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The common thread between rich people isn’t simply the size of their bank accounts.
As leadership coach and self-made millionaire Dr. Jude Miller Burke writes in “The Millionaire Mystique,” “Wealthy women and men have a great deal in common with each other, and it’s not just the amount of money they have. They also tend to possess a set of attitudes toward work and life that set them apart.”
After studying nearly 200 self-made millionaires over three years, Burke identified specific attitudes of the rich, six of which we’ve highlighted below:
They are optimistic
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As Burke and other experts have found, positivity is a hallmark of self-made millionaires. On the flip side, negativity can be detrimental to your success – after all, there’s a reason the rich avoid pessimists.
“Everyone appreciates the person who can say, faced with failure, ‘We’ll just find another way to get it done,'” Burke explains. “The pessimist is too afraid of negative consequences to keep trying. The optimist determinedly accepts no other choice.”
Her conclusions are backed by science – research shows positive, happier people are more likely to perform better at their jobs and are less likely to be unemployed.
They are passionate
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Wealthy people follow their passion. As Burke and other experts emphasize, if you’re passionate, you will push yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, you will want to constantly improve, and you will be persistent through failure.
“You can persist at anything you are passionate about,” Burke writes.
In a five-year study of self-made millionaires, author Thomas C. Corley drew a similar conclusion: “Passion makes work fun. Passion gives you the energy, persistence, and focus needed to overcome failures, mistakes, and rejection. It infuses you with a fanatical tenacity that makes it possible to overcome obstacles and pitfalls that block your path.”
They are engaged and enthusiastic
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“Even if they are not passionate about a particular task, successful people industriously and enthusiastically get the job done,” Burke writes. “There is an intensity about everything they take on that is not seen in the average person.”
Additionally, they have a desire to self-educate and learn long after college is over.
As Burke writes, “They are the kind of people who always want to read up on their fields, go to conferences to learn something new, and teach people what they find so fascinating.”
They have soft skills and cooperate with others
“When your staff is glad to see you in the morning because you are always smiling and ready with a genuine compliment, they are people who will work as hard as you need them to at crunch time,” Burke writes.
Science concurs: “Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack,” writes Dr. Travis Bradberry, coauthor of “Emotional Intelligence 2.0.”
They’re genuine and sincere
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After all, etiquette affects your wealth more than you may think. Rich people understand that small gestures – a five-minute phone call, a proper introduction, or a hand-written thank you card, for example – can make all the difference.
They manage their reactions
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Self-made millionaires keep their cool under pressure – while they’re passionate and constantly exude enthusiasm, they keep their emotions in check when something doesn’t go as planned or if they’re provoked.
As Burke puts it, they “practice the art of deliberate reaction. They step back and, at least for a few seconds, think about the best way to respond to the provocation, whatever it was.”