Some people work hard their whole lives, scrimping and saving, in the hope of attaining millionaire status by retirement. And then there are the exceptional few who are able to become millionaires before they’re 30.
What is the secret to success for those who cross the millionaire threshold before they enter middle age? It turns out there are certain characteristics that set them apart, and luck isn’t one of them.
Do you think you might have what it takes to make it big while you’re young? Read on for the 8 common traits of millionaires under 30 and how you can develop them for yourself.
1. They dream big, then act
Those who make it big early on have a sense of urgency. They simply cannot be held back from acting on their ideas and passions now. They free themselves to dream big -- to look at the world in a new light and see how things could be different, better, brighter. And then they go after that vision with gusto. They aren’t waiting for “someday” to happen; they seize opportunities and reach for their goals.
No one becomes a young millionaire by allowing complacency to take hold. You must keep your ambitions high. If you feel procrastination setting in, take a moment to visualize your big dream, your ultimate goal. Imagine all the possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead. Now start brainstorming ways to get there.
Having a big dream is the first step to success. Then you need to build a strategy to get there. Keep moving toward your goals. Persistence is the key to making your dreams a reality.
2. They seek out mentorship
Young millionaires are smart enough to know that they don’t know it all. They recognize that there is a lot of value in experience -- the kind that comes through having “been there, done that.” They put their egos aside and seek outmentorship as a way of filling in the gaps, and hopefully avoiding some of the pitfalls that undoubtedly lie ahead.
A good mentor is there to guide you, to share insights and offer perspectives, to see you through the ups and downs. They can share personal experience and knowledge that you can’t find in books. Mentorship is an important element in helping many aspiring young entrepreneurs tackle challenges such as decision-making and managing finances.
Mentors can also help their mentees make important connections and may be able to grease the wheel of opportunity. But it’s up to each individual to take advantage of what a mentor can offer.
3. They are intuitive and creative
Wildly successful young millionaires often rely on their intuition as much as their rational brain. Whether you call it a creative hunch or gut instinct, they get a feeling about something and they go with it. Young millionaires pay attention to the cues their inner voice is giving them, and it turns out this makes scientific sense.
Cognitive science tells us that many entrepreneurial discoveries and decisions are made largely unconsciously. In these situations, emotions and feelings precede rational understanding. Young millionaires learn to trust these moments of inspiration and follow their creative intuition. Then they work to craft these intuitions into broader strategic plans that can guide their future ventures.
4. They set their own course and don’t look back
Those who reach millionaire status at a young age aren’t the kind of people who take the easy road. They set their own course. They embrace change. They would rather chase their dreams than worry what others think of them, and they absolutely refuse to limit themselves to other people’s visions. They are determined to live their own lives, by their own rules, and not waste time worrying about other people’s opinions of them.
But that doesn’t mean they’re all jerks. While young millionaires tend to be independent by nature, many are also charming and friendly. After all, it’s nearly impossible to succeed over the long term without people to help you along the way.
5. They thrive on knowledge
Not all young millionaires have a traditional education, but they all have a desire to learn and a passion for knowledge. As the adage goes, knowledge is power. A dedication and love of learning is a must if you want to become a millionaire at any age, and it’s especially important if you wish to achieve this status early on in life. If you hope to become a young millionaire, you must develop a habit of reading at least 30 minutes every day.
This will help you stretch your intellectual muscles, keep your mind sharp and give you fuel for creativity and innovation. The key is to make the most of your reading time to ensure you’re acquiring the knowledge you need. Make sure you pick books, articles and other materials that increase your knowledge base and give you new perspectives.
You need to be continually upgrading talents and learning new skills. It’s also important to stay up to date and well-rounded in all the areas that affect your field and business. Doing this will help you make important connections between ideas and give you an edge that will propel you to success.
6. They aren’t afraid to risk failure
Successful people aren’t born destined for success. They have to gain the experience and insight necessary to achieve their dreams. That insight often comes in the form of failures and flops. Anyone who has reached millionaire status before they’re 30 understands that failure is a part of success. The path to achieving your dreams also includes a long line of trial and error.
Failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. If you’ve never flopped, you’ve never put yourself out there to see if you’ll succeed. And one thing is certain: no one becomes a self-made millionaire under 30 by playing it safe. If you’re afraid of failure, you’ll be overly cautious. The trick is to take calculated risks and know when to go all in.
7. They don’t trade time for money
Anyone who seeks to become successful must understand early on that time is a commodity. In fact, it’s our most valuable commodity. You will never become a millionaire at any age if you don’t learn to manage your time properly. But young millionaires understand that they must focus on creating consistent income without trading time for money.
They strategically leverage their talent, resources and power to create opportunities for more dynamic income. In other words, even if you make a great income working a salaried job, it’s difficult to accrue vast wealth while you are someone else’s employee. Young millionaires use their capital (or other people’s capital) to create more wealth.
They also look for multiple streams of income. When they see a good idea, they jump on it. They aren’t afraid to take calculated risks to generate more wealth.
8. They focus on their strengths
Forget trying to be a jack of all trades. Focus on mastering one thing. If you can do that thing better than anyone else, you will have cracked the code to being successful. All young millionaires know that they must focus on their strengths in order to achieve long-term success.
No one ever succeeds in doing something they aren’t good at. Don’t waste your time on something you’re at most going to be average at. It’s just not worth it. Focus 100 percent on the areas where you know you can kill it.
Then build a great team of people who complement each other. Outsource, delegate and then oversee the final product -- but focus on the areas you are strongest in. Making it big is going to come down to making the most of your talent.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors