(Note: Not sure why this type is screwed up but I will try and fix it later. It is the thought that counts.)
Found a column by Jeffrey Strain of Street.com who stole the list from the authors of The Millionaire Next Door so I don’t feel too bad about stealing it from Jeffrey. First some original thoughts from me on the rich—most people think rich people get that way for a limited number of reasons such as inheriting it, inventing something like Bill Gates and Microsoft or getting lucky. Or stealing.
If you inherit money that is a fact but most people don’t. Also, most people that are rich don’t invent anything. Take Bill Gates. Bill Gates didn’t invent anything. He bought an operating system from IBM that IBM didn’t want and built it into Microsoft. As far as getting lucky, I haven’t met many lucky millionaires. I did meet one who owned a dairy farm that happened to be sitting on a couple of million barrels of oil but besides him, no.
Getting lucky? How do you turn luck into millions except by winning the lottery? You don’t. Gary Player, the world famous golfer, said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” Or maybe that was Jack Nicklaus but you get the point. Stealing? Works for some people but too high risk for me.
So what are the traits of famous people that don’t inherit it, invent it, or steal it?
Number 1-Patience. Like buying a three-year old car rather than a brand new one that depreciates as soon as you hit the highway.
Number 2-Satisfaction. People think ‘things’ will bring them satisfaction. And ‘things’ cost money. Thinking a $3,000 plasma TV will bring you satisfaction may work for you but not for me.
Number 3-Organization. Knowing where everything is and things getting paid on time can keep you out of a bunch of financial trouble.
Number 4-Discipline. Like paying yourself first by socking money into your retirement account before you hit the mall.
Number 5-Reflectiveness. My spell check says this isn’t even a word and I agree. I think they mean look before you leap like asking, “Do I really need this thing I’m about to buy?”
Number 6-Creativity. Doing things like thinking ahead and saving for emergencies or taking advantages of real bargains or adding a skill to make you more marketable to make you more money.
Number 7-Curiosity. Curious people investigate and explore. They aren’t planted on the couch every night. And the more you explore, the more you learn and the more you know, the richer you will get.
Number 8-Risk Taking. As in calculated risks. People that have all their money in CD’s and money markets are feeling pretty good right now but, in the longer run, they will be losing out on the historical 11% average return of the stock market.
Number 9-Goal Oriented. Ha, probably the most important trait of all. If you define a goal, you have to come up with a plan to get there and you have to work and work hard. But if you don’t, you drift. Drifting can be fun for a while but it too gets boring and certainly won’t make you rich. The terms Drifter and Millionaire are rarely heard in the same conversation.
Number 10-Hard and Smart Working. Somebody always has to put a damper on things. I don’t necessarily agree. I would put Smart Working way ahead of Hard Working. You can work hard and get nowhere. Or you can work smart and make a mint. I’ve noticed in building this house that the really good contractors work smart. Their product—painting, plumbing, electric, HVAC--isn’t any different than anybody else but the really good ones are organized, fast and efficient. Their crews do it once, they have the parts and they have the skills. Smart work will top hard work every time.
The problem with getting rich is that everybody (including every finance show on TV) thinks there is an easy way to do it. As with most things in life, there is not. But if you start out applying some of the ten traits you just might get surprised. It won’t happen over night but it will happen. As one star put, “Becoming an overnight success takes a lot of time.”