10 Habits To Become a Millionaire

One of the biggest traits they all shared was a positive outlook on life. The majority of the millionaires in my study describe themselves as optimists and have a deeply held belief that anything is possible.

Saver-Investors, Big Company Climbers, Virtuosos, and Entrepreneurs. More than three-quarters, 80%, of the participants in my study were 50 or older, and they accumulated their wealth over time.

For Saver-Investors, it took them an average of 32 years to become millionaires. For the Big Company Climbers, it took them 22 years. And it took 21 years for Virtuosos and 12 years for the Entrepreneurs. 

Most of the millionaires, 86% of my study subjects, reported that they enjoyed what they did for a living. About 6 in 10 pursued what they described as a dream or passion for their work.

Those entrepreneurs who channeled that passion into a successful business idea had an average net worth of $7.4 million.   Almost 9 out of 10, 88%, shared that they read every day to increase their knowledge about their job and their industry. More than three-quarters, 85%, reported that they read a minimum of two books a month, and 63% reported that they enjoyed listening to audiobooks or podcasts while commuting to work, exercising, or doing housework.Over three-quarters, 77%, of the millionaires said they were B or C students in school, while 68% went to college and 25% went to graduate school. Over half, 56%, worked their way through school.

Almost three-quarters, 72%, reported that they volunteered five hours or more a month at local nonprofits. And 27% of them were on the board of directors of  local, community-based charities, helping them run their organizations. 

Another way the millionaires got involved in their communities is through taking part in the electoral process. Fully 83% shared that they voted regularly in federal, state, and local elections. 

 64% of the millionaires described the homes they own as “modest.” All of the millionaires I interviewed owned their homes, and 56% owned their homes for at least 20 years. Over half, 55%, buy used cars. 

And this frugal mindset also extends to their off time. Nearly all, 96%, said they spent less than $6,000 a year on vacations, and 41% spent less than $3,000 a year. And 84% shared that they never gamble.

73%, of the millionaires reported that they work an average of 58 hours a week. And 44% reported that they wake up at least three hours before their work day begins. 

Once that day starts, it’s often organized: More than three-quarters, 81%, shared that they keep a to-do list. About a quarter, 24%, of self-made millionaires kept a to-don’t list, too, to help them avoid time-wasters and focus on the things that matter most to them. Over 8 in 10 shared that they had hired a team of smart, dedicated individuals that they relied on to help achieve their visions, including attorneys, CPAs, marketing professionals, and financial advisors.Most of the millionaires have more than one source of income: Almost two-thirds, 65%, have three streams of income, 45% have four streams, and 29% have five streams.

More than three-quarters, 80%, reported that they are actively working toward one major goal at any given time, and nearly all of them attributed their success to staying positive and having a clear vision of their future, especially when times are tough.

Tom Corley is a CPA and a certified financial planner who holds a master’s degree in taxation. He is the bestselling and award-winning author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life” and ”Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”