Prepare Yourself For Success


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The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery are one in three hundred million.

Not far behind, are the odds of becoming an overnight success.

It’s exceptionally rare to pursue something new and become immediately successful at it. But it does happen:

  • Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind in 1936. In that same year, the book sold 176,000 copies, unprecedented for an author. But the more incredible feat was that Gone With the Wind was Mitchell’s first and only book. The book has since gone on to sell more than 33 million copies. By contrast, the average author never sells more than 500 books in their entire lifetime. For self-published authors, that number is less than 200 books sold during a lifetime.
  • Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook on February 4, 2004 from his Harvard University dorm room. By 2007 Facebook had become a phenomenon, making Zuckerberg an overnight success and a very wealthy young man.
  • Elon Musk started Zip2 in 1995. Zip2 was a company that provided and licensed online city guide software to newspapers. In February 1999, just four years later, Compaq Computer paid Musk and his two partners $307 million to acquire Zip2.

The media loves to write stories about individuals who suddenly become successful. It excites readers and gives them hope that they too can become rich and successful.

Reality, however, is not so exciting.

Let me share some of my data with you about the millionaires in my Rich Habits Study:

  • 1% (2 out of 233) became wealthy before the age of 40
  • 3% (6 out of 233) became wealthy between age 40 and 55
  • 16% (38 out of 233) became wealthy between age 46 and 50
  • 28% (66 out of 233) became wealthy between age 51 and 55
  • 31% (73 out of 233) became wealthy between age 56 and 60
  • 21% (48 out of 233) became wealthy after the age of 60

If you do the math, 80% did not become rich until after the age of 50.

The romanticized notion of getting rich quick always finds an eager audience. We are stimulated by stories about the young and the wealthy. The immediate success of youthful billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin play to our get rich quick desires.

We also obsess over stories about lottery winners. And the lottery people know it. California’s lottery catchphrase is Imagine What a Buck Could Do. New York’s lottery catchphrase is  Dollar and a Dream. There is even a popular reality T.V. show called Lottery Changed My Life about how the lives of lottery winners were changed.

Instant gratification is the rallying cry of millions with a get rich quick mindset.

Unfortunately, getting rich quickly is a rare phenomenon. It’s clear from the above data that accumulating wealth takes a very long time.

One of the reasons success takes so long is because the pursuit of success is often accompanied by adversity. Setbacks, mistakes and temporary failures are common among self-made millionaires. Those who persevere, overcome adversity by learning what to do and what not to do. And that learning, takes time.

This is why those few who do succeed, are almost always seasoned veterans.

For most successful people, success is a long process; a progression of one thing to the next, completely under the radar of your consciousness. You just don’t see success happening in real time, even when it’s happening, because the march towards success is so slow and takes so long.

It is very much like snow falling on the side of a mountain. You don’t see the snow accumulating or the snow bank growing. Then one day, there is an avalanche.

Success may eventually reward you with an avalanche of riches, but it is an avalanche that is the byproduct of decades of laser focus, hard work, learning, pivoting and relentless persistence.

Those who understand this have realistic expectations of the journey and, therefore, do not become disheartened when success is not immediate.

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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. Johanna Hughes says:

    Very true. Great article

  2. I really needed to read this because I am beyond age sixty.

  3. Temilola Ajibola says:

    I now understand why I experienced failure in the past on the road to success as a self made millionaire .
    Thanks for this great article, I am prepared for success, I now know what to do

  4. I know why Margaret Mitchell sold 176,000 copies of Gone with the Wind

  5. Howard Anthony Adderly says:

    Thank you Tom very much your research its very informative you’re a blessing you help regular people understand the mindset it takes to be successful or to be a millionaire I appreciate your hard work and dedication towards guiding individuals With this knowledge and information all is not lost we where never taught these things as a baby boomers which I am we go through life thinking you get a education you get a student loan you get a job and then you suffer thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience God bless you continue with your forms thank you so much and I won’t tell any but one of your wings is sticking out of your shirt because you truly are an angel thank you

  6. Hey Tom,
    Your emails are always the first thing I read in the morning. I don’t know how I found you but, you are a blessing I needed in my life…Devine Connections
    I started following you around the summer of 2018. I read all 3 books, purchased your audiobooks, listen to you on podcast and youtube….If I hear your name on T.V or read about you in an article…I say “Tom” as if I know you personally…Everybody know when I say Tom Says…They knows who Tom Is…I’m obsessed with you..LOL
    I started my own Real Estate Business Residential Hunters. 3rd Year in Business
    The game has changed and I’m have trouble keeping UP!
    I realized Everything in your Book “Change Your Habit: Change Your life “…IS HAPPENING TO ME!!
    I kept saying Tom is Right.. Tom is Right..He’s Right….
    I was watching my business go under and couldn’t stop it!!!…. I LOST FOCUS!!!

    Thank You for Your Guidance..

    P.S.Sorry for the lengthly email

    • Lengthly? I read it 3 times Bambi! Just like you and everyone else who has decided to take the Success Journey, I need constant re-fueling. Emails like this help re-fuel me, so that I can continue my mission to help others achieve their dreams and realize success and happiness in life.
      Thank you Bambi for all of your support. And thank you for spreading my mission to your inner circle.
      I’ve learned from my study of millionaires, that they use certain strategies/habits to attract other success-minded people to their cause. One of those is sharing knowledge/information with others. Whether you are conscious of it or not, that is exactly what you are doing. Those within your inner circle who are success-minded, will be the ones who show the most interest in the knowledge/info you are sharing. And that creates another new inner circle for you – one comprised of success-minded people.

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