If you’ve ever looked at someone who was incredibly wealthy and written their fortune off to simple good luck, think again. Both formal studies and anecdotal evidence show that wealthy people engage in a number of behaviors that help bring them money and maintain their bank accounts. The good news is that anyone can learn and adopt these strategies to improve their own bottom line. Start with a few, and once they become habits through repetition and success, add a couple more. Read on to learn about 14 habits you could start today.
1. Don’t confuse high income with high net worth.
Wealthy people are always striving to grow their net worth, while regular people are just working to increase their income. How are they different? Your net worth is the value of everything you own, less what you owe. If every time you get a raise you buy a bigger house or nicer car, you’re really just staying at the same financial level. Wealthy people learn to live within their means, and when they receive a pay increase or windfall, they save or invest it, thereby increasing their net worth.
2. Know that there’s never a bad time in the economy to move up or start a business.
Many people put off trying to go out on their own or even ask for a raise because in their eyes, it’s never the right time. Wealthy people know that even during the worst economies, there is money to be made. Just look at all these businesses that were started during the Great Depression:
- General Foods
- Sony Music
- Walt Disney Studios
- Westin Hotels
- Penguin Books
3. Turn failure into opportunity.
Don’t let a few failures turn you into a quitter! Failure to wealthy people is both expected and an opportunity to do better next time. Perhaps no one has said it better than basketball legend Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
4. Develop multiple income streams.
Diversification isn’t just for stock portfolios, although it’s certainly a worthwhile strategy there too. Wealthy people rarely put all their eggs in one basket. By developing multiple income streams, you can weather unforeseen events like a company going under or a slow-paying client. Freelance workers often do this well, never allowing one customer to take up all of their time. If you have a full-time job, build a second income through investments or a small home business.
5. Learn how to delegate.
Another habit of wealthy people is they don’t try to do all the work themselves. Early on in their business ventures, they learn how to delegate responsibilities to reliable coworkers or staff. Today, getting help with time-consuming work is easier than ever with global outsourcing via the Internet. Without learning to delegate, you’ll never have any free time, no matter how much money you make.
6. Hang out with inspirational people.
To move up in any realm, it helps to hang out with people to inspire and motivate you. In business, it may mean finding a mentor or joining a club of like-minded people with whom you can brainstorm. It also means distancing yourself from naysayers, toxic people and gossips that detract from a positive outlook and only function as emotional vampires.
7. When you find something that works for you, replicate it.
Wealthy people don’t constantly reinvent the wheel. When they find something that works for them, they repeat it again and again, whether that’s a smart investment or a retail venture that experiences great popularity (think: Starbucks).
8. Don’t try to make money overnight.
While occasionally a stock splits or a company sells and millions change hands overnight, money is usually made over the long term, little by little. Wealthy people know that making money is a marathon, not a sprint. Also, they are not seduced by offers that sound too good to be true because they know better.
9. Value education.
Wealthy individuals value education of all types. Although formal instruction at a college or university can be wonderful, education comes from everywhere. Wealthy people read the newspaper, scour the Internet and talk to the man on the street. They continue to improve their minds throughout their lives, and they instill that same value in their children.
10. Enjoy small indulgences.
Making money can almost feel like a penance if you deny yourself all the time in the name of saving and growing your net worth. Wealthy people know that by allowing themselves small luxuries, they can better resist the temptation of large purchases and reward themselves along the road to success. Instead of eating out all the time, fr example, consider making a delicious coffee or bottle of wine your indulgence.
11. Make earning money fun.
“Do what you love and the money will follow.” How many times have you heard that adage? It surely does help to be passionate about what you do, especially when you have repeated failures that make success feel impossible. However, there are also going to be times when the tasks before you are simply less than enjoyable. You can overcome some of the unpleasantness of grunt work by turning it into a game. See how many cold calls you can make in one day, or challenge yourself to exceed your record of most hours billed in a month.
12. Exceed everyone’s expectations on all levels all the time.
People who triumph in accruing wealth have a habit of overachieving. They go above and beyond as a routine element of whatever they do, bettering both their own standards and those of others. You may take some flak for this at first, but once you begin making money, people aren’t so quick to make fun of your all-out efforts.
13. Constantly set goals and objectives.
Wealthy people have goals, and when they reach them, they don’t sit back and rest on their laurels but instead set new goals to surpass the last ones. Don’t be afraid to have lofty goals, as this is another hallmark of the rich. One way to make any kind of goal more attainable is to break it down into manageable chunks. Having objectives, or steps along the way to achieving your goals, is a way to make them less overwhelming and to give you a checklist to keep yourself on target.
14. Maintain an abundance mindset.
One of the traits most common to wealthy people is they do not think in terms of scarcity but rather in a mindset of abundance. When other people succeed, the wealthy do not begrudge them their victories. Instead, they think, “Hey, if that person did it, I can to.” They do not see another person’s accumulation of wealth as less for them; they see no limits to the amount of money and good things in the universe. When you can start believing that, you are already wealthy in your mind and spirit!