According to the Cato Institute, 80% of millionaires in the US are first-generation millionaires. That means they did not inherit their wealth… they earned it. This post will share stories and examples of how real people create real wealth.

If anything mentioned here seems far fetched to you, I invite you to find millionaires you can speak with one-on-one. See what they are doing. Chances are, they are first generation millionaires with profound insight.

I’ve become pretty interested in becoming rich myself. It’s led me to talk with many rich people, watch YouTube videos about the wealthy, read articles by the wealthy, read books about the wealthy… anything to learn about the lifestyle.

 

They Have Work Ethic & Purpose

One thing I’ve realized is they work hard to achieve such success. There are no shortcuts. I know it seems like most millionaires live an easy lifestyle. But that’s usually not true.

As the self-made multimillionaire and online legend Ramit Sethi says, “It’s this behind-the-scenes work that really makes you rich.” This means we must dive deeper than the facade to figure out how the rich keep on getting richer.

Rich people will tell you that without the proper mindset, you’ll never get rich. That’s good because thoughts are free. We can all get started on the path to riches by simply adjusting our minds.

Wealthy people plan to the future, poor people plan to the weekend. Millionaires buy instead of lease. They save instead of spend. They look at the total cost of something, rather than just the monthly payment.

When it comes to business, the wealthy think about the longevity and scalability of what they are doing. They acquire skillsets that will be applicable for many years to come. They invest in businesses with staying power. They aren’t interested in scams since companies which scam are short-lived.

 

They Pay Themselves First

Rich people are also a tiny bit selfish. Ha. I mainly used the world selfish to get your attention. At this point in the post, you’re probably looking for something to hate about millionaires. They seem too perfect.

When I say selfish, I mean, millionaires put on their own oxygen masks first. If you travel a lot, you’ll get that reference. When flying, what everyone is supposed to do is put on their own oxygen mask first. If you try to help someone else out first, you may both pass out and nothing will be accomplished.

This is why if you want to get rich, you have to be a little “selfish.” Once you’ve made your million dollars, then you can take care of others without risking your own well-being. You can then teach others how to do the same. It’s just the way things have to work.

Millionaires and billionaires read lots of books. I know you think reading books is boring. In college, I had a class called History of Political Thought. The only thing I ever thought about was how to keep from falling asleep. High school and college really turned me against reading books.

So what have I done? I watch YouTube videos about wealthy people, I have conversations with them, I read posts like this one and I listen to audiobooks while driving. That’s how I get educated about how to create and protect wealth.

 

They Value Their Time

The wealthy never trade time for money. Most jobs require you to spend time to get money in return. That’s kind of like slavery, don’t you think? You’re giving someone much of your life in return for something not nearly as valuable as time.

You are literally selling yourself. It’s like being a prostitute except it would be easier to stay awake if you were a prostitute. At least that’s what I’m guessing… The wealthy understand that time is the greatest resource imaginable.

The rich keep getting richer because they are so good at managing their time. Most millionaires read, exercise, workout, network and make memories. Millionaires aren’t playing video games while eating Doritos while wondering if they showered that morning. You can raise your hand if you’re guilty of this… we’ve all been there. Just don’t make it a habit. A millionaire knows what their time is worth.

Want to find rich guys and girls to talk with one-on-one? It’s kind of tricky. That’s because most millionaires live well below their means. Warren Buffett (billionaire investor) lives in the same house he bought for $31,500 in 1958.

So instead of judging someone based on appearances (except you can do this when dating – we all do, am I right?!) judge them based on income. Find successful people in your community. Once you’ve done that, you’ll know who is truly wealthy. Just because someone drives a nice car does not mean they are wealthy.

 

They Have Goals & Follow Them Through

Wealthy people also have goals. I know. Goals sound lame. I actually used to purposely not set goals in elementary school because the teachers encouraged goal-setting. Goals are fantastic. After all, where will you steer your ship if you have no destination in mind? Think about that analogy whenever you feel like goals are stupid.

According to the Economist, half of the world’s millionaires own their own business. Yes, most millionaires work for themselves. In fact, every millionaire I know works for themselves. Except, of course for those rich folks who have scrimped their entire lives and have become millionaires – eventually.

They don’t become millionaires until they are old. They sold their lives to a 9-5 they may not have enjoyed. And what good is becoming a millionaire when you’re old anyway? What are you going to do with the money? Get a gold-plated wheelchair? Sick wheels, bro.

Elon Musk is Iron Man. He’s a billionaire who builds spaceships and mind-blowingly fast electric cars. His mission was never to become wealthy. In fact, most millionaires don’t have the sole goal of getting wealthy.

 

They Don’t Focus on Money (For The Most Part)

Here’s another reason why the rich keep getting richer… they don’t focus on money. Money is the byproduct of a greater mission. If you only focus on money, you’ll jump after any buck that’s dangled in front of you. I’ve been there. But people with lots of money play the long game, remember? They go after more than just a quick buck.

They focus on creating a product or service that will add real value to someone’s life. After all, money is just a sign that you’ve provided society with something of value. Money is just a way of someone telling you that they support your mission. Rich guys and gals know that to get rich, they must have a greater mission.

Getting rich only comes after you’ve had success in your mission. Money is a byproduct of the goal. This is why it sometimes seems unfair that some people who aren’t money-focused get rich. They may not care about money but it’s how society attempts to thank them for what they do for us.

The rich also keep getting richer because they leverage debt to make more money. They use debt in order to make investments to increase their wealth. The money you have access to now, when invested, will earn you much more money.

Think of each dollar as an employee. The more money you have, the more work you can do. The more work you do, the more money you can receive.

Wealthy people are smart. We can learn many great things from them. I believe that, if you’re reading this article and you do what it says, you will become wealthy. I know I will get rich. Care to get rich with me?

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