The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires

eventual millionaires

[Note: Download your own copy here.]

I read book after book but the advice seemed awful. And even the advice that was clearly good (“eat better”) there was almost zero chance I would follow.

I don’t know how to take good advice. I don’t know how to give it. And all of this talk about “habits” seems beyond me.

I was all alone with no one around to police the spill of my primitive desires.

Trapped in that nightmare world between: “If only this had happened” and “if this happens, I will be a success” without thinking that right now is when things can be different.

The negative things I was doing were weighing on me, causing me anxiety, stress, darkness, draining me of energy, and I refused to take responsibility for them.

So I tried something. Happiness is when you do good things for yourself, but do them just a little each day – else disappointment and failure.

Every day I’d take a random habit that I knew was good (see the attached 20) and I’d try to improve it a little. Just “1%”.

Following these habits was not about me. I didn’t see success in me.

I noticed I was impacting others when I followed good habits. A good habit is the pebble dropped in the ocean that ripples out to every shore.

Each habit compounds over time. Each habit is a super power.

Self worth is a myth. We’re in this together. Our actions are the impact everyone else feels.

Be the person that everyone remembers.

These 20 habits are the seeds. You plant them, you water them, some grow, you grow, everyone grows. I only know this because I had to do it.

The 20 Habits of Eventual Millionaires

1. Say “No”

When you say “NO” you have more time to read, learn, sleep, ask questions, contact friends, love life. Say “no” more.

2. Love

This is the only religion. This is the only thing worth surrounding to. This is the fuel for your ideal muscle

3. Make Mistakes

Mistakes are the spell books of success. Study them hard. Learn their incantations. When muscled tear they rebuild

4. Plant seeds

Basic garden math: 1% of seeds turns into 50% of the flowers. Plant lots of seeds

5. Be around people who are kind to you and love you

Other people will make you unhappy, unkind, and unsuccessful.

6. Stand next to the smartest person in the room

Harold Ramis did is (Bill Murray). Steve Jobs did it (Steve Woznick). Craig Silverstein did it (Who? Larry Page). Kanye West did it (Jay-Z). I make money only when I do this/ 

7. No excuses

Blaming is draining. Camplaining is draining. Explaining is draining. We don’t have enough inner plumbing for all that draining.

8. Dont be in a rush

Every overnight success I’ve spoken to. Took 10-20 years to get there. But ONLY if the celebrated small success along the way.

9. Solve difficult gratitude problems

If you can find a diamond in the mud, you’re going to end up with a lot of diamonds in life.

10. Warren buffet’s 5/25 rule

Make a list of the 25 things you want to do in life. Now foo the top 5. And NEVER THINK ABOUT THE OTHER 20 EVER AGAIN. Else they will take time away from the 5 that are most important to you

11. Write down 10 ideas a day

This actually turns into a super power. Do this for six months straight and see what happens.

12. Follow up

I’m shy and bad at this. And lazy. Send on email the next day with an idea on the next step. I have to do this. 

13. Ask questions

There are more questions than answers opportunities are buried in the questions. Facts can be outsourced.

14. 1% a day

Whatever you want to get better at: do 1% more each day. 1% a day, compound, is 3800% a year. You win.

15. Right now

Regret will waste time today worrying about yesterday. And anxiety will steal energy from the future. Focus on right now. 

16. Sleep

Sleep rejuvenates brain cells, heals the body, reduces anxiety. And your brain is only active 2-5 hours a day. Sweet dreams.

17. Every day, avoid death

You can’t get rich from a hospital bed. Or a grave. More every day, sleep well, eat well.

18. Do one thing every day you loved as a kid

This is usually the fuel that can power your life

WAIT – I thought you said there were 20?

Secret to success…

Give yourself permission to be wrong

  • Kevin Bingham

    Love it! Though can we get a larger version?

  • Adam

    Is there a chance I can get this pic:
    in high resolution?

    I’d like to make a poster out of it.

  • James Buechler

    Terrific altucher.

  • Jesse Schweizer

    Mr. Altucher, may I suggest using a PNG version of the graphic instead of JPG?

    A lossless format would be great for your readers!

    Short explanation: JPGs lose information each time they’re replicated–that’s why the graphic is blurry here, better on Facebook, and (maybe) better still on Twitter. Consider a JPG as a copy of a copy of a copy ad infinitum.

  • Disbshaun

    I only count 19. Am I missing one??

  • Melayne Flores

    Love your comment about standing next to the smartest person in the room. It reminds me of the advice my mom gave me: sit in the front of the room, closest to your teacher! I wish I had listened more closely and asked her more questions! Boy, do I miss her now.

  • Steve Cousins

    I love those but I don’t really agree with the first one. My entire life changed because I learned to say yes to almost everything. I wasn’t overwhelmed by time wasting requests, but then I understand you are celebrity status and I was never that. Instead I was drawn outside of my introverted, narrow comfort zone and thrust into some very scary life changing situations. And even after I “made it” I kept on saying yes 90% of the time, every time unless I was completely positive it made no sense and wouldn’t give me any chance to learn something new. I get the concept and I’m sure it works for most people but for me, if I had believed that was the way to go, I’d have used it as a crutch to avoid the very ventures that changed my life for the better!

  • Will Chou


  • Melquiades Centeno

    Love this one James. Some of the best nuggets I have read this far.

  • Starshot

    Amazing list. Further amazing because for the last 16 years I’ve been teaching “The 1% Solution” as part of my training program. It is literally reaching for the aim of 1% improvement in all areas of your life each day, relying upon the compound of that interest to produce phenomenal results. You are such a kindred spirit, from your views on education, work, joy, all of it. Just wow. Can’t believe I never read your work before, but am glad I did now.

  • SleeveEye

    My best friend has become a multi-millionaire and he hits almost all of these, but there’s one more thing I know he would say: Save your Money, Don’t spend your money on frivolities or cheap crap from China.