Traits of a Leader

The One, Essential Trait of Every Self-made Millionaire

Ryan asked:

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a specific formula for making millions of dollars? “If you want to become a millionaire, all you have to do is A, B and C.” You know . . . . “Go get a degree in small-business management, talk to Jim at the bank to set you up with a Subway franchise, and invest in Microsoft today because it will skyrocket tomorrow when they report earnings.” Unfortunately, life is just not that gravy. The good news is there are some defining characteristics, habits and belief systems that self-made millionaires share in common. Take this a step further, and I believe almost all self-made millionaires’ financial success boils down to one thing.

Now, I’m not talking about the 0.5% of “self-made” millionaires that hit the lotto or scored big on buying Microsoft at its lowest-low and selling at its highest-high. I mean the people that sacrifice, slave, and sweat their way to become financially free. I’m referring to the people that spent 20-30 years on a strict budget, giving up everything to build successful businesses – all the while living well below their means, and doing it happily at that.

What makes these people not want to spend the money they worked so hard for on a nice car or an extravagant dinner? Why would they choose to read Money magazine and study business over watching the NFL draft? This lifestyle just sounds boring and exhausting. After all, what’s the point then of being filthy rich?

The answer is Drive. But not only drive – the meaning behind the drive. If you peel back the onion, you will find that what makes millionaires become millionaires is an ultimate, singular factor that keeps them grinding away to accumulate so much wealth. How else can someone willingly sacrifice so much over such a long period of time? Because they have no choice. The reason behind their motivation is so strong that there is no alternative. This is living life as they know it.

To become a self-made millionaire, without the big score or a grand inheritance, you will likely have to do it the hard way like most people in this class. If you are truly focused and determined to become a millionaire, you are far more likely not to succeed if you are unable to identify that element that pushes you through the pain. It is essential to dig down and find that “why” factor.

The reason behind your drive should be so strong that it makes you compulsive about becoming wealthy. Your “why” should establish your habits, attitudes and beliefs of money and wealth. It will invariably define who you are as a person.

Once you figure out the real reason you want to be rich, it is important to remind yourself frequently. The road to financial freedom has many ups and downs, good years and bad years, happy days and bad days. If you remember the why, the how does not matter. At least it doesn’t for those who have achieved their goals.This theory, by the way, holds true in business and life in general. It is what creates Olympic athletes, successful business leaders, great spouses and parents, etc. Those who have a relentless passion to succeed in order to fulfill their “why” are unstoppable. Discover your “why” and you have acquired the one, essential trait for becoming a self-made millionaire.

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