7 things you need to stop doing to become richer and more successful

Elle Kaplan, Contributor
Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner.
Photo by Patrick Ecclesine

The ability to align your daily habits with your long-term goals is a powerful tool for attaining wealth and success. When investing, for example, today's money management decisions determine the scope of tomorrow's financial freedom.

Though we all aspire for success, few take the time to reflect and eliminate counterproductive habits. It can be a challenge to determine which habits are getting in your way, but once you know, act on that knowledge, and positive results will follow.

Here are seven attitudes, actions, and routines that you need to eliminate in order to move forward.

Playing it safe by avoiding challenges

Doubts and insecurities have no place in your mindset. It may seem natural to gravitate toward things that make you feel comfortable but, really, it is life's challenges that force you to learn and grow.

Move toward your goals by staying hungry for opportunities that will stretch your limits.

In the world of finance, an investor will reap higher returns by seeking opportunities in the global markets. The process is not necessarily easy, and in fact it can be quite challenging, but it increases the potential for success.

How to boost your productivity like Richard Branson
How to boost your productivity like Richard Branson

Accumulating debt

"Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken." —Warren Buffett

Debt is dangerous. Living with any form of debt is carrying a heavy burden. You may try to move ahead, but it will inevitably slow you down, as well as add to your daily stress.

The only solution is to completely kick it out of your life. Form a viable plan to pay off debt as soon as possible and commit to avoiding it in the future, so that you can focus on greater financial goals.

Saying 'yes' to everything

"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully." —Steve Jobs

Your success lies in your ability to distinguish tasks that are important from ones that you can either delay or delegate. This strategy empowers you to accomplish more, as you allow yourself to focus on what's truly essential for your future success.

Living beyond your means

Most billionaires actually live very simple day-to-day lives. The wisdom of their small decisions is a reflection of their larger, more effective actions. Jeff Bezos, Amazon Founder and CEO, drives a Honda Accord, while Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook, prefers a Volkswagen Hatchback. Obviously, the ultra-wealthy can afford the latest in luxury vehicles, but instead, they opt for the economical. They would rather focus their energy on more important things.

Some people spend hard-earned money without considering long-term consequences. Impulsive purchases, even small ones, can become habits that cripple your financial strategy. Imagine if you had saved or invested all that money.

Being overconfident

While self-confidence is a key to achieving greatness, arrogance can be self-sabotage.

Try to take personal bias out of the equation. To advance in your career and personal life, take the time to listen to those around you. Their thoughts and criticisms are instrumental to your growth as an individual.

According to Elon Musk, it's very important to have a feedback loop in which you are constantly thinking about what you've done and how to improve upon it.

What successful people eat for breakfast
What successful people eat for breakfast

Having small aspirations

If you want to succeed, be in it for the best things in life. Stop living with limiting beliefs. Even if it takes more effort, go for it — successful people have larger-than-life goals and mindsets.

The same thing goes for your financial success. Create life-changing goals. Establish strategies based on your needs and priorities and stay determined to implement your strategies, despite adversity.

"Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do something you don't necessarily want to do, to get a result you would really like to have." —Andy Andrews, self-help author

Dwelling on past mistakes (and not learning from them)

You can never turn back time, so don't try to live in the past. In the process of making your dreams a reality, you have to maintain a forward-looking perspective. The best kind of goal is one that you will work toward no matter what, setting aside failures and errors that you encounter along the way.

Treat mistakes as learning experiences that make you stronger and better as a person. "Shark Tank" investor Barbara Corcoran once said that her best successes came on the heels of failures.


Like a self-made millionaire, you have to start somewhere, so start with your primary goal. Ask yourself, What do I want to achieve? What kind of person do I want to become? Then begin by eliminating personal habits and outside influences that are not in alignment with what you truly want.

Once you've begun this process, your professional and personal life will fall into place.

Elle Kaplan is the founder and CEO of LexION Capital, a fiduciary wealth management firm in New York City, serving high-net-worth individuals. She is also the chief investment officer and founder of LexION Alpha.

Like this story? Like CNBC Make It on Facebook!

Don't miss: Amazon is LinkedIn's No. 1 most attractive U.S. company—here's how to score a job there

The most important things to do with your money before 30
The most important things to do with your money before 30