Search Results for: methodology

Rich Habits Study – Background and Methodology

Tom Corley boats - cropMy Rich Habits study has received international attention in the media. Newspapers, magazines, online sites, TV, radio and podcasts in 27 countries, so far, have shared bits and pieces of my research.

As a result, I have received tens of thousands of emails from around the world, regarding my research and my study methodology.

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Exercise Makes You Smarter

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In my five year study of the daily habits of the rich and poor (Rich Habits Study – Background on Methodology), 76% of the successful engaged in some form of daily exercise, predominantly aerobic exercise. Conversely, 77% of the poor did no exercise at all.

It’s no coincidence that self-made millionaires exercise consistently.

Researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland identified a gene, called Mtss1L, which is activated by aerobic exercise. This particular gene, when toggled on, boosts the connections among brain cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain associated with learning and memory.

Exercise toggles it on. Lack of exercise keeps the gene turned off.

Those who consistently exercise, while engaged in the pursuit of success, have a competitive advantage over those who do not exercise. They essentially have a gene working for them, who’s sole purpose is to make them smarter.

Imagine having a gene, who’s sole purpose is to make you smarter. What an edge!

Oftentimes, the difference between success and failure, particularly among Dreamers-Entrepreneurs, is infinitesimal. Exercise gives you an edge. This edge can make all the difference in the world, tipping the scales in your favor.

Success, and the wealth that success produces, is a process. Exercise is an important part of that process.

Lace up your sneakers. Your future success may very well depend on it.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

16 Ways Parents Pre-Program Their Children To Be Poor

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When I travel the country speaking to high school and college students about exactly what they need to do to become financially successful in life, I like to begin my presentation by asking the same three questions:

“How many want to be financially successful in life?”

“How many think they will be financially successful in life?”

Almost every time I ask the first two questions, every hand rises in the air. Then I ask the magic third question:

“How many have taken a course in school on how to be financially successful in life?”

Not one hand rises in the air, ever.

Clearly every student wants to be successful and thinks they will be successful, but none have been taught how. Not by their parents and not by their teachers.

Not only are there no courses on basic financial success principles, but there are no structured courses teaching basic financial literacy.

Is it any wonder that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck? That most Americans accumulate more debt than assets?  That many Americans lose their homes when they lose their job? Is it any wonder that most Americans cannot afford college for their children and that student loan debt is now the largest type of consumer debt? 

We are raising our children to be financially illiterate and that leads to financial struggles later in life.

Parents who are success mentors to their children, teach them specific good daily habits. And these habits put them on autopilot for financial success as adults. 

In my five-year study of the daily habits of the rich and the poor, I uncovered specific habits that were common among those struggling financially.

Below are 16 ways parents pre-program their children for poverty, extracted from my bestselling books, Rich Habits, Rich Kids and Rich Habits Poor Habits:

  1. Not Reading to Learn – 63% of self-made millionaires in my study were required by their parents to read to learn. Their parents made them read two or more books every month on topics such as: history, biographies of successful people, science, self-improvement, etc. 97% of the poor in my study said their parents never made them read to learn and thus never forged this Rich Habit. 
  2. Gambling – 6% of the wealthy in my study played the lottery vs. 77% of the poor. Worse, the poor admitted to playing the lottery regularly. According to Nicolas Christakas Habits (Yale University researcher), habits spread like a virus within your social network. Children are constantly observing what their parents do. If parents gamble, their children will very likely gamble as adults.
  3. No Dreams or Goals – 82% of the self-made millionaires had a clear vision of who they wanted to be. They had dreams and goals that motivated them to forge Rich Habits which enabled them to realize their dreams and achieve their goals. Conversely, 97% of the poor had no dreams or goals. They lacked a clear vision of who they wanted to be in the future.
  4. Failure to ExperimentParents who push their children to experiment with different activities during childhood, increase the likelihood that their children will discover an innate talent or something they enjoy doing, which could lead to a lifelong vocation. The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts institutionalize experimentation through their badge system. This enables scouts to explore things that interest them so that they can learn valuable marketable skills.
  5. Eating Unhealthy Food – 21% of the wealthy in my study were overweight vs. 66% of the poor. 78% of self-made millionaires ate little to no junk food (less than calories a day). 97% of the poor consistently ate too much junk food (more than 300 calories a day). Children eat what their parents eat. If their parents are heating junk food, their kids will eat junk food. Junk food includes fast food.
  6. Do-Nothing Habits – 63% of the wealthy in my study spent less than 1 hour per day on recreational Internet use. 74% of the poor spent more than an hour a day in the Internet. 67% of the wealthy watched less than 1 hour of TV per day vs 23% of the poor. 9% of the wealthy watched reality TV shows vs. 78% of the poor. Besides, TV and the Internet, time wasting habits also include Snapchat, Instagram, video games, etc.
  7. Absentee Parents – 83% of the wealthy in my study attended back to school night for their kids vs. 13% of the poor. 29% of the wealthy had one or more children who made the honor roll vs. 4% of the poor. When parents are engaged with teachers and the school. they become accountability partners to their children.
  8. No Daily Self-Improvement – The drive to improve was a hallmark of the self-made millionaires in my study. Daily self-improvement was a habit forged in their childhood years thanks to their parents. The poor in my study said their parents did not make self-improvement a priority growing up.
  9. Poor Money Habits – 73% of the wealthy in my study had smart money habits, long before they became wealthy. 95% of the poor did not. Many were, in fact, financially illiterate, as were their parents. This is the main reason so many who struggle financially, fall into the credit debt trap as young adults. They just don’t know any better.
  10. Toxic Friends – 79% of the wealthy surrounded themselves with like-minded, upbeat individuals who were pursuing similar dreams and goals. Only 16% of the poor said they did this. Habits spread like a virus throughout your social network. How well do you know the friends of your children? Do they possess the traits or habits you are trying to instill in your children?
  11. Anti-Rich Bias – 78% of the wealthy in my study said they believed the wealthy were good, hardworking and persistent individuals. created their own good luck through hard work, persistence, daily practice, determination and goal achievement. 95% of the poor believed the rich were not good, hardworking people. 52% of the poor believed the rich were rich primarily because of random good luck. They did not believe the pursuit of wealth is what made that luck possible.
  12. Victim Mindset – 79% of the wealthy in my study said that they believed they were personally responsible for their success or failure in life. 82% of the poor believed they were poor because of factors outside their control, such as Wall Street, banks, the rich, government policies, circumstances they were born into, etc. Are you raising your children to take individual responsibility for their life circumstances? Do you, as a parent, constantly blame rich people, employers, the government, Wall Street or society for your poverty? Do your children see poverty as dictated by fate, which only leads to a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness?
  13. Entitlement Mindset – Children must be taught to work for the things they want, such as cell phones, video games, toys, etc. When they are given everything they want by their parents, it’s easy for kids to develop an Entitlement Mindset. having a Victim Mindset leads to an Entitlement Mindset, especially when you look to government to solve your financial problems. The adult world punishes those with an Entitlement Mindset.
  14. Lack of Consistent Exercise – 95% of self-made millionaires in my study exercised aerobically 30 minutes or more per day, four days a week. Only 23% of poor did the same. Studies have shown that daily aerobic exercise improves brain health, brain efficiency and IQ. Children mimic the habits of their parents. Do you, as a parent, exercise daily? Do you make your children exercise daily?
  15. No Success Mentors – Almost all of the self-made millionaires in my study had some success mentor in life. Success mentors put you on the fast track for success. They teach you what to do and what not to do. They also teach you the habits you’ll need in order to succeed in life. The mentors of my millionaires were one of their parents (56%), a career mentor (24%), a teacher (8%) or someone else (4%). Parents are often the only shot most have at having a success mentor in life. Only 4% of the poor said that they had a success mentor in their lives. Are you a success mentor for your child? Do you actively seek success mentors for your children? You can find success mentors in the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, Big Brothers and other similar organizations. Are your children part of any mentoring organizations within your community?
  16. Negative Mindset – 63% of the wealthy in my study had a positive, optimistic, upbeat mindset. 94% of the poor had a negative, pessimistic, hopeless mindset. Studies, such as the Broaden and Build Study, have shown that a negative mental outlook inhibits and depresses the ability to focus, creativity and certain other brain functions. The expression of emotions and your positive or negative outlook on life are habits. Children pick up the habits of their parents. Are your Parent emotions and mindset negative or positive?

Thanks to something called mirror neurons, children are hardwired to mimic the habits of their parents. Good or bad, they will mimic your habits. If those habits are good, your children will mimic your good habits. If those habits are bad, they will mimic your bad habits. 

According to a Brown University Study, in which the habits of 50,000 families were analyzed, the author of the study, Dr. Pressman, found that most of our adult habits were forged by the age of nine.

In another study by Nicholas Christakis, he found that habits spread throughout our social network. Parents are a big part of that social network.

Since children spend most of their early lives with their parents, these two studies show the critical role parents play in the habits all of us forge in life.

We don’t have a wealth gap in this country, we have a habit gap. We don’t have income inequality, we have habit inequality.

If parents have too many Poor Habits, what’s the remedy? 

Teachers can fill the void. The school system can step in and instill in their students good habits. Habit education must, therefore, become a structured part of our education system.  

Furthermore, high schools should be teaching very specific financial education courses to students beginning in freshman year:

  • How to Pay Bills and Balance a Checkbook (freshman year)
  • How to Save and Invest Your Savings (sophomore year)
  • How Insurance Works – Auto Insurance, Home Owners Insurance, Health Insurance (junior year)
  • Understanding Student Loans (junior year)
  • Personal Income Tax Fundamentals (senior year)

Schools teach what they are required to teach and nothing more. It’s unfortunate, but few financial education courses are a requirement in most schools.

It Takes 32 Years to Become Rich – According to My Rich Habits Study

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How long does it take for the average rich person to become rich? Ten years, twenty years?

How about thirty-two years.

That’s how long it took the average self-made millionaire, according to my data.

It took 38 years for 52% of the self-made millionaires in my study to accumulate their wealth and 42 years for 21% of them to get there.

Only a handful, 4%, became wealthy in less than 27 years.

Let me share some of my data with you.

Seventy-six percent of the wealthy in my Rich Habits Study (http://richhabits.net/rich-habits-study-background-on-methodology/) were self-made millionaires. Thirty-one percent came from poor households and 45% came from middle-class households.

What’s compelling about the data I gathered, is the age in which these self-made millionaires actually rang and bell and struck it rich.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1% (2 out of 233) became wealthy before the age of 40
  • 3% (6 out of 233) became wealthy between age 40 and 55
  • 16% (38 out of 233) became wealthy between age 46 and 50
  • 28% (66 out of 233) became wealthy between age 51 and 55
  • 31% (73 out of 233) became wealthy between age 56 and 60
  • 21% (48 out of 233) became wealthy after the age of 60

The romanticized notion of getting rich quick always finds an eager audience. We are stimulated by stories about the young and the wealthy. The immediate success of youthful billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brinbut, play to our get rich quick desires.

It turns out, however, that getting rich quickly is a very rare phenomenon.

It’s clear from my Rich Habits research data, that accumulating wealth takes a very long time. It just doesn’t happen overnight.

In fact, 80% of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study did not become wealthy until after age 50.

What’s even more of an eye opener is that 27% of my Rich Habits millionaires failed at least once in business.

The path to riches is a long, winding and upward climb. Those few who do make it, are disciplined, gritty, persistent and patient.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

6 Social Skills That Make You Irresistible

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Tom Corley boats - cropThe self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had habituated important social skills that helped them forge and grow relationships with those who matter – other sucess-minded people.

Having good social skills acts like a magnet, drawing the right kind of people to you – people who are influencers and who can open doors for you.

In my book, Rich Kids, I shared many of the social skills self-made millionaires learned from their non-rich parents; skills which eventually morphed int habits that helped them build relationships with individuals who became part of their core inner circle. Here’s a short summary, from Rich Kids, of some of the most important social skills:

  1. Look everyone in the eye for no more than 5 seconds at a time, then divert your glance for another 5 seconds. Staring into others eyes too long, makes them feel uncomfortable. This diverting practice helps keep conversations relaxed and going.
  2. Ask questions about the lives of others. The Universal Law of Self Interest is hardwired into every human being. People are constantly thinking about themselves. When you focus the conversation on the other person, they immediately begin to like you. Ask them questions about their birthday, their hobbies, their interests, the schools they attended, where they grew up, current family background (married? kids?), where they live, dreams or goals they are pursuing.
  3. Properly introducing yourself to new people at social events, is critical to building new relationships. Smile and shake their hand while looking them in the eyes. Write down their name in a notebook you carry (writing improves memory retention by marshaling the powers of the cerebellum). In one sentence explain who you are and why you are at the event. Then immediately shift to asking questions about your new future friend.
  4. Be polite – Yes, Please, Thank You, May I, etc.
  5. Smile – A lot. Smiling relaxes those you are talking to. Authentic smiling makes you appear uber-friendly.
  6. To Don’ts: Don’t interrupt others who are talking to you or others. Don’t look at your cell phone while others are talking to you. Don’t look around the room, while others are talking to you. Don’t curse or use inappropriate language.

Success is a process. At the heart of that process are good habits. Forging good social skill habits is important to building relationships.

And Rich Relationships are the currency of the wealthy.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Successful Entrepreneurs Never Assume

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Assumptions are, by definition, the act of accepting as fact, something which is unknown.

The habit of making assumptions is a bad one because it can lead to unexpected consequences, oftentimes bad ones that cost you not only time but money.

In my five year study of the daily habits of the rich and poor (Rich Habits Study), 72% of the poor in my study had this False Assumption Poor Habit.

Sixty-seven percent of the self-made millionaires in my study were entrepreneurs, or individuals who were pursuing some dream. When you are an entrepreneur, you figure out what to do and what not to do through the school of hard knocks.

In this school, the entrepreneurs learn the hard way the fallout of making assumptions. Those assumptions can lead to mistakes which cost them time and money.

Time is one thing, but money is a precious commodity to budding entrepreneurs who need every dollar. They simply cannot afford to lose too much money.

Successful entrepreneurs quickly realize that making assumptions jeopardizes their business. So, they make a habit of vetting all assumptions.

I found in my research that individuals make assumptions in one of four ways:

  1. You do not ask enough questions.
  2. You do not ask enough of the right questions.
  3. You don’t seek feedback from experts in your industry.
  4. If you do seek feedback, you ignore it.

Successful entrepreneurs do not make important decisions until they have evaluated all of the feedback they receive from many different sources. This helps them avoid making false assumptions.

Seeking feedback from others, prior to making any important decision, is a firewall against making a false assumption.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

7 Types of Wealth

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When you think about the word “wealth”, what immediately comes to mind?

Money, or investments right?

When I began writing my first book, Rich Habits, it occurred to me that there were many habits of the rich (see Rich Habits Study) that seemed completely unrelated to the accumulation of money.

There were things like exercising aerobically every day – 76% of the rich in my study exercised 30 minutes or more every day, aerobically.

I found many other habits that seemed unrelated to the accumulation of money, but that nonetheless, had beneficial effects on the lives of the rich.

Thanks to my study, I now understand that there are numerous types of wealth.

In fact, I’ve identified seven types, which I’d like to share with you.

#1 Financial Wealth – Having more money than you need to live the life you want to live.

#2 Health Wealth – Lean, healthy, physically fit and the absence of disease.

#3 Relationship Wealth – Surrounded by an abundance of upbeat, optimistic, happy people who love you, care about you and who encourage and support everything you do.

#4 Time Wealth – Having enough free, non-work time to spend with family and friends and to do the things you like to do.

#5 Intellectual Wealth – Possessing expert knowledge that you put to use in providing an income for you and your family.

#6 Talent Wealth – Possessing unique talents that you put to use in providing an income for you and your family.

#7 Peace of Mind Wealth – Low levels of day to day stress. Mentally calm and relaxed.

Wealth isn’t always about money. There are many ways you can be rich.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Prepare Yourself For Success

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The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery are one in three hundred million.

Not far behind, are the odds of becoming an overnight success.

It’s exceptionally rare to pursue something new and become immediately successful at it. But it does happen:

  • Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind in 1936. In that same year, the book sold 176,000 copies, unprecedented for an author. But the more incredible feat was that Gone With the Wind was Mitchell’s first and only book. The book has since gone on to sell more than 33 million copies. By contrast, the average author never sells more than 500 books in their entire lifetime. For self-published authors, that number is less than 200 books sold during a lifetime.
  • Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook on February 4, 2004 from his Harvard University dorm room. By 2007 Facebook had become a phenomenon, making Zuckerberg an overnight success and a very wealthy young man.
  • Elon Musk started Zip2 in 1995. Zip2 was a company that provided and licensed online city guide software to newspapers. In February 1999, just four years later, Compaq Computer paid Musk and his two partners $307 million to acquire Zip2.

The media loves to write stories about individuals who suddenly become successful. It excites readers and gives them hope that they too can become rich and successful.

Reality, however, is not so exciting.

Let me share some of my data with you about the millionaires in my Rich Habits Study:

  • 1% (2 out of 233) became wealthy before the age of 40
  • 3% (6 out of 233) became wealthy between age 40 and 55
  • 16% (38 out of 233) became wealthy between age 46 and 50
  • 28% (66 out of 233) became wealthy between age 51 and 55
  • 31% (73 out of 233) became wealthy between age 56 and 60
  • 21% (48 out of 233) became wealthy after the age of 60

If you do the math, 80% did not become rich until after the age of 50.

The romanticized notion of getting rich quick always finds an eager audience. We are stimulated by stories about the young and the wealthy. The immediate success of youthful billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin play to our get rich quick desires.

We also obsess over stories about lottery winners. And the lottery people know it. California’s lottery catchphrase is Imagine What a Buck Could Do. New York’s lottery catchphrase is  Dollar and a Dream. There is even a popular reality T.V. show called Lottery Changed My Life about how the lives of lottery winners were changed.

Instant gratification is the rallying cry of millions with a get rich quick mindset.

Unfortunately, getting rich quickly is a rare phenomenon. It’s clear from the above data that accumulating wealth takes a very long time.

One of the reasons success takes so long is because the pursuit of success is often accompanied by adversity. Setbacks, mistakes and temporary failures are common among self-made millionaires. Those who persevere, overcome adversity by learning what to do and what not to do. And that learning, takes time.

This is why those few who do succeed, are almost always seasoned veterans.

For most successful people, success is a long process; a progression of one thing to the next, completely under the radar of your consciousness. You just don’t see success happening in real time, even when it’s happening, because the march towards success is so slow and takes so long.

It is very much like snow falling on the side of a mountain. You don’t see the snow accumulating or the snow bank growing. Then one day, there is an avalanche.

Success may eventually reward you with an avalanche of riches, but it is an avalanche that is the byproduct of decades of laser focus, hard work, learning, pivoting and relentless persistence.

Those who understand this have realistic expectations of the journey and, therefore, do not become disheartened when success is not immediate.

Is There One Overriding Secret to Success?

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Is There One Overriding Secret to Success?

I’ve spent the better part of 14 years interviewing/studying rich people and poor people. As a result, I’ve accumulated an enormous amount of research data. I’ve shared a good amount of my research with tens of millions around the globe, thanks to my friends in the media and my Rich Habits devotees.

One question I am constantly asked by those familiar with my books and research is this:

Did you find one overriding secret to becoming rich?

The answer is most definitely, YES!

There was one singular thing that I discovered which was most responsible for transforming the poor or middle-class into multi-millionaires. And this one thing transcended all of the best advice from the wisest purveyors of self-help.

What is this one thing?

Having a clear vision of who you want to be twenty years from now.

The self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had a clear vision of the desired future version of themselves.

Why is having a clear vision so important?

Having a clear vision of who you want to be in the future is the springboard which forces you to change from who you are, to who you want to be. This clear vision sets in motion powerful forces, which transforms you into the person you need to be in order to realize success and its byproduct, wealth.

A Clear Vision Ignites Passion

A clear vision acts like a match to paper, igniting the fires of passion, stimulating you to take action. That action then further feeds the fires of passion.

When you light the fires of passion, work ceases to be work. It changes from drudgery to pleasure. And your mindset shifts from negative to positive, a critical success trait. Your life seems to take on new meaning.

Having a clear vision has another domino effect, triggering other powerful forces, such as revealing your inner talents.

A Clear Vision Exposes Inner Talents

We all have innate talents, or things that come easier to us than others. Unfortunately, most never discover their innate talents because they lack a clear vision of who they want to be and, as a result, the drive, motivation or passion to experiment with new activities, is hard to find.

There is a little-known energy source that lies dormant inside each one of us, until we arouse it. This energy source is your emotions.

When you discover an innate talent, you amp up the emotional centers of the brain, which then fuel all of your energy needs while perfecting your talent. This emotional energy enables you to practice for many hours without feeling tired or losing energy.

A Clear Vision Helps Define the Right Goals

A goal can be good or bad. Good goals help move you forward toward the realization of your vision. Bad goals don’t move you forward and are, in fact, time wasters. When you have a clear vision, you are able to see and separate good goals from bad goals.

Again, like a set of dominoes, those good goals then lead to the creation of daily habits which help you in the accomplishment of those goals.

A Clear Vision Forces the Adoption of Success Habits

Your daily habits are the construction crew that helps you construct your ideal, future life. When you have a clear vision, you will forge daily habits which will help move you toward the realization of your vision.

A Clear Vision Attracts Power Relationships

Power Relationships are relationships with influencers who can assist you in realizing your vision. These Power Relationships will be successful and often wealthy people whose inner circle can open up doors with one phone call.

No one succeeds in a vacuum. You need others who can help you become who you want to be. A clear vision attracts Power Relationships to you, like a magnet.

A Clear Vision Transforms Ordinary Individuals Into Virtuosos

A Virtuoso is anyone who has unique, advanced skills and knowledge. Society will pay Virtuosos a premium for their product or service, because they perceive Virtuosos as more valuable.

Once again, like a set of dominoes, the growth habits a clear vision births, enables you to become a virtuoso once you adopt those habits.

Growth habits are daily routines, such as reading to learn, deliberate practice and analytical practice. A clear vision forces you to do things on a daily basis which eventually transforms you into a virtuoso.

A Clear Vision Creates an Explosive Work Ethic

When you have a clear vision, you become passionate about the work you do which, you believe, will help you realize your vision. This passion triggers unrelenting persistence, as you march forward to creating the future you.

To the independent observer, this unrelenting persistence is seen as nothing more than a hard work ethic. But, a hard work ethic, so common among successful, wealthy people, is, itself, nothing more than an unrelenting persistence fueled by passion.

Becoming rich is a process. When you have a clear vision of who you want to be, that process reveals itself. Your vision acts like a GPS, guiding you along the correct path – the path that leads to mastery, success and wealth.

The Advantages of Growing Up In Poverty

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Those who struggle with poverty, while growing up, see the world as a very different place than those raised in the middle-class or in wealthy households.

In my Rich Habits Study, 41% of the 177 self-made millionaires were raised in poor households. Yet, somehow they managed to break out of their poverty as adults.

Ironically, according to my research, being poor actually endows you with certain advantages over the middle-class and the wealthy.

More Willing to Take Risks

One of the common denominators among all of the self-made millionaires in my study, was the need to become comfortable with taking risk. Growing up poor forces you to take risks in the pursuit of wealth. Overcoming the fear of taking risks, therefore, becomes a habit.

With respect to my Rich Habits self-made millionaires, the fear of taking risk resurfaced only after they accumulated their wealth. At that point, the fear of losing their hard-earned wealth motivated them to hire wealth advisors, insurance agents, CPAs, Estate Planners and other financial advisors to help them preserve their wealth. So, becoming rich actually lowered their tolerance for taking risks, risks which could potentially decrease their wealth.

Desire to Change is Great

Poverty can either beat you down or make you stronger. For the self-made millionaires in my study, it made them stronger. That’s why they were in my study – poverty motivated them to achieve.

Their desire to become successful and rich drove them to transform themselves. This desire to change motivated them to learn what they needed to know in order to succeed. It also forced them to develop and perfect superior skills in order to earn more than their competition.

Superior Work Ethic

A hard work ethic is a prerequisite to success. Those who are raised in poverty, have no choice but to work hard. Thus, the poor develop a hard work ethic. When you are able to combine that hard work ethic with your dreams and goals, what a powerful combination!

If you grow up in an environment of comfort, you might be less willing to do the hard work success requires.

Failure Doesn’t Scare You As Much

One of the downsides of failure, is that failing at something can put you in the poor house. When you grow up poor, you don’t fear poverty as much, because it is something you are familiar with and something you survived. Therefore, failure does not frighten you as much and, in fact, emboldens you to take risks.

Poverty Removes Rose-Colored Lenses

When you grow up poor you see things through a much different lens. You know life can be very hard when you are poor. Things can and do go wrong. You know that because you experienced that growing up in poverty. The experience of poverty allows you to see things as they really are and not allow yourself to be blinded by unrealistic rose-colored optimism.

Being anchored in reality, allows you to see potential pitfalls ahead of time, which enables you to navigate and pivot around those pitfalls. Those who are not raised in poverty, might see things as they wish them to be and be blind to reality, until it hits. And when it hits, it’s always a surprise, leaving you ill-prepared to deal with that reality.

Comfortable With Failure and Setbacks

Those who struggle with poverty become familiar with failure and setbacks. Consequently, when things go wrong, as they often do in the pursuit of wealth, those raised in poverty don’t raise the white flag and surrender. Rather, they see failure and setbacks as normal and something that can be overcome.

Accustomed to Sacrifice

Growing up poor means you are unable to possess the things non-poor people take for granted. Poverty forces you to become accustomed to doing without. This actually is a great advantage. The pursuit of wealth always requires sacrifice. Sometimes for many years. If you’re accustomed to sacrifice, it’s less painful and more tolerable.

Frugality is a Habit

The poor have no choice but to be frugal with their spending. They forge the frugality habit at a very young age. And, as you know, habits are hard to break. This frugality habit, therefore, follows the poor into their wealthy adult lives.

Growing up poor is not necessarily a disadvantage. Poverty forces you to develop certain traits that can actually be leveraged to your advantage, helping you in the pursuit of your dreams and goals.