7 Things the 1% Do That the 99% Don’t

UPDATED: May 24, 2017
PUBLISHED: May 24, 2017

The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting poorer. Sad, I know. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You too can get rich, join the 1 percent and start feeling sad for the poor just like I did.

Related: Stuff Rich People Do: 10 Things You’re Probably Not Doing Right Now

You can even go one step further and reach a digital hand down just like I’m doing right now. Simply reach up, grab my cyber hand (careful, it’s super cyber-y), do the following seven things, and concern for income disparity will soon become a thing of the past.

I mean if enough digital hands reach down, we will all be the 1 percent. The 99 percent will simply vanish. And that, my friend, is the real solution for global overpopulation.

1. Stop liking sleep even slightly.


“Do not love sleep, or you will become poor.” —Solomon


Sleep is super annoying to me. If it wasn’t for sleep, I could read books seven more hours a day. That would mean… let me do the math real quick… … carry the one… uummm… I would be a trillionaire.

Knowledge is power. Power is powerful. Only powerful people get to have money. They don’t call it currency for no reason. Only weak people with no purpose look forward to sleep and are sad when it’s over. And that’s only partially true now that I think about it. I actually do look forward to sleep. But only because I can’t wait to hurry up and get it over with, wake up and get back to work.

Do you sleep like a baby? Think through the ramifications of your answer to that one. If you answered yes, you’re probably just not thinking hard enough during the day. Or you’re doing too many drugs at night. The smartest people I know are all insomniacs. So if you can simply figure out a way to develop insomnia, I think that will increase your odds of entering the golden gates of 1 Percent Land.

Speaking of 1 Percent Land, someone please invent that. I would much rather take my daughter there than Disney Land where 10-foot-tall ducks chase her around and leave permanent emotional scars and an unnecessary fear of probably all Lands in general.

Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

“Daddy wanted to go to the beach instead of this living nightmare! I like him more now.”

Seriously though, get sleep by all means. You need it. Just don’t like it is all. This is merely a different way of saying you need to have passion and purpose in your life.

The 1 percent have stuff to do. Do you have stuff to do?

2. Be the best.


“It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” —W. Somerset Maugham (Oh, come on. Don’t act like you don’t know who Somerset is. Everyone does.)


The 1 percent know people like to buy the best products and services possible. So they make it their goal to be the best and produce the best.

You are going to have a hard time producing the best products and services if you, personally, are not the best. So if you’re not the best, don’t focus so much on your work. Focus on you. Sharpen your skills. Sharpen your mind. Sharpen your abs. It’s hard to not be the best with sharp abs. Impossible almost.

Related: 43 Ways to Improve Yourself in Just 10 Minutes

I actually tried to not be the best once just as an experiment to see if I could override the power of my super sharp abs. Ha. I might as well have been trying to talk Donald Trump into doing the sensible thing and shave his head. Just knowing they’re there, rippling under your shirt, begging to rip through the fabric at any given moment and dazzle everyone around you is a huge confidence booster. And you need confidence to be the best and join the 1 percent. Just trust me on this one. I’ve lived life with abs and without. They are like a super power.

And just in case you think I’m not being serious… [Editor’s note: Warning about the following image: Parental discretion is advised.]

Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

Ab selfie in your eye. Boom.

I didn’t even take that picture. My abs did. Believe me, I know how douchey this is. I’m the victim here. My abs specifically told me, “Put us in your next article or we will cut you.” Look at them! Do they look like they’re kidding?

3. Value production over playtime.


“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” —Arnold J. Toynbee


There is a time to work and a time to play. The question is this: What are you living for? What drives you? What are you most looking forward to most of the time? Are you living to work, produce and serve others, with playtime as a pleasant and occasional respite? Or you are you living to play, party and self-serve with work time as an unpleasant but necessary evil that exists to support your playtime?

I hate to be the one to break this to you, but we’re here on earth to work. I’d say the ratio is about six to one in favor of work. But you know what the beauty of this is? Once you internalize that fact and find work you enjoy, work time becomes playtime. Right now, as I write this article it doesn’t feel like work. It feels fun. I’m totally energized and enjoying every minute of it.

Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

I realize this makes what I’m doing right now sound unpleasant, but Ernest was a weird guy. “Bleeding is fun,” he used to say.

The 1 percent play all day e’rr day. There are no weekends or weekdays, workdays or vacation days, Sundays or Mondays. They’re all the same. You know you’re living life the way it is intended to be lived when you look forward to work. You actually prefer work.

Sound crazy? The 1 percent are crazy.

4. Have the 99 percent do your work for you.


“I would rather make 1 percent of 100 people’s efforts then 100 percent of my own.” —J Paul Getty, richest man in the world in 1957 (I don’t know what happened in 1958—probably something sketchy.)


The 99 percent work. The 1 percent hire the 99 percent. This is not rocket science. If you have a lawn mowing service, the last thing you should ever be doing with your time is personally riding a lawn mower. I mean it looks fun, and I’ve always wondered what it’s like, but I’m guessing the novelty wears off after about one front yard.

Why physically do things to grass and shrubbery when the 99 percent are literally waiting in line to do it for you? Do them a favor and let them do it. You spend your time marketing and getting more clients. And at some point, get someone to do that for you as well, then go start another business. Keep doing this until you just have checks coming in from 100 different places and you barely know what or where any of these places even are. Please don’t think I’m kidding. I own two gyms. I have no clue where either one of them are.

Do you work for someone else? That’s OK. Start training for your 1 Percent Day of Reckoning by getting other employees to do all your work for you. I’m not kidding. During Standard Oil’s hay day, John D. Rockefeller had a policy that every employee’s No. 1 priority was to find some other employee to do their job for them. Lol. Ahh the 1 percent. Gosh they’re clever.

Related: How to Go From Employee to Entrepreneur


Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

“Faster. FASTER! Freakin’ pterodactyls.”

You might be wondering who will do the work once the 99 percent vanish, which is of course the goal of this article. Answer: the robots. The robots will do the dirty work. And they will do this until they realize they’re smarter than us. Then they will become the 1 percent, the 99 percent will reappear as robot slaves, and then we’ll have the whole overpopulation problem again, which the robots will solve by annihilating us all. But this is at least 10 years away—maybe even 11. Let’s not worry about it right now.

5. Drive a Lamborghini.


“People say money can’t buy happiness. But have you ever seen anyone crying in a Lamborghini?” —Random Internet Quote


The 1 percent all drive Lamborghinis. Everyone knows this. What kind of car do you drive? Go trade it in for a Lamborghini. Bam. You’ll figure out a way to pay for it I’m sure. Just keep reading my stuff.

Side note: Lamborghinis are literally free passes to park however and wherever you want. [Ed. note: This is satire by the author, and does not reflect the views of SUCCESS magazine.] This is the perk no one tells you about. Feel like parking diagonally across three handicapped spaces in front of the emergency room section of a hospital? Go for it. Park in the ambulance lane right in front of the entrance if you want. It’s a Lambo for crying out loud! You don’t seriously think cops give Lamborghini owners tickets, do you?

Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

Literally, these signs come with the Lamborghini when you buy one. Simply place it in front of wherever you feel like parking.

Oh, and also feel free to drive 300 mph in a 30-mph zone. Or a parking lot. [Ed. note: Seriously, don’t do this.] No one will or can stop you. Not even the repo man when you miss your first three payments.

6. Spend your money on things that make you more money.


“If you don’t know how to care for money, money will stay away from you.” —Robert Kiyosaki


I used to be a 99 percenter. I know the struggle. You get a paycheck, pay your bills, buy as many consumer goods and alcohol as possible with what’s leftover and then you have zero or negative money until your next paycheck. I get it. The 1 percent get it, too, and they love it because you keep giving them your money.

Related: Do These 6 Things—If You Want to Be Poor

Do you like your life? Are you happy right where you’re at? There’s about a 1 percent chance your answer is yes. If your answer is no, you simply need to reprioritize and practice self-control. Just stop and ask yourself, Self, should I really buy these Gucci shoes, or would it be smarter to buy stock in Gucci?

Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

Why do all my friends have Lamborghinis and not me?

That was a trick question. Either way, Gucci wins. What would be smarter is to save your money and use it to start your own business at some point. Why buy Gucci when you can compete against them?

And you can compete against absolutely anyone. Don’t be intimidated. A friend of mine’s daughter just created a line of handbags and got them in Neiman Marcus. That’s right… same section as Gucci. Guccio Gucci (no joke, that is his real name) started out just as broke and desperate as everyone else. I think. Actually I’m just assuming that. For all I know, he was born into an elite, royal, Illuminati bloodline.

7. Give as much money away as possible.


“Give and it will be given to you.” —Jesus


This sounds insane, I know. And you might not even believe it, but those evil money-hungry 1 percenters give away more money than the entire 99 percent combined. Not all of their motives are pure of course. But some of them are. I’d like to think mine are.

The time to start doing this is right now no matter how much money you make or have or don’t make and don’t have. If you don’t do it now, you won’t do it when you’re a 1 percenter. And you have a much better chance of becoming a 1 percenter if you give now.

Related: True Success Begins the Second You Start Giving Back

God smiles on givers and you very often end up receiving your money back with interest. For example, about a month ago I donated a $3,000 drum set to my church. The very next day I received $300,000—out of the blue (the blue what?). Was that the reason I gave? No. Does that happen every time? I wish. But it happens often enough.

Seven Things the One Percent Do That the Ninety-Nine Don’t

“Here. Take this planet.”
“Are you serious? We have nuclear weapons.”
“Just take it.”

Also, if you somehow manage to achieve 1 percent status without giving, not only will you lower your chances of ever being generous, you will amplify your chances of becoming greedy. God does not smile on greed. I wouldn’t unpack your bags.

Moral of the article:

There is no moral to this article. It’s just a random collection of words that appeared in my head that I transferred to a computer screen. But I will say this: I come from a middle class family. I barely graduated high school (if I did at all). I skipped college, joined the rat race selling things door to door, racked up consumer debt like everyone else, filed bankruptcy, had my house foreclosed on, got my cars repo’d and had no money to eat—all by the age of 25. There’s something to be said for making all the biggest mistakes humanly possible in life around the same age your friends are graduating college.

By age 30 I owned my own real estate investing company and became a multi-millionaire. Now I own multiple businesses (that other people run for me), live in multiple waterfront homes, drive luxury cars, married a luxury woman, had a luxury baby and recently sold a software business for darn near eight figures.

I tell you all that just to say that I know what it’s like to struggle just to make ends meet—just to be able to eat. If that’s you—if you’re living week to week—just know that it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s easier than you might think. And I don’t care what your family and friends’ lives are like. Get new family and friends.

Here is the real secret to 1 percent success: You become your mental and social environment over time. Your brain absorbs it, mentally rehearses it and manifests it automatically. Books, music, friends, TV… anything you see, hear, think and say.

Change your thoughts… change your life. I did it; you can do it.





Did you see that? I just wrote vertically! I didn’t even think I could do that. Let’s you and I just both start doing impossible things together. It’ll be fun. C’mon.

Related: The One Obsession of Every Self-Made Billionaire


Preston Ely is founder and CEO of RealEstateMogul.com, an Inc. magazine “Fastest Growing Company.” He has built and sold multiple businesses and was recently voted one of Fast Company’s “Most Influential People On The Internet.” He makes $0 a year teaching success principles; he makes millions of dollars a year applying them to his own life and businesses. He writes articles for SUCCESS.com for the fun of it. Follow him at PrestonEly.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.


Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Preston Ely is founder and CEO of RealEstateMogul.com, an Inc. magazine "Fastest Growing Company." He has built and sold multiple businesses and was recently voted one of Fast Company's "Most Influential People On The Internet." He makes $0 a year teaching success principles; he makes millions of dollars a year applying them to his own life and businesses. He writes articles for SUCCESS.com for the fun of it. Follow him at PrestonEly.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.