“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle.
Becoming a millionaire is not usually an accident.
Sure, you can win the lottery but the chances are 1 in 304 billion. And with modern medicine getting better and better your wealthy parents might just live longer than you do! You need a plan.
1. Get up early
Take 100 millionaires from around the world and I bet not one of them sleeps in till 8.30am. Most of them are up at six or seven working away while everyone else is still eating breakfast.
Getting up early is something that great athletes, history’s most remarkable saints and the world’s richest all do. Muhammad Ali would go jogging while it was still dark before starting his actual training. The Buddha and many of the Tibetan yogis would wake sometimes as early as 3am to start meditating. And most business people are up before the sun.
If you want to have both the energy and the time to fit in everything that needs to be done in a rich person’s day you need to start getting up earlier. Start small but gradually try and get moving as early as if healthy for you.
2. Exercise daily
Most of the rich people I know and have read about exercise on a daily basis. Now, whether this is a cause of being rich or a result of it I am not sure. It is a heck of a lot easier to play some tennis when you have several million in the bank.
Here’s the interesting thing; most of those rich guys and girls that play tennis and hit the gym every day also did so whilst their companies were still growing. It is not just a new-found rich person’s hobby. And the reason for this is that the more energy you expend exercising the more energy you create. People who are fit and health get sick less and they can work longer hours with better concentration than those who eat a high fat diet and just get by on caffeine.
So is it really easier to play tennis when you have millions of dollars? I’m not so sure. Most millionaires are busy as hell from sunrise to well after sunset dealing with new projects, day-to-day affairs and different commitments. They make time for exercise anyway.
3. Don’t entertain self doubt
If you are anything like me you will spend a good part of the day doubting yourself. It is something I am constantly working on. But the fact of the matter is that if you want to become a millionaire you need to start thinking like one. And they don’t waste time on thoughts about failure.
This attitude shift is probably the hardest part of becoming successful. In today’s world we are pressured into doubting ourselves on so many levels. We worry about bills, taxes, healthcare, the terrorist threat level, the economy’s stability… we doubt everything. And that doubt trickles down to ourselves. We hate risk.
Rich people hate risk as much as us but they deal with it anyway. You need to take more risks. Calculated ones. It is like bravery – bravery is said to be not the absence of fear but the mastery of it. Its not that rich people don’t have self doubt, they just deal with it better than most.
If you eat a lot of sugar and fat you will eventually feel lethargic. If you take a lot of drugs you will eventually wreck your brain. If you follow after self doubt all day you will eventually fail at what you’re doing. Often times before you even begin.
4. Exploit what works and what works for you
One of the best bits of advice I have ever been given is to exploit what is working. This means doing lots of testing and taking advantage of trends that are working at the moment.
The internet marketing world is a confusing place. You can work on developing a community, sell a blog, start some black-hat operation, or start up a trendy fashion blog. The choices and options are endless.
And within all those endless choices there is lots of room to get lost, get distracted from what is working. So if you find something that you are obviously good at and something that is making you money you should try to exploit it for as long as you can. Don’t waste hours in the day looking for something new when you have something that works.
5. Take an hour for lunch
A lot of new business people will come in to the game thinking that they can’t afford to take breaks, ever. Well you can. You are not that busy. Unless you are a surgeon, a lawyer due in court or stuck in an inflexible shift you have time for an hour lunch break.
Most of the rich people I know stop for at least an hour for lunch. Its not that they want to head off for fancy lunches and goof around; its because they recognize it as important for efficiency. If you constantly strain your eyes they get sore and you get a headache. The same is true for your concentration. You need to relax it. You need to move your legs, get the blood flowing and get some sunshine. It opens your mind and rejuvenates your spirit.
Don’t fall in to the laziness of working through lunch. Be disciplined and make the time for a proper break.
6. When you stop work, stop work
As a self-employed business owner I often fall in to the trap of working long into the night believing that I will get more work done. The irony? I rarely do. I am usually so tired that I don’t function properly or completely wiped out such that the day after is a write-off.
Don’t do it. Stop work at 5pm or 6pm and don’t do anything (including checking emails on your phone) til the next morning.
7. Make time each day for study
The great thinkers, politicians, business-people, generals, etc. of history all took time out of their day to study. Every day.
This is an extremely important point that many people overlook. Your education is not done once you finish College. It is not done once you crack your first $100,000 a year. You need to constantly learn about new methods and ideas.
The most important thing, however, is to study people’s failures. Look at what people and company’s did wrong so you can avoid those mistakes. History need not repeat itself with your bank account or product launch. Find out where others went wrong so you can avoid it.
8. Review your performance each night
I once heard Muhammad Ali say that one of the reasons he was so good was because he thought about and “felt” each successful punch for three seconds after he had done it. Scientists later discovered that this method had helped his muscles remember how to do it such that it became natural.
Similarly, I once heard Buddhist lama say that every night he sat up in his bed before going to sleep and thought about his day. Had he done more good than bad? If so then he felt happy about that and then went to sleep. If not he thought about all the negative and lazy things and made a promise not to do them tomorrow.
This is really smart. If you want to become successful at anything you need to evaluate your performance all the time. What mistakes are you making? What are you doing right? You need to know all the time.