Getting rich and becoming a millionaire is a taboo topic. Telling someone that you can get it done in five or ten years sounds like an unrealistic and outrageous fantasy. Pull it off and society will suggest that keep your financial success on the ‘down low’ or be labeled a greedy, gluttonous elitist.
Well getting rich shouldn’t be taboo, it is definitely not impossible, ten years is plenty of time and I assure you from personal experience the negative labels of being rich are better than the alternative. At the age of 21 I was graduating from college with an accounting degree, broke and in debt and I didn’t even know how to get a job. By the age of 30, I had put away my first million.
I didn’t win a lottery or get an inheritance, and I certainly didn’t create some breakthrough technology, I made my money becoming a professional sales person.
I didn’t like sales, didn’t want to be in sales but one day realized that if I was ever going to have money or run my own business I needed to control the revenue. I worked really hard, made lots of sacrifices and the only regret I have looking over my career is I didn’t think BIG enough.
Here are the 10 steps that will guarantee you can and will become a millionaire and it doesn’t have to take a lifetime:
1. Follow the money. You need to find an opportunity where you have the ability to raise your income. You can’t save your way to a million dollars in today’s environment – you need income. Find a vehicle (job) where there is the possibility to produce incomes north of 100k. If you are at a job that you love where you make 40k a year, start looking for opportunities where you are now to follow the money and get into the revenue stream whereby you can participate and be rewarded by assisting the company in more revenue.
My income at 25 was $3,000 a month. My first move was to see how I could increase the revenue of the company where I worked so that I could get my income to $6000 a month. I continued looking for new ways to raise my income in increments by following the money (not just what I liked to do) until I was earning in a week what I used to struggle to earn in a year.
Follow the money and keep following it and be willing to do things you don’t love but that will continue to increase your income. The opportunity to increase income does not come from doing what you love but by identifying where the financial opportunity is allowing you to finally control and increase your income.
2. Don’t show off — show up! When you start making money don’t show off by spending money on shiny trinkets. Poor people buy things rich people reinvest in creating new incomes. I didn’t buy my first luxury watch or car until my businesses and investments were producing multiple secure flows of income. I was still driving a Camry long after I became a millionaire. No one has ever done business with me because of my trinkets, they do business with me because I show up not because I show off.
3. Save to invest, don’t save to save. The only reason you should save money is to invest that money and have it work for you. Pay yourself first and put your saved money into secured, sacred (untouchable) accounts that you will not even touch in the case of an emergency. I created three sacred accounts early on and treat that money like it was gone knowing one day I would use it to start a business. By moving money out of your reach you are forced to continue to follow step one and replenish reserves with new income because. To this day, at least twice a year, I am broke because I invest all my surpluses into new ventures or investments that will create new income.
4. Avoid debt that doesn’t pay you. Make it a rule that you never use debt that won’t make you money. I borrowed money only when that debt will increase my income and my net worth. Rich people only use debt to leverage investments and grow cash flows. Poor people use debt to buy things that make rich people richer.
5. Treat money like a jealous lover. Millions wish for financial freedom, but only those that make it a priority make it. Money loves getting attention and hates being ignored or mistreated. Unless you are very lucky to get rich and stay rich, you will have to make financial freedom a priority. Money is like a jealous lover when ignored it will leave you for someone who gives it the proper attention.
6. Money doesn’t sleep. Money doesn’t know about clocks, schedules, or holidays, and you shouldn’t either. Money loves people that have a great work ethic. When I was 26 years old, I was in retail sales and while the store closed at 7 I was there until 11 most nights making extra sales. And by staying at work you aren’t spending money you are making it. Money doesn’t sleep, but it sure gets bored and if you pay close attention you will notice when you get bored you spend money. Never try to be the smartest or luckiest person — be the busiest and the most focused. Sleep at night so your body can rest and use the rest of the day to make your dreams come true.
7. Being Poor or Just Getting By Doesn’t Make Sense. You must get it that being poor is not a good thing for you and eliminate and all thinking that makes sense of your being poor. I have been poor, and it sucks. Your parents told you a lot of things not to do and they should have told you, ‘don’t stay poor!” Poor defined in the dictionary as”having insufficient wealth to meet the necessities or comforts of life or to live in a manner considered acceptable in a society.”
Bill Gates was noted for saying something like, “If you’ are born poor it’s not your fault if you stay poor it is.”
I grew up where we had to worry every second of every day about every penny spent and we weren’t poor we were considered middle class. Let’s face it when you have to worry every day you are poor – by definition. We had enough to be grateful for what we had, but never enough not to be scared about not having enough to take care of basic needs. If you are worried every time you go to the grocery store, fill up your gas tank or go to a restaurant lets face it that is a poor.
8. Get a millionaire mentor. Most of us were brought up middle class or poor and then are held down the rest of our lives by those beliefs and ideas. I have been studying wealthy people for 30 years and made them my mentors. I have never had a mentor sit at side nor have I had a personal coach so I used their books, writing, recordings and interviews to learn from them as might a mentor.
Get your own personal millionaire mentor and study them, find out what they eat, drink and the air they breathe and duplicate those practices. Quit getting financial advice from people that don’t have their finances in order. I have found that those that have made it, particularly self-made people are extremely generous with their knowledge and that is why you see so many of them speaking in public or interviewed. – they want to help those that want help.
9. Get money to do the heavy lifting. Investing is the Holy Grail of the millionaire and you must think of how you will get your money working for you. Not simply invested in a fund, bank or savings account but get your money to do real heavy lifting for you. That could mean reinvesting in your company so you can produce more income or investing in another venture. Remember if you don’t have
Keep in mind if you don’t have surpluses of money you won’t make investments because you won’t have enough courage to risk what you have worked so hard to accumulate. The second company I started required a $50,000 investment. I loaned the company fifty thousand and it was paid back within forty-five days and that same company has produced 10m in revenues for over 20 years.
My third company, Cardone Acquisitions was started with ten years of saved money (remember the sacred accounts). I invested $350,000, a large part of my net worth at the time into my first apartment deals. That company has done over $500,000,000 in real estate transactions. All that was possible because of steps 1-8 with the goal of having money do the heavy lifting.
10. Add Zero’s. The single biggest financial mistake I’ve made was not thinking big enough. Whatever your financial target add a zero. If your income target is 60,000 add a zero. If you want your net worth to be one million add a zero and make it ten million. There is no shortage of money on this planet, there is only a shortage of people thinking big enough. And the best way to add a zero in the real world is to attach yourself to the revenue which ultimately means sales. Learn how to sell, negotiate and close your own deals and you will add zero’s.
Apply these 10 steps and I guarantee you will become rich, which, we all agree doesn’t ensure you will be happy. I confess that money by itself has never made me happy, I never thought it would. That being said, if I am going to be unhappy I would rather have money than not have money.
Because I have invested time and energy to learn out how to create abundance at home, in my marriage, with my kids, with friends, in the community, at my church and do everything I can to improve the conditions of those around me I am not just rich, I am wealthy in life which has very little to do with money.
I am grateful for all that I have today and want to help as many people do the same and more. No matter how impossible this may seem to you today apply the ten steps above and you will create financial freedom for yourself and your family. Good luck adding zero’s and post your questions in comments below and I will try to answer them.