These expert tips will help you achieve sustainable wealth

What do the experts have to say about habits that lead to success?

The key to obtaining wealth is operating with a mind that already has it – observe the behavior of the successful and adopt their methods.  This isn’t a recommendation to “fake it, till you make it” but one the begs you equip yourself with the kind of mindset most conducive to financial success.

Before you obtain wealth you first have to instill habits that will enable you to keep it. Tom Corley put together a comprehensive list of ways to ensure we live within our means. He advises we spend no more than 25% of income on housing expenses (whether or not we rent or own), no more than 15% on food, and no more than 5% on auto leasing.

“Think of savings and investments as two completely different things. You should never lose money on your savings,” Corley says. “Try to stash six months of living expenses in an emergency fund in case you lose your job.”

Corley punctuates this list by urging us to contribute as much as we can afford to a retirement plan.  Speaking of taking note of the future, most of us could stand to consider our expenses as potential earners a little more.

Elizabeth MacBride of Forbes writes: “Americans see their houses, for instance, as homes, not as assets they could potentially leverage to make their lives more comfortable, as with a reverse mortgage in retirement.” Be mindful of every opportunity to furnish your income.

When you have successfully learned how to maximize what you earn and your assets, you can start to focus on achieving a higher wage. But first the fear of negotiating salaries needs to be dispelled. The Ladders recently released a report based on advice from college professors on the subject, and summarized the collected advice into five helpful tips:

  1. “Find out what salary and compensation package is considered competitive for this particular role in the market/industry”.
  2. Articulate your worth clearly and confidently
  3. Maintain a sense f professionalism
  4. Pull from both academic and real-life experiences
  5. Take non-monetary perks into account

Another huge part of making yourself destined for success in the future is preparing yourself for the kind of jobs it will be composed of. Automation and outsourcing will soon have an immediate effect on nearly every occupation.  This means we have to make a concerted effort to make a case for human labor over software. Devote every day to learning a new skill that will make you flexible in the economy of the future.

In a piece published in USNEWS Henry M. Levin enforces the need for the ability to adapt. “If countries want to be economically competitive, their workers must be primed for change.” Because so many jobs are either disappearing or being changed “beyond recognition” how hirable you are is directly related to how polymathic you are.

Staying the course isn’t always easy, which is why it’s important to establish and visualize goals. Aspirations hold us accountable for the day-to-day. Aaron Lee, founder and Ceo of Iluma Agency utilizes a vision board to help keep himself and his team consistently on the road of improvement.

“I set an intention and ask myself: ‘How can I become a better version of “me” in this coming year? A better leader, a better entrepreneur, a better person, a better family member, a better community leader …’ and then start my Vision Board with this intent,” Lee writes. “I’ve also introduced this to my team, and they now create Vision Boards for themselves and with their families to focus on intentions and priorities. I highly recommend the exercise, which provides a visual map toward realizing your goals.”

Surround yourself with people that will motivate you toward your goals. Learn from those more successful than you by associating with them. In his book, “Change Your Life, Change Your Habits” Thomas H. Corley expounds the concept of this.  In his experience, your net worth mirrors that of your closest friends. Join professional groups and develop relationships with people that can impart important lessons and habits.

In closing

Save money day to day with the intention to invest. Relinquish the fear of negotiating your salary; what you want should be more important than how you come across in your pursuit to get it. Commit a portion of every day to the development of a new skill; be polymathic and thus undeniable.

Establish lofty goals then attack them until they’re achievable. And lastly, immerse yourself in successful-minded company.

CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.