I listened to a past episode of Money Peach (www.moneypeach.com), where Tom Corley, the author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, was interviewed. If you’re interested, it is Episode 49 – Daily Rich Habits of Millionaires with Tom Corley.
I started the podcast not knowing what to expect. I’d never heard of Corley nor his book. This would later surprise me, because I thought of myself as a tuned-in reader, especially when it comes to personal finance books. I know I haven’t read all of them related to the subject, but I think I’m at least aware of them. Obviously, not.
The podcast blew me away.
Chris Peach interviewed Corley the way I would interview Sammy Hagar - with straight-up fanboy excitement. The interview was fun and informative and when it was over, I immediately bought the book.
When it arrived, I will admit to being taken aback by its size. It’s more of a booklet. I had to fight my immediate prejudice and remind myself of something I’ve talked with others about for years – the increasing size of books, both fiction and non-fiction, to justify the inflated pricing from publishers.
If you consider books from forty or fifty years ago most are 25% to 50% smaller than the books of today. They didn’t need as much fluff to tell a story or deliver a message. Today, you must pass a weight test to justify a $30 price tag for a new book. Why not cut out the fluff, deliver the message quickly and efficiently and charge a reasonable price?
That’s what Rich Habits does.
You can sit down and read this book in an uninterrupted hour.
Starting in 2004, and extending over the next five years, Corley interviewed hundreds of people, both wealthy and non-wealthy. He asked each person 144 questions each. It took sixteen months to turn that information into a usable spreadsheet. Then he wrote and self-published Rich Habits.
Nothing happened, though. For three years, the book never took off. Therefore, Corley shifted gears and wrote articles that would add value to people’s lives. These articles were pitched to the media.
In 2013, Yahoo picked up one article and later interviewed Corley. That moment changed everything as Dave Ramsey noticed the article and mentioned it on his show. He also mentioned Corley’s book and it blew up after that.
Let’s be honest. Who wouldn’t want Dave Ramsey to mention their book or blog on his show? I know I would!
The Hole in My Swing
I won’t walk you through the various habits as I believe that takes from the power of the book and I really believe you should read it. Like I said before, it will take you less than an hour, so do it!
However, I will say a couple things.
I was surprised at how many of the rich habits I have managed to adopt over the past several years since my financial awakening. It’s taken a lot of other books and paying attention to the habits of my wealthier clients, but I developed several of these habits now.
When I saw those habits written down as characteristics of the wealthy, I became exited. Oh, man, was I stoked. I’m on my way, I figured. This book was going to be an affirmation of the things I’m doing right. Kudos for me, right?
Fortunately, I found out there were habits I was missing out on.
I say fortunately because I don’t need to be patted on the head and told I’m doing okay. To use a baseball analogy, if there is a hole in my swing it needs to be pointed out so some wily pitcher doesn’t continue to throw high, inside fastballs past me.
That’s what this book did.
There are two things it pointed out that I’m not doing well compared to the average rich person.
First, the rich place a value on their health and go out of their way to take time to exercise. I think I’m a fairly healthy guy with emphasis on fairly. I’m a ‘stop and go’ type of work out person. I’ll work out for six months to a year, take a break and then start over at the beginning. It’s always painful to do start over (maybe some of you have experienced this). When I work out, it’s so intense that I then burn myself out. For some reason, I haven’t learned how to do this with moderation.
This is something I need to pay attention to. Even 30 minutes a day would be better than what I’m doing now. Thirty minutes a day, six days a week, is three hours of exercise. No one would fault me for that. However, I always feel thirty minutes is too short. It needs to be an hour or longer – every day. And then I burn out.
The second thing I discovered from reading Rich Habits is that the wealthy foster relationships. Corley explains it in the book but went even further in depth on the podcast. If you haven’t listened to it yet. Do so. You won’t regret it.
Anyway, I’ve realized later in my life that I’m sort of terrible at long-term relationships. I must work and pay attention to them. It’s been this way my whole life. I believe it stems from my childhood. When I was a kid, my family moved around a lot and I was in four different elementary schools before moving to new school districts for both junior high and high school. That’s a lot of schools for a kid. Follow that up with a stint in the military and you get a personality that doesn’t foster relationships because I believe people move in and out of your life. Except they don’t, if you pay attention to the relationships.
I’m an adult and have been in the same city now since essentially for a quarter of a century. I can’t use the excuse of people moving any longer. I need to stop hiding behind that excuse and force myself to establish meaningful relationships with successful people.
With relationships, I know I’m often task-oriented. I focus on what must happen now. Is it done? Good. Let’s move on. This is the same with work as it is inviting a friend out for a beer. Boom. Done. Let’s go.
I’m not good at just picking up the phone and calling to see how someone is doing. In fact, I’m down right terrible at it.
How I run my business isn’t bad. I’ve been successful at it, but there’s obviously something missing in how I sustain relationships.
Rich Habits is one of those books that is worth picking up again just to quickly read through and remind yourself of average habits of the rich. It’s like The Millionaire Next Door, but you can quickly digest it when you find an open hour in your schedule.