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13 Habits Of Self-Made Millionaires You Could Adopt Today

Hard-working, wealthy individuals share how to become a millionaire. They can teach you 13 habits that helped shape their financial freedom.

Nicole Crampton




Here are 13 habits of self-made millionaires you could adopt today


Reaching that first million is no longer an unrealistic dream

There are 46 500 millionaires, 2060 multi-millionaires and 639 ultra-high net worth individuals (+R30 million) in South Africa, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2016.

This number is at an all-time high, which means it’s more possible than ever to become a millionaire. Reaching that first million is no longer an unrealistic dream and becoming a self-made millionaire is within your grasp. But, only if you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices and changes to reach this financial goal.

Habit 1: Hard work can outfox natural talent



If you’re not prepared to work hard, be aware that you probably won’t achieve millionaire status. Even luck needs hard work to succeed; at the very least you’ll need to develop hardy work habits to keep your wealth. Around 44% of lottery winners spend all their winnings within five years because they don’t put in any effort to maintain it.

Stephen King says:

“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

Don’t fall for the misconception that successful business owners are “born” to be entrepreneurs. Truly successful entrepreneurs are the ones who consistently outwork their competition.

Related: Are Toxic Habits Holding You Back?

Habit 2: Nurture limitless enthusiasm

limitless enthusiasm


Millionaires know what they’re passionate and enthusiastic about, and are not afraid to pursue it. Why? Because they’ve chosen a direction that they’re passionate about, they are often self-motivators. Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, says “When you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you work harder.”

Walter Chrysler says:

“I feel sorry for the person who can’t get genuinely excited about his work. Not only will he never be satisfied, but he will never achieve anything worthwhile.”

There are those millionaires that are only motivated by financial success, but they have figured out a way to navigate the trying times that inevitably show up when you least suspect them.

Habit 3: Follow your gut


Follow your gut feeling!

Your intuition can help you clear out all the noise from your competition and the industry. “Intuition is always right in at least two important ways,” says Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence.

“It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.” Keep your gut in mind when something feels off, or when it’s telling you to go for it.

Oprah Winfrey says:

“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”

Your gut is unbiased, doesn’t have an agenda and can’t stab you in the back. Have the courage to follow it to millionaire-level success.

Related: 5 Habits Of Successful People Before 8 a.m.

Habit 4: Multiply your revenue streams


Look at your revenue streams

65% of millionaires have three or more streams of income created over time, according to a survey conducted by Fidelity Investments. If you’re following your passion (Habit 3), you’ll know that your passion can have multiple applications, which allows you to have multiple revenue streams. These multiple streams that you develop overtime can assist you in growing your wealth simultaneously in multiple places.

Warren Buffet says:

“Never depend on single income. Make investment to create a second source.”

Habit 5: Make knowledge a priority


Read two books a month

85% of millionaires read two or more books every month, says Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals by Tom Corley. But, it isn’t just any reading material, these books focus on promoting growth through psychology, business, science, leadership and inspirational biographies.

There are countless examples of millionaire entrepreneurs promoting reading, learning and gaining knowledge such as Mark Zuckerberg initiating an online reading book club called “A Year of Books”, where followers read two books a month and discuss them on the Facebook page.

Bill Gates says:

“These days, I also get to visit interesting places, meet with scientists, and watch a lot of lectures online. But, reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding. The one thing I love about reading is each book opens up new avenues of knowledge to explore.”

Related: 10 Money Habits That Will Help You Get Serious About Prosperity

Habit 6: Seek guidance


Seek guidance to move forward

A mentor can help you navigate previously uncharted waters and offer your experience and knowledge to help you achieve your goals and results. Mentored businesses increased their revenue by 83%, while non-mentored businesses only increased by 16%, according to MicroMentor, a mentorship community. You can clearly see the difference between having a mentor and no. You’ll need one to guide you if you’re going to reach the coveted millionaire title.

Steven Spielberg says:

“The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” You don’t have to be like your mentor, but you can learn your mentor’s better habits and traits to improve on your own unique way of doing business.

Habit 7: Fake it, till you make it

Fake it till you make it

Fake it, till you make it

Millionaires act differently to the ‘Average Joe’. They also think and feel differently, which is why you’ll need to mimic their behaviour until it becomes second nature to you.

Millionaires tend to be resilient when compared to the average person, they don’t give up easily and are able to delay gratification, and they always keep their eyes open for more opportunities.

Elon Musk says:

“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”

Related: 4 Bad Money Habits That Have Left Millionaires Broke

Habit 8: Keep your eye on the prize


Keep your eye on the prize

Entrepreneurs reaching the million-rand mark tend to have clear, defined goals and priorities, which help them stay on task and reach their goals.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else,” says Yogi Berra. You will need to be willing to go the extra mile and do what’s necessary to achieve our goals.

You will need to not only work hard (Habit 1), but work smart and spend considerable time evaluating whether your actions are helping you make progress or not.

Norman Vincent Peale, author of best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking, says:

“All successful people have a goal. No one can get anywhere unless he knows where he wants to go and what he wants to be or do.”

Habit 9: Time is money, know where yours is going


You need to find what works for you, but you also need to value your time and take your time wasters very seriously.

You won’t achieve your goal (Habit 8) if you don’t have control over your time. Your time is valuable, and what you do with your time will determine your level of success. John Lee Dumas, for example, goes for a 35 minute power walk at the start of his day, while Ken Blanchard rides his exercise bike, while reading inspirational texts.

Steve Jobs said:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice, and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Related: 20 Habits Holding Me Back From Being A Millionaire

Habit 10: Failure is only the opportunity to begin again only this time more wisely – Henry Ford

business failure

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work

Everyone wants to achieve success, but there are very few who will continue even after they’ve failed. You learn little from success.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10 000 ways that won’t work,” said Thomas Edison. You’ll need to consider failure as a part of your growth; it is a great teacher and provides you with an opportunity to find the ultimate solution.

Wesley Woo, musician, says:

“To succeed you must first improve, to improve you must first practice, to practice you must first learn, and to learn you must first fail.”

Habit 11: Say what you mean, and mean what you say


Say what you mean to say

There will come a time in your professional career where you’ll be asked to sacrifice your personal values to reach professional goals. Don’t do it. “In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle stand like a rock,” says Thomas Jefferson. Stay true to your own principles and beliefs and don’t allow others to influence you into crossing lines you don’t want to cross.

Something to keep in mind: “If ethics are poor at the top, that behaviour is copied down through the organisation,” says Robert Noyce.

Dr EO Wilson says:

“Companies that are willing to share, to withhold spending recklessly in order to further the growth of the company, willing to try to get a better atmosphere through a demonstration of democratic principles, fairness and cooperation will win in the end.”

Related: Self-Made Billionaire David Rubenstein’s 7 Habits Of Success

Habit 12: Stay humble


Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise

Practice humility and patience and continue to improve quietly, before a competitor finds your idea and creates a better and faster version of it.

“Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise,” says Frank Ocean. If your competitors don’t know what you’re doing they can’t get in the way of your success, on the other hand, if you’re shouting from the rooftops every time you make a break through, you’re keeping them informed and they’ll quickly overtake you.

Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea Founder, says:

“The most dangerous poison is the feeling of achievement. The antidote is to, every evening, think what can be done better tomorrow.”

Habit 13: Become a master in your field


Focus alone is not enough, putting in the time to commit is also crucial to achieve success

To stand out, you’ll need to know more about your field than anyone else. You need to immerse yourself and constantly be aware of what is happening in it and what the disruptors are.

“Focus alone is not enough, putting in the time to commit is also crucial to achieve success,” says Warren Buffett. You need to put in the time, effort and practice, otherwise you’ll be passed over by someone who knows more and who dedicated more time.

Tony Robbins says:

“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.”

Next slideshow: 20 Things Millionaires Aren’t Sharing With You


Richard Branson

Nicole Crampton is an online writer for Entrepreneur Magazine. She has studied a BA Journalism at Monash South Africa. Nicole has also completed several courses in writing and online marketing.

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Personal Finance

(Infographic) The Financial Advice Millennials And Gen Zers Want To Know

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful. And that starts with getting the right advice.




Whether it’s saving for retirement or paying off credit card debt, money management can be a challenge. Of course, different people have different concerns – and that often comes with age. While a 60-something baby boomer might be organising their savings for retirement, your 20-something millennial might be focused on paying off student loans.

In a recent study, financial intelligence company Comet surveyed more than 1 000 people to uncover the top financial concerns of various age groups, as well as the financial advice millennials and Gen Zers want to know and what they hear instead.

Overall, saving for retirement was the top concern across all age groups, with saving for an emergency and affording monthly bills following in second and third. However, it’s no wonder these are some of the most pressing worries – according to the research, 23 percent of people admit they don’t have a savings account, and 43 percent reported not being on track towards their retirement goals. Perhaps that’s because they didn’t hear the right advice growing up. At least that might be the case for Gen Zers and millennials.

According to the research, these young people want to learn things such as how the stock market works, how to manage an investment portfolio, how to invest in real estate and how to build credit. Instead, they’re simply told how to create a budget, save for retirement and pay credit card bills in full every month.

Related: 7 Critical Things Your Financial Advisor Must Meet

Having a grasp on your financials is tricky, but it’s crucial if you want to be successful and comfortable. To learn more, check out Comet’s infographic below.


Related: Financial Wellness Coach Nelisiwe Masango Shares Retirement Wealth Advice

This article was originally posted here on

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Personal Finance

14 Ways To Make Quick Cash On The Side

If you need money quickly, here are some solid ideas.



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Need to make some fast money on the side, whether it’s to pay off a credit card or to make your rent?

Keep in mind, making quick side cash isn’t about making a lot of money or getting rich. It’s about getting a shot of capital to help tide you over and put something extra in your pocket. However, some of these side-income ideas can build up your wealth over time. There’s many ways to accomplish this: By participating in the gig economy, the sharing economy, online sales networks, passive income techniques and more.

If you’re looking to make extra money in a relatively short period of time, check out these 14 slides.

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Personal Finance

Take Advantage Of Financial Democracy Made Possible By The New Stock Exchanges

Why should financial democracy matter to entrepreneurs?

Etienne Nel




Because it creates a society able to afford products and services. Without it, even the innovative products and services that are entrepreneurs’ bread and butter will fail.

What is financial democracy, exactly?

It’s both the right and the ability of the (wo)man in the street and business people to make the decisions that affect their financial circumstances.

Financial democracy does not automatically follow political democracy. For almost 25 years after South Africa’s political transformation, the exclusiveness of our financial markets continued to deprive the vast majority of South Africans of the means to invest, save, and build wealth. South Africa has, therefore, never developed a retail stock exchange environment. So, it has deprived the majority of small and medium sized business of access to capital.

For entrepreneurs to truly flourish, they need a mechanism that easily and seamlessly connects the investor pool with every size of business. And, they need affordable ways to enter both the retail and institutional market.

In short, they need stock exchanges. Ones on which listing takes weeks rather than years, doesn’t break the bank for listing fees, and provides the shortest route to the largest possible potential investor base.

That’s not been possible in the stock exchange monopoly that existed for six decades. Now, it is.

What’s changed?

We now have four new stock exchanges. The resulting competitive environment will significantly reduce the cost of listing – and the cost for investors of buying and selling shares.

Instead of restricting share trading to people or organisations who already have tens of thousands of rands to invest or millions to spend on listing, by licensing four new stock exchanges, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA, formerly the FSB) has recognised that most financial decisions do not call for high levels of education.

Related: The Role Of Foreign Exchange In The Economy

Most people know how to spend their own grocery money. Most know that it’s better to keep their R1 000 monthly income in a coffee jar than spend R50 of it on bank account fees. People who can barely read and write are immensely skillful at manipulating air time deals to their advantage.

There is significant financial savvy in all social strata.

In the same way, although the mechanics of bookkeeping and accounting may be unfamiliar territory to many entrepreneurs, most have a clear understanding of the difference between profit and loss.

The FSCA has therefore enabled democratisation of the financial markets by enabling the broadest possible spectrum of entrepreneurs and investors to use stock exchanges to participate in and contribute to the economy – on their own rather than prescriptive terms.

How do you take strategic advantage of this democratisation?

  1. Base your business strategy on people’s instinct for making decisions in their own best interests. Trust financial decentralisation, such as one sees in crowd funding and in digital environments such as block chain, where people would far rather trust one another than institutions and governments. This is democracy innately at work in the financial environment and it’s accelerating organically as digital technologies give people more means and the confidence to help themselves – to information and opportunities. Ride the wave.
  2. Tap into people’s desire to innovate. Consumer organisations have proved that letting people interactively help them develop products is a powerful growth engine. Apply the principle by letting people grow your business by buying shares in it, giving you capital and themselves a platform on which to build wealth.
  3. Remember, the ultimate loyalty reward is equity.

Your financial democracy business plan

Look to list on an entrepreneurial stock exchange; one that was founded by entrepreneurs on entrepreneurial principles.

That means: A stock exchange that is already built on financial democracy and decentralisation. One that has, at its core, a single operational concept that keeps things simple for you, automatically gives you an immediate competitive advantage, and, ensures that no matter what your business needs in terms of attracting capital, the exchange can provide all the options in the same, consistent way.

What does such an exchange look like?

It has fintech capabilities. So:

It slashes your listing costs. It achieves this, among other things, by enabling you to populate an electronic prospectus, demonstrating your financial viability, and self publish.

It gives you control by having the granularity and agility to impose relevant governance right down to the individual investor. You get to decide the types and quantities of investors you want to attract. This also enables you to achieve black economic empowerment in perpetuity.

It leads the world by clearing and settling trades in T+0. No-one in the value chain has to hold large sums of money for days following a transaction. Small transactions become profitable. Investors don’t have to risk their life savings on a single large trade. A retail market is opened. An investment and savings culture is entrenched. The economy expands. Your business grows steadily.

It enables anywhere, any time trading via a mobile app that allows investors to see share value in real time. See economy expansion point above.

It integrates processes and procedures, simplifying them and ensuring rapid onboarding of issuers and, therefore, speed to market with new concepts and alignment with the digital economy.

It operates a principles-based regime. So:

It treats you, as an executive, with respect. It’s not prescriptive. It does not insist on excessive oversight, allowing the Companies Act to guide you to sustainability.

It does not attempt to squeeze your company into a pre-defined business or listings format. It recognises and works with your uniqueness.

It obviates the need for expensive specialist listings advisors.

It focuses on financial inclusion and access. So:

Shares can be bought and sold for no more than R1 000. See economy building point above.

Related: 27 Of The Richest People In South Africa

The new world of stock exchanges is integrated, synergistic, holistic, organic, self-fulfilling

Decentralisation of financial control, democratisation of opportunity leads to a whole new economy. One in which, for instance, a taxi operator can finance a minibus through a company in which his purchase gives him shares. A single purchase gives him two benefits: a vehicle on which to found his business and a longer-term investment in shares that he can trade. The funding company gains liquidity through access to a wider base of investors while being able to control who buys and sells and the conditions on which trading takes place. Increasing black equity in business becomes an organic, natural, self-perpetuating process.

Everyone wins in a decentralised, democratised financial market. And it’s the stock exchanges that drive the process.

As an entrepreneur, can you afford to ignore the acceleration that listing could give your business growth?

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