Rich People Study Rich People


Tom Corley boats - crop

In my Rich Habits Study I identified 334 data points on the habits, thinking and traits of 361 rich people and poor people and then compared those data points to each other. I found one set of data points very interesting:

68% of the self-made millionaires read biographies of other successful people


91% of poor people did not read biographies of other successful people.

Why was this important, I wondered? 

After some thought, the answer became obvious – history is the study of other people’s mistakes. What better way to avoid mistakes, then to read about the mistakes of other notable, historical figures so you can see those mistakes in advance of making them yourself?

When you read biographies of other successful people, you become a student of their mistakes.

Why is this important?

Wealth and success are typically built upon a foundation of mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn what works and what doesn’t work. This is growth. The more you grow, the stronger your foundation. The stronger your foundation, the greater your chance for wealth and success.

Making mistakes, however, is very costly. The costs = time and money.

Those biography-reading, self-made millionaires were smart. They decided it would be less costly to learn from the mistakes of others, saving themselves time and money.

Studying other successful people is, therefore, one of the cost efficient shortcuts to creating success and building wealth. Studying the mistakes of others, allows you to see in advance, the mistakes to avoid in life.

When you become a student of other successful people, you are able to anticipate mistakes in advance of making them. Avoiding mistakes is critical to success. Too many mistakes and you can run out of money, resulting in failure. Individuals who make the fewest mistakes, therefore, save time and money, which keeps them in the game. Since success takes a long time, the key is to stay in the game as long as you can.

Everyone who is serious about pursuing success, should be reading biographies of other successful people.

What books are you reading right now?

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


  1. I enjoy lots of nonfiction (mostly business and leadership topics, but I have to admit, I don’t read many biographies. The closest I’ve come to recently is The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind.
    So for someone like me, who wants to start reading biographies, what books would these successful people recommend reading?
    Thanks for the advice Tom!

  2. Will you post some of your top favorite biographies that you have gain wisdom from ? Thank you, I read your column daily:)

  3. Michael Bailey says:

    Great points Tom. I found “Walt Disney: Triumph of American Imagination” by Neal Gabler very instructive not only for business, but a warning for strengthening family relationship she while pursuing success.

  4. Google “Ryan Holiday reading list”. He reads widely and posts thorough nonfiction and biography recommendations.

  5. I had the same question–so many biographies. Where to begin? Look forward to your list.

Speak Your Mind