[Original post: The 10 Obsessions You Need to Have to Become a Self-Made Millionaire by Deep Patel.]
Becoming a successful entrepreneur and achieving millionaire status isn't easy -- less than 10 percent of the adults in Australia ever reach this goal. Most people give up along the way, becoming disenchanted when their business flat-lines or disillusioned when they feel they have failed.
The ones who succeed weren’t handed a golden ticket; it wasn’t chance that helped them cultivate their fortune. To reach millionaire status, you must be driven to reach your dreams. You must be obsessed in order to be successful.
These are the 10 obsessions every self-made millionaire has that give them an edge in creating success and wealth:
1. They are obsessed with chasing their dreams and goals.
You won’t become a self-made millionaire by sitting in a cubicle, making other people rich. You succeed by having dreams and goals of your own, and being driven to see them through. Self-made millionaires have ambitions and are willing to take risks to make those happen. They are passionate and relentless in their mission to succeed.
But dreams need a framework to follow in order to become reality. Successful people know they must set highly defined goals with hard deadlines. They set short-term goals and long-term goals. They write to-do lists. They know exactly what they want and how to get there. While the middle class sets their expectations at achieving comfort, self-made millionaires push beyond the average. They believe in creating their own opportunities.
2. They are obsessed with reading and improving their knowledge base.
Successful people never get tired of learning new things. They thrive on knowledge. They are voracious readers because they’re constantly curious about the world around them. Nothing can quell their desire to educate themselves.
This obsession serves them well, as it improves their insight not only into their business, but into seemingly unrelated areas that also benefit them. It helps them develop both a depth and breadth of wisdom that they can draw from, and it fuels their creativity and ingenuity.
Self-made millionaires believe that books are the gateway to knowledge, and they carefully select what they read. The more you read, the more you question things, and the more open you’ll be when opportunity knocks.
3. They work obsessively to maximize their strengths.
Instead of wasting time focusing on weaknesses, self-made millionaires home in on their strengths. They focus on their “superpower,” the thing they are instinctively great at doing.
Your superpower is something you probably love doing anyway, and the more you work at it, the better you become at it. By focusing your attention on areas you are already talented in, you further refine and improve your skills and you’ll excel far beyond the competition.
By comparison, focusing entirely on improving areas you are weak in will likely only yield mediocre results. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do your best to be well rounded or try to polish skills that would benefit you. But knowing your strengths and using them to your advantage will set you apart.
4. They are obsessed with moving forward and breaking boundaries.
Success rarely comes in a steady flow. It often comes in fits and spurts: one step forward, two steps back. Success comes as part of a pattern of consistently looking for ways to push things forward, even when it feels like you’re treading water. Eventually, even baby steps add up.
When failure strikes, self-made millionaires don’t give up. They take a hard look at what happened, learn what they can from their mistakes and press on. Sometimes those very failures will be the catalyst they need to break boundaries and create something amazing. Sometimes a seeming defeat is the spark a self-made millionaire needs to find an edge, or the innovation that puts them on the road to success.
5. They are obsessed with working hard and playing hard.
Self-made millionaires don’t do anything halfway. Whether it’s putting in the extra time at work to complete a project or taking on a physical or mental challenge, they give it their all. They are willing to make sacrifices in the short term to reach their goals, but they remember to have fun along the way. They enjoy life and the fruits of their labor.
Self-made millionaires understand the importance of physical activity. They make time to work out even when they are busy, in part because it’s good for their body, but also because aerobic exercise helps fuel the brain. By keeping your body in shape, you are also keeping your mind nimble and ready for work.
6. They are obsessed with creating multiple income streams.
Self-made millionaires know they need more than one source of income in order to maintain profitability in the long run. They know it’s never a good idea to have all their eggs in one basket, so they constantly look for ways to diversify.
As obsessed as they may be with building their primary business, they are also mindful that multiple investments are key to building their wealth and creating financial stability. They know that failures happen. If one venture flops, their other investments will keep them afloat while they reset their course.
Self-made millionaires don’t focus on spending money; they focus on investing their money. They aim to stick to a budget and build their resources. By doing this, they are giving themselves financial peace of mind for the long run.
7. They are obsessed with surrounding themselves with great people.
Hard work and drive will propel you to success, but self-made millionaires also know the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people.
They chose their friends carefully. They are mindful about what kind of people they hire and how those people function as a team. They understand that the company they keep and the people they allow into their inner circle will undoubtedly be an influence on them. After all, the people we interact with ultimately impact how we think and feel.
Self-made millionaires look for positive people: those who are go-getters and visionaries; those who will inspire them to think beyond themselves. They look for people with different perspectives and ideas -- after all, it does you no good to hang out with clones of yourself. You should be around people who challenge you, who can push you out of your comfort zone. But you should also be around people who will do it with kindness, fairness and, most importantly, with a sense of humor.
8. They spend time letting their mind obsess.
Self-made millionaires make sure to carve out time each day to just think. They spend time brainstorming about their bigger dreams and laying out plans for how to achieve them. They think about their life, family and creating happiness with others.
They may ponder deep philosophical questions about life, but also focus on the nuts and bolts of their business and how to make more money. They consider what kind of relationships they are creating with others.
Creative and strategic thinking is like any other task: you get better at it the more you practice it. By giving yourself time every day to contemplate broader issues, you’re focusing on ways to improve and allowing yourself to see what adjustments are necessary to achieve your bigger goals.
9. They obsessively look for feedback from others.
You don’t become a successful millionaire in a vacuum. Whatever you accomplish and achieve, you do it because your clients, customers and employees are behind you. You must have the support of those around you. And the best way to maintain that support is to actively and continuously look for feedback from others.
Self-made millionaires are good listeners because they aren’t afraid of feedback. They know it will give them valuable insight. They are responsive to those around them -- they truly want to hear different points of view. They have the courage to open themselves up to criticism, knowing that hearing others out will help them see weak areas they may be blind to.
10. They are obsessed with going beyond expectations.
Finally, self-made millionaires succeed by making themselves invaluable. They go the extra mile to ensure they stand out from the rest. This means they don’t procrastinate or wait until things have piled up. They know that keeping good relationships with their customers and employees means always being one step ahead.
Successful people ask themselves what people expect and want. How do I exceed those expectations? How do I offer something that’s unique and surprising? If you are only aiming to hit the bottom rung, then that’s as far as you’ll get -- you’ll never rise above mediocrity.
Those who consistently excel are the ones who set the bar higher. Those are the people whose success surpasses even their wildest expectations.