I love writing these blogs, and I love using social media to reach out to all my students. But you know what I hate to see? Just about every time I put something new up, I get a comment like this, “Tim, I want to be a millionaire like you, but there’s no way I could do what you do.”
Listen. There’s nothing special about me or my several millionaire trading challenge students. We’re not super smart, or great at math and we didn’t grow up rich. You want to know what the big difference is?
What you get out of and achieve in life is the direct result of how you spend your days. Eat crappy food and spend all day on the couch? You’re probably going to wind up fat. Blow all your money gambling or buying shit you don’t need? Don’t be surprised when you end up broke. You are the cumulative effect of your habits.
If that sounds depressing, it shouldn’t be. Because the real secret is that, if you don’t like where your life is right now, it’s not because you’re somehow worth less than the people who have what you want. They just have different habits, and habits can be changed. If you want to be rich, all you have to do is shift your daily habits to the actions and behaviors that can help make you more successful.
Here’s how to get started:
Habit #1 – Wake up early
I know. You’re not a morning person. The last thing you want to do is set your alarm clock even earlier than you already do. But if you’re serious about success, you have to be willing to do what millionaires do – and that’s get up early.
Right now, I don’t have a choice. I’m working 16-hour days getting my new DVD out and launching my trading platform – and you can’t work 16-hour days if you start at noon. You might not have a choice either if you’re trying to work your trading around a day job.
All I’m asking is that you give it a try. Get up early for a week, and use that extra time to improve yourself in some way, whether that’s reading, studying, networking or something else. If, after a week, you really haven’t seen a difference, you have my permission to go back to your status quo.
Habit #2 – Read
The rich know that you should never stop learning. If you want to become better at trading penny stocks, read trader biographies. Read the financial news. Read books on technical analysis and any other aspects of trading you can find.
Habit #3 – Set a budget
This one is so unsexy, I almost have to apologize for it. You probably opened this blog post thinking I was going to tell you about how one can become rich by taking big, daring risks – going big, and then going home rich. Sure, there’s some of that, and we’ll get to that later. But for now, what I want you to know is that having a budget (and actually sticking to it) is one of the most common habits shared by the millionaires authors Thomas Stanley and William Danko studied for their popular book, The Millionaire Next Door.
Want to be like a rich person? Then do what the rich people do – and what they do is budget.
Habit #4 – Track your spending
So now, how do you think you’re going to set and stick with a budget if you don’t know where your money is going?
I’m at a point in my life where I don’t have to do this. Honestly, it would be pretty tough for me to spend more in a day than I’m earning through my different companies (and if you’ve seen my Instagram feed, you know that that’s not for a lack of trying).
When you get rich like me, you can give up this habit too. But for now? Track every dollar that leaves your wallet and where it goes. Spend time with your money. Get to know your spending habits and patterns. If you can’t manage your money while you’re poor, getting rich won’t solve your problems.
Habit #5 – Watch the small costs
As a special note for traders, pay special attention to little costs. Things like a $19.95 per month subscription to a chatroom or a $39.95 per month research tool seem small, but they add up. Pick one option and stick with it.
Habit #6 – Pay yourself first
While you’re setting your budget? Make sure some of your income (most experts recommend 5-20%) is going to savings. Again, this isn’t sexy stuff, but remember that trades go bad. You might lose your job. Having savings in place is what’ll let you bounce back.
Habit #7 – Prioritize your schedule
This one really kills me. I hear from so many people who want to be rich, but tell me that they don’t have the time to learn. And do you know where you’d find them every night? Sitting on the couch, watching TV, gaming or wasting time on the internet.
Down time is important, but be real with yourself. I bet you can free up a few hours to study if you really tried.
Habit #8 – Find a mentor
Don’t be that guy.
If you’re serious about becoming a millionaire, find somebody who’s done what you want to do and then learn from them. If you want to trade penny stocks, join my millionaire challenge program. If you want to learn how to be successful with Instagram, go learn from Anthony Carbone.
Whatever you want to do, there’s someone out there who can give you a leg up.ear
Habit #9 – Get comfortable with risk
Want to start a company? There’s a (big) risk it’ll fail.
Planning to get rich by climbing the corporate ladder? There’s always a risk it’ll close or you’ll be laid off.
Life is risky – you can’t avoid it. But you can make sure you’re taking calculated risks and that you’re smart about doing so. Just remember, the rewards you get in life are generally proportional to the risks you take.
Habit #10 – Define your success
This is a big one. The rich don’t just want to be “rich.” They have specific goals they’re working towards, whether that’s a certain net worth, an exact annual income or having enough money to take a luxury vacation, buy a sports car or do something else.
You need to know what success means to you if you’re going to achieve it.
Habit #11 – Set clear goals
Once you have your own definition of success, you need clear goals to back it up.
Want to have a net worth of $1 million? Make a plan to get there. If you’re starting with a portfolio of $1,000, how many trades do you need to make if you’re averaging 20-40% growth on each trade and winning 75% of your trades? When do you plan to hit specific milestones, like $25,000, $100,000 or $500,000?
Be detailed. Make it real. The clearer your plan is, the easier it’ll be to follow.
Habit #12 – Visualize results
Have some fun with this one. Once you’ve set your financial goals, invest some serious time visualizing what it’ll be like to achieve them. Imagine where you’ll travel, what you’ll buy, or how you’ll give back.
Trust me. You’re going to have bad days. Having this vision at the front of your mind is what’ll help you get through.
Habit #13 – Stop fearing failure
Guess what? I’ve been trading for nearly two decades, and I still fail all the time. I make dumb mistakes. I do things I know I shouldn’t.
You’re going to do the same.
Quit getting your ego wrapped up in your failures. Accept them, and then move on. The more you do, the less you’ll have to fear from failure – and the less it’ll hold you back.
Habit #14 – Spend time with millionaires
I heard somewhere that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. So let me ask you, do the people in your life help you or hold you back?
If you want to become a millionaire, go find one to spend time with. Hell, find five of them. Watch what they do and emulate their habits. If you’re perceptive, you’ll learn more this way than you ever would in a few years at business school. That’s why I’m SO proud that my first few millionaire trading challenge now help me mentoring other trading challenge students too, we have a VERY powerful community!
Habit #15 – Stay healthy
Believe me, I get how hard it can be not to compromise your health for your other goals. Sitting in front of four computer monitors watching charts and trading platforms for hours on end isn’t exactly healthy, especially if you pair it with bad food and too much beer.
You only get one body, and one shot at keeping it healthy. Make the decisions you need to to stay healthy, or that one show will be taken away from you.
Habit #16 – Love the process
Let’s say you set your net worth goal for $1 million. What happens when you hit that number? Some of my students have achieved that in just a few years – so are you just going to give up when it happens to you?
The thing is, money itself shouldn’t be your goal. You have to love the process. You have to love stock trading, business building or whatever path you’re taking enough that it alone is enough for you. If all you’re working towards is an end result, your motivation is going to dry up as soon as you hit a rough patch.
Habit #17 – Stop making excuses
Finally, millionaires don’t make excuses. When they encounter a problem, they find ways around it – they don’t just give up because they hit a roadblock.
I could make a thousand excuses every day. I could complain about being too tired, or that my long hours sometimes keep me away from my fiancee and my family. I’m sure you’ve got your own list of woes. Giving in to them is comfortable, but comfortable won’t turn you into a millionaire. Getting over yourself, identifying excuses when you want to make them, and then kicking them to the curb instead will.