habits of successful people

6 Habits Successful People Follow

What do Sir Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos, Gina Rinehart, and Thai Lee have in common? Besides the obvious thing, wealth, they are all well known for exemplifying habits successful people follow.

What Are The Main Habits Successful People Follow?

I hate to say this, but, that depends! Throughout history, many famous CEO’s have shared their daily routines, told their origin story, and mentioned their “breakthrough” moment.  No one can say with absolute certainty “if these habits are formed and followed, this person will experience more success than their peers”.

The 6 Growth Habits Successful People Follow

  • Motivation
  • Focus
  • Confidence
  • Energy
  • Purpose
  • Leadership

I can highly recommend you read the book where gained the inspiration for this section of my post here – The 6 Habits of Growth, Brendon Burchard.

By reading this book you will gain the following practical knowledge:

Motivation: Discover the three keys to lasting motivation. Learn how to diagnose and combat burnout. Find out the daily habits that increase motivation—and make them part of your morning routine.  

Focus: Assess where you stand with respect to the 10 main areas of life—mental health, physical health, family, friends, finances, mission, spirit, adventure, learning, and growth—and commit to the desired improvements. Leverage the habit formation process. Capture daily insights via journaling and habit tracking.  

Confidence: We all face self-doubt. Start to embrace it as a signal to learn—to prepare more, to get better, to ready yourself. Think of it as a catalyst, not an inhibitor. Step into your authenticity to feel more comfortable in social situations.  

Energy: Learn revving and renewal practices that will fuel you for the life you want to lead. Drill down on meditation, exercise, diet, and sleep in an entirely new way.  

Purpose: Don’t think that you have to have only one. Learn to make purpose smaller. Translate it into purposeful living—everyday “points of purpose” that represent opportunities for meaning and service.    

Leadership: Discover how to enlist and persuade others to support your ideas; how to deal with conflict; and how to get everyone around you to perform at their best.

7 Lifelong Habits Successful People Follow

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey distills timeless wisdom into seven lifelong practices for building a successful, fulfilling life. Rather than small, daily actions like brushing your teeth, these habits are patterns of thinking and acting that represent a broader approach to life. They are:

  • Take Initiative
  • Envision the Life You Want
  • Prioritize Important Over Urgent
  • Seek Mutual Benefits
  • Listen and Understand the Other First
  • Collaborate to Create Possibilities
  • Practice Self-Renewal

9 Habits Successful People Follow

Source: CNBC

Tom Corley, an accountant and financial planner, surveyed 233 wealthy individuals, mostly self-made millionaires, on their daily habits. He compared those answers to responses from 128 lower-earning individuals or those with less than $35,000 in annual gross income.

In his best-selling book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life,” Corley explains that wealthy people set themselves up for success in a few specific ways. Here are the habits they have in common:

1. They get up early


Nearly 50 percent of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s research got out of bed at least three hours before their workday actually started. Many of them use the free time to tackle personal projects, plan their day, or make time for exercise.

“Getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life,” he writes. “It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life.”

2. They read a lot


A whopping 88 percent of Corley’s wealthy respondents say they devote 30 minutes or more each day to education or self-improvement through reading.

Most do not read for entertainment; they prefer biographies, history, and self-help books.

If you enjoy a good novel, that can help you too. Science shows that reading for pleasure can also boost your career. And Corley’s point holds for many kinds of narratives. “There are important life lessons to be learned in biographies of people with rags-to-riches stories,” he writes.

Legendary investor and self-made billionaire Warren Buffett says that reading has been the most crucial habit he’s developed. If you’re looking to pick up a new book, check out the business classics Buffett and other leaders love.

3. They spend 15 to 30 minutes each day on focused thinking

Many of the self-made millionaires Corley interviewed said they make time to process everything that’s going on in their lives.

“The rich tend to think in isolation, in the mornings,” he writes “and for at least 15 minutes every day.”

Often they’ll reflect on their career, their health and their personal relationships. Having quiet time to analyze your thoughts is associated with stress reduction.

In fact, taking two minutes at work to focus on nothing but your breathe will help you relax, a Harvard-trained doctor tells CNBC.

4. They make exercise a priority


Working out regularly clears your head and makes you feel more motivated, studies show.

According to Corley, 76 percent of his survey respondents carve out 30 minutes or more for aerobic exercise like jogging, biking or walking each day.

Many successful business leaders make sure to workout. Billionaire Richard Branson, for example, says that his morning routine of waking up at 5 am to play tennis or bike, has doubled his productivity.

5. They spend time with people who inspire them


“You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with,” Corley says.

If you don’t have highly-motivated people in your personal network yet, fear not. Self-made millionaires volunteer, which is a great way to meet other positive, motivated individuals. You could also join groups for people who share your same career or personal interests, Corley suggests. Then develop the relationship by keeping in touch.

And be choosy about who you spend your time with. ”[Successful people] also make a point to limit their exposure to toxic, negative people,” says Corley.

6. They pursue their own goals


Most self-made millionaires plan to get rich and then make it happen, Corley’s research finds.

Eighty percent of the wealthy are “obsessed with pursuing goals,” he writes. They refer to both daily and long-term goals regularly.

“I’m here to tell you to avoid putting your ladder on someone else’s wall and then spending the best years of your life climbing it,” Corley says. “Find your own wall, your own dreams, and your own goals, and pursue them.”

7. They get enough sleep


Albert Einstein reportedly preferred to get at least ten hours of sleep a night. If you too function best when you’re well-rested, Corley has some good news.

An overwhelming 89 percent of self-made millionaire sleep seven or eight hours each night or more.

“Sleep is critical to success,” he writes, citing its effects on memory function and creative thinking.

8. They have multiple incomes


“Self-made millionaires do not rely on one singular source of income,” Corley says. “They develop multiple streams.”

So how many sources of income do they have?

“Sixty-five percent had at least three streams of income that they created prior to making their first million dollars,” Corley says, such as a side-business or income generating investments like REITs or real estate.

“Diversifying sources of income allows you to weather the economic downturns that inevitably occur,” he writes.

9. They avoid time-wasters


Money isn’t the only important resource for wealthy people. Time is crucial too.

“When we invest our time in anything, it’s lost forever,” Corley writes.

Be choosy about the apps you spend your time with, too, instead of spending hours on end watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram.

“When you see time as the greatest risk of all, it will force you to become more aware of exactly how to invest your time,” says Corley.


We won’t all become Billionaires or Millionaires, and that’s probably a good thing. However, the tools and blueprints we need to improve ourselves and our lives lie within our grasp. It is not external factors that determine how high and how far we fly.

Establishing a daily routine that helps us to start building positive, productive habits is a good first step.

About The Author

James Spurway is an Angel Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Speaker, former Commercial Pilot, and Author specializing in raising debt and equity funds for pre-seed or early-stage seed rounds for Startups in the Fintech, DeepTech, AgTech, ClimateTech, and AgeTech verticles. He lives in Singapore and has spent the past 30 years living and building businesses in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, the USA, Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia, where he was born.

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