“Do you think there are any specific habits that make some people more successful with money than others?” This is a question that a lot of clients ask us.Initially, we avoided saying much as we did not want to make any general statements. As we moved around the country and met a lot of successful clients, we realized that there are certainly some differences in how financially successful people manage money vis-a-vis the not so successful. We came across a lot of people earning high salaries but who were always short of money as well as people with average salaries but always had money on hand. We were able to discern certain patterns which we would like to share with you:
1. Surround themselves with positive people. They tend to stay away from negative people and negative thoughts and do not listen to reasons why something cannot be done. They spend most of their time with people with a can-do attitude who find ways to make things happen.
2. Are not held back by failures. They use their mistakes and failures as stepping stones to success rather than obstacles or reasons to stop trying. Rather than running behind achievement, they spend a lot of time putting in the necessary efforts towards achieving their goals. Too much achievement can result in fear of failure.
3. Manage their time effectively. Hours, minutes and seconds are non-renewable and precious resources. They set their priorities and passionately focus on them. Successful people tend to limit their screen time (TV, video games) compared to unsuccessful people. There is nothing inherently wrong with watching TV but it tends to take up a time which can be better spent exercising, reading or learning something new.
4. Ignore the opinions of others. There is no compulsion to keep up with the neighbors. Limited exposure to mass media and advertising allows them to be more productive and not get influenced by cultural norms. They do not follow the herd while taking investment decisions. Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, stays in a 5 BHK house bought in 1958 for $31,500 and currently valued at $700,000. People with trendy lifestyles and the latest fashions tend to be usually short of money.
5. Have a sense of direction. There is purpose to their actions. There is a reason why they work hard, save money and invest wisely. Their daily actions are aligned with their long term dreams and goals. People who are always struggling with money have no direction and idea of what they want from life.
6. Focus on the big wins. They pay attention to the details and develop smart saving habits, but are not paisa wise and rupee foolish. While they may save money on the small things, they do not sacrifice on critical wants like housing, food and income. While the not-so-successful people end up wasting away their paisa and rupees.
7. Do difficult things. They work harder, longer and smarter than other not so successful people. They are willing to sacrifice today’s small comforts for tomorrow’s gratification and big rewards
8. Make their own luck. They keep their eyes and ears open and are constantly aware of what’s happening around them. They recognize opportunities as and when they come and boldly seize and act on them before the others do.
9. Believe they are responsible for their own future. Any given situation, whether difficult or easy, is nobody’s fault and may be beyond one’s control. What is controllable though is how you respond to it. Successful people do not react to any given situation but respond pro actively and productively.
10. Grow and change over time. They are willing to adapt, evolve and appreciate different points of view. They are constantly acquiring knowledge and learning from their experiences with a view to change and mold their minds in the right direction.
Most people (including most of us) practice only a few of the above mentioned habits but not all. The most successful people we have meet practice all of them and the not-so-successful people do none.
To conclude, people who are successful with money and life take what they do very seriously. They treat their life as a business and behave as the CEO and CFO with the goal of “growing their business” over time. Your personal wealth is your real business, everything else is supplementary and supportive. Please nurture your business very carefully.