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Lifestyle / Success

10 Brutal Lessons You Need to Learn Before Getting Rich

You'll never have enough billions to buy a new personality, so start improving the one you got for free.
10 Brutal Lessons You Need to Learn Before Getting Rich
Image credit: Klaus Vedfelt | Getty Images
- Entrepreneur VIP
Entrepreneur and Connector
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There is a common perception that upon obtaining wealth, the positive and negative qualities in people become more pronounced. Although it is true that one can make changes to their lifestyle and actions after becoming wealthy, it is more difficult to do so.

With a lot of money, you are often a busier person and you are more frequently under a spotlight. Plus, there are certain mistakes that making even once, after you have a lot of money, can be extremely detrimental.

If you want to be successfully and sustainably wealthy one day, here are 10 brutal lessons you need to learn first:

1. Be humble.

You have to learn the lesson of humility. It is challenging because it means overcoming an urge for external validation. Doing so prior to becoming wealthy, though, will pay large dividends.

Otherwise, you will likely have a desire to flaunt your wealth. This showing off often comes across negatively to others, plus, it will lead to you spending money on things you do not truly care about (like a round of drinks for everybody).

Related: Turns Out, Humility Offers a Competitive Advantage

2. Treat people well.

Once you become wealthy, your reputation is more heavily scrutinized, whether that is within your community or set of friends. In an even larger contexts, the way you act will be more frequently talked about. That makes it critical to treat people well.

A failure to do so can result in negative perceptions. That could close the door for future opportunities and give people preconceived notions before ever meeting you.

Related: 8 Small Things People Use to Judge Your Personality

3. Understand the impact you can have on others.

With wealth comes some form of power. You will have the ability to give back to others, both charitably and in business decisions. There is also significant social power that comes with wealth.

Many look up to those that are wealthy in hopes of being able to emulate them. That means that your actions and words can have a dramatic impact on others' choices. Even before becoming rich, it is a crucial lesson to learn how your choices and conversations influence others.

As you grow to be successful, that understanding becomes ever-more important. It can empower you to positively impact those around you.

Related: How Successful People Build Exceptional Professional Relationships

4. Know how to invest your money.

Learning how to invest your money in order to make more is a great skill, even when you have little of it. As you grow in financial capability, understanding investments can pay off greatly.

Receiving a 10 percent return on large sums can put you in a financially stable position for the rest of your life. A lack of knowledge about investing, on the other hand, can lead to poor financial decisions that will lose you the things that you worked so hard to build.

Related: Sand Hill Road Joins Private Capital Flooding Into Marijuana Startups

5. Find the things that make you happy.

Once you have a lot of money, your attention can become easily diverted. You will suddenly have an opportunity to partake in a wider range of experiences and activities than before.

In the case that you do not know what makes you happy, it is easy to pour time and money into new things because you can. Having a baseline understanding of what you enjoy, though, will better enable you to spend time doing what you love.

Related: 18 Easy Ways to Become a Happier Person in 2018

6. Surround yourself with the right people.

You should learn early on to surround yourself both with those you enjoy and those who enjoy being around you. When you do this, regardless of financial situation, you end up surrounded by the right people.

Without learning this lesson, though, you might be disillusioned into believing that people see you as their friend when that is not the case.

An emergence into wealth can have a negative impact on who you spend time with because your money will automatically make you more popular. Therefore, knowing what you want out of friends and having a strong support network before becoming rich will prevent these mistakes.

Related: Why the 5 People Around You Are Crucial to Your Success

7. Never become complacent.

Learn to avoid complacency early on. You should always strive to grow, do more and be better. This does not have to be in drastic, life-altering changes all the time. Rather, it is finding ways to continue to get a lot out of life and provide yourself with the necessary challenges to remain energetic.

Upon reaching financial success, without this mindset, you might be inclined to just relax. Doing so will prevent you from using your financial situation for good and could decrease your overall levels of happiness.

Related: How to Avoid Every Entrepreneur's Worst Enemy

8. Appreciate experiences over items.

Studies have shown that experiences make us happier than tangible things. Learning this lesson early on will have a drastically positive impact on your life. It is difficult to get over the ego bump that owning an expensive car or a huge house might have.

The reality, though, is that after making a big purchase, the novelty will wear off and you will be no better off. Spending effort and money on experiences, on the other hand, will give you memories that will last forever.

Related: 7 Reasons Why Spending Money on Experiences Makes Us Happier Than Buying Stuff

9. Be frugal.

You do not necessarily have to worry about looking for coupons to put toward groceries. That said, you should be very deliberate about how you spend your money. The people who have achieved sustained wealth do this very well. They do not buy things that they do not need. That money could be put to much better use in bank accounts or charity.

Establishing this frugality before becoming wealthy can help you maintain the wealth. Otherwise, with inflows of money, you will be inclined to spend it. This is despite the fact that the things you are buying will add little value to your life.

Related: 11 Ways To Be Frugal Now So You're Rich Later

10. Manage your ego.

We are ego-driven people. One way that we can get a sense of how we compare to others is by external indicators related to societal values. Wealth is one of those primary indicators. Upon being wealthy, you might establish the mindset that you are better than those around you. This ego can be extremely detrimental.

Even if you are humble on the outside, believing that you are better than others will cause you to act differently. You might be less inclined to meet new people or less open to others' ideas. Therefore, finding ways to remove ego from your life will help you achieve success while continuing to grow and learn from those around you.

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