Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires: They’re just like you. But with lots of money.

Here’s a great article written by Kristyn Kusek Lewis for Readers Digest Magazine. She describes five very different millionaires and the practical, real life lessons they share that have contributed to their success. The third lesson in the stack really stood out for me, “Passion pays off.” The message: Love what you do. Accordingly, when you’re passionate about your work, you care about the consequences. “

According to research by Thomas J. Stanley, author of The Millionaire Mind, over 80 percent of millionaires say they never would have been successful if their vocation wasn’t something they cared about.” In reading Stanley’s book, what I found interesting is that he chose to exclude “misers”—for those whose God was money—in the final cut. From the more than 1,300 millionaires he interviewed, his overall goal was to survey people who were not just successful at building a mountain of dough. He included those who were also well balanced and seemed to enjoy their wealth and thus, life.

Back to Lewis’ RD article, Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires, I found it to be quite succinct and to the point. The author highlighted five people who have at least a million dollars in liquid assets and asked them to share the secrets that helped them get there. Here they are:

1. Set your sights on where you’re going

2. Educate yourself

3. Passion pays off

4. Grow your money

5. No guts, no glory

So what is the biggest secret? It’s simply to stop spending. According to Lewis, she says “Every millionaire we spoke to has one thing in common: Not a single one spends needlessly. She cites a survey that indicates many wealthy people spend money “with a middle-class mindset”, clipping coupons and shopping at sales. Real estate investor Dave Lindahl drives a Ford Explorer and says his middle-class neighbors would be shocked to learn how much he’s worth. Fitness mogul Rick Sikorski can’t fathom why anyone would buy bottled water. Steve Maxwell, the finance teacher, looked at a $1.5 million home but decided to buy one for half the price because “a house with double the cost wouldn’t give me double the enjoyment.”

Lewis points out that “millionaires may have earned their money through a combination of discipline and dedication, but it’s their frugal habits that keep them rich.” Over the years, as I observe those that have accumulated substantial wealth, the more I truly believe this to be the case.

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