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Becoming a millionaire may seem like an unobtainable dream. I've been there and felt like it was unattainable and something that would never happen to me.
Then I started reading, studying and mimicking countless different successful millionaires.
In reality, it’s a lot more common than you think and completely possible if you have the right mentality to become rich. Here are 20 signs based on observations from several millionaire friends of mine, that you're destined to become successful.
1. You started making money at a young age.
One of the most common traits that the wealthy have in common is that they began earning money at young age. For example, a 12-year-old Mark Cuban sold trash bags door-to-door, Warren Buffett sold packets of gum to his neighbors when he was just 6-years-old and Richard Branson bred and sold parakeets as pets at the age of 11.
If you had this entrepreneurial spirit as a child, then that’s a solid indicator that you’ll become a millionaire since you’ve always been on the lookout for ways to make money.
2. You’re an overachiever.
Were you that student who wasn’t satisfied with a B in class? Millionaires have the mindset to shoot big. They’re not satisfied with making just $1 million. They want to make $10 million.
3. You’re really, really good looking.
I know. This sounds like a bunch of bull and discriminatory, but research conducted by Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas in Austin found that this is the case. According to his research, “attractive people are likely to earn an average of 3 percent to 4 percent more than a person with below-average looks.” That may not sound like a fortune, but that adds up to “$230,000 more over a lifetime for the typical good-looking person.”
Hamermesh found that attractive people are able to charm interviewers and are able to land more sales.
4. You have an action-oriented mindset.
“Are you the kind of person who sees an opportunity and then takes action to take advantage of it? If so, congratulations, because it's that kind of action-oriented mind-set that can propel you to financial freedom,” says Todd Campbell, author of “Your Guide to Better Stock Picks.”
“For example, it's been proven time and time again that long-term investing can produce significantly more wealth than short term trading, yet many Americans fail to make the most of their best long-term investment vehicle: their workplace retirement plan.
Do you contribute to your plan? If so, do you contribute 10 percent of your income? More? Less? Considering that someone who contributes 10 percent of their $40,000 in income to a 401(k) plan at a 6 percent return has $311,572 more after 35 years than one who contributes 3 percent, underutilizing retirement plans is a surefire way to derail you on your way to millionaire status.”
5. You possess a sense of urgency.
Millionaires don’t wait for the perfect time to invest or launch their business. They realize that there’s no better time than the present to start making money. Sitting back and waiting is one of the best ways to squash your dreams.
Bottom line -- start right now.
6 You’re focused more on earning than saving.
It’s no secret that the wealthy are frugal with their money. While they excel at saving and spending wisely, they also know that the best way to make money is to invest it.
7. You keep an open mind.
You never know when an opportunity is going to present itself. And, if you immediately shut the thought of investing in this opportunity, then you could be losing out on making a fortune. When I started my online invoicing company, I saw an amazing domain and had to make a six-figure purchase in a matter of three days. This meant moving around some money and convincing my spouse to go along with it. We both have open minds which help this process even happen.
That’s why the wealthy always keep an open mind on new ideas. It may not be something that they would have supported in the past, but if it can make them a couple of bucks, then they may reconsider it.
As Warren Buffett once said, “Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.”
8. You were Mr. or Mrs. Popular in high school.
"We estimate that moving from the 20th to 80th percentile of the high-school popularity distribution yields a 10 percent wage premium nearly 40 years later," stated the abstract to the work of Gabriela Conti (University of Chicago), Gerrit Mueller (Institute of Employment Research), Andrea Gaeotti (University of Essex) and Stephen Pudney (University of Essex).
In other words, if you were popular in high school, meaning that you had a lot of friends, then you have a better chance of earning more money.
9. You’re able to live below your means.
Another common trait that millionaires have in common is that they’re able to live below their means. Instead of flaunting their wealth they drive practical cars, live in modest homes, and don’t spend their hard earned cash on items which are a useless luxury item.
For example, my wife and I try and budget at least 50 percent of everything we make into our savings account to which we can put towards investments. These make us a lot more money in the long term. We could go out and splurge (which we do occasionally) but we're more in it for the long term.
10. You had a mentor.
It’s no secret that you associate yourself with can affect how successful you’ll be. Think about that for a second. If you’re spending a majority of your time with people who are negative or don’t have a drive, then do you think that they’re going to influence you in being motivated and optimistic?
In other words, if you want to be wealthy, then start hanging out with millionaires. Not only will this keep you motivated, you may be able to find a someone who is willing to become your mentor and can show you the ropes.
If you don’t personally know any millionaires, don’t be afraid and reach out to them on social media or through an email after meeting them at a networking event and start building a rapport.
11. You’re not stuck in the past.
Right now we’re in an interesting presidential election, to say the least. Regardless of who you’re voting for, we hear a lot about restoring the country back to the “good ole' days.” While that statement may work for politicians, it’s not going to float for millionaires.
These are people who have gotten over failure, rejection, and fear. And, they’re more concerned about putting their energy into their future. I've lost millions in lifetime, I've moved past it and the fear of failure will never hold me down.
12.You’re a goal-setter.
Speaking of the future, the wealthy think about their long-term goals and needs.
“You don’t make a million by accident. If it’s not a goal you sure as hell won’t hit it,” writes Peter Voogd, founder of the Game Changers Academy, who made his first million before turning 26.
“Divorce causes a decrease in wealth that is larger than just splitting a couple's assets in half,” said Jay Zagorsky, author of the study and a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research.
“If you really want to increase your wealth, get married and stay married,” suggests Zagorsky.
This isn't to say that you can't achieve greatness if you're divorced. I'm previously divorced and have made millions since.
14. You can defer gratification.
Jason Hall, a writer and editor for the Motley Fool, says “deferring gratification is one of the most important steps to becoming a millionaire.”
Hall adds, “The reality is, building wealth generally takes a lot of time. Even Warren Buffett, one of the richest people alive and arguably the best investor ever, created more than 80 percent of his vast wealth after he turned 50.”
"I suck at 99 percent of stuff, but I go all out on that 1 percent I'm good at,” Gary Vaynerchuk once said.
That’s not to say that you shouldn't learn something new or work on some of your weaker skills, it means that millionaires are able to capitalize on their greatest strengths and then surround themselves with people who can enhance their weaknesses.
16. You’re optimistic.
How many people do you know are constantly whining and then blaming others? I bet those people aren’t well off financially, are they?
Millionaires don’t whine, complain, or point fingers. Instead, they accept challenges and look for ways to conquer them.
As T. Harv Eker, author of "Secrets of the Millionaire Mindset: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth", says “Rich people believe, 'I create my life.' Poor people believe, 'Life happens to me.'"
17. You may have a drink, but you don’t smoke.
Did you know that men who are self-reported drinkers earn 21 percent more than male abstainers, while women who drink earn 8 percent more than non-drinking females. The reason? Drinking enhances social capital, which leads to superior market outcomes.
Jim Britt, author of, "Do This. Get Rich!,” adds that,"A person who doesn't drink at all -- not that that's a bad thing -- is probably very conservative, and that would keep him or her out of a lot of social circles."
However, the wealthy are not smokers. "Smokers spend an incredible amount of money on smoking," says J.L. Zagorsky. Eventually, those packs of cigarettes add up. And, that money could have been spent more wisely, like on investments.
18. You have thick skin.
When you’re consumed by what others think of you, you’re allowing yourself to be held back. Instead of worrying what others think about you, the wealthy have a thick skin thanks to being mentally tough.
In fact, being mentally tough is one of the key ingredients in making a successful entrepreneur since it assists them in handling pressure and overcoming challenges and setbacks.
19. You keep up with current events.
The most successful people in the world kickoff their early mornings by catching up on current events. For example, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates read publications like the "Wall Street Journal,"the "New York Times," "USA Today,"and the "Financial Times" so that they can make more informed investment decisions based on what’s going on in the world.
20. You’re constantly improving yourself.
While having a college degree can make a difference in determining your net wealth, that degree ultimately doesn’t determine if you’ll become a millionaires or not. Bill Gates is one of the most famous college dropouts of all-time. But, that hasn’t stopped him, and wealthy people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, from continually improving himself by feverishly reading and learning new information or skills.
How many people do you know who complain about work stresses? They may even do a job that they do not enjoy, only to return home at the end of the day with little energy or motivation to do anything. They go to sleep and prepare for the same routine the following day. The concept of work hard play hard is the last thing on their minds.1 Perhaps you may feel like this some days, too!
A lot of people may not revel in the mundane tasks of their day-to-day life, which is completely normal. As children, we could not wait to become grown-ups, and every year seemed to take forever. Then, one day you were finally an adult, which meant responsibilities, bills, and jobs (but at least you could decide your bed time.)
“Work hard, play hard” is crucial for human development.
In a study published in The Open Psychology Journal, Dr. Lonnie Aarssen conducted a survey that involved almost 1,400 students at Queen’s University.2 It proved there was a connection between legacy and leisure activities. In other words, the people who had an inclination to work hard also exhibited a strong need for sufficient enjoyment and relaxation.
Dr Aarssen believes that the “work hard, play hard” ethos provides something quite necessary to human existence. “We, unlike any other animals, are aware and concerned about our own self-impermanence,” she said. “Legacy drive and leisure drive have potential to explain our ability to buffer this anxiety. Between these two drives, our ancestors were able to distract from their own self-impermanence, allowing them to cope with the anxiety and thus minimize its potential negative impact on reproductive success.”
But why is it so hard to get the right balance?
“Work hard, play hard” is sometimes wrongly associated with long days at the office and then going to all-night parties frequently. Yet, this is not a healthy lifestyle either; your body requires enough sleep and we all know that an excessive use of alcohol is never recommended.
Firstly, working hard is not a bad thing. It means that you are being productive to achieve certain goals (which ultimately will lead to affording your lifestyle.)
The “playing hard” part relates to whatever you can do to promote more enjoyment and relaxation in your life. Many people translate this to mean sitting in front of the television for a few hours before eventually going to bed.
I will be honest–when people are talking about the latest or most popular TV series, I am generally clueless. I don’t watch television and I have never owned one. And that is not because I am anti-television; I just never found it mentally relaxing or stimulating.
Each week, the average American watches more than 34 hours of television. They do it because it appears to be the easiest relaxation outlet. The reality, however, is that you wake up still feeling tired. This is because the artificial lights of the television screen reduce the amount of melatonin your brain creates, which is the hormone responsible for inducing sleep.3
By maximizing your free time, you will feel more revitalized, which will lead to being more productive, and therefore make you better able to achieve your goals! Life will also feel more fulfilling than simply “working all the time.”
How to adopt a more “work hard, play hard” lifestyle?
1. Be firm that when you leave work, you actually leave work!
Don’t be tempted to check your work emails at night. Unless it’s an emergency, whatever it is can wait a few hours until the morning.
2. Identify where you are wasting your free time.
Are you spending hours on television, or on social media every day to unwind? Minimize some of those routines–create a schedule and stick to it.
3. Make a list of the things that interest you instead.
Perhaps there are activities you could do, such as learning another language, going to the gym, or taking up a hobby.
If leaving the house is not an option, there are other ways to relax at home–perhaps yoga or meditation. Maybe you always wanted to learn to play the guitar, or do some writing? Or, you could simply sit at the dinner table to eat with your loved ones over a conversation, instead of eating in front of the television.
4. Read more.
Reading is one of the best ways to de-stress. Find a book in a genre that appeals to you–you will be more motivated to get to the end.
5. Reward yourself.
Give yourself little treats from time to time. Book an occasional massage, buy tickets to see a show, or whatever you want to splurge on. And whenever possible, travel more! To “work hard, play hard” means that you’ve earned it.
Sharing from her personal experiences, media entrepreneur Linda Ikeji, in this video, is encouraging “all the dreamers out there to keep fighting for their dreams whether they get help from others or not.”
She narrates how she was turned down in 2008, but fast forward to 9 years later, she’s being offered more than what was refused her.
Having goals and dreams is what makes our lives meaningful but how we go about achieving these goals, both in mindset and physical action, can be the difference between success and failure.
If you’re feeling frustrated because your goals seem out of your reach, and no matter how hard you seem to try, you just don’t feel like you’re getting any nearer, then you’re not alone. Many people work hard to get to where they want to be but unless you change your thinking and your habits towards getting to that goal then it may take much longer than you want.
Why Is It So Hard to Succeed Sometimes?
When our goals mean a lot to us, it can start to put pressure on how we perceive our abilities. We can start to doubt if we’re capable enough – if it’s really possible.
The strategy we put in place may not work effectively or work around our changing lifestyles or life plans. Distractions are a big problem with internet, TV and our phones taking away our focus so easily.
And, of course, underlying fear can also play a big part in stopping ourselves from truly moving forward to that place of success. What would it really mean if you finally achieved this? Would your life have to change? Would it ultimately mean sacrificing other things that are important to you? Mindset and habits, as well as the actions we take or don’t, can all lead us to what we interpret as failure.
Why Being Successful Is Important
Success doesn’t have to be confined to career. Personal goals and dreams are equally important because, ultimately, success brings confidence, well-being, hope, the sense that you’re contributing to either your own personal growth or to the world around you – it’s the essence of living a fulfilling life.
We are born to succeed as a species. We need to be successful in looking after our offspring both with protection and providing for them. Therefore, the want for success is ingrained in us and is the basis of what makes life meaningful. So, whatever success means to you – whether it’s in your career or if it’s learning to read, write or run a marathon – it’s the idea of fulfilling and achieving a desire that keeps us content and gratified.
What Is the Secret to Success?
It can be soul-destroying when you see people around you succeeding and you feel you’re trying your best but just can’t seem to do the same. It can hit our confidence and make us believe we just aren’t capable of succeeding. It can lead us to get in to this never-ending cycle of giving up, trying, not getting anywhere and giving up again. But have you wondered what you could do differently? Perhaps the habits you adopt are what’s keeping you from the life of your dreams?
Check out the habits you need to do differently in order to get the success you deserve.
1. Mindset: Stop Seeing The Problems
Many of us have a mindset that seeks out the negative. It’s something we’ve been trained to do because, well, it’s easier to dwell on the negative than the positive especially if things aren’t going exactly as we want them to.
Instead you need to see these obstacles as challenges and opportunities rather than a reason to feel like you’re failing. It’s really about building up a positive mindset – no matter the problem you can always find a positive aspect to it. Problems are opportunities to grow and if you keep this in mind you are less likely to give up on your goal.
2. Strategy Is Good But So Is Flexibility
Having a plan and a strategy in place creates a good framework but when we are too rigid with this framework we don’t allow for potential changes. Life isn’t linear and we can’t always predict what’s going to come up. Disruption can throw our plans out of the window and if we’re too dependent on sticking to a particular framework then we can lose motivation.
Try less planning and more doing. Have a general framework but make sure it can be flexible. It’s more important that you start the first steps (which can often be the hardest) than spending too much time planning.
3. Make Short Term Goals Rather Than Long Term Ones
“You don’t need to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” – Martin Luther King
This quote speaks volumes when it comes to success. Motivation is the number one key to achieving goals and many of us lose motivation when we focus too much on the long-term. Break your goal down into smaller, short-term chunks because that way your motivation won’t take a hit and you’ll feel like you’re achieving so much more.
Give yourself a reward when you reach each small milestone and celebrate all the little achievements along the way.
4. Distraction Is a Success Killer
Entertainment is big business. We’re living in a time when our minds are craving to be entertained to the point where learning and education is easily given the backseat. Ask yourself how much time you spend watching TV, surfing the internet, playing with your phone?
While it’s good to have down-time, we often don’t realise how much time we waste idly distracted instead of focusing on more important things. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day but it’s how you use these hours that makes or breaks success. Be honest with yourself and try to be conscious of how you spend your time.
Success doesn’t have to be a struggle. Having the right mindset, creating a flexible but instilled strategy and making sure you keep motivated with good focus will go a long way in helping you gain confidence towards achieving the life you want.