What do most self-made millionaires have in common? These five characteristics, for starters:
They live below their means: You make money by saving money (and reinvesting it wisely). That’s why a lot of self-made moguls spent their early years living slightly below their means, and stockpiling excess cash for other investment opportunities, according to Ed Butkowsky, managing partner of Chapwood Capital Investment Management. As you begin to accumulate wealth, living below your means no longer means sacrifice. It means being modest.
They promote themselves (and their brands): If you want to get a job done, sometimes you need to do it yourself. Diplomacy and self-promotion are major keys to building a strong reputation, attracting investors and encouraging others to listen to your ideas. Self starters need to develop strong promotion and marketing skills, if they expect their brand to flourish. Use the media, use the web, use every outlet at your disposal to keep your business ideas (and yourself) in the public eye.
They overcome adversity: You don’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs. And most big-name millionaires (or billionaires) have plenty of stories about the failures they’ve absorbed throughout their careers. In many cases, it’s a case of simply staying the course and learning from your mistakes, rather than repeating them. Every investment is a risk, but the best investments are calculated risks – the type that minimize your chances of failing, and ensure the possibility of failure won’t run you dry. Or, as Conrad Hilton once put it: “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
They develop a strong backbone: Once you start to enjoy a certain degree of success, other salespeople, business execs and ambitious entrepreneurs will be coming to you, hoping you’ll invest in theirproducts or ideas. Making the wrong choices and/or entrusting your capital to someone who makes poor investments could very well sink you financially. Have a solid process that ensures you invest your money wisely, and follow every step before agreeing to invest the money you’ve earned.
They buy low, sell high: Speculate. Do your homework so you see the angles, the market potential, the comers and the goers. This is an age-old saying on Wall Street, but it applies to just about every facet of business, and life.
Source: “Top 5 Tips to Build Wealth and Success,” by Peter Gorenstein and Farnoosh Torab, Financially Fit, 10/02/2010.