The difference between self-made millionaires and the rest of the pack is that they don’t leave their achievements up to fate. Instead of waiting for success or wealth to magically fall in their lap, they take actionable steps every single day to inch closer to the finish line.
While becoming a millionaire might seem like an impossible pipe dream, the amount of self-made ones is increasing every year. Take it from someone who went from having $200 and no job to being a successful CEO — it’s no cakewalk, but it is something that is possible and within your grasp.
Without further ado, here are proven routines of self-made millionaires that will put you on their trajectory today:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.” — Steve Jobs
Many people spend most of their lives climbing the corporate ladder, trying to get ahead of the next person. In reality, the most successful people have found a way to go against the tide of what everyone else is doing. Sara Blakely, the youngest self-made billionaire woman in the world, made a shapewear that went against the things other companies were doing. Similarly, Arianna Huffington created a whole new type of media platform, which critics said was “un-survivable.”
If you find yourself in the rat race, it may be time to get out and think about what you can do that will truly revolutionize what’s always been done. This doesn’t have to entail inventing the next iPhone either; something as simple as rethinking your tasks at work can bring along massive innovations.
Self-made success stories take time to study the trends, concepts, and financial news each day to become an expert in their field and stay up to date on what’s current. For example, Warren Buffett reportedly spends up to 80 percent of his day reading, and said his knowledge stacks up “like compound interest.”
Take a page out of this mega mogul’s book and commit to learning something new about your field or industry every day. Many trade publications and blogs exist to help keep you current on what’s important so you can get ahead.
We talk about our physical health all the time, but mental health is just as (if not more) important for the self-made millionaire. Lately, people have become more aware of the benefits that sitting and clearing your mind can bring, including improving memory and dealing with stress. Billionaires are no different — in fact, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5 a.m. each day to meditate.
If you’ve never meditated before, try just taking a few deep, calming breaths in the morning to help set the stage for your day. You can reap the benefits of mindfulness meditation in just five minutes daily.
This tip goes for your finances as well as your career success. Financially, start saving your money and investing as soon as possible. Self-made billionaires realize the enormous value of compound interest, and that a small amount invested now can become a fortune later.
Additionally, some of the world’s largest companies are run by CEOs that are under 40 — such as, most famously, Mark Zuckerberg at 32. These young CEOs were able to capitalize on their strengths early in life and use it to catapult to success.
While you don’t have to be young to achieve success, but you should adopt the attitude that it’s never too early to start thinking about your future. Don’t be afraid to take a leap in your career, even if you think you’re too inexperienced. If you keep waiting for the perfect timing to take an opportunity, it may never come.
“The only people who don’t tumble are those who never mount the high wire,” said Oprah Winfrey.
One thing all millionaires and big thinkers have in common is that they were told “no” at some point in their lives. The trick is to keep swimming against the tide.
Realize that “no” is just someone’s opinion, nothing more. The difference with these success stories is that they pushed forward past these bad experiences and rejections, and even used them as a springboard for success. They realize that no rejection is set in stone — it’s just one person’s (often flawed) viewpoint.
You might think that the constant pursuit of more wealth would leave top-performers constantly unhappy with what they currently have. In reality, the opposite holds true. Studies have found that grateful individuals have a 10 percent higher overall income.
A big part of this comes from viewing luxury differently and not correlating more income with more spending. You’ll also reap a slew of priceless benefits from gratitude, such as improved health and better relationships.
So instead of being unhappy with your phone as soon as the next model comes out, try using this mindset. The results will surprise you.
In terms of financial success, a quick thing you can do to instantly take a step towards more wealth is to automate your savings. Even if we intend to save our money, we’re only human, and sometimes we forget or spend more money than we realize. However, if you automate your savings, that money is instantly tucked away where it’s harder to spend carelessly, and easier to use for investing or bettering your financial future.
If you’re not sure how much money to set aside, I suggest using the practical 50–20–30 rule, which calls for categorizing spending and allocating 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants and activities, and 20% on bettering your financial future (like investing).
As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
Wealthy entrepreneurs and powerful executives didn’t get to where they are by living inside their comfort zone. For many of us, risk isn’t something we’re comfortable with, and that’s why taking five minutes out of your day to try something new is so important. Doing this on a regular basis trains your brain to be okay with a challenge or to feel comfortable with putting yourself out there, even if the result is failure.
This could be as simple as trying a new food, asking for help, talking to a new person, or requesting feedback from a peer. It could be something bigger like investing your money or learning how to say “no.”
The more successful you are, the bigger the risks and the more likely you will face criticism. If you’ve primed yourself for that reality by participating in little actions like these everyday, you’ll be golden.
It’s a big misconception that wealthy people live in a cutthroat world where success is achieved in a complete vacuum.
Rather, 93 percent of wealthy people use a mentor to each even higher, while also helping others in the process. They realize that people are often genuinely happy to help them navigate the twists and turns as they develop — after all, they’ve been there. For some ways to get started, see my 4 tips on finding (and keeping) a mentor.
Beyond finding a mentor, incorporate the sharing of success and seeking help into your everyday life whenever you deal with others. According to Dale Carnegie’s classic How To Win Friends & Influence People, successful people rarely complain or criticize others, and they are always sincere and willing to lend a hand. They find that for everything they give to others, they eventually get it back tenfold.
“Lucky” and wealthy people also expect to be lucky and wealthy. Unlucky people expect just the opposite. Quite often, these odds turn out to be true.
Extensive studies on positive thinking back this up:
A landmark paper by Barbara Fredrickson found that “positive emotions momentarily broaden people’s attention and thinking, enabling them to draw on higher-level connections and a wider-than-usual range of percepts or ideas.”
Over time, those skills picked up with a positive attitude translated into “becoming successful, healthy, and happy in the months and years to come.”
Think back to the phrase, “some people just seem to have all the luck”. Unsurprisingly, optimism plays a key role in luckiness, as it greatly affects luck production and perception. So dare to think positive — it will snowball into even more wealth and success.
If you have any other tips to add to the roster, please leave a comment!
Originally published at medium.com