Unless you win the lottery, or receive an inheritance from a rich aunt you didn’t know existed, it is unlikely that you will become a financial success overnight. Bill Gates, Oprah and J.K. Rowling didn’t join the millionaire club without putting in years of hard work and persistence. In today’s world, it’s not all about reaching the milestone of becoming a millionaire, but finding financial independence: living to work, not working to live.
How nice would it be to get up every morning and look forward to going to work? For some people that might be working from home, or being your own boss, or climbing the corporate ladder. To be successful you need dedication, passion and most importantly, great habits that will keep you on the path to achieving your dreams, and who knows, you might even become a millionaire in the process.
Here are 20 powerful habits that millionaires do, to get you on the right track to success.
Get Up Early
When you read an interview with a millionaire they often say that the key to their success is that they get up early every morning and do something other than work. They might hit the gym, read or meditate. Mary Kay, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, was asked how she managed to fit everything in, along with raising a family. She replied that she gets up an hour earlier each day, which automatically gives her an extra work day a week. Genius! What could you achieve with an extra 7 hours a week?
Millionaires only have 24 hours in a day, just like the rest of us! What separates them from us mere mortals is time management. They know how to manage their time and get the most out of their day. While the rest of us go home and turn on our favourite TV show, the wealthy are learning, reading, taking risks and doing things that contribute to their success. With the average person spending 4 hours a day in front of the TV, that’s an extra 28 hours a week you could be using in a more productive way.
You don’t have to decide on one ultimate goal, but sit down regularly and work out what you want to achieve. Perhaps you have a long term goal of getting a promotion, or maybe you want to email five potential clients this week. Spend time figuring out exactly what you are working towards, and give your goals a realistic timeline.
If your goal is to open a chain of restaurants, you are not going to be able to wake up tomorrow and get that done. You need to break the bigger goals down into achievable chunks. What can you do today, or in a week, or by the end of the year? Success doesn’t come overnight and you will be able to stay motivated if you break it down so you see small gains regularly.
Sticking with the theme of goal setting, you don’t need to wait to reward yourself. Did you get through your to-do list today? Treat yourself to a night off and watch a movie with a glass of wine. Maybe you signed a new client, or wrote a job application. Small wins are the perfect time to celebrate and take pride in what you have achieved.
Take a Break
You are no good to anyone, especially yourself, when you are stressed, exhausted or unwell. If you need some time off, take it. Cut back on your responsibilities, even if it’s only for a few days.
Reduce Decision Making
Did you ever notice that Steve Jobs wore the same thing every day? Why would he, along with Albert Einstein and Mark Zuckerberg, do this? It’s one less thing to think about every day. Find ways to reduce your own decision making on a regular basis. Create a capsule wardrobe, or follow a pre-prepared meal plan. Create time to focus on other things each day.
Never Forget an Idea
Ideas can strike at any time. Make sure you always note your ideas down in a notebook or on your phone as soon as they come to you. Lots of people say inspiration comes in the middle of the night. Keep a pen and paper by your bed to write thoughts down first thing in the morning.
Keeping a diary is crucial to avoid missing important dates and deadlines, however you can also schedule in time for daily activities. Maybe you want to schedule in half an hour to respond to emails first thing in the morning, or spend an hour on Sunday night putting together your social media posts for the week ahead. Turn regular tasks into habits by adding them to your diary.
You’ve heard the saying ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know.’ You never know when someone you meet will be your foot in the door of a lucrative opportunity. Be kind, gracious, and genuine with everyone you meet. Don’t worry if you are introverted and networking makes you nervous, with a little practice you will start to feel more comfortable.
Use Your Time Wisely
You have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé, use them wisely and you will see an improvement in how much progress you can make. Get up an hour or two earlier to plan your to-do list and get a start on your day. Set a timer so you don’t end up wiling away hours on Facebook or YouTube. Taking breaks during the day is important to keep up your productivity, but don’t forget to get back to work.
Look After Yourself
Invest in yourself by eating a balanced diet, exercise and make time for relaxation. In order to give yourself the best chance of success, you need to be the best you can be, and that includes your health.
Contrary to what some people may think, nobody knows everything. Be open to learning, whether it be by asking experts, taking on study, or conducting your own research. You can always improve your knowledge and skills.
Manage Your Money
Whether you are just starting out and only have two cents to rub together, or have made it big and the dollars are rolling in, bad money management could be the difference between living rich or poor. Engage an accountant and a financial advisor you trust.
Don’t make excuses
Making excuses and assigning blame just takes up time that you could be spending on something productive. Don’t say to yourself ‘I’m too tired,’ and waste the rest of the day. Take a nap for an hour and then get back to work. If you think you don’t have the time, knowledge or resources to follow your dreams then you’ll never achieve them. Stop making excuses and spend your energy on finding solutions.
You don’t need to be shy when it comes to telling people about yourself, your skills or your business. If you are offering a product or service, practice your elevator pitch (a one sentence explanation of what you are selling) so you can recite it at a moment’s notice. Prepare thoroughly for job interviews and believe in yourself. You have what they want, make sure you let them know!
While achieving goals can feel great and like you are getting somewhere, don’t understate waiting for the right moment. If you are planning something big like a large purchase, changing jobs or even opening a new business, consider the plan carefully and act when the time is right.
No successful person got to where they are without setbacks. Accept that things don’t always work out and learn from every experience. Setbacks can be painful and make you question whether you are doing the right thing. Allow yourself some time to recover before deciding on a way forward.
If J.K. Rolling had accepted the first twelve rejection letters she received, there would be no Harry Potter empire. Instead she believed in her work and persisted until she got the yes she was waiting for. There is no one path to achieving your goals. If you find yourself at a dead-end, try another route.
Nobody likes an obnoxious attitude or someone who constantly big notes themselves. If you behave in a way that alienates people, you’ll find support for yourself and your business hard to come by. Instead, be generous with your time and resources, and you’ll find yourself surrounded with likeminded people who want to help you succeed.
Playing it safe doesn’t often lead to the success stories we hear about. Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and take a risk. Throw yourself in the deep end by applying for that promotion you’ve always wanted, or start the business you’ve always dreamed of.
If achieving your dreams were so easy, everyone would do it. The truth is: finding success can be scary. Sometimes it means facing the unknown. Maybe you are planning to quit your job, or face your fear of public speaking by standing up in front of a crowd to pitch your idea. If you have passion and have put in the work to reach your goal, there is no need to be afraid. Go for it!
It might be cliché to say, but you are in charge of your own destiny. If you see a different future for yourself there is no reason not to start working towards it today. Our world is full of people who have turned their dreams into reality and there is no reason why you can’t be one of them.