Top 7 habits of high net worth individuals

The other day my pal Shirley Genga, a writer for The Standard for many years, and myself an ex-KTN TV presenter were having Coffee at the new Java in Nairobi’s Centre. At some point the conversation as is often with us turned to wealth creation, and we began to analyse the common traits between all the Newspaper (The Standard, The People) and Television (KTN, Standard Online) interviews we have conducted of high profile Kenyan and Internationals, all high net worth individuals.

We wanted to figure out what they had in common, and with that extrapolate what made them rich. Between us we have conducted thousands of interviews with entertainers, celebrities, enterpreneurs and self made wealthy people including Shaggy, Chris Rock, Ajuma Nasenyana,Heshan DeSilva, Dorothy Ghettuba,Chris Kirubi,Caroline Mutoko…among others

We established that rich people behave in a similar way. This is a simple summary of what our analysis condensed
1. They value their time
Wealthy people without exception value their time. They set goals, plan their schedules well, and often use a to-do list. They plan even years ahead with a vision, mission, work plans, quarterly plans, appointments and so on. They work hard when its time to work, plan to have family time and fully focus on their loved ones at the dinner table and schedule holidays to play hard. Plus they dislike to be kept waiting. (Hear!hear!)

2. Fitness and wellbeing
Financially savvy people go to the gym, eat well and generally take care of their bodies. They know that for one to perform well, your body must operate like a well oiled machine. Wealthy women invest some time and money pampering themselves as they understand that feeing relaxed and beautiful makes one an optimal performer. If you a pedicure to feel like 110% , then that’s what you do to get the best out of yourself.
They eat freshly cooked food, visit a nutritionist, hire a chef or a cook if they realize they are not able to cook on their own. They are generally aware of their health and well being.

3. More reading, less TV
The financially endowed don’t watch a lot of TV. They read though, and mostly development or self help books. Some read biographies, business books and lots of new material. They seek knowledge to improve themselves so that they can do better, and be better. If they watch TV, it is news and a few choice programs, and very little if any reality TV.

4. They have stood alone
The successful have had big dreams no one else but themselves believed in. In lots of cases a few family members or close friends bundled in to support them, and they value and appreciate them, more than they value and try to impress strangers. Mostly, they looked crazy and weird going after abstract concepts. Now that they are a success, they appear credible. But they never forget the time they looked crazy and alone, and may do it again to pursue a new venture.
5. Embrace change and new technology
Adrenaline junkies, adventure enthusiasts, risk takers, whatever you want to call it, they are it. High net worth individuals understand the value of embracing fast changing environments. Some say the experiences help them keep sane during humdrum days, others say it’s a personality trait, who knows. At the very least wealthy people take holidays which leave them invigorated and strong, ready to take on big challenges when it arrives. If you rest often, then upheavals are fun, they don’t leave you cowering in a corner. As for technologies, they analyze them, and then figure out their place in life and business.
6. They take up opportunities
Small avenues can open huge doors. The rich may take up small looking opportunities with an eye into the future, even when there is no obvious financial gain from it at the moment. This could be a matter of instinct, interests or passion. Take it, run with it, and create opportunities around it.

7. They interpret information and use it to predict the future
Entrepreneurs analyze current trends to extrapolate future trends. They interpret information and use it to make decisions about products and services and the impact on their clients and future clients. They read financial news as other publications, and interpret, what it could mean, for themselves rather than absorb as-is. This includes this and every piece you read about wealth, and wealth creation.

What are you doing to improve your net worth today? Share your comments below.
A quote from Dave Ramsey’s,“Poornomore” offers inspiration and hope.

“I was born poor, raised in poverty and watched my parents die that way. I worked hard, eliminated my bad habits, started doing what the wealthy did. Mostly I stopped blaming others for my lack of wealth. Now I am wealthy and help others who want to be helped.”


  • Makao Bora

    Reply Reply September 22, 2014

    wow! great analysis. Allow me to add that the buy luxuries last, while the poor buy luxuries first. Rich guys may be seen driving around in a Porche but that’s a really tiny fraction of their wealth.

    • global1010

      Reply Reply September 22, 2014

      Good point! Another point adding to that one Munene, is that the rich reflect on their purchases, then buy few high quality seemingly expensive items that last a long time, while the poor buy items that seem cheaper, but don’t last, hence making the same purchase over and over again,and when you do the math, are more expensive.e.g tyres,clothing etc The poor also buy in smaller quantities, rather than buy in bulk which comes with economies of scale.

  • Daisy Kagwiria

    Reply Reply September 25, 2014

    Thank You very much for that. Am about to take a big risk tomorrow hope all goes well. Am ready for the challenges 🙂

  • migalusia

    Reply Reply May 22, 2017

    Simple things like making a budget goes a long way
    Clearing the debt
    Making sound choices as simple as eating an apple a day
    Listening to something inspiring every morning
    You will be surprised how little things build up empires.
    Just started a new business venture and will be celebrating year 1 and I can’t wait to celebrate year 10 with success

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