Are You Raising Your Child to Embrace Mediocrity?

Tom Corley boats - cropAlthough I like to refer to it as my Twenty Question List, the list of questions I asked the rich and poor in my study actually numbered 144. A few of those questions focused on parenting, mentoring, relationships, dreams and goals. Many of the responses to these question had nothing to do with the actual question and took me down unintended paths. The millionaires, in particular, expounded on the importance of why they were pursuing their passion, what they hoped to ultimately achieve in life, the significant of their lives, etc. I felt the millionaires were taking me completely off track. Except they weren’t. What they were all ultimately trying to articulate was the legacy they wanted to leave behind. Their why for doing what they were doing.

I love doing speaking engagements, especially at high schools and colleges. One of the many questions I ask the students is: What legacy do you want to leave behind? For the most part I get blank stares. But then I always rephrase the question to: What do you want your obituary to say? That’s when the fun begins. One by one, slowly at first, the students begin to share their dreams, goals, passions and what they perceive as the mark they would like to leave on this world. I am always floored by some of the responses. After many speaking engagements it became crystal clear to me that these students all have big dreams. They want to leave their mark on the world. They all want to be remarkable.

But somewhere along the line these dreams gets buried. A handful do go on to pursue their dreams, their goals and their passions, but the vast majority don’t. Why? What happens to these dreamers that stops them in their tracks?

Parents happened. Parents, and to some extent teachers, inadvertently throw water on the dreams of kids and students. They re-program them into believing it is more important to get a good job that will provide them with some measure of job security. There’s less risk in pursuing a career path that offers adequate pay and job security. Dreams come with risks.

I chose a different tack with my kids, thanks to my research. I learned from those 177 self-made millionaires that the only true job security is pursuing something you are passionate about. So, I told my kids to pursue their passions and not to follow the herd. I told them there is no such thing as job security in today’s environment. I told them that the 177 self-made millionaires in my study did not have to worry about security because they created their own job security. Lastly, I told them that to live the life of your dreams requires that you pursue your dreams, your goals and your passions. You must find something you love and pursue it.

It looks like my advice is paying off. Two of my kids are now working adults. They are pursuing their passions and beginning to reap the rewards. They have more value to their employers because they put in more time. They put in more time because they love what they are doing. This makes them among the top performers in their company. Just like those 177 self-made millionaires in my study, they are creating their own security by becoming so good at what they do they rise to the top of their company.

Parents and teachers who inspire kids to pursue their dreams, their goals and their passions, set kids up to live a life with meaning. We need more dreamers. We need to encourage kids to move beyond finding a secure job and, instead, seek to create a legacy that gives their life meaning. The only job security is found in doing what you love to do. When you do what you love you to do, you devote more time to it and become more expert at it. Companies and clients don’t fire the best. They hire the best. Therein lies security. There’s no security in mediocrity.



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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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