Financial Advice Blog

10 factors self-made millionaires have in common

The lifestyles of the wealthy might look effortless, but their climb to the top has often taken hard work, commitment and resilience. Here we share some of their secrets.

We’ve always thought that self-made millionaires were a unique breed.  But now science can prove it thanks to researchers who’ve discovered commonalities to the thousands of self-made millionaires they studied. Wondering what it takes to build an empire? Read on to find out the factors self-made millionaires have in common – the results might surprise you.

1. They’re money wise

Frugality is often seen as a dirty word, but it simply means being committed to saving, reducing expenses and sticking to a budget. In millionaire circles, that’s called being money-wise. It does take serious discipline to spend below your means and focus on the end game, which is why millionaires are often visionaries too. Bottom line: save as much as you can, minimise your expenses and don’t live above your means. Simple, right?

2. They invest in low-cost index funds

If it’s good enough for Warren Buffet, it’s good enough for any self-respecting millionaire. Research has shown that low-cost index funds are the investment strategy of choice for many self-made men and women due to the high return, low-cost and diversification benefits.

3. They utilise ‘white space’

Speaking of Warren Buffet, his ‘white space’ diary strategy has gone viral for a reason: people are starting to value time to think more highly than ever before. Millionaires are championing this strategy as it allows them the time and space to study, research and plan their investments, helping them make critical decisions with confidence. And it’s paying off. Another benefit of white space? It gives them time to brainstorm and ask crucial life questions – a factor key to their success, say researchers.

4. They read… a lot

It might appear that millionaires are more pushed for time due to their business demands. But according to research, millionaires spend roughly 5½ hours a week reading for pleasure and nearly six hours a week exercising. Wondering what they read? Biographies of successful people, self-help, personal development and history books all take the lead.

5. They’re early risers

It’s not all downtime for self-made millionaires. In fact, research shows that they sleep nearly eight hours less a week and work six hours more a week than the average, waking up three hours before they’re set to start work.

6. They don’t follow the crowd

Seth Godin’s best-selling book Purple Cow demonstrates the point that blending in isn’t going to get you the cut through you need to succeed, and millionaires have listened. According to the research findings, millionaires actively want to separate themselves from the herd, create their own herd, and then get others to join it.

7. They ask for feedback

It’s never comfortable receiving feedback, even if it’s constructive. But millionaires don’t care. If fact, they seek it out, viewing feedback as an essential tool to learn what’s working, what’s not, and how they can grow and improve. The way millionaires view it is that feedback provides them with the information they need to succeed at what you’re doing.

8. They keep going

Along the path to financial freedom, you’re going to come into contact with adversaries. There’s going to be rejection, losses, pain and critics. But one factor self-made millionaires have in common is they keep going, regardless of the obstacles they face. This deep-seated belief in themselves takes resilience and perseverance, which self-made millionaires seem to have in spades.

9. They build a solid team

Thinking you can build an empire on your own is a fool’s game, and millionaires know that. Of 10,000 millionaires studied, a team of a coach, mentor, cheerleader and friend was compiled in each case to assist the millionaire to achieve their goals. What team do you have around you? Maybe it’s time to build one.

10. They possess certain character traits

Consistency, conscientiousness, responsibility, intentionality, goal-oriented, hardworking… These are the common character traits self-made millionaires have in common researched that sets them apart from their average-earning colleagues. They’re willing to work consistently hard to achieve their goals and take responsibility for their actions. How many of these traits do you have?

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