The 7 EQ Traits Financially Successful People Share 

When directing their focus on expanding their wealth and creating financial freedom most people turn their attention to two things: 

  1. Trying to earn more by boosting their “book smarts” – in other words their IQ – hoping this will give them that competitive edge.  
  2. Trying to work harder and pushing through their personality “flaws” to earn more. 

The sad reality is, like Don Quixote tilting at windmills or to put it a bit more rudely, like farting against thunder – both these activities are fruitless wealth expansion strategies.  

Instead they should be focusing on expanding their EQ. 

EQ is the most powerful internal lever you have to significantly expand your wealth and the great thing is… 

EQ can be grown and improved! 

Studies show that EQ, or emotional intelligence, plays a huge role in building one’s personal and financial success. One even tracked a group of people from age one to 30 and found that… 

… EQ was the single biggest predictor of monetary success. 

Unlike IQ and even our personality – one’s emotional intelligence is something that can be shaped through habits to deliver wealth and financial freedom.  

***** NEWS FLASH***** 

You need to understand the difference between IQ/ EQ and personality in order to master yourself and create sustainable wealth. This is why I asked leading behavioral scientist Joni Peddie to do a Wealth Chef Masterclass on exactly this topic and how you can use this knowledge to support your wealth creation.  

***** END OF NEWS FLASH ***** 

So, without messing around, let’s get to the 7 traits financially successful people tend to have in common and which you need to focus on to boost your EQ and in turn your freedom: 

1.  SELF CONTROL – Get in the driver seat of your emotional state 

Warren Buffett once said that  

“If you can’t control your emotions, you can’t control your money.” 

To shape your fate, you need to master your emotions.  

Your mind is a powerful tool, and it can’t work to full capacity if you’re sending it into a tail spin with irrational feelings, like unfounded fear, judgment, criticism and triggered anger.  

This is truer than ever when it comes to money, where emotional spending and investing (or not investing) can wreak havoc on your finances and your wealth plan. 

To manage your emotions, you need to see situations through a rational, long-term lens. Don’t let temporary emotional states become permanent mistakes. 

One technique that most successful people use, including Warren Buffett, is the 10:10:10 method. 

Before arriving at conclusions, ask yourself how this decision / action will make you feel after 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years.  

Giving utmost consideration to your 10 year and beyond future self is key in creating a successful mental and emotional state. 

2. FLEXIBILITY –Learn how to lead different personalities 

For billionaire and hospitality titan Tilman Fertitta, one of the key secrets to success is being an adaptive people person.  

“People want to be led, but you’ve got to know how to lead different people”. “I treat everybody differently depending on how I’ve evaluated that person. And if you do it that way in business, you’re going to be a lot more successful.”  

3. CURIOSITY –Be curious and poke your nose in everywhere! 

Curious people always ask questions and search for answers in their minds. Research shows that curiosity prepares the brain for learning. Since their minds are always active and since the mind is like a muscle it becomes stronger and stronger through this continual exercise.  

When you’re creating wealth, curiosity is key. It enables you to seek out solutions and keep growing because being wealthy and creating financial freedom is a learned skill. 

Curiosity also helps you move through barriers of the unknown. It drives you to get involved in things you have not yet encountered which could otherwise become an obstacle to your success.  It also enables you to instinctively recognise gaps, which means you’re able to generate tools to improve your results. 

4. DISCIPLINE Stay on track  

The self-discipline I am talking about is not about deprivation and sacrifice. Its about decrement to know where you are headed and being able to stay focused on the path that you have committed to, the path that will give you the life experience you desire.  

Self-discipline is a habit, a practice, a philosophy and a way of living. It is like having a little Yoda inside your head telling you what to do or what to avoid depending on how you think it will serve or sabotage your future success. 

All financially successful people are highly disciplined in this area of their life. Every person who struggles with wealth creation and making consistent progress towards their financial freedom is undisciplined and unable to control their behaviors and their appetites to some extent or another. 

Self-discipline is a powerful tool when it comes to growing your wealth. Taking the time to impose self-discipline with the financial decisions you make today impacts your success tomorrow. By sticking to your long term financial goals and the strategies to get there regardless of ups and downs, you’ll find returns that are more substantial over time. 

5. EMPATHY Wealth is a team sport, learn to play nicely 

Empathy is, at its simplest, awareness of the feelings and emotions of other people. It is a key element of Emotional Intelligence, the link between self and others, because it is how we as individuals understand what others are experiencing as if we were feeling it ourselves. 

For  Oprah Winfrey, leadership is all about empathy. It is about having the ability to relate to and connect with people to empower them. 

Empathy is not about taking responsibility for someone else’s feelings. Empathy is the ability to truly be present. It’s the ability to hold a safe space for others to feel their own emotions completely and to be able to understand their experience. 

We need to belong to grow as an individual and at the same time develop our own identity. However, along the way, we often neglect the significance of others in our lives as we focus only on ourselves. But if you want higher chances of wealth and success, you need to have empathy. 

Our EQ feeds on how much empathy we have for other people. It is in our ability to recognize others’ need that we learn to sacrifice and go the extra mile. If you only do things for your own benefit and forget about compassion, you’ll will find it hard to move forward as we will become difficult to work or get along with. 

When it some to financial freedom and creating sustainable wealth, there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire. Wealth is a team sport and you need to know how to play nicely! 

6. SELF WORTH – Learn to handle rejection(and failure) and know it’s not about your worthiness 

Rejection and failure are NOT signs that you should give up on your dreams. 


I recently write an article on Why I Hope You Fail” and we got more responses from it than any other article. Many were letters of thanks for the discussion and a whole bunch were filled with vitriol, calling me a very colourful array of names.  

The point is, many people grow up terrified of failure and rejection and tragically this deep fear is the very thing that will guarantee failure and rejection.  

Ever notice how being turned down stops some people from trying again, while others bounce back from rejection stronger than before?  

Have you noticed how a setback or perceived failure to achieve something the first time they try something makes many adults drop the very thing they said was important to them? 

Everyone experiences the sting of rejection and failure, but mentally strong people use that pain to grow stronger and become better. Whether you were excluded from a social engagement, or you were passed up for a promotion, rejection hurts. The way you choose to respond to rejection, however, could determine the entire course of your future. 

The magic key to being able to keep moving towards your dreams is knowing that the failure or rejection is not a failure or rejection of YOU but of the thing, the activity, the suggestion.  

On our quest for financial success and wealth, it’s inevitable that things will not always go as planned. It’s important to remember that progress is largely driven by mindset.  

Successful people know how to move on and leave the past in the past. If you latch onto to your latest mistakes they will inevitably slow and bring you down. Instead, learn from them, see challenges as opportunities (sometimes to even bigger challenges), surround yourself with positivity and stop complaining. 

7. STUPIDITY – Be willing to feel stupid by constantly seeking out people smarter than you 

In today’s hyper-competitive world, one might think that ultra-successful people wouldn’t even give each other the time of day. The opposite is true. 

Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you.  

I actively seek out groups of people that are way ahead of me in different areas of my life that I want to expand in and then find a way to be around them. This could be through a mastermind group (I love masterminds and I credit them with a significant proportion of my success) or attending training or meeting with a “supposed” competitor to exchange information.  

If I am in a group AND not feeling uncomfortable because I feel stupid and out of my depth, I know it most probably isn’t the group that will help me expand the fastest.  

The truth is that truly successful wealthy people understand that there is more than enough for everyone AND that collaboration not competition is the way to sustainable expansive wealth. 

The path to financial freedom involves constantly seeking out brighter and more talented people, rather than trying to squash them. 

There you have it, the 7 traits of financially successful people! 

In the comments below I’d love to know: 

  1. Which of these traits are you already great at? 
  2. Which of these traits could do with some focus from you to increase them I your life and hence support you more on your journey to financial freedom?


Your email address will not be published.


  • Sofie says:

    What does the E in the EQ stand for??


    • Ann Wilson says:

      It stands for Emotional – and in Emotional Quotient. A (notional) measure of a person’s competency in such areas as self-awareness, empathy, and managing their emotional waves.

  • Monica Coetzee says:

    I feel that I am already “great” (with more space to learn) in flexibility, curiosity and empathy. The others definitely need a lot more attention and hard work. Thank you for the opportunity to learn from a Master!

  • Ann, you’re a genius! The timing of this article could not be any more perfect! In fact the wake up call of your words is so powerful.
    Thank you – and thank you to the Gourmet Mastermind Group for being the ones to help me grow fast -as I feel utterly stupid and with plenty to learn! ??


Your email address will not be published.