What Rich People Do (Self-Concept, Self-Esteem & Motivation)

What Rich People Do (Self-Concept, Self-Esteem & Motivation)

Understanding the psychological traits and habits that underpin the success of wealthy people can offer significant insights for anyone aiming to grow their wealth and achieve more success.

The dynamics of self-concept, self-esteem, and motivation are particularly pivotal in shaping the destinies of self-made millionaires. These foundational psychological attributes drive their ability to accumulate wealth and sustain it.

In this article, we will delve into how these characteristics manifest among the affluent and how they can be cultivated to foster success and prosperity in various aspects of life.

Self-Made Millionaires Have These Traits in Common

The psychology behind the behaviors and habits of wealthy individuals often ties into concepts of self-concept, self-esteem, and motivation:

  1. Self-Concept: Rich people often have a very defined and strong self-concept, which is their understanding of who they are and what they can accomplish. This includes seeing themselves as capable of generating wealth and sustaining it. They tend to believe strongly in their effectiveness and often view themselves as leaders or pioneers.
  2. Self-Esteem: High self-esteem is shared among the wealthy, as success can reinforce a positive self-image. This isn’t just about feeling good; it’s about believing they are competent and deserving of the successes they achieve. This confidence can drive them to take more significant risks and pursue more ambitious goals, as they trust their ability to handle potential setbacks.
  3. Motivation: Wealthy individuals are often highly motivated, not just by money but by what the funds can achieve—influence, freedom, or the ability to invest in their passions. Their motivation can stem from a desire to maintain their status, create a legacy, or achieve personal milestones. They often set high standards for themselves and are driven to meet or exceed them.

This psychological makeup can lead to continuous self-improvement, meticulous risk management, and a proactive approach to opportunities and challenges.

Keep reading as we dive deeper into each concept of thinking, like the rich.

The Power of a Strong Self-Concept

Self-concept is a collection of beliefs you hold about yourself regardless of the feedback from others. For wealthy individuals, a strong self-concept often means viewing themselves as capable of generating and sustaining significant wealth.

This self-perception includes seeing themselves as influential leaders or pioneers in their respective fields. Entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey exemplify this trait, where their self-concept has seemingly merged with their professional identities and ambitions.

They see themselves not only as participants in their industries but as pivotal figures shaping those industries. Such a robust self-concept enables them to set ambitious goals and relentlessly pursue them, even in the face of substantial challenges.

The Role of High Self-Esteem in Wealth Accumulation

High self-esteem goes hand in hand with a strong self-concept but focuses more on an individual’s emotional evaluation of their worth. Among the wealthy, high self-esteem is not merely about feeling good about yourself but believing in your competence and deservingness of success.

This high level of self-esteem encourages them to take significant risks and pursue ambitious goals, bolstered by trust in their abilities to overcome potential setbacks.

For example, self-made millionaires often credit their achievements to their belief in themselves, as articulated by icons like Warren Buffett and Richard Branson. Their stories highlight how high self-esteem propels individuals not to envision success and actively chase it, making it a fundamental trait in their psychology of wealth.

Motivation Beyond Money

While it’s easy to assume that the wealthy are solely motivated by money, their actual drivers are often more nuanced. Beyond the tangible rewards, wealthy individuals are frequently driven by what their money can achieve—influence, freedom, or the ability to invest in their passions.

Their motivation can stem from desires to maintain their status, create a legacy, or achieve personal milestones. This intrinsic motivation sets high standards, pushing them to meet or exceed these benchmarks.

For instance, many successful entrepreneurs are known for their relentless pursuit of innovation, not just for financial gain but for their impact on the world. Steve Jobs was an excellent example of this.

Behavioral Traits That Drive Success

The common behavioral traits among wealthy individuals include a continuous commitment to self-improvement and meticulous risk management. These behaviors are proactive responses to opportunities and challenges alike.

Wealthy individuals often adopt a lifelong approach to learning and personal development, which allows them to adapt and thrive in various circumstances. Moreover, their approach to risk is not about avoiding but managing potential downsides and maximizing opportunities.

This adaptability and foresight are crucial for sustaining success and are often seen in how they handle their successes and failures.

Key Takeaways

  • Cultivating a Defined Self-Identity: Affluent individuals often hold a crystallized sense of self, viewing themselves as capable architects of their fortune and leaders in their domains.
  • Embracing Robust Self-Worth: Elevated self-regard enables the affluent to embrace risk and set lofty aspirations, trusting their capability to manage and surpass challenges.
  • Diverse Motivations Fuel Achievement: Financial prosperity is often a byproduct rather than the sole aim for the wealthy; their driving forces include impact, autonomy, and passion for endeavors.
  • Adaptive Behaviors Foster Longevity: Successful individuals continually adapt and optimize their strategies, focusing on personal growth and prudent risk navigation to sustain their success.


In exploring the paths to prosperity, it becomes evident that the psychological underpinnings such as a strong identity, profound self-worth, and multiple motivations are integral to the enduring success of self-made millionaires.

The psychological traits of self-concept, self-esteem, and motivation significantly contribute to the wealth accumulation of self-made millionaires. These traits inspire the pursuit of financial success and bolster the resilience needed to maintain it.

These elements, complemented by adaptive and strategic behaviors, drive wealth creation and ensure its sustainability. By internalizing these principles, anyone can enhance their potential for personal and financial advancement, embodying the core traits that characterize rich people regarding self-concept, self-esteem, and motivation.

By understanding and cultivating these characteristics, anyone can foster a mindset conducive to personal and economic growth. Reflect on how you can develop a stronger self-concept, boost your self-esteem, and find motivation beyond monetary gains to pursue your version of success.