What separates millionaires from the rest of us?


A new study of millionaires sheds some light on what separates the ultra-wealthy from the rest of us.

The study, done by the Spectrem Group, finds that more than 80% of millionaires believe we’re still in a recession. You hear me say that every day, even though by traditional formulas were supposedly out of a recession and have been for some time. Yet in spite of it all, millionaires are continuing to invest in the stock market because they’re taking the long view.

In general, millionaires get to where they are through ownership of their own business or in partnership with others in a business venture. They believe, as I have said repeatedly, that wealth flows to owners over time. The way I generally suggest that people become an owner is by getting into something like a Total Stock Market Index fund and making regular contributions every pay period or every month.

One of the real similarities a lot of millionaires share is what they do in their free time. “Millionaires only have 24 hours in a day, just like the rest of us. What separates them from us is time management,” USA Today writes about the Spectrem study. “While the rest of us go home and flop on the couch in front of the TV, the wealthy are reading and doing things that contribute to their success.” In short, they read financial or business publications in their free time or they continue working on their businesses well into the evening.

Some people believe that achieving wealth is a matter of luck. However, the reality is that most of the time it’s hard work. Or as the expression goes, luck is hard work and opportunity meeting. Being very focused, even obsessed, is so important no matter what you want to do in life.  

I think about pro athletes I’ve interacted with over the years. Sure, they were born gifted, but they didn’t rest on the laurels of a God-given talent. They attended rigorous training camps or even train twice a day to achieve their physical peak.

Whatever you want to excel at, know that you will have to work your tail off to get it done. In business as in sports, you may have a special talent, but you can’t just sit on your hands or talk about it. You’ve got to get out there and do it.  

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