A survey by Fidelity Investments found eight out of every 10 people with net worth of a million dollars or more built it on their own. The typical self-made millionaire possesses habits and rituals exhibiting discipline, active living and constant engagement of the mind.
The typical millionaire begins the day between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. A survey of 21 financially-successful people reports 89 percent wake up between 4:30 and 7 a.m. Only 11 percent slept in until 8 a.m.
In Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, Thomas Corley says 44 percent of millionaires wake up three hours before work.
Millionaires likely understand that an active early morning can set the tone for a successful day. In these early hours before workplaces open, you’re less likely to encounter distractions for, say, the early-morning exercise, planning the day’s itinerary or tackling important tasks.
With few, if any distractions, you can more readily notch accomplishments or successes to boost your positive mood for the remainder of the day. Such an outlook builds confidence for you, especially if you have tackled the more urgent and less desirable matters.
Millionaires run on daily or periodic agendas made either by a task list or a calendar. Corley’s survey found roughly eight in 10 millionaires have a daily to-do list and two out of three millionaires complete 70 percent of the tasks.
Whether you list or calendar, the point is organization and providing structure to the day. Scheduling diminishes the time you waste and productivity you lose because of indecision.
According to Corley’s study, 86 percent of millionaires love to read. Eight-five percent of them average two books a month. The subjects of their selections psychology, careers, leadership, health and current events, biographies of other millionaires. Eighty-eight percent read at least 30 minutes a day.
As you might expect, business and financial literature is included in the millionaire’s reading list. For example, The Financial Times pulls 13 percent of its readership from millionaires. Its readers boast an average annual income of $250,000.
Aside from offering strategies for growth of themselves or their businesses, reading expands vocabulary and the base of knowledge. These become the tools for millionaires to compete.
For millionaires, listening habits focus on educational or self-improvement content. This may include investment, personal finance or business topics.
According to Corley’s study, approximately 63 percent of millionaires listen to audio books, including while driving. Podcasts are also part of the listening menu, especially for those while running or cycling.
When you exercise, especially aerobically, you funnel oxygen to your brain and other areas of the body. This supplies energy and nutrients that increase brain activity and performance.
Studies testify to the effects of exercise on financial health. Roughly three quarters of millionaires undertake aerobics at least four days a week, versus only 23 percent of the poor. Psychology Today magazine reports on a study of 5,402 twin males in Finland, their exercise habits and earnings over a fifteen-year period. The findings showed the more active group made 14 to 17 percent more than the less active.
Typically, seven-digit earners don’t skimp on breakfast. That doesn’t necessarily mean traditional fare such as sausage, bacon or cow’s milk. These foods contain high fats and cholesterol which do not provide needed energy. Instead, they operate over time as sludge in the blood stream that prevents oxygen and nutrient flow.
Rye toast and oatmeal afford sources of carbohydrates low in glucose that can spike blood sugar. Proteins can come from bars or other low-fat foods. Millionaires might also include fresh fruits or smoothies for energy.
Healthy eating rituals continue throughout the day. For example, healthy snacks, such as fruits, vegetables and protein bars, supply energy in the lulls between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner. The millionaire’s snack normally doesn’t include potato chips or high-sugar chocolate bars or candies.
According to Coley, 79 percent of millionaires networked, or reached out, to similarly-situated people. The participation rate for the poor is one in seven.
Networking with those of high incomes and net worth exposes you to those who hire, invest and make business deals. Don’t restrict, though, your view of networks to a pipeline for job or business opportunities. Business leaders, your teachers or professors and other millionaires can mentor you in your professional journey.
Contemplating successes and fails can breed future success. Typically, millionaires devote a block of time each day for self-reflection on their efforts, results and areas for improvement. The quiet time might spark new ideas for ventures.