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Are You Millionaire Material? 7 Things Millionaires Have in Common


Most of the millionaires in the world aren’t celebrities living in massive estates.  In fact, you could be living next to a millionaire and you might not even know it.

As it turns out, there are quite a few traits that millionaires share - and it isn't just what they have in their bank account.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the traits that millionaires have in common, backed by research.

Try incorporating some of these things into your daily life, and who knows - maybe you’re a millionaire in the making.

1. Millionaires Are Self Employed Entrepreneurs

Think it’s risky to start something on your own?  Millionaires think the opposite - they think it's risky to work for someone else.

There’s a certain drive, hustle and itch that these entrepreneurs just have to scratch.  They can’t work for someone else - not because they don’t want to, but because they always need something to do on their own.

Sound familiar? The fact that you're reading this means you're headed in the right direction.  

The Millionaire Next Door lays out some interesting facts about millionaires and self-employment:

  • 20% of the affluent households in America are headed by retirees
  • Of the remaining 80%, more than ⅔ are headed by self-employed owners of a business
  • In America, fewer than ⅕ households is headed by a self-employed business owner.  However, these self-employed are 4 times more likely to be millionaires 

Can you think of anyone that has started a full time business on their own that started as a side project? 

Bonus: Check out how one couple makes $600,000 per year selling digital products.

2. They Dream Big and Have a Strong Work Ethic

Millionaires see the possibilities beyond just the immediate future - they look to scale.  Nothing holds them back.  Obstacles and setbacks are just potential learning experiences.

They have big dreams, and truly believe that their dreams will come true, even if it means heading into uncharted territory.

With that in mind, achieving those dreams takes some hard work.  And a strong work ethic is required.

For instance, look at Steve Jobs.  One year after the Mac’s introduction, Jobs was fired from Apple. In Jobs’ keynote speech at Stanford University in 2005 he said “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me”.

What did he do after getting fired?  Jobs started two businesses - Next and Pixar.  After that, he returned to Apple and grew it to the billion dollar business it is today.

When the authors of Mind in Context: Interactionist Perspectives on Human Intelligence researched what millionaires learned in college, 94% replied “a strong work ethic”.  

They also asked the group of millionaires what their teachers said their strongest asset was - and the majority of them said "being dependable".

3. They Choose Their Careers Strategically

The majority don’t tackle a business or product they’re passionate about.  Usually, they’ll start a career where they know they can make money by jumping on a trend, or seeing a gap in a niche market.  If that trend is something they're passionate about - then it just makes things even easier.

The Illusions of Entrepreneurship shares some interesting stats on this subject.

  • 63% of new business owners admit their ventures don't have a competitive advantage.
  • There's no evidence that entrepreneurs select industries where profits, profit margins and revenues are higher.
  • Only a third of those surveyed say they really did a search for a good business idea.

Seems kind of surprising, right?  You'd think that a new business owner would do some research about the state of the market they're going into.

That, however, is why millionaires make it big.  They think differently.  They see untapped markets and jump right into them.  That might mean, however, that the product or market they're going into isn't necessarily "exciting" or "cool".  They're just chasing the cold-hard cash.

It's all a strategic play.

"Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dull-normal. We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors."

Bonus: Take a look at some trending products that you can piggyback on strategically.

4. Millionaires Have a High Tolerance of Risk and Failure 

Failure is a constant feedback loop.  Every time you fail, you'll learn something.

To be a market leader in any business, you have to be willing to take big risks that might fail.  You have to be able to get back up after getting knocked down, and use what you've learned to grow and keep going forward.

Big bets mean big failures, but big bets can mean big successes.

Frank McKinney, a maverick real-estate investor says that you need to exercise risk like any other muscle.

“If you exercise that muscle and you take a calculated risk and then see whether it pays off and then take another calculated risk and see whether it pays off, you start to trust your judgment better and your analysis of what you’re doing.”

Have you taken any big risks lately?  Maybe now's the right time to jump into your next entrepreneurial endeavour.

5. They Are Self-Disciplined and Delay Gratification 

Self-discipline is an extremely important and common trait among millionaires and successful entrepreneurs.  

When Thomas J Stanley, author of The Millionaire Mind interviewed some of the top 1% wealth holders in America, he found that they agreed that being self-disciplined was vital in their financial success.

"A disciplined person sets his or her sights on a lofty target, then figures out productive ways to reach the target.  Disciplined people are not easily sidetracked.  They could live in a French bakery and not gain weight or they could encounter hundreds of economic opportunities and then select one or two that are best suited to their strengths and the market's needs."

By being self-disciplined, millionaires are able to delay gratification in the short term - they’re able to keep their long-term goals of becoming financially independent and successful.

6. They Have Inherent Sales and Marketing Skills

Although they might not think of it, all millionaires have some sort of inherent sales and marketing skills.  It’s just who they are as a person.  It comes as second nature to them.

Take Chad Mureta for example - he built an iPhone app empire from his hospital bed with no prior experience.  He just had a bit of an understanding of the market, and how to market his app to match the demand.

Let the market guide you to the idea: The marketplace will tell you what’s hot. “A lot of people who want to develop an app, have the idea that leads. They think, ‘I have this idea that’s going to be incredible or I’m going to invent this.’  And it should be the complete opposite.”

Learn from the marketplace: “With the App store, you already have the market intelligence: you have the data in front of you, so you know what works. Go in, grab, reverse engineer or get familiar with apps, what works and how to add our own flavor to it.  The more time you spend with apps, the better you’ll understand the common traits of successful apps and what users are looking for."

The more you think like the customer, the greater your success will be: “You need to become an app addict if you want to be a successful supplier.  This mindset has been the lifeblood of my success.”

While Chad’s success came from the App store - the same steps he took can be applied to your ecommerce business.

Bonus: Read more about why marketing isn't for you, it's for others

7. They Don’t Spend Frivolously

The majority of millionaires today aren’t popping thousand dollar bottles of champagne, buying luxury cars or million dollar homes.  

In fact, millionaires find great value in managing their money and planning for a successful, financially independent future.

When the authors of The Millionaire Mind dug further into the lifestyle and habits of millionaires, what they found was fairly surprising.  What we perceive to be the lifestyle of millionaires as portrayed by the media - isn't actually representative of the majority of millionaires.

  • 50% of millionaires haven’t paid more than $399 for a suit.
  • More than half of the millionaires surveyed had never paid more than $30,000 for a car.
  • They found that the more materialistic the millionaires are, the less happy they are.


Now that we've taken a look at some of the things millionaires have in common, it's up to you to take action and start planning to make your first million.

What will your first step be?  Let us know in the comments below!


About The Author

Tucker Schreiber is an ecommerce entrepreneur and Content Marketer at Shopify. Get more from Tucker on Twitter.