Growing up as kids we learned our values and behaviour by imitating our parents and social groups. Good role models will provide the roadmap for your development and learning how to make money is no different. If you want to be rich then you should take note of millionaires. Life isn’t a coin toss over who gets to be successful. Millionaires share common success habits, and if you want to join them in the 7 figure club then consider internalising these 8 habits.
1. Wake up early
Millionaires sleep anywhere between 6-8 hours depending on whether less sleep will impact their productivity. But studies from Harvard and other universities show that early risers are more proactive. They’re also more likely to anticipate problems and minimise them efficiently, which leads to more success.
They are usually out of bed before 7am and have cultivated a morning routine that gives them momentum for the day. Exercise, cold showers, and meditation are a few of the activities that send them into a state of wakefulness. While they have a full battery, they often tackle the biggest task of the day first or get the mundane things out the way like emails so they have less distractions throughout the day.
2. Set and track goals
Most people don’t just stumble upon wealth. They usually start in one place and want to get to another. Millionaires aren’t all driven by money but they all have a distinct purpose to drive their life forward.
First they define what they want e.g. a Ferrari, early retirement, launching rockets into space. Most, consciously or not, understand why they are doing it. Many want to escape poverty while others seek power or validation, and some strive to make a particular impact on people’s lives.
Non-millionaires often share these same desires but millionaires typically set more ambitious targets and use SMART goals to achieve within a set timeframe. Then they break down what’s required to get to where they’re going and create smaller daily, weekly and monthly goals that can be tracked to help them stay on course.
A key component of this is planning their day out and prioritising tasks based on importance and urgency. They also use finance spreadsheets/apps to help monitor budgeting, performance and cashflow.
3. Take responsibility
Most millionaires are willing to take ownership of responsibilities that would be too much pressure for the average person. This often requires a degree of confidence and self assuredness. They’re usually entrepreneurs who are willing to put themselves on the line in exchange for the autonomy to determine their own future. And the vast majority understand that whoever is to blame for a problem, everything ultimately falls on them as a leader. Taking responsibility helps them to assume control to find a path forward. They will do whatever it takes and live with the consequences of making tough but neccesary decisions.
4. Practice focus and self discipline
Today, a significant chunk of success comes down to staying focused. So many hours of productivity are lost during the day because attention gets split between work, texting, social media, TV, going out, side thoughts, mental health, hobbies, and the list goes on. Balancing so many different activities, especially when multitasking, plummets any chance of success. Not to mention that giving in to distraction weakens your willpower, which is the mental muscle you need to exercise to do the things that need to be done.
Millionaires understand that picking a lane, then maximising quality work time and minimising distraction gives them a massive competitive advantage. That’s why it’s important to choose something that interests you.
It’s also worth noting that discipline beats motivation. Millionaires aren’t pressing snooze on their alarm clock because they don’t feel like getting up yet. They train themselves to get up without thinking through the power of habit and mindfulness, and then find motivation as they move along the day.
5. Take time to learn and grow
Success is the accumulation of lots of small actions. But if you don’t make time to understand the failures and seek new information, you’re almost doomed to repeat the same mistakes and stagnate in growth. Millionaires keep learning, listening, and reflecting on experience to improve as time goes on.
Reading books is a common habit that has been publicly expressed from billionaire investors like Warren Buffet to juggernauts such as Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey. These days, we even have additional resources to learn on-the-go with audiobooks on our phones.
6. Delegate for time management
Good time management involves placing the most valuable tasks first and planning ahead to maximise output in the least amount of time. Time is the most valuable commodity to them and they do not hand it out freely if it’s preventing them from reaching their goals.
You only have 24 hours in a day to solve problems and make progress. Making money is always going to require a wide range of skills across areas like sales, finance and operations. Millionaires know when to get the right people to take on tasks and projects so they can focus on the bigger picture.
7. Take calculated risks
High risk leads to high reward. People who are poor look for safety and guarantees because they come from scarcity so fear loss and failure. If they do take a risk, it’s usually a go-lucky form of gambling like the lottery.
Successful people take risks in a controlled way. They research and use their vast experience to mentally, intuitively, or numerically calculate the likelihood of success when making decisions. Then they go for it. Often they will mitigate some risk, for example, by allocating a certain percentage of their wealth to stable lower return investments such as bonds and mutual funds. However, they tend to keep less money in the bank and put it into appreciating assets that offer a much higher return, even though their value may go down at any given moment.
Niches and other gaps in the market provide new opportunities that are much less competitive but there’s less information to determine how lucrative they are. Millionaires often spot these gaps and strike while the iron is hot to pioneer a space for themselves to dominate. Sometimes it’s just people following their passion like content creators in the earlier days of YouTube before you could make money from it. Many risked countless hours and resources to entertain and build an audience for free and it paid off as some now make millions every single year.
8. Think about and visualise wants
Has there ever been a time where you’ve thought about something (or someone) and then you start to see things around you that relate to this thought? Well, your mind can only process a finite amount of information before overloading so you have a ‘reticular activation system’ to lock in and focus on certain things at a time. The Reticular Activating System is responsible for our wakefulness, our ability to focus, our fight-flight response, and how we ultimately perceive the world.
Millionaires use this natural mechanism to think about and visualise what they want. As they keep thinking about a select few things, they start to see opportunities everywhere they go. They will experience seemingly unrelated events and find connections that help them move towards their goal. It can create an obsessive drive and make the path to success much clearer. In other words, while staying present to the moment is great, keep your eyes on the prize.