5 Habits of the Wealthy That Helped Them Get Rich

by | BiggerPockets.com

[This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.]

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 column, 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, as well as 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.

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1. They take 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 road block.

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.

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 multi-millionaires I know have a dedicated routine, a ritual, that they do each and every morning,” Rose says.

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.

We’re republishing this article to help out our newer readers.

Will you?

Be sure to leave a comment below!

About Author

Brandon Turner

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. A life-long adventurer, Brandon (along with his wife Heather and daughter Rosie) splits his time between his home in Washington State and various destinations around the globe.


  1. Frank Romine

    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.


  2. Jerry W.

    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.

  3. Kevin Izquierdo

    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.

  4. Jeff S.

    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 .

  5. Tyler Herman

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Janet Cole

    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.

  8. Tammy Parsons

    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.

  9. diane streett

    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

      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.

  10. Johnathan Alesso

    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?

  11. Mario Mormile

    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

  12. John Murray

    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.

  13. John Murray

    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.

  14. Matt Schuberg

    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!

  15. West wetzel

    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.

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