The survey also reveals buyers and sellers across all age groups (87 percent) continue to seek the assistance of a real estate agent when buying and selling a

Which habits do successful people avoid?

As a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur by 30, I enacted a policy AGAINST the following behaviors:

#1. Continuing relationships for the sake of them.

Many people are bound by social norms to continue legacy relationships such as childhood friends, family members, acquaintances from all walks of life whether from work, school, religious communities, hobby-related (like teammates), or social drinking buddies. This applies to spouses as well!

As I quickly outpaced every environment I was in, I had to adapt to new demands, different cultures, and surround myself with those who were sure to support, adapt, and contribute to my journey.

Example: In highschool, I was extremely awkward. One of my first friends eventually turned out to be an extremely toxic person who was negative, nagging, dismissive, and drama-seeking. I experienced such friendships throughout college and into my working life. I have cut off many friendships, acquaintances, exes, colleagues, and even severely limited interactions with family members who are similarly toxic, unhelpful, and ultimately damaging to my mental health, success, and overall well-being.

A key to life success is making sure those around you keep up with you. To protect oneself’s best interests and mental health, it’s best to cut off negative relationships. The memories perhaps were great, you’ll always be grateful for what it was at the time, but like failed relationships, it’s time to move on. You don’t have to be friends with everyone forever. You need to set clear and firm boundaries that people around you should not cross to protect your best interests and mental health.

#2. Indulge in too many social commitments.

As time goes on, we all experience the shortage of time. Each day seems to fly by. When we choose to spend our time on having “fun”, success no doubt will suffer (unless you have a trust fund, in which case, this whole post may not mean a whole lot to you).

When I was working as a headhunter in Manhattan, despite making over $215k a year, I knew this was only the beginning of my journey to success. Unlike most of my colleagues, I spent my weekends studying real estate, tax law, and investment strategies in the library. I would ride my bike, get to the library, compile a bunch of books and just sit there and read, take notes, and really think about the stuff I was digesting.

My colleagues would always invite me to go out, party, brunch it up, etc. While it was nice to be included, I significantly dialed back the amount of time I would spend with them and often rejected their advances. Eventually, I stopped receiving invites.

To a certain degree, I felt slightly sad about what I was leaving behind – camaraderie, “fun”, social fulfillment, a sense of community, but I knew deep down inside that it was the right choice, right move, and ultimately more fulfilling for me to achieve my dreams rather than indulge in short-term fun. My definition of fun means being in control of my life and my future, not working forever in the same environment, with the same people, doing the same stuff year over year.

That’s why I was able to retire from corporate life by age 28, with only having worked 5 years as an employee. Other than a few colleagues of mine who were similarly disciplined and started their own headhunting firms, the rest of my colleagues who chose indulging over sacrifice, are still in the throes of the 9–5 employee life, tethered to their job and employer for survival.

While their lives certainly are not shabby in the least (most make $200–500k as headhunters), I’m glad I don’t have the same career stressors they do. By no means am I advocating for everyone to become entrepreneurs either. But I do think NOT socializing helped me focus my time and energy on activities that would create wealth and further success for me. The hours I spent in the library were rewarded when real estate allowed me to accumulate over $1mil in assets due to my valuation, investment, and life strategy. That freed me up to decide what to do with the rest of my life at 28, an unimaginably young age to retire in most cases.

#3. Listen to other people too much.

Ever since I was little, I always despised how tightly controlling my tiger mom was to me. While certainly as an adult, I benefited massively from being raised by someone as wonderful as my mother, as a child, I truly resented her interference, dominating attitude, and overbearing parenting tactics.

I rebelled against her consistently, rejecting her definitions of success. I took my headhunting job in NYC with student debt, no support, and nothing other than my car full of my belongings on a $35k base salary in 2011 with no guarantee of if this career would work out for me or not. Although my mom doesn’t admit it, she explicitly told me she would disown me if I didn’t take the LSAT or go to lawschool. Of course, being an only child, I knew it was an empty threat, so I disobeyed her to pursue my choice of becoming a headhunter.

Fast forward to today, she is very proud of my journey. Turns out, I was right when it came to my career and I saved myself from a less desirable outcome had I continued to live a life my parents wanted of me, especially in light of how much I despised being prescribed what to do my whole younger life.

Here’s a picture of me recently being awarded the Rising Star Entrepreneurship Award from my alma mater, Babson College, where my mom and dad had such a great time celebrating. Of course, without their influence and values of hard work, sacrifice, perseverance, and an unwavering commitment to the prioritization of financial, career, and professional success, I would not have the amazing life I have today.

We love our parents because they gave us the privilege of being alive in the first place at the bare minimum. They also influenced us to have certain values, behaviors, and childhoods that will have immeasurable impacts on the rest of our lives. You need to decide at what point do you actually start living a life of your own, as free as you can be from their influence psychologically, physically, and mindset-wise. Live your OWN life.

#4. Adhere to gender and racial stereotypes.

I am loud, outspoken, very aggressive, and highly energetic. I am stronger with written skills. From a young age, I defied my racial stereotype by investing in my own strengths, not those that society expected of me being Asian (math, sciences, etc). I had NO interest to pursue those topics as I struggled in those subjects and didn’t see how it was a competitive advantage to invest in something I’m poor at rather than doubling down on something I’m great at.

Another stereotype I’m glad to refute is the idea of the submissive Asian woman who is supportive and easy to walk all over or quiet and shy. I’m the first to cuss, scream, and publicly embarrass anyone who dares to attack me for my race, gender, or anything else really. I am very vocal about my financial and career success because not enough people like me do so. That hurts the next generation and others who want to know that there are others like them who started out just like them but can ultimately “make it”.

I’m contrarian to a fault, which is also a problem. Of course, one should never do anything for the sake of it, but I’m glad I surprise people when they engage in disparaging behavior towards me in a racial or sexist attack. I enjoy surprising my aggressors that I actually do speak English, quite well actually. It’s laughable when people so low as to bully others try to attack me because I relish and bask in the privilege of exercising my first amendment rights.

#5. Get married and/or have children young.

I’m 31 and still single. While in my 20s, I always by default, expected myself to get married with kids by 30. Like many others in my generation of urban millennials, we were raised on Disney movies, rom-coms, and social norms, pressures, and expectations that were spoon-forcefed into our mouths by generations of teachers, media, parents, and authority figures.

As actual adults and our generation being uniquely impacted by the power of the internet and how that’s changed all of how business is run and the career opportunities available to both men and women, we are experiencing a cultural revolution of sorts where EVERYTHING is topsy-turvy with NO set path to follow anymore! As one of my favorite childhood books proved to me, you can, indeed, choose your own adventure.

While the minority of people I know at my age have gotten married and had kids, I did not encounter anyone in my hard-worn efforts to date who fulfilled my requirements for a life partner. I also was and still am, unwilling to settle for the sake of beating my biological clock. God knows I tried, god knows I’ve dated so many horrible people in an effort to beat that clock, but now as I’ve fully entered my 30s, I really am enjoying the freedoms I have by NOT being tied down by kids and a marriage (and by a mortgage on a primary residence to boot!).

Nowadays, I’m so much less stressed to rush and pop out babies. Despite my parents’ aggressive pushiness on me to have said babies and just “find a man and be done with it”, I’m going to continue along my journey until I find someone who fulfills my needs. Only then, will I consider settling down. Even when I am settled, I may or may not have my own kids. Why should that be the default expectation too?! Adoption is very attractive to me due to a variety of reasons.

#6. Spend frivolously on stuff that I can’t actually afford.

Having grown up as the babysitter’s daughter living in a wealthy family’s home, I knew at a very young age that I was very much, poorer than many other kids I grew up with. While I benefited massively from living in a great environment where I got to attend the best elementary schools, I was the daughter of “the help”, not like the rest of the students, my classmates who were the children of the wealthy.

I grew up wearing donated clothing or the items my family brought with them to the US from China or yard sale goods. When I did have money as a teen from my waitressing job to spend, I only had enough money to buy $5 dollar pants. Until I was in college and started bartending, I couldn’t afford any name brand goods. I’m glad to say today, I can purchase most things I want and it’s a big reason why I worked so hard in the first place.

Because I was raised poor, I still have a lot of the same spending habits and mentalities of the poor. Many of which I have managed to overcome slowly, however many I still hold onto dearly. People around me, in every environment I’ve ever been in, always immediately catch on to how frugal I am. While I am not cheap to my friends, I always live cheaply for myself. I often hoard items and behave very resourcefully.

One of the biggest line items I crossed off of my list was rental cost. Unlike my colleagues who immediately moved into Manhattan, I chose to live in an obscure area of Brooklyn that was unsexy and boring. My rent was $750 for many years. Eventually I took over the lease and was able to further decrease my rent due to the value of the other bedrooms and how I priced the sublets. That allowed me to save up over $100k by the time I was 25, allowing me to have the downpayment required to acquire my first condo in Brooklyn which eventually doubled in value in just 2 years.

Everything is interlinked. Your spending habits, like I lament about here, can ruin your life. The savings rate compared to other countries ranks the US, unsurprisingly, at 113 out of 181 countries. Without a doubt, Asian countries have a heritage and cultural mindset of hoarding money much more than Western countries. Thus, I’m grateful for how my cultural legacy and examples set by my frugal parents helped me fight the Western ideals of “treat yourself” to actually persist and escape poverty forever with the survival mentality that propelled me to millionairedom by 30.

#7. Avoid debt and hoard cash.

As someone who always wanted to be rich young, I knew that following traditional financial advice would leave me victim to the financial wealth industry and the promise of wealth at 65+ when finally those financial instruments kick in.

I don’t trust the 401k thing and I hope to be so rich young that it doesn’t matter anyways. You can only sock away a certain amount in a 401k, which by the time I’m old, is not going to be any more than inflation-adjusted meaningless fiat currency. And who’s to say in the next 40 years, things don’t totally take turn for the worse, the US dollar combusts, and then what of all that hard-earned 401k money?

No thanks, I’d rather do what I normally do, go figure the system out and decide which route I’ll take of my own accord. Thank you very much, but I’ll again, take my own decisions into my own hands.

So, my chosen instruments of wealth became stocks that I hand-selected and real estate once I had enough equities to warrant a 20% downpayment on another property. I rarely keep money in cash to this day. If someone were to rob me, I’ll literally have nothing to offer them because my money is tied up in businesses, assets, and my brain. All of my active cash is quickly deployed and converted into a mix of assets backed by debt (real estate investments) or businesses.

Don’t read one book by Suzy Orman* and her ilk and think she has it all figured out. In fact, it’s laughable how out of touch Suzy’s advice is, considering she’s from a world, generation, and time that does NOT apply to anything we or future generations are experiencing.

*I hate singling out Suzy. I mean to say Suzy or ANYONE who also promotes similar ideals as hers. I read one of her books and I don’t even think I got past the first chapter because it was so lacking in actual usable information that made sense. Anyone who talks about eliminating debt as your life goal is only trying to help those with significant consumer debt. Most people who are ready to invest won’t find that advice particularly useful as they’re trying to find ways to deploy their extra wealth. In other words, she’s not supposed to be running a debt relief business or even worse, promote financial services businesses (which she does, and it’s a complete conflict of interest and highly unethical).

Instead, read many books on all the topics regarding financial wealth, debt, and success. Learn from others who have achieved significant wealth and you’ll see they ALL leverage debt massively. Just like corporations, debt is crucial to anyone’s balance sheet to grow their net worth! If you want exponential wealth gains, you’ll need to take some debt along for the ride to propel your usage of OPM (other peoples’ money) to fuel your own accumulation of wealth.

Lastly, #8. Think too much, aka analysis paralysis.

I think a lot, but when I have an idea, I immediately move quickly into the execution phase. Education is the first step to moving towards a life you want. Not education as in college degrees, but self-education on topics oftentimes uncovered in a normal curriculum. These books are all available at the library for free or on the internet. That will take time out of your day which requires a sustained dedication, investment of time, effort, and cost to truly dive deep into these subject matters to re-wire your brain, shift your mindsets, and accumulate knowledge to at least come up with a game plan to start.

Then the rest is all about executing your plan according to your thoughts. That’s arguably the hardest part. It doesn’t matter how smart or knowledgeable you are if you don’t do anything about it.

I don’t think too much and I think that’s a blessing. Once I’ve done a certain amount of research and feel comfortable with my general game plan, I’m off to the races. My first home I ever bought was an immediate offer situation. I didn’t think about it, I just JUMPED because I knew the deal was not going to be around for long. The condo wasn’t even fully constructed yet but I took a calculated risk that the renovations would be completed and the area would appreciate in a few years, so I didn’t hesitate and blindly jumped in because I knew it was priced at a reasonable level where I could cover my costs and reap in the rewards shortly.

In conclusion

Ultimately, avoiding the habits above will help you along your journey to find the courage to dance to your own tune and create your own music to your life.