The Secret to Success


Tom Corley boats - crop

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”  Swami Vivekananda

The secret to success is to focus on one thing you are passionate about and never, ever quit. When you dedicate your life to one thing, you eventually become an expert in that one thing. Passion is the key because passion drives your persistence. Persistence, for most of the self-made millionaires in my study, was never forced. It was a byproduct of their fanatical obsession with one thing they were passionate about. In my Rich Habits Study it took the average self-made millionaire 32 years to accumulate an average of $4.3 million. But for those self-made millionaires who were single-mindedly focused on pursuing something they were passionate about, it only took them 12 years accumulate an average of $7.4 million. So, for those of you who want to “get rich quicker”, find something you love, which you can monetize, and stick with it.

The fact is, unfortunately, most do not succeed in life. Only 1-2% achieve self-made millionaire-type success. What’s worse, the vast majority struggle with poverty, or are one paycheck away from poverty. There’s a reason for this. Those who struggled financially in my study did not invest their life in one individual pursuit.

These individuals suffered from something I call Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – always in pursuit of something new. Those suffering from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome do devote themselves to one thing, if that one thing does not immediately pay dividends. They lose interest and then begin looking for something else. They take their focus off what they were doing and seek out something else to do. Those who suffer from this malady never become expert in any one thing. They are too busy shifting their focus from one thing to the next thing. The sad thing is that, since I completed my research, I see this happening all the time. My eyes are now wide open. I see individuals I know, some of whom I’ve even worked with, who go all in on an initiative for a year, maybe even two years, and then they quit and try something else. Unfortunately, Bright Shiny Object Syndrome is the rule, not the exception.

If you want to succeed in life, you must devote yourself to one thing, every day, and think about it 24/7. You must devote your life, not one or two years, to that one thing. If you’re not doing that, you will not succeed. You may get by and even do OK, earning a respectable living, but you will never realize your true potential in life and you will never become a self-made millionaire. You have one job in life. Find your passion and pursue it until the day you die. When you do, you automatically attract to yourself all of the critical success characteristics that make self-made millionaires so special.

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. Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post. It was funny. Keep on posting! Business

  2. Dear Mr Corley,

    I have been following your posts ever since your post on habits for rih/poor kids went viral. in my country. I want to say a big Thank You for your work which has helped me a whole ot, mostly to have a greater sense of focus and to live more purposefully.

    I did what you said and did my 10 year future leter, vision board etc, though it was literally scary to do so. Scary for many reasons. But , in faith, I have to give it my all.

    I have a question and wondered if you could give me your advice please. You said that each person should have a main life purpose/dream that he/she is passionate abt. Mine is to leave a generational legacy for my 2 kids in a country filled with poverty. That’s what gets me out of bed each day to go conquer another day. Is that a good dream or is too emotional or abstract?

Speak Your Mind