If you follow precisely in the footsteps of someone you admire, like Elon Musk or Warren Buffett, you’re still not going to end up in exactly the same place that they are today. There are far too much confounding factors that come into play, like the resources they already had on hand or the unique situations they found themselves in that simply cannot be replicated today. That being said, looking at their current habits can speak a lot to the kinds of choices you should be making if you want to achieve a similar kind of success and lead a similar kind of lifestyle.
Some of the facts and figures cited by Visual Capitalist in its infographic are going to be familiar to some of you, but they’re still very much worth revisiting. The perspective is partly from that of financial investment, but the underlying principles can be applied to any professional endeavor. It’s a game and you need to know how to leverage the rules in your favor.
1. Reading Is Fundamental
A common thing that you’ll hear among many successful entrepreneurs is that you should spend less time researching and more time doing. You won’t actually learn anything until you do it yourself, as there will never be a “perfect” time for you to do anything. There is some truth to that, but this doesn’t mean learning is a waste of time.
Quite the contrary, reading is absolutely essential to your professional growth. While science fiction and other books “for fun” have their value, if you want to grow, you need to read “to acquire or maintain knowledge.” That’s why 88% of the rich read for at least 30 minutes each and every day, focusing primarily on self-education and self-improvement.
2. Physical for Mental
I don’t have time for the gym. I don’t have time to exercise. It’s a very common mantra we hear among the busiest of professionals. The thing is that it’s not about the lack of time; it’s about the lack of prioritization. You’re just not prioritizing your physical health and that could be detrimental to your mental and your professional health too.
That’s why 76% of the wealthy spend at least 30 minutes or more every day engaged in aerobic exercise of some kind. This kind of activity gets the heart pumping and, as it turns out, helps you work smarter. “An unhealthy trader has less energy and a slower thought process.”
3. The Power of Love
Many people hate their jobs. Understandably, it’s pretty hard to be super successful at a job that you despise. The common misconception is that “liking” your job is good enough. While certainly better than hating your job, “liking” will only get you so far.
Of the 86% of those surveyed who indicated that they “liked” what they did for a living, they accumulated $3.4 million over the course of 32 years. That sounds pretty good, right? But of the 7% who “loved” what they did, they racked up more than double the money ($7.4 million) in about a third of the time (12 years).
4. Never Surrender
From the outside looking in, many people will assume that the wealthy “just got lucky.” Again, while it certainly doesn’t hurt to have luck on your side, it’s definitely not something you can rely on. You need to make your own luck.
That’s why 92% of millionaires say that “good luck” had nothing to do with them getting to where they are today. Instead, they attribute it to perseverance. Even when times get tough, they never gave up.
5. It’s Who You Know
Have you ever heard the phrase that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know? Turns out that this is absolutely true and it doesn’t matter just how skillful or talented you are if you can’t connect with the right people to move your career ahead. That’s why it’s so important to go to the right trade shows, conferences, and networking events to shake a few hands and exchange a few business cards.
In fact, some 88% of the successful people surveyed say that relationships are “critical to financial success.” If I never went to that Dot Com Pho over ten years ago, I would have never met John in person and my career probably wouldn’t be where it is today.
Stay tuned for part two!