I’ll be honest. The future may seem bleak if you’re a millennial. That’s why you may think that it’s impossible for you to become a millionaire.
The fact is, you can achieve this goal. I’ve personally became a millionaire twice before turning 30 years old.
If I can do it, so you can you. Here are 10 life rules that I've come up with that have helped several people I coach to become millionaires before turning 30 years old:
1. Prioritize as early as possible
You can’t wake up on the morning of your 29th birthday and proclaim that you’re going to become a millionaire within the next year. Becoming a millionaire requires discipline, sacrifices and long-term planning. You need to start profiting as early as possible.
In 2002, I was only a junior in high school,” wrote entrepreneur and author Dale Partridge on his blog The Daily Positive. “But I was also very clear on what I wanted life to look like by 30. Where I would live, if I would be married and have children, whether I would attend college or start a business, what type of freedom I would have and more.”
Through reverse engineering, Partridge determined how he would achieve this vision, what behaviors he would have to adopt, how he to budget his money and even what type of women he would date. He left nothing to chance.
2. Start following the money
“In today’s economic environment you cannot save your way to millionaire status,” writes author and radio host Grant Cardone. “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.”
Cardone suggests that you, “Start following the money and it will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.”
This was the path that I took when I started my first business venture. I targeted a large industry, real estate, and created a SaaS company in that space. Now I've started one to the top invoicing companies on the planet. The are huge emerging opportunities, like low-cost chatbots for ecommerce, that are available to everyone who dreams big.
3. Nurture a growth mindset
After decades of research, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck found the human brain is malleable. As opposed to having a fixed mindset where people believe qualities such as intelligence or talent, are, well, fixed -- people who have a growth mindset work hard on developing new talents and skills.
For example, if you’re passed over for a promotion, examine why your colleague received the promotion and use your conclusions to work harder so you land the next promotion. You are limited only by how hard you are willing to work.
Take advantage of learning new traits through classes, webinars, books and mentors. It may not seem like a big deal now, but that knowledge will definitely come in handy in both your personal and professional lives. It could help you discover everything from effective ways to save money to jumping on new business opportunities.
4. Diversity your streams of income
After studying the daily habits of the rich and poor for five years, author Thomas C. Corley, found that self-made millionaires had multiple streams of income. In fact, 65 percent had three streams of income.
“Having multiple income streams makes a lot of sense,” writes Corley. “When one stream is negatively affected by systematic economic downturns, of which you have no control, the other streams can come to the rescue and help you survive the downturn, without seeing your lifestyle dramatically affected.”
Multiple streams of income allows you to pay your debts (like those huge student loans) faster. When the debts are settle, start depositing those loan payments into your savings account.
Since we live in a gig economy, having multiple streams have income has never been easier. You could start driving for Lyft or Uber, rent out a room on Airbnb or freelance whenever you have free time. When I started out, I had a side freelancing business that was bringing me in a healthy six figure income in a matter of six months. This gave me multiple streams of income to invest in other areas.
5. Implement the 50/20/30 budget
Budgeting is pretty important if your goal is millionaire status. Without a budget, you can’t align your spending with your savings goals. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all budget, since everyone has various incomes and expenses, but the 50/20/30 budget is an excellent place to start.
Instead of creating a complicated financial plan, this budget is simply:
- Set aside 50 percent of your income for essential expenses like housing, food, transportation and utilities.
- Dedicate 20 percent of your income to savings plans, debt payments, rainy-day funds and retirement.
- Using no more than 30 percent of your income for personal expenses like your cell phone bill, dining out with friends, gym memberships, your morning trips to the coffee shop, and weekend getaways.
6. Save for the right reasons
Here’s another tip from Cardone, “The only reason to save money is to invest it.” He suggests that you place your saved money into “into secured, sacred (untouchable) accounts.” Whatever you do, don’t tap into these accounts - even if it’s an emergency. You may be broke a couple of times throughout the year, but as mentioned above, in order to become a millionaire you have to make sacrifices.
7. Make boredom your friend
We all have those moments when we get bored. Sometimes we need a couple of moments of nothingness, I use this to meditate but don't make habit of staring at anything, shopping online, browsing Instagram, or binge watching Netflix. During these downtimes, focus on making a couple extra bucks, read a book, learn a new skill, or exercise. These small things will not only help you reach your financial goals, they’ll keep you mentally and physically sharp so that you remain healthy and productive. These small focuses keep you alert enough to spot an opportunity when it knocks.
8. Embrace frugality
You may be surprised to learn the wealthy are frugal. They live below their means, use coupons, shop for the best deals and limit their entertainment. That’s not to say that you can’t enjoy yourself. It just means that you have to be cautious of your spending.
For example, limit to dinner with friends to once a month instead of every week. Or, get creative and have your friends come over for a game night.
9. Manage your debt
Before you start stashing money into your savings, one habit you should embrace is shedding any unnecessary debt, like student loans or credit cards. That money that you’re spending on interest should be used more productively, like for your emergency fund or retirement savings.
If you do have a credit card, only charge what you know you can pay off each month. When used correctly, credit cards do have some perks, such as reward dollars and cash-back. Use that to your advantage instead of against you. Coming from someone in the payments vertical, there are too many people getting into too much debt. It will hold you back from investing in yourself.
10. Expand your network
"In most cases, your net worth mirrors the level of your closest friends," explains Steve Siebold, author of How Rich People Think.
This may have been a challenge years ago, but you can now attend networking events in your area through sites like Meetup, attend webinars, follow successful people on social media, and subscribe to their newsletters. In other words, you don’t always have to mingle with successful people just in-person. You have the power to build relationships with millionaires online.
Becoming a millionaire by the time you’re 30 is a goal that any millennial can achieve as long they start early enough, they’re willing to make sacrifices, are disciplined, and they stay committed to the goal.
If you are older reading this, if you haven't made the bigger bucks by age 30, you haven't failed -- maybe you didn't know it was possible. But, pick a goal, now, and start the climb up using the same techniques. It may be tough for a couple of years, but it will be worth it in the end.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.