Personal Finance

5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
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[This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.]

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Why do the rich keep getting richer? Most of the time, it’s not because of luck. It’s not because of the family they were born into. It’s not because they won the lottery.

Wealthy people simply do things differently.

It may not seem fair, but the fact is the “income gap” is increasing and most financial experts only see this trend continuing with no end in sight.

In preparation for this article, I sat down with someone who knows far more wealthy people than I will likely ever meet: Jeff Rose. Rose is a certified financial planner, author and blogger at GoodFinancialCents.com. He’s also a millionaire himself, who dedicates a good portion of his time to helping people become, and stay, wealthy.

I asked Rose why he thought the income gap was growing. He mentioned five primary things that wealthy people simply do differently than the rest of the world. Here are those five, in no particular order.

1. They Take Risks

taking-risks

Rose explains that the wealthiest people he works with routinely “throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks.” In other words, they try a lot of different things, knowing that a lot of it will fail.

They take those risks because they know that failure is just part of the process in discovering what will truly work to build more wealth. Furthermore, as Rose explains, the rejection of those ideas invigorates the wealthy into finding what will work, a stark contrast to most of the population that simply looks at failure as a roadblock.

2. They Invest in Themselves

According to Rose, “Wealthy people don’t look at the money spent on personal growth as an expense, but an investment.”

While many individuals conserve every penny equally, the wealthy understand that strategically investing in themselves will produce a far greater return than any stock, real estate investment, or business venture.

Whether it’s purchasing a book, hiring a coach, joining a paid mastermind group or another source of paid self-improvement, the wealthy see this as an investment. Do you?

Related: The Surprising Lesson a Six-Figure Salary in My 20s Taught Me About Wealth

3. They Associate with Those They Want to Emulate

When the human body gets too hot, it produces sweat in an attempt to cool down. When it becomes too cold, it shivers to produce heat. In other words, the human body is constantly adapting to keep its temperature at the same comfortable spot. This automatic leveling is a biological process known as homeostasis and is found in numerous aspects of life.

From human biology to the temperature of the earth to a car’s cruise control to the thermostat in your house, homeostasis is a fact of life that governs nearly every aspect of your existence. And, as the wealthy have discovered, homeostasis can also be a powerful way to build wealth.

As Rose stated bluntly to me, “If you want to be rich, hang around rich people.”

Or as financial TV personality Dave Ramsey often says, “If there are four broke people in a room, you’ll be the fifth.”

Wealthy people have discovered that they can grow their wealth simply by associating with those who are even more wealthy. Humans pick up the habits and strategies of those in their immediate surroundings, and the wealthy have learned to use this homeostasis to their advantage.

4. They Have a Dedicated Morning Ritual

morning-routine

While most of the world is hitting the snooze button 14 times in a row each morning, the wealthy have already begun increasing their net worth.

“Most of the multimillionaires I know have a dedicated routine, a ritual, that they do each and every morning,” Rose said.

This morning ritual could include exercise, affirmations, goal reviews, breakfast, or whatever else helps them start their days with a bang. They start strong, accomplishing more before noon than more people accomplish in a week.

For those struggling to get started each morning on the right foot, Rose recommends two books:

In my own life, I’ve found this truth incredibly powerful. Since instituting a morning routine, I’ve quadrupled my income, written and published a bestselling real-estate investing book, lost 10 pounds, bought my dream house, and deepened my relationship with my wife. Not bad for just a few minutes each morning of dedicated routine.

Related: One Simple Habit the Vast Majority of Wealthy People Practice Every Single Day

5. They Review Their Goals Consistently

Finally, according to Rose, the rich have clearly defined goals and continually review them to track their progress, make changes, and develop strategies for meeting those goals. This process of immediate feedback allows the wealthy to make quick changes to their plans to keep the course in a rapidly changing world.

While most of the human population gives little to no thought on their futures, the wealthy are reminded daily of where they are headed. Like a family taking a cross-country trip in their minivan, the rich have their road map spread out on the dashboard so they can navigate the fastest, easiest route to their destinations.

Rose admits that the wealth gap is far more complicated than a simple “five-point blog post.” However, he continually witnesses these five traits guiding the lives of those who are getting richer, and has used them in his own life to create multiple businesses and build some serious wealth himself.

These five actions create a positive-feedback loop that will continue to make the rich richer, and there’s no sign of that ceasing. The good news is, however, these five actions are all things that the average American can put into practice today.

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Will you follow these five steps, and what would you add to this list?

Share with a comment below!

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He began buying rental properties and flipping houses at age 21, discovering he didn’t need to work 40 years at a corporate job to have “the good life.” Today, with nearly 100 rental units and dozens of rehabs under his belt, he continues to invest in real estate while also showing others the power, and impact, of financial freedom. His writings have been featured on Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, FoxNews.com, Money Magazine, and numerous other publications across the web and in print media. He is the author of The Book on Investing in Real Estate with No (and Low) Money Down, The Book on Rental Property Investing, and co-author of The Book on Managing Rental Properties, which he wrote alongside his wife, Heather, and How to Invest in Real Estate, which he wrote alongside Joshua Dorkin. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.

    Frank Romine from Visalia-Fresno, California
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Good thoughts Brandon. Napoleon Hill change my life when I read Think and Grow Rich. I keep a quote in my wallet from Robert Kiyosaki…. The Only Difference Between Rich and Poor is How You Use Your Time. Frank
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Love that quote, Frank! Thanks for the comment!
    Jett Rao Flipper from Calgary, Alberta
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Enjoyed this one!
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks jett!
    Jerry W. Investor from Thermopolis, Wyoming
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Thanks for the article Brandon. It is so easy to set goals then forget about them a week or 2 later. One needs to make it a habit to set a time to check your progress towards those goals. I set down and wrote some out about 6 months ago, but now I have not looked at them in months and can barely remember what they were.
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Agreed! I now review my goals every morning. It’s made a huge difference in my life!
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 4 years ago
    The morning ritual is the toughest thing for me. I know how important it is, but I just love my snooze button…
    Brandon Turner Investor from Maui, HI
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Yeah… me and the snooze button (Siri) have a love-hate relationship 🙂
    Don Alberts from Frankfort, Illinois
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Brandon thanks again and again. Don
    Account Closed Real Estate Agent from Newport News, Virginia
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Love this. I soo need help with my morning routine. Definitely grabbing the two books today to help me focus on my mornings.
    Michael Askew Wholesaler from Charlotte, North Carolina
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great Post Brandon!
    Yetunde
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great post Brandon. I particularly like the bit about being more of a risk taker 🙂
    Johnny Dobey INVESTOR from Irmo, SC
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great information!!
    Sackie Makor from Cranston, Rhode Island
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great advice Brandon it is key to constantly invest in yourself and to emulate others that are successful in what you want to do
    Daniel R. from Raleigh, North Carolina
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Hey B, Nice article. Not sure I agree with #1. Really don’t see Buffett or Ramsey throwing spaghetti at the wall. Only invest in what you understand really well.
    Jessie Elliot
    Replied about 4 years ago
    They have a dedicated morning ritual! Now this is something of a joke, but sometimes I caught myself doing the exact same thing again and again, so yea, there might be something like that.
    Kevin Izquierdo from Hillside, New Jersey
    Replied about 4 years ago
    These are definitely worth doing. I think Brandon mention on a podcast or webinar, to tape pictures of potential investment properties on your ceiling above your bed. Works like a charm! I listen to a lot of motivational speakers (Joe Rogan and Tai Lopez being my favorites) in the morning on my commute to work.
    Jeff S. Specialist from Portland, OR
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Have my doubts about number 1 too. This is not what I have observed. Regarding failure, it is one thing to try new things and fail but that is something completely different from “throwing spaghetti at the wall.” I would suggest (and have seen) wealthy people losing it all from one bad decision. You young ones would do well, as many successful people in the past have done, to lose it all and learn from it. Chances are you won’t be reading sensational books for guidance in your life after that .
    Tyler Herman Process Improvements and Entrepreneur from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Replied about 4 years ago
    In my opinion #1 applies if instead of reading throwing everything at the wall as “invest (time, money, energy) in everything”, it could instead be “consider everything, and something will be a keeper”. Oftentimes we have ideas that pass through our minds and never act on them. For instance, how many times has a new invention or feature been advertised and you thought “I came up with that YEARS ago”. The reality is that we all have great ideas, but it is those who take risks in pursuing them who actually benefit. Or in the BP community’s case, we all have RE goals, ideas, and plans, but until you put that time, money, and energy behind it and do a deal, it won’t matter.
    Scotty Ball Investor from Gainesville, Georgia
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Great article! The morning routine is key for me. Love all you do here on BiggerPockets!
    Ayodeji Kuponiyi Investor from King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
    Replied about 4 years ago
    I enjoyed my morning routine of working out while listening to real estate investing podcast and/or motivational podcasts. It helps set my mood and helps me to check of my to do list.
    Brandi Baker Rental Property Investor from Pittsburgh, PA
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Ayodeji, That’s exactly how I work out too-in the morning with either a podcast or Audible playing the latest book I’m reading. This way I can still hit the snooze but read a book and work out before starting my day lol
    mike802
    Replied about 4 years ago
    I know that personally I can get very attached to things like my savings and where I typically dedicate my time. For example, if I read the news every morning, I might not get a chance to check out some of the more social shows out there. This isn’t a big risk, but it can help you to think differently.
    Connor Maloney Real Estate Investor from Anchorage, Alaska
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Great article!
    LIam
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Some good advices. Thank you! I think that the first one: \”They take risks.\” is really what we are talking about here. A Must!
    Ndy Onyido from Toronto, Ontario
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Awesome post! Grabbed a lot from here 🙂
    David Mincey Flipper/Rehabber from Randallstown, MD
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Many have been saying this for decades. Good to reinforce our learning!
    Mary Anne Chew Financial Analyst from Davenport, Iowa
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Love the post! Thanks for sharing!
    Janet Cole VP Medical Center from Morristown, New Jersey
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Excellent post! The great motivational speakers that I have listened to over the past decades all mirror your advice. Hanging out with extremely successful entrepreneurs is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Their money is not nearly as important as their ideas, learning how they think, and how they turn ideas into profitable ventures. Personally, I do think it’s wiser to take calculated risks rather than rushing blindly into investment opportunities.
    Tammy Parsons Investor from Akron, Ohio
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Nice article. I totally agree with all points. To #5 I would add that they Visualize their Goals too. Visualizing (not day dreaming) helps put your subconsious mind into overdrive and help your conscious mind find more ways to get you there. You could also say it’s related to #3 and the comparison to homeostasis. You hang out with wealthier people, you will become wealthy…You visualize yourself at your goal and you will get there.
    Diane Streett from Torrance, California
    Replied about 4 years ago
    Nice post, but I have to take exception to the implication that income inequality is a matter of living habits. Income equality is a result of the rich finding way after way of moving money out of our pockets and into their pockets for the last several decades.
    Laurel Devine Investor
    Replied about 2 years ago
    So you are saying Diane, that the rich just outsmart the poor. That is, by definition, a living habit. I find that most poor people have no focus and are pretty lazy, while my rich friends all work long hours, get out of bed HOURS before my poorer friends and spend a lot of their time trying to figure out how to get richer, while my poor friends are watching Oprah and The View.
    john
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    Always good stuff on BP! Thanks so much!
    Johnathan Alesso Investor from San Diego, California
    Replied almost 4 years ago
    What strategies have my fellow introverts used to expand a network? I’ve been investing long enough to know that the best deals are not found on the MLS listings. How have you constructed a network of investors and a channel of potential deals?
    Hector Cruz from Oviedo, Florida
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Thank you for all the great information
    Jason Hinton from Hillsboro, Oregon
    Replied about 2 years ago
    If someone wants to know characteristics for millionaires the book to read is “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley.
    Andrew Syrios Residential Real Estate Investor from Kansas City, Missouri
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Take risks, but they should be calculated risks. Or even more accurately, risks with high upside and low downside.
    Mario Mormile Investor/ Real Estate Agent from Burton, Ohio
    Replied about 2 years ago
    After reading 10X by Grant Cardone, I started writing my goals down in the morning and before bed. It changed my life. That simple exercise taught me to keep my goals at the forefront of my mind. When things would go bad or look bleak, returning to my goals could save me from a mental meltdown. Thanks for sharing, Brandon
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Multimillionaires (i’m one) have things in common. They stay married. This is the commitment thing. They invest their time and energy in productivity. The time management thing. They see luxuries as a middle class fault. They live a spartan lifestyle. They are very smart in a practical way. They see the world as opportunity and see pragmatism as a philosophy. They see wealth building as freedom. This freedom dream makes them happy. They view self education as a priority and scholarly achievement as a middle class value. The constant improvement and research thing. Most of all it it not a feeling of money it is a feeling of achievement, money is the windfall.
    Laurel Devine Investor
    Replied about 2 years ago
    So true John!
    Linda D. from Apopka, Florida
    Replied about 2 years ago
    Thanks Brandon. Excellent article. I found it very enlightening, as well as all the following comments.???
    John Murray from Portland, Oregon
    Replied almost 2 years ago
    Understanding what wealth building is not that hard to understand. The concepts of the middle class trap and how escape velocity from the treadmill is achieved. The treadmill is earned income, taxes, luxuries and keeping up appearances. First you have to realize you are not in control of the treadmill, if you try to keep up with it you will only go faster and faster until it throws you off. When you realize this, the point of escape velocity is achieved. Jumping off is scary for some, but jump you must if you want to be free or spend time in monetary purgatory and no one is going to pray you out. So either pick up the pace or jump off when the escape velocity presents itself.
    Matt Schuberg Rental Property Investor from Los Angeles, CA
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Another awesome article from the great Brandon Turner. These 5 things are spot on. I love that you started with taking risks. Fear is almost always the reason people never follow their dreams, whether that’s starting a business or investing in real estate. I’ve been working towards following all 5 of these steps and I feel like I’ve finally got everything in place. It’s made me confident that I’ll reach my goals and become wealthy. Thanks for the post!
    West Wetzel from Denver, CO
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Could you elaborate a little more on how one might invest in oneself. I don’t really want to pay for more college nor do I want to throw more money away attending “buy this program to get wealthy” schemes. Thanks in advance.
    Sasha Fukuda from Walpole, New Hampshire
    Replied 13 days ago
    My friends won't even read the personal finance books I recommend to them. They don't want to bother.
    Frank Greco Rental Property Investor from Atlantic Highlands, NJ
    Replied 12 months ago
    Great article and content. Thanks for sharing!!
    Adrian Ayub
    Replied 14 days ago
    As a 22 year old with a heavy chip on my shoulder, I have felt that I have failed the majority of my short term goals because of how incredibly bodacious they are, now I feel as though I do not wish to record goals and review on the regular until I can consistently hit the target and feel more momentum than before.
    Sasha Fukuda from Walpole, New Hampshire
    Replied 13 days ago
    Dude, you're 22. You have time on your side. If you do even a pretty good job of building wealth, you'll be rich when you're old. I'm almost 37, and believe me, I wish I could be in your shoes.
    Phaedra Robinson
    Replied 6 days ago
    I know this is an old article but I'm new to BP and reading everything that comes over email. My biggest challenge is the morning ritual. I have a 7yr old and a 2 yr old and they are the morning ritual. Just getting them breakfast, dressed and off to school exhausts me. One thing that i have started to do is get up even15-20 minutes earlier than the kids to trap myself in the bathroom to do daily devotions and read scripture. I have noticed that it helps to clear my head and give me courage in preparation for the long day. I also try to select an old BP or BP Money Podcast to listen to in the car on my ride into the office because once i get home it full attention to the kids again. Looking forward to learning more and more from you guys I love your energy and the ease of which your deliver your information. Congratz on the new baby!