Success Lessons I Learned From My Father

My Dad passed away in June of 2013 at the age of 91. He was an exceptional man. We learned at the wake, from an old friend, that my Dad was the youngest Sergeant in the Army during World War II. We also learned that my father was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the same year he was also drafted by the Army. During the 1960’s my father was viewed by most on Staten Island as the head of the Democratic Party, although he never held any public office. His unpaid side job, as a campaign manager, was getting politicians elected to Congress, Mayor (NYC) and Borough President.  We learned at his wake that he even ran the Staten Island Presidential campaign for Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1968 my family was worth 3 million dollars. To put this in perspective, that 3 million would be approximately 20 million in today’s dollars. Then, one night in 1970, my Dad’s warehouse burnt to the ground. In a stroke of random bad luck, my father lost his entire business and his livelihood in one night. We never lost our house. My Dad managed, somehow, to keep us all together as a family in our home.

In 2004 I embarked on a five-year study of the daily habits of the rich and poor. When I look back upon the events of my childhood I now realize how, in spite of losing his entire wealth to random bad luck, my Dad was able to survive and recover from that financial catastrophe. Some of the Rich Habits I discovered in my research, were the very Rich Habits that helped my Dad recover financially. Let me share them with you:

  1. Never Quit – My Dad never stopped trying. He never quit. He never surrendered.
  2. Never Lose Hope – My Dad never lost his eternal optimism. He believed in himself.
  3. Build Strong, Powerful Relationships in Life – My Dad built up many relationship credits during his life with wealthy, successful people. When he lost everything, those relationships stepped up to the plate and helped pull him out of the abyss. They helped him get back on his feet. They helped him survive. And there were many who helped.
  4. Never Complain – Despite the financial anguish, I never heard my Dad complain. He would not play the poor, poor me victim card.
  5. Everything in Moderation – My Dad never sought refuge in alcohol, food, gambling or any of the vices that lesser men might seek out in times of great difficulty.
  6. Exude Confidence – The loss of his financial empire never seemed to affect my Dad’s confidence in himself. My Dad told me, many years later, that inside he always believed he would recover financially. It was just a matter of time.
  7. Confront Your Problems in Life – My Dad never filed for personal bankruptcy, despite being insolvent. He paid everyone he owed money to. He never dodged his responsibilities. He confronted each and every one of his problems like a pit bull.
  8. Help Others – My Dad never let his financial problems stop him from helping others. Though he did not have money, he had human capital in the form of powerful relationships that he used to help others. I remember, later in life, our Parish Priest telling me a story about a homeless family with two young kids who came to his rectory because they had just been evicted from their home. They were desperate, so they came to his church in the hopes of finding shelter. The first person the priest called was my Dad.  In less than an hour my Dad found a place for that family to stay until they got back on their feet.
  9. Control Your Emotions – My Dad never allowed his financial difficulties to affect his emotions. He never allowed fear, anger, or any negative emotion to take root. He stayed positive and upbeat and kept moving forward.
  10. Lead By Example and Actions Speak Louder Than Words – My Dad did not talk much. He just did. His actions spoke so loud during his life that he did not have to talk. We all bore witness to a great man rising above all of the obstacles life could through in his path. He never stopped trying, living, fighting. He was a survivor. His greatness roared loudest only when his back was against the wall.
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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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