Whenever a child says that he or she wants to become a millionaire, they’re likely to receive chuckles and condescending smiles. However, whenever a person in their middle age says they want to become a millionaire, they’re more likely to receive looks of confusion, and maybe even scorn.
Though, it’s for this exact reason that many people, especially older folks, never take any of the steps required to grow their savings much more than the level it’s been for most of their lives. They’re worried about looking naive, foolish and child-like.
However, if you want something more out of life, you can’t let your dignity get in the way. Wealth is a state of mind, it’s a matter of training yourself for success, and being strategic with your money. To get you started, here is a guide for doing both.
You can’t become a millionaire without first getting your mind ready for it. Before you do anything, you’re going to need to break out of the psychological cage you’ve built for yourself that’s keeping you where you are.
Realize That You’re in Control of Your Life
Many people in the modern world have assumed a philosophy of fatalism. They believe that no matter how hard they work, nothing is going to turn out differently. However, as the saying goes, whether you think you can achieve something or you think you can’t, you’re right. To earn wealth, you need to understand the basic fact of humanity which separates us from animals: That we all have a choice in this life, and we don’t have to submit ourselves to what is, but strive after what could be.
Uproot Your Self-Destructive Tendencies
One of our biggest obstacles in obtaining anything that’s worth having is ourselves. Most people understand the basic concept of self-destructive behaviors, but have trouble seeing those behaviors in themselves and changing them (me included).
Many people, even the perfectly functional ones, indulge in various, discreet, methods of self-sabotage; the trick is to find out how they affect you. Some common reasons why people ruin their chances for greater success:
- Feel like it’s not deserved
- Worried about finding hope and then watching it get taken away
- Anxious about outshining their parents
- Based their identity on how much money they have, and fear that more wealth would change who they are
Self-destructive behavior is nothing to be ashamed of, many people suffer from it, but it’s not healthy, and it helps neither yourself nor anybody else.
Make a Plan
Once you feel like your ready to embark on this journey, the first thing you’re going to need to do is make a game plan for yourself. This includes understanding your current financial situation, scoping out potential investments and figuring out ways to save more. Here is what you should do when outlining your own personal path to success.
Make a Budget for Yourself
There’s much more to making money than coming up with the invention of the decade or pushing a CEO’s son out of the way of a moving car. It all starts with cutting down unnecessary spending and budgeting your cash.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship,” and he’s right; especially in today’s day and age with how quickly all apps can add up to on a monthly basis. We usually don’t realize how much of our money that we could’ve used to save or invest was thrown away on take-out and new clothes (or monthly recurring app charges).
If you want to make millions, you need to maximize every dollar to its fullest potential. So, you may have to eat leftovers, only shop sales and cancel subscriptions you don’t need. Then use the money you save as a resource going forward.
Do Your Research
One of the most important steps when planning your financial future is researching potential opportunities. The economy is changing daily, and the road to monetary success is never the same.
Take some time to figure out where you should be investing your money, if there’s a high paying job opening that you’re qualified for, how to start making passive income, etc. Then, research your research. For example, if there’s a new business start-up on the rise, look into its creators, their business strategies, and how the market will most likely react to their products or services before you risk your hard earned money.
Choose a Course of Action
After you’ve done enough research, decide on how you’re going to get it done. Think about your strengths and weaknesses, what you’re willing to risk, and think about what’s the clearest path to making millions of dollars.
Don’t try to find the easy shortcuts, like buying lottery tickets. Rather, make sure that your goals are doable and well-planned. Then, get to work.
Ways up the Economic Ladder
Check out these ways to journey up the economic ladder.
Eliminate any Debt
First, you can’t reach the sky until you make it out from underground. Unfortunately, millions of Americans, even those who are well off, are struggling to pay off credit card debt and other forms of non-mortgage debt. This can take a toll on your finances and mental strength, so here are some tips for getting out of debt.
Pay it off as fast as possible
If you have withstanding payments, it’s in your best interest to end them as soon as possible. If you have the money, then spend more towards paying them off then the required monthly amount.
Snowball your debt
When paying off debt, the snowball method can be very effective. The snowball method is what it’s called when you pay off your smaller debts before you work on your larger ones. Just eliminate the smallest debt you have as soon as you can (while still making the required payments on your other debts), and then continue to work your way up until your debt free. This is a great way to give you a sense of accomplishment.
Try a balance transfer
Many people who are in debt do something called a balance transfer. In simple terms, this is when you get a new credit card with a lower interest rate and transfer your debt over. Try to apply for a credit card with the express purpose of balance transfers as these usually have lower introductory fees.
Go to School
It may be a good idea to go to college to get a degree. In fact, today more people than ever are finishing college in their middle ages. Though extreme college debt is a major epidemic in the United States, with online courses it can be easier than ever to graduate, even with the responsibility of an adult with a family.
A degree can open up tons of new opportunities in your career that may have not been possible before. College has always been one of the best ways to expand one's horizons, and it can expand yours as well.
Start a Business
In many ways, starting a business in your fifties might be easier than starting one in your twenties or thirties. After all, in your fifties you probably have a lot of experience under your belt, you’ve made a few mistakes that you’ve learned from, and also you most likely have accumulated a significant amount of connections.
Even if you’ve never focused specifically on networking, you’re bound to have made some sort of impact in your industry throughout the years. So, if you think it’s too late to become an entrepreneur, the time may actually be better than ever. Here are some of the basics of starting a business.
Analyze your industry.
One of the problems with starting a business in your middle ages is that the time for experimentation has past. Maybe some time ago you could have started a business in something you knew nothing about, but now you have to be realistic and do something you know, and are certain you can make money with.
You know your industry better than anybody, so ask yourself, “What would customers be willing to buy that I can do better than others?” Think about what your competitors are failing at, and base your business on that gap in the market.
Of course, whatever you decide to do, you’re going to need some money. If you have some saved up, this would be a great way to use it; however, if you don’t have savings, or at least not enough, you’re going to need to find ways to fund your business.
This can be done through loan agencies, crowdfunding, friends and family, credit cards, etc. Just be careful with the money you borrow.
Set up your business.
Then, the last step is setting up your business. It’s a good idea to have your business registered with the advice of an attorney, so that you don’t miss any of the licenses and permits.
There’s obviously a lot more to the entrepreneurial process, but these are some of the core necessities.
Most of us, at some point in our lives, wanted to be exceptional—to make something out of ourselves and leave a mark on the world. Then, as we grow up, too many of us lose that child-like ambition, and decide that it’s just easier to live in the status quo.
However, this fear of being different, being more successful, being vulnerable, etc.is what stops so many people from reaching their fullest potential. If you want to do more than just survive in this life, but truly live, you’re going to need to take some risks, but you’ll see in the end that they might just be worth it.
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This is a post from Clint Haynes, a Certified Financial Planner® and Financial Advisor in Kansas City, Missouri. He is also the founder and owner of NextGen Wealth. You can learn more about Clint at the website NextGen Wealth.