Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contrary to popular belief, there are wealthy people just about everywhere you go.
While many of you may have grown up, as I did, being taught to believe in the scarcity mindset, wealth is something that is not only preferable, but also achievable.
In his book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey introduced the world to the abundance mentality, a mindset that recognizes that there are enough resources to go around to allow any number of people to be successful without detracting from the success of others.
And he was right. The number of billionaires in the world literally doubled between 2013 and 2016, all while large numbers of the world’s poor moved out of poverty and into a growing global middle class.
Covey also hit the nail on the head when he argued that success is born of habits. Like Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, both men recognized that there are important habits and mindsets that are key to achieving success, freedom and wealth.
As a perpetual traveler and businessman, I have a unique position that has allowed me to observe and learn from some of the most successful people around the world
In each place I visit, I make it a point to study the local opportunities and culture, as well as to discover exactly what successful people there are doing.
While each country and culture has a different attitude toward wealth, there are also a number of similar attitudes that I have seen exhibited all around the world.
When I talk to wealthy people — those who have built mega-million dollar companies, the jet setters, and billionaires — they consistently say many of the same things.
So do the top entrepreneurs I meet in places like Bangkok, Prague, Ho Chi Minh City, and Panama. Whether these people have built five million-dollar businesses at lightning speed or have slowly built a $100 fortune, many of the lessons are quite similar.
Most importantly, these are lessons that YOU can apply in your own life. While being successful involves a number of factors, it’s not rocket science, and it is within your grasp.
The following are seven of the key characteristics of successful investors and business people that I have observed throughout my years of travel and personal investment experience.
1. Own a business
Have you heard the idea that a professional athlete is “rich”, but the team owner paying him is “wealthy”? Employees will almost never be able to achieve the financial and personal freedom that those with their own businesses do. That’s why approximately 80% of high net worth individuals earned their money in a business they own.
2. Network with like-minded people
Think country clubs, charity events, and the Cannes Film Festival. What do they all have in common? Lots of rich people. The wealthy stay sharp by rubbing elbows with other rich people. It’s only logical, but it’s also a big reason they stay successful, both as a mindset and as a way to discover new opportunities.
Additionally, because the wealthy have access to other wealthy people, they follow a different set of trends. On a global level, most wealthy people don’t invest in the stock market. They favor investing in their own companies, friends and family, and exotic opportunities most people don’t know about.
3. Have a passport and use it
I meet a lot of successful people who are traveling just as I am. I also meet (and actually seek out) wealthy people who live where I am visiting. No matter where I go, almost everyone I meet travels. Not just within their own country, but to neighboring countries and around the world. It is part of who they are and a life experience that keeps them sharp. Having a passport is the first step in developing this crucial habit.
4. Minimize or eliminate their taxes
This is no secret: watch any TV news program and you’ll see someone complaining that the rich use some offshore voodoo to avoid paying their “fair share”. Of course, offshore strategies are 100% legal, and if you’re an international businessperson, more than reasonable. Living an international lifestyle offers you legal strategies to stop paying 30-60% in taxes and to put that money toward building your own wealth.
5. Invest in themselves
To accompany their abundance mentality, the wealthy understand “the law of abundance”. They don’t hoard money when it could be put to good use investing in new ideas or training to improve their lives or make them more money. They do this because they understand the value of money and know exactly how each investment fits into their financial plan. They also recognize the old adage that time is money, and ensure that they use part of that time to invest in their needs.
6. Trust in professionals
Every wealthy person you know likely has at least one good attorney, a good accountant, an investment advisor, and other professionals he or she trusts. The truly wealthy invest handsomely in surrounding themselves with a team of trustworthy experts. They know that whether it’s handling an investment or administrating their taxes, they get more value paying an expert and delegating rather than trying to figure everything out themselves.
Trust in general is key to being successful in business. You have to trust that people know what they’re doing and that they will get it done. While entrepreneurs may distrust their government, they don’t spend their time assigning blame because it takes them out of their wealth mindset. Skepticism has kept many from prosperity and fulfillment. Successful investors and businessmen focus on finding solutions and building a network of people in whom they can trust.
7. Take action
Quite simply, the wealthy decide what they want and put a plan together to get it. They don’t sit around whining and complaining about why good things don’t happen to them. If you want to accomplish specific goals, you have to TAKE ACTION. Most people say “dream big”. The wealthy don’t dream; they have a vision and then they execute it.
The wealthy also don’t waste their time shopping around for ideas. They are decisive. When an opportunity comes along, they pounce on it. They follow the principle of either answering “yes” with great enthusiasm, or saying “no”. They don’t take on projects half-heartedly, they resolve a clear purpose, put a plan in place and then execute that plan. And they don’t constantly second guess that plan once they have taken action.
How to form these habits in your life
Now that I live as a perpetual traveler, I see these lessons every day and in almost all of the two dozen or so countries that I visit each year.
Applying each one is as simple as changing your perspective in some cases, while others require hiring a consultant or other professional to fully implement the practice.
Start by examining how well you are doing with each habit and then determine which ones you can work on immediately. Ask yourself how your habits are affecting your goals to start a new business, improve an existing company, travel the world, invest overseas, or any number of other aspirations you may have.
Once you recognize your strengths and accept the areas where you need to change, don’t wait. Be decisive and do what needs to be done to acquire the habits and become the type of person who will have success in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue.
If you are ready to design and commit to a plan to achieve greater personal freedom and success, apply for a consultation.