Success is measured by the person. If you’re in business, then success might mean moving into that corner office one day. If you’re a stay at home mother, then success could mean raising your children to be happy, healthy, and functioning members of society. Regardless of our own definitions of success, I think we can all agree, it’s directly related to our habits. I believe it’s safe to say that highly successful people follow these four habits. After all, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”
1. Live Within Your Means
Don’t spend more than you make. There are many different ways to say it but in the end, make sure you are only spending what you have already budgeted for. Don’t plan on spending your tax return money before you have it. Also, You Need a Budget, YNAB has greatly benefited my wife and I. YNAB has helped our marriage in creating better communication around our money, eased the tension of how much money we have, and the biggest question everyone asks, “can we afford this?” There are many budgeting tools out there that can all help you organize your finances. My favorite is YNAB.
Find ways to increase your savings. I suggest trying to save at least 10% of your income. Having an emergency fund of 6 months creates a comfort that you only know once you experience it. Trust me, it’s amazing. Once you have your emergency fund, you can start to pay down debt, invest, and save for that dream vacation.
Investing is not a get rich quick scheme but it is one of the easiest long games to become wealthy. Many millionaires started by saving and investing early and consistently over the years. Many would enjoy being a millionaire next week but investing is a long-term game. Embrace your strengths and invest what you can to win the long game.
3. Become a Continuous Learner
This is a common theme in my blogs but there are many successful people in the world that all have one thing in common, they read and read a lot. Warren Buffett dedicates 80% of his day to reading. Bill Gates takes reading vacations where he just reads and thinks, that’s it. There are some awesome and free ways to learn thanks to technology. There are podcasts, blogs, vlogs and documentaries you can take advantage of every day. Find out what you enjoy learning and double down on it.
4. Work to Become Your Best Self
Your best self composes of 4 different aspects; emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical. Find ways to grow in each of these. By doing so, you will see a balanced life take form and find happiness by embracing these. Don’t resist happiness and run away from working on your life. It takes dedication but nothing great comes without sacrifice. One of my favorite quotes is by Coach Vince Lombardi “A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
Your best self and becoming successful is defined differently for everyone. Your money is a tool to create that life. Let’s work together to create your best life.
Steven LaFleur grew up in Rapid City, SD and after high school went to college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he majored in finance and met his wife Kelly. After college graduation in 2013, he worked for the family business for three years but eventually, Steven decided it was time to pursue a passion of his in helping people and their finances. Steven is now a financial advisor at True Measure Wealth Management in Omaha, NE. Steven and his wife Kelly have two daughters who keep them busy at all times of the day. Steven enjoys skiing in the mountains and also biking and golfing during the non-snowy months.