7) Find the right job and start saving
Get a job in a company where there is opportunity for growth. If your wish to start your own business someday, work at a company where you can learn as much as you can in your area of interest. You’ll be ready to start your own side hustle when the time is right. Once you get the right job, make saving money automatic. If possible, have a percentage of your paycheck go directly to a savings account. Make saving money a part of your lifestyle. I would start by saving for an emergency fund (you should have money saved to live on for 6-12 months in case of an emergency e.g. job loss, etc). Once you have an emergency fund, then you can start saving for investments. I’ve found that if I’m always saving for something, I’m less likely to waste money on things I don’t need.
6) Learn how to invest your savings
Instead of sitting on your savings, look for opportunities to invest. Shift your focus from spending money to investing it. You don’t need an MBA to begin investing. My medical education never prepared me to invest money. I’ve learned most of what I know about investments the same way most self-made millionaires learned, by reading books. Websites like Blinkist allow you to read abbreviated versions of non-fiction, self-help books on finance, investing and other topics for a small fee. Khan Academy offers free educational videos on investments, retirement planning, etc. YouTube has videos on just about every investment strategy out there. Educate yourself about 401Ks, Roth IRAs, low-cost index funds, online investment platforms, real estate investments, etc. Like your savings, if you can fund these investments automatically directly from your paycheck, that would be ideal. You’ll be less likely to spend money that is already tied up in investments.
5) Start developing multiple streams of income
65% of self-made millionaires have at least 3 streams of income. Possible streams of income include real estate, stock market investments, part ownership in a side business, starting your own online business, etc. The idea that you have to work hard in one place for 30 years then retire with benefits is not going to make you a millionaire. In MJ DeMarco’s book “The Millionaire’s Fastlane“, learn about the different systems available for you as starting points to developing multiple streams of income. Use your current stream of income as a stepping stone for another.
4) Learn about and surround yourself with people you admire
In my 20s it was easy to surround myself with distractions and people who spent their time partying or hanging out. If you want to make your first million by your 30s, you have to make a conscious decision to avoid these distractions and find experienced mentors and role models. Gaining and keeping wealth requires a certain mindset about money. People with the right mindset are usually already rich. I’ve had to learn that part of not limiting your financial goals is to get rid of poverty thinking. Self-made millionaires have done away with this thinking. Those who say “Money won’t make you happy” or “All rich people are greedy” are usually those who don’t have any money.
If you’re like me and don’t know a ton of millionaires, indulge in autobiographies or “how to” books by self-made millionaires. Hang out where they hang out. Buy the cheapest home in the most expensive neighborhood. You’ll have millionaires for neighbors and opportunities to learn from them. Seek them out and learn as much as you can from them.
3) Don’t limit your financial goals
This was one mistake I made in my early 20s. I had a relative who made $200,000 a year and I remember thinking if I made that much all my problems would be solved. My goal at 20 was to make $200,000/year in my 30s. Now in my 30s, I’m blessed to make more than that amount now and I still feel there is a lot more room for more financial growth. Who knows where I would be now if my goal at 20 was to make $20 million/year by my 30s. If you limit your financial goals, you’ll inadvertently limit your efforts to reach it. Set a goal and multiply it by 10. That way you’ll be way ahead of what you shoot for. Once you get there, never get too comfortable. Once you’ve met your goals, set new ones. You are limited only by the restrictions you place on yourself.
2) Be ready to work smart and learn
Rich people treat time differently. Rich people buy time while poor people sell it. The wealthy understand that time is more valuable than money. They look for ways to invest their time in developing new ways to create new streams of income and hire others for things that would not be a productive use of their time. Learn how to place a value on your time early in your career. Successful people invest time, energy and money in improving themselves.
In order to make and manage large sums of money, you have to transition from trading your time for money to having your money work for you. This will not happen overnight. Allow yourself to take risks, fail, make mistakes and learn from them. Read everyday. Most self-made millionaires have embraced this one habit that distinguishes them from everyone else. Link your short-term goals to long-term plans for financial success. No one made millions of dollars overnight legally by not planning long-term; except if you win the lottery! However, since you have a better chance of being struck by lightning twice than winning a $10 million dollar lottery overnight, it’s a safer bet to develop a long-term strategy for financial success.
1) Give yourself permission to become a millionaire
In my 20s I thought aspiring to become a millionaire was a negative goal. Hence, I never strived to become one. I didn’t give myself permission to become a millionaire until my early 30s. The sooner you see becoming a millionaire as a stepping stone and an opportunity to help others, the sooner you’ll become one. In the wise words of T. Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, “Rich people are totally clear that they want wealth.” Set a goal for how much you want to make and by what date. Draft a long-term plan and set short-term goals to get there. Try saying everyday “I am worth $1 billion”. You will achieve it only if you believe it.