You Can Only Control Your Efforts, Not the Outcome


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It took the average self-made millionaire in my study 32 years to become “rich”. That’s a long time, don’t you think? I asked many of the millionaires if they ever got so disheartened that they wanted to quit. Most responded by saying that I was looking at it all wrong. They said, they never felt like they were pushing a ball up a hill, hoping for some reward at some point. They were all on autopilot in a sense. Working hard every day, not to ring the bell, but because they liked what they were doing and believed one day all their hard work would pay off. I consolidated this lesson into the following quote:

You can only control your efforts in life, you cannot control the outcomes.

They weren’t saying don’t believe in yourself. What they were actually saying is don’t lose faith in yourself. Just do your best every day. That’s all you need to worry about. Don’t set expectations so high that when you fail to realize them you become depressed. They even suggested not to have any expectations for outcomes.

That really confused me because I was always taught by all of the self-help experts out there to set very specific goals with very specific time tables for achievement. But thanks to my research, I learned for the first time in my adult life what a goal really was. I’ve since written about the real definition of a goal. Here’s one of those posts: The Self-Made Millionaire Goal-Setting Process

When you set expectations too high and fail to achieve them it will take you down emotionally. Do that too often and you might just quit pursuing your dream. For this reason, self-made millionaires don’t focus on the outcomes. That just messes up your mind. They understand that there are many moving parts to realizing a dream and not all of those variables fall into place just because you will them to. The only thing to focus on is your efforts. Taking specific action is the real definition of a goal, not some number. All you can control is how hard you work in the pursuit of your dream. That’s all you need to focus on. When you persist and never give up, life eventually rewards you with success. Success is the realization of each one of your dreams by taking action. Actions = goals, not outcomes.

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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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