The Millionaire Next Door

Lots of Wealth, Lots of Discipline

As stated in The Millionaire Mind, a distinguished scholar told me just before I graduated:

If you don’t publish you may not get tenure at a good school.  But you will have a lot of friends.  Publish a lot and you will not be real popular among your colleagues.

I was reminded of this when I received an email from Dr. F.O., formerly a college professor: 

. . . read The Millionaire Mind. . . just a few years after I resigned a full professor position at the university to begin my own . . . business.  . . . I was 51 years old and virtually all of my colleagues thought I had lost my mind to give up the security of tenured university life, but it turned out to be the best thing I have ever done. 

Nine years after he started his own business he reached near decamillionaire status.  He is now retired and has had the time to reread The Millionaire Mind

Many things in the book describe my experiences from the living beneath our means [I was worth more than $1M before the business], to taking risks, the frustrations of working for others [in this case university administrators and tenured colleagues], to a supportive wife of 42 years, to my religious beliefs, to believing in myself, to finding a business niche. . . .

Some of his “friends” as he calls them told Dr. F.O. that he was just lucky, and he pointed out that he was “very insulted” by their comments.   In the survey of 733 multimillionaires that was the base for The Millionaire Mind, luck was rated among the least important success factors while being well disciplined was at the very top along with integrity.

I come from very humble beginnings, and from educational institutions at the bottom of the university food chain. Like the findings in the book, I was rejected by top tier institutions, but out published all of my colleagues. The idea of luck denigrates the hard work and preparation I put into everything I have ever done. Even though many of them [colleagues] come from elite educational institutions, none of them ever worked as hard or as smart as I did for many years, and they would never have jumped at the opportunity like I did if it came their way. In fact, they never even looked for any such opportunities. I have been blessed in many ways, but luck had very little to do with my success.   . . . I want you to know just how true I think your research findings are. I made this money in my 50’s. It can still be done in America with the right attitudes, beliefs, and hard work. Unfortunately, this is not the message society is sending to our young people.


2 thoughts on “Lots of Wealth, Lots of Discipline”

  1. I agree with Mike. I would really enjoy reading this mans story. Dr. F.O. unfortunately is correct when he says “this is not the message society is sending to our young people”. I’ve always taught my children your only entitled to what you work for. Thank you Dr. Stanley for your work!

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