How Successful Entrepreneurs Survive Adversity

Tom Corley boats - crop

Eighty-two percent of the successful entrepreneurs in my Rich Habits Study, my millionaires, said they spent most of their entrepreneurial journey struggling with adversity. This ongoing battle often damaged their self-confidence and sometimes resulted in depression. They lacked confidence or became depressed because, despite their best efforts, they were unable to move the needle forward. Adversity never seemed to take a break.

So, what kept these self-made millionaires going?

Failure, Not an Option

Seventy-six percent of my millionaires came from poverty or the middle-class. They had mortgaged their homes and borrowed money from family and friends. The might have also had commercial loans and lines of credit from a bank. Debt is a unique motivator. It has a way of pushing you to do what in hindsight seems undoable. My millionaires literally had no choice but to succeed. They had put everything on the line in pursuit of a dream. When you have no choice but to succeed, you somehow find a way.

Great Support System

Many of the millionaires in my study had a great support system. They had people who truly believed in them. When things were not going well, their support system kicked in, motivating and encouraging them to keep on going. Self-made millionaires surround themselves with the right people.

Flashes of Success

Even though the pursuit of success for my millionaires was mostly swimming upstream, every now and then they flirted with success. A big opportunity came along and, for a time, they experience success. These success events, especially in the beginning, were usually short-lived. But they gave my millionaires hope. Hope that they were on the right path. These flashes of success helped to boost their self-confidence and renewed their belief in themselves. For a short while, they felt ten feet tall. Then, like that, they were back to swimming upstream. But the memory of that flash of success lingered in their subconscious mind. And that memory kept them going.

Deep Emotional Roots

My millionaires had invested so much blood, sweat and tears into their dreams. The emotional roots were very deep. Even if they wanted to quit, they were unable to because they were too emotionally invested in their dream.

Naysayers and Critics

Two of the most frustrating things everyone who pursues a dream experiences are the naysayers and the critics. People you know, people you thought liked you, will gossip and backtalk about you. They will say things that make your blood boil. My millionaires used these naysayers and critics as fuel. Say what you want, but revenge is a powerful fuel and my millionaires used that fuel to help them prove their naysayers and critics wrong. Naysayers and critics produce an eruption of relentless persistence.

Clarity of Destination

My millionaires had a clear vision of the finish line. They knew what their destination looked like. They created a detailed blueprint of what their lives would be like. And they focused on that vision every single day. Knowing where to put your magnifying glass allows you to focus your inner light.

Be Sociable, Share!
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.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit

Speak Your Mind