• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Learning from the rich: 4 traits you should emulate


Most people wouldn’t complain if they suddenly became rich. In fact, millions of people play the lottery every week with just this hope — even though, statistically, their chances of winning are next to nothing.

Obviously, very few of the wealthy people we’re jealous of have gotten rich this way. As we know, “get rich quick” schemes are usually a gimmick or a con, so it follows that most wealthy people have invested time and effort into getting where they are today.

If we’re honest, we can admit that if we spent less time complaining about our circumstances and more time studying and following the lifestyle habits and principles that have made people rich, we’d be a lot closer to our financial goals.

The ideology and practices that build wealth can be summed up as hard work, conservatism, ingenuity, and an opportunistic mindset.

Let’s break those factors down.

Hard work

There really isn’t a magical formula for building wealth effortlessly. Sure, there are smarter ways to build wealth, and principles that work better than others. But what it really boils down to is just plain, hard work.

At some point in their life, rich people have been the ones who studied for hours, worked late into the night, never watched television, went on vacation, or had social lives, and gave up countless small luxuries for the sake of their goal. A large amount of effort is required for a large financial gain. Most people aren’t willing to put that much effort into it.


The simplest reason why rich people have money is that they haven’t spent it. Think about it. As the old adage says, you can’t eat your cake and have it, too. In the consumerism culture we live in, it’s easy to fall into the habit of spending everything we make.

Wealthy people have mastered the discipline of saving money and making it work for them instead of always working for money.

If you study the lifestyles of the wealthiest people in the world, you won’t find them buying the newest, most popular vehicle every year. Instead you’ll probably find them driving a vehicle that’s paid off and has high mileage. You won’t find them maxing out credit cards for every known retailer; you’ll find them to be conservative and wise about their spending. A well-known financial adviser, Dave Ramsay, has said, “You have to live like no one else in order to live like no one else.”


By ingenuity, I’m not saying wealthy people are any smarter or even more educated than ordinary folk. But they’ve realized their own unique abilities and mixed them with some creativity to say, do, or create something no one else has — something that works, and something that everybody wants. Ingenuity lies in everyone, but wealthy people have utilized it to their financial advantage.

An opportunistic mindset

Wealthy people work hard and are wise and careful planners. On the other hand, they’re also willing to take the risks often necessary for great success. People who are tentative when an opportunity arises often miss out on some of the greatest advantages.

While being unafraid of opportunity is a good trait to have, it sometimes carries consequences. Not every uncertain or risky opportunity succeeds (otherwise, there would be no need for courage). Rich people have often faced discouraging failures, but remain undeterred by them. They know that, in spite of failures, they’ll eventually succeed, and because they’re willing to take great risks, their success will be equal to it.

The path to riches is paved with hard work, conservatism, ingenuity, and an opportunistic mindset. Without these traits, it’s difficult to live a lifestyle that will result in lasting wealth.