Three Traits of Every Self-Made Millionaire


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In my latest book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, I highlight the three common traits of every self-made millionaire. Here they are:

  1. Daily Growth
  2. Focus
  3. Persistence

What’s most interesting about these three traits is that they are inherent in every individual. Everyone is born with them. Unfortunately, very few ever unleash these in-born traits. Our education system has a way of suppressing them. By the time most young adults finish high school, these traits are in full retreat, replaced, instead, by a reprogramming that turns off their entrepreneurial fire and forcing them to, instead, redirect their efforts towards securing a job. That reprogramming typically instills in our children the mistaken belief that the purpose of education is to help them find a solid job after high school or prepare them for college so that they can pursue some career job. In short, our education system programs our kids to be an employee, rather than an entrepreneur or business owner.

But, while these in-born traits are suppressed in most, they never actually go away. They resurface whenever you pursue something you are passionate about. In my research, I saw this re-birth first hand. Many of the self-made millionaires in my study followed the same time-worn imprudent educational system reprogramming – finding a job or pursuing a career.

But somewhere along the line, these traits begin to resurface. Many of the self-made millionaires started their side hobby or side business while working full-time. It was always something they were passionate about, something that they loved doing. When they engaged in that side hobby or side business more and more, they began to feel alive for the first time in their lives. They soon became fanatic about learning everything they could about their passion. This fanatical desire to learn more turned on the focus switch. Once that focus switch was turned on they found themselves engaging in their passionate side-hobby or side-business every day. Now emotionally committed to their passion on a daily basis they let nothing stand in their way. Every obstacle became something to be overcome. Every mistake became a learning experience. Their desire to overcome those obstacles and learn from those mistakes gave birth to the persistence trait. They soon found themselves persistently pursuing their passion on the side, all while working full-time. All three traits: Daily Growth, Focus and Persistence, joined together, like a symphony. Over time, their side hobby or side business eventually began to make money. The more they pursued their side hobby or side passion, the better they became at it and the more money they began to make. Once their passion made them enough money, they quit their full-time job and pursued their passion full-time until, one day, they looked back and realized they were rich.

What I learned from my research is that you will almost never become a millionaire following the employee-centric path programmed into you by the education system.  You must pursue something that inspires you, that you are passionate about. The money, the wealth, is just a byproduct of enjoying what you do. It’s almost a secondary consideration, getting rich, when you are engaged in your passion. Doing what you love breaths life into these three in-born traits: Daily Growth, Focus and Persistence. Release your inner success traits today. Find something you love. Devote just 20 minutes a day to it. In time, it will transform your life.

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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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