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, Money.com, India TV, News.com 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, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com 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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Acknowledge Kindness

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We are all flawed human beings. Many of those flaws are subtle ones. Flaws we don’t even recognize, unless someone close to us is kind enough to point them out.

The problem is, no one likes it when others point out our flaws. Our human instinct is to take offense to constructive criticism or feedback we receive from others.

Self-awreness is the remedy. As I mentioned in a Business Insider article titled What Self-Made Millionaires Think About Every Day, one of the daily habits of self-made millionaires is to force self-awareness, in order to grow and improve.

How many people have done something nice for you? How many people have helped you in life? Have you forged the daily Rich Habit of thanking them in some way? This Rich Habit of Acknowledging Kindness helps you forge long-lasting, powerful relationships.

Acknowledging Kindness can be as simple as sending out a thank you card. It could be, or rather, should be, repaying that kindness in multiples. Here are some things to self-reflect upon:

  • Did anyone do something nice for you recently? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone help you recently? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone ever lend you money? Make a list, pay them back, and thank them.
  • Did anyone lend you a tool, clothing, a car, their house, a book? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone help you in your career? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone offer you advice that was helpful? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone come to your aid? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone go above and beyond in any service they provided to you? Make a list and thank them in some way.
  • Did anyone pick up the cost for dinner, bar drinks, anything? Make a list and thank them in some way.

Relationships are the currency of the wealthy. One of the many ways self-made millionaires forge strong relationships is by acknowledging the kindness of others. Relationships just don’t grow by themselves. They require nurturing, fertilizer, in order to grow. One of the most powerful types of relationship fertilizer is the Rich Habit of acknowledging the kind acts of others.

Let others know that they matter. Let them know that you appreciate their kindness and consideration. Always acknowledge the kindness of others.

Best Self-Help Books

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Received a few requests asking me to provide a list of the best self-help/inspirational books I’ve read. Here’s my list:

  • How to Win Friends and Influence People
  • Psycho Cibernetics
  • The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Murphy)
  • Head Strong (Dave Asprey)
  • Superbodies (Wells)
  • The Millionaire Next Door
  • The Millionaire Mind
  • The Richest Man in Babylon
  • Release Your Brakes (Newman)
  • Success Principles (Canfield)
  • The Compound Effect
  • 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth (John Maxwell)
  • The Art of Work (Goins)
  • The Science of Getting Rich (Wattles)
  • Grit (Duckworth)
  • The Power of Habit (Duhigg)
  • Genome (Ridley)
  • Super Brain (Chopra/Tanzi)
  • Super Genes (Chopra/Tanzi)
  • Million Dollar Habits (Ringer)
  • Rich Dad Poor Dad
  • Willpower (Baumeister/Tierney)
  • Unstoppable (Kersey)
  • The Richest Man Who Ever Lived (Scott)
  • Tools of Titans (Ferris)
  • 10% Human (Collen)
  • Getting There (Segal)
  • Economics in One Lesson (Hazlitt)
  • The Science of Happiness (Klein)
  • The Well-Tuned Brain
  • Focus (Coleman)
  • The Eureka Factor (Kounios/Beeman)
  • A Lifetime of Riches (Ritt/Landers)
  • Be My Guest (Conrad Hilton)
  • The Brain That Changes Itself (Doidge)
  • Making Habits Breaking Habits (Dean)
  • Mini Habits (Guise)
  • Finding Your Element (Robinson)
  • The Psychology of Achievement (Tracy)
  • Create Your Own Future (Tracy)
  • Seven Strategies for Wealth & Happiness (Rohn)
  • Train Your Brain Change Your Brain (Begley)
  • The Owner’s Manual for the Brain (Howard)
  • Brain Rules (Medina)
  • Rewire the Brain (Arden)

Best Success Biographies

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I’ve received numerous emails and comments requesting that I provide a list of recommended biographies. Before I do, I thought I’d share the daily routine that enables me to do my daily reading.

DAILY BOOK-READING ROUTINE

  • Wake between 3:30am – 5am.
  • Read for 20 minutes at desk in home office during workweek. During weekend: 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Read for 5-10 minutes on toilet – I keep 2 or more books in my bathroom for this purpose.
  • Listen 90 – 120 minutes to audiobooks while commuting to and from my CPA job. I subscribe to Simply Audiobooks. My subscription = max of 2 audio books. I read one, then mail it back to them. They send me a new book in about 4 days. I also buy about 5-10 audio books a year from Barnes and Noble or Amazon. I will go through 1-2 audio books a week. I give each book about 30 minutes. If it sucks, I stop listening and return it immediately to get another book. 75% of the books I listen I return immediately. Don’t waste your time reading or listening to books that suck.
  • Read 15 – 30 minutes at night, prior to sleep. 50% of the time, this = entertainment reading. My entertainment reading includes Science Fiction/UFO books/Pre-history books.
  • I maintain a BOOK BINDER.  In my BOOK BINDER I summarize every book worth summarizing. One to ten pages is the average. I do this for all of my books, but it is especially beneficial for the audiobooks that I return. It gives me a record of audiobooks I listen to which I must return. I stack my books to summarize. Once a month I spend about a week summarizing the books I’ve read.
  • At last count, I own approximately 1,600 books. Some hardcopy, some audio.
  • I read about 50 books a year. I listen to about 50 books a year.

BIOGRAPHIES I RECOMMEND

  • THE LAST LION – WINSTON CHURCHILL
  • SAM WALTON – MADE IN AMERICA
  • RICHARD BRANSON – THE INSIDE STORY (MICK BROWN)
  • TESLA (MARGARET CHENEY)
  • CARNEGIE (KRASS)
  • WINSTON CHURCHILL – AN INTIMATE PORTRAIT
  • THE LAST AMERICAN – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
  • THE OUTSIDER (JIMMY CONNORS)
  • THEODORE REX
  • MORGAN (JEAN STROUSE)
  • GANGIS KHAN – CONQUEROR OF THE WORLD
  • EINSTEIN (RONALD CLARK)
  • THE SAM WALTON STORY
  • BE MY GUEST (CONRAD HILTON)
  • GHANDI (FISCHER)
  • THE UNIVERSE AND DR. EINSTEIN (LINCOLN BARNETT)
  • JOHN ADAMS (McCULLOUGH)
  • MAESTRO (WOODWARD)
  • ELON MUSK (VANCE)
  • GENERAL PATTON – A SOLDIERS LIFE (HIRSHON)
  • IOCOCCA – AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY (IOCOCCA)
  • COLUMBUS (BERGREEN)
  • DUTCH
  • NAPOLEON (MARKHAM)
  • COOLIDGE (AMITY SHALES)
  • CHURCHILL & ORWELL (THOMAS RICKS)
  • COACH WOODEN AND ME (JABBAR)
  • EINSTEIN – HIS LIFE AND UNIVERSE (ISAACSON)
  • ALEXANDER HAMILTON (CHERNOW)
  • BEYOND BASKETBALL – COACH K’S KEYWORDS FOR SUCCESS (MIKE KRZYZEWSKI)
  • HIS EXCELLENCY – GEORGE WASHINGTON (JOSEPH ELLIS)
  • ADAMS VS. JEFFERSON (FERLING)
  • THOMAS JEFFERSON – THE ART OF POWER
  • ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND HIS TIME (SAVILL)
  • NAMATH – A BIOGRAPHY (KRIEGEL)
  • REAGAN (H. W. BRANDS)
  • FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT (JENKINS)
  • TEH RISE OF THEODORE ROOSEVELT (EDMUND MORRIS)
  • THE SOUL OF A BUTTERFLY – MUHAMMAD ALI
  • STEVE JOBS
  • THE FIRST TYCOON = THE EPIC LIFE OF CORNELIUS VANDERBILT
  • EINSTEIN (ISAACSON)
  • FOUNDING RIVALS (CHRIS DEROSE)
  • ON WRITING (STEPHEN KING)
  • RENEE DECARTES
  • HARRY HOUDINI (SLOMAN)
  • A LIFE OF RICHES – THE BIOGRAPHY OF NAPOLEON HISS (RITT & LANDERS)
  • THE MATCH (FROST)
  • SIR ISAAC NEWTON
  • GALILEO’S DAUGHTER
  • ONE NATION (BEN CARSON)
  • LEONARDO DEVINCI
  • PISTOL PETE
  • MILTON FRIEDMAN – FREE TO CHOOSE
  • THE ROAD TO SERFDOM (F. A. HAYEK)
  • THE AMERICAN CREED – BIOGRAPHY OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE ( CHURCH)
  • KEYNES HAYEK (NICHOLAS WAPSHOTT)
  • LINCOLN (DAVID HERBERT DONALD)
  • MARRIOT
  • E=MC2 – A BIOGRAPHY OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS EQUATION (DAVID BODANIS)
  • JOHN JACOB ASTOR – AMERICA’S FIRST MULTIMILLIONAIRE (MADSEN)
  • THE LAST FOUNDING FATHER (UNGER)
  • ST. THOMAS ACQUINAS (McINERNY)

 

Rich People Study Rich People

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In my Rich Habits Study I identified 334 data points on the habits, thinking and traits of 361 rich people and poor people and then compared those data points to each other. I found one set of data points very interesting:

68% of the self-made millionaires read biographies of other successful people

VS.

91% of poor people did not read biographies of other successful people.

Why was this important, I wondered? 

After some thought, the answer became obvious – history is the study of other people’s mistakes. What better way to avoid mistakes, then to read about the mistakes of other notable, historical figures so you can see those mistakes in advance of making them yourself?

When you read biographies of other successful people, you become a student of their mistakes.

Why is this important?

Wealth and success are typically built upon a foundation of mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn what works and what doesn’t work. This is growth. The more you grow, the stronger your foundation. The stronger your foundation, the greater your chance for wealth and success.

Making mistakes, however, is very costly. The costs = time and money.

Those biography-reading, self-made millionaires were smart. They decided it would be less costly to learn from the mistakes of others, saving themselves time and money.

Studying other successful people is, therefore, one of the cost efficient shortcuts to creating success and building wealth. Studying the mistakes of others, allows you to see in advance, the mistakes to avoid in life.

When you become a student of other successful people, you are able to anticipate mistakes in advance of making them. Avoiding mistakes is critical to success. Too many mistakes and you can run out of money, resulting in failure. Individuals who make the fewest mistakes, therefore, save time and money, which keeps them in the game. Since success takes a long time, the key is to stay in the game as long as you can.

Everyone who is serious about pursuing success, should be reading biographies of other successful people.

What books are you reading right now?

Believe in Belief

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Belief creates miracles. Belief transforms the impossible into the possible. Beliefs transforms ordinary individuals into extraordinary individuals.

It was the power of belief that created Steve Jobs.

It was the power of belief that created Elon Musk.

It was the power of belief that created Thomas Edison.

It was the power of belief that gave 145 of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study the courage, energy and persistence to pursue and realize their individual dreams.

It is this same power of belief that will transform your life from ordinary to extraordinary.

There is virtually nothing the human mind cannot conceive and then create. But in order to create, you must first believe. Belief marshals all of the resources of the human brain. We are the only creatures on earth that possess this God-like quality to create. But the power to create depends on the power of belief. Belief is the path to making the impossible possible.

To achieve great things in life, you need to believe in belief. Belief allows you to overcome all doubts. It makes you unstoppable.

Pursue Discomfort

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The only time you are truly growing is when you are uncomfortable.

Discomfort forces growth:

  • Doing something different, forces growth
  • Acquiring new knowledge, forces growth
  • Practicing a new skill, forces growth
  • Developing new relationships, forces growth
  • Abandoning old, toxic relationships, forces growth
  • Forging new, good habits, forces growth
  • Abandoning old, bad habits, forces growth

Why is growth so important?

Becoming rich requires success and the prerequisite for success is ALWAYS growth.

Without growth you stagnate. You become stuck. You know when you’re stuck. You feel it in your bones:

  • Boredom – When you are stuck, you experience boredom.
  • Hopeless – When you are stuck, you experience hopelessness.
  • Discontent – When you are stuck, your life is not in balance. You have a feeling of discontent.
  • Chronic Stress – When you are stuck, you experience long-term stress.
  • Doubt – When you are stuck, you become filled with doubt.
  • Helpless – When you are stuck, you feel helpless.
  • Depression – When you are stuck, you become depressed.
  • Treadmill – When you are stuck, you feel as if you are on a treadmill, getting no where in life.

Growth is the antidote to being stuck.

Growth is, however, uncomfortable. It requires that you step outside your comfort zone. It requires that you challenge your ideology, your thinking, your existing knowledge and your beliefs. It forces you to do things that are different from the way you have been doing them for years.

Only through discomfort is growth possible. If you want to succeed in life you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Ideology is Anti-Growth, Anti-Success and, Thus, Anti-Wealth

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Ideology is group-think. It requires embracing the thinking of others. This herding, provides protection. So, ideology provides protection. It is human nature to seek the safety of herds. 

While herds provide protection, they also act as a stopgap on achievement and success.

Wealth is a byproduct of success. Success is a byproduct of growth. Growth is only possible by embracing new and different ideas, new and different information, new and different practices and new and different opinions. Anything new or different leads to growth. Growth leads to success and success leads to wealth.

Ideological bias is a bane on achievement. It forces you to close your mind to ideas, information, ways of doing things and opinions that conflict with your ideology. When you close your mind, you cease to grow. 

Those who are ideologically biased close their minds to anything which challenges their ideology. Thus, they become stuck in life and do not grow. Any success they do achieve, is therefore, limited.

Rich Habits Poor Habits Episode 36 | The 4 Paths to Wealth

Becoming rich means taking risk or making sacrifices, you get out what you put in.

In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that your habits dictate your circumstances in life.

He discovered that daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life.

There are four ways to become rich:

  • Live Below Your Means
  • Expand Your Means
  • Do Both
  • Getting Lucky

1. Living Below Your Means

Living below your means and investing your savings prudently is the only guaranteed way to become rich.

But, this approach requires enormous sacrifices – you must manage your spending your entire life and that requires making sacrifices: small house in an inexpensive neighborhood, no vacations, no restaurants, no kids. lose saving

If you do have kids your kids are forced to sacrifice along with you.

They have to buy their own stuff: iPhones, movie tickets, toys, cars, college education, etc.

Most are unwilling to make those sacrifices.

We want the nice home in the safe neighborhood, we want the nice vacations, we want to give our kids their iPhones and a college education.

So, for the vast majority, living below your means requires too much sacrifice.

But, for those willing to make the sacrifice, wealth is virtually guaranteed.

So, the question is, how bad do you want to be rich? Is being rich so important to you that you are willing to make the sacrifices that are required?

2. Expand Your Means farm seed soil grow wealth

Expanding your means usually requires taking on risk and working long hours, by pursuing a dream or starting a business.

According to my research and many other studies on wealth creation, about 80% of the multi-millionaires and billionaires make their money this way.

The upside is enormous wealth where everyone in your family benefits from your risk taking and hard work.

The downsides include time away from family due to long work hours or poverty, you could fail.

3. Doing Both

Living below your means and expanding your means requires the most sacrifice.

4. Getting Lucky

Getting lucky means you fall into money somehow without any real effort. success

Examples of this are big gambling wins such as hitting the lottery, the slots, horses, etc.

Or, you you inherit your wealth – you’re born into a rich family or inherit money from a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother or sister.

The reason so many gamble is because they are unwilling to make the long-term sacrifices required.

Almost everyone wants to be rich, but they want that wealth without having to take on risk, work long hours, or make sacrifices for themselves or their family.

Becoming rich is not easy.

 

 

The Mindset of Millionaires

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Since most are poor or stuck in the middle-class, clearly the way they are thinking is not working for them. The precursor for success and wealth accumulation, at least according to my Rich Habits research, is forging a Growth Mindset.

A Growth Mindset is a daily habit in which you pursue and acquire knowledge every day.

Sounds simple, right?

Well, it’s not. In fact, for most it’s unattainable. Here’s why.

Forging a Growth Mindset requires the following two things:

#1 Challenging Your Ideologies

Ideologies represent fixed categorical thinking we typically inherit from our parents or from our environment. It is dogma we accept without reflecting upon why we accept it. Ideologies represent foundational thinking that are more like tunnels. These tunnels keep us isolated from understanding or acceptance of other ideologies that might differ from our own. We simply accept our ideologies and dismiss any other ideologies that contradict them. Thus, our ideologies, when unchallenged, stunt our growth.

Some ideologies are religious. Your parents were Catholic, so you are Catholic. Catholics believe they will enter the Kingdom of God. Catholics believe if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ you will not enter the Kingdom of God. I should know, I was raised a Catholic. I was taught our Catholic religion was superior to all other religions. Jewish people disagree. So too do Muslims and Buddhists and many other religions. Who’s right? Your religious ideology says, you’re right.

Some ideologies are political. Your parents were Democrats and, thus, you are a Democrat. Why are you a Democrat? What is it about being a Democrat that makes it right? What is the Democratic agenda or platform? Do you even know? Maybe you’re a Republican. Why?

Some are racial. Many in Germany, during the Nazi era, believed white people, or the arian race, was superior. Then, in the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens won four gold medals. Did that change the thinking of millions of Germans? No. Why? Because ideology fixes your thinking. And facts that interfere with ideology, are ignored.

Some are socioeconomic. Until America entered the world’s stage in the late 1700’s, it was a widely held belief that those born into royalty were superior. The royal blood line was fanatically protected. Kings and Queens ruled most of the “modern” world. These royal dictators controlled most of the resources in the kingdom. They created the laws under which millions lived.

Then America, threw a wrench into everything. There was no royalty in America. Capitalism, thrift, hard work and merit dictated who controlled the country’s resources. Soon after, many countries around the world followed suit, embraced capitalism, and eliminated the need for dictatorships.

#2 Challenging Every One of Your Beliefs

Beliefs represent the acceptance of something without any proof. They are inherited unconscious programming. We adopt the beliefs of our parents, family, mentors culture and our environment (neighborhood, town, city, state, country).

Your beliefs cause you to develop habits. Some beliefs hold us back in our adult lives. Most people are not even aware of the negative and limiting beliefs they have. These beliefs prevent us from becoming successful in life and in many cases they act like an anchor dragging us down into failure, poverty and a life of misery.

If you’re struggling in life, your beliefs are likely the culprit. What are your beliefs? Do you even know?

The key to growth is to have an open mind. Those with an open mind challenge their ideologies and beliefs. This fosters growth through learning. You can’t learn and, thus grow, if your mind is closed by your ideology and your beliefs.

 

Bad Parenting Produces Poverty

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One of the most controversial aspects of my Rich Habits Study was the direct correlation between bad parenting and poverty.

What I discovered in researching the habits of poor people was that bad parenting, irrespective of childhood socioeconomic status, resulted in poverty. In simple English, I found bad parents were far more to blame for poverty as they passed along Poor Habits to their children.

Bad parents come in many varieties:

  • Alcoholic parents
  • Drug addicted parents
  • Incarcerated parents
  • Gambling addicted parents
  • Abusive parents (physical or mental or both)
  • Toxic parents (negative, angry or emotionally out of control parents)
  • Combative parents (parents who fight with one another)
  • Invisible parents (parents who ignore their children)
  • Untrustworthy parents (infidelity)
  • Parents with bad habits

Conversely, I learned from my research that good parenting, irrespective of childhood socioeconomic status, had far more to do with creating wealth than anything else in society.

Good parents also come in many varieties:

  • Compassionate parents
  • Mentoring parents (parents who mentor their children to succeed)
  • Positive parents (upbeat, enthusiastic, optimistic parents)
  • Trustworthy parents (parents devoted to one another)
  • Harmonious parents (parents who greatly care for one another)
  • Parents with good habits

Many who become poor adults continue to blame their parents throughout their lives for their poverty. While this might help rationalize poverty in the minds of the poor, it does nothing to fix it.

For those born into households with bad parents, the great elixir or remedy for this, is mentorship. Finding a success mentor in life, I learned from my research, mitigated the impact of growing up in a bad parent household.

This is why it is so important to find a success mentor in life. Success mentors erase much of the damage caused by bad parenting. They provide the template for a successful, wealthy life.

In my book Rich Kids, I share the success mentoring strategies and Rich Habits 177 self-made millionaires learned from their parents. Most of the parents of those self-made millionaires (76%) were poor or middle-class, highlighting the fact being raised poor or middle-class is unimportant. What is important, however, is being raised by good parents – parents who are success mentors to their children.