How Big Will Your Folder Be?


Tom Corley boats - crop

Every year I start a new file. I use one of those Pendaflex-type big brown folders. Inside, I put all sorts of things of importance as they occur during the year. Some are pictures of me with important people I meet during my speaking engagements. Some are vacation pictures. Some are articles that I write that make their way into national magazines, newspapers, etc.

I also put inside my big brown folder my Journal Binder. During the year I write in that Journal Binder. I write down everything I am experiencing during the year – my deepest thoughts. Most of the time it’s very depressing, page after page filled with the obstacles, problems, and the doubts, fears and anxieties I’m feeling at the moment. But sometimes it’s very uplifting, on those rare days when things go right, and all of my doubts, fears and anxieties are replaced by expressions of unbridled optimism.

Every January 1st, I then summarize that Journal Binder and put the summary as the lead page in the binder. Then I close it and put it away, inside my big brown folder, which makes its way into a file cabinet I keep in my basement. I’ve been doing this since 2000.

I noticed this year, when I was putting my big brown folder away in the file cabinet in my basement, that my 2016 big brown folder was larger than my 2015 big brown folder. I then noticed that 2014 was larger than 2013 and that 2013 was larger than 2012. Each year, since I started following my dream of becoming a successful author and speaker, my big brown folder has been getting bigger. I thought about that for some time.

As I was staring at my big brown folders, it dawned on me that they were a reflection of the progression of my success each year. The more success, the bigger the folder.

Then I thought about 2017. I wondered what that big brown folder would look like. Will it be bigger or smaller than 2016? If it turns out to be bigger, that’s a good thing. It means I’m growing. It means I’m accomplishing more than the year before. It means I’m succeeding.

We all need something by which we measure our success. That something becomes a muse that motivates and inspires us to push ourselves forward and carry on in the face of all of the obstacles, fears and doubts that every dreamer pursuing their dream faces.

If you’re pursuing a dream, you need that something, that muse, that big brown folder. Find your big brown folder and then ask yourself every year “how big will next year’s folder be?” It will help give you that extra edge you need. It will keep you from quitting on your dreams.

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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,, India TV, 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,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, 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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