Jaime Tardy, author of "Eventual Millionaire," spent more than three years interviewing over 130 millionaires from all walks of life to find out what makes them tick and what makes them different from us non-millionaire folks. She identified a few misconceptions most people have about millionaires -- that most are born into wealth or that they just got lucky. Here are five myths that may surprise you.
Myth: Millionaires are smarter
“One of the millionaires I interviewed actually got a note on his report card that he had all Cs and the teacher said that he was a daydreamer and wouldn’t make anything of himself. So it doesn’t necessarily matter whether you’re book smart or not. A lot of people also have ADD and dyslexia that I’ve interviewed. They pride themselves on really pushing past the limits, seeing opportunities where a lot of other people don’t, being really creative -- those things that aren’t really measured in school.”
Myth: Millionaires are just lucky
“One of the great quotes that I love is 'the harder you work the luckier you get.' And time and time again I have seen them be so full of hard work. One of the people I interviewed -- his name was Bobby Casey -- he had a company that built bicycles for Walmart. He went to 60 Walmarts before one of them would accept his company, and I asked him, 'what if you only went to 59 and quit?' And he was like, 'well I would have kept going until I hit 300 stores. I never would have quit.'”
Myth: Millionaires live lavishly
“Most of the millionaires I interviewed consider themselves frugal... Some said ‘I don’t even like that word. I really like investing in myself.’ I just assumed if they had an excess of money, they wouldn’t really budget very much, they wouldn’t really pay attention to that kind of thing. But all in all, they actually did.”
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Myth: Millionaires are born into money
“I know a lot of people just assume, ‘well, of course they have money because they inherit it.' The ones that I specifically wanted to talk to are self-made millionaires. Most of their parents actually weren’t even well off at all. They made all their money within their generation, which I think is really important.”
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Myth: Millionaires are fearless
“When I started interviewing millionaires, I asked ‘were you scared?’ So many of them completely admitted -- 'yeah I’m scared. I’m scared all the time, I’m even scared now.' And the funny thing is, that doesn’t go away. They’re just human. What they really did was assess the situation, and realize that ‘hey, I have fear, but I have to get past this fear to move forward. So what do I need to do? What pieces to I need to put in place in order to mitigate these risks?' So it’s not so risky and they can really feel like they’re jumping forward."