How to become a millionaire by 30

2015-04-28 10:00

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Talking about money is taboo, so talking about becoming a millionaire and saying it can be done by the age of 30 can come across as delusional. But talking about getting rich shouldn’t be considered taboo. It is not a fantasy. At the age of 21, I left university broke and in debt, but by the time I was 30, I was a millionaire. Here are 10 steps to follow to 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 once R3?000 a month. Nine years later, it was R20?000. Follow the money. It will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.

2. Don’t show off

Rather 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 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 those 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 can’t 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 who 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 who have a great work ethic. When I was 26, I was in retail and the store I worked at closed at 7pm. Most times you could find me there at 11pm 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 badly. Eliminate any and all ideas that being poor is somehow okay. 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 personal millionaire mentor and study him or her. Most rich people are generous with their knowledge and resources.

9. Get your money to do the heavy lifting

Investing is the Holy Grail of 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 R50?000 investment. That company has paid me back that R50?000 every month for the past 10 years. My third investment was in property, where I started with R350?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 R10?million, not R1 million

The biggest financial mistake I’ve made was not thinking big enough. 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 who 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 make it too.

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