Thomas C. Corley

About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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Here’s Why the Rich Volunteer


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In my Rich Habits Study, 72% of the wealthy volunteered five hours or more every month.

Volunteering is all about building relationships with other successful or success-minded people.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Most of the people on the board of directors of local community non-profits are the most successful people in the community, or high achievers who are still pursuing success.

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to work closely with the members of the board, as well as the committee members. This allows you to showcase your skills in a very forgiving environment.

As they get to know you and your abilities, these relationships will eventually morph into business relationships. People like doing business with individuals they like, trust and know.

The relationships you forge volunteering will help open doors for you and for the members of your family. They will also expose you to opportunities that will enhance your career or your business.

Build Relationships With Those Who Are in a Position of Power


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People who are in a position of power, hold all the cards.

More often than not, those who are in a position of power are those who are supervisors, senior executives or business owners.

But being in a position of power doesn’t always mean being the boss or the owner. It does mean, however, that others perceive of you as a person of significant value.

And when you are in a position of power, people are happy to pay you a premium for your services or for whatever it is you’re selling.

Being a person of significant value requires that you stand out somehow.

You can stand out because you possess certain expert skills (think LeBron James).

You can stand out because you are exceptionally knowledgeable in niches that society views as important (think Surgeon).

You can stand out because you have powerful relationships with other individuals who are in a position of power (think Politician)

You can stand out because you’re rich (think the Walton Family).

You can stand out because you’re some type of celebrity (think Mark Wahlberg).

Building any relationship takes time. Often, many years. If you are pursuing success, as many of my readers are, you want to devote time to building relationships with individuals who are in a position of power.

People who are in a position of power are able to move mountains. With one phone call they can turn a dream start-up into a Facebook. They can open the door to bankers who will fund your business or idea. They can remove barriers that stand in your way.

Fast Food is Junk Food


Tom Corley boats - cropIn my Rich Habits Study, 69% of the poor people in my study said they ate several times a week at fast food restaurants.

Conversely, 93% of the self-made millionaires in my study said they made a conscious effort to avoid fast food restaurants.

For the most part, the food at fast food restaurants is junk food.

Junk food is high in calories and low in nutrition.

To compensate for the low nutritional value of junk food, the vagus nerve sends out an “I’m hungry” SOS signal to the brain, just a few hours after eating junk food, in order to seek more nutrition.

And then its back to the fast food restaurant for more junk food.

The microbiome is responsible for extracting energy from the calories we consume. It also synthesizes vitamins out of the food we consume.

Having the right microbiome in your large intestine makes you healthy.

Having the wrong microbiome in your large intestine causes colds, flus, upper respiratory infections, cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and all sorts of other horrific diseases.

Because the microbiota in junk food is bad microbiota, the more junk food you consume, the worse it is for your health.

Thanks to mirror neurons, children mimmic the behaviors of their parents. This includes eating junk food, just like their parents.

Eating healthy, nutritional foods, packed with fiber and good microbiota, is a Rich Habit; one that creates good health and longevity.

Healthy people have fewer sick days, more productivity and a longer work life. This translates into more income and lower health care costs.

Rich Habits Poor Habits – Super Parents Raise Kids Who Become the 1%

Michael Yardney and Tom Corley discuss where the rich learned their rich habits – and it’s not what you think.


How to Grow Relationships With Other Successful People


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In my Rich Habits Study, 80% of the wealthy called certain people religiously at least once every other month, just to say hello.

These were individuals the rich wanted to foster relationships with. Think millionaires, successful people, influencers, etc.

In reality, this Hello Call was far more than a hello call. It was a reconnaissance mission.

There are two purposes to the Hello Call.

The first is to keep the relationship alive through constant contact.

The second purpose is about gathering certain information about the individual they wanted to forge a relationship with. They were making Hello Calls in order to gain intelligence on their contact. The more information they were able to obtain the more they could use that information to grow the relationship.

Rich people have been doing this for years for good reason. They understand that one day these Rich Relationships would pay dividends.

It might be a new client or customer. It might be access to money. It might be a new partner. It might be an open door. It might be any number of things, even just a call to head of the admissions office for you college-bound child.

So, what information should you be gathering in your Hello Calls?

  1. Basic contact information: name, address, phone, email, Twitter, Facebook etc.
  2. Name of spouse and children.
  3. Birthdays of contact, spouse and children.
  4. Interests/Hobbies of contact, spouse and children.
  5. Schools attended by your contact, spouse and children.
  6. What their spouse does for a living.
  7. Previous employment of contact and spouse.
  8. If their children work, what do they do, where do they work?
  9. Where did they grow up?
  10. Where did they live previously?
  11. Do they like sports? If so, what sports?
  12. Do they drink alcohol? If so, what do they like to drink?
  13. What’s their favorite foods?
  14. What groups, non-profits or community organizations are they affiliated with?
  15. Where do they like to vacation?
  16. What did their parents do for a living?
  17. Significant achievements/accomplishments?
  18. Licenses, designations they may have?
  19. Do they exercise? If so, what do they do?
  20. Who are their most important relationships: attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors, religious etc. This one comes with time. As you the relationship grows, you will be introduced to the people inside their circle.

This information should be documented and reviewed periodically. The more you know about the relationships that matter, the more those relationships will grow.

Here’s Why Successful People Control Their Emotions


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Emotions are a habit.

How you react emotionally, when life throws a wrench into things, is a habit.

One of the greatest traits of the self-made millionaires in my study was their ability to control negative emotions when all hell was breaking loose.

Why is controlling your emotions so important to success?

In a landmark study called the Broaden and Build Theory, lead researcher, B. L. Fredrickson discovered that negativity reduces cognitive ability. Meaning, emotions prevent you from thinking clearly.

Here’s the physiology behind the Broaden and Build Theory:

When you become emotional, the Amygdala, part of the subconscious Limbic System, takes control of your brain. It overpowers your neocortex, the executive command and control center of the brain.

With the neocortex partially shut down, decisions and actions are directed by the Amygdala.

Often, these decisions and actions are retaliatory and wind up damaging or destroying relationships; relationships you may have devoted a lifetime to building.

Also, these decisions and actions are not well-thought out. Knee jerk reactions/decisions are made; reactions/decisions you would never consider with a clear head.

Because your neocortex is missing in action, you overlook facts and details. Your focus becomes narrow. You are not acting and making decisions with a clear head.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Self-made millionaires forge the habit of controlling their emotions in order to maintain their cognitive abilities. This allows them to think through problems, come up with thoughtful solutions and solve the problem that created the turmoil in the first place.

This is why controlling your emotions is a Rich Habit.

Are Millionaires Just Lucky?


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In my speaker role, I am often asked by someone, “How important is luck with respect to becoming rich?”

It’s a very good question.

There are certain self-made millionaires (Saver/Investors), where luck does not play much of a factor. These millionaires become rich by saving and prudently investing their savings. Time, more than luck, is the overriding factor in accumulating wealth for these types of millionaires.

For the entrepreneurs or those chasing some dream, however, luck becomes a major variable in their success equation.

With respect to these entrepreneurs/dreamers, I learned that, through their daily habits, they tee’d themselves up to become lucky. I even gave the unique type of luck they create a name – Opportunity Luck.

In order to understand Opportunity Luck, you need to understand luck in general. There are four types of luck:

  1. Random Good Luck
  2. Random  Bad Luck
  3. Opportunity Good Luck and
  4. Detrimental Bad Luck

Random Good Luck

This is a type of luck that no one has control over. It’s like winning the lottery, receiving an inheritance from an old relative you didn’t even know you had or simply being born into a rich family.

Random Bad Luck

When people say they have no luck, they usually mean they have no good luck. The fact is, we all experience luck in our lives. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s random bad luck. Getting hit by lightening, your employer going bankrupt, war breaking out in your country, being born with color blindness or being a jew in Germany between 1939 – 1945 are all types of Random Bad Luck.

Opportunity Good Luck

This is the type of good luck that entrepreneurs and dreamers create. How? They do certain things that create the opportunity for good luck to occur in their lives.

  • They pursue a dream. The dream requires fast learning, so they read a lot about anything related to their dream. This new knowledge opens their eyes to opportunities that were previously invisible to them. Seeing opportunities means you can pursue them. Opportunities that pay off, create good luck.
  • They take risks. What makes a risk a risk, is the impossibility of knowing everything you need to know in order to succeed. As a result, mistakes are made. These mistakes teach you what works and what doesn’t work. Mistakes help you stumble onto unique processes that help automate success. These new processes create good luck.
  • They experiment. Like risk, experimentation reveals what works and what doesn’t work. Same outcome as taking risks – you stumble upon unique process that help you automate success. These new processes create good luck.
  • They forge good habits. When you are chasing a dream, almost by default, you must create goals in order to realize your dream. Embedded in every goal is action. Actions that work, you habitualize. These new habits help automate success and create good luck.

Detrimental Bad Luck

This is a type of bad luck that finds residence in the poor and the struggling. Why? They do certain things that manifest this bad luck. I call these certain things, Poor Habits. These include, overeating, never exercising, not reading every day for self-improvement, watching too much T.V. and many others. Each Poor Habit is like a snowflake on a mountainside. In time, these snowflakes build up until you experience an avalanche of bad luck. This might be a heart attack, getting fired from your job, or bankruptcy.

You only need to worry about luck if you are an entrepreneur or chasing some dream. Those who save and invest aren’t really dependent on luck.

The Wealth Elite


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One of the valid criticisms of my Rich Habits study is that my study was conducted by a non-academic and, thus, did not apply the generally accepted methodologies used by academia in studies.

Also, my research included both qualitative (Q & A Interviews) and quantitive data, and this deviates from the norm, which is primarily quantitative in nature.

In short, I was an outsider and, thus, not qualified to embark on such a study.

Well, finally, an insider in academia, Reiner Zitelmann, who holds a PhD in History and Sociology and author of 21 books, embarked on a study, very similar to my Rich Habits Study.

Zitelmann’s study, like my Rich Habits study, applied a qualitative and quantitative approach.

In his study, Zitelmann interviewed 45 wealthy individuals. He asked many questions. Each interview lasted between one to two hours during the period of October 2015 – march 2016.

Zitelmann, a professed insider, confirmed the advantages of the qualitative approach to such a study, which I knew, intuitively.

Zitelmann shared his research in an amazing book titled, The Wealth Elite, which I highly recommend.

Zitelmann corroborates many of my findings in my Rich Habits Study. This is a truly remarkable book and I highly recommend it to my audience.

Many of the findings will be very familiar to my followers and subscribers.

While the breath of the study encompasses only 45 wealthy individuals, as compared to 233 in my study, it nonetheless confirms many of the findings in my Rich Habits Study.

Knowledge is power and seeking knowledge is a Rich Habit.

This book is filled with knowledge. It will be another tool in your tool belt that you can use along your journey towards success and the realization of your dreams and goals.

What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur


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It is not easy being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs must fight millions of years of human evolution; evolution that compels you to seek out the safety inherent in the herd.

This desire to herd helped early humans survive the onslaught of predators, lurking around every corner. Being part of a herd was the means by which humans survived the early years of humanity.

But entrepreneurship requires rugged individualism. That individualism forces entrepreneurs to step outside the herd; separating themselves from the thinking and actions of the herd.

In short, they are forced to lead and to create their own herd.

Successful entrepreneurs who become millionaires have hundreds in their herd.

Successful entrepreneurs who become deca-millionaires have thousands in their herd.

And successful entrepreneurs who have millions in their herd, become billionaires.

Those who are unable to step outside the herd are not suited for entrepreneurship. And that’s OK.

Most people are not suited to be entrepreneurs. The vast majority find comfort in the herd. They are happy to live their lives doing what everybody else is doing. Safety and security trumps their desire for wealth and success.

Consequently, those not suited to be entrepreneurs, do what others inside the herd do. They think what others inside the herd think. And their very success depends on the success of the herd.

If you believe you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, you need to become aware of the many things that can derail entrepreneurship. These are the  enemies of entrepreneurship:

  • Fear & Doubt That Causes Inaction
  • Procrastination
  • Complacency
  • Victim Mindset
  • Feeling Hopeless
  • Desire for Safety & Security
  • Perfectionism
  • Quitting on Yourself
  • Lack of Persistence
  • Lack of Consistency
  • Poor Processes or No Processes
  • Bad Habits
  • Negative Thinking
  • Limiting Beliefs
  • Under-Capitalization
  • Poor Health

There are also structural enemies of entrepreneurship:

  • Heavy Government Regulations
  • Socialist or Communist Economic Systems
  • Dictatorial Government Leaders
  • Crony Capitalism

These structural enemies make is difficult, if not impossible, to succeed as an entrepreneur.

Countries who encourage entrepreneurship, embrace capitalism. They typically have low business taxes, tolerable government regulations and a free market system with minimal government interference.

Even the Scandanavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) who have been misrepresented as socialist countries, embrace free market capitalism, have low government control and regulation over businesses and keep business taxes relatively low (20-24%).

Rich Habits Poor Habits – Do the Rich Work More or Less Than the Poor?

Michael Yardney and Tom Corley discuss why the more you work the richer you become – believe it or not.