5 Things That All Self-Made Millionaires Have in Common

Breaking Bad characters lying on a pile of money
Millionaires who made their fortunes the legal way often have things in common | AMC

If you’re lucky enough to have a job that pays $1 million, then you’re super lucky and probably reading this article to learn more about yourself. Unfortunately not many people are so fortunate. Of course there are many actors and actresses who easily make several million dollars every time they act in a movie, but there are also people who earn big bucks in less ostentatious ways.
Many self-made millionaires are businessmen, authors, and fashion designers. This group also includes several different types of celebrities, including actors, producers, singers, and athletes. There are so many people who have come from nothing (or little) to become millionaires, but what’s surprising is that these millionaires often have key personality traits or abilities in common, and these traits have helped them to become the millionaires they are. Here are five things that self-made millionaires have in common.

1. They persevere

While some people are lucky enough to be born into a wealthy family, and others simply purchase a lottery ticket and become rich overnight, self-made millionaires have to work hard. Several celebrities, including Eminem and Elton John experienced tough parts of their childhoods and really had to work hard to get where they are today. Whether overcoming a difficult childhood, or refusing to admit defeat when their initial projects didn’t quite succeed, self-made millionaires have to be motivated and willing to persevere in order to succeed. Think of Steve Jobs, who didn’t like school but continued to learn and invent life-changing electronics on his own. Self-made millionaires who faced some sort of failure or hardship have overcome instead of giving up.

2. They value relationships

family of three setting up a beach umbrella to limit sun exposure on a sunny day at the beach
Family at the beach | iStock.com

According to Thomas Corley, who spent five years analyzing the habits of rich people and people living in poverty, most wealthy people are optimists. They also value relationships (88% agreed that relationships are critical to financial success, and 68% said they loved meeting new people). Unless you are a brilliant inventor, it will be difficult to become a millionaire without the help of others. Relationships and networking are an important way to build knowledge of a product, business, or brand. All celebrities need to work with other people in order to succeed, and actors or athletes who have a poor public image can suffer financially (think about the loss of Ryan Lochte’s endorsement deals). Self-made millionaires understand and appreciate the importance of building, and keeping up, relationships.

3. They enjoy what they do

Warren Buffett
Warren Buffett enjoys his job of making billions for himself and shareholders | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Corley found that 85% of rich respondents like (or liked) what they do for a living; 81% said they did more than their job required, and 75% agreed that creativity is critical to financial success. In addition to being hard workers, most rich people (defined by Corley as having a liquid net worth of $3.2 million or more) enjoy what they do, they value creativity, and they put a lot of energy into their work. Enjoying your job is key to become a millionaire; if you love what you do, you will be more willing to work harder, and you will be passionate about what you are doing. It’s difficult to become rich if you don’t believe in what you are doing because you can easily become bored or apathetic.

4. They value their health

Doctor | Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

The same study also found that 85% of rich people believe that good health is critical to financial success. It would be difficult to maintain a fortune if you’re not healthy enough to manage it. Also, if you get too sick and you can’t do your job, then you will stop amassing money. Health is key for celebrity athletes like self-made millionaire Serena Williams (who has a net worth $160 million). If athletes aren’t healthy, they can’t compete as well as they need to. However, health is important for any self-made millionaire still in the game; people need to be mentally and physically healthy to do their best work. Even authors like Stephanie Meyer and Nicholas Sparks need to take care of their health in order to have a clear mind for writing (and Sparks even coached his local track and field team).

5. They value money

piggy bank with dollars
Source: iStock

Obviously, there are many self-made millionaires out there who don’t value money; celebrities are regularly making the news for losing money and going bankrupt. However, self-made millionaires with staying power do value money. In order to become a millionaire (and stay that way) you have to save money. According to Rhett Power, writing for Inc., self-made millionaires understand that waiting and saving for what you want and need is the best way. They are wise with their money, they invest, they value education, and they teach their children the value of money. According to Thomas Corley, 88% of rich people agreed that saving money is critical to financial success. It makes sense: If you spend everything you make, or even too much of it, it will be hard to become rich down the line.
Self-made millionaires come in all types: celebrities, athletes, businessmen, inventors, authors, and others. The list includes introverts, extroverts, and people from all different backgrounds. What these people have in common is their ability to prioritize relationships and their health, save money, and work hard while enjoying what they do.