Will Your Child be Rich or Poor? 14 Habits Every Child Needs to Succeed in Life

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 the same 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…]

Rich People Avoid Poor People – Here’s Why

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Are you happy or unhappy?

Are you successful or struggling?

Are you upbeat, positive and enthusiastic about your life?

Or, are you too often pessimistic and down about your life?

Who you associate with on a regular basis determines the circumstances of your life.

The average person unconsciously chooses their friends, their boss, their spouse or their significant other. They unknowingly seek out individuals who they feel comfortable with and then they wind up surrounding themselves with those similar people. Their associations all have similar habits, similar mental outlooks, a similar work ethic, and many other shared traits.

It’s the birds of a feather flock together maxim. And, as I said, for the average individual, it’s all happening unconsciously.

In my extensive research for my book Change Your Habits Change Your Life, I found that one of the hallmarks of wealthy, successful people was their ability to somehow break free of this human tendency to unconsciously forge relationships with others.

According to my Rich Habits research, the self-made rich, long before they became rich, made an intentional, conscious effort to only forge relationships with individuals they aspired to be – other rich and successful people.

The poor, conversely, unconsciously forged relationships with other poor people.

But, there’s no need to blindly forge relationships that drag you down in life. You can choose those relationships that will lift you up and you can choose to avoid those relationships that drag you down.

You can choose to be rich, by choosing who you associate with.

In order for you to know who to associate with, however, you must first know what to look for.

Rich Relationship have one or more of the following traits: [Read more…]

My Interview Inspired Parent Interview



Unraveling the Gordian Knot of Income Inequality

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Income Inequality is hot potato issue.

Certain politicians, who see themselves standing up for the poor, cry in outrage over the unfairness of income inequality.

The clarion call of these politicians almost always involves some scheme to redistribute the income and wealth from the have’s, to the have-not’s.

The problem with this scheme is that, in countries that embrace Capitalism, like America, it fails 100% of the time.


Income inequality is a symptom of a disease that income redistribution can not cure.

That disease is Generational Poor Habits.

Generational Poor Habits are bad habits that the poor learn from their parents, culture, neighborhood and/or friends. These habits drag them down in life, causing them to fail and struggle financially. They can even cause poor health and chronic disability.

Generational Habits can also be Rich Habits – learned good habits which lift you up in life. These habits can help you to become successful in your business or career. They can also help you to become frugal, thrifty and financially secure. Lastly, Generational Rich Habits can help improve your health by inculcating in you the daily exercise habit or healthy eating habit.

With regard to poverty, there are obviously outlier causes that habit change can never cure:

  • Financial catastrophe caused by exorbitant medical costs of family members due to cancer or some chronic health disorder outside one’s control.
  • Certain physical or mental disabilities that make it impossible to work or earn income.
  • Random bad luck that negatively impacts one’s ability to earn income – A fire that burns down a business, a hurricane, flood or earthquake that destroys a community, etc.
  • The death of an income earner.
  • Other circumstances for which a poor person has no control over.

Excepting these outlier causes, the vast majority of poor people are poor and will remain poor, due to their Poor Habits.

No political solution can cure income inequality unless that political solution forces habit change and reduces or eliminates Poor Habits.

The permanent solution to income inequality, therefore, is to teach poor people habits that will help to end their poverty and create wealth. These Rich Habits, put the poor on equal footing with the wealthy.

If you were to take a typical poor person and reprogram them with Rich Habits, within ten years they would no longer be poor. They will have risen to the middle-class.

After another ten years, that same poor person would become financially well-off.

After yet another ten years, that same poor person would become rich.

Wealth and poverty are two different processes producing two different results. At the heart of either process are habits.

With respect to wealth and poverty, Rich Habits put you on autopilot for wealth. Poor Habits put you on autopilot for poverty.

Sexual Harassment is a Habit Forged Over Many Years

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We all have habits. Some are good habits and some are bad habits.

One thing all habits have in common is that they take many years to form. Only through repetition, does any behavior become a habit.

Eventually, your habits will impact your life. How they impact your life, very much depends on whether they are Rich Habits or Poor Habits.

For example, saving 20% or more of your income every year and investing those savings prudently, is a Rich Habit. It takes, on average, thirty-two years for this savings and investment habit to pay off in the form of significant wealth accumulation.

Poor Habits also take many years before they impact your life.

For example, recently numerous celebrities, media personalities and politicians have been accused or admitted to sexually harassing women in the workplace. Sexual harassment is never a one-off, isolated incident of bad behavior. It is almost always a pattern of behavior. It is a pattern because it is a habit.

Eventually, like all bad habits, sexual harassment destroys the lives of those who have this Poor Habit.

[Read more…]

Here’s Why Scouts Are More Successful in Life

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The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts may be on to something big. They follow one of the most powerful success principles that I uncovered in my five-year Rich Habits Study.

In my study, I identified three groups of self-made millionaires:

Entrepreneurs, Executives and Savers.

By far, the wealthiest in my study happened to be Entrepreneurs, with an average net liquid wealth of $7.4 million, which they accumulated over an average of twelve years. They accumulated twice the wealth in half the time of the Executives and Savers.

Why were the Entrepreneurs able to accumulate so much more wealth and why did it take them so much less time?

Entrepreneurs are experimenters. They experiment with different activities until they find one they are good at or passionate about.

Experimentation exposes your calling in life – your life’s purpose.

When you discover your calling in life, you come alive inside. You find yourself wanting to engage in an activity all the time. As a result, you spend much more time engaging in the activity, and as a result, become an expert in it.

What does this have to do with the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts?

Becoming an Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or level one can reach as a Boy Scout. Only 4% of Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts.

In order to become an Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts must obtain a minimum of 21 merit badges.

A merit badge represents one of 135 diverse activities a scout must engage in in order to receive a badge.

Here are a few examples of the merit badge activities offered by the Boy Scouts:

Business, Cooking, Dentistry, Entrepreneurship, Genealogy, Law, Journalism, Nuclear Science, Public Speaking, Robotics, Salesmanship, Space Exploration and Veterinary Medicine.

As you can see, many of these Scouting activities can be monetized, meaning they can become a career or profession that produces income.

Some of the most successful historical figures were Eagle Scouts:

  • Sam Walton – Founder of Walmart
  • Gerald Ford – President of the U.S.
  • Steven Spielburg – Filmaker (Star Wars)
  • Bill Gates – Founder of Microsoft
  • Neil Armstrong – Astronaut who became the first man on the moon
  • Ross Perot – Billionaire Founder of EDS and one-time Presidential Candidate

A nationwide study conducted by Baylor University found that Eagle Scouts were more likely to:

  • Achieve personal, professional and financial goals in life.
  • Become leaders in society.
  • Leave their mark on society through their life achievements.

The Girl Scouts have their own version of the Eagle Scout called the Gold Award.

The Girl Scouts Gold Award website touts the achievements of its Gold Award achievers:

“Gold Award Girl Scouts do well in life! They rate their general success significantly higher than their peers and report greater success in reaching their goals in many areas.”

And they have their own Who’s Who list of famous recipients.

Those who succeed in life and become millionaires all have one thing in common – at some point during their lives they discover an innate talent or something that makes their heart sing and then devote their lives to that one thing.

They find their main purpose in life by experimenting with diverse activities until they discover one that they are good at or love doing. They then spend their entire lives engaged in that activity, practicing it, perfecting it, and eventually becoming an expert in it.

When you become a recognized expert in anything, you get paid more and you are able to therefore accumulate more wealth.

Experimentation reveals your calling in life – an innate talent or a passion. When you find the thing you were supposed to do, life rewards you twice. The first reward is happiness and a sense of fulfillment. The other reward, wealth, is just icing on the cake.

Financial Success Rich Habits

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It takes time to become a self-made millionaire. Eighty percent of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits study became wealthy after age fifty. Somewhere along the line these self-made millionaires learned the secrets to saving and spending. In most cases, they either stumbled upon some mentor or read some book or watched some T.V. program or listened to some radio program that gave them the critical financial success habits that allowed them to save and moderate their spending.

Most, unfortunately, never forge financial success Rich Habits. As a result, the vast majority of people live paycheck to paycheck, one job loss away from being homeless. And when they retire, they live the remainder of their years in near or abject poverty.

Let’s take a look at the Financial Success Rich Habits of self-made millionaires: [Read more…]

My CBS Interview

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Here is a link to my recent CBS interview:

Hollywood’s Mentor

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Habits spread like a virus throughout your social networks, according to a study conducted by Nicolas Christakis, Yale University.

Once forged, habits tend to stick with you for most of your life, according to another study conducted by Dr. Pressman, Brown University.

One of the most important sources of habits are your parents. 

The second most important source of habits are mentors. Mentors share their habits with their mentees. Mentees, thus, adopt the habits of their mentor and those habits stick with them for most of their adult lives.

If you don’t believe me, just look at the latest headlines on this Harvey Weinstein Hollywood mess. Women are now coming out of the woodwork to share their stories of sexual abuse, not only at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, but also at the hands of other famous male Hollywood actors who suckled at the tit of Weinstein.

Harvey Weinstein was a major power broker in Hollywood, as head of Miramax Films. Anyone in a position of power becomes a mentor, good or bad.

There is no doubt in my mind that Weinstein mentored hundreds, if not thousands, of subordinates over his thirty years.

This means there may be thousands of men in Hollywood who, thanks to Weinstein, have forged the bad habit of sexually abusing women.

Because habits stick with you for most of your adult life, this means we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in Hollywood.

Harvey Weinstein may be gone for good, but there are literally thousands of Harvey Weinstein mentees out there in Hollywood, just waiting for your young daughter to walk through their door for their “audition”.

Let that sink in for a moment.


How Successful Entrepreneurs Survive Adversity

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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? [Read more…]