Where Can Your Dreams Take You?

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I was 24 when I took my first flight in a plane. Growing up poor didn’t give me much of any opportunity to travel. In fact, it wasn’t until I started my career as a CPA that I realized how much I had missed out on. At Arthur Anderson I flew for the first time to Chicago. Woe. I was dumbstruck. Everything about that first trip I remember. Emotions do that. When stoked, they enable you to remember everything.

My initial dream, out of college, was… well honestly, I didn’t have one. I was a janitor. That’s what I was. That’s how I saw myself back in college. A janitor who happened to be going to college. Dreams? Come on. Who has dreams when you are scratching just to get by? Dreams, I believed back then, were something relegated to the rich. And back then, I hated the rich. They were everything I wasn’t. So, no dreams for me.

But I did begin to dream. Slowly at first. I dreamt of maybe working for a big accounting firm after graduating college. It took a few years. But eventually it led me to Arthur Anderson. Anderson was one of the big four CPA firms in the nation. At the time I joined Arthur Anderson, they were the #1 CPA firm in the nation. And that dream come true took me to Chicago. Not once but numerous times. Anderson had a training facility just outside of Chicago in St. Charles. I spent many weeks in training there. I also spent many weeks teaching new hires there. I learned how to teach at Arthur Anderson. I learned how to speak in front of others at Arthur Anderson. That dream forced me to grow.

And then I had another dream. That dream was to become an expert in taxation. So, while at Arthur Anderson, I started grad school. A Masters in Taxation program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I thought, at the time, that if I could get my Masters in Tax it would help me become an expert in taxation. And that, I thought, would lead to something. Maybe a big job working for a big corporation. I realized that dream. That dream took me to Toronto, Canada. It also took me to Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, Louisville and Puerto Rico. That dream forced me to grow.

My most recent dream was a bold one. I wanted to understand why some people get rich and others poor. So, I spent 5 years studying rich people and poor people. My research revealed to me what I now believe to be the cause of wealth and poverty – daily habits.

I then had another dream. To teach people about the habits of the rich and poor. I put on training sessions in the conference room of my office. I must have done about a dozen of those training sessions. A few students had success. They begged me to write a book about those habits.

So, that dream led me to another dream. Writing a book. Dreams are like that. They push you into rabbit holes you never imagined you’d explore. So I did write a book – Rich Habits. I had no experience in writing a book. I was a CPA, not a writer.

Nonetheless, I followed my dream. It was a struggle in the beginning. I learned that successful authors are good writers and great promoters. So, I had to figure out how to promote myself. I don’t like promoting myself. But dreams force us to do things we don’t necessarily like to do but have to do. So, I started pitching the media, 3-5 hours a day, 7 days a week. After 4+ years I got my first media break. Yahoo Finance. They sent an entire production team into my office to interview me for one of their most popular Internet TV shows – Financially Fit. When they released the interview in July of 2013 it went viral. 2.2 million hits within 24 hours. That was 1.8 million more hits than that show had ever seen in its entire history. I sold thousands of books. The interview drew the attention of Dave Ramsey, the number 3 radio host in the U.S. Dave had at the time 8.7 million devoted listeners. He interviewed me for 30 minutes on a Friday. I sold thousand more books. Then CBS came knocking. I ran up to Boston to shoot an interview with CBS. That national TV interview exposed me to over 10 million people who never heard of Tom Corley before.

My dream continues to pay dividends. Last week it took me to Australia, where I spoke to 50 of Australia’s most successful real estate investors. It took me to Toronto where I spoke in front of 188 millionaires and 3 billionaires about my Rich Habits. It’s taken me to several colleges I only knew about from the sports section of newspapers: the University or Maryland and UNC Chapel Hill. I was just asked to speak at an event in South Africa. South Africa! Man. One dream and three new continents.

That’s the power of pursuing your dreams. They challenge you. They force you outside your comfort zone. But it’s only outside your comfort zone that you grow as a human being and evolve. So, I say to every dreamer out there – pursue your dreams. Every one of them. You never know where your dreams will take you. Dreams don’t care where you begin. They don’t care that you’re a janitor.

Dreams don’t see who you are. They only see who you can be.


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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, Money.com, India TV, News.com 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, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com 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. Dorothy Trevan says:

    Hi Tom,
    I was one of those 50 people you spoke to in Austraila and you were inspirational. Keep up your fantastic work.

  2. Wow thank you so much for sharing. I’m inspired to keep moving forward. My next step is to continue to pursue the media about my book. I have just landed a 1500 word article with the largest black publication in the UK and its just going to keep getting better from here. reading how many hours you put in at pursuing the media has unleashed the power of self belief even more in me.
    thank you for being an incredible -always present guy.
    KK Harris author of 10 Steps To Get Your Child Into a Top School

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