Most people would like to become filthy rich. The thing is, what needs to be done in order to accomplish that goal may seem scary, especially if what you think is required limits your happiness or the happiness of others in some way. Fortunately, a great majority of those fears are based on lies, and I’ve listed them in reverse order.
1. Don’t be a single mom.
Danisha Danielle Hoston, was an LA native and a single mother in her twenties. Her daughter’s father died of cancer shortly after her birth. A couple of weeks later, Danisha was laid off her job and forced to go on welfare.
Despite her severe hardship, she didn’t give up. She persevered. That relentless effort transformed her life, and eventually she became a multimillionaire in commercial real-estate. There are numerous other stories of single mothers who became wealthy in spite of their challenges. You too can choose to become one of them.
2. Don’t have a mental or physical disability.
Jon Morrow, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), was expected to die at age two. Before he decided to turn his life around, he was wasting away in a wheelchair confined to spending all of his money, beyond $700, on medical expenses. In order to take control of his future, he had to rip off the onerous restrictions of the US government by quitting his job and moving to Mexico. He has since generated hundreds of millions of page views and tens of millions of dollars from three different companies. What’s your excuse?
3. Come from a stable family.
I am still reaching for my ideal self, but I didn’t let my parents’ separation, my father’s time in mental hospitals because of his bipolar disorder, or my father’s death from AIDS when I was 21 keep me from striving to achieve greatness. Many of you may come from more broken homes than I, but speaking from experience, your screwed up family can’t keep you from becoming wealthy, only you can.
4. Come from a wealthy Family.
Have you ever been homeless? If you answered yes, then there’s good news. Hundreds of homeless doers have transformed their lives, becoming millionaires and even billionaires.
John Paul DeJoria grew up in LA’s Echo Park. At one point, he was living on the street with his two-year-old son collecting soda-pop bottles for income. Can you imagine what it would be like living in your twenties and having to support a toddler while the only thing keeping your child from starvation or being taken away by child protective services is the amount of money you earn from collecting other people’s discarded soda bottles?
Can you imagine what he felt when he looked into his young two-year old’s eyes, what he worried his son thought about him as a father? Would you feel defeated, like a failure, or the worst possible human incapable of providing for your young child?
In spite of his circumstance, he set those feelings aside and did the leg work required to become wealthy. Twenty years after a heart-wrenching life on the streets he created a multi-billion-dollar empire. He did it by loving people, loving the planet, and using systems to create quality products that people love.
5. Be born in the United States.
Wealthy people are created from countries around the world all the time.
6. Have a high IQ.
There is some evidence that shows a relationship between IQ and income, but that’s not always the case when talking about wealth. There are numerous examples of filthy rich people with below average IQ or those in poverty with high IQ. Hubris has a way of encouraging bad financial choices and unnecessary risk.
Regardless of the numbers, wealth is created by habits and systems. If you don’t know anything about the systems, read the E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.
7. Don’t become an artist.
We are all artists in our own way, every single one of us.
8. Be attractive.
Look at Google images for billionaires and millionaires. There are plenty with less than average looks.
9. Be a white male.
There are so many non-white male self-made billionaires now that Forbes puts them into their own categories.
10. The customer is always right.
Always strive for impeccable customer service, but If you have the authority, dump customers that are a time suck and mental drain. Give a refund and refuse business if you must. Unreasonable customers cost companies valuable resources, which could be used more effectively to improve the bottom line.
11. Spend more time and money.
Test marketing and product roll-out is easier than you think, and you can leverage other people’s time and money in most cases. If you lack funds, you can invest time. If time’s in short supply, make time by reducing aspects in your life like watching television or doing ineffective tasks. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris outlines how to do this in detail.
12. Wealth must come at the expense of the environment.
If you create value you save people time and money, both of which require effort. Less effort means fewer resources needed from the environment. You can also create value by innovating in ways that reduce pollution or benefits the environment directly. You can even give a portion of your gained wealth to improve the environment in a style that suits you.
13. Your gain is someone else’s loss.
Wealth is created not stolen. If that confuses you, think about where money comes from and how the first person became wealthy. They didn’t do it by taking from others. They couldn’t have; it didn’t exist yet. Becoming wealthy doesn’t divide the pie, it grows the pie. See the Richest Man in Babylon by George Clayson.
14. Invest in the stock market.
When done right, investing in the stock market is a great way to become rich, slowly. Most people will benefit from this sound financial advice, but investing in the stock market isn’t going to get you filthy rich unless you already have money or have more than a decade or two to wait. Trying to get rich quick in stocks is one of the fastest ways to lose most of your money.
15. Don’t Invest.
I know, I know. Your money is always invested in something, whether it’s currency or your time. If you invest in nothing, your money gets eaten away by inflation, losing half its value every twenty years. If you don’t invest in yourself, you become obsolete. Always invest in yourself, and once you have wealth, invest it appropriately.
16. If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.
Get the right advice, outsource, delegate, automate and take advantage of what’s available. Being a one-person show will get you burned out and limit your potential. Let go of your ego and the need to micro-manage. Instead, magnify your efforts. It may cost a little up-front time and money, but the dividends down the road will be enormous.
17. Be stingy.
Wealthy people contribute more to their friendships. As a result, those around them give back in kind. When you give to others, you get back in return, if you spend time with the right people.
18. Be at the right time at the right place.
Your leg work is what makes it possible for you to be at the right time and place. More right times and places will find you once you put in the effort.
19. Never make a mistake.
Failure is necessary. It teaches you what works and what doesn’t.
20. Say yes all the time.
Successful people say no most of the time. If you can’t muster the courage to say no, think about this.
An associate asks you for a favor. You want to be nice, so you don’t say no. That favor then grows beyond what you thought it would initially entail, but now you’re committed. People spend substantial resources on your promise. You can’t back out. Weeks after planning, your daughter’s school schedules a performance for the exact same time, her first ever performance.
Your heart jumps. Your pulse races. Sweat dampens your skin. You look into your six-year old’s eyes. She sees your reaction. Her eyes well up. She sees it coming.
You tell her you can’t go. She asks you, “Why daddy?” What do you say? Do you admit you lacked the courage to tell someone who wasn’t that important in your life no to something you didn’t want to do in the first place? Was it worth it at the end?
Apply that same concept to business. How many opportunities must you turn down because of saying yes to something less important? Saying yes means saying no to everything else you could have said yes to in the future. Make your yes’s count by giving them only to things of great value.
21. Take unnecessary risk.
Wealthy people understand you can’t believe every fly-by-night scheme that comes your way. Estimate risk by seeking advice from those who made money in the area of your consideration.
22. Avoid risk.
Everything in life has risk, including doing nothing and maintaining the status quo. The trick is properly understanding that risk. Waiting to take action out of fear is a choice with little upside. If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backwards. It’s that simple.
23. Get lucky.
The smarter you work, the luckier you get.
24. Work hard.
Having persistence will only get you so far. You can easily spin the wheel for decades with no forward movement. You can work as hard as you like, but if your actions only move you at a snail’s pace in the right direction or you’re moving in the wrong direction, you’ll never achieve your goal.
If you aren’t getting where you want to go, ask yourself why. Put in the needed effort, but always work smarter instead of harder if given a choice, and don’t be afraid to change course once it becomes clear you’re headed in the wrong direction.
25. Apply little effort.
You won’t succeed at anything if you don’t see it through or give it a decent effort. Work smart, but some effort is always required, so do what’s needed to get you where you want to go.
26. Burn the midnight oil.
If you can’t get your work done without averaging at least seven hours of sleep, you’re doing something wrong. Use the Pareto Principle to cut the fat and focus on primary tasks that move you forward and then eliminate, delegate, and outsource everything else.
27. Take no vacations.
Wealthy people who are active in their own businesses take more vacations than typical workers. This goes back to the Pareto Principle.
28. Have a packed daily schedule.
You need an effective schedule. An overly packed schedule will burn you out and harm other important areas of your life.
29. Sacrifice your health.
Physical health improves your focus and energy, both of which increase the odds of success. Not to mention that it’s harder to get it back once it’s lost. Make sure you set aside time for physical activity. It will increase your energy and make you more effective.
30. Sacrifice your family.
Proper use of time allows you to focus on what’s important. There are many opportunities to involve family in various aspects of your life. Kill two birds with one stone by exercising with your friends and family or including your loved ones in your weekly reflections and goal setting sessions.
31. Forego happiness.
If you do what you love, it is easier to reach your goals. Passion creates motivation. If you make the changes in your life needed to become wealthy, happiness will usually follow.
32. Listen to your family.
Your family members may have the best intentions in mind, but their fear of your failure can often blind them to the passion that burns in your heart. Hear what people have to say, but seek advice from those you wish to emulate.
33. Just get started.
Plan, then do.
34. Make the perfect plan.
It’s impossible to see the future or have a contingency for every scenario. No plan is ever perfect, but an imperfect plan is almost always better than no plan. If the one you create flops, you can always learn from it.
Spend a modest amount of effort, dot your i’s and cross your t’s, but give yourself a deadline to prevent fear from paralyzing you. Lay the groundwork for your plan and force action once your research confirms you have a viable business model.
Dreams are great, but a dream will never happen if you don’t take action to get the ball rolling. Make a plan. Dream bigger, but live bolder.
36. You have to be original.
Originality can be helpful, but so can making something that already exists more effective.
37. Be selfless.
It is hard to motivate yourself to do something you hate, so do something you love instead. Moreover, if you give away all your time and money, you will have nothing left to invest. This doesn’t mean you can’t help others. You should, but do it on your terms in a way that is a win-win for all concerned. If people really care about you, they’ll respect your decision.
38. Lie, cheat, and steal.
This is more likely to land you in jail or get you expelled. You may get away with it for a while and even make some money, but eventually people will catch on and stop doing business with you. Real, sustained wealth requires giving people what they want at a price that provides value.
39. You have to get good grades.
Seriously? No one cares about your GPA after you graduate. According to the Millionaire Mind by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, the average self-made millionaire in the US earned a 2.76 GPA in high school.
40. You need to get accepted at the “right” school.
Your alma mater may be a point of pride, but what really matters is what you bring to the table. If you have the skills, you can work wherever you want including for yourself.
41. You must go to college.
College serves a purpose and everyone should be a lifelong learner but, college isn’t always the most effective way to learn. Most of what is taught in college can be learned for free, take this from a teacher and a former student with five degrees. A desire to be wealthy isn’t why most people go to college. They go to college to get a J-O-B.
People spend large amounts of time and money for their major and are often less inclined to switch paths even if they are unhappy, unmotivated, or unsuccessful in their field. That reduced flexibility can make it harder to become wealthy.
If your passion lies in a career that requires you to go college then by all means do so, but don’t think for a second that college is necessary to become wealthy.
42. Climb the corporate ladder.
You don’t need become a CEO to be super rich. Most people don’t become filthy rich by working for a company. You don’t even need to climb the corporate ladder to become a CEO.
43. Get a “good” job.
A “good” job might make you moderately rich after decades of labor and toil, but if you want to become somewhat rich slowly, smart budgeting and investing can get you there on a less labor intensive, lower paying job, or with one you actually enjoy.
Most wealthy people don’t become filthy rich by getting a “good” job. Just look at the research from the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley, which explains how the vast majority of the rich created wealth by starting their own businesses.
44. Eighty percent of businesses fail in the first five years.
Not all businesses in that statistic lost money. Many of them were set aside for greater opportunities. Regardless, if you’re afraid to fail, you will never get the opportunity to succeed. If you don’t give yourself the chance to be in the 20 percent, then you won’t be.
45. Listen to the experts.
The key here is which experts. Your teachers, co-workers, and friends usually can’t give you the advice you need. Talking heads and highly educated Ivy League graduates shouldn’t be your primary source of advice either.
People who failed or never tried may be good examples of what not to do, but the advice you need is best gained by listening to those who’ve already achieved the life you wish to emulate. Choose wisely.
46. Lack integrity.
Filthy rich scumbags are a great foil used to create conflict in fiction, but most successful people know that having integrity is one of the greatest predictors of wealth.
47. It’s impossible.
Just because something hasn’t been done before, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. You may not always succeed, but people do the seemingly impossible every single day. So can you.
48. Be realistic.
Being realistic is what average people do. Filthy rich people become wealthy by being too stupid to know the difference or by being fearless and driven to push beyond what everyone else thinks is reasonable.
49. Being filthy rich means being money-centric.
Most super wealthy people understand that finances are only one part of what is required to become and stay wealthy. Integrity, flexibility, passion, health, and other factors are equally important.
50. You can’t help other people.
Don’t let guilt keep you from achieving your ideal self. If you really care about people, then maximize your ability to help others by becoming more successful. Success keeps you from being a burden on society. It sets a great example for others to follow, and it provides the skills and resources needed to help those who lack both.
Business and wealth also create jobs and value through innovation. Who helped more people: Steve Jobs, or Mother Teresa?
Patience is a virtue, but inaction is a vice.
52. It’s all about marketing.
It’s all about value. Excellent marketing is a must, but your wealth is directly tied to providing the greatest value to the most people.
One way to look at is in terms of numbers, what I like to call the Huff Value Index. The dollar value you create for one person is one number. The total number of people who can benefit from your product is the second number. Multiply those two together and you get the total possible value.
The final piece is marketing, zero being no marketing whatsoever and one being the best possible marketing at 100% saturation. You multiply that final number somewhere between zero and one by the total possible value to get the actual value.
Total possible value and marketing are both important, but it’s the total possible value in the Huff Value Index that has the most impact and greatest potential upside for your wealth.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com