Expectations and Hope – Two Very Different Things


Tom Corley boats - crop

At the time I began my Rich Habits study I had one revenue stream – my CPA business. 

In my study I learned that the average self-made millionaires had at least three businesses generating steams of income.

So, in 2006 I decided to take a page out of my own research. Now I have six streams of income and this year I am adding a seventh stream.

One of the income streams is my author business. I learned in my author business that when I got major media publicity, I sold thousands of books in a matter of a few days.

In order to get that publicity, however, I had to spend 2-4 hours a day pitching the media. 99.995% of the time I got rejected or ignored.

In the beginning of my author business, I naively expected that the media would be interested in my research and my books. I knew my research was unique. But when they rejected or ignored my pitches, I became very depressed. I got so depressed that in 2011 I was thinking of quitting. Emotionally, I just couldn’t take the daily rejection.

But, for some reason, I didn’t quit. It dawned on me that the source of my depression was my unrealistic expectations in pitching the media and expecting a yes. So, I decided to change my expectations.

I now expect to be rejected or ignored every time I pitch the media. And when I am rejected, it doesn’t bother me in the least.

But here’s the amazing part. Every now and then someone in the media says yes. And when they say yes I get happy. By setting my expectations low, I became emotionally equipped to deal with the rejection.

This little shift in thinking has kept me in the game. I now expect failure and when I fail, my expectations are met and I don’t get emotional about it.

But while I now expect failure, I still hope for overall success.

Sounds like a contradiction, but it isn’t. Expectations and hope, I learned, are two very different things.

Lowering your expectations does not mean giving up hope. It just means that you realize that the daily pursuit of a dream will be filled with obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure.

Once you expect obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure, you are emotionally equipped to deal with it. This keeps you in the game.

Eventually you figure out what to do and what not to do. And that growth equips you with new skills and knowledge that will one day allow you to overcome those obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure.

If you want to be successful, you simply cannot quit on your dreams. You need to manage you expectations so that daily obstacles, hurdles, rejection and failure do not drag you down emotionally to the point of quitting.

You must also keep your focus on the big picture – the hope of one day realizing your dream.

Lowering your daily expectations while maintaining long-term hope keeps you in the game and empowers you to persist until you succeed. 



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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

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

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

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

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit, 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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