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Discipline: A Nutrient of Success

By Thomas J. Stanley on Feb 14th, 2012 in Studying the Wealthy

Nearly all [95%] of the top 1% of wealth holders in America reported that “being well disciplined was very important/important” in explaining their socioeconomic success.  As I stated in The Millionaire Mind,


A disciplined person sets his or her sights on a lofty target, then figures out productive ways to reach the target.  Disciplined people are not easily sidetracked. . . .  They could live in a French bakery and not gain weight or they could encounter hundreds of economic opportunities and then select one or two that are best suited to their strengths and the market’s needs.


Brian Grazer, a “powerhouse” Hollywood producer [The DaVinci Code, Apollo 13, “24”], is the living embodiment of a disciplined person.  The WSJ.Magazine recently detailed Mr. Grazer’s daily activities. After reviewing his agenda, I got the impression that he was a combination of the millionaire next door with the attributes of the millionaire mind.


Why is he successful?  He, like most of those profiled in The Millionaire Next Door [64.8%] is self employed.  Self employed people have nearly 5 times the median net worth of those who work for others.  I have often mentioned in my books that economically self employed people are extremely well disciplined.  They have a daily routine that maximizes output for every moment of work. They write their own job description.  Eighty-one percent said that the job they designed “allowed full use of my abilities/aptitudes.”


Successful people and those on their way never find it ego deflating to ask questions and gain knowledge from people who are leaders in their field. During his entire workday Mr. Grazer is constantly speaking to key informants who are authorities in their own field.


He has created a system of outsourcing learning, arranging meetings with intellectuals in which they download their wares into his brain as one might schedule a massage or a haircut.


According to the article, Mr. Grazer awakes at 6:30 am every day.  The decamillionaires I surveyed wake up at 6:37 am [median].  His diet is simple yet nutritious.  From the published photographs, it appears that he has little or no body fat.  It’s rare that I have found a millionaire who is noticeably overweight.  Nearly 1 in 3 [32%] decamillionaires are patrons of Wal-Mart.  And apparently Mr. Grazer is among them!  The article mentions “$1.99 cost of his Dr. Dean Edell reading glasses which he buys at a Wal-Mart . . . .”

One response to “Discipline: A Nutrient of Success”

  1. Sam - Pittsburgh says:

    One has to almost ‘will’ themselves to break away from their peers to become financially successful….

    I regrettably have never been able to powerhouse myself to the top of a field through leverage….but discipline is still my friend….

    But I love to ask questions (‘probe’) and prefer to rise early and go to bed early…

    “They have a daily routine that maximizes output for every moment of work…”

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