Millionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth & Prosperity
Book PrefaceMillionaire Success Habits: The Gateway to Wealth & Prosperity
When I decided to sit down and write a book exposing the raw, unfiltered habits that took me from generations of hardworking yet struggling family members to more success than I ever imagined possible for one man to achieve, I hoped it would make an impact on those who read it. But I have to be honest—I never imagined this book would become one of the best-selling books in the world and go viral. As I write this quick little update at the start of the book to let you know about two new chapters I’ve added, this book has well over 300,000 copies shipped and growing fast. Don’t just dabble with this book. Don’t just read the first few chapters and put it off until another day. Devour this book and put the lessons in to play in your life. And I almost forgot, the book got even better with two never-before-seen chapters on productivity and how to out-hustle and outperform everyone around you. This is your time. Make it real!
In the spring of 1944, a boy who we’ll call J.P. was born to immigrant parents in a rough neighborhood in the heart of Los Angeles. Before J.P. was two years old, his parents divorced, his mother struggled financially, and by the time he was nine years old, J.P. was out on the streets looking for a way to help his mom make ends meet. Newspapers, flowerpots, Christmas cards—you name it, he most likely tried to sell it. When his mother could no longer take care of J.P. and his brother, the boys were placed in a foster home.
As a teenager with no parental guidance, J.P. fell in with the wrong crowd, joined a local gang, and struggled to pass his classes as a student at John Marshall High School in Los Angeles. One day in 11th grade, J.P.’s high school teacher caught him and his friend Michelle goofing off and passing notes in class. He made them stand in front of the class while he proclaimed, “See these two? Don’t hang around them because they’re not going to amount to anything. They’ll absolutely never make it in any business.”
J.P. may have not realized it at the time, but moments like that create our life habits—successful ones, yes, but also bad ones that can hold us back from reaching our full potential. J.P. could have said to himself, “I’ll never amount to anything.” Instead he said, “The hell with that guy. I’ll prove him wrong.”
J.P. developed his first success habit on one of his first jobs. He told me, “I’ve worked all my life, starting from nine years old. I had things like paper routes at eleven years old that I continued throughout high school. I even worked for a while at the local dry cleaner sweeping the floors and doing odd jobs for an owner that was so tight with money that he squeaked when he walked! I was working as hard as I possibly could for a mere $1.25 per hour. Then one day after school he called me over and said, ‘Last night I looked behind the cabinets, and there was no dust! Then I picked up a rug, no dust! You clean this place as if I’m watching you every minute!’ I said, ‘You hired me to clean and my job is to do the best I can.’ He was so pleased he gave me a raise to a $1.50 an hour. For him to do that, it was like I won an Academy Award. And to be honest, I learned an important lesson from this period of my life. Successful people, whether they’re working for somebody else or working for themselves, do whatever they do to the best of their ability—as if the boss is watching them every minute of every day. I learned that in everything you do, always do your best.”
Some may believe that this makes you a foolish yes-man. I believe that doing your best is one of the success habits you should develop. The benefits are numerous, varied, and significant. In this instance, his habit helped J.P. complete a mundane task in the present (and complete it well), which led him to getting future tasks that he loved.
Before continuing with J.P.’s story, I’d like to tell you a little about success habits and how this book will help you to make them your own.
I am going to show you a path and process that will allow you to adopt success habits so they stick. You don’t have to flip your world upside down or try to force “new habits” overnight that disrupt your life and cause you to go back to where you started. Rather, you can make barely noticeable, small shifts in your daily routines by nudging out those things that don’t serve you and replacing them with habits that create a path to wealth and abundance. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, an executive, an investor, an employee, or a young person just starting your first job. The habits, principles, recipes, and exercises in the coming chapters will give you a competitive edge, catapulting you to that next level.
So while this book’s main focus is on financial success, the methods I’ll share can also propel you to new levels of fulfillment in other areas of your life, including family, parenting, friendships, relationships, spirituality, health, physical fitness, love, passion, intimacy, and more. No matter what anyone has told you in the past, you are entitled to and can possess fulfillment, joy, and abundance in all areas of your life.
I’ll help you develop these habits through a variety of methods. I’ll share amazing stories of hugely successful people I know and how they learned and applied the behaviors and routines that allowed them to become high achievers and earners. I’ll provide exercises that will help you develop and practice new habits. And I’ll offer some stories from my own life that I hope will inspire and instruct.
More about all this a bit later. Now let’s return to our friend, who when we last saw him was sweeping floors with great effort and skill.
J.P. graduated from high school, but he didn’t go to college. Instead he joined the U.S. Navy and served two years on the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. After the navy, J.P. held various low-paying jobs, including working as a janitor, at a gas station, and as an insurance salesman. He worked briefly for Redken Laboratories but was fired after a disagreement with his boss. He even took a job as a low-paid door-to-door encyclopedia salesman.
Looking back on that time, J.P. says he learned another important, lifelong success habit. “I would knock on fifty doors, and all fifty would be closed in my face. So I had to learn how to be just as enthusiastic on door number fifty-one or one hundred fifty-one as I was on the first door.” He learned to overcome rejection, communicate with people by listening to them, and persuade others to take action. This was not a dream job, but he was building some of the key success habits that would allow him to achieve breakthroughs later in life. He didn’t realize it, but his habits helped him persevere. At the time, the average door-to-door encyclopedia salesman working for straight commission lasted only three days. J.P. lasted three and a half years.
Despite his work ethic, J.P. still became homeless as a young adult. “When I was homeless the first time, it was in my early twenties. My wife just couldn’t handle being a mother anymore, so she left our two-and-a-half-year-old son in my arms and took off with all the money we had. I soon learned that she hadn’t paid rent for three months, so with no money and being three months past due on rent, we were evicted. I was in between jobs, so my son and I were on the streets with no money coming in and attempting to live in an old car I owned at the time. I remember saying to my son, ‘We’re going to make this together.’ I went around to vacant lots and picked up Coke bottles and 7UP bottles, because in those days you got two cents for a little one and five cents for a big one. When you’re broke and you can’t pay the bills, those are some of the most difficult times as a man and as a father. But what I learned was that when you’re really down and out, and you’re at the very bottom, all you can do is look up.”
As difficult as J.P.’s circumstances were, he possessed an advantage that many others in much better circumstances lack: He had a vision for his life! He was determined to start his own company, and after selling encyclopedias door-to-door for those three years, he knew he didn’t want to work for someone else. He could make it on his own.
But there was a major obstacle: J.P. only had $700 to his name. Everyone told him he couldn’t start his company because he needed more money, more schooling, more experience, more smarts, a different economy, and countless other things that he lacked. Sound familiar? Well, after listening to all that advice, he did what most successful people do: He listened first and foremost to himself and started the company anyway. J.P. developed a success habit of believing in himself and ignoring the naysayers. “That was extremely difficult for me. I mean, how do you start a company, balance your bills, not get paid, and still go out door-to-door selling your products every day? It was extremely difficult. We should have gone bankrupt every single day for the first two years of the company, but two years later, we were finally able to pay our bills on time. Not only pay them, but pay them off. I remember saying, ‘Hey, we made it. We’ve got $2,000 left over! We made it. We’re successful!’”
Eventually J.P. was able to use his persuasion and communication skills to grow his company by leaps and bounds. J.P. even improved his listening skills and developed a key habit of being able to read his customers on the deepest level. “I think what I’m really skilled at is having the ability to listen. And not just listen, but to listen to everything people are saying instead of thinking about what I’m going to say next. That took a while, but I think I eventually got pretty good at that.”
Through persistence and developing positive success habits—listening to understand, having vision, always doing his best no matter what, ignoring the naysayers, and staying positive in the face of rejection—J.P. built his company into an international success.
Perhaps you’ve heard the old saying, “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” J.P. is living proof of this adage. He started with nothing and rose to become one of the wealthiest people in the world. In 2015, Forbes magazine listed him as number 234 on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans (with a net worth of $2.8 billion). J.P.’s full name is John Paul DeJoria. He’s the founder of the Paul Mitchell line of hair products, Patrón tequila, and a dozen other successful businesses.
DeJoria often advises young entrepreneurs to develop positive habits, believe in their gut instincts, and take risks. He says, “You can’t just let other people get you down. I mean, what the heck do they know? I was told, ‘No, you can never enter the beauty industry’ dozens of times. Everyone would tell me that ‘there’s too much competition and that I have no money.’ I was even laughed at when I started Patrón. People said, ‘Tequila? At $37 per bottle? Are you kidding? I can buy tequila for four bucks!’ So go with your own gut feeling and always do something good for someone else.”
Though I love all of John Paul DeJoria’s story, I relish that early admonition of his high school teacher who told John Paul and his friend Michelle Gilliam they’d never amount to anything. Well, to say that they proved this teacher wrong is a gross understatement. John Paul is a billionaire who’s changing lives all over the world, and Michelle Gilliam is better known today as Michelle Phillips, a founding member of the 1960s folk-rock band The Mamas & The Papas, which sold 40 million records. Michelle tracked down that teacher for John Paul’s 50th birthday, and when the teacher learned of his former students’ success, all he could say was, “Well, shit.”
SUCCESS HABITS WILL PUT YOU ON A DIFFERENT PATH
You know, hearing a story like John Paul’s can be inspirational. It could be that Rocky story or that Rudy story or the story of the underdog who climbs his way up and makes it happen. But as inspiring as John Paul’s story is, in a way, it could also make you second-guess your own abilities. You might think, “I’m not what John Paul is—I can’t do what he did! Maybe I don’t have the energy he does or the nerve he does.” If this is your perception, then realize that at this moment that it doesn’t matter where you’ve come from. It only matters where you are and where you want to go.
But you’ve got to make the commitment to go there! You could be doing a thousand other things other than reading this book. In many cases, you could be doing busywork that dulls your senses and makes you carry on that status quo life that is less than you deserve.
Humans are busier now than they’ve ever been in the history of time. I love technology, but all the advancements to make our lives easier have really just allowed us to go faster. Let’s face it: What it has really done is made everyone flat-out busier. With text messages and e-mails buzzing in our pockets, our constant availability for phone calls, and hot new apps and social media on our phones, we are more distracted, more unfocused, and more enmeshed in sweating the small stuff than ever before! Many of us feel like we’re sprinting every day but really not getting anywhere. Well, what if I told you it’s true: you are going faster than ever before, but you may be on a treadmill and not a ladder. Fast is only good when you have the right path. Otherwise all you do is get lost quicker. When you have the right success habits, you get to go fast in the right direction because you know the destination in advance. I promise to share these habits in a way that will allow you to digest them and use them with ease. It will soon become apparent how you can quiet all the other “noises” in your life and expose the clear path to your next level. Let me tell you why this time will be different.
Like John Paul, you’ll see a growing number of small shifts you can make now that will have a massive impact down the road. When I was in special reading in seventh grade, I was mocked by my own teacher, Ms. Thompson, just as John Paul was by his teacher. Often, she told me I was stupid, but unbeknownst to me, I had dyslexia and had trouble wrapping my mind around reading and spelling basics. I just couldn’t figure it out. But there is, of course, a silver lining to those struggles, and even a silver lining to Ms. Thompson’s misguided actions. In fact, there were a lot of silver linings that came from that situation, but one specifically that will benefit you.
A unique ability emerged from my not being able to read and comprehend like other kids. Because of this “handicap,” I became a visual and audible learner who knows how to create easy-to-follow recipes for success. And following a recipe is much faster than trying to figure something out from scratch or through trial and error.
CHAPTER 1: The Time Is Right to Change Your Habits
CHAPTER 2: The Foundation for All Success
CHAPTER 3: The Villain Within
CHAPTER 4: The Power of Your Story
CHAPTER 5: Awaken the Inner Hero
CHAPTER 6: One Shining Goal
CHAPTER 7: Attraction and Persuasion
CHAPTER 8: After the “Yes”
CHAPTER 9: The Power of Happiness
CHAPTER 10: The Quick Hacks to Success
CHAPTER 11: The Challenge
UPDATED: PRODUCTIVITY AND THE ART OF ACHIEVEMENT
CHAPTER 12: It Has to Be a Heck Yes or a Hell No
CHAPTER 13: The Truest Form of Productivity and Why You Need to Master It
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