Will Your Child be Rich or Poor? 15 Poverty Habits Parents Teach Their Children

Tom Corley boats - cropWhen 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 always begin my presentation by asking 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: [Read more…]

Infidelity – A Bad Habit That Could Put You and Your Family in the Poor House

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In my Rich Habits Study 32% of the wealthy were divorced at least once and 46% of the poor were divorced at least once. While part of the reason the divorce rate was higher for the poor was due to already existing financial problems, 53% was due to infidelity. And 9% of the poor who were divorced, had extra-marital affairs with colleagues at work. The vast majority (67%) of the poor who got divorced due to infidelity at work, lost their job as a result. Two of the individuals who lost their jobs were making in excess of $400,000 at the time of their firing and were unable to find employment in their industry, which precipitated their fall into poverty.

Infidelity in marriage, that leads to divorce, not only undermines families, it can throw the entire family into poverty. Cheating on your spouse can put you and your family in the poor house and, consequently, it is most definitely a Poverty Habit.

 

The Words You Use Affect the Way Others Perceive You

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I remember my first job in NYC. I was 21 and interning for Bankers Trust right across from World Trade Center Building #1. I was finished with my work day and headed down the two story long series of escalators which delivered all of us down to street level. There were four of these escalators, two that went down and two that went up. While on one of these down escalators I ease dropped on a conversation two bankers were having in front of me. To this day I have no idea what they were talking about. But what I do remember was how impressed I was. They used words like Michelangelo used clay or paints. It bothered me that I did not understand the words they were using.

That summer I decided I was going to learn ten new words a day. So I pulled out the dictionary, took out a binder, some paper and a pencil and began writing down words I didn’t know. I did this every day for about two months. As summer came to a close, I was now the proud owner of 500 new words. And I started to use these words, weaving them into conversation. I remember playing pool in the rathskeller back at college. There was a very pretty girl in the group. She knew some of the guys I regularly played pool with. We were all discussing Poland, which was in the news. They were going through a revolution there. I remember sharing my opinion with the group about this revolution. I test drove some of the new words I learned over the summer.

About an hour later, as I was walking out the rathskeller, the pretty girl accompanied me up the stairs. She never did this before. I confess, my heart was beating like a rabbit. She said to me, “I didn’t realize you were so smart.” We became fast friends after that and had many more conversations. We came very close to dating but I never had the ask a girl out on a date confidence to ask her out. I’m of Irish decent and, at the time, I was working on my eighth year of puberty. I still looked like a man child and felt ugly and very awkward back then.

I kept that word binder, but confess that I lapsed in my devotion to learning new words. When I was finishing up my study on the daily habits of the rich and poor in 2008, I discovered that one of the Rich Habits the millionaires all seemed to have was a daily devotion to learning and self-improvement. So I found my old word binder, dusted it off and renewed my study of words. It has helped me enormously in communicating my research in the books and articles I’ve written as well as in the numerous media interviews I’ve had.

The words we use every day create perceptions. They are like magnets, drawing to us all sorts of people. Rich people had figured that out long before they became rich. The more words you know, the better your ability to communicate what you know. Words create perceptions. If you want to create the perception that you are smart, you must increase your knowledge of words and use them in conversation. Learning new words helps you grow as an individual. They increase your confidence. They transform you.

Start your word binder today. Devote just fifteen minutes a day to increasing your vocabulary. Add five new words a day to your arsenal. People will take notice. Words will elevate you and draw the right people into your inner circle.

Delayed Gratification vs. Immediate Gratification

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It’s so easy to do the easy. It’s so hard to do the hard. The other night I came home from work, hungry, tired and in need of some R&R. Dinner was waiting for me on the counter. There was a cold beer in the refrigerator just screaming out at me. I went upstairs, took off my work clothes and then I saw my sneakers staring at me. Before any of the demon voices in my head started talking, I took my sneakers, put on my shorts and headed downstairs to my basement. I got on my stair master and for the next 40 minutes I sweat. When I was done I walked into the kitchen, heated up my dinner and cracked an ice cold beer. That dinner tasted so good. That beer, so cold and delicious. As I ate and drank, I felt happy.

It’s so easy to give in to temptation. But sacrificing, by delaying gratification until something important gets done first, makes the thing you delayed gratification on infinitely more rewarding. Our lives are the byproduct of our behavior and the choices we make. When we choose the easy, life’s immediate pleasures lose their flavor. When we choose the hard, life’s eventual pleasures are heightened.

Always choose the hard. Hard and Happiness share more in common than a few letters. They are life’s yin and yang.

 

You Are Under My Control

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I hate to tell you this, but your life is not under your control. Your behavior, your thinking, the choices and decisions you make, what you spend your money on, what you eat and drink, who you associate with, the T.V. shows you watch, the Internet sites you visit and so much more. Your life as you know it, if you’re like most, is one big zombie life.

We are all being bombarded, every day, with outside influences:  T.V ads, Internet pop ups, tweets, text messages, newspapers, the books you read and the habits you’ve adopted all influence your behavior and thinking. And there is only one way to regain control of your life.

AWARENESS. If you want to take control of your life it starts with AWARENESS. You must become aware of those things that are influencing your thinking and behavior. Here’s a process to help you do just that. Take out 7 pieces of paper. On each piece of paper write the following heading:

  • Sheet #1 – My Daily Habits
  • Sheet #2 – T.V. Shows I Watched
  • Sheet #3 – Internet Sites I Visited
  • Sheet #4 – Tweets/Social Media Messages I Read
  • Sheet #5 – Topics I Read
  • Sheet #6 – Topics of Conversation I Had With Others
  • Sheet #7 – Ads I Viewed

On each separate sheet of paper make 7 columns, one for each day of the week. Now the fun begins. Every day write down and track each of your habits, T.V. Shows, Internet Sites, Tweets/Social Media Messages, Reading Topics, Conversation Topics and Ads Viewed. You can customize your headings on each sheet or add sheets to include other categories you feel are having an outside influence on your behavior and thinking (i.e. radio, movies, podcasts, webinars, talking on the cell phone, etc.). The purpose of this exercise is to identify those things that are influencing your behavior and thinking.

By the end of the week you will have a comprehensive list of most of the things that influence your behavior and thinking. Once you know what is influencing you, only then can you take control of your life by identifying and then eliminating those things that are having a negative influence on your behavior. Put a Negative sign “-” next to each item that you believe is negatively influencing your behavior and thinking. Change is only possible with AWARENESS. Once you become aware of those things that are negatively influencing your behavior and thinking, you can eliminate them from your daily life.

 

Why You Must Surround Yourself With Other Successful People

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If you want to succeed in life, you absolutely must surround yourself with other successful people.

  • Successful people are successful  because they have expert knowledge and skills in very specific niches. Unsuccessful people lack expertise in any one niche.
  • Successful people surround themselves with other success-minded people who are also experts in their field. They have developed strong relationships with those successful people, whom they can tap at a moments notice. Unsuccessful people have relationships with unsuccessful or average people who also lack expertise.
  • Successful people know how to get things done in a cost-effective and expeditious way. Because they lack expertise or the ability to tap into other experts, unsuccessful people tend to complicate things, which ends up costing you time and money.
  • Successful people immediately add value to your life or to your business through their expertise or contacts. Unsuccessful people immediately add complications and problems to your life or your business.

Stay away from unsuccessful people. They cannot help you become successful in life. How do you know when someone is unsuccessful without looking at their bank statement? Unsuccessful people are easy to find if you know what to look for:

  • They have a glaring character flaw I call Bright Shiny Object Syndrome. This is the Poverty Habit of shifting gears from one obsession to another, year after year. They claim to be many things, having an expertise in multiple areas, which is virtually impossible for them because they never stick to one thing for very long.  As a result of this lack of long-term commitment, this absence of persistence, they lack expertise in any one particular area.
  • They are struggling financially because they don’t make enough money in their self-proclaimed field of expertise.

Seek out only successful people who have devoted themselves to unique niches for many years. Ten years or more, focused in one area or in one discipline, is a good benchmark. Never engage anyone for any initiative that is important to you without obtaining at least 5 references from individuals who used their services within the past twelve months. Make sure none of those references are family members. And make sure you ask the references specific questions whose responses will raise red flags, such as:

  • How much more money did they help you make?
  • How much more product or services did they help you sell?
  • Did you get the sense that they were struggling financially with their business while you were working with them?
  • Are you aware of any clients or customers who suddenly terminated their relationship with them?

Successful people will fast track your success, reduce costs, free up your valuable time and open doors to opportunities for you to make more money. They shorten the time you have to push that ball up the hill and make the effort less arduous. They help clear the brush away from your path towards success.

 

Who Are You Attracting Into Your Life?

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Birds of a feather flock together. We’ve all heard this saying many times before. In my study on the daily habits of the rich and poor one common thread among the rich was their desire to associate with other success-minded people and one of the traits of the poor was their desire to associate with those who were also struggling financially. It seemed to me that the poor subscribed to the misery loves company crowd because of this birds of a feather inclination people seem to have.

What I found interesting in my study was the fact that 177 of the rich were self-made. Thirty one percent of these 177 came from poor households and 45% came from middle-class backgrounds. Yet somewhere along the line these two groups decided to defy this birds of a feather inclination. They decided to associate with individuals outside their natural comfort zone – successful people. Why? They knew something everyone else didn’t: you attract specific people into your life by mimicking those people:

  • To attract successful people, you must be success-minded.
  • To attract positive people, you must be positive.
  • To attract visionaries, you must be a visionary.
  • To attract persistent people, you must be persistent.
  • To attract enthusiastic people, you must be enthusiastic.
  • To attract kind people, you must be kind.
  • To attract disciplined people, you must be disciplined.
  • To attract gifted people, you must be gifted.
  • To attract compassionate people, you must be compassionate.
  • To attract loyal people, you must be loyal.
  • To attract dedicated people, you must be dedicated.

When you adopt certain thinking traits you will attract like-minded people and you will repel unlike-minded people.

I have been pursuing success these past seven years and I can tell you that many people have joined my Rich Habits movement. And many of these same people jumped off that bandwagon. Why? Because they did not share the traits of persistence, vision, dedication and enthusiasm that I had adopted along the way. Unknowingly, my newly adopted traits eventually repelled those who lacked the same traits – those who would drag me down, distract me and hold me back.

If you want to succeed in life, you need to adopt those traits that will attract success-minded people. The byproduct is the creation of a team of like-minded, success oriented people. So let me ask you, who are you attracting into your life? If you’re not happy with who is in your life, you need to work on you first. Once you adopt the traits of success-minded people, you will find yourself attracting other success-minded people and repelling those who would drag your down and hold you back.

Rich Habit Trick for Remembering Names

Our names are one of the most important things to us. They are even more important than our birthdays. When someone remembers our name it feeds our ego. We feel important. Most people, however, struggle remembering names. Even Dale Carnegie, famous author of bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People, admitted to struggling with names. It’s particularly embarrassing when someone remembers our name and we can’t recall their name. It’s more than just embarrassing, however. It impairs your ability to become successful in life. If you want to be financially successful you need to remember names. One of the main culprits behind forgetting someone’s name has to do with the frequency of contact. The less frequent the contact the more likely you will forget someone’s name.

What can you do?  Successful people, like those who fail in life, struggle remembering names. But the difference between the two groups is that successful people make an effort to compensate for this failing by utilizing certain tricks to help them remember names. One trick I found very effective is the Grouping Strategy. With the Grouping Strategy you categorize each one of your relationships into a specific group. For example, if you play tennis, you may meet many individuals from various tennis leagues. You may not see these people regularly and because of this you forget their names. So you group these infrequent tennis contacts into your Tennis Group category. Almost every contact management system allows you to categorize each of your contacts and some even allow you to link the database to your cell phone. Even better is attaching a picture to the name of the contact. Prior to getting together with your Tennis Group group, you simply whip out your cell phone and review all those listed under the Tennis Group Category. Here are the steps for creating your own specific groups:

Step #1: Write down the name of a new introduction immediately after the introduction. I keep a small pad and pen with me at all times just for this purpose.
Step #2: Associate their face with someone you know or some outstanding facial feature and write this association down in your pad. For example, “looks like Chris Rock”.
Step #3: Create group categories for all of your contacts and then assign each contact to a group category. Keep it simple. Not too many groups.
Step #4: Refer to your grouping category just prior to a function for one of your “Groups”.

This memory trick works great. People are amazed by my memory and I often receive compliments. I usually respond to these compliments by emphasizing that that person is important to me and I remember the names of people who are important to me. Their chest swells and their egos are satiated. More importantly, they never forget my name ever again.

Ten Networking Strategies the Rich Use Every Day

Networking is a process. Developing a networking process is critical to success. When you network the right way, you gain customers, clients, strategic business partners, followers and networking partners and this translates into more money.Rich people are master networkers. Their networking efforts are intended to grow their association with other successful individuals. To the wealthy, relationships are like gold. It is the currency of the wealthy. Here’s some of the research from my study related to networking and building relationships.

  • 88% of the wealthy believe relationships are a key factor in their wealth. Only 17% of the poor agree.
  • 67% of the rich believe promoting yourself is important to success. Only 24% of the poor agree.
  • 75% of the rich send thank you cards or notes or email regularly. Only 13% of the poor have this Rich Habit.
  • 72% of the wealthy volunteer five hours or more each month compared to only 12% for the poor.

So how do you go about creating a networking process and incorporate it into your life?

  1. Join Networking Groups/Clubs: BNI International is the most popular but you can create your own networking group.
  2. Join Boards of Local Businesses: Reach out to your clients, customers, business partners and local business community and ask if they have an advisory board. If they do, offer your services as a board member. If they don’t, help them set one up.
  3. Join Civic Groups: Lions Club, Rotary Club, Chambers of Commerce, Optimist Club etc. There are many business and non-business civic groups who are looking for members. These groups often refer business to one another.
  4. Become a Speaker: Speaking engagements are probably the most valuable networking tool available. One speaking engagement can mean thirty or more potential clients/customers. Since many individuals fear public speaking, doing so sets you apart from the masses and you will be viewed as an expert.
  5. Join a Non-Profit Group Board or Committee: Non-profit groups are a very valuable resource for referrals. You gain an opportunity to showcase your skills and develop long-lasting relationships. Referrals come from every direction; fellow members, vendors, donors and beneficiaries of the organization. Very often Board members are successful, wealthy individuals who have very strong, powerful relationships. When you join a non-profit, in time you will gain access to this treasure trove of valuable relationships.
  6. Write: Writing sets you apart from your competition. As you develop your repository of articles you close the credibility gap in the eyes of customers/clients/patients/business partners. Writing hones your technical skills and makes you more competent in your field or industry. When you increase your technical skills, your eyes and ears open up to opportunities that were there all along. Writing creates opportunity luck.
  7. Hello Call: Make a habit of calling at least one person every day for no other reason other then to say hello. This helps build the relationship and opens the door for opportunities.
  8. Birthday Call: Call your clients, customers, family members, friends, business associates, neighbors and anyone one else you may know on their birthday. Our birthdays are very important to each one of us. When someone acknowledges a birthday it says “you are important to me.” People remember those who call them on their birthday.
  9. Life Event Call: Call your contacts when something special happens to them or one of their family members. This could be a birth, death, newspaper mention, award, get well soon call, etc.
  10. Breakfast/Lunch/Dinners: Periodically reach out to your contacts and ask them to breakfast, lunch or dinner. This casual get together is the perfect setting to generate opportunities.

                

Some final points I’d like to make. No one is successful on their own. Success does not happen in a vacuum. The most successful people in the world are part of an expansive and strong network of other successful people. Good relationships don’t simply manifest themselves out of thin air. They are the byproduct of investing time and energy in growing and nurturing the right relationships. Not everyone you meet is worthy of your investment. You need to be selective in choosing who will be a part of your relationship network. The wealthiest invest in relationship givers and avoid relationships takers like the plague.The wealthy avoid negative people and only associate with upbeat, positive people.

35 Things the Rich Know About Every Relationship

80% of the wealthy call their contacts religiously at least once every other month just to say hello. There are two purposes to this call. The first is to keep the relationship alive through constant contact. The second purpose is about gathering certain information. In other words, it’s a reconnaissance mission.  They are calling to gain intelligence on their contact. The more information they can obtain about their contact’s family, friends and life, the more valuable that relationship becomes to them. Rich people have been doing this for years. They understand that one day this information will pay dividends. Oftentimes, these dividends represent some monetary or financial gain or help open some door for themselves or a family member.

35 Things the Wealthy Gather on Their Contacts:

  1. Basic contact information: name, address, phone, email, Twitter, Facebook etc.
  2. Are you married?
  3. If yes, what is their spouse’s name?
  4. Do you have any children?
  5. If so what are their names?
  6. Birthdays of contact, spouse and children
  7. Interests/Hobbies of contact, spouse and children?
  8. Schools contact, spouse and children attend/attended?
  9. What are they most proud of?
  10. Do they know any celebrities or important people? Who?
  11. What do they do for a living?
  12. What does their spouse do for a living?
  13. What do they like reading?
  14. Do they read blogs? If so, what blogs?
  15. Previous employment of contact and spouse?
  16. If their children work, what do they do, where do they work?
  17. Political affiliation?
  18. Religious affiliation?
  19. Where did they live before their current home?
  20. Do/did they or any member of their family play sports? If so, what and when and do they still play?
  21. Do they like sports?
  22. Do they drink alcohol? If so, what do they drink?
  23. What’s their favorite foods?
  24. What type of car do they drive?
  25. What are their goals?
  26. What groups, non-profits or community organizations are they affiliated with?
  27. Where do they like to vacation?
  28. What did their parents do for a living?
  29. Where did they grow up?
  30. Significant achievements/accomplishments?
  31. Favorite celebrities?
  32. Licenses, designations they may have?
  33. Strengths and weaknesses?
  34. Do they exercise? If so, what do they do?
  35. Who are their important relationships: attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors, religious etc.