Thomas Corley is a bestselling and award-winning author and an internationally recognized authority on habits and wealth creation. He is the author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.

What advice would you give to your 20-year old self?

That’s a tough one. I have two scenarios:

Scenario #1 I would go back in time to 1980 and tell myself not to major in Accounting and to instead major in creative writing. I would then advise myself to get a job working for the Staten Island Advance while going to college.

Scenario #2: I would tell myself to not major in Accounting and to instead major in Finance. I would then tell myself to get a job working on the floor of the NYSE while going to college.

What are the biggest wastes of time in your profession or area of expertise?

Dealing with the IRS and State Taxing Agencies. Complete waste of my skills and my time.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

2011 was my most recent dark period. My book Rich Habits was going nowhere. I didn’t know what to do. I decided to give up trying to promote Rich Habits and focused on writing my second book, which I published myself as an eBook.

That eBook got me on TV twice and I sold 7,000 copies. I used what I learned in pitching the media with my eBook and applied it to Rich Habits.

Rich Habits went on to sell nearly 70,000 copies and got me on CBS Nightly News, two profiles in SUCCESS Magazine, Kiplingers Magazine twice, Forbes Magazine, nine Yahoo Finance videos, and many other national and international media outlets. It led to China South (6th largest publisher in the world) agreeing to publish two of my books, and other foreign rights publishers.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

Writing books. It has toggled on a creative switch I didn’t even know I had.

What is your morning routine?

  • I get up every morning between 4:30am and 5:15 am:
  • I study between 45 minutes to1.25 hours. This includes reading to learn and going over my Facts Binder.
  • I write for 30 minutes to 1.25 hours.
  • I engage in social media for between 15 minutes to 30 minutes.
  • I exercise between 20 minutes to 1 hour. I run every day. I lift weights 3 days a week for about 35 minutes.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Creating multiple streams of income. I now have three core streams: CPA business, Financial Planning Business and Author royalties (4 books that are actually 10 sub-streams of income).

My goal is to add two more revenue streams: Speaker Fees and Rich Habits Training revenue.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

I journal and allow myself to wallow in self-pity on paper. Then I usually take some massive action to pull myself out of a funk. I did this in 2011 when I wrote my 2nd book.

I do this periodically when my book ranking drops, in which case I amp up my article writing and pitch my articles to the media.

What’s book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The Psychology of Achievement by Brian Tracy. I read/listened to that book while I was studying for the CPA exam in 1986. It gave me the confidence that I could actually pass the CPA exam.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

I have several:

  • “Your habits dictate if you will be rich, poor or stuck in the middle-class”
  • “Never quit on your dream”
  • “Focus, persistence, and patience is the path to success.”
  • “Your dreams are the blueprint of your life. Your goals are your construction team.”