Financial StrategySuccess Study

4 Habits/Traits That Every Millionaire Has

When studying the habits of successful people, it is amazing how many do similar things. Millionaires don’t become wealthy and successful by sitting back and doing nothing, they have specific habits and routines that enable them. According to Tom Corley, author of, “Your habits are the reason why you’re rich or poor,” and I wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

Most millionaires and successful people do these five things (and reap the rewards from them):

Reading/Knowledge Gathering

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Suess

I can not stress this enough. Reading and other forms of learning are the most valuable habits you will have in your life. It makes sense because reading increases your intelligence, and awareness in the world around you. And, if you read or listen to business centered content, your brain automatically catalogs away good ideas and lessons that you can use later.

It goes all the way up to the wealthiest and most successful individuals – a prime example being Warren Buffet. He spends 80 percent of his day reading and estimates that he reads well over 750 pages per day. Other super-rich also read obsessively; Bill Gates reads about 50 books every year, Mark Zuckerberg has a goal to read 24 books in a year and Mark Cuban reads three hours every day.

An article published by Quartz stated that “Steve Siebold [a self-made millionaire] interviewed 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people to find out what traits they shared. One trait nearly all of them had in common? They read everything from self-improvement books to autobiographies.”

While podcasts and videos are great, actually reading hard copy books has its benefits. It provides your brain with a great workout, and frequent brain exercise was able to lower mental decline by 32 percent, states The Huffington Post. it can make you more relaxed, with a study by Sussex University researchers showing that reading may reduce stress by as much as 68 percent.

Extreme Work Ethic

“Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.” – Jack Ma

It goes without saying. If you are lazy and sit on your ass all day, doing nothing, you will never be successful. Millionaires are millionaires because they work hard for it, every single day. Let’s look at a few cases of some extreme work ethic:

  • Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban didn’t take a vacation for seven years while starting his first business.
  • Bezos’ early days at Amazon were characterized by working 12-hour days, seven days a week, and being up until 3 a.m. to get books shipped.
  • Li Ka-Shing (one of the richest men in Asia) became a factory general manager by age 19.
  • Tim Cook is up at 4:30 in getting his emails in order.

These guys aren’t worth billions because they sat on their couch and gamed for 18 hours straight – they’re rich because they worked for it (and continue to work for it).

Frugalness (or Economical)

You can become rich by working hard, but combine this with frugality and you’re on the fast track for success.

The stereotype of wealthy people is that they live in gold plated houses, and buy a new car every day. In my experience, this could be no further from the truth. Many have some expensive things to support their lifestyle, but surprisingly almost every millionaire that I’ve met or researched doesn’t excessively spend their wealth.

Let’s take a look at some cases of frugality. Warren Buffett lives in the same home he bought in 1958 and still uses coupons. He also buys his breakfast at MacDonald’s, and purchase the higher or lower priced meals based on how the markets did the previous day.

Graham Stephan is hesitant to even buy a morning coffee. He looks at it like if he were to save $5 on not buying that coffee, he just made $5 (similar to my philosophy).

My favorite Shark (of Shark Tank), Mark Cuban, has lived in the same house for 18 years. “I did things like having five roommates and living off of macaroni and cheese, and I was very, very frugal,” he told Money. “I had the worst possible car — those types of things.”

Finally, and perhaps the most frugal of them all, Zappos CEO, Tony Hsieh lives in a trailer park. He says that he prioritized experiences over objects (as we all should).

[Jerrey Fetta makes the case that we should not use the term ‘frugal’, but instead use the term ‘economical’. You can read his take here.]

Multiple Streams Of Income

It’s difficult to quickly become a millionaire by having one source of income from, say, your career. “Sixty-five percent had three or more streams of income that they created over time. Diversifying your sources of income allows you to weather the economic downturns that always occur in life,” says Tom Corley the author we stated above.

Many millionaires take a salary home from their ‘9-5 job’, but also have income coming from stock investments, real estate rentals, royalties and/or other business ventures. In the world of income streams, most agree that multiple sources of passive income are the best, because it allows for cash with a minimal time investment.

If you can implement these traits and habits into your life, you will quickly see positive changes.

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffet


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