These 17 Habits Made Me a Millionaire

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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?

Our habits.

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

man waking up and snoozing the alarm

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.

Supplement your reading with my DVDs and with studying stock charts, but if you really want to get ahead, set aside at least 15-20 minutes a day for actual eyeballs-on-paper reading.

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

Collecting Money For Travel. Glass Tin As Moneybox With Cash Sav

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

If I’d had a teacher when I first started trading penny stocks, I bet I could have become a millionaire in half the time (and saved myself a ton of unnecessary losses at the same time).

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.

Habit #9 – Get comfortable with risk

It’s kind of a no-brainer to say that there’s risk involved in trading penny stocks. But there’s risk involved in improving yourself in pretty much any kind of way.

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

Think Big

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

Walking Or Running Legs In Forest, Adventure And Exercising

This is another quote I have to share, from this great writer: “You can’t get rich from a hospital bed. Or a grave.”

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.

So now, I want to hear from you. Which of these habits will you commit to changing today as you become a millionaire? Leave me a comment below:


Posted in Hard Work, Millionaire Habits

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Timothy Sykes

Hey Everyone,

As many of you already know I grew up in a middle class family and didn't have many luxuries. But through trading I was able to change my circumstances --not just for me -- but for my parents as well. I now want to help you and thousands of other people from all around the world achieve similar results!

Which is why I've launched my millionaire challenge. I’m extremely determined to create a millionaire trader out of one my students and hopefully it will be you.

So when you get a chance make sure you check it out.

PS: Don't forget to check out my free Penny Stock Guide, it will teach you everything you need to know about trading. :)

  1. Quentin

    Love the article, Timothy! I’m still doing my absolute best to improve myself and my trading. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Lars

    I absolutely love this post 🙂
    Thanks Tim for all what you do!

    I will focus on getting up early because sometimes I sleep until 12pm 😉

    Thanks again!

  3. Elaine F.

    Ever since I saw you on Steve Harvey , I immediately started reading all about you. Started the process of doing everything I need to do (per your recommendations). I received all your homeworks and now I’m waiting for the interview. As far as the 17 habits, no problem. I already do 15 out of 17. Keep up the good work as I consider you my mentor.
    Thank you

  4. Riz Badshah

    Thank You Tim for an awesome post. I really needed this to re-charge and get focused towards attaining my financial freedom goals.
    Continued Success,

  5. Bud Fox

    Excellent advice Tim Sykes. Will be applying all of the habits to my Life. I was surprised to see how much you sound like another financial author, Dave Ramsey. It always all comes back to the budget and tracking every dollar.

  6. Rick Hudson


    New challenge student. Studying like crazy. I used to trade several years a go. You made me realize that this is my passion. This is what I am meant to do. Great article. Your tireless dedication to teaching traders is amazing to me. Thanks for all you do.

  7. Shaya Dank

    Hey Tim thank you for this excellent article, I spend a lot of time reading, I’m starting a business currently while working as a chef at a 5 star restaurant and a private chef, I’m looking to step up to a part time private chef and launch my business. Articles like yours are what inspires me on bad days to keep going. Thank you again,

    Shaya Dank.

  8. Jesse

    Great article i do want to be a millionaire i just got laid off from the oil patch and i have 1000 bucks going in an account this week but i have 2 straight months of studying over 1000 videos on profitly and doing my own research i would say i have to stop spending.

  9. Deka

    Hello Tim, I have been doing 15 out of 17 habits from in the past 6 months. I am investing in penny stock, watching your daily videos, DVDs, watchlist, I’m investing also in real estate and start ups. I stay open to any business opportunity in order to reach my goal. The only difficulty I have is to find millionnaires and spend time with them and to find a mentor. I am meeting a lot of people, doing pr, attending cocktail but I realize that money is taboo and just a few people are willing to talk about this subject. Do you have any recommendations as to how and where can I find millionnaires and being sure they are millionnaires?!

  10. Shashi Khanna

    Thanks very much Tim for the awesome posts. The latest one is absolutely a Brain Opener! I have not started trading as yet. I am still a learner.But i love reading your posts.You make so much sense! Thanks very much for enlightening.God Bless You!

  11. Fabion

    Waking up early and reading more is a start for me. I love this post and very one last habit is attainable.

  12. Mh

    Awesome advice.. forwarded it to my children! Maybe coming from you the advice I have been giving them will start to sink in..

  13. Aris

    Hi Tim,

    I’m from Indonesia…your article is great to motivate you know ..I try to invest my money in stock (IHSG)..but trading is not my you know if we alot transaction in market..the happiest person are broker and also the tax department..they will cut our profit with commission and also the tax income…so i like to keep my money in stock for long long time (investor)

  14. Mary Foster

    Every habit you mentioned makes total sense. I need wake earlier and read more. Can wait to work with you. Did I apply for your MILLIONARE CHALENGE? Hell Yes??

  15. Cornell Thomas

    Timothy thanks for an amazing blog. Im a speaker and author and one of the toughest obstacles for people to get past are their own self limiting beliefs. We are so conditioned to be average that most people can never see themselves even being millionaires let alone taking the action steps outside of their comfort zone to be one. This was my first time on your site and like you hear I’m assuming everyday I’m extremely glad I stopped by!!

  16. Tommy Kusk

    Hi Timothy

    All of them, BUT those i want to do MORE of, is that i will start to change when i raise from the bed, so i can get more shit done!
    And Prioritise my time, to read/learn more, so i can be a MUCH better trader/investor and leader..

  17. Sean


    Nice post. After reading it I can see that I need to treat my time more like a business. Specifically, I need to write down some clear goals with a clear action plan to achieve them within a realistic timeframe. I have a pretty good financial IQ and already practice a lot of the things you mentioned. However, I’m more of a creative person which tends to make me a little unorganized and sometimes even “scatterbrained”. That’s why I can see that I need to definitely make a written plan (business and marketing) and also possibly look into getting a mentor to keep me in check.

    Once again, nice article. I’ve learned a lot just off of your videos and posts.

    Thanks again,


  18. Rodion

    Hey Tim,

    Love them all. Need to regain momentum because I, as of Dec 26 2015, impulsively decided to move to Russia after living my entire life in Canada. I stumbled upon you a few months ago, but I had a good job with good pay and didn’t take as serious. Considering the fact that Russia has very low wages and the only way to really make money here is through criminal activities (no lie), I’ve decided to take this game more seriously. And will now be dedicating myself to the trading game.

    I believe #3 really applies for me right now. As I’ve learned to earn 120k+ per year while in Canada and have gone way off budgeting. #1 won’t be applied as much because of the time differences and I will be living more the North American time in order to trade.

    Thank you for the article. I rewrote it so that I can see it every day to remind myself.

    PS. : really really really interested in your challenge. Please email me, I’d like to get mentored.

  19. Eulamae

    Hey Tim. I recently started reading your post and watching your videos. I really like what I’m hearing. I just retired so I had the privlege of getting up when i wanted to. But thats over now. Im gonna start getting up early, turn on my computer and start reading what Tim has on his site. Read learn and put all that to work.

  20. Todd Edwards

    This is the type of article that I needed to read at this very moment. I’m starting to follow you and I am excited to learn from the best penny stock trader. Everything starts with an idea. Visualization is so powerful. I can’t wait to meet you and tell you thanks in person.

  21. Tammie

    Hi Tim

    I’m going to start with waking up early and read the aspects of trading.
    I must admit I wear invisible handcuffs because of fearing failure, I try not to let fear get in the way but sometimes I just can’t shake it when things get scary out ther…for example (I stopped working to finish my book).

    I need to be comfortable with the risks I take.

    I’ve always surrounded myself with family and friends that are doing well because they had reached goals I wanted, but none millionaire…I guess, I need to find me a millionaire uh!

  22. Maria Rivera

    knowledge is the key to everything , therefore I will be reading taking risk and figuring out how to over come obstacles I’ve had many in my lifetime. I will stay focused on my goals and setting new ones as old ones are reached. make it a point to keep track of my spending.

  23. Charles Moran

    This is great advice, and will commit to all of these habits. You have to learn to take risks responsibly, you’ve got to love what you do as well as love what you had to do to get there. These aren’t just everyday habits, most of these are rules you should follow for the rest of your life.

  24. Raj Singh

    Thank you so much Tim for the awesome post. I already do few of the things you have mentioned here, specially reading daily. But the main thing I have to apply is wake up early in the morning and obviously just focusing into my goals (no excuses).

  25. Dr Kevwe

    Amazing steps spelt out here Timothy. Thanks a bunch. Not one of these steps seems easy;not even staying healthy but with sheer determination,they are all achievable. I will ensure to write them out and begin to take action.

  26. Dr Kevwe

    Getting comfortable with risk can be solitary and unsexy but I am on one of such moments. I am confident it will pan out well,even if it looks foolish and ambiguous for now.

  27. Nico Scardino

    #10-Define Success
    I’d like to reach a net worth in mind
    Travel to different places
    Be able to obtain things and grow my own empire.
    #2- Read
    I believe that knowledge is power and with it anyone
    anyone can grow.

  28. Eric Cruz

    love this blog Tim, I agree with it completely that’s why I think its so interesting. Its a great book I read called morning miracle that helped me develop most of these habits I wake up every morning at 6 am and accomplish 6 of these habits before 10 am. I just need to stop fearing failure I’m working that everyday. I hope I get accepted to your millionaire challenge I will become the next millionaire student learning your strategies.

  29. Brayan Martinez

    Well, all are completely true, but one I always miss to to be very clear writing down my goals. Tim, so far I have encountered your ideas and enthusiastic spirit like mine. Since I started my major in accounting and little before it, I started tracking all my expenses in a spreadsheet everyday. I think I have most of the 17 habits already reached and a mindset prepared to the challenge you want and be part of your team of students.

  30. Michael Caballero

    Tim –

    Right now, I think the most important habit for me to commit to is number 16: Love the Process. Right now for me, this habit encompasses many of the other habits, and I am looking forward to loving this process!

    Thank you!

  31. Armando Martinez

    I absolutely love this… Specially #17 we have to stop making excuses, we have to love to take risks because that will us to success.


    Am definitely going to start with number 1 and 2 immediately by setting my alarm for wake up time since I while away time sleeping and watching TV. Thanks Tim as I begin this new journey with you as my mentor.

  33. David MacCormack

    Very useful article! I think the greatest challenge for me will be to stop making excuses. We all have many things going on in our busy lives, which can create you to lose focus of your goals, or drain your energy in order to achieve them. Cut the garbage and the sour attitude and realize that your goals should be what motivate you to push past that. If they don’t, then you aren’t setting high enough goals 🙂

  34. AL

    I have all these habbits the reason why one day a millionire saw me at work, he asked me a few questions about myself and said ” I seen me in you” everytime we meet and have a few conversations he tells me the same thing. ” I seen me in you”.

  35. Waseem Mehmood

    I absolutely love this post, very true to achieve and gauge successes. I used to do stock trading part time a while ago but not much success that time, I need to refocus myself and apply some new methods. I first read about you while looking for successful bloggers online. #7 and #8 is tough to keep up but can be doable with time.
    Thanks Tim for all what you do!

  36. Rich

    This is a great article to help with self reflection, I personally am going to create clear goals for myself. I am grateful to be able to read and watch Tim’s tutorials and blogs. Thank you Tim for devoting your time and energy into our (the little guys) success!!

  37. David Johnson

    Tim this is a great article I have had most of these habits of success I have had my lazy times but I am inproving my boring old habits and getting better my wife and I are growing our trading knowledge.Thanks for your help.

  38. Pedro Nascimento

    hi Tim, i read a few books about this subject, it’s hard to change i came across a few quit temptations, but i’ve change almost everything in my live and the last step to become a milionar and a multi-milionare is to learn from you and i allready began.

  39. Joshua Kasitati

    Reading these 17 things reminded me of J.C. Jobs and his books I have read. Very true, and very important! I have already changed so many pieces of my life and my children’s lives and we practice Rich Habits. From the way we eat, to exercise and reading, and limiting TV/game time. We are always trying to self improve. I love this! I am now focused on reading and learning and soaking up everything I can about trading.

  40. Craig Heynen

    It’s nice to read the articles from professional thinkers that actually have done it and gained ,, have all the things around me to do it budgets understanding being careful and yes reading and understanding the big picture too it all ,.,. Everytime I start reading articles from you Wall Street wolfs sort of speak gets me so anxious to get started thanks so much for your media

  41. Hope Raboy

    Thanks a lot Sir Timothy for your kindness. I don’t have any to pay back you, I just only cast all your kindness to the almighty GOD, because HE can give you more than I can. Again, thank you very vevy much Sir Timothy.

  42. femmes cougars

    My partner and I stumbled over here different page and thought I should check things
    out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to checking out your web page repeatedly.

  43. Samuel Bryant

    Thanks Tim, these are all great tips . One may choose any at any point and time and at any level and shove prove to be successful. I am just starting and would choose a mentor for technical details. Again, all are GREAT!

  44. Marlin Jantjies

    Thank you Timothy Sykes.habit 12 13 and 14 are where i need to improve more.great motivation and inspiration.At this point in time of my life i am willing to risk it all and change my ways because clearly things i did in the pass have not made me a millionare yet.So now i am trying to get the right tools for the job and it is clearly a blessing meeting someone like you at this point of time in my life.

  45. Justin Arteta

    Te quiero dar las gracias por ser una persona que me motive en mi camino de ser un gran Multimillonario que estoy seguro de ser, pero también darte las gracias por estos concejos de hábitos de multimillonario.
    Pd: Soy de Colombia Latino América, espero conocerte pronto.

  46. Lloyd Baras

    At a time when there is little opportunity for someone of my age finding you is a miracle!
    Being in textile manufacturing all my life, working harder every year and relying on poor suppliers, just to see my customers shrinking and eventually going out of business. Having to invest a lot of money in machinery, new products and inventory and in the end its not even worth ten cents to the dollar. I did love the creativity in the fashion busines but it became impossible to survive. I thought I may have to drive for UBER and was very sad to think this may be my only option. Finding you has given me hope of a better life. And I do consider this a business. I don’t think there is any business that you can start with such a small amount of capital and have a chance to be financially sound.
    And I agree the best investment is in yourself.
    I love all of your advice and your honest heart.
    Helping others is very rewarding. I can’t wait to get started. I hope I succeed so that I may also be able to help others. I can’t thank you enough for your life changing opportunity.
    The best to you and your team, Lloyd

  47. Tim

    Thanks Tim. I hear what your saying and its habits that have to be broken, and breaking the habits is the hard part. I’m going to start implementing these habits and stay focused. Thanks for the tips!

  48. Shannon

    #17 Making excuses is mainly what I need and want to change. It has become a routine for so long that I’m getting depressed. It just hurts when I can’t afford the small things during holidays, birthdays, or when school is out for the summer.

  49. Jay

    I’m picking 2…I’m no longer going to fear failure ..and I’m looking for a millionaire to spend time with

  50. DNN

    And I think it’s safe to say you forgot to say wake up in the middle of the night and write lots and lots of content for the site and be willing to gain weight by losing lots of sleep while building your business in the process.

  51. Rachana

    Hi Tim, thanks for your tips, after reading I think I need mentors, schedule my time and no more excuse.

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