming successful lifetime habits can only increase your chances of reaching your full financial potential.