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Over the years I've had the opportunity to “pick the brains” of many high-performance people…
And I've found 18 secrets that successful millionaires have in common.
Many of us love watching shows like Shark Tank and the Secret Millionaire and dreaming about being a millionaire one day. When you hear millionaires speak, they often come from humble backgrounds and somehow they don’t seem that different from the average person.
What secrets did they learn that made them millionaires and how can we apply these secrets into our own lives?
Here's a quick list that describes the most common success traits of millionaires:
- Highly motivated
All of us have desires and wants. The difference with millionaires is that they are not happy just to dream about it, they want to have it and are willing to do what it takes to get there.
Most of them are motivated by an internal purpose, perhaps a fear of remaining in poverty or a desire to prove to others their true self-worth.
Whatever it is, acquiring an internal purpose will drive you through the inevitable challenges you will face if you wish to be a millionaire.
- Focus on solving problems
When the average person notices a problem, they complain about it, try to ignore it or accept it. Millionaires don’t settle, they want to solve the problem.
From Henry Ford who refused to accept ‘No’ for an answer to Steve Jobs who couldn’t give up on solving imperfections in the computer, we know millionaires love solving problems and don’t tend to give up easily.
- Work hard
Millionaires don’t just work hard because they have to. They choose to do so. Many millionaires have acquired a hard work ethic that reaps results for them. Elon Musk has revealed that he has worked 100 hour weeks before.
I've also noticed that millionaires work every single day. This doesn't mean they work all the time, just that they do at least 1 thing every day to move them closer to their goals. My saying is “Always Be Hustling“, or on social media, #ABH.
- Work smart
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” Stephen R. Covey
While it’s important to have a hard work ethic, it’s also important to work smart and focus on priorities. We all have been given the same amount of hours in a day. Millionaires choose to use their hours on things that have a greater impact.
Tim Ferriss is famous for being able to create results while only working a 4 hour work week.
- Read a lot
Most millionaires and billionaires including Anthony Robbins and Mark Zuckerberg advocate developing a regular reading habit. Not only is it one of the most effective ways to learn new ideas from others but it’s also one of the cheapest ways.
In a previous episode of Pathways To Wealth, we discussed how to read books in 20% of the time without speed reading.
- Have a morning routine
Millionaires normally have morning routines. Not only does it help them to start their day well, it also helps them to keep their life in balance.
Here are some morning routines shared by successful entrepreneurs and leaders from several different industries.
- Have a daily plan or schedule
The reason millionaires have a daily schedule or plan is to enable them to get the most important things done. While some millionaires have a personal assistant to help keep them on track, most of us can achieve the same result by creating our own daily plan.
Without one, most of us would end up doing the most urgent things instead of the most important things.
Millionaires recognize that you cannot have the energy and mental creativity that you need to get things done if you are constantly sick or tired. Freeletics offers some good exercise workouts.
I like to get in at least 30-45 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) a day, and stand at my desk for as long as possible. After all, sitting is our generations smoking.
- Not afraid to be different
Millionaires are not afraid to think out of the box and be different. The ability to think outside of the box is what enables them to see opportunities that others miss. They are also not afraid to take bigger risks than the average person.
Of course, these bigger risks are also calculated risks and have to correspond with potentially greater rewards.
Richard Branson is also well-known for saying “If you are a risk-taker, then the art is to protect the downside”.
- They regularly seek ways to improve and get feedback
Millionaires tend to expect more from themselves and regularly seek ways to improve what they are doing. They often do this by seeking feedback and often have created feedback loops that allow them to continually find ways to improve.
Based on the Japanese concept of Kaizen (“good change”), millionaires like Tony Robbins and billionaires like Elon Musk all talk about the importance of regular feedback and focusing on improvement.
- Take responsibility for mistakes
Most of us hate being blamed for something but millionaires have learned how to take responsibility for their mistakes (and the mistakes of others who work for them). Not only does this inspire loyalty and admiration from the people who work for them, but it also allows them to fully learn from their experiences.
- They don’t dwell on mistakes
While millionaires are more comfortable taking responsibility for their mistakes, they also don’t dwell on them. There is no corresponding increase in productivity and creativity if you continue to berate yourself over a mistake.
The inability to move on keeps you stuck and can lead to fear and paralysis. On the contrary, the ability to forgive oneself and move on enables millionaires to continue taking action.
- They don’t hang around negative people
While millionaires love seeking feedback, they don’t like hanging around chronically negative people. Not only can negative people discourage you from a potentially good idea, but it can also suck your energy.
- They can focus on one thing when necessary
Millionaires are great at being able to focus on one thing at one time. This doesn’t mean that they are not involved in many projects; it just means that they have the ability to concentrate and focus when it is truly necessary.
Richard Branson is well known for creating 30+ companies but even he has the ability to intensely focus on a business during the startup and creation phase. Before he loses interest in a company, which is around the three to four-month phase, he will have already selected and built a team to take over.
- They surround themselves with people better than themselves
Millionaires are always seeking new ideas and people that can be a sounding board for their own ideas. Because of this, they constantly surround themselves with people who are better or at least on par with them. Oprah Winfrey is one such example and is very selective on who she lets into her inner circle.
- They are comfortable with making difficult decisions
It’s been said that the more successful you are, the bigger the problems that get thrown at you. Millionaires have just gotten used to making more difficult decisions. They also tend to be very decisive as delays not only cost money but also opportunities.
- They have a dream team
When you listen to interviews with people who have worked for millionaires, they sometimes mention that the millionaires are not superhuman but they are amazing at the one thing that they have chosen to do. Millionaires surround themselves with a great team who have the right kind of strengths to cover for their weaknesses.
- Give back
Millionaires who are able to sustain their wealth also know the importance of giving. You may have heard of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as heard of the stories of other billionaires who have proactively made decisions to donate their fortune to those who need help.
By choosing to share their wealth, they don’t make money the center of their lives and in return, continue to gather more and more people who support what they do.
So here there you have it; a list of 18 secrets of highly successful millionaires. Which ones are you going to use?