The Millionaire Mind: Summary & Review

The Millionaire Mind surveys more than 1.300 millionaires to understand how they think, what they do, and what they did to achieve what they achieved.

Bullet Summary

  • Social skills, discipline, and courage are the most important personal traits
  • Passion and love for what you do is paramount
  • Saving and a good life partner are major factors

The Millionaire Mind Summary

The biggest benefit of being a millionaire is to live free and happy. Free from debt, bad bosses, and making ends meet. And loving because they love what they do.

1. Success Factors

Stanley asked the millionaires to rank 30 different success factors.
The top three were:

  1. Honesty
  2. Discipline
  3. Social Skills

As a website focusing on social skills, I was not surprised. 94% of the millionaires said that getting along with people is one of the most important factors in getting rich.
Check out my Social Master Guide for getting good with people.

[bctt tweet=”Be a finisher in a society of starters” username=””]

2. School Days

Stanley says a majority of millionaires did not attribute their success to either university or grades.
Indeed many millionaires were rather average. And they were judged as not good or smart enough to get into the top schools and professions.

My Note:
don’t diss school though. Keep in mind that 90% of them had a degree. You could easily wonder how many of them would have become a millionaire without that degree.

A degree is not just a piece of paper and classroom knowledge. It’s also an opportunity to live on your own, socialize, date, and make a defining life experience.

But many of those millionaires used the judgment to fuel their own ambitions and hunger.
Indeed the harsh judgment drove them to prove the opposite. They became good with people, they hunted for opportunities and they built a strong work discipline.

My Note:
basically, they became smart and “more than good enough”. Read how to develop a growth mindset and learn you can become whatever you want. That’s your biggest lesson.

Top grades are the beaten path. The millionaire mind challenges that

3. Courage and Wealth

Of course, all of them said that to accumulate wealth you need to take risks.
Some key mindsets:

  • Overcoming fear
  • Believing in yourself
  • Keep working at it and confidence will come

Employee is Riskiest

Millionaires have the mindset that being an employee is the riskiest position of all. You can get fired at any time and you have a ceiling on how much you can earn.

Don’t Invest In The Stock Market

Everybody talks about investing in the stock market, passive income, and compound interest. But millionaires focus on building a business instead.
This is the same mindset that DeMarco espouses in The Millionaire Fastlane.

9 to 5 is the biggest risk

4.  Vocation, Vocation, Vocation

This chapter of The Millionaire Mind can easily be summarized as: do what you love.

There’s a strong relationship between how much you love what you do, how much you work on it, and how good at it you become.

Don’t think that your passion necessarily comes from some lofty goals. Love comes from continuous effort and the deepening of skills.

Read Angela Duckworth’s Grit on the subject.

Getting good at spotting opportunities, wherever they come from, is also something one could be passionate about.
Millionaires indeed are happy in launching car washes or truck spare parts businesses.

To find your vocation Stanley recommends you try many different things before you eventually stick with one.

5. Choice of Spouse

90% of married millionaires say their spouse has been instrumental to their success.

These guys are, as you would expect, very careful when choosing mates.
However, most of them mentioned the most stereotypical reason you would expect: love. Attractiveness and common interests were also important.

Among character traits, they appreciated:

  • self-worth
  • integrity
  • compassion
  • honesty

6.  Economically Productive Household

Millionaires budget and spend carefully.

For example, they buy products in bulk, fix their shoes instead of buying new ones, use coupons, etc.

However, they are not the Scrooge McDuck type of men (of course: you don’t get rich wasting time).

They are frugal but not DIY maniacs. They were aware of the opportunity cost of doing menial tasks. So they hire and outsource to focus on what they are actually good at and what makes them the most money.

This is similar to The Millionaire Next Door, which Stanley co-authored.

7.  The Home

Millionaires present a few common tendencies when buying a house. They:

  1. Don’t pay the initial ask price
  2. Take time scouting for good options (foreclosures, divorce sales, etc.)
  3. Don’t build from scratch (73% never had a custom-built home and 80% never had a spec house)
  4. Only buy what they can afford (if their income were cut 50%, they could still afford it)

Basically, it’s the same concept of being frugal applied to real estate investments.

8.  Lifestyles: Real VS Imagined

Stanley says that the millionaires he surveyed don’t spend money to have fun. They don’t do crazy holidays, splurge on super-cars or go on exotic vacations.
They bootstrap for business ventures instead of borrowing and, on average, attend religious activities.

the millionaire mind book cover

Real-Life Applications

Use Harsh Judgement as Fuel
Most millionaires were not slated for success by the system, school, or the world. But they used that as fuel to get great. That’s the biggest takeaway for me.

Do What You Love
Yes, the old cliche. Don’t think it’s silly just because it’s a cliche.


Incomplete Survey
A survey of all the successful people is by its nature incomplete. There are probably people who behave the exact same way as these guys but did not succeed.
Nassim Taleb in Fooled by Randomness laughs at The Millionaire Mind. He says that the courage to take risks is also a necessary trait for bankruptcy.

Spending Money for Fun & Experiences
The idea that one should not spend money for “fun” is dangerous to me. Studies show that people spending on experiences have a happier and more meaningful life.
Foregoing holidays, traveling, and trying new things make for a poorer life.


The Millionaire Mind has some similar concepts to Rich Dad Poor Dad when it comes to real estate investment; The Millionaire Fastlane when it comes to business VS employee; and The Millionaire Next Door when it comes to frugality.

It is different though. it uses more statistics and gives fewer suggestions and recommendations.
I appreciated the numbers and I appreciate the psychological and sociological profiles of the millionaires. Very good and that sets it apart from all the other similar books.

Become a Millionaire
Get the Millionaire Mind on Amazon.

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