According to a recent study by Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits Of Wealthy Individuals, there are few key habits that separate the rich from the poor.
“Rich people” are defined as having a yearly income of $160,000 or more and a liquid net worth of at least $3.2 million, and “poor people” as having a yearly income of $35,000 or less and a liquid net worth of $5,000 or less.
What was one of the “rich” habits? Reading. While both groups read roughly the same amount, the key difference was what they read. The financially successful people read for self-improvement, while the less-successful primarily read for entertainment.
The study found that 85 percent of rich people read two or more books on education, self-improvement or career advancing a month, compared to only 15 percent for the poor; 94 percent of the rich read news-related publications, compared to 11 percent of the poor; and 11 percent of the rich read for entertainment, compared to 79 percent of the poor.
Why does this habit make such a difference?
According to Corley, “The rich are voracious readers on how to improve themselves. They’re reading self-improvement books, biographies, books about successful people, things like that.”
Self-education is crucial for long-term success. For recommended books to read, click here!
Just imagine it this way: If you improved your knowledge, habits or expertise by just 1 percent a day and built upon it every day for a year, you won’t be 3.65 times or 365 percent better than today (365 days), but actually 37 times better or 3,700 percent! The difference is astronomical. The power of compounding isn’t just for money!
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book Outliers (on the recommended book list and one of my favorites) writes that “10,000 hours is the magic number of greatness.” He writes that people aren’t born geniuses or experts; they work extremely hard to get there. They key to success is practicing a specific task for 10,000 hours.
Bill Gates started coding in junior high and would sneak out almost every night to code in the University of Washington computer lab. By the time he was a freshman at Harvard, he pretty much knew more about computers than his professors! He dropped out his freshman year, and Microsoft was born.
The Beatles practically played eight hours a day in German clubs. By the time they burst onto the international scene in 1964, they had played more than 1,200 shows together. Most bands don’t play that much in their entire career!
Becoming rich doesn’t happen overnight. But by constantly improving upon your knowledge, experience and skill set, you acquire the expertise needed to become wealthy and, more importantly, stay that way. This is why many athletes, lottery winners and movie stars declare bankruptcy after initially achieving their riches.
Another key habit is having a mentor — 93 percent of the rich who had mentors stated that their mentors were responsible for their wealth. Their mentor’s hindsight became their foresight, avoiding unnecessary mistakes, opening up doors of opportunity and providing the support needed. For those who didn’t have a mentor, Corley writes that they mentored themselves through books, experience and the school of hard knocks.
With the Internet, technology and many professional organizations out there, anyone can have easy access to the books and mentors people should have and need!