We are often fascinated by wealthy people and their lifestyle. We imagine their lives to be very different from our own and likely much better living in their plush mansions and driving their high-performance vehicles. We dream about trading places with them and enjoying their opulent and wild lives that we see play out on reality shows, where they supposedly show us the glamorous day-to-day lives of the wealthy.
I’ve worked with many wealthy and successful people and they are nothing like what you see on TV. They aren’t afraid to enjoy their money on the things that matter, but they don’t spend mindlessly either. Even when they are being extravagant in comparison to our lives, it is often relative to their wealth and not in excess. In many ways, we are more alike than you may think, but the wealthy do have some very specific habits that we can easily emulate.
We can learn a lot from how successful people spend their time and energy. We may not ever be able to match their wealth but mimicking their habits can help us enrich our personal and financial lives.
Successful people are busy. They need a lot of energy to power through their day, so they take their health and well-being very seriously. While they likely have good support people who can step-in and run the business efficiently in their absence, they also realize that they are the person everyone looks to lead. In fact, even a whisper of illness can negatively affect their stock price. Their health is a priority, not an after-thought. They get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and exercise. They don’t skip annuals check-ups and give their bodies and minds time to rest. They are not afraid to invest their time and money in their overall well-being, so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Wealthy people know what they want. They set specific, high-value goals and take action to achieve them. They are laser-focused, building careful, actionable plans and use their goals to guide their decisions and actions. Unlike many, they also don’t procrastinate or allow themselves to be distracted, which is why they tend to achieve their goals more frequently than most people. Many assume it is because they have the means to accomplish goals that leads to success. While it doesn’t hurt, it is their intense focus that makes their dreams become reality. And finally, when they achieve their goals, they celebrate their accomplishment, then set a new goal to tackle. They don’t become complacent.
One thing wealthy people realize quite quickly is they cannot do everything themselves; they need help to succeed. They also cannot be experts in everything either. They are not afraid to seek help or feel that doing so represents failure. This is a key difference. Too many people think needing help is a sign of weakness. It’s not. The wealthy know what activities they must do and what activities can be handled by others. This allows them to accomplish more, not less.
Many people fear taking risks and sometimes for good reasons. That pit in your stomach can actually be a good warning signal of danger and one you shouldn’t ignore. At the same time, you need to be able to differentiate between true danger and fear. The wealthy aren’t afraid to believe in the impossible and take careful, calculated risks to make the impossible become possible. They don’t leap without looking; they do their homework first, but they are not afraid to take the leap when the time comes to do so.
Wealthy people are often portrayed as being selfish and only concerned about themselves. While certainly some fit that mold, most are very service-minded. They constantly examine what problems exist and look for solutions. Their go-to mindset is figuring out how they can help and be of service. They want to leave the world a better place and have that stand as their legacy. They appreciate the wealth their success have given them and don’t take it for granted. They are grateful and generous with their time and money to help organizations and causes they care deeply about. They don’t have a scarcity mindset, but an abundant one.
This again goes back to not doing everything themselves. They seek out help, including managing their finances. One popular false perception is that financial advisors, CPAs and attorneys are only for the wealthy. This is simply not true. Everyone, whether they have a little or a lot, can benefit from some assistance.
It’s not that we are incapable of managing our own finances and handling our own investments. We certainly should own our financial lives. We do, however, all have blind spots when it comes to our personal finances, myself included. Money is emotional and life is often complicated and chaotic. When you mix all these things together, you have a recipe for making emotional decisions that don’t always align with your goals and values. Some days my role is more emotional therapist than financial advisor. Other times, money emotions are not the problem, but you cannot see the gaps in your financial life, which unintentionally leaves you and your family exposed to risk that could threaten your ability to create your ideal life. Savvy, wealthy investors know that they are not infallible and seek expert help.
Building a team to support your financial well-being does not mean letting go of your financial power and turning it over to others. You should never do that. In truth, you should actually become more engaged in your financial lives, not less involved. The wealthy are financially literate and very familiar with their financial situation. They act as captain of their team and and expect to be provided solutions and recommendations based upon their team’s experience and expertise, but they ultimately determine what actions to take.
These habits won’t necessarily make you rich beyond your imagination, but they can help enrich your life. To help ensure, you’re spending your time, money and energy on the things that bring you joy while also helping improve your financial life. I follow these habits and know firsthand the difference they make.
What habits of the rich do you think is the most important or mimic?