Individual Characteristics of a Millionaire

Introduction: Millionaires today do share many characteristics that make for a lifestyle that is focused on their business, due to their passion, goals, and mindset. Passion drives us to work on what we enjoy. Goals give us a target to focus on. Mindset is the way we think and is usually based on our experiences, what our parents valued, and the belief that opportunity is yours for the taking. Included in those three parts of our character are honesty, integrity, perseverance, optimism, focus, and drive.

What a person must know before deciding to take the first steps to becoming wealthy is that we are in charge of our own actions, thinking, and decisions. This is not a small piece of the puzzle. To keep in front of yourself that you are the result of what you do will lead you to change some things and strengthen others. The importance of knowing and believing this concept, that you can become what it will take, is the basis for everything else. Every millionaire was in your seat at one time or another and every millionaire decided to make changes in himself, his surroundings, his thinking, his actions, and his habits to become a millionaire. If you already had these developed, you would already be a millionaire. The younger a child develops these characteristics, the earlier they will be able to control their own lives in order to reach their own goals.

It is important to understand that everyone does not have the goal of becoming rich. Many are content and satisfied to earn enough to get by. They have no wish to work hard, spend most of their time on a business, or feel the need to have more money. What one must understand is that the world is full of many people and they are diverse. Don't expect everyone to understand your own mindset or what you are about. Be what you need to be, and let others be happy to do the same. It is not a failure to not be wealthy. It is not about failure or success. You can be very successful at what you do and earn little money. You can feel good about what you do when you are following your beliefs. At the end of life, each person must only feel as though they have lived in a way that is fulfilling. What it is for each of us is very different.

First Examine Your Passion: Some people develop passions in specific areas like science, or art, or music, or helping others. Our passions are one of the basic motivations for choosing a profession. I like children, so I want to teach. I enjoy helping others and love to cook, so catering is a good goal. I love science and tinker around on computers all the time, so I pursue a technology education. Sounds good doesn't it? But there is a problem with all of this. If you move through life on your passions alone, you may not be entirely satisfied.

Letting your passion rule your life is a myopic way to live. You will be set up to lose everything if your passion fades, or your ability to support that passion changes. It also encapsulates your mind to the detriment of everything else in the world. It can lead to obsessive actions, social stigma, and financial ruin. Before you can find success in life, you have to have a broader base; one that will help you balance out the bumps in the road. You might also miss out on a lot of what life has to offer if you build a box around one issue. It goes back to the old adage that a little bit of something can go a long way, but a lot of that same thing can drag you down.

Secondly Examine Your Goals: Few people have only one goal in life. They may say they do. For instance, you've heard people claim that all I want to do is get rich, or all I want is a job that supports my family. It's never true. There are always other things they want with that. All goals are a series of steps. You cannot set the goal to become a millionaire without setting up some shorter term goals on how you will make it happen. These short-term goals are often called your objectives. It's all semantics and it doesn't matter what you call them. If you have a goal, then you have to have a plan that lines out how you will attain that goal. Like most things in life, if you don't plan for it, it won't happen. Another way to put it is, if you don't decide how your life will go, then others will decide for you. Know what you want, and how you will get it.

So your target is making a million dollars. First you have to allow yourself to think independently. Find your own convictions and develop your own vision. Be specific about it and concrete. Put your dream on the table and in the plan. Write it down. Put a date beside it. Now it's real. Next write down a list of behaviors you need to delete from your life, and a list of those you need to become habit. Number them in the order you feel is important or in the order that will work for you. Put a date by each one. Next write down what skills you have, and what skills you think you will need. This plan will be reviewed, updated, and rearranged often -- so don't sweat over it. Under the skills you need to learn, write down how you intend to do just that. And, yes, put a "to do by" date on each one. Remember that so much can be learned by apprenticing someone else, by getting a mentor, and by learning on the computer free of charge.

An entrepreneur, or an emerging millionaire, must have the ability to sell his ideas and concepts to others in some way. This almost always requires computer skills, and often, good social and communication skills. Jump in and figure it out -- or get a partner to help you in your quest. It's just like playing games. You don't really get the gist of it, until you've played it many times. You discover the strategies along the way. Being an entrepreneur requires becoming like a child again. You strike out on your own path, enjoy the ride, and figure it out as you go.

There will be sacrifices. You won't have much free time. Your friends and family will be demanding of your time, people will expect you to get a regular job, you may have to downsize in a big way, and trade your car for a bike. What you are giving up today will fuel your future. It is your investment in your goal. It is a good thing to live like you have nothing. Maybe you really have nothing. If so then you are halfway there. Be ready to risk relationships, a regular income, approval of others, and sleeping in. To develop the characteristics of a millionaire means hard work, perseverance, and focus. You will have no time or energy to spend on other things that matter to other people. Draw your lines in a place that you can live with. Your life is about to change.

Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Habits of Millionaires course?

Lastly, examine your mindset: What is a mindset? A mindset is an established way of thinking about things. You develop one naturally, shaped by your experiences, your family values, and your education. It is possible to change your mindset. If you did not grow up thinking you had to work hard every day, you can teach it to yourself. If you did not grow up thinking that you can learn anything, then you have to develop that kind of thinking. If you did not grow up with parents who shared a passion, if you were pampered, or not allowed to take risks, then you have a lot to overcome, but you can do it.

All behavior begins in the brain. You do nothing without your mind thinking it first. So with that "in mind" you will understand that you have to learn to discipline and control your own mind. If you've quit smoking, overcome a trauma, or made it out of any pit of despair, then you have already learned much about how to become what you think. First you have to know how you want to think or process information. There are choices. People process information in many different ways. Get a big piece of chart paper and tape it on your wall. Make a T chart. On one side, list what you are in control of. For example: able to get up and go to work early, saving money, exercising, good eating habits, using my time to learn things, improve my skills, make my own decisions, think independently, balance my passion with my goals, etc. On the other side, list those things over which you do not have total control, for example: healthy lifestyle, socializing, drinking, spending money, needing to own things, watching too much television, relationships, wasting time in other ways, allowing myself to choose laziness, etc.

Now the hard work begins. You have to learn discipline -- step one toward any goal. You have to get a mindset that you control. You have to make decisions about what you want and create it if you don't have it. You brain controls your actions, but if you practice acting like you want to think, eventually your brain will begin to process these actions as your mindset. It is simple psychology. You don't need to buy a program that plays positive messages while you sleep, or a book that gives you seven ways to create a millionaire mindset; you have to do the hard work. You can read all the books in the world, but it still comes down to knowing how your mind processes, and then setting out to make it process in a way that will help you meet your goals. Simple, but not easy.

Summary: If you want to be a millionaire, you have every opportunity to do so, but you will have to work hard. You have to find a balance between your mindset, your passion, and your goals. To work hard for years, you have to have discipline, a love of your work, and a plan, so you can pay attention to your progress and where you are on the path. It is important to stop and examine your inner self often, alone, in a place without interruption and be willing to tweak your plans as you go. Remember that you will not know everything, and as you progress, learn, and make discoveries, you will want to rethink each step, re-examine your goals, and refresh your creativity.

Most wealthy people did not begin life in a wealthy family. Most had to change the way they thought about life in some way. Most had to learn new things as they went, and most had to change their habits. Think of characteristics as a set of new clothes. When you put on dress clothes, polish your shoes, and get your hair cut, you feel more successful. When you make a plan that is about what you enjoy, and you work hard toward goals you have set, you feel more successful. What will help one person get to those goals will be different from another. There is no "one-size-fits-all" way to go. To become an entrepreneur is to be independent, to sometimes go it alone, and be intentional about what you are doing, where you are going, and how you will get there. If you don't have a concrete plan, written down, and kept in front of you, then you aren't being intentional.

Take time to reflect, and be willing to make changes in your plan. When you don't have skills, pull in others to work around you who do have the skills and learn from them. You don't have to know how to do everything, you just have to know how to get it done. Learn, grow, believe in yourself, but not to the point that you don't listen to others. Be humble and let information dwell in your brain awhile before you make decisions. Know your strengths and your weaknesses and develop those characteristics that create the millionaire thinking process. This will lay the foundation for moving forward toward your goals. Don't rush the process. Take each step carefully, thoughtfully, and with your eyes open. You will not succeed without some risk, and you will not risk without having to climb over obstacles. So plan to face failure and you will find success.

Remember to act like you want to naturally behave. Practice, hard work, and perseverance will get you there. Behave in the manner you want to become habitual. Before you realize it those millionaire characteristics will be part of your repertoire. You will become an emerging millionaire and on the way to joining the coveted club.

Example: Neetu wanted to start his own educational publication company and build it up until he was making millions of dollars. He loved writing educational materials and was good at it, but he was not socially inclined. He decided to take some business courses at the community college. An older man who knew Neetu asked him if he'd like to work part time in the office at his company a few hours a week, to develop some communication skills. Neetu declined, stating that with his classes and his freelance writing, he didn't think he really had the time. Neetu knew he had to work hard to figure out how to set up his company, so he studied many hours. That left him little time to keep up with his gym workouts and he began to eat too much junk food. He figured, he'd get back on course after he finished his classes. By the time the first semester ended, Neetu was stressed and tired all the time. He wondered if he was on the right path for himself.

Consider this:

1. Becoming a millionaire will only happen if you are able to manage your lifestyle and develop good habits.

2. Giving to a good cause can be a motivating aspect of your plan to become wealthy.

3. Creating characteristics that will make you a better human being will also help you become wealthy.

4. No one lives in a vacuum. Each person, especially those with money, needs to find a way to "give back" to the world. A wealthy person who steps on others, is careless, and inconsiderate of life is severely lacking in self-esteem.

5. The more confident you become, the more independent you are, the more you need to listen, observe and reflect. It will serve you well.