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If you’ve gone through life thinking that all millionaires were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, maybe it’s about time you adjusted your perspective. The difference between poverty and wealth is mostly a matter of mindset and the little habits we practice in our everyday lives.
That’s why Tom and George might be exposed to the same opportunities in life. But Tom goes on to achieve incredible success, whereas George wonders what magic formula his friend used to “hit the jackpot.”
In the minds of a poor man, there’s no such thing as hard work. To them, poor people are victims of circumstance, while rich people are simply lucky folks who had things work out for them without putting in any effort of their own. But as we’ve just highlighted, success or failure is a cumulative result of the little habits we practice in our day to day lives.
Read on as we unpack the top 20 habits that you should start practicing today if you want to become a millionaire.
1. Set clear goals
The first habit that will make you a millionaire is to define your own success and then set clear financial goals. And the convention is to set goals that are out of sight but not out of reach. You can apply the SMART criteria, ensuring that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. After setting those goals, come up with a clear roadmap on how you intend to accomplish them.
2. Visualize success
Another habit that will turn you into a millionaire is to visualize the results. After setting your financial goals, spend some time visualizing how life will be when you’ve finally achieved them. Picture yourself living in your dream home, driving your dream car, or owning a series of high-end apartments. Having this mental picture in front of you will fuel your drive to succeed, especially during bad days.
3. Have a daily must-do list
Most people think that millionaires are only focused on long-haul projects. While it’s great to have long-range plans, you must also ensure you maintain a daily to-do list. Before you retire to bed each day, try to write down about five things that you must accomplish the following day. Prioritize your daily to-do list depending on their significance and urgency.
4. Avoid instant gratification
Millionaires sacrifice a lot to achieve their financial success. Most of them forego temporary pleasures in favor of long-term success. If you appreciate the significance of delayed gratification, you won’t mind living in a modest home or driving a second-hand now.
5. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes
It may be tempting to gamble your entire fortune with the hope of hitting the jackpot. But before you do, remember that there’s no such thing as an overnight millionaire. It takes patience and diligence to become a millionaire.
6. Be a risk-taker
Life is all about risks, and you can’t become a millionaire if you’re averse to risk-taking. It may be comforting to continue living in your comfort zone. But remember, the rewards we get in life are mostly the results of the risks we take. Of course, you must ensure that you only take calculated risks.
7. Read personal development publications
There’s hardly any millionaire out there who doesn’t read productivity books and other personal development publications. While you’re at it, focus on financial publications, such as The Economist, Kiplinger’s, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Other genres you can consider include corporate leadership, lifehacks, biohacks, how-tos, and self-help books.
8. Don’t fear failure
This habit ties back to the importance of risk-taking. The fear of failure may deter you from venturing out of your comfort zones. However, failure and success are intertwined. Whenever you fall, don’t waste your precious time wallowing in agony. Pick up a few lessons from your failure, wake up, dust yourself off, and keep pressing on. If you ever think of throwing in the towel, remember Thomas Edison who failed a whopping 999 times before his final breakthrough came on the 1000th attempt.
9. Turn your passion into a profession
The world isn’t short of people who hate their jobs so much, but can’t quit because those jobs pay their bills. A lack of passion in your job is the surest way to stagnate in the same position. But if you turn your passion into a profession, you stop viewing your job simply as something that pays the bills. Instead, work becomes pleasurable and your goals become achievable.
10. Be an early riser
This is a no-brainer. If you’re serious about becoming a millionaire, you’ve got to set the alarm clock an hour or two earlier than you already do. Even if you cannot report to your current job at 4:00 am, waking up early will allow you to improve yourself in various ways. You can choose to read a book, network, or check your emails.
11. Save, save, and save some more
Having a monthly budget isn’t enough. If you can, you must also see to it that you save more than you spend. Start by making a few adjustments to your spending patterns, including unsubscribing from paid television packages and reducing outside dining. Also, practice the 30-day Rule to avoid splurging on unnecessary items.
12. Find a mentor
Another habit that will turn you into a millionaire is finding a mentor. Generally, the mentor should be drawn from the same industry that you have interests in. If possible, look for a mentor who you can access physically. They’ll be more willing to share with you the secrets to their success on one-on-one encounters, as opposed to via email, phone, or social media.
13. Establish multiple income streams
You’ll hardly become a millionaire if you invest your entire time in one job. And much less if you’re employed. So, consider establishing multiple income channels. A great way to go about this is to invest in several industries.
14. Have a monthly budget
No matter your present earnings, you should try to understand your cash flow dynamics, which basically include your monthly income and expenses. After that, proceed to establish a monthly budget and stick to it. Having a stipulated monthly budget will save you from unnecessary expenses and allow you to get your financial life under control.
15. Stay away from debt
There’s a common misconception that millionaires view debt as a tool for investment. And that every millionaire owes some bank huge loans. Nothing can be further from the truth. On the contrary, most millionaires credit their success to their ability to stay away from debt.
16. Spend time with millionaires
“You’re the sum total of the company that you keep.” Spending time with millionaires will not make you rich instantly. However, it will allow you to learn about healthy millionaire habits first-hand.
17. Give generously
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that most millionaires are philanthropic. But they don’t just give because they have more to spare. If you care to find out, you’ll realize that many millionaires have always been cheerful givers. Helping others comes with a sense of personal fulfillment and fuels your drive to create more wealth.
18. Stay healthy
It would be ironic to spend your entire life creating wealth and then die at 40 of a lifestyle disease. Millionaires understand this fact, which is why they invest a great deal of their time working out and eating healthy diets.
19. Let go of your negative attitudes and prejudices
This is more like changing your perception of success and shedding those self-limiting prejudices. The fact that there has never been a millionaire in your bloodline doesn’t mean you can’t become the first one.
20. Understand that time is the greatest resource
There’s simply no overstating this. Time is indeed the greatest resource. And the day you appreciate that basic fact will be the day you start to stay away from time-wasting activities, such as watching the television. If you must watch the television, focus on financial news. Avoid too much content on sports, entertainment, and politics.
Becoming a millionaire doesn’t necessarily involve making drastic changes in your life. It starts by practicing the simple yet practical millionaire habits that we’ve highlighted in this post.