I personally have been a millionaire several times in my life. I’m an entrepreneur and take chances. Sometimes they pay off and sometimes they don’t. The following are a few of the tips that have helped me to become and stay a millionaire over the past couple years.
While becoming a millionaire rarely occurs overnight, it’s still an achievable dream if you work hard and follow these eight frugal habits.
1. Live Below Your Means
Do you really need to purchase a McMansion? Do you honestly have to have the latest luxury vehicle in your driveway? While status items like these can be enjoyable, even the extremely wealthy have realized that it’s better to live below your means if you want to extend your wealth.
Take Warren Buffett for example. He still resides in the same Omaha home that he pitched in 1958 for under $32,000. Buffett is also known for purchasing modest vehicles, like his 2006 Cadillac, which was auctioned off for charity. Apart from having been owned, and signed, by Buffett, the car was described as “nothing special.”
Around eight years ago, I started making real money. That doesn’t mean that I changed anything in my lifestyle. Sure, I got a few nice things, but I didn’t change the way I lived. This has saved me countless dollars.
2. Never Pay Full Price
Did you know that households that average an income of $100,000 or more use more coupons than households that earn under $35,000 annually? They also don’t shop at luxury stores like Tiffany & Co. or Brooks Brothers. Instead, they prefer to shop at Walmart, Target, and Home Depot.
The wealthy never pay full price for the items they want or need. (My personal experience is that the ultra rich never pay full price for anything.) I personally like to shop on eBay and Craigslist. This helps me get super nice quality things for a much lower price. Note: I still don’t buy crap, I purchase nice things. I just don’t pay full price for them.
3. Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
There are a number of small ways that you can cut out those unnecessary expensesthat will add up over time. For example, how much money have you spent on ATM withdrawal fees or transaction fees when sending or receiving funds electronically? There are a number of alternatives that don’t include these fees.
On a larger scale, you should also create a monthly budget, so that you can examine where your money is going each month. You may quickly realize that you actually don’t need that cable package that includes every channel. Instead, you can downgrade, or cut the cord entirely and use alternatives such as Hulu, Amazon, or Netflix. If a budget sounds too restrictive to you, try not having the money to budget! However, merely keeping track of all of your expenses will go a long way to helping you see what you are spending your assets on.
4. Rent or Sell Your Current Possessions
Do you have a closet full of unused junk or clothes that you no longer wear? Do you have a spare guestroom or extra office space? You can make money simply by selling your unwanted items online through Craigslist, eBay, and Amazon, or offline by having a yard sale, visiting a consignment shop, or hosting a closet party. You could rent bedrooms on Airbnb. You can even rent out everything from your office, parking space, car, or even tools when you’re not using them.
As opposed to collecting dust or taking up space, you can sell or rent the possessions you already have to make some quick cash.
5. Leave the Cash and Plastic at Home
If you leave the house without your credit card and a large amount of cash, you won’t be tempted to purchase items that you don’t really need. In fact, according to U.S. News & World Report, it’s been found that “86 percent of people who spend cash on luxuries like expensive cars, jewelry, and electronics are non-millionaires trying to act the part by purchasing luxury brands.”
Instead, follow the example set by T. Boone Pickens. Make a shopping list and only carry the cash you’ll need to make those specific purchases. This way, you aren’t putting yourself into additional debt. Remember, if you don’t have the cash to make a purchase or pay off your credit card, then you probably can’t afford the purchase in the first place.
6. Don’t Waste Money on “Get Rich Quick” Schemes
There is no such thing as getting rich quickly. This is something that the wealthy have realized. According to studies conducted by Thomas C. Corley, “16 percent of the wealthy gamble on sports at least once a week versus 52 percent of the poor.” Additionally, “9 percent of the wealthy play the lottery every week versus 77 percent of the poor.”
Don’t waste your money on trying to accumulate a large amount of wealth in a short amount of time, because the probability of that happening is slim to none. Instead, invest the money you would have spent into new business opportunities.
7. Go Green
Going green is excellent for the environment. But going green can actually save you some green as well. For example, you could reduce your heating and cooling bills by turning your heat down during the winter and the air temperature up during the summer by just 2 degrees. You could also invest in a gadget like the Nest to help monitor and manage your heating and cooling expenses.
You could also recycle cans and cardboard for a couple of extra dollars, replace energy-guzzling gadgets with newer Energy Star models to cut back on your electric bill, and consider carpooling or taking public transport instead of driving yourself to and from work.
8. Get a Side Gig
There are two financial incentives for getting a side gig. The first, and most obvious, reason is that this will bring in additional income that can be used to pay down your debt or placed into savings or investments.
The other reason is, if you’re busy with a side gig, then you’ll have less time to spend the money you’ve earned. For example, if you do web design, tech support, or became a bartender on the weekends, you’re less likely to go out to eat or shop all day. Here are a few tips to earn an extra $500 a month. Every little bit helps.
You can become a millionaire, now it’s time to figure it out and go do it. I have faith and believe in you. If you’re ever lost or need a little advice, I’m here to help!
Does “overnight success,” really exist?
There seem to be people who make meteoric rises. One day they’re nobody. The next day they’re a household name.
It appears that way, but more often than not a lot of work went on behind the scenes.
Everyone wants to be successful, but few are willing to do what it takes to succeed. While it will take some time and effort to make major progress, it doesn’t have to take forever.
There are some ways to speed up the process and become successful quickly. You don’t have to toil away for 10,000 hours before you accomplish something significant. If you follow these strategies you’ll be well on your way to living a successful life in record time.
Success Is A Series Of Steps
“Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Discharge your duties faithfully and well. Step by step you get ahead, but not necessarily in fast spurts. But you build discipline by preparing for fast spurts. Slug it out one inch at a time day by day. At the end of the day, if you live long enough, most people get what they deserve.” — Charlie Munger
Wait a minute — this article was supposed to be about how to achieve success quickly, what gives?
Taking things step by step will lead to massive success if you’re consistent. If you consciously spend each day trying to improve yourself and your craft you will take a massive leap at some point.
The problem most people have is inconsistency. If you aren’t consistent, you won’t build a solid foundation to be able to make giant leaps forward
Let’s say you want to be a writer. Many successful writers will tell you the key to being a great writer is building a consistent writing habit. But most people will attempt writing this way — they’ll try to “fit it in,” here and there. They’ll write non stop for a couple of days then take weeks off before they write again.
The same thought process can be used in any area. Inconsistency will kill your chances of being successful. Slow and steady and incessant wins the race.
Read 500 Books
“The key to reading lots of book begins with stop thinking of it as some activity that you do. Reading must become as natural as eating and breathing to you. It’s not something you do because you feel like it, but because it’s a reflex, a default.” — Ryan Holiday
Reading should be treated like a job, not a hobby. Gathering and applying knowledge speeds up the process of becoming successful.
You can read your way into becoming an expert at anything. There’s an eerily strong correlation between reading a lot and becoming successful. James Altucher says if you can’t read 500 books you should give up on becoming successful altogether.
What area are you seeking to become successful in? Read 250 books in that area to build a rock solid knowledge base. Read 250 books in areas unrelated to your subject so that you can form mental models to help you solve difficult problems.
This connection of ideas is known as the adjacent possible.
“The strange and beautiful truth about the adjacent possible is that its boundaries grow as you explore those boundaries. Each new combination ushers new combinations into the adjacent possible. Think of it as a house that magically expands with each door you open. Keep opening new doors and eventually you’ll have built a palace.” — Steven Johnson,Where Good Ideas Come From.
Reading tons of books expands your mind and continues to open more doors in the adjacent possible. Your knowledge base will grow until you explode with creativity and are able to make insightful connects between disparate ideas.
The speed of your success depends on the pace of your learning.
Research, Front Load Your Work, Iterate
Many make the mistake of falling in love with their idea and ignoring whether or not their product or service is something people actually want.
This is the type of person who comes up with a business idea and immediately buys business cards, throws up a website, and believes people will flock to it.
Rule number one for creating a successful business, getting your idea to spread, or building a following — nobody cares about you.
It’s great that you want to follow your passion, but you need to make sure what you’re offering fits a market need.
Yes, Steve Jobs had the magical ability to predict what consumer wanted before they knew it themselves. But you’re not Steve Jobs.
So where do you go to do research? Here are a few options:
- Quora — Quora is a platform where people ask questions publicly and anyone can answer them. It’s a gold mine for researching the hopes, fears, and dreams of your target audience. If you’re looking to position yourself as an expert, Quora is a great avenue to practice by answering people’s questions.
- Amazon — Go on amazon and look for books related to your subject or industry. Find the most popular books on that topic and read the reviews. Pay attention to the critical reviews — 3 stars or less. These will show you what people thought could be better about that book. You can use that knowledge to create something better to fill in the gaps left by others in your field.
- Niche Forums — Search for forums related to your field and read the comments and replies. Like Quora, forums are another resource to tap into the minds of potential customers or audience members. You can even participate in the conversation yourself to build your expertise.
The next step is front loading the work. Front loading means you do a large amount of work in the beginning that pays major dividends later on.
What do most people do? They rush. They putout inferior work that could have been improved.
Instead of writing ten blog posts that take an hour a piece. Write one blog post that takes ten hours to write. People can tell the difference between a methodical masterpiece and a cobbled together piece of shit.
You want to be word class in everything you do. It’s the only way to stand out in a sea of noise, charlatans, and average people.
Whatever you’re trying to create, spend 10x the time in the initial phases in order to achieve 100x the results.
The final step is to iterate. You’ve done your research, you’ve front loaded the work, and now it’s time to unveil your product, service, or piece of work. The caveat to this process is that it may not be as well received as you imagined it to be. That’s okay. Take the feedback you receive and use it to make your product even better.
He created a minimum viable product, also known as a beta version. He showed the product to a small group of business owners in his target market. They gave him feedback on what could be improved. He incorporated that feedback and created a new version. Again, they gave him more feedback. He went through several iterations until his product was top notch.
One of the major mistakes people make is failing to listen. They take things personally when their ideas aren’t well-received. They don’t learn from past mistakes to build a better future.
Paying attention to feedback and taking action to improve based on that feedback will make you succeed much quicker.
Find A Mentor or Hire A Coach
“Commit to an apprenticeship, in which you undergo years of humble observation, skill acquisition, and experimentation.” — Robert Greene, Mastery
Finding a mentor may be the best way to shorten your learning curve and make massive leaps in progress. If you learn from someone who has experience in your field you can avoid potential pitfalls you may have encountered had you not had a mentor guiding you.
The second option involves paying someone to teach you what they know. Many people scoff at the idea of paying for coaching, but those types of people aren’t high performers.
The best athletes in the world pay for top trainers and coaches during the off season. Your favorite singer has a vocal coach. Top leaders and CEOs of companies pay tens of thousands of dollars for consulting and coaching to take their businesses to the next level.
Ramit Sethi, personal finance, career, and behavioral change expert wrote an article about how he paid $25,000 for personal coaching. He said he would have paid 10x the price for the value he received.
Successful people invest in themselves and their future. Unsuccessful people are cynical and worried about getting “scammed,” even though the society they live in has been pulling the wool over their eyes for years.
You could spend hours on end searching for free information on the internet, but you’re actually spending something more valuable than money — your time. Smart people seek out even smarter people to help them.
The Truth About Becoming Successful Quickly
There is no “magic bullet,” solution to becoming successful. You can, however, become successful in a relatively short amount of time. When I use the word quickly I’m comparing a couple of years to a lifetime of mediocrity and lack of achievement.
3 to 5 years isn’t a long time. If you knew that your success was guaranteed if you put in 3 to 5 years of work would you follow through? I’m sure you would. It’s the uncertainty that holds you back.
The best solution to curing self-doubt and wondering “what if,” is to work. If you want to be successful twice as fast, work twice as hard and twice as smart.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” — Earl Nightingale
You might be worried about wasting time, but ironically, if you’re not working towards something your time’s already being wasted.
You’ll start getting traction if you put your head down and work. I started writing a year ago with no experience whatsoever. I wrote more than 100 blog posts. I self-published a book that hit the #1 spot in multiple categories on Amazon and have had my work featured on large publications and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
I still have my 2 to 4 years left, but by that time no one will be able to ignore me.
The same progress can happen for you if you would only get started.
Is today your day?
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The inner workings of the human brain are still one of humanity’s great mysteries.
In fact, Steve Jobs famously trained his brain using Zen mindfulness meditation to reduce stress, enhance clarity, and boost his creativity.
What if you could actually train your brain to be smarter?
A recent Quora thread posed the question: What are some of the easy things that people can do to keep improving their intelligence?
Over 100 professionals weighed in with their favorite tactics for making themselves smarter — easy to practice habits they work into their daily routine.Business Insider columnist Skye Gould then took those suggestions and created the infographic below.
You probably have “Things to Do” lists. I know I usually have one going on my desk. But have you ever made an “I Did” list, itemizing your daily accomplishments? It’s a different way of framing the tasks you achieve each day, and it can actually help make you smarter.
Writing down what you learn is another tactic that only takes a few minutes, but it can help you better retain information and reinforce what you’ve taken away from a meeting, conference, structured lesson, etc.
Some of the suggestions are more fun, like “Use a word-of-the-day app.” This is a noncommittal way of building your vocabulary, and becoming smarter, in just the few seconds it takes you to check the app.
Each of the ideas below is designed to enhance your intelligence. Although no one tactic will send your IQ through the roof, combined they can help you stay sharp and even become smarter, one day at a time. Check it out:
Image credit: Skye Gould/Business Insider
Are you the bitch of your own brain?
You want to live a productive, happy, and successful life, but mental roadblocks keep getting in your way.
You know what it takes to become successful, but it’s easier said than done. You are willing to do the work it takes to succeed, but your mind leaves you paralyzed and unable to act.
Here’s the good news — It doesn’t necessarily take a giant effort to increase positive results. Sometimes making some subtle changes in the way you think can skyrocket your chances of success.
These small shifts in mindset have the potential to dramatically improve the quality of your life.
Turn Envy Into Curiosity
We all suffer from jealousy at one point or another. But envy can be useful when you harness its power the right way. Shifting your envious energy into curiosity causes you to take action instead of feeling sorry for yourself.
For example, I remember when I saw an acquaintance of mine get her blog post published on a high traffic website. I was jealous for a bit, but then I decided to figure out how she did it. I had my work published on the same platform days later. I’ve continued to use curiosity to accomplish what I’ve seen others do.
Each time you see someone do something you want to do:
- Reverse engineer what they’ve done. Or
- Seek them out and ask them how they did it.
The seemingly huge accomplishments others make aren’t as hard to achieve as you think. Taking the time to learn how other people do things changes everything. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel — just follow the path forged by those ahead of you.
Make Learning An Obligation Instead Of An Option
Increasing rationality and improving as much as you can no matter your age or experience is a moral duty. — Charlie Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
Failing to learn and improve yourself increases your chances of being a failure. Think of learning as your price to pay for being a human being. Treat acquiring new information like your occupation. Information has become more accessible than ever before. The playing field is level.
Billionaire businessman Elon Musk basically taught himself rocket science by reading every book on the subject and talking to experts in the field. Billionaire investor Warren Buffet is known to read for up to eight hours per day. Buffet says, “The more you learn, the more you can potentially earn.”
Don’t work your way to the top. Learn your way to the top.
Change “I am” to “I’m working on it.”
The labels you place on yourself shape your actions. Be careful what words you use after the phrase “I am.” The minute you label yourself as lazy, stupid, weak, or anything else negative, you act in accordance with that label. Instead of placing labels on yourself, try making statements indicating you’re in the process of improving.
- Instead of “I’m lazy” — “I’m working on becoming a more productive person.”
- Instead of “I’m broke” — “I’m learning how to manage my finances and how to develop the skills to earn more.”
- Instead of “I’m dumb” — “I’m in the process of learning as much as I can and my knowledge base will grow.”
This subtle shift in the way you describe yourself will result in dramatic changes in behavior.
Change From Fixed Mindset To Growth Mindset
Best selling author and psychologist Carol Dweck dives deeply into this topic in her book, Mindset.
We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary. — Carol Dweck.
Take Michael Jordan for example. In many people’s eyes, Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. When he was in high school, however, he was not a highly coveted recruit. He showed flashes of greatness during his college career, but no one was expecting him to be the greatest player ever when he was drafted into the NBA. The key to Jordan’s success was not a superhuman level of talent, but a superhuman level of work ethic and willingness to improve.
Jordan put in his 10,000 hours of practice before he exploded onto the scene. Had he not worked so consistently, he may have never reached that level of success.
You can’t do anything you put your mind to — but if you find something you’re naturally talented in and work at it relentlessly you’re likely to to become successful.
Make Success Chase You, Not The Other Way Around
“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it.” — Victor E Frankyl
Success should not be sought after. Instead, focus on becoming the best version of yourself, and success will follow. Here are some examples of how to make success chase you and not the other way around.
- Focus on creating a great product instead of the number of people who will buy it.
- Focus on writing great blog posts instead of the number of people who will read it.
- Focus on learning as much as possible instead of seeking worthless credentials.
The cream rises to the top. When you focus on doing great work, people will find out about you. Turn inward and think about how you can improve yourself a little more each day –the results will come later.
Find 300 Spartans Instead of Building A Giant Army
You might have dreams of being famous and significant. You want everyone to revel in your creation and love the work you do — but it’ll never happen. Your goal should be to find your tribe and build a following of dedicated people who support your higher vision.
In the movie 300, a small troop of Spartan soldiers were able to fend off a massive Persian army in a series of battles. The Persian army was comprised of slaves, prisoners of war, and cobbled together troops of civilians. The Spartans dedicated their entire existence to warfare. Their dedication and devotion to one another was their biggest asset.
Which would you rather have — the feigned support of the masses, or a group of die-hard and dedicated people who share the same cause as you? Successful people choose the latter.
Narrow Your Focus Instead of Focusing On Being Well — Rounded
“By the time a student gets to college, he’s spent a decade curating a bewilderingly diverse resume to prepare for a completely unknowable future. Come what may, he’s ready–for nothing in particular.”- Peter Thiel, Zero to One.
In the book Thiel also asks this contrarian question — “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”
My answer — People shouldn’t be allowed to have tons options when it comes to their future. The world would be a better place if we focused on aptitude early on and steered people in the direction they’re destined for.
Here are some resources to help pinpoint your natural strengths and make it much easier to find a path to follow:
Self awareness leads to prosperity. Find out who you are to figure out what you want.
Focus On What Not To Do
A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid — Charlie Munger.
The key to success seems mysterious. But there are some obvious keys to failure. Instead of trying to unlock the secrets to motivation, success, and productivity, focus on what you shouldn’t be doing and avoid doing those things. Observe people who aren’t successful to learn what to avoid. You can learn from mistakes, but who say’s they have to be yours?
Focus On Sanity, Not Ambition
Ambition means tying your well-being to what other people say or do. Self-indulgence means tying it to the things that happen to you. Sanity means tying it to your own actions. — Marcus Aurelius.
Here’s the truth about success nobody wants to tell you. Sometimes you can do everything the right way and still fail. Luck does come into play and bad things can happen to good people. When you tie your happiness to specific outcomes, you’re putting yourself at risk to become depressed and unhappy when things don’t go your way.
When you tie your well being to your actions, you can look back at what you’ve done with pride. Oftentimes dedicated effort and persistence will lead to success, but if things don’t work out you can still be content to know you did everything in your power to succeed.
Point Your Fear In The Right Direction
Fear provides the motivation you need to succeed if you use it the right way. You can’t rid yourself of fear, but you can point it in a direction that either helps you or hinders you.
Most people fear:
Successful people fear:
- Failing to take action
- Having to wonder “what if?”
Accept your fear. Embrace it. Use its energy properly.
Focus On Short Bursts Of Productivity Instead Of Being Productive 24/7
Our society puts productivity on a pedestal. We’re always looking for tips, tricks, and hacks, to become hyper productive and organized. You don’t need a meticulously organized Evernote file, you just need to set aside short blocks of time for focused and productive work.
Here are the keys to making the most out of your time blocks:
- Don’t multi-task (It kills your brain).
- Rid your environment of distractions — no phone, email, or social media.
- Commit to a time frame you can follow through with — 30 minutes of concentrated work trumps 2 hours of distracted work. Be realistic. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Give yourself credit for following through with these short productive periods. Over time you’ll be able to stay focused for longer periods and you’ll develop into a more productive person as a whole.
Value Experience Over Credentials
Many of us suffer from impostor syndrome. You might not feel like you’re qualified enough or have the right credentials for the path you’re pursuing.
Expertise comes from knowledge and experience — not from a piece of paper. Being viewed as an expert comes from knowing what you’re talking about and earning people’s respect.
In Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he says people are influenced by the mere perception of authority, regardless of whether or not they’re “worthy,” of being one.
Think of someone dressed in a white lab coat with a stethoscope around their neck — their appearance alone would lead you to believe they’re competent, intelligent, and trustworthy, even if they weren’t an actual doctor.
When you develop necessary knowledge, you’ll build the confidence to position yourself as an authority and people will treat you like one.
Never Think Of Time As Being Wasted (Everything Matters)
You might be worried about making the wrong choices when it comes to your future. You don’t want to waste a bunch of time traveling down the wrong path. When you think of every moment of your life as important you realize that time can never be wasted.
Even if you path you follow doesn’t work out your way you still gain:
- Experience — Even if you spend months or years in a career you weren’t suited for, you’ve gained useful skills a long the way.
- Connection — Every person you encounter a long the way has something valuable to offer. If you’re observant you’ll learn something new from everyone you meet.
- Feedback — When things don’t work out your way on your initial attempt, you’ll have a better idea what to do next time.
Everything matters. The mistakes you made in the past might lead to your success in the future. When you have a high awareness level you’re able to glean useful insight from every moment.
Treat Safety As A Negative
In the book Antifragile, Nassim Taleb reveals the problem with being lulled into a false sense of safety and security.
“Consider a turkey that is fed every day. Every single feeding will firm up the bird’s belief that it is the general rule of life to be fed every day by friendly members of the human race ‘looking out for its best interests,’ as a politician would say. On the afternoon of the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, something unexpected will happen to the turkey. It will incur a revision of belief.”
A false sense of security leaves you fragile when exposed to what Taleb calls, “black swan events.” Think of the economic collapse of 08–09. Before the downturn, people believed in job security. That myth has now been shattered.
Stay on your toes. Seek to become antifragile by introducing volatility into your life. Structure your life in a way that benefits from uncertainty. The most adaptable species are the ones who survive — not necessarily the strongest.
Be Okay With Finishing Last (As Long As You’re In The Right Race)
Most people are in a race to the bottom or to the middle. I’m not against people receiving a fair minimum wage, but think of it this way — raising the minimum wage is only important to you if you plan on staying at the bottom.
When you’re on the race to the top, you’ll still be in great shape even if you finish last. The difference between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 is the way they think. You can roll your eyes at that or accept it as being true.
Simply believing in doing the improbable catapults you into the top five percent of the population.
If you spend your entire life learning what it takes to be successful and you never give up you’ll do just fine. Level up your game.
Don’t look at experts and influencers in a state of awe — vow to take their spot.
They aren’t special.
They’re just normal human beings who had the audacity to believe there’s more to life than living a mediocre existence.
Remove the word “aspiring,” from your vocabulary. It’s time to turn pro and play with the big boys and girls. Believe in your capacity to achieve. Resolve to do whatever it takes to make it to the top.