10 Reasons Most People Will Never Become Rich

Rich Habits

Reason #1 Uncertain How to Become Rich

In my five-year Rich Habits Study/Research, I learned a something profound – There are 4 very specific paths to accumulating wealth:

  1. Saver/Investor Path – Save 20% or more of your income and consistently/prudently invest those savings.
  2. Big Company Climber Path – Working for a big company and climbing the ladder until you reach the upper echelons of senior executive.
  3. Virtuoso Path – Devoting an enormous amount of time and often money to becoming either a Knowledge-based Virtuoso or a Skill-based Virtuoso.
  4. Dreamer/Entrepreneur Path – Pursuing some dream that can be monetized.

Reason #2 Too Many Bad Habits

No one’s perfect, but having too many bad, destructive habits acts like an emergency brake on success. The more bad habits you have, the harder it becomes to achieve success and build wealth.

Reason #3 Unable to Handle the Pressure

Building wealth is really, really hard.

  • Hard Work – Long hours are a prerequisite for all self-made millionaires, other than the Saver/Investor millionaires. The hard work success requires, occupies most of your time and your energy.
  • Hard Emotionally – Almost the entire journey is riddled with uncertainty, up until the moment you turn the corner and success starts to happen. Overcoming the seemingly endless parade of obstacles, mistakes and pitfalls, takes a mighty emotional toll.
  • Hard on Family – The long work hours mean less family time. It’s a sacrifice every self-made millionaire, other than the Saver/Investor millionaires, makes.
  • Hard on Friendships – Because you are devoting so many hours chasing wealth, you simply don’t have enough time to devote to maintaining friendships. Friendship needs attention in order to stay strong. Without that attention, the strings that bind friendships begin to fray. 
  • Hard Stress – The success journey is a long, hard climb. You have to shoulder enormous stress. For the Corporate Climbers, the stress is not only the pressures placed on you by upper management, it’s also the stress of outmaneuvering other Climbers who are trying to climb over you. For Virtuoso, the stress is in the form of the need to deliver consistent high quality products or service. For the Dreamer/Entrepreneur, the stress can be any number of things: cash flow, lack of time, obstacles, setbacks, mistakes, a deprived family, loss of investment, and so much more.

 Reason #4 Risk Averse

Almost every path to building wealth comes with risk. If you are uncomfortable taking risk, the only available path for you will be the Saver/investor Path, which has the least amount of risk but also takes the longest.

Reason #5 Impatient

Building wealth takes a long time:

·        The Saver/Investor Path takes an average of 32 years

·        The Big Company Climber Path takes an average of 21 years

·        The Virtuoso Path takes an average of 20 years

·        The Dreamer/Entrepreneur Path takes an average of 12 years

Because building wealth takes so long, you must develop the habit of patience.

Reason #6 Refuse to Change

Each one of the four paths to wealth requires making certain life changes.

·        The Saver/Investor Path requires learning how to live off of 80% of your income.

·        The Big Company Climber Path requires learning and developing executive skills that help you stand out from your competition (other Climbers).

·        The Virtuoso Path requires that you continuously grow your knowledge and/or skills until you become expert in what you do.

·        The Dreamer/Entrepreneur Path requires that you learn from your mistakes and missteps so that you don’t repeat them, which costs you time and money.

Understanding which path is right for your given personality, is the first step towards building wealth. Too many people pursue a path to wealth that is inconsistent with their personality.

For example, individuals who are risk averse, but are pursuing wealth via the Dreams/Entrepreneur Path, will eventually quit when the risks they must take become too great.

Reason #7 Relationships with the Wrong People

No one, except the Saver/Investors, succeeds on their own. It takes a team, or a big herd, to become successful. Influencers are individuals who can open the right doors because they know the right people – other Influencers. Without building strong relationships with influencers, success is impossible for all millionaires, other than the Saver/Investors.

Reason #8 Unhealthy

You can’t make money sitting in a hospital bed. Daily exercise, both aerobic and anaerobic, must be part of your success journey. Because the pursuit of wealth is such hard work, stressful and emotionally draining, you must maintain optimal fitness throughout the journey. The pursuit of success requires optimal brain function. When you are struggling with poor health, it impairs brain function.

Reason #9 Negative Mindset

The wealthy in my Rich Habits Study were fanatically optimistic and positive. Positivity is a prerequisite to building wealth because positivity boosts brain performance – specifically the Pre-Frontal Cortex, your brain’s CEO.

Positivity optimizes brain performance and allows you to see solutions and opportunities. Except for the Saver/Investors, it is impossible to become rich with a negative outlook.

When you have a negative outlook, it is akin to working with only 66% of your brain.

Reason #10 Unsupportive Spouse

One common fallout for those pursuing success and wealth is divorce. You must have a very supportive spouse – someone who shares your drive to succeed and become rich. If you don’t, eventually your marriage will suffer because building wealth takes a long time.

My mission is to share my unique Rich Habits research in order to add value to your life and help you realize increased wealth, superior health, abundant success, fulfillment & happiness. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Sign Up for my Rich Habits Daily Tips/Articles. No one succeeds on their own. Thank You!



  1. Davene Meehan on June 15, 2020 at 9:38 AM

    You succinctly broke EVERYTHING down into this one post–as the foundation. The four paths–can they be somewhat combined? Perhaps a 50/50? I long ago found my desired my wishes for using money “wisely” did not coincide with my husbands lack of desire for long-range planning. He saw his parents save and then have to spend everything on hospitals and then die. This of course goes into “the being healthy” category. He has done well with his career in the military and civil service–passion and knowledge are his gifts. My gifts–patience and understanding. Recently his TSP has been making more money a month than my job as a teacher. He is not a CEO (but would have made an awesome one!) but we feel like the future is bright with the saving aspect. Through life’s travels we are about to have 3 properties paid off to be used as home and 2 rentals, retirement checks, the TSP. We still both have skills we can apply if desired for additional income. We are probably upper middle class. Moving in together with my parents will combine incomes and enable us to keep an eye on them. Hopefully a new leg of our new adventure. Will we ever get rich?! Who knows. I keep focusing on the wealthy habits and reading to become knowledgeable–my husband keeps my life being worthwhile. Thank you for your research and sharings.

  2. john C Salter on June 15, 2020 at 9:54 AM

    Fantastic and reinforcing as always !
    Thanks Tom

  3. Paul Curley, CFA on June 15, 2020 at 10:13 PM

    Timely and thorough list, and thank you for creating and sharing.

  4. Jt on June 17, 2020 at 8:18 PM

    I think the four paths are definitely to be combined. Even to make it as a saver and investor today (the “safe” route) requires steady and reasonably well paid employment. To achieve that requires elements of the other 3. Utilize all elements in an appropriate balance towards your personality for best results!

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