New Year, New You: Why you need to act wealthy before you become rich
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The end of another year. 2017 is coming to an end, and 2018 is about to start a whole new year of opportunities. How have your finances changed in the past year? Have you grown your net worth, started saving more, paid off debt? Or have you continued to spend everything you earn and watched another year go by with not much to show for it financially? Either way, it’s okay. The best part about a new year is that there are new chances to grow, learn and to change.
The first step to growth is to decide what you want, and the second step is to develop a plan to get it. I’ll assume that many of you reading this want to be secure or well-off financially. That’s great because you have completed step one! Now on to step two….
In order to get control of your finances you need a plan. And the best way I have found to determine how to get something is to find someone who already has what you want and learn from their habits. And this is why you need to learn from the wealthy in order to become rich….
What Do Wealthy People Do?
From reading numerous books on the lives of successful people and also on personal finance, there are many common habits that seem to come up again and again. These tendencies relate to how people earn money, invest their money, how to reach their goals and become successful. Throughout history and in current events, there are many famous, wealthy individuals who are well known for their moneymaking and spending habits. Below are just a few examples of these people and what they are known for:
Bill Gates– drives a 10-year old car, spends a lot of time with his good friend, Warren Buffet, and he is well-known for being conservative with his money in business and personal life. He keeps one year of payroll in cash for his businesses at all times.
Warren Buffet – still lives in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska that he bought in the 1950’s. He also spends 90% of his day reading, which he credits as the most important habit for his success.
Andrew Carnegie – became the richest man in the world by assembling a “Mastermind Alliance” of friends and associates smarter than himself to increase his intelligence. He also emphasized the importance of thinking positively and always portraying a positive attitude to others.
How You Can Act Wealthy
In many books that I have read, including Think and Grow Rich and The Millionaire Next Door, the same traits and habits keep coming up that are essential for a person to become rich, whether it be financially, emotionally or physically. Contrary to what you might possibly believe, few of these traits have anything to do with going to a good school and getting a high-paying job. Most habits that are required in order to increase your chances of living the good life have more to do with making great choices, having a positive attitude and spending time with the right people.
Here are a few of the most common traits I’ve come across that are recommended again and again by many of history’s most successful people:
- Spend your time with the right people – You are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time, so choose wisely.
- Set goals – In order to get what you want, you need to know specifically what it is you are going after. Have it written down somewhere you can see it and remind yourself of what you’re chasing every day.
- Consistency with daily habits – Do you read every day to learn something new? If you work in sales do you make 5 sales calls every day? Do you exercise, eat healthy and get enough sleep? Wealth comes from your habits and habits are practiced daily.
- Be okay with failure – If you are never willing to fail then you will never learn anything new, and you will also never be willing to take the risks necessary to be successful. Go out and live bravely!
- Never stop learning – The skills that make you a success today might not be relevant in 20 years. You need to always keep improving yourself and learning new skills. If you’re not growing, you’re dying as they say….
- Work hard – Pretty simple. If you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to be successful, then you’ll never get there
All of these habits start before you become rich, not after. They are the habits of the wealthy that people have practiced long before they became rich, and are most likely the reason that they became well-off financially in the first place. You can’t doubt yourself for years and then only have faith in yourself after you feel like you’ve “made it”. Successful business owners see themselves as a successful person who just happen yet to have a business.
Why Will This Make Me Rich
Have you ever heard the story about the lottery winners who lost it all after winning $100 million dollars? Why do you think that happened? We’ve all heard how they spent all the money on houses, cars and other extravagant items while also giving away money to their friends and family. Yes, that is technically how they lost all the money, but the also didn’t have the right mindset for riches. They were given the money without having the mindset for wealth. Without the right skills and habits, any person given a large sum of money will end up back at the level of wealth that there mind is capable of.
Mark Cuban has been quoted many times that he told everyone that he knew he would be a millionaire long before he became one, and that if he lost everything today he has no doubt he could become a millionaire again. This has nothing to do with money, but with the fact that Mark Cuban has trained his mind and developed the habits necessary to become wealthy. He knew what it would take to become rich long before he had any money.
So the first step to becoming rich isn’t making your first dollar, but starts with reading your first business or self-development book, going to your first networking event, watching less television or taking a calculated risk. Wealth begins in the mind with your habits and skills, so use the start of 2018 to change your habits. And the best part about all of these steps is that it doesn’t require a lot of effort or money to get started.
Here are 3 things you can do today to get started:
- Start reading a book (check out my recommended reading list!)
- Wake up early and exercise to kick-start your day
- Spend time with or make a phone call to someone in your life who is “rich and successful”
Here are 3 things you can NOT do starting today:
- Don’t watch more than 1 hour of TV on weekdays
- Don’t dwell on failures from the past. Decide today to learn from them and move on
- Don’t spend time with (or more time than absolutely necessary) with people who complain about not having enough money or being “broke”
Not everyone who is successful started in the same place, but almost all rich or wealthy people have the same habits. You can decide TODAY to adopt those same habits, so the path to a well-off financial life is completely in your control!
Are you looking to make changes this year that will get you on the path to success? What do you think are the most important habits and skills? Leave a comment or send me an email!