You’d be surprised at how simple it is to build wealth. You don’t need special connections, luck or anything of that sort.
You also don’t have to waste money on expensive financial seminars or “buy” the latest tricks and strategies.
John Bogle said that there’s no secret—and that is the secret.
Anyone can access the truth and knowledge on how to build wealth. As a matter of fact, it can be summarized in only two sentences:
- Earn more money that you spend then invest the difference.
- Adopt small daily habits which contribute to your wealth accumulation goal.
This may be disappointing. Many people don’t want to hear this, they want a new and clever secret.
While many marketers will promise you a special ingredient, this is the tried and tested strategy. Ask any wealthy person you know. Even Benjamin Franklin taught this truth hundreds of years ago.
This wisdom is timeless and will work for you if you commit. So, take a deeper look at each of these sentences.
Earn More Than You Spend. Invest the Difference
The first sentence is all about having a positive cash flow. Either spend less or find a way to make more money.
Spending less may mean adopting a frugal life.
You can start a business, ask for a raise or change your job for more income.
Make sure you have something to save and invest so your wealth can grow.
Frugality requires you to be self-disciplined. Depending on how much you earn and what you want to save, it may mean making a lot of sacrifices. This is what makes it difficult. Everyday you will have to choose between your financial freedom goals and lifestyle desires.
People who like simplicity may enjoy it, though.
Extreme frugalists have been known to save even 70% of their income just so they can become financial independent in 10 years or less. But this is not something that everyone can do.
Raising your income seems like the easy alternative. You can earn as much as you want. You are your only limit.
An even better alternative is to do both. Minimize your spending and increase your income.
In investing, you can either choose:
- Paper assets, such as a low-cost index fund
- Real estate
Small Habits to Achieve a Big Goal
The strategy outlined above is simple and people have proven that it works. All you have to do is act. This requires efforts and consistency.
Small actions done consistently over time lead to wealth accumulation.
Procrastination is your worst enemy. There will always be something else that requires your attention and money.
Start today. Identify a habit that will serve your goals and stick to it. If you have no idea where to start, here are some examples.
- Join a program for automatic saving.
- If your company offers a 401(k), opt in.
- Prepay on your mortgage (even a small amount counts).
- Eliminate unnecessary expenses.
- Sell any unused assets.
- Learn to repair instead of replacing when not necessary.
- Find a way to get a raise.
- Learn about real estate investment or asset allocation.
The ability to manage your personal finance is key for successful long-term financial health and stability. Regardless of how much you earn, being able to make your income work for you is essential. Not everyone requires a large salary and an expensive home and car to be happy, but they do need to be comfortable in terms of being able to eat and sleep in a healthy environment and provide adequate clothing and shelter for their families as well. This can only be achieved through sensible personal financial management, that is, only spending what you can afford, not borrowing money over and above what you can realistically afford to pay back, and ensuring you and your family will be comfortable and able to maintain the standard of living when you retire.
Banks are often very willing to give credit to customers, which is where you need to be careful, they are not so easy going when it comes to paying the money back. Overdraft interest can be very expensive, and you end up paying back much more than you originally borrowed. On top of that, they charge high prices for going over the agreed amount, whether by accident or not, so customers need to be extra vigilant when approaching their limit. On the other hand, when the need is only short term, an overdraft is a very viable option. If you know in advance one month you will be caught short, then having an overdraft facility can be a big help. Similarly, simply setting up and overdraft but not using it until/unless there is an emergency will give you piece of mind that you will not struggle to suddenly raise any money unexpectedly.
Credit cards can be very useful, especially when using them as opposed to debit cards purely to take advantage of any spending bonus points/offers gained by regular use which will only happen if the balance is paid off fully at the end of every month. Having a credit card for emergencies is again a sensible idea, especially for larger, unexpected bills such as car repairs. Many credit cards offer a 0% interest on the balance for a set period, often 6 months, and this can be manipulated so that you change company every six months to avoid paying any interest. Of course, this just keeps the interest rate down; it does nothing to shave the amount of what you owe. It is a common mistake to see credit as an extension of your wages nothing could be further from the truth, it is not your money. You will have to pay it back at some point, and the sooner the better. Therefore, the best advice is again to only borrow what you can afford to pay back.
Finally, to secure your future when you eventually settle down and retire, it is an extremely advisable idea to set up some form of pension scheme, whether that is with your bank, or your employers. Pension schemes can move from company to company in the event of job changing, and your employers simply take a percentage of your wage each month and put it aside, to be given to you in a lump sum as and when you are retired, so you can maintain a good living standard when you are no longer working.
We are living in a society of consumerism. Prices skyrocket demands multiply; the only thing that remains static is your income. How to survive in a consumer society keeping a control of the expenses?
Personal finance is all about planning your finance. You need to keep a budget in every step of your life. Start from the household budget and categorize the household expenses as follows.
Fixed expenses – These are monthly bills to be paid such as rent, telephone, cable, electricity, etc.
Variable expenses – These include the cost of all essentials including your food, medicine, entertainment expenses, etc., and may vary slightly depending on the items purchased.
The extra cash that you have after deducting the expenses for the above determines your true financial status. If your extra cash is zero, or if it is negative, you have to seriously think about reworking your personal finance plans or consult a financial adviser.
What if you have loans and debts to be paid off? Most of the people have mortgage payments, auto loans, credit card payments and other types of loans recurring every month.
The best possible way to balance these is to maintain a decent debt-to-income ratio. Always make sure that your debt-to-income ratio is never higher than 50%. If you are overloaded with too many loans, consolidation of the heavier loans will be a better option than keeping a bad record of the debts.
Refinancing your mortgage is chosen as the best option by many debtors to consolidate their debts. The only thing you need to be careful while refinancing is to get a better deal, in terms of the market value of your property and the best interest rates. Higher the market value of the property, higher is the loan amount. With lower interest rates and longer mortgage period, your monthly payments will be reduced considerably, relieving you from your debt worries.
Possessing a credit card is another way to keep your finance move without worries. You can handle the day-to-day expenses without looking into your pocket always. But make a habit to pay off the balance at the end of the month. You can opt for credit cards that offer lower interest rates so that you can bear a certain debit in times of crisis.
Insurance is another important rider in personal finance. Possessing a personal insurance, home insurance, and auto insurance are the smart ways of dealing with the hurdles that may jump on your way. It is also a good investment option and a beneficial tool to secure your life and property from the unexpected disasters.
Once you take care of your loans and emergencies, the next step is to think about the investment options. There are many investment plans that ensure huge returns irrespective of the market fluctuations. There are long-term and short-term deposits offered by different banks and credit unions. One of the safest ways of saving money is to invest in money market accounts (MMA). MMAs offer a greater interest rates and insurance for your deposit.
To overcome the rainy days of your life, you need to keep a good control on your finance, whatever may your present status be.
Understanding how to manage your personal finance goals will bring rewards rather than despair. We all want a secure future so here are a few things to help you get started.
Firstly, know your current financial status. This can be a little intimidating for some, but it is essential to a better financial future. This entails knowing three important things: your expenses, financial problems and financial desires.
Be aware of how much you spend in order to find out how much you can afford. Write down your monthly expenses if you have time, or use a personal finance program. Make allowances for problems that may arise such as unexpected doctors bills, school uniforms, tax returns.
Knowing your lifestyle aspirations is just as important. Taking note of your desires will help you decide which ones are reasonable and which ones are not. Focus on the reasonable ones as they will provide the motivation to manage your personal finances.
Honesty is another key attitude to managing your personal finance plan. If you decide not to accept the facts surrounding your current financial status, you are not likely to move ahead. Be honest with yourself in how much you can afford and how much you owe, otherwise your financial plan will most likely end in financial trouble.
Discipline is perhaps the most important when managing personal finance. Once you have discovered what you truly can and cannot afford, you must learn to say no when needed. This is easier said than done, but if you are determined on having a financially secure future, discipline is imperative.
Knowledge is most definitely power. You must be wise in your investments if you wish for success in your personal finance. Consult accountants and financial planners, research on trends on the market or speak with your friends and co-workers about their investments. This research is sure to pay off whereas lack of it will surely lead to more debts and deviating from your personal finance plan. Also, diversify your investments to reduce risk and leverage out your financial investment. Very simply, the most effective method to improve your personal finances is to spend wisely. Do not spend more than you can earn. Make sure all your expenses are covered first. Understanding this will allow you to manage your personal finance a little better.
The topic of building wealth is always a hot one. When it comes up, people are careful not to be misled.
So you may be wondering whether these three steps here are a misleading concept. They are not.
There are the three wealth building steps.
- Make money
- Save money
- Invest money
That’s all you have to do. They seem simple but following them is much harder than you think.
Take a closer look at each one of them.
Make Enough Money
People talk a lot about how saving small amounts regularly can help you accumulate a large amount over time. But no one talks about this side of the story. How should people make enough money to save?
Cutting costs seems like a good idea but there is a limit. If you cannot cut down your expenses more than you already have, find a way to earn more.
Income is divided into two major categories: passive and earned. Passive income comes from investments while earned income is what you get from your job.
For those that are in the middle of changing their career or those that are starting out, here are four things to consider.
- What is your passion? Your chances of succeeding financially are higher if you do what you love.
- What is your area of expertise? Find something that you are good at and use the skills to make money.
- What job will pay you well? It is wise to get a job that aligns with your expectations financially.
- How do you get there? Now think about what you have to do to land that job—in terms of training and education.
With these things in mind, you will be on a journey to success. Remember to be proactive and open-minded.
Save Enough Money
So you already make a good amount, have a good standard of living but you can’t manage to save enough. Why is that? It is because your expenses go above your budget.
Follow the steps below to live within your budget or to create one.
- Monitor your spending for a month.
- Cut back. If there is an unnecessary expense, remove it.
- Adjust. Keep adjusting your budget as needed to suit your needs.
- Build a cushion. Save a few months’ worth of expenses for emergency.
- Get matched. Start contributing to your employer’s 403(b) or 401(k).
Invest Money Wisely
With sufficient income and the ability to save, it is time to take some risk and start investing in securities.
But first, assess your situation. Things that you should consider include liquidity needs, tax considerations, time horizon, your household income, etc.
Find the asset allocation that works for your needs. It is advisable to find a financial advisor so they can walk you through everything. The allocation should include equities, fixed income, cash and alternative investments.
Young investors can take more risk because time is on their side.
Remember to diversify your investments and avoid the temptation of timing the market.
For most people, the day job is not enough to meet all their financial needs. Their financial goals seem out of reach because they never have a single cent to spare after paying bills.
To build long-term wealth, you need passive streams of income. Here are assets that are great sources of passive income.
Interest Savings Accounts
Interest savings accounts are not attractive because the interest is very low. But instead of having a high-fee bank keep your cash, you can opt for online banks. They are free and your money earns interest.
Certificates of Deposits (CDs)
As already mentioned, the interest offered by savings accounts is not that great. CDs have a higher interest rate and they are low-risk investments.
You can keep reinvesting your dividends. When you retire, the dividend income may be enough to cover your bills.
Bonds are less volatile compared to stocks although they have a lower growth potential over the long term.
Small Business Bonds
If you are looking for something short-term, small business bonds may be right for you. However, they don’t come without risk.
College Savings Account
College is not cheap. That is why you may want to consider CollegeBacker. They have a 529 college savings plan and the contribution grows tax-free.
Health Savings Account
A huge, unexpected medical bill can put you down financially. With a health savings account, you can make a tax-advantaged investment.
Crowdfunded Real Estate
Real estate investments can seem unattainable for ordinary people. But you don’t need a lot of money with crowdfunded real estate.
This is for people who want a consistent source of income. You will need lot of capital but you will earn higher returns.
If you have a second property or spare room, rent it out to travelers and tourists. List it on Airbnb to get guests.
This one doesn’t sound interesting but it can help you build wealth. Lend cash to farmers or purchase active farm shares.
Buy wooded land and make money by selling trees. Make sure you get a tree surveyor to inspect the land first.
Sometimes, there’s something more valuable underground. So speculative land investors buy mineral rights and earn investment income.
Gold is a very stable investment. Palladium, platinum and silver are popular investments too but they are more volatile.
You buy shares of high-value paintings in a secure vault. After several years they will be sold for profit if the value has increased.
If you have $1000 or more for investing, own fine wine. The taste can improve over time, increasing value and there is also the scarcity factor when the remaining bottle are few.
Lending money to people is risky but the interest is higher.
Tax Lien Investing
Tax liens are a unique way of lending and collecting interest. Before venturing into this investment, check your local laws.
You receive royalty income when you own rights to trademarks, movies, music or any other intellectual property.
Start a Business
Monetize your hobby by investing in yourself. It is not easy but at least you won’t have to share the profits with other shareholders.
If starting your own business is too much, invest in someone else’s vision. You can do this on platforms such as NextSeed.
It is possible to achieve financial freedom. But it takes time and consistent efforts. This post highlights a few steps that you can take to attain financial success and freedom.
What Is Financial Freedom?
What exactly is financial freedom and why should you care about it?
It simply means being able to use your energy and time however you want without being concerned about money. It is also referred to as financial independence.
It may mean having enough investments and savings so you don’t have to work. Or owning several businesses that bring in enough cash flow to cover your monthly expenses.
This is something that everyone wants—whether they admit it or not. The problem is knowing how to achieve that.
7 Steps to Financial Freedom
If you have heard about the 7 steps to financial freedom, you have probably heard one of two versions (or both). There is one by Tony Robbins and another one by Dave Ramsey.
7 steps according to Dave Ramsey:
- Create an emergency fund worth $1000.
- Clear your debt with the debt snowball.
- Save about three to six months of living expenses.
- Use 15% of your household income to invest into pre-tax retirement and Roth IRAs.
- College fund for kids.
- Pay off your home early.
- Create wealth and give back.
7 steps according to Tony Robbins:
- Become the investor, rather than a consumer.
- Don’t invest before you know the rules.
- Amass knowledge to win.
- Decide on asset allocation.
- Come up with a lifetime income strategy.
- Model hedge funds portfolio.
- Have fun and share.
7 Steps to Financial Freedom for You
Everyone’s financial situation is different. It is not easy to come up with a one-size-fits-all strategy. Hopefully, this will make sense to you.
Create an emergency fund: When it comes to personal finance success, an emergency fund is crucial. Unplanned emergencies don’t announce their arrival. So always be prepared.
Pay off your consumer debt: Debt restricts you. You cannot live the way you want to. Spend less and use the surplus to pay it off.
Save 10% of your earnings: Having cleared your debt and set up an emergency fund, you can now start saving. Direct 10% of your earnings to a savings account and use the money for investing.
Educate yourself about investing: Learn as much as you can about investing to know what suits you.
Invest in yourself: work on developing yourself too.
Be consistent: keep saving, don’t sink back into debt and continue growing your wealth.
Give back: always be willing to share your wealth, time and knowledge with others.
2 Steps for Financial Success
The above steps may seem difficult and a long-term thing. But there are two actions you can start taking today and you will see the results almost immediately.
Monitor your income and expenses: where are you financially? Know how much you are making and what you are spending it on.
Learn: take the time to learn about personal finance and be consistent in your actions.
Time Is Money: Financial Independence Retire Early
Like a fine wine or a family heirloom, the best stocks only get better with age. Investing in great companies will build wealth over the long run that you can pass down to your children and grandchildren. After all, many of today’s most valuable companies were just starting up a generation or two ago, so tomorrow’s titans of industry are available on the cheap today. If you’re looking for stocks that could one day make your children rich, take a look at these three recommendations from three of our Motley Fool investors: Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN)
The one that started it all
Danny Vena (Netflix): Just 10 years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine the changes that would occur in media consumption over the coming decade, and the birth of streaming has changed the entertainment landscape forever. Netflix started it all, and its investors have been richly rewarded — and I think it’s just the beginning.
Netflix began its international expansion with Canada in 2010. The real revolution, however, happened in 2016 when the company announced its expansion to 130 additional countries simultaneously, growing its worldwide total to over 190 countries and becoming a global media empire in the process.
In Netflix’s most recent quarter, global revenue increased to $2.985 billion, up 30% year over year, while net income reached $130 million, more than double the $52 million achieved during the prior-year period. That wouldn’t have been possible without solid customer growth, which continued unabated to 109.25 million total subscribers, up 26% year over year.
The solid growth in new viewers was the result of a continued push for quality content. Netflix dominated this year’s Emmy awards, scoring 91 nominations and 20 awards — more than any other network with the exception of HBO. This is a stunning achievement, considering the streaming giant released its first original series only four years ago.
The key to Netflix’s future will be to succeed internationally, but significant penetration in early markets like Brazil and the U.K. show why that success is likely to continue. If you own Netflix, your kids will brag about it someday.
eSports is the future
Daniel Miller (Electronic Arts): One stock your kids could grow up to brag about might be a company they become very familiar with in the coming decades — well, as long as your kid becomes a gamer. Electronic Arts is one of the world’s largest third-party video game publishers, and has recently expanded beyond console games to include PC and mobile games. It has well-known titles such as Madden, FIFA, and Battlefield, among others, and the company recently signed a 10-year contract with Disney to develop Star Wars games across all platforms.
The video game maker has done incredibly well for its investors: EA’s stock price is up more than 760% over the past five years. But it’s the opportunity in eSports and its massive growth that could be an X-factor for the company’s future.
Consider that eSports and other video game broadcasts already attract hundreds of millions of people across the planet, and it’s still in the early stages of what could be a lucrative long-term story. As my colleague Keith Noonan points out, some popular eSports events already amass similar viewer numbers as sporting events such as the NBA Finals — and the audience is more receptive to ads, to boot.
The truth is simple: Young Americans love to play video games on multiple platforms, and they also love to watch competitive games. However, eSports is such a young growth story, it’s not totally clear how EA could end up monetizing the competitive gaming scene.
It’s reasonable for investors to expect management to figure it out over the long term. Until that plays out, EA still dominates the sports genre of today’s gaming industry and has expanded its top line through mobile and PC gaming, in addition to its console business. If management does figure out how to capitalize on eSports, and perhaps other segments such as virtual reality, Electronic Arts could easily become a stock your kids will brag about owning in two decades.
Jeremy Bowman (Vail Resorts): A great way to get your kids interested in investing is to buy them shares of a company they’re already interested in. Vail Resorts presents an appealing investment idea for youngsters who like skiing and snowboarding.
Not only does Vail own some of the premier ski resorts in North America, including its eponymous mountain, as well as Whistler/Blackcomb and Park City, but the company has been a winner for investors, too. The stock is up more than 300% over the last five years and has a number of features that give it a competitive advantage that should ensure it continues to outperform.
Its brand name itself is an asset, as Vail has long been known as one of the best ski resorts in the country, with a glitzy image to boot, and the company’s portfolio allows it to offer access through the Epic Pass, which gives skiers and snowboarders unrestricted access to Vail’s 15 mountains in North America, as well as 30 European resorts.
With the company’s acquisition strategy, those advantages should continue to grow as it adds new properties to the Epic Pass. In addition to acquisitions, the company is also growing organically by amping up its off-season attractions, like ziplines, adventure courses, and a mountain coaster, which should also help improve the bottom line over the long haul.
The preference of millennials for spending money on experiences rather than things should give the company a tailwind, as real-world experiences become more valuable in the e-commerce era. Catch some big air with Vail Resorts. Your kids will thank you for it.
10 stocks we like better than Netflix
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Netflix wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Millennials are hitting the workforce in large numbers each year, facing challenges as they do so. Recent research from USA Today reveals that millennials earn 20 percent less than their parents did at the same age, even once they have a college diploma in hand. This, combined with heavy college loan debt, has forced many graduates to give up on their fantasies of owning multimillion-dollar homes on every coast or driving a luxury automobile to the office each day.
But an overflowing bank account isn’t out of reach for every millennial. In fact, there are plenty of millennials who will take the same route Mark Zuckerberg and Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel took. Here are eight things millennials can do to have a shot at becoming multimillionaires by 2022.
Start a business.
This option gives you the best odds of becoming a multimillionaire in the future, but success is obviously not guaranteed. A winning idea is, of course, a very important ingredient, but you should also know other things you’ll need to do to improve your odds of success. Above all, be prepared to put in years of hard work and overcome multiple obstacles before you achieve your dreams.
Find a mentor.
Some of the most successful people in business today will readily admit that outstanding mentors played a significant role in their career growth. Studies connect mentorships to a surprising number of success stories. Find someone who has achieved the type of success you hope to earn someday and ask for the opportunity to learn from that person. Their insight and experience may make the difference that helps separate you from other millennials looking to succeed.
Develop a product.
In today’s Shark Tank-Kickstarter environment, it’s possible to invent a product concept, create a prototype, and get funding to begin manufacturing and distribution. There are multiple ways to approach taking your idea from concept to reality, but you’ll give yourself a great head start if you create something that is inexpensive to produce.
Take over an existing business.
Why start at the beginning when there are existing businesses that need ownership? Search for a business with an owner who may be interested in retiring or who is actually ready to move on. Be prepared to work with the business for some time before eventually offering to take it over. If you have difficulty locating one, a business broker can help you identify the perfect business to suit your personal and professional interests.
Investing can be tricky, but it’s one of the best ways to get a return on the money you currently have. If you want to make significant money quickly, you’ll need to take some major risks, which means being willing to lose all the money you put in. For best results, start by investing a good amount of money. You can make more potentially if you risk more. Pick certain sectors that you find yourself most interested in and concentrate on investments in those spaces. Before any of this though, take time to learn as much as possible about the stock market.
With the nearly nonexistent interest rates on savings accounts today, you likely won’t see the money you put into the bank multiply. However, if you make significant sacrifices, such as living at home with your parents, working multiple jobs, or sharing a place with one or more roommates, you may be able to set aside a considerable part of your salary each month. Like my mom always said, you can’t save much money if you’re busy spending it just to live. If you conserve over time, you’ll have a nest egg you can put toward investing or purchasing rental property that can more rapidly multiply your monthly income.
Start a side hustle.
If you need the security and benefits that come with a salaried position, a side job may be a great way to generate extra income. This could be something as simple as delivering pizzas or bartending or something as complex as starting your own business on the side. The former can bring immediate cash, but the latter can give the long-term benefit of eventually being able to turn it into a full-fledged business.
Boost your salary.
The key to successful saving and investing is to first bring in the best income possible. Don’t settle for a substandard salary. Look at the market rates for your skills in your area and make sure you’re at least within the range. If not, search for a different job with people who will appreciate your education and experience. Learn top salary negotiation strategies to get the most out of every job offer.
With hard work and sacrifice, millennials can significantly increase their income over just a few years. While there’s no guarantee of becoming a multimillionaire, it’s well worth the effort. If you don’t succeed in that timeframe, at least you’ll have a good start at becoming a multimillionaire in the years that follow.
Sacrifices are important to success. In order to doggedly pursue a goal, some things have to be given up.
But figuring out what to sacrifice and when is not a simple equation.
In order to remain true to yourself and your company, you must consider elements of your life to be non-negotiable. Here the top five.
1. Your health
The exhausted, overworked entrepreneur is a tired and ill-informed stereotype. If a business owner is surviving on four hours of sleep a night and a diet of coffee and fast food, they’re not going to achieve much for their company.
Getting adequate sleep, exercising and eating a healthy diet will make you a more effective leader for your business. There is a direct link between health and productivity, and most successful entrepreneurs, like Richard Branson and Jack Dorsey, make it a priority.
Instead of pulling an all-nighter to troubleshoot your website, go to bed. Wake up early and tackle it in the morning. The more exhausted your brain, the less efficiently you’ll operate and the more likely you’ll make a mistake.
Build exercise, sleep and healthy eating into your schedule. Make time to work out on your lunch break, set a firm bedtime for yourself or spend an hour meal-planning on Sundays. Sacrificing your health for the sake of your business is counterproductive.
2. Your family
It doesn’t have to be a “family” in the traditional sense. It means your support network — the people around you who hold you up, ground you and provide a reliable safety net. No entrepreneur is anything without these people.
Your family might be your spouse and children, a close circle of friends or your parents. Whomever they are, you can’t sacrifice your family in the pursuit of your business goals.
You will lose some headspace while attending to your business. It will require a lot of attention, but that attention shouldn’t be to the detriment of your inner circle. The people who have helped you get to this point should never take the backseat. Always make time to appreciate them and recognize them.
Mark Zuckerberg, for example, makes it a point to be home three nights a week to give his daughter a bath.
Your priorities speak volumes about your character, so it’s important to keep those priorities straight if you want to be successful.
3. Your vision
People will pull you left and right as you build your business. It can be easy to get confused and forget the original vision and mission of your company. Don’t let this happen.
While it’s important to be adaptable, it’s also important to stay committed to your vision. Don’t let the negativity and criticism of others diminish your idea. Many of the most famous and innovative entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk, were told many times that they were crazy.
People will try to get you to change your ideas so much that you don’t recognize them anymore. But as an entrepreneur, you cannot afford to sacrifice your vision.
4. Your curiosity
A unifying characteristic of successful entrepreneurs is curiosity: a willingness to think of things differently, consider the impossible and flesh out complex ideas.
This curiosity is a playful thing, and some entrepreneurs find themselves sacrificing it when they move into the formal environment of the business world. But curiosity breeds innovation, which is integral to your business’s success.
Warren Buffett says that both he and Bill Gates are motivated by curiosity.
Don’t let formality and seriousness overcome you. Always remain playfully curious, as this quality will help — not hinder — your business growth.
5. Your team
The people whom you bring on to help build your business — from your partner to your website designer — are central to your mission. These people aren’t the backs upon which you build a business, they are the business.
Like your family, your employees should be treated with respect and appreciation at all times. Sacrificing your relationship with the team that holds up your business will only hurt your progress and tarnish your company’s reputation. Just ask Uber’s Travis Kalanick.
Holding true to a set of values will improve not only the way people perceive you as a boss and business owner, but your self-image as well. A business isn’t worth much if you give away literally everything — your health, your values, your family—to get it. When it comes time to make the hard decisions, don’t let go of these parts of your life.
So what are my tips for entrepreneurs?
1. People are more important than strategy.
If you focus on finding people you want to be with and who you think are talented, chances are you’ll come up with great ideas together that will work. If you start with an idea and then try and find the talent, chances are you will be putting a square peg in a round hole. If you are familiar with Jim Collins’s books, it is what he describes as the “who” rather than the “what.”
2. Know what customers really want.
Business school teaches the importance of listening to customers. That’s great if you know what to listen for. Sometimes customers don’t know what they need but can describe what they really want or what they hate. For example, people don’t want to buy gasoline, but they do want to be able to drive to the beach. Henry Ford has often been quoted as saying, “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted they’d have said faster horses.” Whether he said it or not, the point is a good one. What business you are in is driven by your ability to know what people really want, not what they say they want.
3. Market size is everything.
When VCs look at any investment, they will try to forecast the potential market. If the market is big enough, even a half decent company could get to be a decent size. Dominating a really small market may take ten times the effort. Work out how big your opportunity is and what piece of that market you think you could own.
4. Be the customer.
How many times have you seen employees acting against the interest of their company, because the rules of the company made them act that way? Billions of dollars are lost every year because employees do what they’ve been told to do, not what they think they should do. If you are constantly putting yourself in the shoes of the customer and listening to your staff, you will eliminate the craziness.
5. Don’t chase bad revenue.
When starting out, you want customers, but be wary of taking just anyone’s money. Some customers can be bad for business, especially in the services sector. If you take on customers that pay well but make your employees’ life hell, they’ll rightly quit and then you won’t have a business.
6. Understand your culture.
Businesses are like families; they have values and a way of being. These are often a function of the leader or founder’s values. As you grow, you need to be sure to involve people who share those values. For example, if your company has a laid-back, fun culture where you empower people and don’t take yourselves too seriously, then don’t hire people who want a corner office and an assistant.
7. Timing is everything.
One of the biggest reasons businesses succeed or fail is a function of timing. Being in the right place at the right time matters. All of which goes to my first point about not fearing failure; in life, you don’t always know until you try.
8. Think about growth.
We have all wondered what we’d do if we won the lottery. When starting a business, you need to think about what happens if it actually takes off. How will you scale? Who would you hire tomorrow? Would you open up in another city? Would you franchise the business? If you are trying to build the airplane while flying it, don’t be surprised if you crash.
One of the most anticipated hedge fund launches of the year continues to rake in fresh money, despite a rough start in terms of performance.
Ben Melkman’s Light Sky Macro dropped about 3.5% from March through the end of April, according to an investor document reviewed by Business Insider. May performance numbers weren’t immediately clear.
The fund is continuing to raise assets, however, and is set to manage $1.5 billion on June 1, according to a person familiar with the matter. That makes Light Sky one of the biggest launches of the year, and marks a quick step up in raising fresh money; the fund managed around $880 million at the end of April, according to the investor document.
The fund is also soft-closing, which means that it will not accept money from new investors but may arrange for existing investors to add capital, the person said.
The fund is down at a time when other macro funds are struggling. Brevan Howard’s master fund is down 3.1% this year through the end of April, according to an investor document reviewed by Business Insider. Caxton Global dropped 6.6% through April 4, according to performance reported by HSBC. Discovery Capital Management was down about 12% through the first three weeks of May, and Rokos Capital dropped 4.7% in the first quarter, Bloomberg reported.
New York-based Light Sky Macro is led by Melkman, a former partner at Europe-based Brevan Howard Asset Management.
Melkman was the lead manager on Brevan Howard’s $500 million Argentina fund, which returned money to investors after delivering an 18% return since its inception.
His fund has been expanding, with high profile hires such as 15-year Deutsche Bank vet, Jérôme Saragoussi, as director of trading strategy. The fund recently added Deutsche Bank’s Luigi Gentile as a senior foreign exchange volatility trader and has 24 people on staff, the person familiar with the firm said.
The new fund’s investor list includes several big-name hedge funders, including Steve Cohen, Third Point’s Dan Loeb, Moore Capital’s Louis Bacon, Coatue’s Philippe Laffont, and Stone Milliner’s Jens-Peter Stein, Business Insider previously reported.
Thought power is the key to creating your reality. Everything you perceive in the physical world has its origin in the invisible, inner world of your thoughts and beliefs. To become the master of your destiny, you must learn to control the nature of your dominant, habitual thoughts. By doing so, you will be able to attract into your life that which you intend to have and experience as you come to know the Truth that your thoughts create your reality.
For Every Outside Effect There is an Inner Cause: Every effect you see in your outside or physical world has a specific cause which has its origin in your inner or mental world. This is the essence of thought power. Put another way, the conditions and circumstances of your life are as a result of your collective thoughts and beliefs. James Allen said it best when he said “circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him”. Every aspect of your life, from the state of your finances to the state of your health and your relationships, is accurately revealing your thoughts and your beliefs.
It’s an Inside Job: Most people have it back to front, believing that they feel or think a certain way because of their circumstances, not knowing the truth that it is their thought power that is creating those very circumstances, whether wanted or unwanted. By internalizing and applying this Truth, that your thoughts create your reality, you will grant yourself the power to create the changes you want to see manifest in your life. Reality creation is an inside job.
Your Thought Power is Limitless: There is a single, intelligent Consciousness that pervades the entire Universe, which is all powerful, all knowing, all creative and present everywhere at the same time – the Universal Mind. Your mind is part of this One Universal Mind and since your thoughts are a product of your mind, it follows that your thought power too is limitless. Once you truly understand that your mind is one with the Single Source of All Power and that this power is within you, you will have found the only true source of infinite power for which nothing is impossible and impossible is nothing. Know that thought power comes from within. Accessing the source of All Power starts by looking inwards.
Your Thoughts are Alive: The greatest mystics and teachers that have walked the Earth have told us that everything is energy. This has now been undeniably confirmed by modern science. Your thoughts too are energy. William Walker Atkinson told us that “where mind is static energy, thought is dynamic energy – two phases of the same thing” and Charles Haanel went on to say that “thought power is the vibratory force formed by converting static mind into dynamic mind”. Your thoughts are alive. Each time you entertain a specific thought, you emit a very specific, corresponding frequency or energy vibration.
What Frequency Are You On: The basic premise of the Law of Attraction is that like energy attracts like energy. You attract to yourself those things and circumstances that are in vibrational harmony with your dominant frequency, which is itself determined by your dominant mental attitude, habitual thoughts and beliefs. Mike Dooley, one of the presenters of the movie The Secret, fittingly suggests that if you want to know what a thought looks like, just look around you. Keep in mind these three words “thoughts are things”.
Not All Thoughts Are Created Equal: The attractive power of any particular thought is determined by how often you have that thought and by the strength of the feelings or emotions associated with it. The more energy you give to a particular thought, the greater its power to attract its corresponding circumstance into your physical world through the Law of Attraction. Your one-off, passing thoughts do not have the same creative power as your habitual thoughts and beliefs. Remember, that it is of little use to entertain positive thoughts for just a short burst of time each day if you then proceed to think negative or unwanted thoughts for the rest of the day. A negative thought cancels the benefit of a positive thought and vice versa. Since your reality is the sum total of all your thoughts there are many factors influencing your life. This makes it difficult to directly join the dots between the cause (thought) and the effect (circumstance) but the causation is always there.
Use Thought Power to Change Your Life: It is your subconscious mind that is the storehouse of your deep-seated beliefs and programs. To change your circumstances and attract to yourself that which you choose, you must learn to program and re-program your subconscious mind. The most effective and practical way to do so, is to learn the simple process of creative visualization. It is the technique underlying reality creation, making use of thought power to consciously imagine, create and attract that which you choose. Your imagination is the engine of your thoughts. It converts your thought power into mental images, which are in turn manifested in the physical realm.
Instantly Replace Unwanted Thoughts: To instantly neutralize the power of a negative thought, calmly and deliberately replace it with its opposite, positive equivalent. For instance, if you think to yourself “I’m not good enough, I will never succeed”, mentally replace that thought with “I am good enough and success comes to me easily”. You can also use the “cancel, cancel” technique made famous by the Silva Method. Each time you catch yourself thinking an unwanted thought, mentally tell yourself and the Universe “cancel, cancel” and immediately follow it up with a positive statement.
If you ever wanted to become a millionaire (who doesn’t?), now’s the right time. According to a survey by Spectrem Group, there are more millionaires than ever in the United States.
As of the end of 2016, there were a record-breaking 10.8 million millionaires in the U.S., which is an increase of about 400,000 from the year prior. The study points to the bounce-back of the economy since the 2008 Great Recession as well as the stock market surge after the 2016 presidential election as the major reasons behind the increase in millionaires.
While everyone thinks they deserve to be a millionaire, few people actually have what it takes to become one. There are certain characteristics, however, that many of the world’s most affluent people have in common. If you recognize any of these traits in yourself, you may be one of the few who is destined to become a millionaire.
1. You’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit
According to the Economist, about half of the world’s millionaires made their money by starting their own businesses. And many of the richest of the rich got their start early on in life.
Mark Cuban starting selling garbage bags to his neighbors at 12 years old because he couldn’t get a job. Warren Buffett had a similar idea, selling packs of gum to his friends at age 6. And Richard Branson, at 11 years old, was already breeding and selling pet parakeets.
It’s that entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic that drives many kids and teenagers to grow into adults who launch billion-dollar companies.
2. You have several income streams
While it’s everyone’s dream to start the next billion-dollar company, that’s not a possibility for every aspiring millionaire. It’s far more achievable to create several smaller income streams that amount to a million dollars.
In one five-year study of self-made millionaires, Thomas C. Corley discovered that most of them had multiple streams of income. About 65% had three streams, 45% had four streams, and 29% had five or more streams.
“Three streams of income seems to be the magic number for the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits study,” Corley explained, “but the more income streams you can create in life, the more secure will your financial house be.”
3. You’re constantly learning
Author and self-made millionaire Steve Siebold spent over 30 years interviewing some of the most affluent people in the world, and he found that many of them share a common trait: reading.
“The middle class reads novels, tabloids, and entertainment magazines,” he writes in his book. “Walk into a wealthy person’s home and one of the first things you’ll see is an extensive library of books they’ve used to educate themselves on how to become more successful.”
Many of the most well-known billionaires appear to prove his point, too. Bill Gates, for instance, reads about 50 books a year, Warren Buffett is said to spend about 80 percent of his workday reading, and when Elon Musk was asked how he learned to build rockets, he responded, “I read books.”
4. You pay yourself first
It’s easy to get into a habit of putting saving for your financial goals off until later — until you discover that “later” never arrives. That’s why many millionaires think of saving and investing like it’s just another bill you have to pay.
“Most people spend some money, pay their bills and save what’s left,” Nancy Butler, a Certified Financial Planner, says. “And that’s backwards: You should be saving for your financial goals first, paying your bills and then consider spending the money you have left over.”
Many financial experts recommend the 50/30/20 rule, which is that 50% of your income should go toward necessities (your mortgage, bills, food, etc.), 30% should go toward things you want (new clothes, dining out), and you should save the remaining 20%.
5. You can live below your means
Warren Buffett has famously lived in the same house in Omaha, Nebraska, since 1958, and Mark Zuckerberg — who is worth roughly $56 billion– drives a Volkswagen.
Mastering the art of delayed gratification is a key characteristic many millionaires share, because they can control their urges to spend money as soon as they make it. Most people struggle with this urge (and the fact that the average U.S. household carries over $7,000 in credit card debt proves it), but the good news is that you can train your brain to get better at avoiding impulse purchases.
According to personal finance blogger Lance Cothern, there are a few strategies you can use to improve your impulse control, including writing down your financial goals, waiting 24 hours when you feel the urge to make impulse purchases, and asking someone older than you about their biggest financial regrets so that you can avoid making the same mistakes.
While becoming a millionaire seems like an impossible feat to many people, it’s an attainable goal — if you have the right mindset. And if you already share the financial traits of some of the richest people in the world, you may be well on your way to riches.
The latest Hamptons summer accessory? A vasectomy.
When Scott, a male model who says he’s in his 30s, kicks off the Hamptons high season this weekend at his Sag Harbor waterfront house, the unattached hunk won’t have any reservations about hooking up with women he hardly knows.
“I had a vasectomy a few months ago. Having a house in the Hamptons and being fairly well-off, I’ve encountered some problems — women try to get pregnant,” said Scott, a regular on the society scene who earns a cool half-million a year.
He recalled sex partners who have lied to him about being on birth control. “It’s a trick. [They say] ‘I love you, [we] don’t need a condom.’ ”
Scott — who describes himself as “Tarzan with light eyes” — typically beds up to 10 different women per summer and estimates that 20 percent of the single ladies he encounters are looking to trap a rich guy with a baby.
The goal? At the very least: 18 to 21 years of child support and, in some instances, a green card for the mother, since their child would be born in the US. At best: Scott said, “Women want that Cinderella story [of happily ever after], but I’m noncommittal at this point in my life.”
Area urologists report that they’re seeing more well-off bachelors request vasectomies ahead of the Hamptons season. Matt — a divorced, 41-year-old Park Sloper who works in media and drives a Jaguar convertible — had his vasectomy performed four years ago “at the beginning of May in anticipation of the summer,” he said. It can take up to three months for sperm to be 100 percent eliminated, but for men who just can’t wait, an ejaculate test can determine if their system is cleared sooner.
“There’s a spike in single guys” who get the procedure in spring and early summer, said Dr. David Shusterman, a urologist in Midtown.
“They don’t want to be in the situation of being accused of fathering an unwanted baby,” said Dr. Joseph Alukal, a urologist at NYU. “That’s their fear — being told you’re paying for this kid until it’s [an adult].”
“This extortion happens all the time. Women come after them. [They get pregnant and] want a ransom payment,” said Shusterman. “Some guys do an analysis of the cost — for three days of discomfort [after a vasectomy], it’s worth millions of dollars to them.
“I never see a poor guy [asking] for a vasectomy,” he added. “Rich guys are a population that’s abused a lot.”
Just ask John, a 34-year-old bachelor who had the procedure this month. (He asked that his name be changed for professional reasons.)
The real-estate developer and Upper West Side resident — who said he can have a different sex partner in the Hamptons every weekend — doesn’t want a repeat of last summer, when a woman he met at a party tried to pull a fast one after sex.
She offered to dispose of the used condom, but when she was in the bathroom for a while, John got suspicious. He found the woman seated on the toilet and inserting his semen inside of her.
“She denied it, but she tried to get herself pregnant,” said John, who grabbed a towel and made her clean herself and then shower. “After that, I have to be a lot more careful.”
Especially now that he’s bought a $1.5 million Southampton house. “I’m a single guy doing well — more girls come along.” The vasectomy, he added, “is insurance.”
As added insurance, John has frozen his sperm in case he decides to one day have children with a woman he loves. Shusterman recommends this to his patients and points out that reversing a vasectomy has a success rate of about 50 percent.
“It’s not that they don’t want kids [someday],” he said. “They don’t want kids on other people’s terms.”
Manhattan matrimonial attorney Ira Garr said of such unplanned, paternity cases: “I deal with this every year. There’s potential to [have to] pay out a lot of money.”
Child support is 17 percent of the father’s salary up to $400,000, after which the amount is at a judge’s discretion, according to Garr. For someone who makes $1 million a year, Garr estimates annual payments of $100,000 — a total of $2.1 million until the child turns 21. Meanwhile, a vasectomy is typically covered by insurance or costs $1,000 out of pocket.
Garr gave a thumbs-up to the bachelor snip: “It’s a foolproof way to fool around and not get in trouble.”
Alex, 37, already has two kids with his wife, but the health care administrator got a vasectomy late last year specifically so he could fool around — no strings attached — in the Hamptons. The Downtown Brooklyn man and his spouse of 10 years are in an open relationship, but he almost screwed things up last summer when he got stealthed by a comely Russian model he’d met at dinner in Southampton.
During sex, the woman pulled off his condom.
“I asked, ‘WTF?’ ” recalled Alex. But he didn’t stop the sex. Two weeks later, he got a call from the woman claiming she was pregnant.
“Could her motive have been to shake me down for child support? I don’t know. But it didn’t work, thank God,” said Alex, who never heard from the model again. “It was a wake-up call. It’s not like an STD you can treat. It’s a kid.”
He told his wife, who supported his decision to get the vasectomy shortly after.
The question remains: Surely there are women in the Hamptons looking for romance but not pregnancy?
Scott admitted that his choice of partners might be to blame. “If it’s that easy a lay, there are [probably] strings attached.”
But he’s not in a hurry to change things. In fact, he requested his last name be withheld so women wouldn’t know he’s “shooting blanks. They just might move on if they have the motive [to try to get pregnant].”
There are many good reasons to become an entrepreneur. We live in a place and time that not only celebrates entrepreneurship, but makes it both possible and rewarding. Even those of us who never take the plunge at least occasionally fantasize about what it would be like to create and run a business of our own, whether we’re after the creative potential, the feeling of autonomy or the chance to follow our passion.
I firmly believe that anyone with the right dedication can become a successful entrepreneur, regardless of his or her motivations. However, there are some “wrong” reasons to become an entrepreneur, and if they constitute your motivations, you’ll be more likely to be dissatisfied with your work, will burn out,or will actually fail:
1. To get rich
Thanks to the popularization of outlier entrepreneurs who seemed to become overnight billionaires, there’s a common misconception that entrepreneurship is the fast track to getting rich. As the owner of your business, you’ll be entitled to at least a portion of the profits your company makes (and potentially all of it, if there are no other owners). In addition to that, you may draw a salary.
However, that won’t guarantee that your business will be profitable, or will succeed indefinitely. It’s certainly possible to make a good living from your business, but you can’t count on striking it rich — even if you have a good idea.
Being motivated only by money will interfere with your ability to make long-term decisions for your business, and will leave you feeling unsatisfied and stressed if you don’t meet your target numbers.
2. To become famous
It’s true that becoming an entrepreneur has the potential to increase your personal visibility — especially if your marketing strategy relies on media exposure. Look at entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban, Richard Branson or Elon Musk: Tese are high-profile people who get lots of media attention and have attained celebrity status.
However, pursuing business creation and management for the sole sake of gaining popularity for yourself is a bad idea. Relentlessly pursuing more personal branding opportunities is going to take you away from the office, where you’ll be needed. Plus, your idea of successful entrepreneurship will lmost certainly be distorted by survivorship bias.
3. To have unlimited vacation
Yes, it’s true: As an entrepreneur, you’ll get to make your own schedule. You’ll set your own hours, work whatever days you want and take unlimited vacation time, if you want. But, remember, your business’s success will depend on the effort you put in, and the unfortunate reality is that your first business is more likely than not to fail.
If you’re busy traveling six months out of the year, you won’t have enough time invested in your business to help it become successful. If all you can think about is vacation time as a business owner, you’ll be grossly underestimating the amount of work it takes to run that business. Instead, chances are, you won’t have much time for regular days off for at least a year or two.
4. To make other people happy
Some entrepreneurs start businesses because they like the idea of being a positive force in the world, and I respect that. They want to build a great team, take care of their employees, make clients happy and make the world a better place while they’re at it.
Unfortunately, though, this mentality may lead to poor business decisions; for example, you’ll be more likely to keep unproductive workers around (rather than making tough decisions to fire them) because you’ve bonded with them. You’ll keep unprofitable clients because you refuse to move on. And you’ll sacrifice your own profitability for other causes.
You may be willing to make those sacrifices, but your business won’t do anybody any good if it ends up folding. As a business owner, your primary responsibility should be to make the right decisions for your business.
This position will make you feel sort of like a parent, with the business your child. It’s up to you to protect it and nurture it. After all, if you don’t, who will?
5. Because, “Why not?”
You may not have a specific motivation. You may just have an idea and the impression that anyone can become a business owner. At that point, you might also be thinking to yourself, “Why not?” and be building a business for no reason other than the fact that you can. This is a whimsical approach that does have a chance of succeeding, but it’s more likely that you’ll start running into problems you had no idea existed.
Do you have a financial model? Do you know how to scale? Do you know how much capital you need to start or what competitors are out there? Are you psychologically strong enough? Are you familiar with the dark truths of entrepreneurship?
If these motivations represent only a portion of what’s driving you, they probably won’t sabotage your efforts. For example, if you like the idea of becoming rich, but you’re also interested in being your own boss and working with a team of people you get to choose, your monetary motivations aren’t likely to interfere with your happiness or your decision-making.
One of the ways to jump start your success is to be very mindful of the company that you allow to influence your thoughts. And for the most of us, our thoughts have been conditioned to behave and act in certain patterns since birth.
So, if you naturally think for the worst, fear the worst and hang around with negative people, then you have a mountain to climb, but the good news is it is all changeable.
Our brains are only designed to know a certain amount of people. This means we are influenced by those closest around us, and as a result it is important to be intentional about who we surround ourselves with because we subconsciously think and behave like the 5 closest people that are around us on a daily basis.
It is very vital that everybody positions themselves for success by finding a mentor that has been there and done that in the industry that they are in. Most people don’t have a mentor because they either don’t know who to find as their mentor or they don’t know how to approach one.
Step 1: Realize who the mentor is
A mentor is a person who is at least 10 years ahead of where you are and represents where you want to be in your wildest dreams. Somebody you admire, respect and trust but also would get along with.
A mentor is somebody who has gone down the road that you want to go down and can look back and advise you on avoiding certain pitfalls. Mentorship relationships are things that takes time to develop, and because of this it should stay in place for many years.
“A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, then you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you.” – Bob Proctor
Step 2: Understand why you need a mentor
Here is a list of reasons why you need a mentor:
- Guidance and direction
- To take you to the next level
- To help realize your goals and dreams
- Knowledge and expertise
- Experience and advice
- Support and network
- Prevent you from years of failure
- Keep you on the right track
- To hold you accountable
Knowing why you need a mentor in the first place is a very important step to understand.
Step 3: Know the places you should go to find a mentor
Here are a few places where you can find your mentor:
- Website/Online/Internet (google their name)
- Industry events like seminars, talks and conferences
- Chamber of commerce
- Social media sites (facebook, twitter, linkedIn)
- Local Business Seminars
Mentors can be found everywhere. Knowing the kind of mentor you need will help you track down where to find them.
Step 4: Follow this criteria when looking for a mentor
Not just anyone can be your mentor. You really have to see if both of you have the synergy as a mentor and a mentee. You guys won’t be talking about business 24/7, so you guys should have things in common that both of you like. For example: both of you like to play basketball or soccer and that is another way you guys can connect.
Both should have a vast range of knowledge in the business you are in. Plus the position they are in, is the one you dream to be in on a daily basis. Most highly successful people value their time the most, so what they do is they have filters that filter out the people who aren’t really serious about doing what is necessary to achieve the success they desire. You have to show them that you really want it and you are willing to hustle for it.
Before approaching your mentor to ask him/her to be your mentor, you will need to consume all of their existing material (YouTube Videos, Blog Posts, Seminar Events, Books etc.) because if you haven’t even gone through their material, they know you aren’t willing to do what it takes.
Not only that, you should message them and update them on your progress in the online business and whatever you are working on to show them you are consistent and not just looking for a quick buck.
“You don’t ask a guy to be your boyfriend on the first date – the same goes for asking someone to be your mentor.” – Angie Chang
Step 5: Ask them to be your mentor
After you have consumed weeks of their videos, courses, blog posts, attended seminars etc. Then you could write to them. You do this through Facebook, Twitter, Website, wherever you can find a way.
Here’s a script you could use to ask an authority figure to be your mentor. In our case we will use our millionaire mentor Dan “The Man” Lok as an example. Only use this script after you have established a relationship with your mentor and you have done all the steps above.
Hello Dan, My name is (fill in the blank). I admire what you do as an internet marketer and what you have achieved already in your life. I have followed your work for months and I’ve finally plucked up the courage to write this email. I am a struggling entrepreneur and I feel I could do with your help as my mentor. I am willing to do what it takes to succeed and I just need a break. Please permit me to invite you for lunch. I know you value your time. I would appreciate if I could get 30mins with you to see if we make a connection and you take me on as your mentee. My Skype ID is: (fill in the blank). My Cell is: (fill in the blank). Thank you very much for taking the time to read my email. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely…
Tip: After he/she agrees to meet you for lunch, you get the bill! Remember, that lunch was probably life changing and worth thousands to you!
There are many organizations that provide you with an opportunity to generate international passive income. But the problem is that most people do not understand it properly and think that they are scams. I understand that it may be true to some but not for all. There are some programs that may promise you of high international passive income but they do not actually do what they promise.
Mostly, these international passive income programs are related to trading business or an online marketing business. There are many ways through which you can find out what these programs are really offering to you.
Firstly, you should find out if the program provides you with the necessary tools or training that is required to operate the business internationally. This is noticed in the online marketing industry. They have websites that display offers for all to review.
Secondly, you should check if the income is passive. A passive income is a profit that you will receive daily and that can be maintained by putting in little efforts. The network marketing association and network marketing groups are such two great examples of the passive income. The basic goal of network marketing is to employ more and more people in the business and you can earn a good commission amount based upon the sales they make and also on your own sales. This means that you can earn commissions based on the people you have recruited when they make sales without you being actually putting any efforts in generating those sales.
There are several other ways wherein you can earn international passive income. Well, most of the programs actually support active incomes which are generated instantly like forex trading. But, the international passive income programs should be chosen carefully by researching them, then deciding whether they meet your expectations or not.
Here are some of the ways to generate international passive income.
1: Writing: Write articles and promote products to earn money.
2: Blogging: There are many people who earn money by writing blogs.
3: Affiliated marketing: It is how you market other peoples products and services.
4: Selling out your own items on E-bay or Quickr.
5: Writing your own e-book and selling it online.
You can get international passive income opportunities by carefully researching them, online with the help of the internet. Well, most of us may think that these income streams are a scam because not all understand it properly. But, this is not true. A international passive income is a source to earn money for those who would like to work from home. It can also be a great opportunity for those who want to just earn extra money.
The international passive income can either be a result of the overseas customers, who are buying your product or services or it can be an overseas company who have appointed you to market and sell their products. Whatever the case may be, you will be paid for the efforts based on the amount of time and determination you put into the work. In most cases your payments can be deposited directly into your bank account.
Mentors. They’ve been there, done that and have seen it all. Yet, a woeful number of entrepreneurs start their careers without one. In an age where instant gratification is glorified, it’s unsurprising that many entrepreneurs and young founders do not seek out a mentor as hard as they try to find a co-founder.
While arguments abound on why entrepreneurs do not need mentors but should only follow their own instincts and gut feelings, most successful tech titans have founders who had mentors. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs. Jobs was mentored by Mike Markkula — an early investor and executive at Apple. And Eric Schmidt mentored Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google.
Like most startup founders, I didn’t start with a mentor. I got into the industry and had to look up to someone who is well known in the field. This is not as effective as working hard to get a mentor to guide you while you run your business — but it’s better than nothing. Having been in business for more than seven years, I’ve realized the importance of having a business mentor.
Here are seven reasons having a mentor is important.
1. Gain experience not shared in books.
Experience is a very expensive asset — yet it’s crucial to business success. There’s only so much about a person’s experience you can gain from books. It’s an unstated truth that most authors do not feel comfortable revealing everything about themselves in books. Some personal experiences may be too intimate to be shared, yet how they dealt with it can help an inexperienced entrepreneur’s career.
Mentorship is one guaranteed way to gain experience from others.
2. You’re more likely to succeed with a mentor.
Research and surveys prove that having a mentor is important to success. In a 2013 executive coaching survey, 80 percent of CEOs said they received some form of mentorship. In another research by Sage, 93 percent of startups admit that mentorship is instrumental to success.
Your chances of success in life and in business can be amplified by having the right mentor. The valuable connections, timely advice, occasional checks — together with the spiritual and moral guidance you will gain from having a mentor — will literarily leapfrog you to success.
3. Network opportunities.
Aside the fact that investors trust startups who are recommended by their friends, a successful mentor has an unlimited network of people who can benefit your career. Since they are already invested in your success, it only makes sense for them to let you tap into their network of people when the need arises.
This is an opportunity you cannot tap into if you do not have a mentor.
4. A mentor gives you reassurance.
It has been proven by research that a quality mentorship has a powerful positive effect on young entrepreneurs. Having someone who practically guides you and shares your worries with you — often placating your fears with their years of experience — keeps you reassured that you’ll be successful.
Self-confidence is very important to success as entrepreneurs. A 2014 Telegraph report revealed that having a high self-confidence contributes significantly to career success — more so than talent and competence. Mentors have the capacity to help young founders tap into their self-confidence and see every challenge as an opportunity.
5. A mentor will help you stay in business longer.
When you imagine the number of businesses that fail, you’d wish a lot of business owners had mentors. According to SBA, 30 percent of new businesses may not survive past the first 24 months, and 50 percent of those may not make it past five years. However, 70 percent of mentored businesses survive longer than 5 years.
6. A mentor will help you develop stronger EQ.
Does maturity bring about a higher EQ in entrepreneurs? Emotional intelligence is crucial to entrepreneurial success. When a young entrepreneur has a more mature and successful mentor who advises them, they are likely to have greater control over their emotions.
We all know that a quick way to make a business fail is to mix it with emotions or make crucial decisions based on emotional feelings. Situations like this can be curbed as mentors will help show you how to react in given instances.
A story on Business Insider reveals how Schmidt worked with then inexperienced Page to manage the affairs of running a fledgling startup. An inexperienced CEO often makes decisions based on emotions, but one with a mentor like Schmidt is able to overcome critical hurdles by making smart decisive judgments.
Enduring the consequences of failure on your own can set you back and impact your productivity. In hard times, having a mentor will help you keep your head high. Young entrepreneurs often deal with depression when they are unable to meet their goals and expectations. The impact of depression on entrepreneurs is often underreported. But entrepreneurs without mentors bear the brunt the most.
A mentor who has experienced the highs and lows of running a business is in the perfect position to give positive and soothing words of advice to you when things refuse to go your way. And not only do they have the right words to share, they would also have ideas to help you navigate your way to success.
This article about accomplishment is going to explain the meaning of success and shall answer the question: “How to define success in life?” In the following, you can find a definition of success and what it means to be successful in life. (For a more detailed explanation of success, have a look at what is success. Also, be sure not to miss: how to measure success and what does success mean to you. Definition of Success: Success (the opposite of failure) is the status of having achieved and accomplished an aim or objective. Being successful means the achievement of desired visions and planned goals. Furthermore, success can be a certain social status that describes a prosperous person that could also have gained fame for its favorable outcome. The dictionary describes success as the following: “attaining wealth, prosperity and/or fame”.
How to define success in life?
The only person that can answer the question above is you. I am neither able nor willing to prescribe the ultimate definition of success, as this is not possible. Every person is thinking differently about being prosperous in life and is defining success in another way, so there can’t exist a definition that is suitable for all. It is very important that you know exactly how to define success in life! Make yourself aware what accomplishment, success, and prosperity in general means to you in your life. Some might define success as having luxurious cars and a huge mansion, whereas others consider a life full of joy and happiness with their family as the true meaning of success. Once you have figured out what is important for you personally you are able to focus on your visions and goals.
The meaning of success
One of the most important key steps to achieving success in life is to know the meaning of success for your personal life. The true meaning of success goes far beyond the common definitions of success, such as having a lot of money, being wealthy, having a lot of tangibles and earned degrees. Quite the opposite: true success in life cannot be measured with the above-named factors, but instead with the amount of people that are able to live a better and more advanced life because of what you created. This is the meaning of success. Not the trophies people are collecting in their lives. Media and society let us often conclude that living a successful life means to be extraordinarily wealthy and have a lot of tangibles. But the meaning of success is to live a happy life and to make this world a better place for everyone.
Definition of failure
The opposite of success is failure as it means to fail while trying to achieve aims or objectives. Besides this regular definition of failure, it also can be said that even wealthy and successful persons fail in their lives. Just think about the rich and famous and all their scandals, addictions and suicides. All of them were extraordinary persons but a lot of them were also extremely unhappy with their lives and were not able to see the meaning of success. Wealth cannot be defined with money, but instead with values in your life that make you a happy person, such as friendship, relationships, and your family.
- The difference between accomplishment and success:
Accomplishment is often associated with success, but it is not the same. Accomplishment refers to the results we desire when we attempt to reach specific goals. Basically it is the results that we plan or expect to occur. Success is the positive consequence or outcome of an achieved accomplishment.
- The definition of accomplishment
Accomplishment can be seen as the process to become successful and with every accomplished goal you take a step towards prosperity and a life full of success.
How to achieve success in life?
- The process of becoming successful starts with elaborated goal setting
- Define a strategy and a plan how you intend to reach your goals, aims, and visions
- Keep in mind that success is the consequence of having earned a series of accomplishments, so make sure to divide your goals into easier to reach subgoals
In the following, I have found some very inspiring and motivating quotes that shall accompany you on your journey to achieve happiness.
Action is the foundational key to all success. ~ Pablo Picasso
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. ~ Abraham Lincoln
Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. ~ George Edward Woodberry
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn
Keep in mind the meaning of success and always try to remember how to define success in life, so that you will be able to live a life full of happiness and joy.
In the early 2000s, I was an early employee at a Silicon Valley technology company that designs and markets cutting-edge computer processing chips. When I started, there were a few dozen other people. When I left, there were thousands. I was a computer processor engineer, architect, and manager. The company is now one of the largest and most successful in the world.
I made some number of million dollars. I never really figured out exactly how much it was. I think it might have been around $5 million. I know that my adjusted gross income in at least one year was about $1.5 million. I was making at least $500,000 per year.
Some people say that “money doesn’t make you happy,” yet they continue striving to be more wealthy in the hope of becoming more happy. It’s one thing to say it or think it, and it’s another thing altogether to experience it.
Money doesn’t make you happy, and it doesn’t make you content either. I remember getting to the end of a particularly challenging but satisfying project, putting my feet up on my desk, taking a deep breath, and realizing that I had it all.
I had the fancy million-dollar house in Mountain View (where Google is based). I had a small mortgage on that house, but I could have paid that off any time I wanted. I had a house in another country that I owned outright. I had the luxury cars that I purchased with cash. I had the attractive wife at home. I was highly respected where I worked. I had freedom to work on whatever I chose. I had a very high salary, lucrative stock options, and more money than I knew what to do with.
But I felt anxious and dissatisfied. On some level, my striving for success had been driven by a belief that my deep suffering would go away when I had enough wealth. I learned first-hand that once our basic needs are taken care of, the level of contentment and happiness we experience has nothing to do with how much wealth we have.
In fact, wealth can actually make life worse. We can use wealth to distract us from our deeper issues by spending money on things we don’t need, or worrying about losing our wealth. Life might also get a lot more complicated with wealth.
I have become aware that I tend to worry about not having enough money in the future, and that this fear has been with me all of my life. It is not correlated with my net equity or my net cash-flow.
You can only help people to help themselves
Instead of buying a holiday home at Lake Tahoe or a some investment properties, I purchased a house in another country for some members of my extended family to live in. I let them live there without paying rent for a few years. I was essentially giving them tens of thousands of dollars per year from my own pocket.
I later found out that these people resented me for doing this. They felt that I was treating them like children and claimed that I had not included them in the process of choosing and buying the house. They claimed that I had caused them to lose the favorable tenancy for a much smaller house that they had with their previous landlord. They claimed that they didn’t like the house that I had bought.
Financially, I lost not only the rent for that house, but enormous amounts of money in currency exchanges, in buying and selling fees, and in having a very low return on investment. The whole process consumed much of my time and energy over an extended period time.
I used to believe that people were inherently reasonable and good. This process taught me that I should not assume that people can be relied upon, or that other people will necessarily receive from me in the same way that I receive from others.
I learned another big lesson from this. I now never help people who don’t ask me for help, and even then I only help them to the extent that they ask. I also look for ways that I can help that don’t compromise my own position, and that require the least outlay of my money, time, and effort.
There will always be someone richer than you
If you equate your worth to how much stuff you have, then you will always be noticing people who have more than you, and you will always be feeling that you don’t measure-up.
If you suffer from this, you’re not going to get to some magical level of net worth and finally realize that you are valuable. In fact, the problem is going to just get worse. I bought a bigger, fancier house in Mountain View, mostly because I didn’t think that my house in Santa Clara was fancy enough. I couldn’t, at that time, buy the level of fanciness that some of my friends could. When I moved to Mountain View, one couple I knew moved from Palo Alto—which is already nicer than Mountain View—to Los Altos Hills, which is super-fancy.
The trick is to figure out how much money you actually need and want in order to get your pragmatic needs met. How much money do you need to live a reasonable lifestyle? Optionally, you could also work out how much wealth you need to accumulate in order to become financially independent while living your chosen lifestyle.
It’s also important to heal the wound that makes you strive to feel valuable based on what you have. I believed that I was fundamentally worthless. Through a process of psychotherapy, coaching, authentic friendships, and healing intimate relationships, I came to understand that I have a rich intrinsic value. Others enjoy me just for my essence, and I learned how to internalize that so that now I can enjoy myself just for my essence also.
Luxury is an addictive drug
The frugal blogger Mr. Money Mustache tells us that luxury is weakness. Luxury is an addictive drug. Until we understand this, it has the power to ruin our lives.
I remember driving my brand new luxury sports car and noticing that my identity was becoming tied up with the car. I realized that this super-expensive car would wear out and then I would need to buy another one. To keep my identity, I would need to keep generating a lot of money. It was like having a drug habit. The car didn’t make me feel that good, but the idea of not having the car felt lame. So I realized that I would need to keep having that fix to feel normal.
This process of getting the drug to get back to normal is a common experience for drug addicts. Also, tolerance to the drug increases with abuse over time. An amount of the drug that was once satisfying starts to not have the desired effect. We find that we need more and more of the substance or experience to get back to normal.
The problem is that, as the U2 lyric goes, “You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.” Once you have the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, you start wishing for a Bentley Bentayga. The more luxury you have, the more luxury you need, but luxury never really satisfies the itch that it promises to scratch.
With a little work, you can make sure your children are self-confident, self-reliant and built for success.
For starters, you should be talking about success all the time in your home. It has to be a part of daily life.
Always encourage your kids with their dreams, and never discourage them from dreaming big. The more you talk about success, model being successful and encourage them to dream about success, the more you’ll place in your kids the hope and drive to make success happen in their lives.
Here are three tips for cultivating success in your home:
1. Decide on the goal
The first and most important thing you have to do as a family is decide that this matters to you, and then reinforce that decision over and over.
Put a stake in the ground. Everything starts with a firm decision with true commitment behind it. Take responsibility for the success of your entire family.
To do this, of course, you need to define what success is to you and your family. Since success really can be almost anything, everyone should be involved in defining your communal idea of success and then buying into it.
2. Make success important
Regardless of how you define success — whether it is primarily financial, spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, philanthropic, communal or familial — the most important thing you must know about success in order to have success is to make it vital.
Make sure your kids see you win and they derive a lesson from it if you lose. Make sure they understand what happens if you can’t get your art sold, or you can’t get that great book published, or you have some great idea that will improve the world but can’t succeed in bringing it to fruition.
Help them understand the stakes. That will help motivate them.
3. Help your kids visualize
For kids, the future can be hazy and abstract unless you help them visualize it more clearly. Then, once you’ve done that, reinforce the visual daily. Encourage your kids to write down plans and ideas.
Make a dream board where you use photos to visualize this future. You can start with what I call the lottery game. This is when you imagine exactly what you would do if you won the lottery. The things that come to mind may not seem “realistic.” That doesn’t matter.
What you need to realize is that these dreams are big, but they are attainable, and you don’t actually have to win the lottery to do them. You need to work hard and become financially free.
“THESE DREAMS ARE BIG, BUT THEY ARE ATTAINABLE. “
Let no dream be labeled as unrealistic.
Once you’ve made the decision to have a home filled with success and made success important, and after you’ve helped everyone visualize what they want, then it’s time to take action, as I describe in “The 10X Rule.” Figure out what the habits of successful people are and study them, for example.
But the most important thing to do is start, and that’s what you’re doing by setting this goal and working on it with your kids.
The beach and a laptop; the ultimate dream for many. And even if just temporarily, being a nomad might be something you might want to try. If you’ve read last year’s interview with me here on Creative Boom, you might know I’ve been on the road since the end of 2014.
Since then, every day has been different, and many days started with stepping out of a different bed, eating breakfast in a different city, and falling asleep on someone’s sofa I might not have known prior to that day.
Since going freelance, I’ve worked from cafés and co-working spaces. I’ve sat on rooftops. I’ve “stolen” wifi from restaurants and even private homes. Just as a side note: if you live in Brooklyn, and your password is, you’ve guessed it, “brooklyn”, it’s not hard to get onto your network.
Over the past two years, I’ve published two books about freelancing and I’m currently publishing a third one, Work Trips and Road Trips, a guide for the curious, the restless, and the adventurous freelancer. Every time I’ve decided to publish a book, it’s mostly been to explore a subject I was interested in myself.
First, I wanted to know how one starts out as a freelancer. Then, I was curious about how one can avoid having dry months. Now, with the third installment of the Insightful Guides for Creative Freelancers, I’ve been trying to understand how freelancers can carve out time for a vacation, or at least bring their work on the road with them.
Having spoken to 15 ladies about how they find balance between work, travel, and taking time off, I wanted to share 10 of the most valuable insights they shared with me.
1. You don’t have to be rich to travel
Money equals convenience. The less discerning you are, the easier it will be for you to afford travel. It starts with booking flight tickets: if you’re flexible about the exact date you want to leave or arrive somewhere, and the less specific you are about a destination, the longer you can make your money last. Instead of booking hotels, consider staying with friends, couch-surfing, or staying at a hostel or finding a room via Airbnb. The more flexible you are with your choices, the more you’ll experience.
2. However, have a safety cushion
In the book Rich Dad. Poor Dad., Robert Kiyosaki explains that you’re rich until you have to work again. There are different ideas to how much money one should keep on the side, but from the interviews I’ve conducted, for most it’s between €5,000 and €10,000, which is something like ₤4,000 to ₤8,000, or $6,000 to $12,000 USD.
The majority of digital nomads have very different spending patterns compared to people with what you might consider a more regular lifestyle. Once they’re on the road, they hardly ever spend their money on possessions. They know they don’t have space to keep things or they just simply don’t want to carry more than they already do. Digital nomads might, however, spend money you might spend on clothing or Starbucks for getting from A to B.
If you’re an American reader, you might want to consider playing the credit card game, which is a strategy for spending money with credit cards through which you can collect air miles. Please just don’t forget to read the small print before you sign anything!
3. Reduce your fixed costs, even prior your departure
Whether you give up your apartment, sublet it while you’re gone, or move to an extremely affordable place that might be cheaper than a storage room, try to reduce your fixed costs to a bare minimum. Giving things away that you’ve collected since childhood might be challenging; for some more than for others. Marie Kondo’s book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, might be a good way for you to start reducing your possessions. If you sell the things you no longer need, you might also make some extra cash for your travel budget.
4. Organize yourself
Being practical, especially when you’re planning to leave for a longer period of time, is helpful. Go to a doctor for a general check up and don’t forget to bring your vaccination certificate. Think about what you’ll do about your physical mail. Can you register a vacation mailbox at your local post office? Can you register a travelling mailbox so you can get your physical mail scanned and sent to you? Have you talked to your bank to check that you have the best possible deal and won’t get extra charges another bank wouldn’t charge you for? It’s the small things, the things you might usually keep postponing, that you should take care of before you leave!
Although it’s 2017, being a nomad isn’t all too common, and thus, you should make sure everything bureaucratic will be taken care of while you’re exploring other corners of the world.
5. Communicate clearly
Once you have an established client base and your clients know and trust you, it’s very likely they don’t necessarily care if you sit in London or in Cape Town. If you’re planning to be in a different timezone, make sure your clients know what time of the day you can be reached in real time. Always meet all expectations and deliver high quality work, so your clients know that they can count on you.
“Learn to be a traveler and practice to keep the attitude, even if you get back to a place that you believe you’ve known well for a lifetime. You’ll be surprised at all the things you’ll notice.”
6. Find work while you’re on the road
If you lose a client while you’re on the road, don’t panic! There are several Facebook groups and Slack chat rooms in which digital nomad entrepreneurs hire other nomads.
What I’d personally recommend is to start building products as soon as possible. Teach your skills on Skillshare, sell your graphics on Society6 or on SpoonFlower. Do a little research on how you could create different scalable (others call them passive) income streams.
If none of these strategies work, try one of the many freelancer recruiting platforms, such as CloudPeeps, Upwork, or Fiverr. Just be warned, it takes a while to establish a high enough rating to be hired through them more regularly.
7. Seek out a local community
If you haven’t discovered it already, The Nomad List is a wonderful Slack community where you can discover chat rooms divided by location and find people online. You can also look for a local co-working space and rent out a flex-desk while you’re in the area to connect with other like-minds.
Personally, I’m a huge fan of meetup.com, which is a site I look at whenever I move to a new country. Another, possibly more surprising, place to find people who gather in a region and that are happy to welcome new faces are groups on Couch surfing. Many of its members organize language classes and free city tours, or they even cook together!
8. Put yourself on a schedule
If you’re a freelancer, you know self-motivation is key to success. While you might be okay with how things are at home, it might all change once you’re on the road. Digital nomads are known for working far more than normal employees. Most of them are in the growth phase, so they can spend hours and hours behind the screen. Make sure that wherever you go, you establish a daily rhythm that allows for exploration. If, on the other hand, you struggle sitting down to work, choose a physical place where you can go and don’t have anything else to do besides working through your to-do list.
9. Allow for things not to work out as planned
As Europeans or Americans, let’s say, we’re very set on how things are supposed to be. We’re very spoiled by how well things work. At least, most of the time. Our public transport comes on time, our cars are well maintained, our electricity works, and our wifi, even though sometimes a little slow, is still reliable.
When you’re somewhere else, it’s likely that all of what you’re used to, and don’t even notice anymore, might suddenly become a struggle. If you have deadlines, make sure these are never within 48 hours around your arrival or departure day. You never know if everything you need to get your work done will function properly. If you’re asked to give time estimates, always include buffers.
10. Enjoy the present moment
The most beautiful thing about travel is that it teaches you to be present in the moment. Travel makes us aware of the little things we so often overlook in our day-to-day, because we tend to take things for granted. If there’s one thing you should strive to learn while you’re on the road, it’s to strengthen your ability to appreciate the ordinary and the mundane.
Learn to be a traveler and practice to keep the attitude, even if you get back to a place that you believe you’ve known well for a lifetime. You’ll be surprised at all the things you’ll suddenly notice.
Getting rich and becoming a millionaire is a taboo topic. Saying it can be done by the age of 30 seems like a fantasy.
It shouldn’t be taboo and it is possible. At the age of 21, I got out of college, broke and in debt, and by the time I was 30, I was a millionaire.
Here are the 10 steps that will guarantee you will become a millionaire by 30.
1. Follow the money. In today’s economic environment you cannot save your way to millionaire status. The first step is to focus on increasing your income in increments and repeating that. My income was $3,000 a month and nine years later it was $20,000 a month. Start following the money and it will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.
2. Don’t show off — show up! 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 Toyota Camry when I had become a millionaire. Be known for your work ethic, not the trinkets that you buy.
3. Save to invest, don’t save to save. The only reason to save money is to invest it. Put your saved money into secured, sacred (untouchable) accounts. Never use these accounts for anything, not even an emergency. This will force you to continue to follow step one (increase income). To this day, at least twice a year, I am broke because I always invest my surpluses into ventures I cannot access.
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 for a car only because I knew it could increase my income. Rich people 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 have millions. To get rich and stay rich you will have to make it a priority. Money is like a jealous lover. Ignore it and it will ignore you, or worse, it will leave you for someone who makes it a priority.
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 and the store I worked at closed at 7 p.m. Most times you could find me there at 11 p.m. making an extra sale. Never try to be the smartest or luckiest person — just make sure you outwork everyone.
7. Poor makes no sense. I have been poor, and it sucks. I have had just enough and that sucks almost as bad. Eliminate any and all ideas that being poor is somehow OK. Bill Gates has said, “If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it is your mistake.”
8. Get a millionaire mentor. Most of us were brought up middle class or poor and then hold ourselves to the limits and ideas of that group. I have been studying millionaires to duplicate what they did. Get your own personal millionaire mentor and study them. Most rich people are extremely generous with their knowledge and their resources.
9. Get your money to do the heavy lifting. Investing is the Holy Grail in becoming a millionaire and you should make more money off your investments than your work. If you don’t have surplus money you won’t make investments. The second company I started required a $50,000 investment. That company has paid me back that $50,000 every month for the last 10 years. My third investment was in real estate, where I started with $350,000, a large part of my net worth at the time. I still own that property today and it continues to provide me with income. Investing is the only reason to do the other steps, and your money must work for you and do your heavy lifting.
10. Shoot for $10 million, not $1 million. The single biggest financial mistake I’ve made was not thinking big enough. I encourage you to go for more than a million. There is no shortage of money on this planet, only a shortage of people thinking big enough.
Apply these 10 steps and they will make you rich. Steer clear of people that suggest your financial dreams are born of greed. Avoid get-rich-quick schemes, be ethical, never give up, and once you make it, be willing to help others get there too.
As the CEO of a rapidly growing fintech company and a frequent contributor to Forbes, I get asked to do a lot of media interviews.
The same questions seem to pop up time and time again, but during a recent interview, I was asked a question I had never encountered before.
The interviewer asked, “What was the most important thing you ever learned in school?” I’ve grown so used to delivering the same soundbites that I was caught unprepared. I thought for a moment, and then the obvious answer came to mind.
“Ingratiate yourself with people of great wealth,” I replied without hesitation. The interviewer was a bit taken aback because it’s somewhat of a blunt answer. However, the seemingly cynical response was, in fact, the most important thing I ever learned in school.
I’m a proud Arizona State University Sun Devil, a graduate of the W.P. Carey School of Business with a degree in finance.
During my senior year at ASU, I took an upper-level finance course taught by a famously eccentric professor by the name of Dr. Glenn Wilt.
Dr. Wilt was, without a doubt, the most entertaining teachers I’ve ever had. He was famous for, among other things, starting his lecture out in the hall while he walked to class. He would stride in the door mid-sentence as though it was perfectly normal.
Once, he arrived to class wearing a bright red suit and a floor-length fur coat which, according to him, was purchased from “an old bag working at Goodwill.”
Despite (or perhaps because) of his eccentricities, he was a fantastic teacher who was able to add blunt, real-world perspective to the world of academic finance.
He was the one who, on his final exam, posed the question “What is the secret to success?” Of course, the answer he taught us was to “ingratiate yourself with people of great wealth.”
While it seemed like a bit of a tongue-in-cheek joke at the time, the sentiment always stuck with me. A decade later, after building my company, I realized just how true his lesson was.
Never be the smartest person in the room
I’m fond of saying that if you find that you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re probably in the wrong room. Success is, like so many things in life, self-perpetuating and contagious.
I’ve learned that life is richer when you surround yourself with people who are successful, accomplished, and intellectually stimulating. If you’re the “dumbest” person in the room, it means you have the unique opportunity to learn from those around you.
While not every wealthy or successful person is intelligent, the two traits tend to go hand-in-hand. It takes a lot to run a company, manage money, or drive innovation.
Surrounding yourself with successful (and yes, often wealthy) people elevates you as an individual. Not because of the proximity to wealth, but rather because of the proximity to passion, drive, and intelligence.
I always want to be the least successful person in my social group or professional network. Ensuring so give me the opportunity to learn from successful people and elevate my perspective.
Money isn’t everything, but it certainly makes things more interesting
While intellectual stimulation and the opportunity to learn are incredibly valuable, we shouldn’t overlook the impact of money.
I fully realize that it’s gauche to talk about money, but the truth is that it makes everything more interesting, at least for people looking to become successful in their own right.
Capital makes the world go ‘round, and wealthy people by definition have it. I think back to my experience. When I wanted to start my company, BodeTree, it was the injection of capital by one of my successful mentors that turned the dream into a reality.
Without this private capital, relatively few wealth-creating ventures can ever get off the ground. Building relationships of mutual trust, respect, and admiration with successful people of means opens up a world of possibilities for those individuals looking to make their mark on the world.
Remember that opportunities are not random
Successful people tend to attract other successful people, and that leads to a confluence of ideas that often results in further wealth creation.
Opportunities, both in life and business, are not random. Instead, they tend to occur when driven people with passion and resources get together. This is why the rich tend to get richer, as the saying goes.
Success feeds upon success, and by injecting yourself into that virtuous cycle creates the opportunities that the driven crave.
In fact, the most interesting and rapidly growing channel in my own business is a direct result of a casual conversation I had with a successful and highly-driven friend only a few months ago.
When we learned of what each other did for work, we immediately saw a hidden opportunity that would prove to be lucrative for both parties.
So, while it may seem crass, Dr. Wilt’s maxim did, in fact, prove to be the most important thing I ever learned in school. The truth is that intelligence alone does not lead to success in business. There are a lot of smart people who are stuck in boring jobs, working for other people.
Success, as Dr. Wilt knew, is found at the intersection of intelligence, hard work, and opportunity. Whether it’s politically correct or not, associating with people who attract success is the best way to become successful yourself.
Talent is not enough. Talent is useless if it doesn’t create wealth or wellbeing. We should therefore ask what alchemy converts talent to wealth-making. Serious creators of wealth and wellbeing don’t create two or three times as much as the average person — they create tens, hundreds, thousands, or millions of times as much. But how on earth do they do that, given, for example, that Albert Einstein was not even ten times more intelligent than the average physicist, yet had millions of times more impact?
When talent gets transmuted into wealth, economic leverage occurs. Relatively small differences in intelligence and talent are multiplied into large differences in the ability to create wealth.
My Law of Wealth Creation explains why:
Wealth = (Talent) x (Wealth Creation Multiple)
Of the two variables, the wealth creation multiple is far more important than the talent — because it varies more.
What is the Wealth Creation Multiple?
It is the ideas and concepts that constitute vital packets of economic power — what I call “business genes.” For a novelist, the business genes are the seven basic plot outlines that characterise nearly all ultra-successful fiction. For an investor such as Warren Buffett, the business genes are the rules of value investing, laid down generations ago by Ben Graham. For Rafael Nadal, they are a few basic tactics that can fox a super-fit opponent of roughly equal calibre, plus an unreasonable and self-fulfilling belief in his ability to win. For Einstein, they were the incredibly powerful precepts of quantum mechanics at the turn of the twentieth century. For Charles Darwin, it was the idea of evolution, which he did not invent, but which he refined through the twist of natural selection. For most entrepreneurs and business leaders, they are a few rules of thumb that are more often right than wrong. Using the best possible ideas, the business genes that are the best embodiment of wisdom in particular niches, provides leverage that transcends talent while also vastly multiplying its impact.
So we may restate Koch’s Law like this:
Wealth = (Talent) x (Business Genes)
Intelligence manifestly does not translate into wealth. If it did, college professors would all be millionaires. Have you ever wondered why certain business people become so wealthy, even when they are less intelligent than their peers? It can’t be explained by hard work – millions of people work super-hard and never become rich. And while luck plays a large role, it’s only a word applied to something we cannot explain or influence.
The answer lies in powerful business genes. Although high achievers often stumble across these by sheer luck, there is a crucial difference between the super-successful and the rest. Whether intuitively or deliberately, successful people latch onto powerful business genes.
Some business genes are more powerful than others — it is these that make billionaires. The billionaire is the vehicle for the idea, not the other way round. The ideas are alpha and omega. True, the ideas don’t get to spend the dough, but they don’t care!
How to Turn Wealth into Talent
Talent turns into wealth when brought into contact with powerful business genes that can use talent for their own purposes.
Which is the better bargain — talent or mediocrity? Imagine a peer group with talented and mediocre people who all have equal motivation and optimism.
Assume that the talented minority have a skill quotient of 120, while the mediocre majority have one of 80. To attract the talented few, assume we have to have 70 percent more.
If you take these assumptions — they are just one illustration — it would seem that only a fool would buy talent. Talent appears over-priced — it is 50 percent better (120 divided by 80) but costs 70 percent more.
But my Law of Wealth Creation suggests another variable is at work — the business genes used to convert talent (or mediocrity) into wealth. While the multiple affects both talent and mediocrity, it is reasonable to assume at the very least that talented people will make as good use of the powerful business genes as mediocre people. (You could argue that talent would make better use, through the ability to spot the best ideas and concepts, but that argument is not necessary to make my point.) But turn the argument around, and think of it from the viewpoint of the dominant party, the really great business gene, the concept that is in charge. Will the business gene make better use of a talented person, or a mediocre one? To ask the question is to answer it. For one thing, a talented person will grasp the essence of the idea more easily and more deeply, so that more of the power of the idea can be used. For another thing, the talented person will be better at using the idea to its fullest extent, simply because she is more talented.
Let us assume that the business gene can make ten times more impact by working through a talented person rather than someone mediocre. If so, the result would be as follows:
Value of mediocre person = 80 x 1 = 80
Value of talented individual = 120 x 10 = 1,200.
In that case the talent will produce output worth 15 times more.
In reality, this hugely understated the difference. Once you have another factor in the equation other than talent — in this case, the business concept that gives success — the differences in talent become hugely exaggerated when they translate into results, into wealth and wellbeing.
There is another phenomenon at work. So far, we have implicitly assumed that all business genes are equally powerful. But this is plainly not true. The idea of evolution is many orders of magnitude more profound and important than, say, a recipe for cooking Beef Wellington. Instead of a multiple of 10, which our equation above took, an idea such as evolution may have a multiple of hundreds, thousands, or millions. Many scientists think that Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is the most important scientific idea ever. If they are right, (Darwin) x (the idea) have had an incredible impact on the world, far exaggerating the effect of Darwin’s superior intellect. Certainly, (Warren Buffett) x (value investing) is a combination that has produced billions more dollars than any other – yet Buffett has an IQ that is at most only two or three times the average.
Genius, then, is not something that is self-contained. Genius is the ability to recognize powerful business genes or other ideas, and to use them to maximum effect. Genius is the ability to use the best levers lying around in the ideas storehouse of our society. This kind of genius is correlated with IQ, but perhaps not very well.
If you are hiring people, look for the ability to latch on to powerful ideas, the combination of nous and respect for ideas that is rather rare.
If you just want to be rich and successful, or to make the world a better place, now you know how. It is not about you. You are almost irrelevant, except in so far as you recognize the power around you. It is about the deepest and best ideas, and how much of their power you tap – or how they tap you. It is in the service of ideas that we become powerful, but never forget, the power is borrowed. The power belongs to the universe, not to you.
I recently finished reading The Millionaire Next Door, in which authors Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko summarize more than 20 years of research into the most effective wealth-building habits of real millionaires.
Although the book was first published in 1996 (a new version was released in 2010 with a new preface), and being a millionaire ($1 million net worth or more) doesn’t mean as much today as it did then, many of the principles of wealth accumulation are still relevant today. In fact, the book is currently the #1 bestseller in Wealth Management on Amazon, which is a testament to its timelessness.
If you have a goal to grow your wealth and become financially independent, but haven’t had a chance to do much research into what actually works, this book recap is for you.
Unfortunately, if you’re hoping for a get-rich-quick guide, you won’t find it here. Stanley and Danko prove that building wealth takes self-discipline, sacrifice, and hard work more than anything else.
Here are my main takeaways from the book on how to become a millionaire:
Offense is important
Income generation (what the authors refer to as “offense”) is highly-correlated with net worth. The authors found that more than 2/3 of the millionaires in the U.S. had an annual income of more than $100,000 (equivalent to $157,000 in today’s terms). The more you earn, the more opportunity you have to become affluent.
And just in case you need additional incentive to make more money, life expectancy has been shown to greatly increase with income. The more you make, the longer you live.
Defense is even more important
While offense is important, defense (being frugal, budgeting, and planning) is even more important on the path to becoming a millionaire. The authors found that once you are a high earner ($150–250K annually or more in today’s terms), the amount of money you make is less important than what you do with what you already have. In fact, many extremely high earners do not become wealthy because they spend everything they make.
The authors assert that it is easier to make a great salary in America than it is to accumulate wealth — and even if you can’t increase your salary significantly, you can certainly still become affluent by playing great defense. Numerous millionaires were profiled in the book who made less than $80,000 per year, yet still managed to become quite wealthy through rigorous budgeting and planning.
Live well below your means
Being frugal is the foundation for growing wealth, and the number one common habit among millionaires. This means having the discipline to pass on the luxury car, fancy house, or designer clothes in order to live below your means and grow your money. As of the latest edition of the book, based on 2007 IRS estate data, millionaires who had estates worth $3.5 million or more owned homes with only a median value of $469,021 — which worked out to be less than 10% of their median net worth. Bottom line — whatever your income, live below your means.
Invest at least 15% of your pre-tax household income each year
Saving and investing 15% of your annual income every year is a simple strategy for becoming wealthy. And the earlier you start investing your income, the greater your opportunity to accumulate wealth. So start the process of earning and investing as early as possible in your life, and put away 15% or more of your income every year for investment purposes. The compounded growth over time can be remarkable.
Wealthy people spend more time planning their investments, and they typically hire a high-quality financial advisor to help guide their investment portfolio. Although millionaires are typically frugal, they recognize the importance of working with (and paying for) top experts to help grow their wealth. The authors found that millionaires are actively involved with the planning of their investments, and often ultimately make their own investment decisions (with consultation from a financial advisor), but they are not “active” investors. Less than 10% of millionaires interviewed by the authors held their investments for less than a year, and 42% of the millionaires made no stock trades at all in the prior year. Millionaires spend their time on a small number of stocks, focusing on companies they know and understand well, and then stay in it for the long haul. Aspiring millionaires should follow the same approach.
The typical millionaire, based on the book’s research, held about 20% of their wealth in publicly traded stocks (and never more than 30%), and had 2.5 times more money in investment real estate than in their own personal homes.
You’re more likely to become a millionaire if you are self-employed
The authors found that people who are self-employed are 4 times more likely to be a millionaire than people who work for someone else. Self-employed people accounted for less than 20% of U.S. workers, but more than 2/3 of all millionaires. However, the authors are also quick to point out that many entrepreneurs and self-employed people never become wealthy. As we all know, it is hard to become a successful entrepreneur or business owner, and most never make it. High risk, high reward.
You can do it without the help of a trust fund
The authors note that 80–85% of millionaires are self-made. They are first-generation rich, meaning they did it on their own without huge cash gifts and ongoing economic support from their parents. It should come as no surprise that self-made affluent people are typically frugal and price-sensitive.
Spend your money on the important things
Millionaires are often frugal when it comes to consumer goods and services, but they do spend their money on investment advice, legal services, medical care, education for their children, and even vacations and other experiences with friends and family. The lesson is to cut back on your consumption lifestyle and spend your money where it will make a difference.
I hope this book summary provides you a solid foundation to grow your wealth and become financially independent. I am certainly no expert in this space, but I found this book to be incredibly helpful, and I hope this recap does the same for you.
Passive income streams require an upfront investment and a lot of nurturing in the beginning. After some time and hard work these income streams start to build and are able to maintain themselves, bringing you consistent revenue without much effort on your part.
Speaking from personal experience adding passive income streams to your portfolio can help you increase your earnings and accelerate your financial goals in tremendous ways.
If you want to get started earning passive income here’s what you should know first.
What It Takes to Earn Passive Income
Before we get into the passive income ideas I think it’s a good idea to first clear up a couple of misconceptions. Although the word “passive” makes it sound like you have to do nothing to bring in the income this just isn’t true. All passive income streams will require at least one of the following two elements:
1) An upfront monetary investment, or
2) An upfront time investment
You can’t earn residual income without being willing to provide at least one of these two. Today, I have a big list of passive income ideas you can try regardless of the category you fall in.
Passive Income Ideas Requiring an Upfront Monetary Investment
Dividend Stocks – Dividend stocks are tried and true way to earn passive income. You will have to do plenty of research to find good stocks and invest a significant amount of money to receive large dividend checks. However, if you consistently invest money into dividend stocks you can amass a nice residual income over time.
For any of these investment opportunities, make sure you open an account at the best online brokerage, and get rewards while doing it:
Peer to Peer Lending – P2P lending is the practice of loaning money to borrowers who typically don’t qualify for traditional loans. As the lender you have the ability to choose the borrowers and are able to spread your investment amount out to mitigate your risk. The two most popular peer to peer lending platforms are Prosper and Lending Club.
Rental Properties – A cash flowing rental property is a fantastic way to bring in a monthly income. To make this truly passive you can outsource the running of the properties to a management company.
One of my favorite ways to get started with rental properties is through crowd funding. Similar to LendingClub, you can start investing in real estate for as little as $5,000 at platforms like RealtyShares (We offer our readers a bonus to of $25 to start to off. Simply reply to the “Congratulations on Linking Your Bank Account” email with the referral code TCI25. It takes up to 30 days to process the referral code and make the payment, but it’s free money).
Another similar platform is FundRise.
The great thing about using a platform versus doing it yourself is that the income is even more passive.
CD Ladders Or Money Market Funds – Building a CD Ladder requires buying CDs (certificates of deposits) from banks in certain increments so that you can earn a higher return on your money. CDs are offered by banks and since they are a low risk investment they also yield a low return. This is a good option for the risk averse.
Right now we’re liking the Money Market offered by BBVA Bank Compass Bank. You can open an account for just $25, and they have one of the highest APY’s currently available.
Learn more here: BBVA Compass Bank Money Market Account.
Annuities – Annuities are an insurance product that you pay for but can then provide you passive income for life in the form of monthly payments. The terms with annuities vary and are not always a great deal so it’s best to talk to a trusted financial advisor if you’re interested in purchasing an annuity.
Passive Income Ideas Requiring an Upfront Time Investment
Almost all of these ideas require starting a personal blog or website. But the great thing about that is that it’s incredibly cheap to do. We recommend using Bluehost to get started. You get a free domain name and hosting starts at just $3.95 per month. You can afford that to start building a passive income stream.
Sell an eBook Online – Self Publishing is mainstream today. When you purchase an eBook off of Amazon there’s a pretty good chance you’re buying a self-published book. Self-publishing is also ridiculously easy. I tried this a few years ago and couldn’t believe how simple the process was. To self-publish a book you’ll first need to write and edit it, create a cover, and then upload to a program such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Don’t expect instant success though. There will need to be a lot of upfront marketing before you can turn this into a passive income stream.
Create a Course on Udemy – Udemy is an online platform that lets its user take video courses on a wide array of subjects. Instead of being a consumer on Udemy you can instead be a producer, create your own video course, and allow users to purchase it. This is a fantastic option if you are highly knowledgeable in a specific subject matter. This can also be a great way to turn traditional tutoring into a passive income stream!
Selling Stock Photos – Do you ever wonder where your favorite websites, blogs, and sometimes even magazines get their photos? These are normally bought from stock photo websites. If you enjoy photography you can submit your photos to stock photo sites and receive a commission every time someone purchases one of them.
Licensing Music – Just like stock photos you can license and earn a royalty off of your music when someone chooses to use it. Music is often licensed for YouTube Videos, commercials, and more.
Create an App – If you own a smartphone or tablet then it’s safe to assume you have several apps downloaded. But have you ever had an amazing idea for an app? If so, you could consider hiring a programmer to create your app for you. You could then sell it on the App store for residual income.
Affiliate Marketing – Affiliate marketing is the practice of partnering with a company (becoming their affiliate) to receive a commission on a product. This method of generating income works the best for those with blogs and websites. Even then, it takes a long time to build up before it becomes passive. If you want to get started with affiliate marketing check out this great list of affiliate marketing programs.
Network Marketing – Network marketing, or multi-level marketing, seems to be on the rise. Companies such as Young Living Oils, Avon, Pampered Chef, and AdvoCare are all multi-level marketing companies. You can earn passive income through network marketing by building a team underneath you (often referred to as a down line.) Once you have a large team you can earn commissions off of their sales without having to do much.
Design T-Shirts – Sites like Cafe Press allow users to custom design items like T-shirts. If your design becomes popular and makes sales you’ll be able to earn royalties.
Sell Digital Files on Etsy – I’ve been into home décor lately and I had to turn to Etsy to find exactly what I wanted. I ended up purchasing digital files of the artwork I wanted printed out! The seller had made a bunch of wall art, digitized, and listed it on Etsy for instant download. There are other popular digital files on Etsy as well such as monthly planners. If you’re into graphic design this could be an amazing passive income idea for you.
Semi-Passive Small Business Ideas
Car Wash – It’s always been a dream of mine to own a car wash. This seems like such a great way to earn a semi-passive income. While regular maintenance will be needed at a car wash it’s something you can either hire out or perform once a week.
Vending Machines – Vending machines are another great low maintenance small business idea. I have a friend who has vending machines all over neighboring towns. He replenishes and cashes them out once every two weeks. His vending machine business is part of his retirement plan.
Storage Rentals – My cousin owns a set of storage rentals and receives monthly checks for letting customers rent these out. The only time she seems to do any work for these is when she has an opening for one of the storage units.
Laundromat – I debated on listing this one here because while in theory it seems like owning a laundromat would be semi-passive I anticipate there would be a whole lot of ongoing maintenance needed. You be the judge on this one.
Easy Passive Income Ideas
Last on the list I wanted to point out a couple of easy passive income ideas. These require no money and no upfront work. While the earnings are menial you still can’t beat easy passive income!
Cashback Rewards Cards – If you pay your bills with a credit card make sure it offers cash back rewards. You can let your rewards accrue for a while and possibly put the easy money you earned toward another passive income venture! (Be sure that the card you select doesn’t have an annual fee or you might be cancelling out your rewards).
Cashback Sites – Just like cashback rewards cards you should opt to use a cashback site when shopping online. If you don’t you’re giving up free money that requires little to no work! We just compared the two most popular sites – eBates versus TopCashBack.
How to Get Started
While it can be tempting to want to pick five passive income ideas to get started with I’d really encourage you to pick one in the beginning. You need time and the ability to focus to really a grow a passive income stream. Master one thing before moving on to the other.
It’s going to take a substantial amount of time or money in the beginning but I promise earning passive income is everything it’s cracked up to be! Pick an idea, make a plan, and dedicate yourself until that income stream comes to fruition.