Becoming a successful entrepreneur and achieving millionaire status isn’t easy. Most people give up along the way, becoming disenchanted as they feel they are making no headway.
The ones who succeed don’t do so by chance. Though there are elements outside of their own influence involved, they usually have particular obsessions that drive them at those times others would have given up.
Herein are 5 Obsessions self-made millionaires have, according to Deep Patel, the author of A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles of Success.
1. They are obsessed with chasing their dreams and goals.
You won’t become a self-made millionaire by sitting in a cubicle, making other people rich. You succeed by having dreams and goals of your own, and being driven to see them through. Self-made millionaires have ambitions and are willing to take risks to make those happen. They are passionate and relentless in their mission to succeed.
But dreams need a framework to follow in order to become reality. Successful people know they must set highly defined goals with hard deadlines. They set short-term goals and long-term goals. They write to-do lists. They know exactly what they want and how to get there. While the middle class sets their expectations at achieving comfort, self-made millionaires push beyond the average. They believe in creating their own opportunities.
2. They are obsessed with reading and improving their knowledge base.
Successful people never get tired of learning new things. They thrive on knowledge. They are voracious readers because they’re constantly curious about the world around them. Nothing can quell their desire to educate themselves.
This obsession serves them well, as it improves their insight not only into their business, but into seemingly unrelated areas that also benefit them. It helps them develop both a depth and breadth of wisdom that they can draw from, and it fuels their creativity and ingenuity.
Self-made millionaires believe that books are the gateway to knowledge, and they carefully select what they read. The more you read, the more you question things, and the more open you’ll be when opportunity knocks.
3. They work obsessively to maximize their strengths.
Instead of wasting time focusing on weaknesses, self-made millionaires home in on their strengths. They focus on their “superpower,” the thing they are instinctively great at doing.
Your superpower is something you probably love doing anyway, and the more you work at it, the better you become at it. By focusing your attention on areas you are already talented in, you further refine and improve your skills and you’ll excel far beyond the competition.
By comparison, focusing entirely on improving areas you are weak in will likely only yield mediocre results. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do your best to be well rounded or try to polish skills that would benefit you. But knowing your strengths and using them to your advantage will set you apart.
4. They are obsessed with moving forward and breaking boundaries.
Success rarely comes in a steady flow. It often comes in fits and spurts: one step forward, two steps back. Success comes as part of a pattern of consistently looking for ways to push things forward, even when it feels like you’re treading water. Eventually, even baby steps add up.
When failure strikes, self-made millionaires don’t give up. They take a hard look at what happened, learn what they can from their mistakes and press on. Sometimes those very failures will be the catalyst they need to break boundaries and create something amazing. Sometimes a seeming defeat is the spark a self-made millionaire needs to find an edge, or the innovation that puts them on the road to success.
5. They are obsessed with working hard and playing hard.
Self-made millionaires don’t do anything halfway. Whether it’s putting in the extra time at work to complete a project or taking on a physical or mental challenge, they give it their all. They are willing to make sacrifices in the short term to reach their goals, but they remember to have fun along the way. They enjoy life and the fruits of their labor.
Self-made millionaires understand the importance of physical activity. They make time to work out even when they are busy, in part because it’s good for their body, but also because aerobic exercise helps fuel the brain. By keeping your body in shape, you are also keeping your mind nimble and ready for work.