23 Ways Rich People Stay Rich…..


(this list is entirely from my humble opinion of working with self-made millionaires)


Over the last few years of my real estate brokerage and now, consulting clients and individual businesses, I’ve started to regularly work with rich and even very wealthy people. I’ve been watching, picking up tips, and even asking questions of the ones that I become very close to. In the last 3 years, I’ve learned a lot of the thought processes, the attention to detail, the risk levels, and the mindsets of those who truly chart their own courses in our world. And as I learned many things from these interesting individuals, and am trying to make changes in my own life, I have started to notice some definite trends and common practices among them…… here they are. The rich, they


  1. Start businesses. As soon as possible, the rich stop trading their time for money and rather find ways and businesses where they can hire people who do it for them. Not one of my clients has a job and is instead a multiple business owner. Owning your own business put you in a position of power, and keeps your time spent building assets not income.

  2. Learn how to negotiate. ALL of them knew how to negotiate like a pro. This is not a task to be left up to someone else. Saving money and getting the best deal is ultimately THEIR job.  

  3. Know exactly how much they made last month and have a specific goal for this month. They have a specific goal that they are aiming for and don’t mind making incremental steps to reach it. Of one of my clients this past weekend, he’s already a millionaire many, many times over (he’s also hired me to do some strategic marketing work in his company), I wondered, what’s next for this man. So I asked, “Sir, if you don’t mind, I’d love to know what the ultimate goal for you is”. Without ANY hesitation, he said, “I want to be the biggest employer in my country. Currently, it’s xxxxx and once I finish this project we’re working on, I’ll be at least ½ of him, so I know exactly how much further I have to go.  Plus, this person in power, he is 20 years my senior, so I know I can beat him”. How’s that for a specific goal eh?

  4. Are competitive and play to win, whereas the poor are constantly trying to preserve what we have. Some of us totally shy away at competing, and to me, this means that we really should not attempt starting a business if we want to avoid ALL risks. There are those chances where you can create something that has absolutely no competition at all, but that’s a scary place to be and it’s pretty rare. I mean, even when Apple’s ipad came out, it wasn’t alone for long and they had to constantly innovate to make sure they stayed on top. Compete or stay poor.

  5. Risk failure for even a glimpse of greatness.  I spoke with a very special lady last night, who is 20, and says that she knows she will be in business one day. The only thing is, that she wanted it to be perfect if she put her name stamp on it, that she could not risk failure and how did I do it. I told her, you cannot have GREAT opportunity without opening yourself to failure, just as you cannot experience a GREAT love without opening your heart to possible heartbreak.  The rich know that the greatest wealth sometimes sleeps in risky places and they don’t mind taking calculated steps to get it.

  6. Know exactly what’s in their account, what their credit score is, what they are worth at the bank, and simple accounting practices. This one amazed me a bit-the accounting practices that is. I met and was mentored by a serial entrepreneur and retired multi-millionaire in 2011, and he told me this, “Kristi, take a basic accounting course and learn what profit/loss, projections, EBITDA, etc. is. You are responsible for your money and what’s going in and out”. I have noticed that all of my wealthy clients have slightly above the average knowledge in accounting and ALWAYS know what’s going on with the money they do have.

  7. Diversify their assets and have money coming in from multiple streams. CEOs, there’s something to this creating streams of income thing. Most of the clients I’m speaking of on the real estate side, are in Oil and Gas, BUT, they all own real estate investments ( with me) have stock in various companies, none of them have 1 business ( they have a structure in place to run the others) have invested in other companies, and are constantly looking for and creating opportunities to grow their portfolios.

  8. Don’t waste a lot of time in agenda-less meetings. Watching my clients do this has  DIRECTLY impacted the way I have my meetings now. In the last few years, my meetings have reduced by more than ½. BUT, I’ve become much, much, more profitable. Before, even a whiff of new business got me out of the door, and burning my tires to go and grab a piece of something that I had not vetted for it’s legitimacy, had me talking to people who just wanted a date while I was desperately seeking a deal, or wasting countless hours meeting with people just because they might want to do business in the next year, or so, or…… Rich folks, they don’t do this. If a meeting happens, it’s pretty high-level and is done to lead to a contract. The deals don’t always happen, but a meeting NEVER happens unless the parties are serious and vetted. If you implemented this one thing here, how much time would you save…..

  9. Spend money to make money. What really surprised me and embarrassed me at the same time, was one of my first meetings with a pretty wealthy lady, and I was decked in my designer gear, thought I looked great, and she-she was much more modest, and didn’t wear designer names on her sleeves. Ohhhh but she looked great at the bank. I was wearing my lil change on my body, and she was making money with hers. Now, I’ve never been a total slave to designers, but I’ve definitely slacked off on my purchases and REALLY understanding that the rich, they use their money to build assets, to start businesses, to invest in other businesses, to buy real estate, to build apartment complexes, to etc. etc. The rich don’t wear their money AS much as the poor and middle class do. When they do make a purchase, trust, whereas we scraped together our coins to buy that Gucci bag, they could probably 2000 of them before they’d even buy one.

  10. Buy assets that increase in value, not decrease as soon as it’s bought. The rich make it a habit of buying real estate, art, jewelry ( increasing value jewelry) and land. They learn the difference between what is truly an asset and what is a liability.

    1. An asset puts money in your wallet.

    2. A liability takes money out of your wallet.

  11. Plan for a rainy day. No matter how wealthy they were, many of them told me that they always put aside money from every single deal for times when they may not make money or occasions when they may lose money. You never know what could happen, and they want to at least attempt to prepare for worst case scenarios.

  12. Have a budget. One of my recent clients and I are working on an expensive real estate investment for them. The husband makes the money, but the wife “manages” the money. Now, we’re talking about a few million here ( my biggest real estate sale), but when it comes to negotiations, the wife is concerned about $53,000. I was a little shocked-it seemed like pennies in the big scheme of things….But her negotiation skills taught me a bit, she said to me, “ Kristi, I have a budget. Period. It doesn’t matter what I actually have in the bank. For this investment, I have a budget, and we will stay within it”. Yesssss maam! Lesson learned.

  13. Do not pay full price for most things. Surprised eh? ALL of the clients that inspired this post, NONE of them avoid trying to get a bargain. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t, but they always attempt to get a deal and save as much money as possible.

  14. Become savvy about investing and don’t rely solely on their advisor. You MUST be in charge of your finances in order to grow them and you must have a certain level of knowledge yourself to keep that bank account growing. The wealthy are always open to learning more about money whereas the poor feel like we already know enough.

  15. Don’t make a ton of impulse buys. They take the time to research their purchases-especially the large ones, to make sure they are getting the best deal, are familiar with all of the benefits and truly need the item. I’ve watched this countless times.

  16. Are focused on mastering sales and marketing. They don’t shy away from these 2 skills thinking someone else in their company can do it or should do it. They become masters at selling- I mean, who’s the best spokesperson for your business, product, service or yourself? They also are quite comfortable at marketing, are open to new techniques and marketing trends AND they watch what’s working so that they can implement it into their lives and businesses more often.

  17. Find ways to leverage their money, while the poor find more jobs and ways to work for their money. Again, wealthy people are always looking for ways to make their money grow, instead of ways to work for a salary or be paid by the hour.

  18. They create their own opportunities. The rich don’t sit and wait for someone to give them an opportunity, for a window to open, for someone to call, for permission. All of my clients are very confident and have taken risks to build pathways when the road seemed to be at a dead end.

  19. Don’t sit on their ideas and instead find ways to capitalize and make money off of them. They also don’t take years to launch an idea. I remember one of my first wealthy clients in 2005- I learned sooooo much from this guy, but the kicker is, we were the same age, which intrigued me, while also making me feel some kind of way. He made MOVES and he didn’t ponder them forever. He didn’t wait for the “go” committee to give him permission, he didn’t wait for his friends, family and peers to get on board. He had an idea, he gave it it’s due diligence, then he went with it.  He has one of the most charismatic personalities and bullet proof confidence that I’d ever seen and I’ve personally seen him launch 2 million dollar enterprises since 2005.

  20. Are active learners but don’t sit on knowledge. They don’t spend hours reading books, or attending seminars NOT to use it. It has a reason and is directly proportional to a goal they are trying to reach and they fully intend to use the information actively.

  21. Are not victims. They feel they are responsible and have the power to create a certain lifestyle for themselves, whereas the poor feel like everything happens to them, and that they have no control. The rich, understand that you are not given control, you take it.

  22. Focus on opportunities, while the poor focus on the obstacles. Wealthy people make less excuses or complain about obstacles currently in their way. I have witnessed this first hand in times of emergency- they IMMEDIATELY get into problem solving mode. The rich move right along with their goals and plans and face obstacles when they occur. They don’t waste time focusing on calamities in the sky that may or may not ever happen.

  23. Dream BIG. They don’t walk around life asking for what they think they deserve-small rations or crumbs. They stake their claim, not matter who is offended, who doesn’t believe in them and they chart a path to reach it.  They want it all and they want the BEST. From day one, many of them think of themselves as millionaires even if they have not one dollar yet. They also do not hang around with folks who have a poor mindset. One of the wealthiest told me, when he first said that he wanted to be rich, his friends laughed and reminded him that he came from the dirt, that he did not have the proper education or connections. He removed himself from them. They could not see his vision that he had for himself, nor did they have a vision for themselves. They were poor in mind and if he was to ever reach even the edges of his dreams, he’d have to travel light. Now, some of those same friends work for him……DREAM BIG!


I’ve learned a lot in the last few years from my clients from Jackson Realty and Investments AND from Women CEO Project, and I hope that in compiling this list for myself, that it has helped you. For most of these clients, we developed a good friendship and they fully allowed me to ask as many questions about life and business as I wanted. I remember one saying to me, “ Kristi, you’re so inquisitive. But I know that you ask so that you can learn and that you never mean harm, so I’ll tell you anything, if you promise to use it”. Powerful stuff. I’m very appreciative of the real world lessons, the authenticity and openness I’ve been shown.

Soooo after reading what the rich folks do, I’m sure you’re wondering about the rest of us blokes…what should we be working on to get to that level. Well, since I’m in the growing phase, I can tell you, that I have not gotten to that level, but I am definitely headed there, first, by claiming it, second by knowing that I deserve it, next, by learning where I make mistakes ( shopping ) and instead, making better decisions that will ultimately lead to my goals. Ohhh, and I have a really specific goal. I do have PLENTY of opinions on how we can head in the other direction, and I’ve listed them all, for another post, but for today, I’ll let your brain rest, while you ruminate on the lifestyles and decisions of the wealthy.

Got an opinion or advice on how the rich stay rich? Drop it here in the comments. We’re ALL learning……

  1. Ashleigh says:

    Great article with lots of useful information. Thank you for posting this!

  2. Tony says:

    Thanks for this blog was so helpful..:-) keep up the good work..

  3. Dianne says:

    Really awesome article!

  4. Chané says:

    This was a great post. I appreciate you for sharing

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