People dream of living a life of wealth and abundance. They imagine beautiful homes, exotic vacations, expensive cars, and a life free from the everyday stress of budgeting monthly bills and expenses. They dream of becoming a millionaire, and all of the comforts and privileges that come with it. But most people only dream, never taking the initiative to make their dreams become reality.
Some Millionaire Statistics
Becoming a millionaire is not as impossible as people think, but let’s first clear-up some popular misconceptions about today’s millionaires. In the book “The Millionaire Next Door”, by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D, and William D. Danko, Ph.D, today’s millionaires live much different than what many people think.
– 75% of today’s millionaires are self employed entrepreneurs. Few people become wealthy by working for someone else. Some career choices do lead to financially rewarding lifestyles, but the top earners in those professions are the exception, and not the rule. For instance, the average attorney with 20 years of experience earns $113,462 yearly.
– 80% of U. S. millionaires are first generation affluent. Contrary to popular belief, most people are not born into wealth. They earn their money the old fashioned way, they work for it.
– 66% of today’s millionaires work 45-55 hours a week. People who are passionate about what they do invest time into their businesses, and into increasing their wealth.
– Most millionaires live well below their means. Only a handful of millionaires drive a current model year automobile, and few millionaires lease them. Few millionaires wear designer suits or extravagant jewelry, and the average millionaire invests about 20% of their income.
– Most millionaires earn their money over a lifetime. Only a small percentage of people become “instant” millionaires by signing a professional sports contract, or by winning the lottery.
The Millionaire Mindset: Take a Personal Assessment
Do you really have what it takes to become a millionaire? Too often, people want to achieve the results without putting in the effort. Becoming a millionaire takes commitment. There is a commitment of time, a commitment to learning, a commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty, and a commitment to not giving up when the journey becomes difficult.
Taking a personal assessment of your strengths and weakness requires insight and soul searching. Be honest about your ability to move beyond disappointment, what you’ve accomplished in the past, where you are today, and whether you’re willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish you future objectives. You’ve got to believe before you achieve it.
Do you have a tendency to give up when the going gets rough, or do you fight through challenges, staying focused on the primary objective? Are you committed to investing the time and energy to achieve your dreams, even when it requires long hours and making personal sacrifices, or are you satisfied working eight hours a day and hoping for a few hours of overtime? Are you frozen by the fear of starting a business of your own, or are you a go-getter ready to take on any and every challenge?
Creating a list of personality assets and liabilities can help give a realistic picture of whether you have the millionaire mindset. Remember, you have to know where you are in order to determine how to get to where you’re going.
Set Realistic Goals
The only difference between dreams and goals is that goals require a plan of action for achieving them. I other words, a goal is simply a dream with direction. Investing in daily purchases of lottery tickets creates the hope of winning, but does little for creating a realistic path for attaining wealth. Earning, investing, and saving are a more disciplined approach in working towards that objective, and the odds are more in your favor.
Setting written goals that are structured, realistic, and achievable provides a grounded approach towards growing from where you are to where you want to be. Goals should be designed as short term, mid-range, and long term, with the focus on always moving in the desired direction. Written goals are like a road map, or better yet, a GPS system that guides you to where you are going.
Learn to Earn More Income
Learning to earn, save, and invest more income is essential to creating greater wealth. Earning more, and then spending it, is counterproductive to making it to the millionaire status. Many people like to show what they have, instead of know what they have, investing their hard earned dollars into depreciating assets, instead of appreciating assets. Nice cars and fine clothing look great, but do little to increase one’s net worth. Following are some ways to increase earnings.
– Create multiple streams of income from sources other than just a pay check. This is vitally important to increasing wealth. Additional income streams can come from virtually anywhere, but one of the worst decisions people make is to look for another job. A second job certainly helps to make ends meet, but will not lead to more wealth. The problem is that it monopolizes your time, and keeps you from finding opportunities to become independent. Becoming a consultant, freelancing, marketing hobby skills, or even performing odd jobs gives you more control of your time, and puts you in business for yourself.
– Passive income is money that comes in on a regular basis which requires little or no effort. A few examples of this are rental income, music or publishing royalties, dividends and interest income from investments, money from trusts, and pensions.
– Residual income is money earned from providing a good or service once and getting paid for it continually, or by earning from the efforts of others. For instance, an insurance agent can sell a life insurance policy and earn income from it as long as the premiums continue to be paid. Or, people who participate in multi-level marketing who get paid from the sales of their down line.
The path to becoming a millionaire is paved with hard work and dedication. It does not come handed on a silver platter for those not born into wealth. But can be achieved be implementing a solid game, and following through on your commitment to it. By taking a personal assessment and developing the right mind set, we can get a good understanding of where we currently are, and better prepare ourselves for the journey toward our objectives. Anything less is unacceptable.