Most people that lead successful lives didn’t get rich by accident or sheer luck. The majority of wealthy people accumulated their riches through grit, dedication, and most importantly, maintaining a specific set of habits that foster prosperity.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” We couldn’t agree more with the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
There are many habits that can help you speed up the process and help clarify your path to success. We have picked 10 of our personal MDC favourites to strengthen your focus both in work and life, and make it easier for you to become and stay wealthy.
1. Wake up early (but get enough sleep)
Your body and mind need time to recover. Research shows that people that get between 7 to 8 hours of regular sleep, are more productive and have, especially in the long term, an overall better health score. Yes, you might get things done faster in the short term by sleeping 5 hours a day, but consider the consequences in the long run.
According to author Thomas Corley, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals 44% of wealthy people wake up three hours before work starts, compared to just 3% of poor people.
Rising early is a powerful habit to success. Millionaires take charge of their day by taking charge of their mornings. They exercise and find some personal time first. They are able to start their days ahead of everyone else by responding to others instead of reacting. Early risers also tend to be happier and are more proactive.
2. Avoid Television
Watching television can be fun. It can be enjoyable and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, the rich choose more productive ways to spend their time. Time does not discriminate and they are fully aware of this.
We all have the same number of hours to work with in a day, and the wealthy are intentional about those hours. 67% of rich people watch television for one hour or less per day, while only 23% of poor people limit their TV intake.
When you’re spending your time watching TV or social media for entertainment, it leaves less time to work on the things that could be of value to you. It means less time for education, reading to learn, building relationships with like-minded individuals, growing and expanding your business, volunteering or spending time with family and friends. The things that matter.
3. Don’t check their email first thing
The first thing most people do when they wake up is pick up their phones and check what messages they have. This is not what the wealthy do. Starting your day with other people’s agendas is not productive and it’s not going to help you own your day. There are better things to do with that early morning time.
Many successful people have made a habit of writing in a journal, mediating, or reading. But they all spend personal time on themselves whether it’s by exercising and heating a healthy breakfast or self-care through other means. Generally speaking, wealthy people get to their inbox later in the day and don’t make email a top priority.
4. Listen more and talk less
“When you talk you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen you may learn something new”. Dalai Lama
The wealthy and the wise know that listening to others is a form that can never grow too old for its value. It’s another critical skill that the wealthy have mastered. Effective communication an essential part of their success. In general, rich people spend five minutes listening for each minute they speak.
They understand that everyone has something valuable to say and that there is always something to learn. It enables them to understand where others are coming from, and to facilitate conversations that strengthens relationships and allows for success.
5. Write down goals
For the wealthy, setting specific goals and writing them down is a winning habit that works. 95% of successful high achievers plan their success by stating and writing down their goals, visions and dreams on a regular often daily basis.
Setting clear goals is key to achieving wealth but it’s not the only requirement to becoming rich. Otherwise everyone would be rich. Simply wishing for money or success is not going to bring you riches. Combining clearly defined goals with specific actions steps is what the rich do. Specific goal-setting involves planning something tangible, such as earning X amount by Y time through Z activities. Successful goals are actionable, and the wealthy are deliberate, dedicated goal-setters.
They plan their day and have daily lists so they are prepared for the day ahead. Over planning and making endless lists won’t work; instead they tackle a few important tasks, leaving ample room for other activities and responsibilities.
6. Know when to relax
Working consistently towards big and even small goals is critical for successful men and women, but they also understand the importance of personal time for relaxation and self-improvement. For this reason, they rarely go to sleep later than necessary.
Working too much and long hours is only going to exhaust you and the rich understand that there is a time to work and a time to rest. If you push too hard, you’re only going to end up being tired, inefficient, and unable to produce worthwhile results.
The wealthy typically walk away from work by 5pm or 6pm, and don’t return to it until the next morning, according to Inc.
7. Read a lot
88% of the wealthy love to read for self-improvement for at least 30 minutes or more a day.
They are convinced that personal development, self-improvement and continuing education are essential for their success in business.
What they read is just as important as how much and mostly read nonfiction, usually self-improvement, books on history, biographies and politics. Reading helps to challenge your perspectives, keep you open minded, and encourages you to think. It makes for great leaders and the wealthy know this.
8. They know how to say no
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett
Successful people have mastered the art of saying ‘NO’. They understand that by saying NO to negativity, extra work and activities that won’t move the needle towards their goals, will increase their productivity. Saying yes to everyone or everything will only create distraction. Staying focused on the tasks at hand and knowing when to decline offers and projects will only speed up their success.
According to William Ury, in his book The Power of a Positive No: Save the Deal, Save the Relationship—and Still Say No, one helpful strategy, internalized by the wealthy, is to have an “anchor phrase. “I have a policy …” or “I’d rather say no to you now rather than disappoint you later” or “I only volunteer in connection with a particular cause”, are examples used oftentimes by people that understand success habits.
As a result of being proactive and prepared, successful people are able to say no more confidently and yes to things that are truly important to them.
9. Give Back
Those who are rich and successful tend to be generous with their wealth. They understand that what you give will return to them tenfold. They believe that giving with honest intention and true spirit is the ultimate key to success.
Great men throughout history support this – from Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, to Carlos Slim and Bill Gates. Giving back to the community and improving the world is an important characteristic for the wealthy. Charity and philanthropy are distinctive pursuits of the wealthy.
10. Be frugal
Spending more than you earn does not result in wealth. The most successful people in the world know this. While they do spend money to make money, and can enjoy the finer things in life by spending generously on what the world has to offer, most rich people don’t waste or overspend their money. They manage it.
Just because they could easily spend 1 million dollars on a brand new car doesn’t mean they do. Instead they invest their time in comparison shopping and negotiation, getting the best for their money’s worth.
Money is a means to an end. Money is energy. The Million Dollar Club knows money doesn’t solve every problem, but it’s often a sign of drive, competence and creative thinking in those who have acquired it. Try incorporating these strategies into your life and daily working routines to set yourself up for success.
To your wealth!
The MDC team.