By Lou Carlozo
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Did you know that controlling your temper could help you better manage your financial health? In “The Science of Success,” one piece of advice states you can adopt a “million-dollar personality” if you “adjust yourself to all circumstances, pleasant or otherwise, without losing your composure or showing your temper.
Money can’t buy everything, but some things can buy money, a fact the rich know all too well. In fact, many wealthy people have a set of habits and behaviors that they perform every day to stay focused, energized and motivated so they can continue to grow their fortunes.
So if you want to become rich like some of the most successful people in the world, copy their habits. Here’s what the wealthiest people do on a daily basis:
THEY KEEP THEIR COOL
To become a millionaire, you need to adopt a million-dollar personality, and that requires keeping your cool in stressful or unpleasant situations. “The Science of Success” is a collection of writings by and about Napoleon Hill, who studied the habits of more than 500 wealthy people to write his 1937 book, “Think and Grow Rich.” But in “The Science of Success,” one piece of advice states you can adopt a “million-dollar personality” if you “adjust yourself to all circumstances, pleasant or otherwise, without losing your composure or showing your temper. Remember that silence may be much more effective than your angry words.”
Financial planner and accountant Tom Corley, who conducted a five-year study on 233 wealthy and 128 poor people to write his book “Rich Habits,” seems to agree:
“It seems the poor cannot control their emotions,” Corley wrote on his Rich Habits website in 2013. “Forty-three percent of the poor admitted to losing their temper at least once in the past month vs. 19 percent of the wealthy.”
THEY SET AND STICK TO GOALS
This advice comes from Idan Shpizear, who parlayed $3,000 into a $27 million business, 911 Restoration, which helps homeowners recover from water damage. He says that focusing on goals makes the difference between survival and success.
“A lot of people jump straight to business but don’t have a vision or strategy and goals,” he said. “If you go through this process every day, your life will change.”
THEY MAINTAIN A DAILY TO-DO LIST
In his book “Rich Habits,” Corley stumbled upon another finding: Wealthy and successful people utilize to-do lists in order to achieve their goals. In fact, his research showed that 81 percent of the wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19 percent of poor people.
“Successful people are goal-oriented,” Corley wrote in his book. “They create goals all the time. Daily goals are represented in their daily to-do lists.”
So before you start your day, “compile a daily goal/to-do list. List only those things that have a realistic probability, 80 percent chance, of being completed that day,” he advised.
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“Prioritize this list and set a specific time in which to tackled them.”
Once the day is over, “evaluate the to-do list. This forces accountability,” wrote Corley.
THEY DON’T WATCH TV
This action item, or non-action item, has more to do with “Judge Judy” reruns being hazardous to your mental health. It’s about productive use of time, as Corley relates on his Rich Habits website.
According to him, only 23 percent of the rich admitted to watching more than an hour of TV a day, compared with 77 percent of poor people. And, 78 percent of the people who watch more than an hour of TV a day are tuning in to reality TV. That leaves time for wealthy folks to do other things that broaden their financial horizons, such as reading.
For this reason, Corley considers watching TV a “poverty habit” instead of a “rich habit.”
“Birds of a feather flock together” is an accurate saying for many rich people. Successful people tend to dedicate time to widening their circles of acquaintance and influence, whether through business organizations, LinkedIn or groups that attract ambitious, entrepreneurial minds.
To expand your professional network, tap into your existing network first. For example, reach out to your old college classmates or professors, connect with colleagues and co-workers at your current job, and even ask your friends and family members if they can help you find people to connect with.
THEY EDUCATE THEMSELVES
Podcasts. Avid reading. TED Talks. Whatever the forum, wealthy folks are absorbing more knowledge, according to Corley. His research showed that 63 percent of wealthy people listen to audio books during their commute to work vs. 5 percent of poor people.
You can find a selection of free audio books on sites such as ThoughtAudio.com, OpenCulture.com and more.
Investing might sound like a no-brainer, if you’re rich, you have plenty of money to invest, right? But the wealthy track and pour much more money by percentage into pensions and insurance, whether actively or passively, on a daily basis.
In its Consumer Expenditure Survey released in April 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that those in the highest 20th percent of the report’s income quintiles spent 15.8 percent on pensions and insurance. That’s more than six times as much as the lowest 20th percent.
THEY BLOCK THEIR TIME
New York Times best-selling author Brendon Burchard, who’s been photographed next to uber-successful people like Oprah, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington and more, is an advocate of blocking out time for yourself.
“Create scheduled blocks of time where you do only one thing,” he wrote on his website. “Use that block of time to move your life forward, to create art, to strategize, to work diligently on one important activity. If you don’t have blocks of time already set up in today’s calendar to do things that matter, you’re already losing ground.”
THEY KNOW WHEN TO CALL IT A DAY
In an article for Inc.com, entrepreneur and business adviser Murray Newlands wrote that one of the seven rich habits of successful people is knowing when to stop working.
“Oftentimes, as a self-employed business owner, I’ll fall into that habitual trap of working long into the evening, thinking that I’ll get more work accomplished. And the irony of it is that I seldom do,” he wrote. “Stop working at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., and do not do anything work-related, which includes checking your phone or emails, until the next day.”