Habits of the Rich

Career DevelopmentLibby Kane wrote an article entitled, 10 Ways Rich People Think Differently, summarizing some research done by Thomas Corley. He theorizes that, being rich has very little to do with luck and everything to do with habits. Corley, spent five years monitoring and analyzing the daily activities and habits of people both wealthy and living in poverty (233 wealthy and 128 poor, specifically), and isolated what he calls “rich habits” and found that wealthy people are by and large optimists who practice gratitude and look at happiness like a habit.

Corley explains many of his findings in his book “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.” Five (5) of the habits resonated with me, but you can read the original article at this link.

Here are my Five (5):

1. Rich people believe their habits have a major impact on their lives. “Daily habits are critical to financial success in life.” (Rich people who agree: 52%; Poor people who agree: 3%) Wealthy people think that bad habits create detrimental luck and that good habits create “opportunity luck,” meaning they create the opportunities for people to make their own luck. “When I looked at luck,” Corley remembers, “a lot of rich people said they were lucky and a lot of poor people said they were unlucky.”

2. Rich people value relationships for professional and personal growth. “Relationships are critical to financial success.” (Rich people who agree: 88%; Poor people who agree: 17%) Not only do rich people feel that their relationships are critical to their success, but they put a lot of effort into maintaining them, making a habit of calling up contacts to congratulate them on life events, wish them a happy birthday, or reaching out just to say hello. “When I applied the hello calls and the life event calls to my own life,” recalls Corley, “I ended up making another $60,000 as a result.”

3. Rich people think that saving is hugely important. “Saving money is critical to financial success.” (Rich people who agree: 88%; Poor people who agree: 52%) “Being wealthy is not just making a lot of money,” explains Corley. “It’s saving a lot, and accumulating wealth. Many of the people I studied aren’t wealthy because they made a lot, but because they saved a lot.” He’s trying to instill what he calls the 80/20 rule in his own children: Save 20% of your income while living on 80%.

4. Rich people value creativity over intelligence. “Creativity is critical to financial success.” (Rich people who agree: 75%; Poor people who agree: 11%) While rich people are more likely to believe that creativity influences success, poor people are more likely to think that being “intellectually gifted” is critical. They’re also more likely to believe that wealth is usually accidental. “If you look at my stats, you’ll find that a lot of wealthy people were C students,” says Corley. “There’s more to wealth than just being smart.”

5. Rich people are willing to take risks. “I’ve taken a risk in search of wealth.” (Rich people who agree: 63%; Poor people who agree: 6%) “A lot of the wealthy people in the study were business owners who started their own businesses,” Corley explains. “They became successes because they were master self-educators who learned from the school of hard knocks.” In fact, 27% of the wealthy people in Corley’s study admit they’ve failed at least once in life or in business, compared with 2% of the poor. “Failure is like scar tissue on the brain,” Corley says. “The lessons last forever.”

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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