- Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
What you do every day matters.
“Daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life,” writes Thomas C. Corley, who spent five years researching the daily habits of 177 self-made millionaires.
They can hold you back from getting rich – or, they can transform you from ordinary to seven-figure status. Here, we’ve rounded up simple, five-minute habits of self-made millionaires that you can start developing today:
Write down specific goals for your money
- Stuart C. Wilson/Getty
If you want to start accumulating wealth, you need to take action. Start by writing down specific goals for your annual income and net worth, self-made millionaire T. Harv Eker writes in “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.”
“Your intention should be to create abundance, not mediocrity,” he explains, so while you should be realistic when setting a time frame to attain these goals, don’t be afraid to think big and challenge yourself.
“The number one reason most people don’t get what they want is that they don’t know what they want,” he writes. “Rich people are totally clear that they want wealth.”
Send thank you cards
- Justin Henry/flickr
“Saying thank you is a reflection of your character,” Corley writes. “Don’t Facebook them, Tweet them, Instagram them. Send a thank you card.”
When do the rich write thank you notes, and when should you? When someone remembers your birthday, refers a client to you, introduces you to an important contact, or does you or a family member a favor.
Automate your savings
- Alan Crowhurst / Stringer / Getty Images
“Fear of criticism is the reason we do not seek feedback from others,” Corley writes. “But feedback is essential to learning what is working and what isn’t working. Feedback helps you understand if you are on the right track. Seeking criticism, good or bad, is a crucial element for learning and growth.”
Additionally, it allows you to change course and experiment with a new career or business. “The most successful self-made millionaires piloted new ventures before they dove in with both feet,” Corley explains. “Feedback provides you with the information you will need in order to succeed in any venture.”
Make a ‘to-don’t’ list
- Chris Jackson/Getty
Rich people make “to-don’t” lists – a daily list of things you should never do because they’re time sucks or bad habits.
A to-don’t list could include things like, “Don’t watch more than one hour of TV today,” “Don’t make any impulse purchases today,” or “Don’t gossip today.”
“To-do lists alone will not make you a success,” explains Corley. “While it’s important to get things done, it’s equally important to avoid doing things that wash out all of the benefits of a to-do list good habit. The rich in my study fostered success in their lives by diligently doing certain things every day … and diligently avoiding certain activities.”
Make 5-minute phone calls
- Rob Carr/Getty
According Corley’s research, 80% of wealthy people make birthday calls, hello calls, and life event calls, compared to 11%, 26%, and 3% of poor people, respectively.
The little details matter, Corley emphasizes. They allow you to build relationships with other success-minded people, a cornerstone habit of rich people. “Gather as much information about your relationships as you can,” he writes. “The more you know about people you engage with, the more ammunition you’ll have in your arsenal to help you in effectively communicating with them.”
Instead of saying ‘either/or,’ start saying ‘both’
- Miles Willis/Getty
“Practice thinking and creating ways of having ‘both,'” writes Eker. “Whenever alternatives are presented to you, ask yourself, ‘How can I have both?'”
Rich people never say “either/or” – they say “both,” because they know you can have it all.
“Nowhere is ‘both’ thinking more important than when it comes to money,” emphasizes Eker. “Poor and many middle-class people believe that they have to choose between money and the other aspects of life. Consequently they’ve rationalized a position that money is not as important as other things.”
Tell yourself you deserve to be rich
- Alan Crowhurst / Stringe / Getty Images
“The average person believes being rich is a privilege awarded only to lucky people,” self-made millionaire Siebold writes. “The truth is, in a capitalist country, you have every right to be rich if you’re willing to create massive value for others.”