What does it take to become a millionaire? Lottery winners aside, becoming wealthy has nothing to do with luck. Let’s look at 10 ten habits of self-made millionaires. Some ideas featured here are from the book The Millionaire in You by Michael LeBoeuf. Others come from millionaires I know, and they are living proof that these habits will make you millions.
1. Millionaires Are Frugal: The wealthiest people I know are also the cheapest. They buy used cars for reliability, not image. (According to the book The Millionaire Next Door, the number one car brand among millionaires is Toyota—not Mercedes or BMW!) Millionaires pack their lunches. It takes money to make money, and you can’t get the money you need to invest if you spend it.
2. Millionaires Think Big: Few people are surprised when they make their first million. After all, it doesn’t come easily. But long before reaching their goal, millionaires know they want to get there. Rather than looking forward to an annual 3% raise, millionaires dream of working for themselves. Rather than serving 100 customers, millionaires see tens of thousands of accounts.
3. Millionaires Take Calculated Risks: Whether it’s investing in a stock or cashing in a 401(k) to start a business, millionaires take calculated risks. In these risks, the rewards of success are far greater than the costs of failure, and the chances of success are good.
4. Millionaires Network: Few people reach their potential alone. Millionaires build powerful networks of contacts in all areas of life. Millionaires know that their next employer, customer, or partner may be anywhere.
5. Millionaires Don’t Pay Interest, They Earn It: Millionaires learn the crippling costs of debt and avoid it at all costs. On the contrary, millionaires save, invest, and even lend money to others to earn interest themselves. Want to take the first step to building your own fortune? It’s simple: Open an online savings account now and start stashing away extra money—automatically—every month.
6. Millionaires Are Focused: Millionaires work feverishly towards their goals at all costs. The difference between dreamers and performers is not the number of ideas one has, but how one focuses on executing the best ideas.
7. Millionaires Do Whatever It Takes: The most inspiring success stories among all the people I know involve incredible sacrifice. From sleeping in cars between two jobs to forgoing personal relationships to get an education or build a business, millionaires don’t simply delay gratification; millionaires endure pain.
8. Millionaires Educate Themselves: It doesn’t take an Ivy League education to become a millionaire, but it does take a desire to learn. It doesn’t matter how you learn – from a mentor, night classes, or books and the web – but ongoing learning is critical to lifelong success.
9. Millionaires Lead: No surprise here, the same qualities enabling people to earn millions make them natural leaders. It goes back to the decision to become a millionaire in the first place: The resolution to carve a new path rather than follow the flock.
10. Millionaires Are Generous: Don’t expect your high-rolling neighbor to shower you with gifts. Chances are she’s donating to far worthier causes. It’s just another perk of having a million in the bank: you get to make a substantial difference in charities of your choice.