The Millionaire Mind

The Millionaire Mind Cover

The Millionaire Mind by Thomas H. Stanley, Ph.D. is a book written in 2000 about millionaires. It’s mostly based on research. That means that this book is not one of those motivational books but a very insightful and practical one. Mr. Stanley is also the author of other related books such as The Millionaire Next Door and Marketing to the Affluent.

Balance is their approach to life

Balance Sheet Affluent

know how to read balance sheets and be financially literate

self-made affluent

Integrity – being honest with people

Discipline – applying self control

Social skills – getting along with people

A supportive spouse

Hard work – more than most people

It is less about investing in the stock market and much more about investing in ourselves, our careers, our professional practices, our private business, and so forth

We do not follow the crowd.

Properly allocate time and make accurate judgments about people.

“I think success really involves the situations you get yourself into and the people you meet,” he says. “No one can be successful by themselves. It’s the relationships that you develop with the people around you. Throughout my life, I’ve had people who helped me do better.”

it’s the effort you put in

‘It’s not really how smart you are, it’s how you are smart’

We thing of success, not of failure. We take risks but we study the probable outcomes. And we do everything we can to enhance the odds of generating returns.

He attacked only when he was in the best possible position to win. […] the ideal target – the one that would give him the maximum return on his investment.

Most millionaires understand that they have certain limitations, and they develop an understanding of their strengths and limitations before they even finished school

I’m smart because I know what it is I don’t know.

Think differently from the crowd.

Where is the history, the price-trend data?

purchase homes that appreciate in value

SOCIAL SKILLS

Getting along with people

Having strong leadership qualities

Being honest with all people – 1

Being well discipline – 1

Ranking of success factors according millionaires

No one ever got to this level without the help of others.

No man or woman is an island, whether the context is sports, business, or building wealth – nobody gets to the highest peaks without the help of others.

Get people involved into helping you achieve your goals and at the same time help them achieve their goals. Put yourself on the track with people that have the same goals as you do.

nurture important human resources […] most successful people go out of their way to attract, motivate, appreciate, and nurture key advisers, suppliers, and employees.

coaches like Paul Bryant produced so many successful executives by teaching social skills.

empathy for the needs of people? […]

Me, me, me is dull, dull, dull.

In other words, always focus on the needs and interests of others.

use criticism as an inspiration to succeed. […] mentors, who focus on how others can improve themselves.

But critics are a necessary part of our social system in America – they screen out those who lack the courage and resolve to take criticism and triumph in spite of them.

Successful entrepreneurs tend to have extraordinary drive and resolve.

Keep one fact in mind. The successful population, regardless of intellect, is more heavily criticized than the unsuccessful.

. . .

Successful people are different; they don’t follow the crowd, and those who don’t follow the crowd are often criticized for being different.

. . .

Being different comes with rewards like economic success, and punishments like criticisms and exclusions from social groups.

. . .

When you are criticized, wait two weeks before you get angry

the majority of millionaires exercise regularly

competitive spirit

never allow yourself to get fat and lazy […] Those who credit their willingness to take financial risk (see Chapter 4) are significantly more likely to be physically fit than risk avoiders.

People with creative intelligence who apply themselves are among the very most economically successful people in America.

if you love what you are doing, your productivity will be high and your specific form of creative genius will emerge

I want everybody in the company to be passionate

from the “You Are What You Sell” book by Josephine Lee

think differently

Creativity, the discovery and exploitation of unique opportunities, has a lot to do with our economic position in the world today.

testing of the interests that young people have inside of them

“breakthroughs, new ideas, unique findings”

Life is a marathon […] upsets often occur

Total success usually requires that you enjoy your vocation

save and invest more than you spend

Millionaires make wise investments

“willing to take financial risk given the right return” […] the importance of investing in their own businesses.

If you were able to earn several million dollars a year in your own private business, what would you do with your time and energy?

Never try to do another man’s job.

one of the hallmarks of discipline is one’s ability to become economically successful without being given a road map. Millionaires make their own road maps, and no one tells them what time to wake up or go to work.

. . .

when, how, what, why, and where to do things. Millionaires by definition, are accumulators of wealth. Not so for most people in America – they spend all or most of their income.

“being well disciplined” (57 percent rated it very important) and “working harder than most people” (47 percent cited this factor as very important) […] most economic success derives from proactive behavior.

The harder I work, the luckier I become.

committed to becoming disciplined.

. . .

A person with self-discipline possesses an internal compass, a control and navigational system.

I’m a finisher in a society of starters

Kenneth Tuchman, founder of TeleTech, from the “Success Secrets of the Successful” book from Adrienne Sanders

To become wealthy one must be disciplined in thought and deed, disciplined enough to search for great economic opportunities.

Most of the millionaires I have interviewed do not have high superiority complex. On the contrary, they are more likely to have one or more components of inferiority in their self-image.

They were degraded by someone or something during their formative years and school days. Both responded by outworking and eventually outperforming the so-called intellectually gifted.

If you love your job and the topics you will write about, you’re very likely to succeed. But you must work hard and use your creative and analytical intellect.

from the book “Successful Intelligence” by Robert J. Sternberg

Young people can succeed if they capitalize on their strengths.

Questioning the norm, the status quo, and authority are hallmarks of the thinking of self-made millionaires and those destined to become affluent.

He constantly told himself that these people would be humbled someday by the harsh realities of the world out side the classroom. In the real world, who succeeds? People who have built up immunity to pain.

tenacity and leadership ability.

Hard work is better predictor of success than grade school experiences.

a leader of people. […] A leader knows how to maximize the productivity of people and other resources, and Lutz proved this ability time and time again.

Mr. Lutz being a former president and vice chairman of Chrysler Corporation

We are a nation of “comeback kids.”

But if one keeps working toward lofty goals, one can and will succeed in America.

high-performance leader

leadership qualities and tenacity

Labels often have a way of activating behaviors that are congruent with the designations.

Mothers and fathers who consistently tell their children they can succeed are likely to produce offspring who are productive adults.

“developing a strong work ethic”

many also spent considerable time learning how to make accurate judgments about people

Work hard, socialize, enjoy people.

It was the struggle, the hard journey, that gave them the foundation for becoming successful.

Self-made millionaires report that degrading evaluations and comments by certain authority figures played a role in their ultimate success in life.

teachers, are not very good at making predictions of the future economic productivity because they are not economically productive themselves.

Hard work is more important than genetic high intellect in achieving success.

They also feel they can win the economic race even against people who are “smarter.”

Most learn early to fight for important goals.

Ownership of a business is the base upon which most people become independently wealthy.

“I’m unemployable.” […] Hired himself and started his own business. At that time he had great fear of failure.

some adversity is essential in bringing out the best in people

ESP, an extraordinary sales professional.

traits common among ESPs – he was personable, tenacious and persuasive

Millionaires love their careers.

The effect of positive energy and emotion that can be directed into one’s career cannot be understated.

He was the ultimate consumer, spending liberally on products and services that don’t retain their value.

He will never again take his financial success for granted.

Many realized that being an employee smothers the fire in one’s gut.

there is no such thing as a permanent job working for others.

The earlier a youngster starts developing interest and experience with his or her vocation, the more likely he or she is to become a productive adult.

convincing them they have the potential to succeed.

on motivating people

“being honest”

integrity is a really key issue at the point where money changes hands.

Many 900 Club members may have realized even before marrying that they needed a supportive spouse – maybe they recognized that two heads are better than one.

Given a choice beyond love and physical attractiveness, I prefer to marry a woman who can manage a business.

Members of the 900 Club have another rather well-demonstrated propensity – they tend to use a much greater number of advisers, mentors, and significant others, including husband and wife, as counselors and support units. […] they use more than their own head to enhance the probability of succeeding in life.

Often it only takes one teacher, counselor, or coach to influence a youngster in this positive way.

64% of the 900 Club members indicated that “receiving encouragement from teachers” influenced them in becoming an economically productive adult.

you’ll have to work very hard. You will also have to get along with people, work harder than others, and go out of your way to develop empathy for the needs of others.

courage was nurtured and consciously developed all throughout their careers

For many, the downside is filled with danger. They seek the safety and security of working on a set salary.

The fear of economic failure is not easy to overcome – that’s why so few people are self-employed today.

[Working for others] … you never build your own customer base … . You are not doing things that are in your own best [economic] interest for you to become successful in terms of becoming wealthy … . You are merely doing what is in the best interest of an employer.

Becoming wealthy is, in fact, a mind game.

“mind over fear”

Hard Work

. . .

Visualizing Success

There is hope for Mr. Truck only if he educates himself as Mr. Benjamin did. Mr. Benjamin’s courage overwhelmed his fears of risking his investment dollars. His courage to do so is a direct product of educating himself and taking control of his own financial destiny.

I was afraid … of the big unknown factors.

. . .

Fear and courage are related. Courage does not exist in the absence of fear of some danger.

Where Is The Real Risk?

Countless numbers of my MBA students once thought that they avoided taking much risk. Many never even considered being self-employed business owners – it was just too risky.

The path perceived less risky is actually more risky. Just like with trading. If you’re searching for security you’re going to lose. Make sure you take in account the possibility of losing.

took more risk – most had a single source of income and a single career track

referring to the author’s students

financial risk, working hard, being disciplined, and keeping focused.

in the first paragraph in a sub-chapter entitled Was It Luck

“The harder you work the luckier you become!”

willingness to take financial risk, given the right return

. . .

risk versus reward theory

. . .

The millionaires I’ve interviewed understand probability theory. In essence, they “know the odds” and the expected payouts.

in the sub chapter entitled Risk Taking, Not Gambling

Decamillionaires on average earn the equivalent of nearly $1,000 per hour of work. Their cost in lost work opportunity to play the lotto each week would be $8,700 per year, or $174,000 in twenty years. Imagine if this sum was invested as in the example above, the sum could be an estimated $1 million or more.

Self-made millionaires know that the time and money allocated to playing the lottery can be spent on more productive activities.

their CPA and trusted attorney are part of the team

it is very beneficial to have a trusted CPA and attorney work with you throughout your adult life.

Money is boring.

Yes, some highly intelligent people feel that way. They are more challenged, more excited about doing heart surgery or solving high-order math problems than “counting every dime.” Given the choice, they’d rather be in the running for a Nobel Prize than become a decamillionaire.

They know their strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.

. . .

If you’re not good at judging talent, hire advisers who are

They provide customized investment advice on areas not just involving securities of public corporations. These professionals can be very valuable advisers concerning the tax implications of many other alternatives, from private investments to industrial real estate.

again relating to how the higher you go the income brackets the more CPAs and attorneys are involved in investment decisions

Successful risk takers are market nichers – they do things that others do not do, or, at the very least, they do things in a market area where there are few companies.

Is essence, risk takers succeed in part because they do a lot of homework before investing.

Again it’s about knowing the true odds and making as an informed decision as possible. As I had written down a line from somewhere: The less you know about a market the riskier it becomes.

Even if you see great opportunities, it takes courage to capitalize on them.

This reminded me of a chapter from The Richest Man in Babylon. During this chapter on courage the author also gives the example of Ray Kroc and McDonald’s

the importance of thinking big thoughts in order to accomplish big deeds

. . .

he always kept positive thoughts in his mind. He always thought of succeeding and never of failing

. . .

You can only think one thought at a time … . It is up to the individual … . Do you want to be a positive or negative?

. . .

If he had fears or worries, he overwhelmed them with positive thoughts.

. . .

proficient at controlling their thought processes.

. . .

A wise man will be the master of his mind; a fool will be its slave.

Referring to Norman Vincent Peale’s classic book The Power of Positive Thinking as well as referencing Dave Schwartz’s book The Magic of Thinking Big

Fear and worry are first cousins to feeling inferior.

Some millionaires developed their own methods of self-motivation and positive thinking; others followed role models. A mentor doesn’t always tell you how to think and act – just being positive and acting in ways that stimulate positive thought can have a profound influence on one’s audience.

they do have the know-how and the skills to regain their self-confidence

You will succeed if you believe.

How can you convince the best people to work for you if they see self-doubt in your eyes? How can you sell anything, from medical care to ball bearings? You can’t, if your target clients sense that you don’t believe in yourself and what you are trying to sell.

if you believe you can succeed, the probabilities are greatly enhanced that you will reach or even exceed your goals. […] “believing in myself” is a proactive tactic or thought process that works when they deploy it.

Few people outside the inherited-wealth category ever become decamillionaires without encountering increasing economic risks. With increasing risk, you need increasing levels of courage, and there is no courage without fear, economic or otherwise.

. . .

constantly build up their self-confidence and belief in themselves. […] as continued successes pile up, self-confidence is being constantly upgraded.

These high-income, lower net worth respondents are the most risk averse – in general terms, they are spenders, not investors.

more likely to engage in actions or thought processes that reduce fear and worry.

select spouses who have qualities that are complements of wealth building

it is much easier to maintain his positive mental attitude and personality as a result. Dr. Peterson believes that fear and panic are the products of an unconditioned body, mind and spirit.

Fatigue brings out the worst in people who are confronted with job-related stress and financial risk. Why do you think the best military outfits … [and] top athletic teams are in the best physical condition? […] If you panic, you will make mistakes. And if you make mistakes in this business, you won’t be in business very long.

Risk takers are what I call “pen and pad” people. They list all the pluses of a venture on one side of the page and the negatives on the other.

Part of the process of becoming an economic success is the ability to get along with and inspire people, to lead, to be a role model. Often, success is the product of having a supportive spouse and stable marriage.

There are numerous case examples of people who overcame their unstable histories, and they should be praised for their achievements.

careful planning, focusing on key issued, and being well organized.

participative, caring work environment

. . .

Building an environment where employees have the trust to take risks is vital to a company that is steeped in a history of product innovation. “We give positive and negative feedback in a caring way – not in a caretaking way – like Jesus did for the Apostles”

spent much of his spare time looking for economic opportunities

talking about Mel who build up a portfolio of properties which now bring in close to $750,000 each year

It’s very important to me to meet my goals for my business

If you love, absolutely love what you are doing, chances are excellent that you will succeed.

My job/career allows me full use of my abilities and aptitudes.

in order to find the ideal career, you first have to understand yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes?

in selecting a vocation – he targeted one specific, very well-defined audience. […] expert on niche marketing and specialization

. . .

He’s making a killing … because of his specialization.

. . .

business owners who became wealthy in one generation. They specialize – they are “nichers,” and they have little competition.

I saw this in live action time and time again both in online and offline businesses. Select a niche and become a leader in that particular niche.

“studied the profitability of their business” or vocation prior to making a selection decision.

there are dozens of geographic markets […] several hundred thousand geo-defined businesses.

again relating to selecting and dominating a niche … a geo-niche being one example

work is a joy to them

not all millionaires wear suits

I surround myself with a lot of competent and capable people. It makes your life a lot easier.

But people like Mr Richard define their own channel. They create unique and highly profitable businesses, and they have little competition.

key skills of discipline, organization, and leadership

manufacturer’s mentality. People with this affliction strongly believe that the lion’s share of the profits go to the creators, manufacturers, and developers. In reality, it is often the people who serve the developers and manufacturers who generate a higher return on what they have invested in their businesses. Real estate management, not development, is one of the most profitable businesses in America. This is the case no matter how one measures profitability.

“beginner’s luck” … He had some early success with his development company, but economic euphoria can easily cloud one’s vision. This is especially true when success is encountered at a young age, and Jim, before he was twenty-eight, had developed units in five states.

As I always used to say, I never want to be lucky. Especially at the start. Give me the road less traveled.

problem solver

property management is a better business. It provides a steady stream of income

if you seek out opportunity and work hard, you will be amazed at how much luck will come your way.

taught him the benefits of owning, managing, and caring for his income-producing assets.

“collector’s mentality”

What concepts in this course can I leverage in helping make my operation more productive?

Fear and adversity can be great motivators

value knowledge and information

When I write books, I envision readers who, hopefully, will increase their economic productivity by reading my material.

many of the owners of these trades have also become multimillionaires through their vocation

maybe one of the most important take-away from the entire book. Create a trade magazine – most likely online now – and become a millionaire. You act like a center piece that connects people.

All this revolves around you becoming a collector of data and information that have value if they are concentrated.

Time and work hours pass quickly when you’re having fun.

vocations that I find in my research on millionaires are genuinely unique. Even areas that seem traditional can have some degree of uniqueness. I was trained to be a plain old marketing professor, but I selected a specific, unique topic to research that has enable my success.

again it’s about choosing a niche

It was like trying to find someone’s room in a large hotel. Dan had the correct address for the hotel, but he didn’t have the room number.

again referring to finding your unique angle or niche

They had great empathy for Dan’s journey to success.

. . .

stress is a direct result of devoting a lot of effort to a task that’s not in line with one’s ability

Everybody out there has an opportunity to get into business… . The opportunity to sell somebody something… . Some can’t see it. You have to be able to see it.

most business majors have no intention of starting their own business. They plan to work for some major corporation, so profitability is someone else’s problem.

Again the way I see it it’s about fear, which lead to taking a job which is not necessarily bad unless you want to become a millionaire. It’s easier to win.

One’s ability to see a target is a function of experience, training, and need.

the importance of desire

He explained that the “something inside of you that want to kill” is an emotion or instinct that is vocation specific

Just as Earl Nightingale said, the “will” to succeed, the inner power that will bring us towards transcendence.

the catalyst of the ideal vocation […] strong positive emotions

Don’s emotional energy made what would be viewed as hard work by others fun for him. The risks and lifestyle sacrifices that he took as a young entrepreneur rarely entered his mind – they were easily suppressed by focusing his mind on the product and business that excited him.

I had information that no one else possessed.

having an edge

giving the market what it wants

What can you tell me about your spouse?

. . .

Down to earth

Unselfish

Patient

Shared interests that are related to accumulating wealth are important, including preparing a household budget, planning and making investments, setting financial goals, and owning and operating a business.

about the spouse

In essence, why are millionaires millionaires? Because they made the right decisions concerning several major issues in their life

They know what the components of a lasting marriage are, and they have no difficulty describing them.

honest, responsible, loving, and capable

intelligent, sincere, cheerful, reliable, and affectionate

Millionaires, both men and women, tell me over and over again about their mates: He/she is honest, responsible, loving, capable, and supportive

man’s “primary need is to be needed” by a woman

John Gray, leading authority between men and women with regard to motives, habits and drives. From his book “Mars and Venus: Do Men Buy Love? Are Women Needy?”

So if you marry an attractive, high-income-earning woman who is not honest, responsible, loving, capable, and supportive, your marriage may not succeed.

Most of these women indicated that honesty, intelligence, and ambition are more fundamental to a lasting marriage than the income or earning potential of their mates.

Remember, to build wealth one may likely have to forgo realizing a high income for years. It’s not unusual for wealth-building couples to realize “just-enough” to live on, while investing every spare dollar.

To most millionaires and those who are on track to becoming wealthy, attractiveness is only one of many qualities, and not the most highly rated.

Also, 85 percent of these women were attracted because of the “ambitious” quality

the qualities of an ideal spouse mentioned in this chapter, such as ambition, intelligence, discipline, and physical attractiveness.

If you make the correct selection, then the tide will be with you

night classes at the local university are a better place to hunt for a spouse

Looking for a spouse is a numbers game

Similar to what I’ve read from James Altucher with his “date everyone” advice

his ambition, integrity, and work ethic came from his mother and father.

I suspect that John’s high degree of common sense also came from his parents.

it’s the struggle, the self-made journey to success that makes us strong

Most millionaires look to the future. They are very likely to compute the lifetime costs and benefits of various activities that have some potential in saving money.

so many millionaires prepare detailed grocery shopping lists – it’s the same reason they use discount coupons when buying groceries.

. . .

be price sensitive and to play good defense […] protect one’s money

keeping a strict calendar of household bills, family activities, and household chores.

For most students, the most difficult part of this assignment was preparation of a day-to-day schedule for each piece of the plan to unfold. To remedy this, I had each MBA student purchase a Month-At-A-Glance and then had them start filling in processes by date in pencil. Ink would never work, since they were constantly making mistakes in their planning process.

. . .

There’s not a lot of organizing necessary when someone else designs your plan. Successful people are the ones who do the planning and organizing.

We also have to make learning a fun, even an immediately rewarding experience.

about teaching children the importance of being organized. Being well organized allows a person to have even more free time

first cost versus life-cycle costs

Millionaires are frugal when frugality translates into real increases in the economic productivity of a household.

most self-made millionaires – they are not penny wise and pound foolish

The things millionaires do to enhance their economic productivity by reducing the cost of operating their household are life-cycle-cost sensitive.

. . .

Remember that millionaires often live in the same home for twenty years or more

it’s good idea to allocate a few minutes each month to enhancing your productivity […]

How much time will I spend doing each task during my lifetime?

Is there some way I can reduce this time allocation?

Are there better uses for my time than doing the tasks I have been doing habitually?

Is there some tasks I can undertake that will pay me benefits for the rest of my life?

it’s very important to be price sensitive with respect to products that lose all or most of their initial value as soon as they are purchased.

The quality doesn’t just refer to construction, it has something to do with how long a piece will last.

in relation to buying antique furniture made from real wood

NEPM category – how can they be millionaires and not run an efficient household? They earn so much income that it’s difficult not to become wealthy.

NEPM stands for non-economically productive millionaires

Penny wise, pound foolish.

differences between Mr. Oaks, the NEPM, and Mr. O’Toole, the EPM.

. . .

very important to Mr. O’Toole:

Living below my means.

you can get rich by either increasing our income or decreasing our wants. I have found that a combination of these two approaches is the best tactic to have

Analyze the net worth and income characteristics of the NEPM and EPM types, and you’ll see that they are quite similar.

wealth-building strategy that suited their respective abilities and interests well

Never try to adopt an economic orientation that is incongruent with you abilities and aptitudes.

very important

Risk is buying a home in a neighborhood where nothing appreciates.

Never borrow long-term with the prospects of short-term income.

These people don’t allow the euphoria of upswings in income to intoxicate them into making unwise and ill-financed purchases.

well-established, predictable cash flow

Never even tried to purchase a home in a short period of time.

decamillionaires indicate “bargain shopping” for a home that was part of a foreclosure, divorce settlements, or estate sales.

Planning and studying investments and investment opportunities is a regular task for about nine in ten millionaires.

1. Be willing to walk away from any deal on any home at any time

. . .

I should never even start negotiating to buy anything that I would have difficulty “walking away from.” […] it’s a bad idea to let emotions dictate purchasing […] one should never fall in love with things, and that includes homes.

would relate very well to trading

2. Don’t pay the initial asking price for any house

There is a highly significant positive correlation between net worth and “aggressive commission/price”-related negotiating.

3. Never try to purchase a home within a short span of time.

4. Consider searching for a home that was part of a foreclosure, divorce settlement, or estate sale.

In the thirty-six months that followed the stock market crash of 1987, fully 37 percent of those who purchased homes were in the “searching for a foreclosure” group. Many of these people are just waiting for the next market plunge.

My client [the neurosurgeon] hates to hassle … doesn’t have the time … and a lot of people, especially doctors, find it a bit degrading to have to quibble over price. So I offered to negotiate on his behalf.

. . .

He is a client. He pays for our accounting and tax planning. Everything else is free. It’s just part of our service. But I tell them, send me some business … tell your friends about us … referrals. That is how we do business.

Builders and other suppliers […] have a name for such a customer:

He’s a businessman!

The smart ones realize that low interest rates and the rapid growth of high-income households translate into significant increases in the purchase price of homes.

Seeking a neighborhood that has excellent public schools.

One of the factors underlying the behavior of IAs is that they tend to be workaholics. Work consumes them. One might assume that these high-income-producing types adopt the “work hard, play hard” lifestyle, but in general, they are involved in significantly fewer social, religious, civic and recreational activities than the BAs. They tend to work more and play less, and they are least likely of all the high-income groups to indicate that they “love their jobs.”

BA being Balance Sheet Affluent while IA being Income Statement Affluent

There is a strong correlation between net worth and the proportion of one’s wealth that is invested in real estate.

A growing number of BAs are becoming area-specific experts. When they see an opportunity to enhance their net worth in a certain neighborhood they know well, they take it.

Like most BAs, he and his wife are very patient. They have a plan and a set of goals to follow.

Cleanliness in next to godliness!

Their homes were always spotless inside and out.

In my mind there is a very clear distinction between three types of real estate agents. First, there are what I refer to as “listers,” then there are “sellers,” and finally there are those extraordinary sales and marketing commandos who are great at both acquiring listings and selling what they and other agents list. Ask yourself which type you want.

If you want to avoid losing money on your real estate dealings, call an ESP.

from Marketing to the Affluent by the same author

It’s amazing to me that some people spend more time shopping for automobiles than for the homes they purchase.

Often it is impossible to predict whether a particular neighborhood will decline or appreciate in value, and this is especially true in brand-new or near-new subdivisions. In this regard, I have a simple rule. Look carefully at the homes in a well-established neighborhood. If more than one in five clearly needs painting or landscaping, you may wish to avoid the risk of buying there.

I explained to Mr. Adam that $425,000 was like the initiation fee at a country club. The monthly fees are another issue.

Are your lifestyle habits congruent with becoming more and more productive? For most people with the millionaire mind the answer is yes.

Millionaires are extraordinary successful at producing high incomes and accumulating wealth. […] They have a few habits that set them apart from most of us.

Family interaction is ranked first. Second on the activity scale is:

Entertaining close friend.

It doesn’t matter if you’re marketing commercial real estate or legal services – it helps to be active, to interact with other successful people.

Most of the participants believe they benefited from playing competitive sports. A certain competitive nature may have been enhanced as a result. They learned about the importance of teamwork through these experiences.

The health and psychological benefits of regular exercise are well documented.

The hallmark of being wealthy is having control over how you allocate your time.

The major difference between millionaires and those of average wealth is how they are compensated. Millionaires are usually paid according to performance and results, while most others are paid by the hour, pieces produced, or some other specific constraints on their time and motion. […] economic success is a direct function of being able to define one’s own allocation of time and motion.

Planning investments is an individual sport, and no special equipment is needed.

Activities/Lifestyle Orientation

Consulting with a tax expert 1

Going to museums 2

The number one activity is consulting with a tax expert!

There is a very strong, statistically significant, negative correlation between the do-it-yourself activities listed and wealth. In rank order according to the degree of significance these include:

1. Mowing you own lawn

2. Do-it-yourself plumbing

3. Preparing your own taxes

4. Painting your home’s exterior

Those with lower levels of accumulated wealth have a higher tendency to do all or most of these activities. In sharp contrast, there is a strong correlation between one’s level of wealth and hiring a professional to do one’s taxes.

There is not a more noble lifestyle activity than:

Raising funds for charity.

Financially successful people and the next generation of economically productive people volunteer. […] People are always seen at their best when involved in noble causes, and their reputation and integrity are, in turn, enhanced.

If you wish to become affluent, associate with economically productive people.

Only a minority of multimillionaires travel oversees for the sole purpose of vacationing.

People who are self-made millionaires had to figure out a way to become financially independent. […] In essence, it’s not what time people start their workday or get up in the morning that makes them financially successful – it’s how productive they are during the working hours that counts.

an environment that reward performance

When are you most productive?

Think differently from the crowd.

his lack of one normally key attribute was the catalyst for his change in strategy

. . .

He won because he selected the target, the time, the place, the altitude, the angle of attack.

about pilot fighter Paule Rossmann who had in injured arm

When you have something to sell, you’ve got to learn where there’s a market.

So what is important in business and life – loving your job, the money, having a good education? Mr. Sonner says:

You have to like what you’re doing – like a rabbit dog. You chase this rabbit and forget about everything else but catching the rabbit.

. . .

I don’t think educational background in most cases is as important as the will to win.

Making money while watching his costs was a hard-learned lesson for Mr. Sonner, and one he would recommend to young people who want to go into business for themselves.

[Borrowing] a lot of money for a new business is the worst thing in the world. If you don’t have any money, you learn how to do things without.

hard work, integrity, and focus.

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