Wealth and success mean different things to different people.
Yet there’s plenty of people with millions of dollars who are still unfulfilled, unpassionate, burned out, or not living a life they enjoy.
In this article, I want to share with you 7 things I have learned in studying truly wealthy, successful people.
1. Realize Success and Wealth Are Different For Each Person
Here are some of the many definitions of wealth and success:
- freedom from debt
- freedom from any work
- freedom from constant obligation
- a million dollars
Realize that it’s different for each person.
Specifically, one person might just want to have enough money to be able to not be worried about rent anymore, to be able to take care of their family, and maybe go on a few vacations.
Another person hates traveling and would rather spend his free time learning about rocket science (like Elon Musk).
Realize that people have different interests and passions.
It’s OK to not agree with someone else’s ideal world.
You may prefer to read business books all day. Another person might love to do what you absolutely hate.
Just be careful what you wish for. This gets us into the next point:
2. Make Sure It’s Really What You Want
Sometimes, some people can only learn this the hard way through life lessons.
They have to make a million dollars before they realize that it’s not making them happier or that they hate their job and that matters more.
Others may be able to cut years of wasted time off by learning from successful people.
Here are the major things I have seen to be regrets:
- Living a life or chasing a goal that was never your own (based off your parents or family or someone else)
- Never giving yourself to chase what you wanted
- Over-focusing on the money
- Chasing fame and then regretting it because of lack of privacy and other issues
- Chasing pleasure or women and not getting satisfied
- Chasing material things and Over-sacrificing other areas of life like family time, relationships, and health
Here are my 2 book recommendations for this:
Top 5 Regrets of the Dying: Great book on a woman who saw hundreds of elderly men and women pass on.
The How of Happiness: Really dives deeply and comprehensively into the science of happiness and why we are happy.
3. Always Spend Way Less Than You Make
There are hundreds of celebrities who go bankrupt or into debt each year despite making millions.
Kanye West revealed he was $53 million dollars in debt and begged Mark Zuckerberg to “invest $1 billion in his fashion business” on Twitter.
This is a great example of common mistakes of people who first become wealthy:
- they gamble money away in areas they aren’t experts in because they think they’re good at everything now that they’re rich
- they over-spend more than they make
This is one of the reasons why I don’t equate success to just money. A lot of Kanye’s tweets are still rather small-minded and immature.
People make the misconception that you need money to make more money. Although that’s a topic for another day, it’s not that simple. There’s countless stories of great businesses started for very cheap in these books: Lean Startup, Getting There, and $100 Start-Up. And there’s countless stories of failed start-up tech companies with millions invested. Plus, there are thousands of movies that have failed despite a 100 million dollar budget while cheaper budget movies have succeeded.
Do you know of anyone who makes at least $500 more than you per month?
And yet he or she is just as bad as you or worse in terms of quality of life and everything else?
This is an example of a common problem: being unable to exercise control of your money.
You have to be able to be clear on your spending and not over-spend.
If you CHOOSE to spend lavishly on something like a $1000 couch, you have dedicated the money out and know you will still have budgeted well to stay well below how much you earn.
There’s a classic mistake of not understanding the philosophy of money.
This is why people can make hundreds of thousands of dollars more than year and go broke.
This is why Aaron Carter, Mike Tyson, and 50 cent went bankrupt despite all being worth over 200 million dollars.
If you can save $500 and invest it properly over 15+ years, it can grow to be a decent fortune.
4. Leave Everything Better Than You Found It
This applies to everything:
The people you meet.
Be different from other people. Most people trash their room, their car, and spread negativity into the world. Everyone and everything they meet comes out worse.
When you start helping others and helping the environment, it will come back to you 10x.
Business is about giving value to people in ways they will pay for.
5. Have good ethics and values
Every year, I see people on Youtube or the internet who have compromised themselves for money.
There are tons of people who have destroyed their reputation, lied, cheated, and stolen money to get money.
There were recently pranksters on Youtube who rented sports cars, claimed it was their own, stole money from their friends, and a bunch of other stuff just to get views and get a rather negligible amount of Youtube ad dollars for it.
Don’t do this.
Decide on where you will and will not go early.
I have seen a ton of people do this because no one told them and/or they didn’t believe it.
A lot of young people in the growing e-sports scene don’t know any better and do a lot of unprofessional, childish things.
They make very unprofessional remarks about their partners that end up biting them in the butt. It really isn’t a good way to go about it.
Another huge danger are the people who are ethical enough.
You can end up telling white lies that lead to greater problems down the road.
6. Have A Positive Attitude
A lot of successful people have adopted or always had a good attitude towards things.
The average person complains a lot.
Rather than complain about having to pay taxes, change your attitude to “I’m going to make enough to easily pay the taxes and be thankful to do so because of what the government provides to me.”
With a toxic person, they are always looking for the next excuse.
It costs them hours a week complaining and gets them no where.
Did your mind immediately jump to a thousand reasons why the government doesn’t provide you enough?
You can be the excuse-king or the man who makes a difference despite excuses.
7. Create Win-Win Situations
When you look to small-minded people, they often have ideas that are quite different from successful people.
You can call them excuses or just false beliefs:
- “Money is the root of all evil”
- “Greed is good”
- “To make more money, you have to do more evil.”
I see them ALL the time.
These are false and over-popularized by movies for the masses like Wolf of Wall Street.
There’s thousands of examples of win-win situations.
Think of a business that cuts your grass or tutors your kids. You are providing an incredible service to people who benefit greatly from it.
Money is just a currency invented so that we can more quickly exchange our services to help other people.
Did your mind immediately turn to a million cynical excuses like “Oh that’s not true! What about big corporations?”
If so, get off my website.
Just kidding. But seriously, take a look at Apple:
Apple is one of the biggest companies in history and they went through extensive years of no praise to build a phone that people love. And unfortunately, it still gets thousands of people who take it for granted.
“If you help enough people get what they want, you can have everything you want.” -Zig Ziglar
Elon Musk said in an interview in Hong Kong that you will undoubtedly have a great business if you just create an extraordinary product for your customers. He says that most customers are disappointed when the product they buy underperforms, you will stand out if you just over-deliver.
To be financially independent in the most thriving, wonderful way is to create win-win situations where you are so valuable that you help others so much that they love you and are willing to pay you so that you are not dependent on someone else for your needs.
If I had to summarize this whole thing up in a few sentences, it would be this:
Wealth and true success is different from everyone.
To get there faster, it can be really wise to learn from people who have experienced it and have got to where you want to go. Everyone’s idea of success is different.
Make sure you pick the right people to follow. Learn from the regrets of others so you don’t make the same mistakes.
Realize that money, wealth, fame, or influence can be false myths.
Understand that being ethical and truly helping other people can reward you much more than cheating or stealing can.
Here are my 2 book recommendations:
Note: I get a small commission if you purchase through these links. I am recommending them because they’re great books regardless of the commission.
What is the #1 thing you will take from this and do immediately?