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6 Important Skills of Self-Made Millionaires



6 Important Skills of Self-Made Millionaires

There are ambitious individuals all over the world working hard to achieve millionaire status. It is a status that most would agree epitomizes financial success. We’ve all heard countless success stories of people who have become millionaires, some even at a young age. We also know that many of these people started with nothing, which is likely where the term “self-made” comes from.

There are many paths a person can take to become a millionaire. Some have become millionaires by investing in real estate. Some have done it by building and selling a business. Some have done it by investing in other businesses. Some have done it by creating and selling digital products such as software, mobile apps or information products.

So we know that it’s possible, and we know that there are many ways that people have done it. But what we don’t often hear about are the specific skills that these self-made millionaires possess that are paramount to their ability to create substantial financial wealth, regardless of which path they take to create it.

After interviewing dozens of self-made millionaires, here are 6 specific skills that I’ve found to be common in all of them: 


1. They know how to manage money

Self-made millionaires know how to manage money. They know how to use the money they make to make more money. They multiply their wealth by getting their money to work for them. Most people don’t know how to make money work for them, so they never stop working for money. Most people spend the majority of their income on personal expenses and whatever is left will typically sit in a low-interest savings account.

While most self-made millionaires began by working for money, they kept personal expenses low and put their remaining income to work. They didn’t let their money sit in any one place for very long. They put it work by using it to grow their business or purchase investments that would yield a return. By minimizing personal expenses consistently for several years while continuing to re-invest as much money as possible into income-generating activities, these individuals were able to compound their wealth in relatively short periods of time.


2. They know how to create win-win relationships

Self-made millionaires know how to build and cultivate win-win relationships. Believing that their network is equal to their net worth, they make a commitment to cultivating relationships with people who can help them achieve their goals, and in exchange they help those individuals achieve their goals. By continuously expanding their network, they can create opportunities by connecting the right people together. And as their network expands, the number and quality of the opportunities they are presented with also increases.



3. They can delay gratification

Self-made millionaires have the discipline to delay gratification. Most people are very impulsive and entertainment driven. They often spend money on unnecessary things that give them immediate pleasure but have no real long term benefits. Most self-made millionaires had little interest in short term pleasures as they built their wealth. They had the discipline to not waste money on unnecessary items or waste time on unnecessary activities. They made plenty of sacrifices that the average person doesn’t make, and as a result they are now able to enjoy life at a level that the average person can only dream of.


4. They know how to influence others

Self-made millionaires know how to influence and persuade others to help them do what they need to do. Even though the term “self-made” implies that no one else’s help was used, in reality we all require the help of others to achieve our goals. For example, a real estate investor will likely not build wealth in real estate without the help of real estate agents, appraisers, mortgage lenders, contractors, or tenants. A large goal often requires the involvement of several people. Self-made millionaires know this, and have therefore become skillful communicators. They are able to effectively persuade others to willingly contribute whatever services they can.


5. They are resourceful

Self-made millionaires seldom let a lack of resources stop them from achieving their goals. If they didn’t possess the resources they needed to seize an opportunity, they found someone who did and negotiated a win-win arrangement for both parties. If they needed money, they found where to get it. If they needed certain talents, they found the right people. Self-made millionaires know that a lack of resources is rarely the problem – a lack of resourcefulness is. When resources were scarce, they learned to be very efficient with what was available to them. Being efficient with a little was practice for being efficient with a lot.

“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”Norman Vincent Peale

6. They know when to delegate

Self-made millionaires are conscious of the value of their time. They deliberately spend the majority of their time on high-value activities (activities that yield the greatest return). For example, an entrepreneur whose goal is to earn $1,000,000 in a single year and is prepared to spend 2,000 hours on work-related activities, calculates that the value of one hour of his time is $500 ($1,000,000 divided by 2,000 hours). In order to achieve that goal, that entrepreneur must spend his time on activities that are worth $500 per hour to their business. All other activities need to be delegated. You can’t expect to earn $1,000,000 in a single year if you spend the majority of your time on activities that can be delegated to someone else for $20 per hour.

Self-made millionaires identify which of their daily activities are most productive in terms of growing their wealth. They focus as much time as possible on those activities and they delegate the other activities (paperwork, administration, running errands, etc.) to other people. They abide by the Pareto Principle – also called the 80/20 Rule – which states that 80% of results come from 20% of activities. Self-made millionaires invest their time in the right activities.

I would love to hear your thoughts about my article in the comment section below!


  1. Shenè

    Jul 29, 2016 at 6:54 am

    This is excellent. I would add the importance of lifelong learning.

  2. stephen ruhuma

    Feb 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    as i was reading i found out that i do most of these things

  3. Sree Harsha

    Feb 22, 2016 at 7:44 am

    A crisp article about self-made millionaires. Loved it. I have couple of questions for you.

    1) I was just wondering if you know of any books on “How to user our current money to make more money”.

    2) I am currently reading Tony Robbin’s Money master the game which goes into great depths of investing money and taking advantage of Compound interest but the only hurdle is I am an Indian citizen and I am not really sure about the tax implication if I invest in global stock indexes. Any suggestion on how to go about investing?(Affordable Global tax consultant ?)


  4. David Gregory

    Oct 30, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Refreshing perspective. Different from the typical Top 10 list you normally see.
    Money – relationships – delayed gratification – influence – resourceful – delegation.
    Couldn’t agree with you more.
    Nice article! Thanks for taking a different route


    • Tyler Basu

      Nov 1, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks David I appreciate the feedback! I am glad I was able to bring some new ideas to a common topic.

  5. Andres

    Oct 30, 2015 at 10:48 am

    Excellent Article, also is important to mention the constant learning to open more investment opportunities as well.

    • Tyler Basu

      Nov 1, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      Good point! Constant and never improvement / personal development is a big one too.

  6. taiwo micheal soteye

    Oct 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Wow this is awesome and educative thanks a lot like really appreciate……keep up the good work …cheers

  7. Jagpal Mann

    Oct 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Excellent piece of work, very motivating, delay gratification, delegation. It is really master piece write up.

    • Tyler Basu

      Oct 30, 2015 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks Jagpal glad you enjoyed this one!

  8. Eric

    Oct 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    What a deep thought provoking article. Everything was on point, thanks.

  9. Nelson Baptista

    Oct 29, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Great article loved it just the right amount of information and I would like to know if there any books that I can read to better manage money or books on that matter starting from the first point to number six?

    • Tyler Basu

      Oct 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Nelson, thanks for commenting. It is hard to think of one single book but a few classics that come to mind are: How To Win Friends & Influence People, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Rich Dad Poor Dad, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and The Millionaire Fastlane.

  10. AJ

    Oct 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Very informative. You included some great reminders!

  11. Alexis

    Oct 18, 2015 at 4:12 am

    This was a great article and now my new go to blog for valuable content. Keep it up.

  12. Lawrence Berry

    Oct 18, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Great article! I have read countless articles on the habits and skills that self-made millionaires have and yours hit the spot. If you are going to become a self-made millionaire, you need to know how to manage money and how to cultivate relationships. One of the biggest problems that I have is networking right and cultivating relationships. That is one of the biggest things that I have seen that self-made millionaires have, the capability to help the right people. In turn, they have the right people to be able to help them obtain the level of success that they want.

    • Tyler Basu

      Oct 18, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Lawrence! There are definitely many articles on this topic out there. I am glad to know you feel I brought some fresh ideas to a common topic. In terms of building relationships, the best advice I can give is to add as much value to others upfront as you can. Find out how you can help someone, and if you can’t personally help them, introduce them to someone you think could. The law of reciprocity will eventually work in your favor.

  13. Suriel Ports

    Oct 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm


  14. Jeremy Fremont

    Oct 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Tyler, thanks for the great write up. Delegate, delegate, delegate. The whole “But I can do it better myself” is unfortunately a trap many get stuck in. Thanks for a good reminder of important traits to remember of those who have achieved millionaire status.

    • Tyler Basu

      Oct 18, 2015 at 4:04 pm

      No problem Jeremy, I am glad you appreciated the reminder!

  15. Tyler Basu

    Oct 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Hey Ethan, thanks for commenting! Yes, delaying gratification is a tough one, especially when people around you are out having fun, taking vacations, buying new toys, etc. It takes a lot of discipline to deny yourself those things while you focus on building wealth. Short term sacrifice for long term gain =)

  16. Karen Bolds

    Oct 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I need knowledge in my business I have a pizza place and trying to find the right people is a problem

  17. Tau Rai

    Oct 17, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Fantastic article indeed! Number 1 and 6 got me thinking quite deeply. For someone running a one-man consultancy firm I find myself spending hours on low paying activities – fear of delegation! I can safely cry wolf here. Mixing business and personal finances has killed some of my business relationships over the years.

    I am coming out of all this today. I am committed to posting this article on my small office board.

    Thank you!

    • Tyler Basu

      Oct 18, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Hey Tau thanks for commenting! Have you considered hiring a VA (virtual assistant)? Finding someone to work for you, even just part-time, is a great way to start delegating those low-level tasks. If you’re somewhat of a perfectionist, just record your computer screen as you do the task yourself, explain how you’re doing it, then give the training video to your VA so they can handle it just as well as you do =)

  18. Ethan Bridges

    Oct 17, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Hi Tyler,

    Your article is great!

    For some reason, #3, delaying gratification, struck me the most. Overcome yourself first and you can most probably overcome anything else 🙂


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