Want to become a millionaire? Better yet, how about making a million dollars per year? Maybe more? If that's something you're reaching for, join the club. It's a goal sought after by countless souls on the planet. In fact, one study conducted by TD Ameritrade discovered that 53% of millennials expect to become millionaires in their lifetimes. The question is, how realistic is that dream?
Clearly, without a plan, there's not much hope for anyone looking to make a small fortune or hit any big goal for that matter. But seven percent of millennials surveyed in that study think they'll hit that illustrious 7-figure mark by the time they turn 30. Can they actually do it? Whether most people think it's realistic or not, the truth is that the internet has unveiled new methods and means for reaching that target and doing it incredibly quickly.
So what separates those who can make lots of money online(or offline) from those who fail to do so? At the end of the day, it's merely one word. Belief. The mind is a very powerful tool. And if you can't start with the foundation of true and utter belief in yourself and your abilities, nothing is possible. But to the man or woman who is steeped in true belief in what they can accomplish and achieve, nothing is quite out of reach.
How to make a million dollars per year
At the very heart of it, to really make money (and I mean lots and lots of money), you need to solve a problem. Problems lead consumers into pain. Your job as an entrepreneur is to address that pain by providing a solution. Now, that doesn't mean you need to come up with the next big idea like Uber founders Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp, or AirBnB founders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk. It simply means that you need to find a problem that you can solve, and offer that solution to customers.
You're not going to make a million dollars or more per year working for someone else. Not unless you're a high-ranking executive at a Fortune 500 company or get in on the ground floor at the next Stripe, Facebook or Google. No. In order to hit that illustrious 7-figure mark, you need to present the right offer at the right time to the right audience. That's it.
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Of course, it's easier said than done. But, when I really started thinking about this topic, I realized that there's so much disinformation and misinformation out there. The biggest problem? People who work tirelessly to convince others that they've "made it" just so they can sell them some digital course on the latest drop-shipping method or webinar creation strategy.
So in order to really answer this question, I went straight to the source. We're talking centimillionaires and billionaires. People who've achieved $100 million dollars in revenue and up. If you want to learn how to make a million dollars or more per year, why not ask those who've not only reached that level but also exponentiated those results?
Step 1: Identify the pain
First things first. What is the pain in the marketplace? What are consumers struggling with or grappling with? If you're unsure, all you have to do is jump into well-traversed Reddit threads or popular Facebook Groups. What are people talking about? Are there some resounding complaints that seem to come up repeatedly? If you stick around for long enough, you'll find the pain in the marketplace. That much is for certain. As long as you can identify the pain, then you'll find the problem.
One thing that's for certain is this: The bigger the pain, the bigger the problem. And, the bigger the potential to not only make a million dollars per year or more but also to get filthy rich for that matter. Entrepreneurs who are bold enough to go out there and tackle big problems are often the ones who reap the big payouts. They're disruptors, dissatisfied with the status quo. And they exist in every industry under the sun. They're filled with a willingness to tackle massive problems that have faced us for years, if not decades in most cases.
Jeremy Delk, an entrepreneur at the helm of a $100 million business called Tailor Made Compounding, tells me that you should go where the pain exists in the marketplace. While money is important and is a necessary course in business, if you can properly identify the pain, that's always the major starting point. If you can't find the pain, how can you present a solution that will help to take that pain away?
Jesse Itzler, the founder of Marquis Jets, another entrepreneur with well over a $200 million net worth (and husband of Sarah Blakley, the billionaire founder of Spanx), tells me you should never fear failure or shy away when you're tackling those big problems. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You're not always going to have all the answers. But you have to be willing and persistent enough to find them.
Step 2: Create an irresistible offer
Understanding the pain and the problem is the first step. But you also need to take action on that pain. If you sincerely want to make a million dollars per year or more, you also have to create a compelling offer. Remember, it's all about the right offer to the right audience at the right time. If you've found the audience and identified their problem, you now need to create an irresistible offer that will properly target that audience. So what makes an offer irresistible?
There are many factors involved. But think about it yourself. What really turns your head when it comes to products or services? What truly makes you want to buy something from a person or a company that you might not know very well? There are numerous factors. But what are the most important? Dan Kennedy says that there are four important parts of an irresistible offer: 1. The offer has to be clear. 2. It has to have good value. 3. It should involve a discount or a premium. 4. There should be a logical reason behind the offer.
But what else is involved? How do you really pull the lever and get people to buy something? Well, let me start by breaking it down like this. Ever seen a long line somewhere and wondered what everyone was standing in line for? Maybe the line was long or it wrapped around the block. Or, maybe, just maybe, you're at a theme park and see this one ride that has the longest line and wonder what all these people are standing in that line for.
What's the first thing that goes through your mind? It must be something good. Why? Two words. Social proof. Beyond the other factors, people often reference the behavior of others when making decisions. As much as we want to think we are unique in our decision-making process, we're often not. We follow the herd. And glorify the crowd. In turn, we're not leaders. We're merely followers. And that's why social proof is so important. Yes, offer construction matters. But social proof is so incredibly important.
Think about it yourself. When you see so many testimonials for some weight loss product or some system to make money online, aren't you drawn to it? When there are genuine and compelling reviews, and so much social proof is built up behind something, that's where the real magic happens. That's when the other barriers of resistance fall. So how do you get social proof for something? In the very beginning, give it away in exchange for solid reviews. If what you've created truly solves a pain and really addresses the problem, then the rest, as they say, will likely be history.
Step 3 - Create a detailed plan and execute daily
Planning is critical. If you're serious about making real headway, you need to get into the plan. Take your goal and work backward. What's it going to take to hit the target? How are you going to get there? You can usually create milestones along the way. If you've actually set a goal, and you've quantified your target, then all you need to do to make a million dollars per year or more is work backward. What are the monthly targets? What about the weekly targets? Daily? Identify them and create some action steps to get yourself there.
But you also never know what will happen. Maybe you'll reach your target. And maybe you won't. But maybe, just maybe, you'll shoot far past the target you set. Like Russell Brunson, an entrepreneur running a $100 million dollar software company called ClickFunnels, often says, you're only one funnel away. In other words, you're one pain-solving offer away from making an exceedingly large amount of money. Of course, this also means that whatever plan you have includes truly delivering some real value. If you're not delivering value, then you're never going to hit your income targets. It's incredibly hard to do so. It's like trying to push against a concrete wall.
Step 4 - Create a deeper mission and vision
While goals are important and they shouldn't be changed, you have to be mission and vision-driven. You can't merely rely on the superficial. Attach your goal to a deeper meaning with a stronger "why" for achieving it. For example, not only do you want to reap a financial reward, but also an emotional or spiritual one. What is your mission and your vision? If you haven't defined it, set it down on paper. It's far more important than anything else you could possibly do.
Richard Branson often says that while money is important, if you're truly looking to get incredibly wealthy, you have to exact real change. What does that mean? It's certainly not thing-related or associated with some number of trailing zeros at the end of a bank account. For high-level entrepreneurs, it's always tied to your deeper why. You will always do more for something that has more meaning to you than you will for a superficial goal.
Step 5: Track, analyze and re-adjust your approach
There's no boiler-plate approach to making a million dollars or more in a year or a month or in any other time frame. What you have to do is make sure you track at the finite level. The more detailed you can track and analyze your progress, the more likely you'll be to get closer to your target faster. It's similar to an airplane that takes off at a pre-determined time with a pre-determined destination. It has a goal. And in order to get to that goal, it needs a plan.
However, sometimes, the plane's plan doesn't work out. There's air-traffic congestion or turbulence or a storm in its path. To determine where it's at and how far it's come, it has to track and analyze often. Plane's know moment by moment where they are. And, they also know that they might need to change their approach to reach their target. You should do the same. Don't change the goal, but if you have to, change the plan. That's the way you get there. Not by giving up.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.