You know how people often tell you that nothing in life comes easy? Well, just like any other meaningful life-achievement, becoming rich is not a walk in the park. Acquiring wealth and sustaining it throughout your lifetime will require you to cultivate a combination of skills, values, and mannerisms that will enable you to move closer and closer towards financial success. As such, I want to share with you 5 skills I truly believe you need to rise to your ultimate financial potential in life. Let’s get into it!
Skill #1: Focusing on the present task
For most people, focusing on one task for a prolonged period is a big hurdle to overcome. We often surround ourselves with easily-accessible distractions and as a result, we lose a big chunk of our attention spans to these seemingly more entertaining options. However, if you want to see yourself jump to the right end of the financial spectrum, you need to master the skill of focusing on the present task and giving it your all.
Focus simply means laying out clear goals and objectives for a specific task and dedicating maximum time and effort to accomplishing these goals. Unlike jumping from one small task to another, focusing on one task allows you to attain your productivity peak and make the most out of your time.
For one, you’ll be able to accomplish your goals quicker since your brain will automatically shut out any other minor activities that would otherwise eat into its processing power and speed. Thanks to the improved processing power, your brain will have an easier time fulfilling the one task, and you will be more likely to produce top of the line results.
Secondly, focusing on the present task will help sub-due your stress levels, because, at the end of the day, you would rather go to bed with one completed task checked off your to-do-list, than with five half-baked ones waiting for you in the morning.
This incredible sense of fulfillment after successfully cracking a problem or finishing a task will push you to greater levels of success.
So every time you sit at your work desk in the morning, first ensure that you’ve shoved any form of distraction aside, whether it’s your social media notifications, a window on your computer, music, visual triggers, or any form of internal distraction such as hunger. On top of that, try as much as you can to resist the urge of multi-tasking, and instead, identify a task you want to work on, and pursue it with filial devotion.
Because with such dedicated focus, you’ll be better placed to build something from the ground up, and this could be your business, career, or even an investment.
Skill #2: Ability to unlearn bad habits
The second skill that will increase your odds of becoming rich is the ability to unlearn bad habits. Thing is, we all have our small, harmful habits that keep blocking our path to attaining financial freedom, and the sooner you get them out of the way, the better off you’ll be.
And these habits can cut through different aspects of your life, from health and dieting, financial habits, to the ways you consume entertainment. Maybe you can’t help yourself from over-indulging in video games, or the idea of quitting junk food just doesn’t sit well with you. So instead of acknowledging the fact that you have a problem, you keep making excuses to forgive your bad habits and as a result, they become so ingrained into your subconscious mind such that it becomes almost impossible to shake them off.
It’s easy to convince yourself that these habits have no correlation with your wealth status, but as long as you continue to entertain them, you will notice zero change in your net worth. Bad habits, regardless of their nature, will keep holding you back from exploiting your full potential, whether through draining your energy, eating into your time, wasting your money, or simply saturating your attention span. This is why you have to learn how to eliminate them, and while this is not an easy feat, it isn’t impossible either.
Research shows that the first step towards unlearning bad habits is identifying their triggers and keeping them at arm’s length. There’s likely a specific situation that increases your chances of snapping back to your bad habits, and it could be a place, a person, or even an item.
As an example, let’s assume that you have a friend called Mike, and every time you’re around him, you end up with a cigarette in your hand, even though you hate smoking. Or maybe, you are trying to check your spending habits. But every time you go shopping with your credit card, you find yourself spending way more than you should have.
Now, in the hypothetical situations above, your friend Mike and your credit card are the triggers to your bad habits, and if you want to unlearn them, you’ll have to monitor or even stop your interaction with these triggers.
Once the triggers are out of the way, you will need to unearth new, healthier habits that will lead towards wealth creation. Sign up for a gym membership, start a side hustle to keep you busy when you are free, or simply find powerful books to read when you are alone.
With time, you’ll realize that becoming rich is not all about money, but rather, it has everything to do with how you live your life on a daily basis, and healthy habits are the biggest motivator for being successful.
Skill #3: Inspiring others behind your cause
Although often overlooked, the power of engagement is an important skill that you will need in order to become rich. Learning how to shift people’s attention towards a cause you are passionate about is a big indicator of strong leadership abilities, and if you ask me, this is a sign that you are headed in the right direction financially.
A large fraction of rich people has mastered a subtler form of activism that enables them to amass support from all directions and consequently, make disruptions within their respective industries.
If you’ve ever tried it, you’ve probably realized that inspiring people to rally behind your cause is no small feat, considering the fact almost everyone has their heads buried in their individual life goals and dreams. Which brings up the question; how do you become a source of inspiration to people within and out of your reach?
Well, unlike shallow marketing approaches, you will need an elevated level of connection, persuasion, and strong will in order for people to jump into your cause.
For one, inspiring change requires you to have a few things in common with the people you are targeting, because at the end of the day, people will relate to something that is closer to their hearts. More often, this common denominator will be passion. Focus on targeting people who for one reason or the other, have experienced similar problems, such that they can quickly relate to whatever you are advocating for. Shed a light on the lives you’ve changed through your cause, or even better yet, let them experience it for themselves.
Secondly, a strong will ensures that you stay persistent even when you encounter a few rejections along the way, and this does not necessarily mean that you shove your views down people’s throats. It simply means that your enthusiasm won’t wear off, even as you allow the skeptical lot time to rethink their decision, and hopefully join your cause.
Albeit no small feat, inspiring people to rally behind your cause is a skill that you’ll apply when sourcing funds from lucrative investors, or even borrowing money from family and friends in order to inflate your business. No one, not even you, would be willing to give up their hard-earned cash for a vague cause that they barely understand, or worse still, one that is clearly headed nowhere. So start learning how to express your ideas in a straightforward, clear, and realistic manner, whether through telling relatable stories or simply using specific figures to make projections.
Skill #4: Postponing gratification
Have you ever heard of the term instant gratification? Well if you haven’t I’ll enlighten you. Simply put, it refers to the irresistible desire to attain pleasure or fulfillment in the present moment, without the willingness to postpone or eliminate the desire. You see how toddlers will often experience total mental meltdowns at the supermarket simply because they can’t have things their way? That’s pretty much it. The only difference is that with adults, the need for instant gratification won’t necessarily result in you throwing tantrums, but instead, it will lead to irrational decision-making.
As an example, the need for instant gratification will compel people to spend a big chunk of their savings on the latest car model, at the expense of starting a business that can potentially earn them greater financial rewards. Rich people realize that on some occasions, such future rewards are worth sacrificing for, which is why most of them opt for frugal and less affluent lifestyles as compared to their peers.
Although a difficult skill to master, delaying gratification is an essential trait that will increase your chances of acquiring wealth, and without it, bulging net worth will remain to be a pipedream. Actually, researchers have ascertained that there exists a correlation between postponing gratification and creating wealth, which is why wealthy people are often more willing to miss out on smaller rewards for the sake of bigger ones.
In case you are not making any progress with your finances, start by examining your life for any signs of problems that stem from instant gratification, and if you find any, start plotting your way out. A good starting point will be your spending and eating habits.
Do you grapple with any addictions, whether it’s shopping, alcohol, smoking, or junk food? If yes, then go ahead and come up with a system of rewarding yourself every time you successfully postpone gratification. If you can sustain this habit through an extended period, you’ll become much better when you face larger temptations down the road.
Skill #5: Selling your products and ideas
Now here’s the plain truth. The art of convincing people to buy your product and to join your ideas will take you farther in the business world than you can imagine. Are you able to overturn people’s initial negative perceptions concerning a product or an idea? Can you convince a total stranger to believe in your vision or idea? If your answer to the above questions is no, then you have work to do.
By now, you probably realize that business is a game of numbers and the more people you can build a solid connection with, the higher your chances of becoming an industry disruptor.
Learning to convince an audience takes an incredible amount of time, effort, and in some instances, experience, and since it’s a skill that you won’t build overnight, it is important that you start sharpening it right away.
It starts with fine-tuning your communication skills such that by the time you are ready to venture out on your own, you will have an easy time convincing stakeholders to come aboard your train. In a business scenario, these stakeholders can be in the form of customers, shareholders, business partners, creditors, and angel investors.
Learn how to communicate your ideas without coming across as too pushy, because most of the time, your target customers can smell fakeness from miles away. Instead of creating the impression of a desperate salesperson whose life depends on some commission, you can hook their interest in your product by whipping out a passionate business plan, or a genuine prototype. Tell them how the idea will solve a particular problem that they have and arm yourself with sufficient evidence to support your claims!
There you have it, 5 difficult skills you need to master to reach new financial heights!