Have you ever wondered how self-made millionaires make it? How they achieve their wealth? I know I have. A couple of months ago I decided that I’ll be a millionaire by the time I’m 45.

As I’m writing, this soft deadline is just 8 short years away. Not a lot of time so I better get moving. Who knows? Maybe in 8 years I’ll look back and wonder why I set my sights so low!

To be clear, becoming a millionaire is not just about the money for me. I want to leave a legacy for my children and also help others. My husband always says, ” Broke people can’t help broke people”. In other words, I can’t help other people achieve financial freedom if I don’t first achieve it myself. By blazing a path to wealth I can show other people that it is possible.

Having money also gives people options. With more financial resources I can be more selective about the type of work I do and pursue the work that is most fulfilling to me.

10 Habits of Self-Made Millionaire

A  mindset shift will be required to achieve this goal.

I need to start thinking like a self-made millionaire.

To this end, I’ve been doing some research on the habits of the wealthy. But not just people with money. Self-made millionaires are the group that I am the most interested in. Self-made millionaires did not inherit their wealth or win it in the lottery, they worked hard for what they have.

There is nothing wrong with inheriting money. Believe me, I wish that I had a rich relative to leave me a big check. But it’s probably not in the cards.

To achieve a millionaire dollar net worth I have a lot of hard work ahead of me. Deep-diving into the habits of the wealthy is a part of the process.

10 habits of self-made millionaires

1. Self-made millionaires are avid readers.

Specifically 85% of millionaires read at least 2 books per month. The books that they read are about leadership, career development, and the lives of other successful or prominent people in history. I’ve been a big reader since childhood but as I’ve gotten older it has become easy to make excuses about not reading. I’m too tired, I’m too busy, the kids are too demanding. The reality is that we make time for things that are important to us. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of reading 2 books per month, start by committing to reading for 30 minutes each day and gradually increase from there. 

 2. Self-made millionaires are early risers.

I know this one will be a  struggle for me. In order to get up early I actually need to go to bed at a decent hour, but more often than not I find myself trying to cram in extra tasks after my kids go to bed. Sometimes its laundry that I didn’t get a chance to fold earlier in the day, Netflix and chill with the hubby, or answering emails that were previously neglected. Before I know it…it’s midnight. No way I’m getting up early now.

Self-made millionaires realize that the early bird gets the worm. On the days when I do get up early I feel better equipped to take on the day. I also feel more inspired in the wee hours and am able to use the quiet time to focus on new ideas and strategies for personal and professional development.

3. Self-made millionaires have mentors.

Help and cooperation from other people is important. Many times in my life I have underestimated the value of having mentors. I’ve had the lone wolf syndrome and felt as if I could do it all on my own. Self-made millionaires know the importance of receiving wisdom and career and life lessons from those who have been down the path that they are currently traveling. If you have no role models who are wealthy add this to your to-do-list ASAP.

4. Self-made millionaires dream big and set goals.

Tony Robbins said that “setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”. Pablo Picasso also said that “our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must rigorously act. There is no other route to success”. It can be scary to dream big but I contend that dreams should be a bit scary. They should feel a bit out of reach so that we can push the limits on what we can achieve. But don’t stop there. We must also set goals and take action.

5. Self-made millionaires exercise.

A rigorous workout is not just good for the body but it is also good for the mind. If you are going to devote yourself to the hard work needed to become a millionaire then you will need lots of energy to maintain stamina. Start with 30 minutes 3-4 times per week. Don’t worry if you don’t have money just yet for an expensive gym membership. There are tons of things that you can do for free such as walking or jogging around your neighborhood. Stay active, eat a healthy diet, and drink lots of water too. 

 6. Self-made millionaires walk to the beat of their own drum. 

Decide to measure success for yourself. Success does not necessarily equate to driving a luxury car, working a corporate job, and spending like there is no tomorrow. I know, I know, watching television commercials or reality tv might lead you to think otherwise. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box, better yet…what box? The sky is the limit when you begin to think for yourself. Develop the unique business ideas that you have had for so many years but have been afraid to pursue for fear of failing. You won’t become a millionaire by thinking like everyone else. Most people, unfortunately, are broke and living paycheck to paycheck. Be weird, be different!

7. Self-made millionaires live below their means.

Having a large gap between income and expenses is a critical component of wealth building. Believe it or not Warren Buffet, who’s net worth $74.5 billion has lived in the same home since 1958. He paid $31,500 for it. Talk about living below your means! The average self-made millionaire adopts a similar mindset. He or she lives in a modest home, that is paid off, instead of upscaling into a mini-mansion…or an actual mansion.

8. Self-made millionaires are laser-focused.

In the documentary “Becoming Warren Buffet” self-made multi-billionaires Warren Buffet and Bill Gates both independently attributed ‘focus‘ to the success achieved in their respective fields. Are you busy doing work that pays the bills but is boring and mundane? Don’t get me wrong, we need to pay the bills! But wouldn’t it be so much more fun to pay the bills with money that you earned pursuing your passions and interests? It may be time to rid your personal and professional life of things that distract you from your purpose and the goals you want to accomplish. What is the one thing that you are hoping to accomplish today, tomorrow, this year? Stop stretching yourself in a thousand directions and then wondering why you never accomplish anything. Become laser-focused on that task and align your time, energy, and resources to achieving it.

9. Self-made millionaires create multiple streams of income. 

Self-made millionaires recognize the importance of diversifying income and not relying upon one traditional job to earn money and build wealth. These days institutions are not loyal. You never know when a pink slip will land on your desk with no warning. Minimize risk by drawing income from multiple sources and lessening your dependence upon a single paycheck.

10. Self-made millionaires give and help others.

This is what it is all about! Having more resources allows you the freedom to help those that are in need. Studies show that self-made millionaires are more charitable and generous than those who inherit money. If you are reading this article from a phone, tablet, or computer then chances are that there are people who are less fortunate than you. Even if you are far from millionaire status and are currently paying off debt consider giving back through volunteerism, giving to your church, or a local non-profit organization/charity. Giving is a habit so start now.

How do you measure up?  How many of these habits do you already practice?