In my five-year research study on the daily habits of wealthy and poor individuals, I made a profoundly important discovery: wealthy individuals have far different daily habits than poor people. These differences are, in fact, the underlying cause of the wealth gap, an issue that has been politicized so often during the current presidential campaign. Wealthy people simply do certain things every day that set them apart from everyone else in society. There are ten core daily habits that the wealthy possess, which are responsible for their incredible wealth.
One component of one such habit is Rich Habit Number Three – Daily Career-Related, Self-Improvement.
Wealthy individuals are fanatics when it comes to daily career-related, self-improvement. The reason? Wealthy people understand that knowledge creates opportunities and opportunities lead to good luck. Consequently, wealthy people are in constant pursuit of industry-related knowledge in order to help them identify these opportunities. Engaging in career-related, self-improvement makes individuals more valuable to their employer, customer or clients and helps them to rise up the career ladder of success. I uncovered four career-related self-improvement strategies that the wealthy put to use on a daily basis: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Doing. Each one gets you higher up the ladder of financial success.
Strategy #1 Career-Related Reading
Many individuals get monthly industry periodicals. Typically, they set them aside and tell themselves that they will get to that reading very soon. Some may even pull out the periodicals, after a week or two, and browse through them, tearing out articles they are intent on reading. They set these articles aside and, again, tell themselves they will get to that reading very soon. After a few months of procrastinating they end up throwing these periodicals/articles away, rationalizing that they are outdated and of no use. Their time value has rendered them outdated.
Successful individuals have a different tact. They set aside time every day for reading. They read every one of their periodicals. Why? Successful individuals understand the value of timely information. They are in pursuit of opportunities to make more money and advance their careers. Often such opportunities are found inside these industry periodicals. Successful individuals, on average, set aside thirty to forty-five minutes of every day for career-related reading.
They do this day in and day out, like brushing their teeth. Successful individuals understand that reading helps them remain current with industry technical information and industry trends, which often leads to the discovery of hidden opportunities. To successful individuals, reading gets them one wrung higher on the career ladder of financial success.
Strategy #2 Career-Related Writing
Writing is a form of communication. Because you are writing on a topic, you must gain a more comprehensive understanding of that topic than reading alone can provide. Successful individuals engage in writing in a number of ways including: company newsletters, industry newsletters, newspaper articles, industry publication articles, Internet articles and customer/client letters. Writing helps elevate successful individuals up another wrung on the career ladder of success.
Strategy #3 Speaking
Speaking, like writing, is a form of communication. Speaking requires a greater understanding of a subject matter than writing or reading will provide. There is a simple reason for this. In a speaking engagement you may be asked a question and this makes it a two-way communication process. When you are “the expert” on a topic for which you have been asked to speak you must fully comprehend that topic, inside and out. This requires a more detailed study that reading and writing together cannot provide. Speaking forces you to dig deeper and expand your knowledge base. Speaking elevates you up another wrung on the career ladder of success.
Strategy #4 Doing
There is no better way to perfect your knowledge in an area than through repetition by doing. Repetition in a particular area gets you closer to perfection than reading, writing or speaking ever could. Each time you repeat a specific task in a particular area you become more efficient and more expert. Doing, over and over again, allows you to make and fix mistakes. It allows you to improve and perfect your skill-set. Through repetition by doing you will, in time, become a master in a particular task or subject matter. Doing raises you to the highest wrung on the career ladder of success.
The most successful of individuals employ all four career-related self-improvement strategies in climbing the career ladder of success. But you can achieve a good measure of career success by simply dedicating yourself, every day, to just one of these four career-related, self-improvement strategies. Make no mistake about it; it’s not an easy discipline. Daily career-related, self-improvement is boring. It’s tedious. But the by-product is the discovery of otherwise hidden opportunities. Opportunities that were there all along, but could not be seen until you took that important step of expanding your knowledge base.
Thomas Corley is author of Rich Habits – The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals and founder of The Rich Habits Institute. Thomas is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Financial Planner and President of Cerefice & Company.