Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Millionaires' Top Five Success Factors

One book that I like to pick up and peruse every so often is Thomas Stanley and William Danko's Millionaire Next Door (review). Way back when, after I'd heard good stuff about the book on a Motley Fool message board, I found it on a bargain table somewhere. Millionaire held my attention so well that I think I finished it in about two sittings.

There are lots of interesting "lists" in Millionaire Next Door. I grabbed what I thought was the most important one and summarized it on my Seven Factors of Wealth page. But there's another list that stood out to me recently. It's the list of "Top Success Factors" as chosen by the millionaires themselves.

The way I see it, these millionaires — real ones, not the ones who spend every dime they bring in — probably know what they're talking about. If they're willing to offer opinions on what it takes to get where they are, I'm definitely willing to listen.

Millionaires' Top Five Success Factors

  1. Being Honest With All People

  2. Actually, this one would help with pretty much any area of life — not just money. Well, unless you're a politician. In that case, all bets are off. (I'm only slightly cynical. Slightly.)

  3. Being Well Disciplined

  4. Whether it comes to putting aside money in an Emergency Fund, or sticking to a monthly Spending Plan, or throwing extra funds at your debt paydown plan, discipline is a driving force for financial success. Sure, hope is what gets you going. But discipline is the engine that keeps you steamin' down the road.

    Discipline: It's hard to develop, but priceless once you do.

  5. Getting Along With People

  6. Remember that thing about politicians above? Well, here's where they make up for it. Read Dale Carnegie's classic
    How to Win Friends and Influence People
    , and you'll be well on your way with this Success Factor.

  7. Having a Supportive Spouse

  8. The more I see couples struggle with money, the more I believe this Success Factor — even ranked as highly as it is — still doesn't get the attention it deserves. Battling debt and money concerns is tough enough without having to constantly engage a spouse who's moving in a direction opposite to yours.

    In my experience, if your spouse isn't actively on your side when it comes to Doing the Right Thing With Money, then the chances of you winning with money are pretty much zero, zilch, and nada.

  9. Working Harder Than Most People

  10. The fact that so many millionaires referred to their work not as "work" or "jobs" but as "labors of love" makes this Factor very easy to understand. If you love what you're doing, you'll almost by instinct work hard at it. And success will almost certainly find you out.


— Posted by Michael @ 10:39 AM


Millionaire Next Door was an eye opening book for me. It pretty much shaped my view of personal finance and encouraged me take a conservative approach to investing.


I really liked the book myself; it very clearly shows you how you don't need to get lucky or have a 'break' to be wealthy. It was one of the first PF books I read and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to make themselves more financially savvy.


Yes.Unless you get along with all types of people that affect your business interest,you can not be successful.Get along and also look for opportunity when you go one step beyond.


All five of the Millionaires' Top Five Success Factors are listed with a 1. in front of each item number -- I guess that means they are all equally important

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Thoughts on my personal finances, goals, experiences, motivations, and accomplishments (or lack thereof).

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