5 Things Rich People Do That We Should All Copy

moneyIf you long to be a millionaire but fear you just don't have what it takes, think again!

The authors of The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley, PhD, and William D. Danko, PhD, and The Millionaire Mind, also written by Stanley, examined 700 millionaires to find out what the super-wealthy have in common. The answers may just surprise and inspire you!

It turns out you don't need to be a genius (phew!) or have a radical, out-of-the-box idea, but there are some characteristics you should possess in order to move up to that next level.

The following are traits shared by millionaires that may just be within our reach:


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1. They live modestly. When the authors interviewed one millionaire and offered him some fine wine, he declined, noting that he only drank two types of beer: "free and Budweiser." That's not all the wealthy are scrimping on! Fifty percent of those studied said they never paid more than $399 for a suit and still more say they never spent above $30,000 for a car. 

I find this so interesting because I grew up in a town where it seemed like every other person drove a Mercedes. My brothers and I would pester our dad: Where was our fancy, foreign car?

My father, who was raised by a single mom after his dad passed away when he was just a toddler, and began working at a very young age, knows the value of a dollar. 

"Who do we need to impress?" he'd ask. "Show me how much money you have in the bank, then I'll be impressed." 

Financial security trumps luxury in his book any day, and I'm grateful he instilled that in us. 

Billionaire Warren Buffet subscribes to the same theory. The chairman and CEO still lives in a modest home in Omaha, Nebraska, that he purchased in 1958 for $31,500. It was appraised at $700,000 in 2003, which is still pretty surprising when you think of what he could afford!

2. They work hard. I'm constantly sharing that Thomas Edison quote "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration" with my children. Yes, it's met with much eye-rolling, but that's not going to stop me! 

According to the authors, the average college GPA of an American millionaire is 2.9 on a 4.0 scale. Despite their less-than-perfect academic performance, 94 percent said they learned a "strong work ethic" in college and were routinely told they were "dependable" by their instructors. 

I know if I were hiring, I'd choose a trustworthy employee who was willing to put in the time over a flighty genius any day.

3. They're self-employed. I feel like this goes hand-in-hand with number two. They're already willing to put in the effort, is there anyone you're going to work harder for than yourself? While it may seem risky to go out on your own and start a business, the millionaires surveyed viewed it as more perilous to put their fate in the hands of someone else. 

4. They choose wisely. Rather than pursuing a passion, the millionaires studied said they relied on those trusty economic principles -- supply and demand -- to help them choose their industry. While the wolves of Wall Street often come to mind when you think of millionaires, the ones the authors studied were busy filling a need. 

From The Millionaire Next Door:

Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dull-normal. We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors.

5. They work well with others. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said while they might be following their path, the ability to get along well with others is key. 

When you break it down like that, becoming a millionaire doesn't seem as unattainable after all. 

Do you know any millionaires who share these traits?


Image © JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Corbis

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