7 Habits That Help Your Kids Be­come Rich And Suc­cess­ful


We are the prod­ucts of our habits and our scope of knowl­edge, and we pass those down through gen­er­a­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Tom Cor­ley, an au­thor, CPA and fi­nan­cial plan­ner, wealthy peo­ple have vastly dif­fer­ent habits than poor ones. Cor­ley’s new book co-au­thored with Michael Yard­ney, Rich Habits, Poor Habits, will come out in the United States in Oc­to­ber (it’s al­ready been re­leased in Aus­tralia and the United King­dom). Cor­ley says that the main dif­fer­ence is that rich peo­ple have a “growth” mind­set, and they pass that along to their kids.

Cor­ley con­ducted a sur­vey by in­ter­view­ing 233 wealthy peo­ple who make $160,000 or more in an­nual in­come and hold at least $3.2 mil­lion in net liq­uid as­sets (177 of whom were self-made, com­ing from poverty or the mid­dle class) and 128 poor peo­ple who make less than $35,000 per year and have less than $5,000 in as­sets. Over five years, Cor­ley posed 144 ques­tions in 20 cat­e­gories to each per­son and saw dis­tinct pat­terns emerge.

Here’s one caveat about Cor­ley’s study: It’s much eas­ier to cre­ate wealth when you have fam­ily re­sources, con­nec­tions and know-how. For many peo­ple, it’s nearly im­pos­si­ble to break out of the poverty

cy­cle—es­pe­cially when you add in sys­temic bi­ases that keep women, peo­ple of color, LGBTQ and other marginal­ized peo­ple from mak­ing less and hav­ing fewer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“Pur­su­ing suc­cess, par­tic­u­larly when you’re poor, you have to bust through so many hur­dles—so many more hur­dles than say some­body who’s in the up­per-mid­dle class would have to break through,” Cor­ley said. “This idea of per­sis­tence, this re­lent­less per­sis­tence to sin­gle minded fo­cus on what your end is, your vi­sion.”

He says that any­one try­ing to break through a glass ceil­ing might need to find a men­tor of sim­i­lar de­mo­graph­ics who has gone be­fore if the fam­ily isn’t help­ful. “That’s the whole idea about the rich habits, is that you just du­pli­cate what some­body else is do­ing in terms of their habits,” he said, “They’re go­ing to have cer­tain habits, cer­tain be­hav­iors, cer­tain think­ing that you don’t have. Then you can just em­u­late them. Plus, it’s part of the as­so­ci­at­ing with other like-minded peo­ple. You want to as­so­ciate with other peo­ple who are do­ing what you’re try­ing to do. … If you build re­la­tion­ships with them, they’ll help you by open­ing up the doors, shar­ing in­for­ma­tion with you, men­tor­ing you.”

Cor­ley says his re­search re­vealed that wealthy peo­ple cul­ti­vate the fol­low­ing habits, and pass them to their chil­dren: Read­ing: Cor­ley found that 88% of the rich folks in his study

spent 30 min­utes or more ev­ery day read­ing to learn, whether it was about money, how to suc­ceed in their in­dus­try, self-help, bi­ogra­phies of suc­cess­ful peo­ple and his­tory. “The rich peo­ple were read­ing all sorts of things that help them un­der­stand to be more suc­cess­ful in life. The poor just weren’t do­ing that,” he said. But be­fore you jump to the con­clu­sion that poor peo­ple don’t have time to read be­cause of work, child­care or other is­sues, the study also found that poor peo­ple watch way more tele­vi­sion than the wealthy. Chil­dren who grow up to be suc­cess­ful were also en­cour­aged to read, even if their par­ents were un­e­d­u­cated.

Cul­ti­vat­ing re­la­tion­ships: ”You want to as­so­ciate with those peo­ple that typ­i­cally up­beat, op­ti­mistic, en­thu­si­as­tic, pos­i­tive types.” Cor­ley said. If you’re not in a cir­cle that meets that cri­te­ria, vol­un­teer­ing at a com­mu­nity non­profit is a good way to find them. “They’re usu­ally the suc­cess­ful peo­ple in the com­mu­nity. These peo­ple can open up a lot of doors for oth­ers,” he said. “I was on four dif­fer­ent boards at one time, or four dif­fer­ent non­prof­its, and even­tu­ally I rose to be­come one of the board mem­bers. I’ve got­ten so much busi­ness from it. I’ve also helped peo­ple get jobs through these non­prof­its.” He also spoke about the value of the lost art of a well-timed phone call to rec­og­nize a birth­day, con­do­lence, grad­u­a­tion, pro­mo­tion or sim­ple hello in this Face­book

“likes” age. “Now you can take these phone call habits and sep­a­rate your­self from the herd by the com­pe­ti­tion by just mak­ing a phone call.” Ex­er­cis­ing: Cor­ley said he was sur­prised to learn that so many wealthy peo­ple had ex­er­cise in com­mon, but when he dug deeper, he saw the ob­vi­ous­ness of it. Be­cause ex­er­cise im­proves brain per­for­mance by in­creas­ing the amount of oxy­gen and help­ing the health of the neu­rons, peo­ple who ex­er­cise think faster and have bet­ter mem­o­ries—which make you more com­pet­i­tive in the work­place. Manag­ing anger: It’s nor­mal to feel anger and frus­tra­tion, but how you ex­press it can make

or break your suc­cess. ”Anger, I found in re­search, was one of the most costly emo­tions. No mat­ter how many good habits you had, if you didn’t have con­trol over your emo­tions, you lit­er­ally wipe out all the good that you do, be­cause you dam­age re­la­tion­ships with peo­ple who would oth­er­wise want to help you in life,” he said. In his study, he found that the suc­cess­ful peo­ple chose their words care­fully.

Ex­plor­ing tal­ents: When kids are lit­tle, they get to do a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties such as art, mu­sic, the­ater and sports. But as they get older, they fo­cus on just one or two. “That’s such a big mis­take, be­cause un­less you’re ex­pos­ing your kids to a broad range of ac­tiv­i­ties, how on earth are you go­ing to find out where their in­ner tal­ent lies? I think it’s im­por­tant that par­ents un­der­stand they need to ex­pose their kids to nu­mer­ous ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing a sin­gle year, and then change those ac­tiv­i­ties up.”

Keep­ing an abun­dance mind­set: Of all the habits, this is the most sig­nif­i­cant that plays out in ev­ery as­pect of our lives. Our brains are wired to em­u­late our par­ents from the start. “We’re pick­ing up the habits, the be­hav­iors, the think­ing and the emo­tions of our par­ents sub­con­sciously with­out us even know­ing it,” Cor­ley said. That in­cludes bad habits such as ad­dic­tion to drugs, al­co­hol, TV, gam­bling, so­cial me­dia, etc. He knows this one first­hand as one of eight chil­dren in a fam­ily that had money, and then lost it. His mother, a re­li­gious woman, would fre­quently quote the Bi­ble’s Mark 10:25—it is eas­ier for a camel to go through the eye of a nee­dle, than for a rich man to en­ter into the king­dom of God. “So I grew up think­ing that rich was bad, purs­ing wealth was bad,” Cor­ley said. “If you’re teach­ing your kids that, you’re dis­in­cen­tiviz­ing them from purs­ing suc­cess.”

Dream-set­ting: ”This is one of the most im­por­tant things that wealthy peo­ple do. So dream-set­ting is a process. It’s ba­si­cally vi­su­al­iz­ing what your ideal per­fect life would be,” Cor­ley said. The self-made mil­lion­aires in his study would map out what their

dreams are at least 10 years into the fu­ture, and then build goals around the dream to make it a re­al­ity. “I think this is where the goal set­ting process fails so many peo­ple, is they set goals, but the goals are not nec­es­sar­ily built around dreams, so it’s not a process, it’s just ran­dom things, like most peo­ple do it on Jan­uary first. You want to ac­tu­ally build an in­fra­struc­ture, a blue­print for your life. How do you do that? Well you do the script­ing process, you paint a pic­ture with words of your ideal per­fect life, you bul­let point each one of the dreams that are in that script, and then you at­tack each dream like it’s a rung on the lad­der.”

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