Five Habits That Self-Made Rich People Have

Five Habits That Self-Made Rich People Have

How you spend your time each day determines how your life unfolds. It determines, among other things, whether you end up rich or poor.

A researcher has looked at how the rich spend their time, and it’s only 4 hours each day that set the rich apart from other people.

The rest of the day, the rich and poor spend their time on more or less the same activities: sleeping, eating, commuting, working, and being with their family.

If it’s only a matter of 240 minutes that sets the rich apart from everyone else, what happens during those minutes?

Five habits unfold during that daily slot, says Thomas Corley, who has written the books Rich Habits and Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.

These are the five habits that set the self-made rich apart from everyone else. How would your life unfold if you developed these habits?

Here they are:

1. They Take Action Every Day to Pursue Dreams (1 hour)

We all have dreams.

The difference is whether we do something to make them a reality.

Rich people are constantly working on making their dreams come true. They spend at least 60 minutes every day taking concrete action that gets them a step closer to where they want to be.

Other people also have dreams, but many shake them off as being unrealistic or too hard to achieve. Some are simply too complacent to do the work.

The rich do the work.

But not only that.

They do the work very consistently every single day of their lives.

Day in and day out.

They understand the cumulative power of daily habits.

2. They Study and Learn Every Day (1 hour) 

They make sure to become better. Every day.

They study, learn, and practice. Every day.

The subject will differ, of course.

If your dream is to become a successful businessman, it could be working towards an MBA.

If your dream is to become financially independent, it could be taking a course in investing or reading new investment books.

The rich spend at least 60 minutes every day getting a little better at their profession or lucrative hobby.

The rich are not stingy when it comes to education.

They know that knowledge is crucial and that it must be prioritized. They are ready to pay to get the knowledge they need.

We all hit a plateau when we are learning something new, and we can be on that plateau for quite some time unless we make sure we get help from someone who is a step ahead of us and who can pull us up.

The rich are good at taking quantum leaps because they prioritize learning from someone who can help them learn faster.

If you are aware that you only have one hour a day to study, then you know that your time is precious, and you won’t spend it scouting for free information in YouTube videos.

3. They Take Care of Their Health (30 min.)

They spend at least 30 minutes a day on some form of sport or activity that keeps them in shape.

What does health have to do with wealth?

The body is your house. Good health is the foundation upon which everything else is built. Without good health, there is not much to build a rich life on.

When you stay in shape, the following happens:

  • You improve your mental acuity.
  • You prevent lifestyle diseases (it’s harder to make money if you get sick).
  • You prevent stress and burnout.

4. They Nourish Rich Relationships (30 min.)

They spend at least 30 minutes each day nurturing important friendships and relationships.

They don’t spread their attention to random people like the stranger in the pub.

They carefully prioritize the ones they want to dedicate their attention to.

As a wise coach once said to me: Friendships and relationships need to be selected just as carefully as stocks.

Invest your time in the best relationships.

So what activities do rich people spend those 30 minutes on?

  • They participate in professional networks.
  • They meet in person to catch up.
  • They make a call to a friend to hear how it’s going.
  • They celebrate milestones such as anniversaries and birthdays.

There are plenty of other ways to nurture relationships. The value investor Guy Spier writes thank-you letters to people in his network every single day. He spends time writing down what he appreciates and what they have done that he is grateful for.

He says it has a cumulative effect as the results of his letter writing come back in surprising ways.

He also says it’s been the best investment of his life – and it doesn’t cost anything.

5. They Engage in Relaxing Activities    

Like everyone else, they also need to relax and wind down.

What that activity is differs. For some it might be reading a fiction book, for some it might be drinking tea and knitting, for some it might be watching a TV show.

The difference between the rich and many others is that the rich do it for a maximum of one hour.

Many others could spend all four hours of “free” time on Netflix.

They Have a Daily Routine

We all sometimes fall into the New Year Resolutions trap.

That’s when we decide with a serious attitude that we’ll change our lives starting tomorrow.

It’s when we decide that next year we’ll run Boston Marathon in less than 3 hours – even though we haven’t built a strong running habit yet. It’s when buy an expensive pair of running shoes, but when the weather changes, we postpone the daily run, and before we know it, the habit fades away.

What you actually need to look at is the micro habit. You need to decide that every morning you’ll put on running shoes first thing. Just that. The micro habit of choosing the right shoes.

The rich are really good at building daily micro habits, so they get to spend time every day on pursuing their dream, learning new things, staying in shape, nurturing rich relationships, and winding down in a healthy way.

It’s all about building the habit so you don’t have an internal debate about running, studying, or calling your best friend.

It becomes just as automatic as brushing your teeth.

The running shoes almost tie themselves on your feet.

Is there one micro habit that you can build today to free yourself in the future?

Don’t forget to download my e-book Free Yourself where you’ll learn to invest as one of the best – super charge yourself through the plateaus. You can download it here.

How to Attract Money Like a Billionaire

How to Attract Money Like a Billionaire

Not many people think about their relationship to money.

But we all have one, and it’s different depending on your personality and your experiences in life.

Here are four different money attitudes.

Which one are you?

And which one would you like to be?

1. The Survivor

This person is playing not to lose – or maybe not playing at all, but sitting on the benches, watching others play on the field.

The Survivor is living paycheck to paycheck and just getting by.

This person rarely invests in stocks because they don’t think long term.

They prefer to buy a lottery ticket.

This probably won’t be you, as The Survivor isn’t interested in reading blog posts about investing.

2. The Thrifty Type

This person operates from a mindset that wealth is about saving money and keeping money – and they avoid using it as much as possible.

If you are here, you focus on reducing expenses, chasing deals, and saving.

This person will embark on a lot of DIY projects to save money, but in the process, they’ll waste time.

Typical signs of The Thrifty Type:

  • They are always looking for things on sale.
  • They’ll buys Christmas presents on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
  • They don’t mind getting up at 5 a.m. to fight the crowds if they can save a couple hundred bucks.
  • They’ll do all the household chores themselves.
  • They have a tendency to hoard when they see things on sale.

Their operating system tells them that money is more important than their time.

3. The Pleasantly Wealthy

This type no longer has a fixation on money. The Pleasantly Wealthy has let go of the idea that saving money is the answer to everything.

Money becomes a tool used to solve problems and make life more comfortable.

This person has a mindset that makes it easier to enjoy life and get the best out of it.

This person wouldn’t dream of spending half a day hunting sales, because time is much more valuable than money.

Instead of price, this person focuses on content, quality, and good experiences.

The Pleasantly Wealthy doesn’t hesitate to hire staff such as cleaners, a nanny, and a gardener to overcome all possible inconveniences in life.

4. The Abundantly Rich

The Abundant Rich believes that there is always enough money. They see money as an infinite resource.

This person operates on the belief that money spent comes back manifold.

This is the person who books first class and who spontaneously buys an upgrade.

The Abundantly Rich doesn’t look for deals and doesn’t like to haggle over the price. It would ruin the experience. It would be like a dirty stain, and this person knows instinctively that bargain hunting is toxic to their money mindset.

This is also the friend who loves to give things away because it creates joy.

It’s the friend who spontaneously pulls out the credit card after dinner and says, “It’s on me”.

Beneath the surface is a belief that when they give something away, it comes back many times over – without them being able to see how.

They don’t expect to get anything back from the person they’re giving to – that would be a transaction and not a true gift. They just know that it will probably come back.

Their operating system tells them that they get everything back energetically. That’s why they don’t like sales and bargains.

When The Thrifty Type meets The Abundantly Wealthy, conflicts arise because their mindset and operating system are in opposition. If they are married, this will be directly problematic.

One will go after deals while the other will splurge on first class to get the most out of experiences.

Can you recognize yourself?

What was it like discovering who you are?

I can recognize myself in several places.

I have organically moved through the different levels.

That’s reassuring: it’s not static. You can decide to change your money mindset.

How do you feel about billionaires?

How do you feel about people who live first class?

Does it irk you?

That’s a sign that you perceive money as a limited resource.

You subconsciously think that if someone gets a lot, there is less for you.

What’s the problem with that?

The problem is that you are repelling money.

If you believe money is limited, you will feel bad about receiving wealth because subconsciously you’ll think you’re taking something away from someone else.

How do you progress?

It starts with you being aware of what level you’re at and deciding to upgrade.

If you’re The Thrifty Type, you need to spend money on solutions that buy you more time.

Hire a cleaner, a gardener, or a nanny. Pay someone to do something that you would normally do yourself. Use that extra time you get to make more money or improve your skills.

Quit pursuing deals.

It’s a pattern you should stop. Take pride in paying full price – especially if it makes life a little easier for you.

Always ask yourself: what’s the easiest / most comfortable / most fun solution?

If you are The Pleasantly Wealthy now, you want to look for more luxury in your life.

Ask yourself: how do I get the very best experience? Where is first class here?

Exercise: The Billionaire Mindset

Next time you pay for something, imagine how the money flows.

Let’s say it’s a service, like a trip to the hairdresser.

Imagine how the money you pay makes your hairdresser happy and how she spends the money in her life.

Be specific. Visualize all the good the money creates as it’s being spent again and again. Go full circle by letting the money come back to your life.

Can you see that money isn’t a limited resource?

Can you see that the same money can be spent multiple times?

Can you see that money is like energy?

Do this exercise every time you spend money. It will create little miracles in your life.

Both type 3 and 4 are good at making money grow by investing in stocks. You can learn how to invest with my free e-book here.

Five Myths About Stock Investing That Can Hold You Back

Five Myths About Stock Investing That Can Hold You Back

The first time I spoke to my friends about investing, I received a very blunt and defensive response.

“It’s very risky,” said one of my friend’s sisters who was also at the birthday dinner.

I explained that I knew what I was doing, so it wasn’t that risky, but she wasn’t listening at all.

She interrupted me.

“You can lose all your money,” she said.

I couldn’t change her mind about investing being risky, and maybe I wasn’t meant to either.

She needed to justify why she wasn’t investing. She needed to look right in the eyes of her sister. 

Her statements were about her and how she wanted to be perceived – not about investing at all.

No one around the table was interested in hearing anything about the stock market, because they had each their peg to hang their decision not to invest on.

We can use myths as an excuse not to take action and invest. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of them and challenge them.

Here are the five most common myths:

Myth 1: You Need a Lot of Money

Some people think you need to be a millionaire to invest, but most millionaires became rich exactly because they invested in shares, property, their own firm, or something else.

You can easily buy shares for less than 100 USD (obviously it depends on the price of the stock, but there are stocks trading for less than 100 dollars per share).

Some will argue that the fees will swallow up too much if you invest only 100 USD, but you must remember that investing experience accumulates like money.

That’s why it’s important to get into the stock market even if you only start with a little.

Myth 2: It’s Too Hard

It doesn’t have to be complicated. There are easy ways to invest.

You can choose an index fund (like an ETF), and you can set up the investing platform so it automatically buys shares in the fund for the same amount each month.

There are several advantages to this:

1. You only have to set it up once, and it’ll take you around half an hour. You can go on and live your life, because your investing will be automated and take care of itself.

2. There’s a built-in diversification, meaning that you’ll invest in many companies with just one click. That’s a safe strategy. All the companies in an index won’t go bankrupt at the same time, so there’s no way you’ll lose all the money.

3. When you buy for the same amount every month, you get an average price for the stock, and this means you’ll avoid investing all your money at the top. This is called dollar cost averaging.

Myth 3: It Takes Too Much Time 

It’ll take as much or as little time as you want it to take.

If you choose the road of passive index funds, it’ll take you half an hour to set it up and the rest will take care of itself.

Some of us love investing in individual companies that we choose ourselves.

That’s called stock picking, and of course that takes more time. It’s more exciting for two reasons.

1. If you get good at it, you’ll see a higher return.

2. Understanding companies and following them turns into a hobby.

Myth 4: It’s Too Risky   

It’s only risky crossing the street if you don’t know the rules of traffic.

If you don’t know the basic rules, trying to go anywhere will be pretty complicated and dangerous.

It’s a really good investment to do some research, take a course, or read a book. You can download my book about investing right here.

We don’t send our kids into traffic without teaching them about the traffic rules. We don’t send them swimming without swimming lessons first.

It’s a great idea to gain some knowledge, but that’s not the same as saying that it’s too complicated.

Crossing the street is pretty easy, but not if you don’t know what the red light means.

Myth 5: It’s Boring   

You have no idea.

It’s anything but boring. It’s exciting. It’s addictive. It’s all-encompassing.

As a student once told me:

“I just bought my first stock, and I’ve spent 15 minutes watching it go up and down. It’s fun.”

Your Best Defense Against the Myths

If you constantly encounter the myths in your circle of friends, there is only one thing to do: ignore them and change the subject.

Don’t try to change anyone’s mind.

It can be quite tiring trying to convince others that you aren’t wasting your savings, and that you’re not addicted to gambling because stock investing isn’t gambling.

There’s no point in arguing, because sometimes people have made up their minds that investing isn’t for them, and they’ll defend it till the day they die.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to find someone at your level to talk to about shares and stocks with.

You’re welcome to join my Facebook group “Managing Money Freedom” right here.

Five Emotional Advantages to Investing in Stocks

Five Emotional Advantages to Investing in Stocks

When talking about the advantages of investing in stocks, most people talk about financial profit and returns, but cool cash is far from the only thing you gain when you invest. 

 A lot of people have a specific financial goal.

Maybe they invest to be able to retire comfortably. Maybe they invest to be able to afford a certain type of home at some point. Or maybe they invest to become financially independent.

Whatever the specific goal, there is probably another reason why you invest: the emotions you will experience when you reach your goal.

It might be a feeling of security knowing that you can retire comfortably. It might be a feeling of having more choices. Or it might be a feeling of having more control over your life.

The good news is that those feelings will begin to emerge a long time before you reach your financial goal.

The feelings will begin to settle the moment you take charge and begin to invest in a serious way.

Obviously, the feelings you experience will depend on how you invest.

If you invest in a way that resembles gambling in a casino, the feelings of stress might deepen.

Investing based on some random thing you pick up listening to a podcast or reading a post in a Facebook group might turn your emotional life into a roller coaster ride as the stock market moves up and down.

But if you invest in a way that is grounded and reliable, if you follow a strategy, and if you research before picking a stock, you’ll experience feelings of freedom, control, and security a long time before you reach your financial goal.

I have no crystal ball, and I can’t tell you exactly how your life will change. But I can tell you what changed in mine when I began investing in stocks as a value investor.

Here are five emotional changes I have noticed in my life: 

1. Less Stress

Previously, I was always in a hurry. 

I got irritated over small things, like a traffic light changing to red. I felt life was like an assembly line that I couldn’t keep up with. I was always behind, and any small change or delay messed it all up even more. 

Today, I have a feeling of time abundance. My time is mine, and I decide what to do with it.

Whenever I go somewhere, I make sure to plan extra time, so I’m no longer in a hurry going from A to B. I notice small wonders, like sounds of birds chirping or the laughter of a child – and I notice them while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.  

2. Less Grumpy 

Previously, small matters would make me grumpy.

Standing in line at the store, other people were obstacles. I hope I was polite enough, but my attitude was ‘don’t-even-think-about-asking-me-if-you-can-jump-the-line”.

Today, I know my local cashier by name, and I know she invests in stocks. I chat with the people I recognize. Strangers have become three dimensional, and I have more fun interacting with them. They aren’t just obstacles to avoid on the assembly line of life. 

3. Better at Protecting my Boundaries

Previously, I let my boss walk all over me.

When I announced my first pregnancy, he responded with a stone-cold face and told me that I should spend the maternity leave thinking about whether I was working at the right place. He basically told me that I was no longer welcome. Forget about congratulations, flowers or greetings from the workplace after the baby’s birth. I didn’t call attention to it. I let it all slip by. 

Before coming back from maternity leave, I was demoted and told that I was starting from scratch because I had been on maternity leave. In the end, I was fired while on my second maternity leave.

The signs were very clear from the beginning. I should have gotten up and left at the first sign of discrimination. 

Why didn’t I get up and leave? Because I needed the salary to pay my bills. 

Instead, I let myself be humiliated, and letting that happen gave me a feeling that it was the only way to live life. I stopped putting up sound boundaries in other parts of my life. 

Today, I have very clear boundaries. I check in with my feelings as guides. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

I leave the situation or the relationship and I don’t look back.

4. Better at Living Like a Minimalist

Previously, I had a hard time letting go of stuff.

I’m talking about all that stuff we collect throughout life. The pants that don’t really fit. The high-heeled shoes we never got around to wearing. The coffee machine we stopped using.

I was afraid of needing it later on.

Today, I let go of everything that I don’t use or that doesn’t bring me joy. I know that I can always buy what I need later on. When I pass the stuff on to friends or charity, I know it’ll bring joy and be used. 

I know that having a clean closet and a minimalist lifestyle is a lot more valuable than the stuff itself. 

5. Better at Enjoying My Own Company 

Previously, I felt jittery in my own company.

It was hard for me to be alone for more than a few hours. I felt like I was missing out on something all the time. 

Today, I really enjoy my investing practice.

It feels like playing chess with the world. I’m trying to figure out the next move before it happens. You could also say that researching a specific company feels like solving a riddle. 

I can easily spend days on my own with my investing “hobby” because it is satisfying on an intellectual level. 

It has given my life a new layer.

If you want to learn about solving intellectual puzzles and investing with a strategy, you can read my e-book Free Yourself here

Three Ways to Stop Being a Victim and Start Creating True Wealth

Three Ways to Stop Being a Victim and Start Creating True Wealth

If you want to create wealth, you have to go get it.

It isn’t just going to happen to you.

You must believe that you have the power to create it. You have to take a position of responsibility.

Now, most people don’t do that. Most people live unconsciously. They let life happen to them, instead of creating the life they want.

People give away their power to create the life they want, and they don’t even know it.

Many people play the victim in life –  and that takes away their power.

Here are three things that you must stop doing now if you want to regain control. 

1. Stop Blaming 

It’s no one’s fault but yours. You chose it. 

Do you entertain the blame game? Do you have the habit of pointing the finger at others?

People blame the weather, their boss, their parents (oh, this is a big one), their health, the economy, the stock market, racists, bigots, the elections, the government, chauvinists, customer service, their partner, their spouse.

The problem with this is that you’re avoiding taking responsibility for what’s going on. You’re giving away your power. You’re playing the victim.

By the way, if you know someone who does this, run away.

They might blame their mother today, but tomorrow it’ll be you. Those in proximity of the victims are targets, so they don’t have to face their own faults. Watch out!

2. Stop Justifying

If you ever went to a prison and asked the inmates about the crimes they’ve committed, you would discover that they’ll spend a lot of energy justifying what happened.

‘It’s not such a big deal’. ‘He hit me first’. ‘She was a bitch’. ‘I needed the money.’

Only rarely will you hear a convict express true remorse and assume a position of personal responsibility.

Think about that the next time you try to justify something you’re not happy with. You’re really trying to justify why you didn’t get up and change the situation. 

What people often say about money is: ‘Money’s not that important’.

If you ever hear anyone say anything like that, you can be sure that they’re broke. They’re justifying why they don’t have it, and in doing that they are pushing it further away. 

If you had a friend who said that you weren’t that important, would you hang around a lot? Same with money. If you don’t appreciate it, you won’t attract a lot of it. 

3. Stop Complaining 

When you complain about something, you’ll attract more of the thing you are complaining about.

When you complain, you’re stuck in the situation, and you stop thinking about solutions.

Complaining is the worst thing you can do if you want to change your life. Complaining is a black hole that will suck up all your energy – and the energy of those around you.

The worst thing about negativity is that it’s very contagious. If you ever spent time around a complainer, you’d soon notice how you began to agree about life’s misfortunes and soon you’d begin adding to the list of complaints.

If you hear someone complain – run.

If you can’t run, just say ‘uh huh’ while you think about something else, and change the subject when you can. Sorry if that sounds rude. We all have a responsibility to protect ourselves against diseases – also those of the soul. 

You Can’t Have Both

There’s no such thing as a rich, happy, successful victim.

They don’t exist.

So you have to decide which one you want.

Do you want a great life? Or do you want to gripe and grumble? 

Which is it going to be?

What do you do if you catch yourself complaining, criticizing or blaming?

No worries. You get a second chance. You get to change your mind.

Just catch the thought or the sentence and delete it. Snap your finger, slap your face, or do some other gesture to wake you up and change your state.

Say, “I take that back.” Or, “Delete, delete, here’s what I want to say instead.”

Find your own way to do it. You get to have fun with it. 

So are you ready to take responsibility of your happiness and your finances?

You can learn to invest in stocks with me.

A great place to start is by reading my e-book that you can download below.

Don’t forget the e-book Free Yourself.  It’ll teach you how to calculate how much a company is worth. You can get it for free here

Five Habits That Self-Made Rich People Have

Three Ways Stocks Can Boost Your Career

This blog is about investing in stocks so you become financially free. What does that really mean? Do you invest so that you can laze around on the couch all day and let other people do the work? 

No, not at all.

You can use stocks as a tool to get a better life with a better variety of choices. This eventually means you can use stocks as a tool to get a better career. How can investing help you create a better work life with richer opportunities?

I’ll show you how by giving you three examples from my own career of what NOT to do – and what to do instead.

1. You Have More Guts

The biggest mistake I made in my previous career (I was a business journalist in my previous life) was not setting clear boundaries in my job.

There was a specific situation where I should have resigned on the spot. I had applied for another job at the same newspaper. The business editor got word of it and was very upset with me for wanting to leave his section of the paper. He called me into his office and declared two things.

A. He didn’t recommend me for the position.

B. From that day on, I was covering the retail sector instead of banks – which was a clear demotion.

It was such a vindictive and unjust act, and I should have left the paper on the spot. Yet, I didn’t. 

I swallowed the humiliation and went back to work. I didn’t even express my dissatisfaction to coworkers. Why? Because I was afraid. I feared losing my monthly salary. I depended on it.

If I had been financially independent, I would have made bolder moves – and in that particular situation, resigned right there in his office. Before leaving I would have had a word or two to say about it. 

What about you? If you didn’t have to, would you still keep the job that you have today?

2. You Can Take a Sabbatical Year to Study and Improve Your Skills

If you are financially independent, you can take a year off to refine your skills – or to study something new. 

About 10 years into my career, I began dreaming of applying for a fellowship in business journalism (the Knight-Bagehot Fellowship). It remained a thought – I never applied. Why? Because the financial implications of studying and living in New York for a year (which I had already done once in my life) seemed financially crippling.

Yet, in hindsight, it would have been exactly the right move at the time. It would have given me time to reflect and gain new skills, new ideas, and inspiration. Who knows, maybe I would have stayed in the US where the opportunities were richer. 

Most people don’t take time mid-career to refine or renew, exactly because of the financial obligations that they have. They have mortgages to pay and have somehow become dependent on having a decent monthly salary.

If you could take a year off to study anything you want, what would you study?

3. You Gain Tools to Analyze Your Employer 

When I found myself facing a dead end in my career as a newspaper journalist in Denmark, I hired a coach to figure what to do about it.

I spent hours explaining what had happened at work – in particular my power struggle with the business editor – which felt like an entangled knot that I couldn’t quite figure out how to unwind. 

After several sessions, the coach asked me one simple question: “Would you consider working in an industry that isn’t in decline?”

I was taken aback by the question.

I was expecting my coach to concoct a complicated strategy to overcome the obstacles and power struggles so I could prosper and succeed. Yet he thought I should catapult myself out of there. 

He went on to explain that it’s a hopeless battle to try to make a career in a world of dying dinosaurs. You’ll get trampled as they stumble and fall. Industries and companies in decline make terrible workplaces. It’s far easier to have a great career in a company in the early stages of growth. 

I already knew that print papers were struggling, but for some reason I hadn’t connected the dots to the challenges that I was experiencing myself. I was so focused on studying my situation through a magnifying glass that I had forgotten to take a ride up the elevator to see the problem from a distance. 

When you invest in an individual company, you’ll look at the annual report and make sure it’s a company with growing sales and growing profit. If it’s not, you should stay away from investing in it.

It’s really important to have a bird’s eye view of the company you’re considering buying stocks in.

You have to assess whether you’re dealing with the best company in the sector, and whether they’ll grow to be even bigger the next decade or two.

I would never have invested in a local-language print newspaper with diving subscriptions, an endangered customer base, and an outdated business model giving customers the news a day after the rest of the world.

Then why would I devote my life to it? 

What about you? Have you considered whether you would invest in the company you work at? Have you analyzed your own employer?

You can learn more about how to analyze companies in my e-book Free Yourself here.

Don’t forget the e-book Free Yourself.  It’ll teach you how to calculate how much a company is worth. You can get it for free here