The Work Habits of Self-Made Millionaires
As a coach, you probably know about the power of keystone habits. But did you know that self-made millionaires share some keystone habits that helped propel them to success? This fourth episode about business and revenue growth highlights the importance of daily health-based routines as a foundation to show up with the right energy, mindset and well-being to achieve success more easily.
It’s no surprise that being healthy and having healthy routines is the platform for business revenue and growth.
In this episode, I’ll talk about
* 5 Habits that Millionaires have in common
* How to get started with your own success habits
If you think about it, how you treat yourself and what you do for yourself has a profound effect on your mood, attitude, energy, health, sleep and stress – and your ability to show up and do your work well, even on the hardest of days. And those things directly affect your business and revenue growth!
So what are the keystone habits that could bring you success? A 5-year study of 233 self-made millionaires and 128 poor individuals by Tom Corely, author of the book Rich, found some common habits that helped them achieve their success.
This episode is on the edge of a bigger project I am initiating which I think you’ll like – and I’ll reveal more in about a year after I’m finished.
For now, I will give you a hint about my project – while the points I’m about to mention are keystone habits of a bunch of millionaires – not EVERY millionaire surveyed had all of these habits. And rather than just following this list, I encourage you to come up with your OWN success habits.
So let’s dive into the list of key habits.
While you listen, reflect on how many of these do you do. Or, what’s your version of these?
In Corley’s study, 86% of self-made millionaires spent at least an hour reading after work, usually self-improvement books. Only 2% of the average income earners were doing that.
I loved this because I start and finish my day with reading. Marketing and business books in the morning, and fiction in the evening, is how I like to roll.
For me, reading something non-fiction in the morning sets me up with a positive, inspired and focused mindset for the day. Reading non-fiction at night (and sometimes in the morning) helps me switch off from work or get lost in a story when I’m feeling a bit fragile.
I think the upshot is that reading helps you to feel positive, to grow, to engage in stories, and to separate yourself from the stresses of life. It boosts your vocabulary and helps you relate to others in a similar way.
If you’re not a reader, you might be into journalling, or a podcast listener, or an e-book listener. Work with your learning style on this one.
Or if you’re not into any of these – totally ok!
Consistent exercise was another keystone habit of the millionaires in Corley’s study.
This makes perfect sense. After a busy day (or before one), exercise gets you up, out of your head and into your body. It helps you to maintain good physical and metabolic health, and to release endorphins that help you to feel good.
During exercise, you get time to reflect, plan, and dream, collect your thoughts and step out of the day-to-day stuff. You get a chance to blow off some steam and release tension.
Exercise helps you to get into the habit of setting and achieving goals, helping you to stay competitive with yourself and perhaps others, too. This obviously helps to build self-esteem.
Last week I went for a 5km run with a friend. It was tough but there was a sense of ‘instant gratification’ when we finished. In that 30-minute run, I got myself to finish, therefore I got a tangible result (doing the run), and I felt strong, amazing, invincible even!
Exercise also helps you get into the habit of creating schedules. You also bring in an element of discipline both within the workout, and in getting yourself to do the workout.
Do you exercise? Why or why not?
How does exercise make you feel?
What are some of the benefits for you?
The Sleep Foundation shares a list of recommended sleep hours for each age group. Adults need 7 – 9 hours per day to function optimally, or at least a minimum of 6.4 hours per day.
Corley found that the millionaires in his study slept at least 7 hours per night.
Sleep research shows that sleep gives the body a chance to undergo a tune up. At different times of night, the body goes through cycles of physical recovery and repair, processing and embedding memories, and mental rejuvenation.
It’s no wonder that the amount of time you sleep is linked to success. It affects memory, mood, cognitive function and physical health.
Interestingly, each person’s bedtime is unique, according to their chronobiology.
How is your sleep? What is the optimal amount for you?
It’s no surprise that most of the millionaires in Corley’s study carved out time to think or brainstorm. We spend so much time in the micro details of each day, that we rarely sit back to reflect on life, our goals, where we are going or whether we are investing time and energy in the right direction.
Since blocking out thinking time for myself, I have noticed huge efficiencies in the way I work. The realisations and mental links I make in my time out have saved me spending hours on pointless tasks, and on making impulse decisions.
These days, my time out (usually walking, with or without a podcast) gives me ample reflection to get clarity, direction and focus for my next burst of work.
The Mean of the 5
Finally, millionaires choose their friends and mentors carefully. They spend time with supportive people who hold space for them, who have experience, who are calm and not pushy or overbearing.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn says you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.
If you’re running a business or just doing life, this could include the podcasts you have in your ears all day, the coach you hire, your significant other, your family, and the people you work with.
If your people mix is not ideal, you can certainly make focused time with the right people, for enough time each week to keep your mind in the right place.
This is something I’ve done, and it pays in spades. I minimise the people and social situations that drain me or add no value. I intentionally choose to spend my time with, and cultivate relationships with, people who are smarter than me, better coaches, better critical thinkers, and who are thought leaders and knowledge leaders. That way, I know I am putting good fuel into my brain, having impactful conversations and building my mental and emotional energy.
Who are you surrounded by? How does that affect your energy?
How can you reduce your time spent with the negatives, and increase your time with the positives?
While all these keystone habits are great, it is what they create that matters.
Effective habits are the ones that help you to feel inspired, invincible, strong, thoughtful, grateful, engaged, in flow, calm, full of zest, rational, creative, de-stressed, and empowered.
And why does that matter?
Because when you feel like that, you will show up with energy for your business, you will be consistent with the tasks that need it, you’ll be putting your best foot forward, you’ll overcome the hurdles more easily, you’ll be in a growth mindset, and you’ll feel the fear and do it anyway.
The habits discussed in this episode are based on a study of 200 people. We covered 5, but there were several more in the list.
The real point of this episode is that millionaires are committed to doing the habits that work for them. Their habits aren’t necessarily everything on this list – but their own secret formula.
As you reflect on what you’ve heard today, I encourage you to identify the habits that make you feel ready to tackle the world with energy, enthusiasm and confidence you need to grow your business and revenue.
CNBC Online https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/18/tom-corley-top-10-common-habits-of-high-achievers.html Accessed 6.2.23
Cohen, Jennifer. Exercise is One Thing Most Successful People Do Every Day. https://www.entrepreneur.com/living/exercise-is-one-thing-most-successful-people-do-everyday/276760 Accessed 6.2.23 Corley, Tom. Rich Habits Study – Background and methodology. https://richhabits.net/rich-habits-study-background-and-methodology/ Accessed 6.2.23
Loudenback, T. 2019. 17 habits of self-made millionaires, from a man who spent 5 years studying rich people. https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/good-habits-of-self-made-millionaires?op=1 Business Insider Website accessed 6.2.23 Suni, E. 2022. How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need Sleep Foundation Website accessed 6.2.23
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