1000 Real Millionaires Reveal Their Top 13 Success Secrets


“There are two fools in this world. One is the millionaire who thinks that by hoarding money he can somehow accumulate real power, and the other is the penniless reformer who thinks that if only he can take the money from one class and give it to another, all the world’s ills will be cured.”
~Henry Ford

For over a week I’ve been listening to The Millionaire Mind by Thomas J. Stanley while commuting in my car. He interviewed ~1000 millionaires since 1980 and taken very meticulous surveys of their responses.

Not only have I gained dozens of GEMS about what it takes to becoming a Millionaire from this program, but I learned to think different. I learned to think the way millionaire’s think, or so I hope!

One of the interesting survey questions is what all of those millionaires contributes their success to. So without further ado, here is a list of their top 13, from most important to least (but still really important). With my commentary.

Success Factors

  1. Being honest with all people. The great thing about this factor is that it is accessible to anyone and you can start right away. Just be honest. It sounds simple, but it requires a bit of courage at some points. So do it- it’s the top success factor.
  2. Having a supportive spouse. While being attracted to someone is really important, perhaps even necessary, it’s not the criteria by which one should go spouse-shopping. I would personally say, and the millionaires would agree, that having a kind, supportive spouse, who has similar goals, and is responsible is more important.
  3. Getting along with people. I can’t thing of having any job, business, or career that has zero involvement with people and has monetary value. You can see how this would be in the top 3, right?
  4. Loving career or business. The passion and love for your career will make work not work anymore. Sure it might be really hard at times. When you combine the passion with your discipline you will be propelled to new heights.
  5. Being physically fit. I stress this in many posts- exercise. If you aren’t taking care of your health, than your mind and body are not working optimally.
  6. Having strong leadership qualities. When it comes down to it you will want to delegate as much as you can and concentrate on more important issues. There is only one of you. having this skill is a top priority.
  7. Making wise investments.You can make high 6 figure incomes, but if the money doesn’t grow, or if you put it into losing investments than you aren’t optimizing your assets. You’re basically spinning your wheels and wasting your time. You want to reach a point where you could live off of the interest of your investments!
  8. Seeing business opportunities. The truth is if you’re in a niche market that is over saturated you’re going to have too much competition to make a real difference. Sure you might rise to the top, but that’s like the chance of you becoming a rock star- slim. If money is what you’re after, not the dream of being number 1 in ‘that’ field, than find an unoccupied niche.
  9. Being willing to take financial risk given the right return. One of the ways that I look at this is the financial risk of working for yourself instead of a big company. Yes, you’re risking you X-figure a year job, but the return that you could possibly get is way greater than this. Combined with #8 (seeing opportunities), and doing market research, the risk is much less than you think.
  10. Having good mentors. Learning amazing qualities from highly successful people is easier than learning the road on your own. Once your mentality is in the right place, actions are performed, and success follows.
  11. Investing in my own business. You have much more control over your own business than you do in the stock market. You can expand, make higher end products, or do whatever it takes to increase your own income.
  12. Living below your means. If your expenses are raising as fast as your income you’re never going to save a good amount- no matter what you’re income. When you live before your means and your income raises, do not increase your expenses. This gap will keep getting bigger and bigger and so will your net worth.
  13. Having excellent investment advisers. The truth is unless you’re an investment expert you don’t know the best place to put your money. The best people to execute your investments are financial advisers, but according to real millionaires the best people to give financial advice are knowledgeable CPAs and Lawyers.

All that’s left now is the hack your life by implementing these 13 success secrets and you’re on your way!

Posted by in Book Review, Money, Personal Development | March 28, 2008 | Digg | Del.icio.us | Stumble | Print | 17 comments

  • http://www.stanleybronstein.com Mr Positioning (Stanley Bronstein)


    I’m glad to see you finally got around to listening to that program. For all readers, he is absolutely correct. Dr. Thomas Stanley is one of my personal idols (and it’s not just because his last name is the same as my first).

    Anyone who wants to be successful should read this book (or listen to it . . .)

    Mr Positioning
    Stanley F. Bronstein
    Attorney, CPA & Professional Motivational Speaker

    • http://www.alexshalman.com Alex Shalman

      Thanks for sending it to me Stanley!

      This program is so long, I don’t think I’m even 1/2 done yet, been listening to it for awhile, and got so many gems from it.

      At one point around the beginning I was thinking about quitting. I saw that was sooo long, and I have so many other awesome things to listen to. I’m glad I decided to keep listening because this program keeps getting better and better each day!

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  • http://asiaheppersonrock.blogspot.com/ Asia’h Epperson

    Surprise that Making wise investments is only listed #7. Most of the time I read about millionaires stories, all mention investment. Thought it should be higher.

  • http://www.cathlawson.com/blog Cath Lawson

    Hi Alex – those are all sound tips. I can’t emphasise the supportive spouse one enough. I used to be married to a real jerk and my finances improved dramatically as soon as I’d disappeared him from my life.

  • http://www.asksaiful.com SaiF

    Wow, Cath you just turned me into a believer! I didn’t really believe in that..

    Anyways, I’ve done my own research on millionaires and I think “seeing opportunities” has got to be one of the leading traits of millionaires.

    I think that’s a trait that everyone must have because you’re not going to excel if you don’t look for the opportunities to prove your value. Here’s the kicker: You have to ACT on it! Haha

    Hey Alex, sorry for being a bit quiet lately.. I’ve been working on something really hard (it’s still under wraps) in my secret hide-out!

    Btw, I did this 4-day detailed analysis of Self-Made Millionaires a few weeks ago.. You should check it out if you’re really committed to becoming a millionaire.

    Read 21 Hidden Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires here.

    To CANI,

    The World’s First Teen
    Personal Development Video Blogger

  • http://www.7million7years.com AJC @ 7million7years

    The problem is that most Millionaires don’t bother to ‘give back’ by telling people HOW to MAKE money, and then how to KEEP money (believe me, these are equally difficult).

    And, surveys like these don’t give the real dirt. For example, I’ve found that the Number 1 ‘secret’ is:

    1. Have VISION that is MUCH BIGGER than your current life can deliver

    2. Take MASSIVE ACTION to fulfill that desire

    The other 13, I agree with …


    • http://marketsecrets.biz/ Caleb

      Although 7,8,and 9 pretty much fits into the ‘vision’ part…having one that is “MUCH BIGGER than your current life can deliver” is one of the main things that drives me.

      How else can you reach that next ptateau?

  • http://www.abundancehighway.com Suzie Cheel

    This book sits on my bookshelf and the points you make are so true and great principles.
    I find I also need to add in Dream Big and do daily actions that keep me in a positive state. i think having a mentor might come higher up for me too.

  • http://flimjo.com Flimjo

    Love this post. I think # 2 is critical. If you’re married, you and your spouse need to be on the same page in terms of money and careers. If you want to be an entrepreneur and start a business or do something related to that, your spouse needs to be there with you and have the same desire you have. If that’s not there, it’s going to be a rough go.

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  • http://debohobo.com Debo Hobo

    #12 is a definite area of oppuotunity for me. You know what they say “the more you make the more you spend.” I fell into that trap and now am working on my dicipline to get out of it.

    Really great tips ๐Ÿ™‚

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  • Marita

    The Millionaire Mind is a great book! The success secrets are great and very common sense, but what will really make you accumulate money is to change what Stanley calls your “blueprint”, which is basically your subconscious attitude towards money.

    Once you get a handle on this and listen to it or read this chapter several times, it seems that money just starts to flow. It’s really amazing! Curious to see how this affects you.

    There are some great money books out there – hope you’ll review more ๐Ÿ™‚

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