When you look at the life of someone like Bill Gates, it can seem unreal. How can they possibly achieve that much success and wealth?
However, when you look at the habits of those people, there are certain common ones that are key to achieving and maintaining success. Here are 11 habits of rich people that you need to start if you want to work towards similar goals, including ways to start each habit right away.
Live with a learner’s mindset
When you always strive to learn more, yourself in a position to gain knowledge that will elevate your quality of life. Living with a learner’s mindset helps keep you open to opportunities that won’t present themselves if you aren’t learning every day.
Rich people make a habit to read regularly, listen more than they talk, and continuously improve their craft.
Start this habit: Pick a book you’ve been meaning to read. Make a point to read 10 pages per day until you finish (try doing this before bed). More broadly, anytime you’re reacting negatively to a situation or experience (a time you believe you failed, for instance), try instead to reframe your perspective by asking yourself, “what can I learn from this?”
Doesn’t it seem like wealthy, successful people are always on the move? That they always have a direction? That’s cause they do. All of these people not only have longterm goals, but they have taken time to map out how they’re going to achieve these goals. They break down multi-year long goals into monthly, weekly, and even daily goals that they can achieve.
In the end, it all adds up to achieving the big-picture goal.
Start this habit: Think about a goal that you can achieve in three months. Hopefully, it’s something you care about, but it can be as simple as saving a certain amount of money. Then, break that goal into very achievable daily or weekly goals. Once you successfully develop this habit, you can start focusing on longer-term goals.
Focus on increasing your income
No rich person built their wealth by waiting around while working their 9-to-5 job. They actively focused on increasing their income and developing multiple revenue streams. There are many ways you can develop a side hustle to bring in extra money.
Just like you have a choice of how you spend your time, so too do you have the choice of who to spend it with (and around). If you want to learn how to paint, for example, then you should spend more time around people who share that interest. Because they’re focusing on that goal, you’ll focus on it too and it will have a bigger presence in your daily life.
Start this habit: Identify something that you wish was a bigger part of your life. Is it exercise? Build relationships with people who exercise regularly. Want to learn more about business? Frequent small, local businesses and talk to the owners. Find out about events put on by your local Chamber of Commerce. Whatever it may be, you can find people who are interested in it and are likely more than happy to make connections with others who are too.
You are your most important investment. Remember that. You can’t build wealth without constantly investing in yourself. If there are opportunities — like certifications, courses, conferences — to increase your value and create opportunities for yourself, make sure you are taking them. Plan out ways that you can most significantly invest in yourself and your goals.
Start this habit: Think about one thing you’ve been meaning to learn, but have been putting off because you never have the time or don’t have the money. Find a way to incorporate small, achievable goals towards this in your weekly schedule.
Take smart risks
Wealth is not built from the comfort of your own home. Rich people take calculated risks all the time, even after they have acquired wealth, but especially while they are building it. Opportunities for you to take risks will present themselves while you’re working towards your goals. Make sure that you are prepared and able to take them.
Start this habit: Identify smart risks you can take each month. These can be risks that are part of a larger goal (like investing), or risks that push you out of your comfort zone for the sake of growing. Make sure you learn what you need to know as a beginning investor.
Make longterm choices
Success is built on a “big picture” mindset. If you’re only thinking about today, you won’t be able to work towards larger goals. Make sure that the choices you make in your day-to-day life are based on the longterm success you want to achieve.
Start this habit: Take a couple of hours to identify your longterm goals. Once you do, break those down into monthly, weekly, and even daily parts that you can work on towards your bigger goal. Check-in with yourself at least monthly to see how you’re doing.
Budget and be (reasonably) frugal
Similar to the above, budgeting smartly is a valuable habit that will enable you to build for your future and longterm success. The reason why most wealthy people take care of their finances is that it gives them control over them. If you don’t have control over your finances, how can you grow them?
Start this habit: If you don’t have and follow a budget, create one (start with this monthly budget worksheet). If you do have one, take another look at it. When you’re creating a budget, make sure that it is designed to enable you to achieve your goals while being realistic. Yes, you want to be frugal, but if you overdo it, you’ll end up breaking your budget quickly.
Do more than what’s asked
This habit follows the mantra that you “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” The easiest example of this is at work. If you want a promotion to a certain position, do things in your current position that indicate to people that you are interested in the other job and that you can do it.
Start this habit: Focus on an achievable goal you want that you don’t have. Whatever it is, start doing things every day that work towards that goal. You may not get paid for it or even get recognition for it, but the idea is that eventually, you will.
Care for your health
Caring for your health is the other half of investing in yourself. Most of the habits that wealthy, successful people have start and end with maintaining positive mental, emotional, and physical health. If you’re not healthy in any of those respects, then you won’t be able to achieve at your highest level. At worst, poor health can undermine all of your efforts. While it may seem like taking the time to exercise, eat right, and relax, socialize, and reset takes time away from other things, it will actually enable you to achieve at a higher level consistently.
Don’t be too ambitious at first. Like with any of these habits, you need to set a baseline of consistency and build from there. Once you spend a few weeks eating quality meals regularly and sleeping enough, then you can consider adding other elements, like daily exercise.
Dedicate to and challenge yourself
As you’ve probably realized, all of these habits involve you setting the goals, achieving them, and building from there. That means that every day you are dedicating yourself to yourself (and your goals), and challenging yourself (to meet them and grow from there). This also means that comparing yourself to others is meaningless. Others are at completely different life stages (even if they’re the same age) and have different needs and goals. Rich people focus primarily on competing with themselves, because if you improve from the person you were yesterday, then you’re making progress.
Start this habit: If you focus on improving and growing from all of the tips and habits above, then you will automatically be dedicated to yourself. Develop a process of checking in with yourself and reflecting regularly to see how you’ve grown and progressed over the past week and month. This will give you a better perspective of what’s working and what you have achieved.