This was a question I was asked on Quora. Here is my answer:
You Can Be A Millionaire
I will answer your question first, which is the hardest way to be a millionaire and then I will tell you the much easier way. Last, I will then tell you one more way.
Hard Way-Do You Constantly Think Of New Ideas
If you don’t naturally think of new ideas, it will be extremely hard. Most inventors are not rich, but they have many ideas, hundreds or more. Some are good and most aren’t. But they don’t even have to try, their brain is just wired to see it. The problem is they don’t know how to develop them. Plus before they get one idea flushed out, they have another idea. Focus is tough.
Read the books on how to generate new ideas. There are no new ideas, just tweaks on old ideas anyway. I suggest you read Borrowing Brilliance, this is a very good book on changing your perspective on how to generate new commercial ideas. For the grinding, making lists, asking people, read problems before you go to sleep and then write down answers when you wake up-then read How To Get Ideas by Jack Foster. Plus I agree with the list in the post below.
10 Books to becoming an Idea Generating Machine
Easier Way-Start a Tried and True Business
Look for things that work and make a small change, often the change can just be branding and marketing. I strongly suggest you read, One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000 With Your Own Business,Even If You Have No Money Or Experience You don’t need a new idea, you don’t need your own money, and there is lots of free help.
Be The Guy With The Money
If you learn how to raise money and start your own company that invests in new ideas, now you just screen deals. You now will be involved in as many new and innovating ideas, products, and services as you like. You never had to think of a single one. Since 9 out of 10 may fail, you also push the risk onto the inventor. Your risk is very small. If you raise money to do this, your actual risk is zero. Of course, you have some reputation risk.
You don’t need as much money as you think, you can get a piece of many startups for a song, $10,000 or $25,000. Plus you can always raise the money deal by deal if you want. There are many ways to structure this. One Million in the Bank is good to help you learn how to raise the money. Here’s a good started article on starting a fund What Are The Steps To Starting A VC/Angel Fund? Keep in mind there are many variations on this, now that you understand you can do this, start looking into it.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“Fortune sides with him who dares.” -Virgil
“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers
Do Something Now Today
I am sure you personally are the go-getter and living your life to the max. But to everyone else, you can do more. We have many constraints on our daily life, but most are self-imposed. Write down the few things you really want to do in life, big things. Start today!
I almost always start with a book or two or more to give myself a good background in anything new. Then I like to ask others who have been there before. And if you don’t know where to start, then get a book on how to start.
The Ripple Effect
There is so much potential in the world. If everyone did a little more just to improve themselves the ripple effect would be overwhelming. There are probably other books on this, but Connected by Nicholas Christakis is a very good book discussing this.
“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” – Dalai Lama
Be a millionaire?
No, you don’t have to be a millionaire or have that goal to have a tremendous impact in the world. But if you want that I guarantee it is within reach. There are many ways to become a millionaire, but starting your own business is the overwhelming way self-made people do it. You might check out my book. Good luck!
Michael L. F. Slavin Author of 7- time award-winning One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000, Even If You Have No Money Or Experience
Quotes and Comments
The quotes are great, but to be consistent with my message, each has a comment. I am looking at the quotes through the lenses of my book, One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000 With Your Own Business, Even If You Have No Money Or Experience. The goal is to start a business and to be a millionaire in 3-7 yrs.
1. “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” –Donald Trump, The Trump Organization President
Comment: Nobody can argue about thinking big, but what is big enough and what is too big. Most people get a little paralyzed when they think too big. Break it into manageable steps and get started doing something.
2. “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” –Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO
Comment: It worked out for Tony Hsieh, but this does not work out for most people if their goal is to have at least $1,000,000. Plus we are not talking about a world changing idea. If you have a great vision, that has economic value, and you execute a good plan, then the statement is likely true. But most people would be better off following a solid business plan and making sure the consideration of money is a big part of the plan.
3. “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” –Walt Disney, Co-Founder, Disney
Comment: Yes, Yes, Yes! You must always error on the side of action. Do something today. Start a business plan, or just get a book on how to start a business plan. Sign up for SCORE.org or sbdc.gov courses or anything, but take action.
4. “Any time is a good time to start a company.” –Ron Conway, Noted Startup Investor, SV Angel
Comment: This is so true. You may be waiting for the perfect time, but the perfect time is NOW! A solid business will make it during any economic environment.
5. “It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So plan for that.” –Richard Harroch, Venture Capitalist and Author
Comment: This is always true. But if you do not need a lot of money, $1,000,000 or less, it is not as hard as one might think. I tell you how to find that money through undiscovered investors in One Million in the Bank.
6. “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.” –Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company Founder
Comment: This speaks for itself, but all boils down to confidence and determination. You can do more than you think you can do. I guarantee it. Read my book for the how, but I also recommend Grit by Angela Duckworth and The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. I have more recommendations in the back of One Million in the Bank.
Quotes are Fun
Quotes are fun, but use them as inspiration. Pick one of the above and work on that message all week, then pick another one. Baby steps can really make you a millionaire.
Create an Opportunity
You can make millions from other people’s ideas.
What if you just can not think of a tried and true business to start and make your $1,000,000 in 3-7 years? You could try what Gabriel does, but it takes some skill. Gabriel has a unique business model that he calls a Business Incubator. His website can be found at www.TechStudios.net. This is not to be confused with a traditional business incubator where startups usually move into a shop. In this setting, they have mentors and peers to help them to try and grow their business idea. Gabriel does it all for you, he takes your idea and flushes it out.
Often, people have a business idea but they don’t know how to start, how to get the money, or more often just does not have the time. Gabriel will get the company started and tested. He will put the plan together, assemble the team, find the means to finance the operation and run the company. He will be paid a fee for this. Besides his fee, he usually retains a small interest if it is bought back by the idea generator. His company motto is “Ideas taken to execution.”
He will negotiate with the original idea generator a buyback agreement before they start. The idea generator can buy it all back later if he wants the whole company or whatever they have negotiated. In one sense this is a variation on asking your friends for ideas, except he lets clients bring ideas to him. Plus he gets paid to develop their ideas.
Be Sure It Can Make You a Millionaire
If it is your idea or if you develop someone else’s idea, be cautious to not just do anything to make money. Do things that lead to making enough to make you a millionaire. Decide on a business that will have the kind of cash flow and net profit needed. The goal is to make you enough to save $1,000,000 in 3-7 years. Do your research, make a business plan and get advisor help. Of course, you may need partners for the money to start and grow your idea. But a good plan and your own confidence can get you the money you need.
You can also find your way to the door of opportunity.
In my interview with Gabriel, he agreed with me wholeheartedly. Gabriel said that almost any business can get you to $1,000,000 with good execution, sales, and marketing. Get your head in the game…………..start your planning today to be a millionaire in 3-7 years.
Get the Book
Michael L. F. Slavin Author of 7- time award-winning One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000, Even If You Have No Money Or Experience
Can being Grateful Hold You Back?
Can being grateful hurt your ambitions or ability to think big? Being grateful is a very a good thing. The Bible and every religious text will tell you to be grateful, your parents told you to be grateful, there are complete books about being grateful. Plus there is scientific evidence that being grateful is good for your mental and physical health. Here is a very good article at today.com: Be thankful science says gratitude good for your health.
Story of Gratitude Holding a Man Back
Hispanic Man Ignores Us
I was in a restaurant’s small pickup area for “to go”. There were two young servers, a Hispanic man about 40, and me. I was telling the two young women about my book, starting their own business and having a chance at being a millionaire. They listened intently and asked questions. One young lady was trying to start her own business and was very excited with my message. The Hispanic man was seated in the only chair in the cramped waiting area, with working clothes and rough hands. He ignored us. He had his head down and was writing what seemed to be a long text on his phone.
Wakes Up Angry
After a while and quite surprising to us all, he looked up and started talking a little aggressively and defensively. “Being a millionaire is not important. Working hard and being grateful for what you have and taking care of your family is what is important. I had $9,000 cash stolen out of my truck. I was going to the bank to make a deposit and just stopped for a second to run into the grocery store. When I came out and it was gone. I couldn’t believe it. I was very angry. Immediately, I called and told my father. He tried to calm me down and told me to relax. He said it is only money and I could make it back. But then he told me something that really changed how I look at life.”
His Father’s Advice
The man was in his forties, but he was quick to quote his father. My father told me, “Ninety-nine percent of people in the world will never even have $500, so be grateful for what you have.”
I don’t know where he got that, but many people are extremely poor, with 80% of the people in the world living on less than $10 a day by some reports. The Hispanic man at the restaurant went on to tell us that he owned a business and it was not easy. He said he started as a boy with nothing. His parents were poor and his dad supported his family with 6 kids by fixing motorcycles. He started by sweeping the floor of his Dad’s business. Now he has a business doing motorcycle repair and he’ll buy and resell a car occasionally.
He said that he is sure he has earned $1,000,000 or more, but the hard part is holding onto it. “ I don’t have much money,” he explained,” but I have a nice car and I care for my family. It is important to enjoy the money you have and get a few nice things.” He went on to say that he was very grateful for everything. He said everybody should stop being unhappy and wanting more. Everyone should be happy for what they have. Everyone should be grateful, and probably most people in the world don’t even have $300. He came down from most people never having $500 earlier.
It Was Not Open To Discussion
This was not a conversation at all. He had a firm point of view. This was a lecture, not open to interruption. The two young women glanced at me often and rolled their eyes while he talked. The both found an excuse and left as soon as they could. The Hispanic business owner never took a breath, he just kept going. It all felt very negative.
Our food finally came out, we both got our “to go” order and walked out together. He kept talking. I stopped for a minute to listen politely and finally I extended my hand and said, “It has been nice talking to you and I wish you lots of luck, but I really have to go.”
He abruptly stopped lecturing, shook my hand, and said, ”Thanks.” He walked to his big red pickup truck, I got in my car and that was that. But he had made an impression on me. I regretted not getting his name and contact information. If I had then I would like to have followed up and learned more.
What I think happened?
I think I unintentionally insulted this man who obviously was proud of what he had accomplished. He even mentioned he loved and respected his father, but it was hard for his father to care for his family. He told me he felt proud that he is a business owner and he knows his father is proud of him. He also told me, “I like to have nice stuff, like my new truck. And I have always provided for my family.”
This man must have had a profitable business, so he had a right to be proud. He also told me, “I don’t have $1,000,000 or anything close, but I work hard.” I had hit a nerve for sure.
What can be learned?
I didn’t have the time or energy to get into a meaningful discussion with this man. Plus he really didn’t seem like he wanted my opinion anyway. He didn’t seem open minded at all about this topic. Less than 4% of all business owners are millionaires.
This man seems like a classic example. I am sure he had no business plan; he told me that he learned the trade from his dad, and he stumbled into business. I tried to tell him about SCORE and the SBDC, but he barely paused to tell me he had never heard of them. But I don’t think he cared, he just ran over my conversation. He is paying his bills I suppose, but I think his idea of being grateful is either his reason for not trying to grow or an excuse. I honestly don’t know everything going on with this small business owner, but I’ll never forget this brief encounter.
Is Being Grateful an Excuse?
I don’t mean that a person shouldn’t be grateful for all the wonders that we have been blessed with in life. This includes being a human being in the world. But people should guard against being so grateful they are complacent. Complacency will definitely keep a person from trying to reach their full potential. Part of that potential, if a person wants it, is financial security.
Millionaires-80% Business Owners
If you take out the retirees, 80% of millionaire households are headed by a business owner. So if you are happy, and have no desire to have more money, that is fine. But if you would like to be a millionaire, just be grateful for what you have and also strive to reach your full potential. You can and should be grateful for everything, but just don’t let complacency kill your drive. You have a right to be everything you can be. I guarantee you can do more than you think you can do. Good luck!
Read the book:
Michael L.F. Slavin author of 7-time award-winning One Million in the Bank: How To Make $1,000,000 With Your Own Business, Even If You Have No Money Or Experience (on Amazon)
PS: If you like the book please write me a review on Amazon to help spread the word and he
Meet King Nahn, a 10-year old motivational speaker. This young man is a YouTube star turned motivational guru. And while normally I am skeptical of “Internet success” I can’t deny it’s working out in this case!
Spotting this article this morning reminds me that motivational speakers come in all shapes and sizes–and that’s a beautiful thing.
Finding Value in the Stories
One of the beautiful things about motivational speakers are the stories they bring to the table. The best motivational speakers draw upon their backgrounds to provide inspiration.
And, of course, these motivational speakers are humans. This means their backgrounds are filled with challenges, mistakes, and regrets. Things you can probably relate to.
You will find this is true of almost anyone who has accomplished big things.
The Strength is in the Response
So what separates high-achievers from those who never get very far in life?
It’s not age, or we wouldn’t be reading about a 10-year old motivational speaker. Nor would we read about 10-year old millionaire entrepreneurs, yet those are out there too. Age really is just a number–and of course it’s perfectly fine if you’re not a millionaire by the age of 10, since this is not a competition. Some of our household names didn’t get anywhere until their fifties or sixties, and that doesn’t really matter either.
It’s not privilege–many high achievers did not come from a wealthy background at all. I certainly didn’t. It’s not natural talent, or some magical quality of luck.
It’s the way these people have taken their stories and dug through them to find the wisdom and the lessons buried within. It’s how they applied those lessons, while simultaneously making a decision that they would never, ever give up on their dreams.
Motivational Speakers Who Are Motivated by the Right Things
Of course, there are always people out there who become rich and famous simply by cheating other people in some way. You can usually tell if you’re dealing with those sorts of motivational speakers because you feel vaguely “icky” after listening to them. You start to realize they only have one formula for success: be really charismatic, hit the speaking circuit and sell some books about how to make a lot of money at being charismatic, and hitting the speaking circuit.
Those guys–the ones who rely on “rah rah pump you up” stuff–are in it for the wrong reasons.
The motivational speakers who are in it for the right reasons are standing at the podium because their experiences have given them a road map. They didn’t like being sick, broke, and tired. Those were deep, dark woods for them. But they found a way out. And, having found a way out, they wish to help other people find the way out.
They’ve found the gifts wrapped up in the ashes of their bankruptcies, divorces, and trauma. They’ve dusted them off and have decided to share them with as many people as they can.
After all, if you learn a hard lesson from someone who has walked a hard road, then you do not have to walk that road yourself. You can take the lesson and you can move on.
Some people don’t even have to follow the motivational speaker’s specific road map. It’s enough for them to know someone found a way out. If others found a way out, they can find a way out too. This is enough to get many people up and moving as never before.
The World Needs More Stories
It’s a great thing to see so many talented motivational speakers out there, not just because there will be a lot of organizations who need to hire keynote speakers this year.
It’s because audiences will get the benefit of multiple perspectives. Audience members will have a greater chance to hear voices that sound like them and to see faces that look like them. And because it will give audiences a chance to see faces and to hear voices that don’t look like them.
We are all here to learn from one another. That’s the secret.
Finding Strength in Your Own Stories
Chances are, you won’t hear more than one or two motivational speakers this year, unless you like to collect recorded speeches and listen to them.
Sometimes, you have to provide your own motivation. Fortunately, understanding what makes successful people so successful will allow you to give yourself some motivational speeches that can drive you forward over the coming year.
It starts by recognizing where you are and where you’ve been–by defining your own story. This gives you a starting point, a sort of “you are here” in the deep, dark woods.
Of course, people do that all the time. The problem is when they do it, they are looking for sympathy which is akin to setting up real estate in the deep, dark woods. You’re doing it for a different reason.
You’re going to mine your own experience for lessons.
If you’ve made any progress at all, you’re going to take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve already come. It’ll become apparent that you’ve started building a road map of your own. You can take a moment to be proud of that.
Then, you simply want to imagine where you’re going to be next–perhaps you’ll be an individual who has one million dollars in the bank in three to seven years. After that, it’s simply a matter of understanding the way out is there, and you already have some of the tools you need to find that way out. You can then identify the tools and resources you don’t have, and set yourself to the task of acquiring them.
You’ll find you’ve done a lot, experienced a lot, survived a lot. You’ll remember the challenges that seemed insurmountable 5 years ago, which are no big deal today. You’ll find the gifts in the ashes and you’ll keep moving forward.
I know you will, because I know you’re one of those truly successful people who is motivated by all the right things.