According to my "Rich Habits" study, in which I spent five years observing and documenting the daily activities of 233 wealthy individuals (all had at least $160,000 in annual gross income and $3.2 million in net assets), I found that there are four main paths to becoming a multimillionaire:
About 28% of the individuals in my study were Dreamers. They had an average net worth of $7.4 million — far more than any other group in my study — and they were able to accumulate that wealth over a period of roughly 12 years.
This is the fastest, most rewarding path to wealth — and it's also the one that guarantees the most money. Consider this year's Forbes 400 list, for example: Seven out of the 10 richest billionaires in the world, including Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Bloomberg, are all Dreamers who got rich by starting their own company.
The Dreamers path, however, also happens to be the hardest, riskiest and most stressful one. "At worst, it's a daily walk through hell," one Dreamer told me. "It's riddled with hurdles, letdowns, mistakes, disappointments, rejections and financial struggles."
It takes enormous physical and mental endurance to walk the Dreamers path. Here are some of the biggest reasons why:
If you're risk-averse, this path may not be for you. But if you possess any of the traits or habits below, you might just succeed as a Dreamer:
Dreamers stay in the game because they are extremely confident that they'll succeed — and they're willing pay huge dividends down the road to make things happen. So the next time you see a millionaire entrepreneur, don't envy them for what they have. Envy them for their relentless persistence.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of "Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life" and "Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals."
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