When many people envision the typical millionaire, they may picture a privileged individual, flying off to exotic locations on a whim, and likely coming from a long line of equally wealthy family members.
But according to personal finance expert, Dave Ramsey, this is far from the case.
In his survey National Study of Millionaires, Ramsey discovered that when asked where their riches came from, a staggering 79% said they didn’t receive any inheritance from parents or other family members. This goes to show: Many millionaires are made, not born. Here are several common traits many of them share.
They Are Undeniably Bold
The adage that millionaires are “made, not born” holds much truth, says Dennis Shirshikov, head of growth at Awning. He believes one common trait is their approach to risk — they often display a calculated boldness.
“Unlike the popular portrayal of reckless risk-taking, successful wealthy individuals usually engage in well-researched and calculated risks,” he explained.
Another trait is their focus on continuous learning and adaptability.
“For instance, I recall a student of mine who started a modest investment in stocks while in college. He constantly educated himself, adapted to market changes, and is now a successful investor. This underscores the importance of a mindset geared towards growth and learning,” said Shirshikov.
He added that wealth creation is rarely about a single stroke of luck. It’s more often the result of consistent, informed effort and a willingness to adapt and learn.
They Have Unwavering Faith in Themselves
According to Harrison Tang, co-founder and CEO of Spokeo, one distinguishing trait of wealthy people is their unshakable self-belief, which is demonstrated by the way they present their success to the outside world.
“Their prosperity stems from their strong belief in their own abilities and understanding that hard work and determination are the keys to success rather than luck,” he said.
He added that rich people adamantly disagree that luck had a significant influence in their accomplishments. Instead, they subscribe to the theory that persistence and hard effort are the necessary ingredients for achieving one’s objectives.
“Their approach to wealth creation is emphasized by their unwavering faith in their own abilities and their dedication to hard, meaningful work.”
They Are Proactive With Finances
“In my experience, those who are ‘wealthy’ are never passive when it comes to their finances,” said Jake Hill, CEO of DebtHammer Consolidation. “They are always looking for new investment opportunities, new ways to maximize their savings, chances to earn more, etc. I think that a lot of the time, simply having more money instills in people a greater pressure to truly make the most out of it, which is why they are always looking for ways to maximize what they already have.”
Mafe Aclado, general manager at Coupon Snake, agreed. “Indeed, millionaires are made, but they are made from a deliberate intention to improve their financial condition, matched with adequate financial planning. Being committed to their purpose and visions, and working tirelessly to ensure that planning is through so as to ensure that execution goes hitch free, is one of their strongest traits.”
They See the Bigger Picture
“I would say one of the big traits wealthy people tend to share is the ability to look ahead and see things from a ‘big picture’ vantage,” said Carter Seuthe, CEO of Credit Summit Debt Consolidation. “It can be difficult for many people to strategize for the long term, even if that means losing money or making financial sacrifices in the short term.”
However, Seuthe has noticed that truly wealthy people often are able to see each financial move they make in terms of its long-term impact, and are able to better set themselves up for financial success because of this.
They Take Advantage of Opportunities
Millionaires are likely to have access to more opportunities than the average person, noted Ann Martin, director of operations at CreditDonkey. “They’ll usually be in a position to have an easier time making connections, getting loans, and attracting investors.”
However, she said those opportunities don’t do you any good unless you’re willing to go out and take advantage of them.
“If there’s one personality trait that millionaires tend to have in common, it’s a laser-like focus on building their business and building their wealth,” she explained. “They’re the kinds of people who choose to work long hours, who are persistent in the face of failure, and who have concrete, specific financial and business goals.”
They Are Straight-Up Action Takers
Before he started his successful company, Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, said he was grinding it out in the landscaping business. But by 23, he sold his first company and hit that millionaire mark.
“Over the years, rubbing elbows with other folks who made it big from the ground up, I noticed we all kind of dance to the same beat, especially in the blue-collar world,” he said. “Here’s the thing, the big difference between us and the rest? We just get stuff done. No sitting around, overthinking or getting lost in plans. It’s about rolling up your sleeves and diving in, whether that’s shoveling concrete or figuring out a new way to do business.”
They Experiment on the Fly
“We’re not scared to try new things,” said Clayton. “It’s like, throw it at the wall and see what sticks, you know? Success isn’t always about the perfect plan; it’s about trying, failing, learning, and trying again.”
Similarly, he said millionaires aren’t just dreamers, they’re doers. “Everyone’s got ideas, but what sets us apart is that we act on them. We’re the ones out there actually doing the stuff that others just talk about.”
They Make Moves, Not Excuses
“It’s easy to find reasons not to do something,” said Clayton. “But every blue-collar millionaire I’ve met? They find reasons to do it. They’re not waiting for the perfect moment. They make the moment perfect.”
He stressed that this mindset, this bias for action, is what got him to where he is today.
“And let me tell you, it’s the same for every self-made success story I’ve ever come across in this line of work,” he added. “It’s not about where you start; it’s about where you’re willing to go and what you’re willing to do to get there.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Dave Ramsey Says Millionaires Are ‘Made, Not Born’ — 8 Common Traits of the Wealthy