A Father’s Day Letter to His Children on Living Happy, Successful Lives

Dear Kids:

It’s Father’s Day. Usually I’m the one getting the cards and letters from you guys but I thought I’d turn the tables & send each of you a letter instead, as my days of parenting are coming to an end. All of you are fast becoming adults. I want you to know I loved every minute being your dad. Each of you has given your mom and I so much joy, happiness and laughter. I would gladly do it all over again but time marches on. How we spend that time determines if we have happy, successful lives or unhappy, poor lives and that is why I am writing this letter to each of you. I want each of you to have happy, successful lives. But happiness and success just don’t happen. You need to create happiness and success by doing specific things. Here’s a list of some of those things that will help put you on the track towards happiness and success: [Read more…]

The Obsessed Shall Inherit the Earth

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“Always hire fanatics. They have a way of succeeding, where others fail.” Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York City.

Those who are obsessed, never stop trying until they succeed. The obsessed never give up on their dreams, their goals, their business, careers or long-term objectives. They will keep trying until they die or become permanently disabled. They will persevere in the face of adversities that stop ordinary people in their tracks. When your passion to achieve reaches the level of obsession, failure is never an option.

The simplest definition of obsession is this:

24/7 thinking and action directed towards a single objective.

You cannot force obsession. You either have it or you don’t. Those who pursue anything that becomes their main purpose or calling in life, all share one thing in common – obsession. Find your obsession and you will not fail. Success is attracted to the obsessed and elusive to everyone else. Find your obsession and you will inherit the earth.

When to Make Important Decisions

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Jonathan Levav of Columbia University and Shai Danzinger of Ben-Gurion University studied 1,000 parol decisions by various judges.  Seventy percent of prisoners received parol (were set free) in the early morning while only 10% of prisoners received parol by judges who decided on parol later in the day.

Why is this significant?

The judges, at different points during the day, suffered from something called Decision Fatigue – a loss of willpower, making it more difficult to make important decisions.

These judges were unwilling or unable to make critical decisions (free prisoners) when their willpower was at its lowest point. As a result, the judges chose the safest, least risky course of action – defer on their parol decisions.

The decisions you make affect the quality of your life. Poor decisions affect your life negatively and good decisions affect your life in a positive way. It’s critical, therefore, to make good decisions. But making good decisions can be difficult when you suffer from Decision Fatigue (low willpower). In order to guarantee that your decisions are good ones, it’s critical to make those decisions when your willpower is at its highest point.

When is willpower at its highest point? Willpower is at its highest point:

  • At the beginning of the day – during the first two hours after waking from sleep.
  • Two hours after a mid-day power nap.
  • Two hours after eating a low-carbohydrate meal.
  • Two hours after exercising aerobically.

Never make important decisions when your willpower energy is low and never enter into any negotiation when you suffer from Decision Fatigue – your willpower will be too low to make an effective counter-argument and you will find yourself on the losing end of every negotiation.

Financial Independence is a Two-Step Process

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Being rich, or being financially independent, boils down to two things:

  1. Accumulating Wealth and
  2. Keeping the Wealth You’ve Accumulated

In my book Change Your Habits Change Your Life I share some of the stories about how these self-made millionaires accumulated their wealth.

Getting rich requires that you forge certain specific habits that make getting rich possible. Some of the most important Rich Habits for accumulating wealth include the following:

  • Daily Growth – Daily self-improvement is a must for those who are pursuing wealth. You must make a daily habit of acquiring knowledge. You must also, on a daily basis, hone your skills – perfecting them until you become expert in them.
  • Rich Relationships – Forging relationships with other success-minded people is critical to success.
  • Dream-Setting – Building goals around each one of your dreams makes it possible for you to realize each of your dreams. Every dream is like a rung on the ladder. You climb the ladder of success, one rung at a time. This takes time. Eighty percent of the self-made millionaires pursued some dream or vision. They then built goals around their dreams and never quit trying, even if it meant bankruptcy or divorce. In fact, 27% did fail. But they still did not quit. They regrouped, got back up and kept trying.
  • Be Persistent – Persistence, I found, eventually results in good luck. Good luck pays dividends in the form of success and wealth.
  • Develop a Niche in Your Career or Business – Those in my study who had a unique expertise in a particular area were paid the most by their company or were able to charge more to customers or clients than their competition. You can develop your niche on the side, in the mornings, at night or over the weekend through self-study or by taking classes at night.
  • Create Multiple Streams of Income – Sixty-five percent of the millionaires in my study had at least three streams of income. This creates a hedge against failure and poverty. When one stream suffers, the others come to the rescue.
  • Be Patient – Eighty percent of the rich in my study did not become rich until age 50. Fifty-two percent did not become rich until age 56. It takes a long time to create wealth. You have to learn to be patient if you want to become successful.
  • Save Money – Ninety-four percent of the rich saved 20% or more of their income. They began saving long before they became rich. They then put their savings to use by taking certain calculated risks.
  • Take Calculated Risks –Success requires risk. You have to take some risk in time and money in order to build wealth of any kind. I’m not talking about gambling here. I’m talking about an entirely different type of risk called calculated risk. Calculated risk is a type of risk that requires you to do your homework. Good luck finds the prepared. This risk requires that you gain some experience and working knowledge in some area and then put that knowledge to work by taking action. It might be real estate, investing in some private business, starting your own business, etc. The millionaires in my study took risks with their savings. Fifty-one percent invested their savings to start up or invest in private businesses or make investments in specific areas such as real estate, unique products or unique services.
  • Be Optimistic and Enthusiastic About Life – Seventy-one percent of the self-made millionaires in my study were optimistic about life. They believed in themselves. They enthusiastically pursued their dreams and goals. Their optimism infected everyone around them. They became magnets for other success-minded people. This helped them in creating teams that would eventually help lead them to success.
  • Control Your Thoughts, Emotions and Your Words – Eighty-one percent of the rich made a habit of controlling their thoughts and emotions. Not every thought needs to come out of your mouth and not every emotion needs to be expressed. Doing so damages relationships; relationships that could otherwise open important doors for you and members of your family.
  • You Can’t Succeed on Your Own – The rich build teams. They find apostles for their cause – individuals devoted to them and who share their vision and purpose. The team players benefited financially from their success. You need the cooperation of others to help you succeed in life. The rich are good at forming teams of people who are able to cooperate together, focused on pursuing a singular dream or purpose. No one does it on their own.
  • Be Open-Minded – You can’t learn anything if you are closed minded. Being open to new ideas, new ways of doing things and the opinions of others is critical to learning and growth. Growth is the parent of success. You must grow into the person you need to be in order for success to visit you.
  • Give First, Get Later – In order to get, you must first give. You must give value to others either in the form of service or through some product offering. Giving always comes first. It was no surprise that 79% of the rich in my study volunteered for charities or non-profit groups. They made a habit out of giving their time, money and expertise.
  • Finish What You Start – The rich don’t quit. They stick to something until they succeed, go bankrupt or die. Eighty-percent were focused on achieving some goal and 55% spent one year or more on one singular goal. They do not leave projects uncompleted before starting other projects.
  • You Can’t Get Rich if You’re Unhealthy – “You can’t make money from a hospital bed.” That’s what one millionaire told me during my research. The rich exercise every day, they moderate their consumption of junk food, they drink alcohol in moderation, they avoid fast food restaurants, they floss every day they eat healthy foods and most don’t smoke cigarettes. Consequently, 82% of the rich said they had no health issues.
  • Don’t Be Cheap – The rich are generous with their time and money. Because they operate from an abundance mindset they are not afraid to donate their time and money. There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Many of the rich in my study were frugal with their money when it came to their personal expenses, but were nonetheless generous to others in need.
  • Be Fearless – The rich have made a habit of overcoming their fears. They are not superstitious and believe they can overcome any obstacle that is put in their way.
  • No Excuses – The rich believe they are the architects of their lives. They don’t give excuses, they don’t rationalize failures and they don’t blame anyone but themselves for their circumstances in life. They take individual responsibility for their behavior, their choices and their lives.
  • Be a Cheerleader – Rich, successful people are great cheerleaders. They encourage other success-minded people who are pursuing a dream or some purpose in life. Their own success helps them understand that all things are possible in life, irrespective of where you start out in life.

But accumulating wealth is only one part of the equation. In my book Rich Habits Poor Habits, I share another equally important part of being rich – holding on to the wealth you’ve accumulated.

Staying rich requires that you forge certain specific habits that ensure the wealth you’ve accumulated does not disappear. Here are a few of the most important Rich Habits that will help you keep your wealth:

  • Put Your Wealth to Work – Accumulating wealth is important but you must also put your wealth to work if you want to keep it. Putting your wealth to work means investing it wisely in stocks, bonds, real estate and other business opportunities.
  • Set Aside Part of Your Wealth for Retirement – Save 10-20% of the income you make and put that money into long-term retirement assets that you don’t touch until you retire.
  • Watch What You Spend – Do you know where your money goes? You should. Tracking what you spend opens your eyes so you may know exactly where your money goes. Tracking your spending allows you to make adjustments to how you spend your money. If you don’t track your  spending it can get out of control. This Lifestyle Creep can cause your wealth to disappear over time. I’ve written often about the need to avoid Lifestyle Creep.
  • Avoid Spontaneous or Emotional Purchases – Never buy anything on impulse. It is almost always the wrong thing to do. That spontaneous or emotional purchase will lose its luster after only a few weeks. Then you’re stuck with something you don’t need and that does not generate any income.
  • Live Below Your Means – Living below your means keeps you from falling into the trap of Lifestyle Creep. No matter what good fortune visits you in life, do not change your standard of living. Don’t supersize your life by buying things you really do not need. Live a modest, simple life.

Never forget wealth is a two-step process. The game doesn’t begin and end with getting rich. You must forge Rich Habits that guarantees the wealth you accumulate sticks around for a long time.

 

Rich habits, Poor habits Episode 30 | Will Your Child be Rich or Poor? Part 2

In Tom Corley’s five-year Rich Habits study of 233 rich people and 128 poor people he discovered that we adopt the beliefs of our parents, family, mentors, culture, and environment.

The best parents teach their children good habits that lead to success and the worst parents teach their kids bad habits that lead to poverty.

We don’t have a wealth gap in this country we have a parent gap.

We don’t have income inequality, we have parent inequality.

Parents and our schools need to work together to instill good daily success habits.

They need to be teaching children specific Rich Habits that lead to success.

Here are some examples:

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  • Limit TV, social media, video games and cell phone use to no more than one hour a day.
  • Require that children read one non-fiction book a week and write a one page summary of what they learned for their parents to review.
  • Require children to aerobically exercise 20 – 30 minutes a day.
  •  Limit junk food to no more than 300 calories a day.
  • Teach children to dream and to pursue their dreams. Have them write a script of their ideal, future life.
  • Require that children set monthly, annual and long-term goals.
  • Require working age children to work or volunteer at least ten hours a week.
  • Require that children save at least 25% of their earnings or the monetary gifts they receive.
  • Teach children the importance of calling family, friends, teachers, coaches, etc, on their birthday
  • Teach children the importance of calling family, friends, teachers, coaches, etc. when anything good or bad happens in their lives. Examples include births, deaths, awards, illnesses, etc.
  • Teach children to send thank you cards to individuals who helped them in any way.
  • Reassure children that mistakes are good and not bad. Children need to understand that the very foundation of success is built upon the lessons we learn from our mistakes. child children money learn teach rich poor lesson family budget
  • Discipline children when they lose their temper so they understand the consequence of not controlling this very costly emotion. Anger is the most costly emotion. It gets people fired, divorced and destroys relationships.
  • Teach children that the pursuit of financial success is a good thing.
  • Children need to learn how to manage money. Open up a checking account or savings account for children and force them to use their savings to buy the things they want. This teaches children that they are not entitled to anything. It teaches them that they have to work for the things they want in life, like cell phones, computers, fashionable clothes, video games, etc.
  • Require children to participate in at least one non-sports-related extracurricular group at school or outside of school.
  • Parents and children need to set aside at least an hour a day to talk to one another. Not on Facebook, not on the cell phone, but face to face. The only quality time is quantity time.
  • Teach children how to manage their time. Teach them how to create a daily “to do” list.

They can put their “to-do” list on their bedroom door so parents can check it each day.

Obviously, it is not possible to follow every Rich Habit recommendation listed above.

From Tom’s research, he learned that all it takes is one or two Rich Habits to completely transform a life. parent money family

The reading habit, on its own, can set your children up for career success.

The savings habit, on its own, can set your children up to be financially independent.

The exercise habit, on its own, can set your children up for a long, healthy life.

The happy birthday or life event calls, on their own, can set your children up to forge strong relationships.

Pick just two habits to teach you kids and stay on top of them for six months.

After six months the habits should stick.

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN VIEWING:

RICH HABITS, POOR HABITS EPISODE 29 | WILL YOUR CHILD BE RICH OR POOR? PART 1

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 28 | WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A MENTOR?

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 27 | YOU SIMPLY CANNOT THINK YOUR WAY TO SUCCESS

RICH HABITS POOR HABITS EPISODE 26 | MYTHS ABOUT THE WEALTHY PART 2

 

 

Me Vs. You

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Poor people have a ME mindset. They are focused on themselves and what others can do to help them in life. This is born of a scarcity mindset, which focuses on what you lack and want. It is a selfish, victim-based mindset. The problem with this mindset is that people eventually catch on to your scheme and, one by one, will avoid doing business with you.

Self-made millionaires have a YOU mindset. They are focused on what they can do to help others in life. This is born of an abundance mindset, which focuses on what you have that you can give to others.

If you want to succeed in life you have to get into the YOU mindset. When you give others what they need and want, you become a resource to them. The more value you are able to give others, the more of a premium others will be willing to pay for you as a resource.

Poor people have no herds. Millionaires have hundreds of people in their herd. The YOU mindset attracts more people to your herd. The bigger your herd, the more money and success you will realize in life.

Bragging Puts You on the Path to Poverty

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Bragging is a Poor Habit. It’s a habit born out of insecurity and dishonesty. Avoid braggers at all costs. They are negative, toxic individuals who are accustomed to lying in order to get their way.

Successful people see right through braggers. And what they see is someone who is severely insecure and dishonest.

If you catch yourself bragging it’s a sign that you are functioning from a negative mindset. And negativity is the path to poverty.

Wealthy, successful people do not brag because they have a very positive perception of themselves and do not require any endorsement from others. Successful people let their success do the bragging for them. 

The Furnace of Adversity Exposes the Greatness Inside of You

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No one likes adversity. It’s disruptive. It’s stressful. It’s painful. And it’s harrowing.

But, without adversity there would be no learning. Without learning there would be no growth. And without growth there is no success.

Those who survive adversity become stronger because of it. Overcoming adversity makes you more confident. Anxiety and fear are replaced by your new confidence. That new confidence emboldens you, making you less fearful to take on new challenges. You earn that confidence only by facing adversity.

This is why it is so important to try. You must try. If you give into your fears and do not take action on your dreams and your goals you will never know what greatness is hidden away inside of you.

The furnace of adversity exposes the greatness inside you.

Better to Tell a Hard Truth Than an Easy Lie

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Ninety-five percent of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study said they made a habit of telling the truth. It was a habit they forged because they learned, the hard way, that spinning the truth ultimately cost them money.

Lying, even just once, can destroy a relationship in a moment. Think about that. You invest years in building a relationship with someone important and then, because of a lie, you send all of that investment in that relationship down the toilet. What a waste of time.

Telling the truth is a Rich Habit that must be forged on a daily basis. Those who lie, do not build long-lasting relationships with individuals who can open doors for you – success-minded individuals. Success-minded individuals don’t tolerate liars.  They toss them away, like yesterday’s trash. Once you lose their trust, you lose the relationship. Along with that lost trust, is lost money, as they take their business and their relationship elsewhere.

When you lie to someone, you open yourself up to unexpected consequences. The individual you lied to will almost always share their distrust of you with others. Lying creates a domino effect of negative consequences that makes success almost impossible.

Sometimes telling the truth can be painful. As a rule, most individuals would rather avoid confrontation. And sometimes telling the truth can result in confrontation. But it is better to deal with the discomfort of telling the truth then in dealing with the ramifications of telling a lie. Lies almost always come back to bite you when you least expect it.

Better to tell a hard truth than an easy lie.

Fadchasers Never Succeed

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You’ve met them. They are everywhere. One year they are obsessed with selling something unique over the Internet. The next year they are a mortgage broker. And the next year they’re consultants consulting on something. Every year they are onto something new and incredible.

These people are Fadchasers – individuals who suffer from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, perpetually chasing some new business or some new money-making fad. They lock onto the latest, greatest money-making scheme they come across. A perfect example of this is Bitcoin. Bitcoin investing is the latest fad. Everyone is jumping on the Bitcoin wagon, hoping to strike it rich quick.

Unfortunately, as with all Fadchasers, after a few years of not making a “killing”, they lose interest, shut down their business and move onto something new. Fadchasers never become rich and successful because they don’t stick to anything long enough.

You can’t spend your life throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks. At some point you need to put a stake in the ground and commit to doing one thing and doing it until you become an expert in it. This takes many years, sometimes decades, perhaps even a lifetime.

According to my Rich Habits research, the true path towards success and riches is in finding something you like doing and then devoting the REST OF YOUR LIFE to it. Success requires commitment, persistence and consistency. It takes time. This path to success is not a fast, instant gratification path, but it is the surest path.