I remember sitting in a cold and dusty basement, searching for the habits that could change my life.
Being 21 years old, I was ready to take my life to the next level, but I felt stuck for three reasons: I lived at my parents’ house, I had an $8-per-hour job, and I was enrolled in an never-ending MBA programme. Deep down inside, I knew I had to escape. However, I wasn’t going to run away from myself, which was something I always did.
This time, I was determined to make a change and I was deeply inspired to become successful, but I didn’t know what to do or where to start. However, I firmly believed that if I changed my habits, my habits would change me. Instead of fooling around with miscellaneous activities, like sports and television, I decided to take up new habits, like reading books and giving speeches.
These habits led to a succession of positive results. Professionally, I became more competent. Personally, I became more confident. This realisation that competence breeds confidence was the pivotal point that changed my life. It enabled me to reach the acme of success I now encounter, allowing me to create wealth and inspiration for millions of people.
Moreover, it came at a great sacrifice. These habits that I created were the anchors that made me who I am today. Therefore, here are the 10 powerful habits that will make you a millionaire:
1. Simplify Your Words
How well do you spread your message? Millionaires know how to share their message in simplest terms. They use their words with precision and possess deep meaning in what they say.
Personally, I peruse the dictionary every day, but I would never attempt to use every word I know. By speaking pompously, many people exterminate their opportunities. In short, never drown people in the sea of verbosity.
To learn to speak with ease, join your local Toastmasters club to brush up on your communication skills. Unfortunately, too many people get lazy with their communication and subtly conform to the habits of others. However, millionaires diligently work on how to improve what they say and seamlessly find easier ways to say it, whether it’s verbally or written.
2. Abandon the Old
Before you are able to face the new, you must relinquish the old. If you want a new car or house, then bless the old one and search for the new. When you want to achieve a positive mindset, you must get rid of the negative one first. To abandon your negative habits, you must replace them with positive ones.
I realised this great habit one day as I was feasting on a couple cheap burgers at McDonald’s. With great disgust, I ventured out to find the finest steak houses in the area to seek new and delectable experience with my meals. Instead of indulging in $1 burgers several times a week, I was happier to splurge my money on a robust steak once or twice per month.
We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle
3. Daily Goal-Setting
Every day, I set my goals on paper. This is an inspiring habit that I promise to keep for the rest of my life. Whether you’re writing your financial projections, planning your weekly tasks, or scheming new ways to build your empire, you’ll want to procure a daily goal-setting habit that will give you momentum on a daily basis.
When you set your goals every day, it allows you to prioritise and keep “first things first.” Prioritisation is doing first what matters most. Instead of pursuing $100 actions, this habit will promote you to embody $1,000 activities.
Once you accumulate more profitable activities in your day, you’ll add money to the bank, making you a millionaire in the process.
4. Being Congruent
You must do what you say you’re going to do. There will be many times in your life where you’ll be asked to sacrifice your personal values to reach professional goals. When this temptation occurs, don’t do it. There’s nothing more valuable than remaining congruent in your personal and professional lives. It allows you to mix “business with pleasure.”
Strangely enough, many people tell you that you can’t mix business with pleasure. However, this assertion is absurd and will only be preached by incongruent people. When you’re doing what you love, business is pleasure.
When you’re living a life that is based on integrity, your reputation will grow, enriching yourself and many others in the process. Never put your reputation in jeopardy by failing to remain congruent with your highest values and ideals.
The more decisions you make, the more successful you will be. While one person could make a dozen decisions in a day, another one can make hundreds in a day.
The person who makes the most decisions will win, even if their decisions lead to failure. Just imagine, if you were going the opposite way on a one-way street, you’d learn to quickly make adjustments!
However, most people are afraid to make crucial decisions because they are conquered by fears, which leaves them paralysed.
Being paralysed prevents them from making decisions, thereby forcing them to forfeit opportunities. Always make a decision, even if you don’t know where it will lead. Soon enough, you’ll find the answers you need.
6. Asking Questions
Most people assume that they know answers. Their assumptions actually hold them back from knowing the truth. Truly, you want to ask questions to gain clarity about the direction you are heading. The fact is that many people don’t ask any questions as they habitually guess their way by creating answers for themselves.
To become a millionaire, don’t answer your questions, but question your answers. When you need to know the facts, you must inquire, not just make assumptions.
Many people don’t want to ask questions because it exposes them to confront the reality of their circumstance, which may scare them. Moreover, asking questions forces them into the laborious task of thinking, which is why they fail to ask questions.
Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers. -Voltaire
7. Become a Master
One time, a fine pianist performed at a party for 50 rich women. After she was done, a woman from the party said to the virtuoso, “I’d give anything to play as you do.”
As the master pianist sipped her coffee in slow motion, she took a brief pause and said, “Oh no you wouldn’t.” Soon, a great hush filled the room as they were baffled in astonishment and massive confusion.
She continued, “You’d give anything to play as I do, except time. You wouldn’t sit and practice, hour after hour, day after day, year after years.” Then she flashed a warm smile while repositioning her coffee cup.
“Please understand, I’m not criticising,” she said. “I’m just telling you that when you say you’d give anything to play as I do, you don’t really mean it. You really don’t mean it at all.”
Every master was once a disaster. – T. Harv Eker
8. Embellish Your Appearance
Upgrading your appearance is instrumental to becoming a millionaire. Avoiding bad habits like drugs, tobacco, and excessive drinking of alcohol will always give you a more confident expression.
By exercising four to five times per week, you are destined to become more physically attractive. You can easily beautify yourself by making minor changes to your appearances.
I have seen older men who apply mascara to their gray hairs. I know a woman who takes regular naps and occasionally sleeps 12 hours straight to avoid baggy eyes. Constantly embellish your appearance, even in the smallest ways, like shaving or applying cosmetics. Soon enough, you’ll find more opportunities attracted to you. Looking like a millionaire is a best way to becoming one!
9. Doing the Maximum
The only element of success that you can control is your effort. Most people do minimum work, but expect maximum results.
Instead of shirking the responsibilities of work, millionaires find better ways to achieve their goals. They go the extra mile to leverage themselves through people and systems, while using their efforts to optimise their talents.
Recently, we had more than three feet of snow, which requires tremendous effort to remove. My neighbour checked on me to see how I was doing.
He was drenched in snow when he asked, “Aren’t you going to come out and shovel?” I told him, “Nope, I hired someone to do it.” When you maximise your efforts by focusing on how you can utilise your talents, you will dramatically increase your wealth.
People pretend not like grapes when the vines are too high for them to reach. – Marguerite de Navarre
10. Obey the ‘Rule of 500’
Early on in my business, I had a great struggle obtaining clients. It wasn’t until I ran into the “Rule of 500” concept that changed my life. Basically, this habit taught me that if I wanted to become a millionaire, I would have to constantly reach out to a minimum of 500 people per month, either by phone or email. Knowing that I would face a lot of rejection, I was still willing to make it happen.
Thankfully, I found that there are many ways to obtain a list of contacts.
At first, you’ll have to search diligently for these people who need your talent the most. When you grasp their attention with an email or phone call, you must move in with great initiative to offer your product or service. Obviously, not everyone will like you or what you offer, so be ready to face massive rejection.
You’ll be lucky if you have a 5 percent conversion rate when reaching out!
Good habits are as addictive as bad habits. Once you’ve adopted a good habit, keep gaining new ones. An average person develops 6-10 new habits per year, which also means that they are dropping 6-10 old habits! Regardless, think about your daily habits and how they affect you. And remember, you make your habits in the beginning, then your habits make you!
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.