Everyone wants to get rich, attain true wealth and have unlimited success in their lives. Everyone’s looking for new and better ways to do it, and for tips that will put them on the path to that kind of success. The formula can seem elusive, but if you look at the success stories of entrepreneurs, CEO’s and others who have attained wealth by exhibiting a high level of commitment and being the best at what they do, there are a number of common threads that consistently run through their narratives.
Statistically, these threads are about twenty of the most prominent things rich people do every single day. They create opportunities by writing out their goals, making lists and focusing on them one at a time, and they’re relentless when it comes to attaining them. They network effectively and accomplish more in their busy days, and they don’t slack off in their commitment to excellence and the strategies they’ve put together to attain it.
On a more personal level, they also take better care of themselves. They get off the couch and commit to exercise and fitness on a regular basis, and they spend the time to eat a high-quality diet rather than succumbing to the instant gratification of junk food. They also commit to ongoing education, learning and regular reading, and they make sure to pass on this commitment to their children as well. They establish and teach good habits, and they have an unwavering belief that these habits are the key to their ongoing success.
Their stories and belief systems are inspiring, and they also illustrate how simple it is to achieve genuine wealth in all aspects of life by cutting through the clutter and destructive habits that often lead to underachieving poverty. Having these tips and stories in one single resource is extremely valuable, for it tells us what the essence of success really and how easy it can be to reach with commitment, effort and the right guidance. With that in mind, here is a list of Ramsey’s essential statistics about the differences between the rich and the poor, along with some valuable info about the logic and stories behind them and ways to get on track to having your own personal version of that level of success.
20. The Rich Love To Read
86 percent of people who turn out to be wealthy also love to read, as opposed to 26 percent of the poor. Jorge Luis Borges, a famous literary author, once imagined that paradise would turn out to be a sort of library. Borges understood much better than most that reading can create joy, a time of peace, the ability to enjoy adventure or exploration or to just a good story. All of these things create a better-rounded, more curious individual, and these are the types of people who tend to attract wealth and success in life.
19. Constantly Improve Knowledge
86 percent of those who are wealthy usually believe in ongoing educational self improvement, versus 5 percent of the poor. According to Bill O’Neill, publisher of Investor’s Business Daily, people who get promoted the most often tend to have a passion for life long learning. “They take responsibility and get things done,” he states. “They read a lot and get books on other CEOs. They also respond well to adversity — Edison was an idol of mine, and there’s a story about how his lab burned down, and he came running out yelling to his wife that she’d never see another fire like this in her life.”
18. Bad Habits Lead To Bad Luck
76 percent of those who are wealthy tend to believe that developing bad habits can help lead to detrimental luck, versus 9 percent of those who are poor. So is it really true that bad habits really lead to bad luck? The key link between the two is making bad choices. Plenty of people have been passed over for jobs or lucrative work because their potential employers knew them well enough to know they wouldn’t make good choices even if they did get a break. Bad habits tend to create a bad impression, and there’s a reason people who have them tend to feel left out and passed over.
17. Avoid Gambling
It is easy to get sucked into the world of gambling. It is something that all people should be conscious of because it is an simple situation where you always think ‘next time I’ll win’. By taking the choice not to gamble, you are showing to yourself and others that you are serious about your finances and don’t like the thought of wasting it on the chance that you could possibly make back you money. There is only 23 percent of wealthy people who actually gamble compared to 52 percent of poor people.
16. Teaching Success to Your Children
74 percent of those who are wealthy usually teach daily habits for success to their children, versus one percent of the poor. According to Barbara Gilmour, founder and owner of Cool Kind Kid, the habits of daily success start with learning good social skills. That means teaching your child to be polite, make eye contact, have good phone manners, say thank you and always treat adults with respect. Later in life, these habits tend to transfer to a variety of professional situations, and lacking them can translate into an inability to succeed.
15. Rise 3 Hours Before Work
44 percent of those who are wealthy usually rise three hours before work, versus 3 percent of the poor. In many instances, the early bird really does get the worm, especially when it comes to success in business. David Cush, for example, the CEO of Virgin America, wakes up at just after 4 AM each morning to send e mails and call business associates on the east coast. That’s before listening to his favorite Dallas sports radio station, reading the paper, and spending some time on the bike at the local gym, then he heads to work.
14. Avoid Reality TV
Just 6 percent of those who are wealthy tend to spend significant time viewing reality TV, versus 78 percent of the poor. While reality TV is full of so-called success stories, the programming format tends to create a rags-to-riches, “hit the lottery” mentality for both participants and those in the audience. They’re designed to create a sense of community in a modern world in which the idea of community has become increasingly fractured. The target demographic is generally the youth market, and accusations of rigged shows have basically run rampant throughout the entertainment industry. They tend to cater to the lowest common denominator in the TV audience pool, and numerous studies have shown that successful people tend to watch quality shows to put their entertainment down time to better use.
13. Watch 1 hour or less of TV
67 percent of those who are wealthy usually take in one hour or less of TV programming, versus 23 percent of the poor. One of the keys to effective time management extends to our TV watching habits. While there are plenty of quality educational shows, it’s easy to get caught up in the mesmerizing effect of television and waste away hours at a time watching shows that bombard us with negative attitudes and unproductive information. Successful people are conscious of how much time they’re spending in front of the tube, and they tend to spend it judiciously.
12. 5 Months Networking
79 percent of the wealthy spend at least five hours a month networking, vs 16 percent of the poor. Wealthy people understand that success involves networking every day, and that the health of your network of social and professional contacts requires consistent attention and management. They also know that time is the most important commodity we have, so they tend to employ a networking strategy that is selective and judicious. Having a plan and a strategy for networking increases the chances of success exponentially, while ignoring it leads to a lack of connections and a feast or famine mentality in both personal and professional life.
11. Mind What You Say
6 percent of those who are wealthy tend to express their opinions and say what’s on their minds, versus vs 69 percent of the poor. This is also known as tact. Successful people understand that every situation, regardless of whether it’s professional or personal, has a certain protocol that needs to be observed, and that constantly expressing your opinion often shows a lack of awareness of that protocol. Being opinionated can be a valuable trait in the right context, but doing it all the time can lead to unnecessary conflict that in turn reduces productivity and creates a negative impression.
10. Read 30 Minutes Every Day
88 percent of the wealthy read for 30 minutes every day to further their education or career, versus just 2 percent of the poor. If you’re looking for evidence of how this works, just take in a few studies about unemployment statistics. They show that 75 percent of all unemployed adults experience difficulty reading or writing, indicating that there is a direct connection between reading, success and economic failure. People who read well tend to have a higher vocabulary, which results in better communication, which in turn leads to better jobs and a more fulfilling life.
9. Write Down Your Goals
67 percent of wealthy people will write their goals down, versus 17 percent of the poor. While writing down goals is obviously no guarantee of success, it does tend to lead to positive action. A prime example of this is Paula Burton, the founder of Urban Girl Wellness. “There is a simple formula for success,” she states. “You have to decide exactly what it is you want. You set the goal(s), and write it down, post it up where you’ll see it every day. Then you make the plan, getting help if/when you need it, write it out. Then you work the plan, staying open to opportunity along the way. Then you have to do what it takes to reach the goal, keeping yourself motivated to be able to persevere through the ups and downs.”
8. Make Happy Birthday Calls
80 percent of those who end up wealthy will tend to do hbd calls versus just 11 percent of the poor. One of the keys to success is sweating the details. In the personal context, this means remembering names, sending thank you notes, doing follow-up contact on both a personal and professional basis, and so on. Making HBD calls falls into this category, whether it’s with family, friends or business associates with whom you’ve developed a close relationship. You never know when this kind of gesture will pay off big.
7. Have Their Children Volunteer 10 times per Month
70 percent of those parents who are wealthy will have their children volunteer at least ten times per month, vs 3 percent for the poor. According to Oprah Radio host Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, children of all ages can benefit from volunteering and giving back to the community. “We all want to raise good kids, and part of doing that is giving them real responsibilities, above and beyond doing the dishes,” he says. “When we don’t give kids responsibilities, we pay the price. Kids can become lazy and complacent and too self-focused. Volunteering and giving back prevents that and helps others.”
6. Have Children read 2-3 Non-Fiction Books per Month
63 percent of those parents who are wealthy will have their children read two or more non-fiction titles a month vs 3 percent for the poor. According to studies, the average child in the U.S. spends about 4.5 hours a day watching TV, 2.5 hours listening to music and 1.25 hours playing video games. Those same children spend less than 4 minutes a day reading non fiction, despite the fact that reading studies show that it helps increase background knowledge in a variety of subjects, which in turn accounts for as much as a 33 percent variance in student achievement.
5. Have a To-Do List
81 percent of those who are wealthy will usually have a to-do list, versus 19 percent of the poor. While your goal setting list should start small, the wealthy tend to form lists that are more ambitious. Mark Lebert, for instance, founder of Lebert Fitness, came up with a list that eventually allowed him to become the author of an award-winning children’s book, start his own company, travel to Africa to go on a safari, and raise almost $6,000 for Sharing to Learn when he decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
4. Listen to Audio Books While Driving
63 percent of those who are wealthy will take in audio books during their commute, versus 5 percent of poor people. What does listening to audio books do for success? Two things. The first is related to time management; listening to an audio book for entertainment can lower the stress of a daily commute and put down time to positive use. For those listeners who take in these books for personal improvement, enrichment or professional advancement, audio books can help change the tape loop in the brain to add information and focus on a positive message. The average American spends over 500 hours a year in the car, so listening to audio books while driving can be the equivalent to earning a college degree.
3. Do Aerobic Exercise 4 Times per Week
76 percent of those who are wealthy will almost always perform aerobic exercise four days a week, versus 23 percent of poor. The benefits of aerobic exercise have been well documented for decades. It allows people to work harder for longer and be more focused, and it’s a recurring theme among successful people. One of the most extreme examples of this is Kathy McShane, managing director of Ladies Who Launch in Connecticut, a national organization decided to turning women into successful entrepreneurs. McShane’s passion for exercise surfaced early, helping her to get a tennis scholarship that in turn allowed her to become a tennis pro with a world ranking on the ATP circuit.
2. Focus on a Single Goal
80 percent of those who are wealthy tend to focus on accomplishing a single goal, while only 12 percent of poor people do this. If you’re looking for proof of this, one of the most common strategies of successful people is based on the SMART acronym, which dictates solidifying goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. This program has been used successfully to set and accomplish goals in a wide variety of programs since its inception in 1981.
1. Consume Less than 300 Calories of Junk Food Daily
70 percent of wealthy people consume less than 300 calories worth of junk food per day, while 97 percent of poor people exceed that number on a daily basis. While the old adage that you are what you eat is more than a bit simplistic, there’s little doubt that solid eating habits promote good health, which in turn leads to greater productivity. Diet studies have shown that successful people who are also fit tend to eat small, frequent meals, which helps reduce the level of cortisol, a key stress hormone. Eating small meals consisting of 300-500 calories means less need to binge on junk food, and less junk food is necessary to satisfy that craving when you do break routine. Poor people, meanwhile, frequently have less access to healthy, nutritious food, making it easier to succumb to the lure of junk food, which has been proven to be quite addictive.
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