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10 Traits That Young Millionaires Have in Common

10 Traits That Young Millionaires Have in Common
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The world’s idea of who and what a millionaire is has changed. When we conjure up an image of a very wealthy person, we are imagining less and less a stodgy old man sipping branding in a wing back armchair, and instead, more and more what we envision is a young, energetic entrepreneur.  The internet has paved the way for anyone with a good idea and the ambition to see it through to become rich and it is increasingly common for the successful people among us to be young and driven. So what do the young millionaires we are getting so used to seeing have in common? They all share the following 10 traits.

1. They Act Fast

A sense of urgency lies at the heart of any young millionaire. It isn’t enough to have a great idea, you need to have the will to act on it before anyone else has a chance. If Mark Zuckerberg had decided to sit on Facebook and develop it slowly over a few years instead of a few months, he would have been left in the dust. Instead he put his idea into action almost as soon as he formed it and the result has been massive success.

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2. They Build Strong Teams

Even the people who seem to have built their empires on their own have had the help of a good team. It is usually the case that they built that team themselves. When Steve Jobs founded Apple he wasn’t alone, his partners gave him insight into the things he didn’t understand and allowed him to grow the business in all directions at once.

3. They Leverage Their Success

Success breeds success and young millionaires aren’t afraid to keep the ball rolling. When they see a good idea, they jump on it. It is no coincidence that Google now owns Youtube and countless other web applications that we can’t imagine the world without. The leaders of forward-thinking companies aren’t afraid to go beyond their own comfort zone and use the money they have to generate more money.

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4. They Are Independent Thinkers

Founder and CEO of Alibaba, Jack Ma, held a meeting when he decided to start his company. He invited nearly two dozen friends to his home and asked them what they thought of his idea. All but one told him not to quit his day job. He chose to ignore them and pursue it anyway. He is now a billionaire. Not being afraid to stand alone is a common trait among the young and self-made wealthy.

5. They Think Big

Young millionaires dare to dream big. They see the possibilities that lie behind great ideas and aren’t overwhelmed by the scale of what they are chasing. The truly successful individuals take things one step at a time and work at what they can handle, but their eye is always on the larger goal.

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6. They Follow Their Passion

Most people who achieve success early in life do it by following a path they care about and are interested in. Just because an idea is good, doesn’t mean it is inspiring. When Steve Jobs was trying to convince John Sculley to leave his comfortable job at Pepsi to come take over the business side of Apple, his sales pitch was “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugar water, or do you want to come with me to change the world?” That is passion incarnate.

7. They Are Focused

When asked what makes Mark Zuckerberg such a great leader, Facebook employees time and time again reference his focus. Mark Zuckerberg’s goal is to connect the world in ways no one else has ever dared to imagine, and every decision he makes is unflinchingly taking him closer to that goal. Having a clear vision is a key to success for any young leader.

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8. They Love Learning

Just because they are rich doesn’t mean they think they have all the answers. Young millionaires in every field share a lifelong love of learning. They hold open meetings where they can get advice from people at every level of the organization because they understand that you never know where the next great idea will come from.

9. They Love Teaching

The best way to get better at what you do is to teach the tricks of the trade to someone else. Successful young people share their vision and teach their team members what they need to do to succeed. It not only makes everyone smarter, it builds camaraderie and gets everyone on the same page.

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10. They Aren’t Afraid to Fail

Finally, and most importantly, young millionaires aren’t afraid to fail. Bill Gates once said, “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” Keeping an open mind and being willing to learn from your mistakes is the only way to keep moving forward.

Featured photo credit: Robert Scoble via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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