12 Things Financially Successful People Do Differently

Joseph Meyer
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Have an eye for entrepreneurship.

Billionaire Richard Branson is a prime example of someone who took an opportunity and turned it into a success. He saw a small-time magazine start and decided to become its publisher and distributor, giving him contacts in the business world and giving him experience in the world of business and assets. He took advantage of a bold quote that turned into a book deal. Then he took advantage of the book deal by creating a record company before earning a place on a satellite. He even created a space tourism company.

Assemble a team of experts.

Billionaire Warren Buffett says that one of the best ways to make sound decisions is to consult with a group of people with diverse backgrounds. For this reason, he assembles an annual meeting of his “board of directors,” where the goal is to get his business partners to identify and discuss problems that could affect the company. Although his company, Berkshire Hathaway, doesn’t have a board of directors in the traditional sense, it’s a good way of getting different perspectives.

In terms of day-to-day life, this means that you should get advice from a group of people with different expertise when looking to solve financial issues. For example, if you were looking to purchase a new car, you should consult with your banking institution and find out if there’s a better financial solution for you, rather than taking the advice of a car salesman.

Minimize taxes.

An often overlooked way to save money is to minimize your taxes. Not only can taxes reduce the amount of money you have available to invest, but they can also make you subject to higher taxes than necessary. When you use tax efficient investments, such as bonds in a tax-protected account, you can reduce taxes significantly. That’s because when you buy bonds in a tax-protected account, you don’t have to pay taxes on the interest they earn.

Many tax-smart investment options (like municipal bonds) also offer the potential for higher returns.

Never stop educating themselves.

Education and self-improvement go hand in hand and are often listed as the top activities of financially successful people. Regardless of your occupation, learning something new every day can increase your knowledge, your income, and above all your confidence. Whether you’re learning a new language, practicing a new hobby, or spending time with people from different backgrounds, financial success doesn’t happen without continuous learning.

Build wealth.

Successful people are always studying and learning, because they know the value of information in helping them grow and build a better life. Whether they’re reading the publications such as Forbes, Business Month, Money, Mutual Funds, etc., or taking courses and training programs, they’re always cultivating new skills and advancing their knowledge. This helps them grow professionally and keeps them at the top of their game.

Don’t deprive themselves.

‘People who are motivated by financial rewards usually spend the rewards rather than investing them because they feel like it’s the instant gratification that makes them feel good,’ says Reid. ‘But that can lead to a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle that isn’t sustainable.’ Great things come to those who wait … so don’t deprive yourself or you won’t be able to truly savour the rewards.

Set goals.

Successful people set specific, measurable goals, and write them down. They also take a look at their goals throughout the year, and adjust them if necessary.

Reinvent themselves.

Momentum is your best friend. If you are habitually trying new things and seeing a pattern of success you will begin to establish confidence in your abilities.

If you lose your job, reinvention can allow you an opportunity to build a new career or start a business from scratch. Investing in yourself will prove to be of the highest value when things start to go south.

Help others.

Make sure you treat all the people around you with respect, especially the person who answers the customer service phone bells. Forward a kind email to a friend on a slow day. Or write a letter to your grandmother. People have a lot of needs and wants, many of which you can easily help with, even you are broke.

Avoid personal debt.

To be considered successful you must avoid personal debt, because it can lead you down the road to ruin.

It is a slippery slope that can quickly lead you from being a successful person to being a financially devastated person.

The road to debt is full of enticing opportunities, but they are also clever tricks to make you think you can afford something that you really cannot — and then the debt starts.

You can avoid any type of personal debt by living below your means, this means you buy less than you owe and live on less than you earn. Every time you want to make a purchase ask yourself will this purchase bring value to my life or help me to become financially successful?

If you say no then put your credit card back in your wallet and walk away.

You Down with OPM.

B W F. Say no to P.I.S.S.

In order to differentiate yourself from the crowd, you have to be willing to do things the rest of the world doesn’t want to do.

If you want to be rich, you have to spend more time focusing on your “why” and less time doing what everyone else does.

Say no to P.I.S.S. Remember these letters. They stand for:

  • Pleasing
  • Insecure
  • Secretive
  • Status symbols

The financially successful person is not worried about P.I.S.S. They are in control of their emotions and their own destinies. If you want more money, you have to invest in yourself and your future.

Stop living for the here and now. Focus on the big picture. What is your end game? When do you want to be financially free? When do you want to retire? How much money do you want to earn?

Take some time to figure out what you want, and then you’ll be able to quit doing P.I.S.S. activities and support yourself.

They have persistence.

Ever since the hunter-gatherer days, we’ve had this tendency to go for the short-term reward. If you catch food today, you can eat, but it may be more difficult tomorrow, so eat today. But of course we know that this is flawed thinking. It’s better to work hard on hoarding food instead of the short-term pleasure of eating it, so you have enough food to last the winter.

Applying this concept to financial success, it’s better to focus on the long-term rewards. It’s better to invest in a 401(k) than spend money on stuff. Of course, we know that it’s not that simple. We’re going to be tempted to spend on things we want. But when we’re able to hold true to the long-term benefits over the short-term pleasure, we can build a solid financial foundation.