The richest people in the world come from very different backgrounds. However, they have many personal traits that make them very similar. The five richest people in the world come from Mexico, Spain and the United States. Carlos Slim and Warren Buffet make their money buying companies and selling companies. Larry Ellison and Bill Gates made their billions with technology and Amancio Ortega makes his money with fashion and clothing. In the world today there 31,680,00 millionaires and 1,426 billionaires. So what makes the millionaires and billionaires unique? Their habits.

Some people will say that the rich were born rich and had a bigger advantage. While that may occasionally be the case, it is not in the majority of the cases. 68% of the 400 Americans on the Forbes 2013 “billionaires list” are considered “self-made.” This means they built it and did not inherit it. John Paul Dejoria is worth $4 billion and he lived in his car while selling Paul Mitchell products door-to-door. Oprah Winfrey is worth $2.9 billion and was raised in poverty and ran away from home as a teen due to abuse. Howard Schultz is worth $2 billion and was raised in the projects in Brooklyn.

Thomas C Corley studied 233 wealthy and 128 poor people to see what the habits of each group of people were.

Wealthy people are defined as earning at least $160,000 annually and have at least $3.2 million in assets.

Poor people are defined as earning under $30,000 annually and having less than $5,000 in assets.

There are a lot of complaints in the media that the gap between the rich and the poor is growing wider. Instead of complaining that the rich are getting richer, the poor should evaluate what they are doing each day to keep them from succeeding. The habits of the poor and the rich are quite different and it is clear why the rich have what they have. I have learned a lot from this list and hope that I can do more of what the rich on this do and less of what the poor on this list do.

They Have a Routine:

  • Maintain a to-do list:
    • Rich 81%
    • Poor 9%
  • Wake up 3 hours before work:
    • Rich 44%
    • Poor 3%
  • Listen to Audio books during commute:
    • Rich 63%
    • Poor 5%
  • Read 30+ minutes or more each day
    • Rich 88%
    • Poor 2%
  • Love to Read
    • Rich 86%
    • Poor 26

They are Healthy:

  • Exercise aerobically 4 days a week:
    • Rich 76%
    • Poor 23%
  • 300 Junk Food Calories per day
    • Rich – Approximately 70%
    • Poor – Approximately 95%

Raising Their Children:

  • Teach good daily success habits to their children:
    • Rich 74%
    • Poor 1 %
  • Make their children volunteer 10+ hours per month
    • Rich 70%
    • Poor 3%
  • Encourage their children read 2+ non-fiction books per month
    • Rich 63%
    • Poor 3%

Television Habits:

  • Watch 1 hour or less everyday
    • Rich 65%
    • Poor 20%
  • Watch Reality Television
    • Rich 10%
    • Poor 80%

They Set Goals:

  • Write down their goals
    • Rich 67%
    • Poor 17%
  • Focus on accomplishing a specific goal
    • Rich 80%
    • Poor 12%
  • Believe in lifelong educational self-improvement
    • Rich 86%
    • Poor 5%
  • Believe good habits create opportunity
    • 84%
    • 4%
  • Believe bad habits have a negative impact
    • Rich 76%
    • Poor 9%

Whether you believe or not in the study done by Thomas Corley is up to you. I choose to believe. I find that the more I am balanced and trying to improve, the more money I make. Remember what Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”