Ten habits of financially successful people
Written by Lynda Calver on August 09, 2017.
Financial success is not usually something that just happens, unless you are blessed with astounding good fortune. You’re not suddenly going to wake up with six figures in your bank account and your retirement sorted, it’s going to take a bit of effort on your part. That doesn’t necessarily mean dedicating hours and hours to managing your money, it can merely mean making some simple changes in your life. Financially successful people aren’t necessarily those that earn the most. They come from all walks of life from high-earning lawyers to hard-working small business owners but they have certain habits in common which contribute to their success.
1. They make sacrifices
Most of us have a finite amount of money to spend each month and that means making sacrifices. In order to free up funds to invest you might need to cut back in some areas of your life. The big, fancy five-bedroom house with the pool and tennis court is lovely but you might have to opt for one less bedroom or reign in your dreams of recreating Wimbledon in the back garden. A brand new car is nice to have but a second hand one will get you from A to B just as well. I’m not suggesting that you live like a miser but compromise will almost certainly be needed to free up funds to save and accumulate wealth.
2. They manage their time well
Time is another finite resource which most of us are short of. When you have ten thousand things to do, which let’s face it, most of us do, it’s all too easy to run around in circles achieving very little. There are lots of things you can do to help you get more organised. Making a to-do list, for example, will help you prioritise urgent tasks. Understanding your own circadian rhythms is also helpful. If you are bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning but can barely keep your eyes open come mid-afternoon concentrate on getting your most difficult jobs done before lunch and save the less taxing things for when your brain is screaming ‘siesta’ in the afternoon! Managing time well is absolutely key to all kinds of success. When it comes to finances, specifically carving out an hour or two every month to ensure that they are in good shape is vital.
3. They avoid debt and save
Achieving financial success while you have debts hanging over your head is about as likely as winning the lottery. Interest payments are an unnecessary drain on your resources – you might as well throw that money out of the window. To truly take control of your finances you need to make a concerted effort to zero your debts with regular payments each month. Then you can move on to earning interest rather than paying it. Which brings us on to point 4…
4. They look to the long term
Instant gratification is a powerful force. We are hardwired to want things whether that be a Prada handbag, the latest iPhone or an exotic holiday in the Bahamas. Financial success means fighting the urge for instant gratification and forgoing short-term pleasure for long term gain. Instead of spending every last penny you earn, look to creating a savings habit with your future financial security in mind. You may have to start off small but you might be surprised at how quickly you can accumulate savings. Then you need to resist the temptation to blow it all on that cheeky little sports car and put it to work for you by generating a return.
5. They don’t have a victim mentality
At the end of the day, whatever our history, we are all responsible for our own lives in the here and now. Blaming your failures on the fact that your parents couldn’t afford to send you to university is not going to get you anywhere. Oprah Winfrey had a famously difficult start in life but it hasn’t stopped her achieving fame and amassing a fortune of billions. We all make mistakes and we all suffer misfortunes but learning how to analyse those situations, learn from them and take positives for the future is the route to success.
6. They don’t blame others
Similarly, blaming others for what happens in your life is a waste of both time and energy. Even if you perceive something to be someone else’s fault, you can’t change what has happened. Take control of the situation going forward and choose a path of acceptance and positivity. I love this quote from the Dalai Lama about blame: ‘When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realise that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.’ I hope he will forgive me for adding financial success to that!
7. They never stop learning
Education is a great thing and something that shouldn’t stop when we leave school. Benjamin Franklin said ‘An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.’ and I truly believe that. Truly successful people view life as a learning experience and never stop trying to acquire new knowledge and skills. Seek to take something of value from everything you do whether it be a work seminar, a newspaper article you read or a podcast you listen to. There are lessons everywhere if you look at your experiences in a mindful way.
8. They are creative
When we think of creativity we often think of the physical act of producing something such as a piece of art or music or a tangible object that can be sold but creativity comes in many guises. It could be thinking up a new way of approaching a particular task at work or a different marketing strategy. The most successful people are those who are constantly thinking creatively and searching for new ways of doing things rather than following the crowd.
9. They have passion
Of course we all need to make money but if we are passionate about how we do it then we are far more likely to be successful. Some passions are more obvious than others – performers clearly get a buzz from entertaining a crowd but your thrills might come from something much more subtle. I, for example, feel passionate about helping people work out a financial strategy and get a huge amount of satisfaction from seeing them get on track for a successful financial future.
10. They go above and beyond
Footballer Neymar has hit the headlines this week as his €222mn transfer from Barcelona to Paris St-Germain is the biggest in the sport’s history. His formidable track record wasn’t won by knocking a ball about the park every now and then but by dedicating his life day in day out to honing his skills and reaching peak physical fitness. The fact is that you won’t get maximum results putting in minimum effort. In any walk of life, those who achieve the most success are those that are willing to go the extra mile and strive to do the very best they can in everything that they do. You won’t always get it right but determination and hard work will pay off in the end.
The path to financial success is not necessarily an easy one but by making small changes in your life on a regular basis, you can make sure that you are on it and heading in the right direction. Why not get started today? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss how to get your finances back on track!