Always Start With a Big Brush


Tom Corley boats - crop

Painters always start with a big brush. Using a big brush first allows painters to create the initial overall shape of whatever it is they are painting. Once they have their shape completed, only then do they move to the smaller brushes in order to fill in the details of their painting, bringing their painting to life.

Creating the life of your dreams requires the same thing. You must start with a big brush in order to create the outline of the life you desire. This big brush outline focuses on certain basic qualities of the life you desire:

  • Financial independence
  • Doing work that you love
  • Having a loving family
  • Living in a beautiful house in a safe neighborhood.

Once you have the outline of the life you desire, only then do you fill in the details:

  • Saving 20% of my income until I have $3 million in the bank
  • Getting my Certified Financial Planner license so that I can become a successful financial planner
  • Finding a loving spouse who desires to start a family
  • Buying or building a Victorian home three blocks from the beach

The outline is your WHY. The details are your HOW. Like a painter, you build the life of your dreams by reaching for the big brush first, your WHY, and only after you have defined your WHY do you reach for the smaller brush to define your HOW.

The mistake most make is reaching for the smaller brush first. They put their ladder on someone else’s wall by pursuing some career path a parent or teacher recommended. Only latter in life do you realize that you were pursuing someone else’s WHY. And you’re unhappy with their WHY because it’s not your WHY.

Those who live the life of their dreams always put their ladder on their wall. They reach for the big brush first. That gives them their WHY and the rest, as they say, is just details.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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