If you Google “millionaire” and “secrets,” you get more than 10 million results. I’m a veteran of the technology industry, and have spent decades studying successful leaders. I’m talking about hundreds of men and women who have become wildly successful. These are their secrets. If you want to enjoy great success financially, or otherwise, practice these steps carefully.
1. Quit reading dumb articles like this one.
Think I’m kidding? This is so not funny. None of those hundreds or thousands of successful people I’ve known wasted their time on nonsense like “the secrets of millionaires.” Quit searching for miracle solutions and silver bullets; there aren’t any.
2. Reach beyond your grasp.
Perhaps the most brilliant advice in history is Robert Browning’s famous quote, “A man’s reach should not exceed his grasp.” If you want to be successful, you have to consistently strive to tackle tough problems. There are no wealthy slackers. None.
3. Make good choices.
Becoming successful is all about making good choices. Listen to smart, accomplished people, but in the end, trust your gut.
4. Always pay down your debt.
Better still, stay out of debt. There are exceptions. It’s okay to have a mortgage, but pay it down as soon as you can. And everyone needs a car, but they don’t need a new car.
5. Work in a high-demand, low-supply field.
It’s sort of funny how the most basic economic principle, the law of supply and demand, eludes most people. It’s so simple. Demand is proportional to price. More competition means less income and wealth. It’s that simple.
6. Learn to do one thing better than anyone else.
It doesn’t matter whether you learn it in school or on the job; strive to be better than anyone else at just one thing. You do that by accomplishing one thing at a time. It helps a lot if that one thing is something you love to do.
7. Be a raging workaholic.
Look I’m not saying you can’t have a family and fun. I do. But every wealthy person is also a hard worker with a strong work ethic. In other words, they get the job done, meet their commitments, and set a fine example for others.
8. Prioritize, focus, be disciplined.
Forget all the books and blogs about personal productivity and self-improvement. All you have to do is know your priorities, focus on what matters, and be disciplined about it.
9. Get equity.
Salary pays the bills, but saving money is challenging and it’s always tempting to dip into the cookie jar. Equity from stock, options, or business ownership solves that problem because it’s not liquid. In other words, you can’t spend it. Just don’t squander it when you can. Instead of cashing out, diversify your investments.
10. Don’t do what everyone else is doing.
The key message from my new book, Real Leaders Don’t Follow, is that nobody ever got ahead by doing what everyone else is doing. Nobody. Unfortunately, social media promotes cultural conformity, herd mentality, and dopey fads like nobody’s business. Leaders lead. Followers follow. You can’t do both.
About the Author
Steve Tobak is a management consultant, executive coach, columnist, and author of Real Leaders Don’t Follow.