After five years of studying the habits of millionaires, primarily self-made millionaires, I’ve identified the #1 factor to accumulating enormous wealth – pursuing something you are passionate about. It goes by another name – purpose.

When you pursue your main purpose in life, it fills you with passion. That passion acts like fuel. It energizes you to put in the hours and work hard. In my research, self-made millionaires worked an average of 11 more hours a week than the poor.

It’s not that successful people have a greater work ethic. They work harder because they love what they are doing. They’ve found their main purpose in life and when you find your main purpose in life it motivates you to work. You want to work.

But we’re using the wrong word here – work. What you do for a living ceases to be work when you enjoy it. Individuals do not become successful because they are workaholics. They become successful because they no longer “work”.

“But I don’t know what my main purpose in life is,” you say. Well, I have news for you. You do. Everyone has a main purpose. In fact, everyone has the same, identical main purpose. You just don’t know it. So, what is the common main purpose everyone shares?

To improve the lives of others by adding value to their lives.

  • When what you do for a living inspires others, you are pursuing your main purpose in life.
  • When you create a product that adds value, you are pursuing your main purpose in life.
  • When you provide a service that adds value, you are pursuing your main purpose in life.
  • When what you do for a living helps lift people out of poverty, you are pursuing your main purpose in life.
  • When what you do for a living helps others become successful in their lives, you are pursuing your main purpose in life.
  • When what you do for a living makes people happy, you are pursuing your main purpose in life.

When you boil it down to its simplest terms, each person’s main purpose is to add value to the lives of others. When whatever you do adds value, you are pursuing your main purpose. People will happily reward you financially when they perceive what you do for them as adding value to their lives. The more value you add, the more money your make. The more lives you add value to, the more money you make.

The formula for becoming wealthy is really very simple: More Value + More People = More Money

Your job is to figure out what your superpowers are, your strengths, and then figure out a way you can use your superpowers to add value to the lives of as many people as possible.

The money will follow when what you do for a living adds real value to the lives of others.

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Tom Corley

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner, public speaker and author of the books “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals” and “RichKids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life“.  Corley’s work has appeared on CNN, USA Today, The Huffington Post, SUCCESS Magazine, and many other media outlets and podcasts in the U.S. and 27 other countries. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider and CNBC.

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