Rich People Study Rich People


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In my Rich Habits Study I identified 334 data points on the habits, thinking and traits of 361 rich people and poor people and then compared those data points to each other. I found one set of data points very interesting:

68% of the self-made millionaires read biographies of other successful people


91% of poor people did not read biographies of other successful people.

Why was this important, I wondered? 

After some thought, the answer became obvious – history is the study of other people’s mistakes. What better way to avoid mistakes, then to read about the mistakes of other notable, historical figures so you can see those mistakes in advance of making them yourself?

When you read biographies of other successful people, you become a student of their mistakes.

Why is this important?

Wealth and success are typically built upon a foundation of mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more you learn what works and what doesn’t work. This is growth. The more you grow, the stronger your foundation. The stronger your foundation, the greater your chance for wealth and success.

Making mistakes, however, is very costly. The costs = time and money.

Those biography-reading, self-made millionaires were smart. They decided it would be less costly to learn from the mistakes of others, saving themselves time and money.

Studying other successful people is, therefore, one of the cost efficient shortcuts to creating success and building wealth. Studying the mistakes of others, allows you to see in advance, the mistakes to avoid in life.

When you become a student of other successful people, you are able to anticipate mistakes in advance of making them. Avoiding mistakes is critical to success. Too many mistakes and you can run out of money, resulting in failure. Individuals who make the fewest mistakes, therefore, save time and money, which keeps them in the game. Since success takes a long time, the key is to stay in the game as long as you can.

Everyone who is serious about pursuing success, should be reading biographies of other successful people.

What books are you reading right now?

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. I enjoy lots of nonfiction (mostly business and leadership topics, but I have to admit, I don’t read many biographies. The closest I’ve come to recently is The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind.
    So for someone like me, who wants to start reading biographies, what books would these successful people recommend reading?
    Thanks for the advice Tom!

  2. Will you post some of your top favorite biographies that you have gain wisdom from ? Thank you, I read your column daily:)

  3. Michael Bailey says:

    Great points Tom. I found “Walt Disney: Triumph of American Imagination” by Neal Gabler very instructive not only for business, but a warning for strengthening family relationship she while pursuing success.

  4. Google “Ryan Holiday reading list”. He reads widely and posts thorough nonfiction and biography recommendations.

  5. I had the same question–so many biographies. Where to begin? Look forward to your list.

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