The Poverty Process


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Have you ever considered the possibility that poor people are actually successful? I used to view poor people as individuals who were failing in life. I no longer do. I’ve come to the conclusion that wealth and poverty are simply the result of following different processes. One process results in wealth and the other poverty. You see, whether you’re rich or poor, you are succeeding in the sense that your process is working. It is making you rich or making you poor.

The Poverty Process

The process that results in poverty, like the process that results in wealth, is complicated. You actually need to intentionally do things every day that drag you down in life. It takes a lot of effort to be poor. What are some of the things you need to do in order to become poor?

  • Take no responsibility for your life circumstances. Blame everyone but yourself.
  • Do not read to learn or for self-improvement.
  • Do not do anything that requires thinking, concentration or focus.
  • Do not help anyone who is trying to better their life. In fact, criticize them.
  • Give in to your doubts and fears.
  • Avoid being mentored.
  • Stay completely within your comfort zone.
  • Have little to no willpower or self-control.
  • Spend everything you make and if your income isn’t enough, use credit cards.
  • Waste your time watching TV, on the Internet, playing video games, going to bars, going to the movies, reading recreational material (i.e. fiction), etc.
  • Associate with toxic people.
  • Avoid pursuing anything you are passionate about.
  • Avoid pursuing goals and dreams.
  • If you do pursue dreams or goals, quit when you confront any obstacles and then immediately move on to something new and different.
  • Gamble.
  • Express every emotion you have the minute you have it.
  • Say whatever comes to mind immediately.
  • Be mean and nasty to people.
  • Be negative, pessimistic and cynical about everything.
  • Trust no one.
  • Talk behind everyone’s back.
  • Intentionally hurt people with your words and deeds.
  • Cheat on your spouse or significant other.
  • Eat in excess.
  • Drink and party often.
  • Don’t exercise.
  • Buy whatever you feel like buying immediately and without thinking about the consequences.
  • Live for today and never plan for your future.
  • Take up bad habits that result in some addiction (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.).
  • Forge a reputation as unreliable and untrustworthy.
  • Lie, cheat and steal. Ignore laws.

Now, if you don’t want to be poor, it’s really not that complicated. You just need to change the process you have been following. I won’t bother listing the process that creating wealth requires. Why? Because if you want to be wealthy, just do the opposite of everything I just listed. The wealth process is simply the opposite of the poverty process.

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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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  1. Mr. Corley… you are one of the most inspiring persons that I follow on the web today. Not only is your advice wise but also… it is simple, straight forward and to the point. You have a gift for what you do. Don’t stop. Thank you for WHAT you do to help us better our lives… and more importantly… thank you for WHY you do it. May GOD’S richest Blessings be yours… Always.

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