Most people have been misled to believe that self-made millionaires are endowed with some discipline-superpower that renders them immune to failure and adversity and supercharges them with incredible grit, determination and perseverance.
That, I learned from my Rich Habits research is patently false.
Self-made millionaires have no more discipline than anyone else.
Self-discipline is powered by willpower. Willpower, however, is short-lived. No matter how strong you grow your willpower muscle, it will still fade away after just a few short hours.
But self-made millionaires do have something else, far more effective than willpower, which empowered them to overcome mistakes, adversity, failure and obstacles.
What is this special something?
Self-made millionaires forge certain unique habits which automate grit, raw determination, perseverance ….. and good luck.
This is why developing good habits is so crucial to success. Good habits put you on autopilot for success – they automate grit, determination persistence and good luck – crucial ingredients to creating success and building wealth.
Successful people create their own unique version of good luck I call Opportunity Luck. They create this luck by forging Good Luck Habits.
The Good Luck Habits of Self-Made Millionaires
- Take Only Educated Risks – When you do your homework for potential investments and understand every conceivable outcome, you are engaging in Educated Risk. Educated Risk takes the “Risk” out of investing.
- Rich Relationship Habits – Building relationships with other upbeat, success-minded individuals was a common habit among the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study. Why? Because wealthy, successful people are door openers – they can, with a phone call, put you in front of the person who can help you achieve your goals and dreams in life.
- Hello Call, Happy Birthday Call, Life Event Call – These phone calls help build and maintain important relationships.
- Volunteering five hours or more a month – Many of the self-made millionaires in my study had a pet non-profit that they devoted their time to. In many cases, they were the decision-makers on the boards of these non-profits. Volunteering puts you in direct contact with these decision makers.
- Growth Habits – These are habits that keep you growing in knowledge and skills.
- Reading to learn 30 minutes or more every day – Help you grow in knowledge.
- Deliberate Practice and Analytical Practice three hours or more a day – Helps you become a Virtuoso in what you do to earn your income.
- Good Health Habits – These are habits which maintain or improve your health. It’s hard to build wealth from a hospital bed. Good health habits reduce sick days and boost productivity.
- Eating healthy non-processed foods – Keeps you healthy and productive.
- Exercising aerobically every day – Improves brain performance, boosts longevity and gives you more energy.
- Anaerobic exercise three days a week – Improves brain performance, boosts longevity and gives you more energy.
- Sleeping 7-8 hours a day – Sleep cleans the brain, re-sets your emotional equilibrium and boosts optimism.
- Daily Goal Habits – Daily habits tied to your goals and your dreams.
- Save 20% or More of Your Income – You can’t invest if you don’t have any savings. You can’t take advantage of financial opportunities if you don’t have any savings.
- Optimism Habits – Habits which foster a positive outlook on life.
- Gratitude – Gratitude is the gateway to a positive mental outlook. Positivity boosts optimism, which is critical to success.
- Meditation – Calms the mind and reduces stress, improving brain performance.
- Developing New Skills related to what you do for a living – Makes you more valuable to others.
- Gaining new knowledge related to what you do for a living – Makes you more valuable to others.
- Choose who is in your Inner Circle – Your inner circle infects you with their habits and their outlook on life.
- Good Gossip – Saying only kind, favorable things about those inside your inner circle. This builds trust others have in you and strengthens your relationships at the same time. So Good Gossip is like hitting a double in baseball.
- Experimentation – Only through experimenting with new, different activities can you uncover otherwise hidden, innate talents. Oftentimes, those talents can be monetized, giving you an additional revenue stream, which boosts your wealth.
These Rich Habits automate persistence.
And good luck visits the persistent.
Eventually, Rich Habits create good luck in the form of Opportunity Luck – outcomes you never anticipated or outcomes that far exceed your expectations.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner, public speaker, and author of the books “Effort-Less Wealth: Smart Money Habits At Every Stage of Your Life” and “RichKids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life“. Corley’s work has appeared on CNN, USA Today, The Huffington Post, SUCCESS Magazine, and many other media outlets and podcasts in the U.S. and 27 other countries. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider and CNBC.