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Self-made millionaire: Here are 8 things rich people do differently that make them ‘ultra-rich’

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It took me 20 years of trial and error before I reached a multi-million dollar net worth. Now, at 64, I derive income from the 18 businesses I started and the 12,000 apartment units I own.

But I wish I had known sooner that rich people think differently about money. Although many people know how to earn a salary, they do not know how to multiply their money.

I have built relationships with many millionaires over the course of my investing career and have spent years observing their habits. Here’s what I learned:

1. They don’t diversify their investments right away.

It is generally good practice to diversify your portfolio by investing in a mix of different stocks, funds and other investments.

But as the wealthiest people build their net worth, they often go all-in on their own projects and diversify as they earn more.

For example, Elon Musk completely bet the $22 million he made from selling his first company, an online business directory called Zip2. on his next business, an online banking service called X.com.

After X.com merged with PayPal, he made $180 million selling PayPal to eBay. That gave him the money to invest in Tesla, SpaceX and other ventures.

2. They know that debt is for businesses, not people.

As I built my net worth, I didn’t accumulate debt for non-essential purchases like designer clothes or luxury homes.

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Even if I could pay the bills, I didn’t want to waste money paying interest. Instead, I wanted to use everything I earned to generate more money. For me, that’s putting my income into my business.

I’ve also paid cash for my house and I’ve never collected interest on a credit card.

In some cases, if you’re trying to build a business, debt can help you make money by giving you access to income-producing assets sooner rather than later.

3. Home ownership is not always their first investment.

You might think buying a primary residence is The American Dream, but it’s rarely what you see the wealthy do first.

In my opinion, home ownership doesn’t always see the same return on investment as other places you can put your money. I have three houses, but I didn’t buy them until I could buy them with cash.

4. Instead, cash flow real estate is the place to protect and grow money.

On the other hand, cash flow real estate — commercial real estate where you make a monthly profit on rent after your mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance — is a great way to grow your money.

You can earn passive income from owning these properties, and it’s often easier to sell them than a primary residence. When selling a primary residence, you need to find a buyer who can envision it there. When you sell a profitable rental property, all you need to do is find a buyer who wants to make a profit.

5. They always buy in bulk.

The wealthy are willing to spend more on each purchase to get a better price per unit and save time spent on repeating useless activities.

This can apply to a business – the wealthy can contract to buy bulk supplies or equipment – or your personal life. Whenever possible, I buy everything in bulk without an expiration date.

6. They invest in their network.

I’ve never had anyone invest in me who didn’t know me. And most of the real estate I own today was purchased from sellers who chose me over other qualified buyers because we had existing relationships and they had confidence in my ability to close.

The more someone gets to know you, the more they will trust you and believe in your talents and skills. This leads to better opportunities, faster decision making and higher margins.

So invest time and resources in making and maintaining the right connections.

7. They are never satisfied.

One of my friends, a serial CEO, has worked with some of the richest people in the world.

I once asked him what they had in common, and he said, “None of them were ever satisfied with what they had already achieved, but instead focused on the following could be being completed.”

The wealthy are never satisfied with their previous achievements. They believe they can always achieve more. This helps them think big about future business ideas, inventions, investments and other wealth multipliers.

8. They don’t waste time doing everything themselves.

The wealthy know that time is the only truly scarce resource. You can’t buy more of it.

So they maximize their time by letting go of the need to control every little detail of their business or portfolio, and learn to outsource and delegate effectively to good, smart people who will trade their time for money.

Give Cardone is the CEO of Cardon capitalbestselling author of “The 10X Rule” and founder of The 10X Movement and The 10X Growth Conference. He owns and operates seven private companies and a portfolio of more than $4 billion in multifamily projects. Follow him on Twitter @GrantCardone.

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