The financially successful often get a bad rap in our society, especially from the poor. We see footage of Donald Trump on TV, or watch movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street” and think being financially successful means living a gluttonous life of excess at the expense of the impoverished. This may be true for a few, but for many financially successful people, their success is only part of the story.
What we don’t see is the passion, hard work, mistakes, thrift and plain old smarts that went into creating the lifestyles of the rich. The media didn’t follow them around with cameras when they were living in cars, working in diners, or recovering from debilitating addictions, before they achieved their financial success.
The good news is babies aren’t born with millions of dollars in their bank accounts, and everyone has the ability to become financially successful. As Wallace D. Wattles put it,
“Talented people get rich, and blockheads get rich; intellectually brilliant people get rich, and very stupid people get rich; physically strong people get rich, and weak and sickly people get rich.”
Here are 10 surprising things financially successful people do differently:
1. They surround themselves with positive people and do not waste time on negativity.
It is interesting to note that 67% of wealthy people watch one hour or less of TV every day, and only 6% watch reality shows.
2. They make sacrifices at first.
The financially successful will accept a reduction in income, drive a cheap used car, and downsize their house when they’re first starting out. They then take the money they save and invest it or re-invest it in something that will make them more money down the road. Sometimes, wealthy people choose to live frugally their whole lives. Warren Buffett is known for driving his car until it looks so disreputable that his employees pressure him into buying a new one.
3. They don’t waste time complaining.
If something bad happens, they change course, learn from it, or look for a way to use it to their advantage.
4. They make paying off debt and saving money a priority.
They know that “When one is bound by debt, he has no choice but to stay in a miserable job, location or house against his own will.”
5. They don’t blame the government or economy for their situation.
Instead, they take full responsibility for themselves and their actions, and believe they are in charge of their own futures. As Jim Rohn pointed out, in the six years it took him to make his first million dollars, the fact that a Republican President was replaced by a Democrat didn’t make one bit of difference.
6. They focus on long-term financial goals.
Instead of just making money and spending it, they take the time to create financial plans which enable them to reach long-term goals, and then they stick to those plans.
7. They don’t assume they already know everything.
86% of wealthy people love to read and believe in lifelong education. 88% of them read educational or work-related material for 30 minutes or more each day. 63% listen to audio books as they commute to and from work.
8. They offer services or create things of value.
They don’t just consume what other people have produced.
9. They do more than show up at the office, do their jobs, and go home.
They seek out ways to go above and beyond the call of duty, even if they are wage earners in a 9-5 job. 44% of financially successful people wake up three hours before work starts.
10. They are more excited about the process of creation than the money they make.
It’s not that they don’t care about making money, but money isn’t their top priority. The financially successful get satisfaction from making their clients and customers happy.They don’t necessarily need all of the latest gadgets and toys.
A Final Thought: While none of us have control over the government, our negative friends and relatives, or the economy, we can control how we think. If we can adopt a financially successful mindset, sooner or later we will become financially successful in reality, and in the meantime, we will FEEL financially successful, even if we’re strapped for cash. So we have nothing to lose by changing our thinking. Happy success!