So you want to be rich huh? Fat chance. No, literally, fat chance. Turns out that one of the many things rich people know that the average Joe is clueless about is the fact that junk food is a killer. Who knew? That Big Mac might taste good but it’s holding your wallet back too. Must be a conspiracy of the rich to keep the poor suckers down, huh? But seriously, you wanna be rich? Check out my advice:

Quit the Crap Fest

Turns out that 70% of rich people tend to avoid junk food like the plague. One of the reasons is that junk food dulls your senses. It’s true – junk food is basically like a legal drug. It makes you feel good but it also makes you stupid. Want to be rich? Ditch the garbage and start eating healthy.

Sure it costs more (though you gotta ask yourself, why the heck does it cost more to buy arugula than a Big Mac? I mean seriously – arugula is a vegetable. It doesn’t require the kind of resources that raising and slaughtering cows costs and yet most ordinary supermarkets don’t even have the stuff because it’s considered rich people food) but it’s worth it in the long run.

Put Down the Facebook Feed and Pick Up a Book

No, really. You want to be rich? Stop wasting so much time on cat videos and reading about Aunt Sally’s trip to Pittsburgh. It sucked. Done deal. You want to be rich? Learn to pick up a book. Rich people know that learning all their lives is the best possible way to stay wealthy.

Sure I have a Facebook account, just like you do. I also have a Kindle with real books on it (not just trashy thrillers – one of my favorite recent reads is a book called Why Nations Fail. No, it’s not about a spy who crashes into the Vatican to save the day. It’s a non-fiction book showing you how the world works. Fascinating stuff and very readable) and I use it daily.

Stop Buying Junk

I admit it – I’m a sucker for a good sale. But at the very least, I learned a good lesson a long time ago – you want to be rich? Don’t buy crappy stuff. Rich people know that brands aren’t everything but if you buy quality it’s going to last you longer.

That doesn’t mean you need to drive around in a Maserati, but it does mean you avoid buying a cheap junker car just because it’s a bit cheaper. A reliable car like a Honda or Toyota or my beloved Lincoln Town Car (hey, it was good enough for Warren Buffet then it’s good enough for me) is the sort of thing you should get. And don’t waste money on a brand new car from this model year. Buy last year’s model and save the money.

Don’t Dream. Do.

You want to know the biggest difference between you and a rich person? They wanted it more. It’s true – the truly rich people of the world knew that they wanted to be rich and they were determined to do what they had to do to make it happen. I always knew I wanted to be rich and while I’m not exactly Donald Trump rich, I’m quite comfortable these days.

You know how I did it? I stopped dreaming about someday winning the lottery and striking it rich all at once and I just made it happen. I got myself a high end sales job and I’ve been the number one salesman at my office consistently because I want it more. I work harder than anyone else at the office and will be as aggressive as I need to be to get the sale. That’s why I wear a Rolex and take trips to Prague with my girlfriend while other people on the sales staff struggle to pay for the subway each morning.

Don’t Wait. Do It Now

Determined to be truly rich? Hey, I get it – you went and bought a bunch of lottery tickets and started praying. You know what rich people do? They know that the lottery is as stupid as buying junk food. They do what they have to do to make themselves rich. They scrimp and save and they invest and make it happen for themselves. Period. No excuses. Just go out and do what you need to do to be rich.

No, I’m not saying to go out and rob a bank. I mean that instead of sitting around dreaming about being rich, do something about it. Start putting money away for investment purposes. Cut some expenses and put the money into something that makes money for you like an investment or a mutual fund. It really is the only way to make it big in this life.

Make Friends with Rich People

It’s about more than just having someone in your life who can help you. The fact is that most rich people got that way by being pretty selfish and working their butts off for their money. So don’t expect rich friends to hand you a wad of cash. On the other hand, if you have rich friends, you start to think the way rich people do. You learn how they made their money and you can copy them.

Not to mention that when you have a rich friend, you can also get advice from them and every now and then, a hot tip on a stock that’s about to hit it big. This is why you need rich friends instead of the idiot who still thinks that being able to put the whole clan into the old station wagon for a tent in a national park is a sign of wealth.

They Aren’t Afraid to Fail

One of my favorite stories about Steve Jobs is when he and Wozniak were struggling to make Apple Computer into a success story. He reportedly walked into a bank with flip flops and a t-shirt with torn jeans and asked for a large loan. No, he didn’t get the loan; but he did show me something – that if you want to be rich, you can’t be afraid of failure.

Heck, when Jobs came back to Apple, he bet the whole damn company on the iPod. Had it failed, Apple would have gone under because Jobs bought out the entire stock of micro hard drives for the iPod and had very little cash left by the time all was said and done. Jobs wasn’t afraid to fail and you can’t be either.

They Get Paid for Doing a Good Job, Not Just a Job

I used to struggle to pay my bills. I used to eat at a local soup kitchen because I couldn’t afford to buy food. No, I’m not making this up. Every day, I relied on that soup kitchen because I just couldn’t make ends meet. Then I got myself into sales. The thing about sales is that it pushes you to not just do a job but to do a good job.

Most of my income these days is from commissions and so I know that I have to make sales or I don’t pay the rent this month. If I just showed up every day and did my job without doing a great job, I’d be screwed – I couldn’t live on my base pay but because I’m motivated to do a good job, I put in the hours and effort to do a great job.

They Exercise

Wait, what? Yes, you heard me right. Or read me right. Whatever. Bottom line, want to be rich? Take care of your body. Ultimately, getting sick means that you’re not making money, a lesson I learned recently with a bout of pneumonia. Nasty stuff. But at least I have a home gym and work out daily (when I’m not delirious with a high fever that is). I feel bad for the poor slob whose only exercise is lifting that Big Mac to his mouth.

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