8 Habits of Successful People that Define their Self-Made Success

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the millennial money woman blog post "8 habits of successful people"

8 Habits of Successful People

You don’t have to be born with a silver spoon or be the child of an Ivy League parent to be successful.

millionaires born into money statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: U.S.News

What does this mean?

This means anyone can become a millionaire – including you.

individuals in america becoming millionaires statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Fortune

Becoming a millionaire isn’t as sexy and exciting as the media makes it out to be. 

In fact, of the 50 millionaire clients I’ve mentored, not one even thinks twice about their millionaire status.

"Becoming a millionaire is not the difficult part. Maintaining your millionaire status is."

Let’s take a look at some of the millionaire statistics:

the millennial money woman blog post "average millionaire statistics"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Business News Daily

Let’s take a look at what becoming a millionaire is not:

  • It’s not an overnight goal
  • It’s not glamorous (typically)

My husband and I are not yet millionaires, but we are getting very close. 

We both understand that becoming a millionaire is a long term goal, so we aren’t let down by the fact that we haven’t reached our million-dollar goal yet. 

However, we routinely practice these habits of successful people that millionaires follow and incorporate in their everyday lives. 

the millennial money woman blog post "average time for a new habit to become automatic statistic"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Healthline

And that’s the key: Practice these 8 habits of successful people and incorporate them as best as you can into your life. 

After about 3 months, you’ll make these habits an automatic behavior.

Check out how these habits of successful people can help you join the 2-comma club as well.

success habit 1

1. They have Multiple Income Streams

The first noticeable difference I’ve noticed between successful people and average people is that successful people have many, many sources of income.

the millennial money woman blog post "average millionaire income stream statistic"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Passive Income MD

Why do successful people have different income streams?

In the case they lose their job, for example, they still have other passive income streams to help supplement their lifestyle. 

In other words, they don’t rely on just 1 source of income. 

Income streams could include:

  • Rental income
  • Interest income
  • Dividend income
  • Earned income – wife
  • Earned income – husband

Some of my millionaire clients have 7 different rental property income streams and they virtually don’t work a regular job. 

Instead, they simply consider their rental property income streams as sufficient income – which is perfectly fine. 

My husband and I currently have 4 streams of income:

  • My income
  • Interest income
  • Husband income
  • Dividend income

We’re not quite at that magical number 7 income streams yet – but that’s OK. 

We’re working our way toward the magic 7 number. 

Something that we did do – and that you can do within 5 minutes as well – is open an investment account through M1 Finance.

It took us all but 5 minutes to download the M1 Finance app, select our favorite investment plan, and start on our investment journey.

So by investing in the stock market with M1 Finance, my husband and I can earn some interest and dividends on the stocks we purchased without lifting a finger.

"You never want to put your eggs in the same basket."

That’s why successful people stay rich: They diversify their income.

success habit 2

2. They Value Relationships 

School doesn’t teach you about the value your network can bring you. 

In fact, the only things I learned in school were:

  • Focusing on quantity [5,000 words] instead of quality essays
  • When to use “whom” versus “who”
  • The quadratic formula 

Have I ever used these lessons in my everyday life?


School didn’t teach me what was important in life:

  • Personal finance
  • How to shine at work
  • Growing your network
  • Communicating with people
  • How to write an excellent email

And that’s another reason why successful people stay rich:

"They learn things taught outside of the classroom."

I’ve taken some courses with Mindvalley and was blown away by the number of vital classes my high school and college careers failed to teach me.

Mind Valley teaches some of the things that your regular school would never teach you. 

Things that will be applicable in your life and help you earn money:

  • How to stay positive
  • How to gain confidence
  • How to build better habits
  • How to build better relationships

Why don’t they teach you how to communicate and grow your network in school?

A wise mentor of mine once told me the following, and it will stick with me forever:

"Your network is your net worth."

Think about it.

It’s the people you know that will give you what you need.

Below are some reasons why growing your network is so important:

  • More opportunities
  • Increases your visibility
  • Improves your social intellect
  • Increase in your self-confidence
  • Opportunity to build lasting relationships
  • Support from potentially high profile individuals

The more people you know; the more chances you have of becoming successful.

You may need their help one day – and they’ll be there to assist you.

success habit 3

3. They Volunteer

When I first met my mentor, a serial entrepreneur, and millionaire, one of the first things I noticed was that he always made an effort to give back to his community. 

One day, I decided to ask why he spent so much of his time volunteering, and he told me something I will never forget.

"There is no such thing as being self-made. You have an entire community around you to get you to where you are today."

There are 3 ways you can donate to your local charity:

  • Your time
  • Your talent
  • Your treasure

Although it might be easy to write a check (your treasure) and send it to your local community, it means a lot more to spend your time and volunteer. 

The charity leaders know how little time you have. 

They know how valuable it is. 

That’s why they appreciate you so much more for the time and help you are giving.

millionaires that volunteer statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Business Insider

Volunteering is so beneficial:

  • Gives you a feeling of gratitude
  • Gives you a feeling of satisfaction
  • Offers you the chance to pay it forward
  • Builds stronger community relationships
  • Increases your networking and social skills
  • It improves the lives of those in your community

Go out there and start giving back to your local community.

It’s not only going to benefit them but also you.

success habit 4

4. They are Early Birds

Have you ever heard the old English saying:

“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise?”

It’s actually true.

the millennial money woman blog post "self-made millionaires that wake up early statistic"

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Business Insider

Why do millionaires wake up so early?

Millionaires wake up early for increased productivity and solve their top 3 most challenging problems first thing in the day. 

Below are some reasons why waking up early can help improve your productivity – and overall lifestyle:

  • Lower stress level
  • Increased positivity
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased mental fitness

Just make sure you also go to sleep earlier when you decide to wake up earlier. 

"The most successful people still maintain a 6 to 8-hour sleep schedule."

That’s why it’s so important to adjust the time you go to bed, once you wake up earlier.

Never sacrifice the hours of sleep you need.

success habit 5

5. They Exercise Regularly

You may not want to hear it – but it’s true. 

Exercising just 30 minutes every day (or every 2 days) can help improve your life. 

percentage of millionaires that exercise statistic 1

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Business Insider

They typically exercise aerobically, which means they:

  • Jog
  • Run
  • Bike
  • Walk
  • Swim

Exercising has many positive benefits. 

Some of those benefits include:

  • Increased focus
  • Improved memory
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Increased physical fitness
  • Improved mental concentration

It’s just a matter of actually doing the exercise (and trust me, I struggle exercising consistently myself). 

When is the best time to exercise?

best time to exercise statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Healthline

It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise and it doesn’t have to be hardcore, either. 

Just go out there and do it.

Your body, your mind, and your bank accounts will thank me later.

success habit 6

6. They Never Give Up

Go that extra mile.

Push yourself to walk one more step. 

You never know when it will be when you’ll accomplish success. 

"The last mile is the least crowded."

Thomas Edison, arguably the inventor of the light bulb, had 1,000 mistrials.

What would have happened if he stopped at mistrial #389?

But he didn’t.

He kept moving forward.

And that’s why winners never quit and quitters never win.

That’s why successful people get ahead.

"Failure is not an option."

For the successful entrepreneurs, the company they are building up is all they see.

There is no Plan B.

Where would Jeff Bezos have been or Steve Jobs have been if they had a “Plan B?”

Probably not where they are today.

success habit 7

7. They Read Often

One common theme I’ve noticed that separates the successful people from the non-successful is that the successful people read every day. 

They read:

  • Books
  • Newspapers
  • Prominent magazines

If it’s tangible, if it has pages in it and informational words, the successful are reading it.

percentage of millionaires that read books per month statistic

Image: The Millennial Money Woman | Source: Entrepreneur

Why do successful people like reading?

That’s because books can teach so many valuable life lessons that successful people may have not yet learned.

The wealthy try to learn from the success – or mistakes – of others.

Learning from others saves the wealthy time and that’s why they win.

They don’t care if it’s an academic book they’re reading. 

As long as the book has a valuable lesson.

"Another thing I’ve noticed with millionaires, is that they prefer reading hard copy books."

They like holding the book in their hand instead of downloading it on a tablet. 

This might not be the same for every millionaire.

Below are some of my top book suggestions:

  • Behavior Gap by Carl Richards
  • Winning by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch
  • The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The point is this: Go out there, buy some used books, stick your nose in those books and start learning some life lessons. 

Learning is the only way you’ll get ahead. 

That’s why successful people stay rich.

success habit 8

8. They Track and Review their Goals Consistently

Have you ever seen successful people relentlessly track their goals?

Maybe you haven’t – but let me tell you that from my experience with talking to more than 50 millionaires, every one of them tracks their goals in 1 way or another.

"If you can’t track your goals, you can’t make them a reality."

It’s that simple.

Let me tell you a quick story about 1 client I’ve worked with for the past 3 years:

  • Has a net worth of $1.5 million
  • Is a Chief Financial Officer 
  • Earns about $200,000 
  • Is roughly 55 

He has a 40-year plan that he regularly updates every single day.

Is that overkill? 


But this example should give you some idea of how meticulous these millionaires can be when it comes to tracking their goals.

When it comes to the millionaire mindset, they typically want to know 3 things:

  • Where they are now
  • Where they want to be 
  • What they have to do to get there 

How else are you going to answer these 3 points without somehow tracking your goals?

The answer is you can’t. 

One of the first goals millionaires set is tracking their finances through a budget.

If you haven’t created a budget yet, now is the time to do so with apps like Simplifi.

Budgeting helps you understand:

  • Your current financial picture
  • Where you are overspending
  • Where you can save money

It’s one of the first tools that I see every single millionaire recommend to those who want to join the 2-comma club. 

The next thing I see millionaires recommend is tracking your net worth – or how much you own over how much you owe.

If you haven’t tracked your net worth yet, you can download my free net worth template below!

the millennial money woman blog post "free net worth template"

Free Net Worth Templates

Sign up below to receive my free net worth templates and my latest content updates to help you achieve millionaire status.

The point is this: The more you understand your current financial picture, the better you can navigate future financial obstacles. 

Think of your finances in terms of a road map:

  • You can’t drive to your destination with just a vague direction of “North”
  • You need to know which roads to take so you arrive at your destination on time

It’s the same with your financial picture.

You won’t win with your finances, if you’re driving in 1 direction without a roadmap. 

If you don’t track your goals, you’re simply not setting up yourself for success.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, it doesn’t take talent, skill or an Ivy League education to become a millionaire. 

There are, however, 3 ingredients that you will need in your journey to becoming a millionaire:

  • Discipline
  • Consistency
  • Long-term vision

Without these 3 items, your quest to join the successful people of this world will very likely fail. 

Successful people practice these habits every single day.

They incorporate these habits into their lives and live by them.

"Even if you only incorporate 1 of these 8 habits into your daily lifestyle, it’ll be 1 step closer to attaining millionaire status."

Start now.

Start today.

Your bank accounts will thank me later. 

What other habits of successful people have you seen to define their success?

Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith
Fiona Smith is the founder of The Millennial Money Woman. She holds her Master of Science Degree in Personal Financial Planning, has advised decamillionaires for 6 years in the corporate wealth management sector and has co-founded a local non-profit community teaching financial literacy. She is the author of the personal finance book How to Get Rich from Nothing and her work is featured on Forbes and FinCon.

2 thoughts on “8 Habits of Successful People that Define their Self-Made Success”

  1. I think the whole Financial Education piece in Schools is definitely something that is missing in many countries

    My personal opinion is that it should be a mandatory subject at school. Basic financial skills are needed by everyone whether you end up working as say a cleaner or become someone like Warren Buffet. In my experience most people learn off their parents and in a some cases that is fantastic, in many it is not. As someone working in the finance field I see many repeating the mistakes of their parents. This is not a criticism of their parents, they don’t know what they don’t know and most of them probably learned the same way so it is not a surprising outcome.

    Consumer debt is very easy to get these days and in my experience many borrowers do not understand what it is costing them and do not have the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions. They get trapped in a cycle of debt which many struggle to get out of and the financial impacts of that often negatively impact them for years

    1. SMS,

      I think you are absolutely correct. If more people learn about finance in school, it would be my educated guess that there would be fewer consumer debt issues and all-around financial issues. Basic personal finance skills are a necessity to avoid making poor financial choices and flourish in this world. For example, I knew someone who qualified for her first credit card, receiving a teaser rate of 0% interest for the first 12 months. Instead of using her credit card wisely for emergencies, she used it for a $1,000 shopping spree, not planning to pay back the $1,000 anytime soon. She missed paying back the debt within the 0% interest 12-month period and was slapped with a heavy interest rate penalty by the credit card company, which she was also unable to pay back within a short period of time. Like you said, consumer debt is very easy to get into. It is my assumption that had we all learned basic financial concepts in school, poor financial choices, like the one I just described, could have been prevented.

      Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts!

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