There are plenty of paths to become a millionaire but none of them come from the superficial get rich videos you see on YouTube. Becoming wealthy means understanding the business strategies that will get you there and developing the habits that will make you successful.
By the end of this video, you’ll have a complete roadmap including the strategies and action steps in three businesses that will build wealth. You’ll also have the four traits you need to embrace, four characteristics every millionaire has mastered.
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What’s Wrong with all the Get Rich Schemes
If you’ve been on YouTube for any amount of time, you’ve seen the videos about building wealth. It’s a popular topic but 99% of them only scratch the surface. They might give you a few ideas but it’s nowhere near enough to really put you on the path.
I’m tired of that. Are you?
I’m tired of watching channels put out superficial videos that get you excited about reaching that million-dollar mark but then hide the details that matter.
So this video is going to be a little longer than most but it’s going to do just that. I’m not only going to detail three strategies I’ve used to build my net worth to seven figures, I’m also going to share the characteristics and tactics you need to actually do it.
I have to say though, for 80% of the people watching the video, it’s not going to happen. I’m not going to apologize for that because the majority watching are going to jump straight to the strategies, they’re going to give one a half-ass try for a few weeks and then just give up on it.
The three strategies I’m sharing to become a millionaire do work. All create six-figure income and I’ll share several real-life examples of people using them.
But they aren’t enough by themselves. That’s why I’m revealing the four traits you need to embrace to create that millionaire mindset and the four tactics to use around these strategies that will make them a success.
I’ll start off with the characteristics, the mindset you need to have to be successful. Inc magazine surveyed the world’s billionaires and found that nine-of-ten had these traits, these four characteristics that made them rich. So if you’re not ready to commit to these first four traits I’m going to reveal, don’t even worry about the rest of the video.
After I reveal those four traits and then the three money-making strategies, I’m going to wrap it up with four life lessons I’ve learned on my way to one million. These are going to be critically important to keeping the money you make and making it grow, so stick around for those.
Four Characteristics of Millionaires
But first on to those four characteristics I’ve found in every millionaire I’ve met. You don’t have to be born with these traits but you must commit to building them.
The first trait is work ethic. This is something everyone thinks they have but are you really willing to put in the work. Are you willing to work 60 hours plus a week to reach those seven-figures? We’re not talking being at your desk spacing out or talking with co-workers like the average worker, we’re talking actually putting in that time working.
I get up every morning at 5:30 to get my workout in time to still get my son up at 6:30 and to school by seven. I’m at the computer by 7:30 and work straight through to 12:30 when I take a half hour break for lunch and to check email.
Then it’s another four hours of work to when my son gets out of school and then another two or three hours later around 10pm. Finally, I put in another five hours on one day over the weekend to catch up on projects.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to be a workaholic. This is your seed schedule, the time you need to put in to get everything going and put yourself on that path.
The thing is, and this might be the cruel joke of being rich, is that you start doing all this and it becomes part of you. You start enjoying that drive and the excitement from building your business. That means even after you’ve already reached one million, you’re still putting in the time because you love doing it.
Millionaires Seek Constant Improvement
The next characteristic here is life-long learning and constantly improving your skill set. Again, this is one everyone talks about. Everyone talks about the need to read and constantly be learning from others but the secret is in actually putting it on your schedule and doing it. That means making time and making an effort.
If there is one measurable thing that every successful person does, it’s making time for reading and learning. A few examples here. Warren Buffett, arguably the world’s best investor, says he reads 500 pages a day. Microsoft founder Bill Gates reads 50 books a year and that’s actually on the low side for most billionaires. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says he reads three hours a day. That’s upwards of 1,000 hours a year and over 120 books a year.
Your first books are going to be in the money-making strategies you decide to follow but building your own business means you’re ten different people in one. You’ll need to read up on marketing, SEO, writing and even, yes even accounting to make your business a success.
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Millionaires Hire the Best People
And that actually brings us to our third characteristic of millionaires. You’re going to start off doing most of the job yourself and building your business but if you want to reach that top level, you have to be able to get the most out of others. Understand what you do best and find others that are the best at what they do to help.
That means putting a few books about management on your list and learning what parts of your business you can outsource. And it means a lot of trial-and-error. You’re going to be on freelancer websites like Upwork and Fiverr, looking for professionals. There’s going to be a lot of bad experiences, frustration and sometimes you’re going to want to just go back to doing everything yourself.
Commit to building your team though and you’re going to be able to scale your business and create more than you could possibly imagine.
Millionaires Don’t Make Excuses
Our last trait here before we get to those three money-making strategies is that no excuses mentality. This goes beyond just not making excuses to an almost stubborn perseverance to stick with a strategy even when everyone says it’s not working.
A friend of mine, Hank Coleman, a major in the U.S. Army, started his blog Money Q&A in 2007. In fact, he was one of the first bloggers in a financial bloggers group around the FinCon conference. He put it all into his site for years and yet never broke 500 a month for almost a decade.
His wife thought he was crazy for sticking with it. His friends told him blogging wasn’t a thing and he wondered if he had enough time to really make it work. He watched generations of bloggers and online entrepreneurs become successful and all those excuses started creeping into his head.
But he stuck with it though and now makes over $4,000 a month part-time, he gets over 35,000 visitors a month and is about to ratchet it up big time with video and courses.
Now I’m not saying it’s going to take a decade to reach your millions. Hank’s is a special case because of deployments and the fact he could only put in so much time but you need that same stubborn level of commitment to make it work. There will be a point when you want to quit…there will be many points when you want to quit.
It’s those times when you need to look at what you’re doing, what’s working and commit to keep on that path.
These might seem like some vague ideas, work harder, keep learning – but they are the proven traits you need to develop that will make you successful in the three strategies we’re about to discuss. Just one in nine households have reached that millionaire level, less than 15 million American households in 130 million across the country. Unless this was all handed to you at birth, you’re going to have to work for it like the rest of us.
3 Business Strategies to Become a Millionaire
Now we’re getting into what most of you are probably waiting for, those three strategies you can use to become a millionaire. These are tried and true businesses and I’m going to walk you through all three.
But the secret really is in the traits we covered and those tactics we’ll talk about later. You can copy down these strategies and check all the boxes but it’s not going to help if you can’t deliver on that execution so make sure you stick around for those tactics at the end of the video.
One thing I do want to say is not a millionaire strategy is investing. You see just as many of these videos masquerading as get rich videos on YouTube, right?
Look, I love investing my money and it will help you grow wealth but it’s not going to make you rich. Anyone trying to teach you how to get rich investing by trading stocks or reaching for those huge returns is just going to lose your money and waste your time.
Real investing is about those diversified gains of about 7% on a portfolio of stocks, bonds and real estate. Putting $200 a month into an account, it’s going to take over 50 years to become a millionaire at that rate. Sure you’ll get there, but who wants to be an old millionaire?
The real path to millionaire status before you’re spending it on adult undergarments and denture cream is in creating a business, building wealth around these three strategies.
I’ll be talking about three different types of businesses and detailing specific strategies within each.
How Big Can Your Business Grow?
First is going to be starting a traditional business but not just any business, it has to be scalable. This means you have to be able to grow it to the point that it can generate that six-figure income otherwise you’ll always be fighting the clock.
Let’s look at an extreme example. Everyone had a lemonade stand when they were young, right? Whether it was lemonade or whatever, you sat on the corner and sold single servings for less than a dollar. Maybe you made $20 a day if you were lucky.
So that’s not a scalable business model. Selling twenty bucks a day, even if your parents paid for all the costs, it would take you 50,000 days or 137 years to reach that million dollars.
A more realistic example, and this is one of the most popular online strategies right now, is consulting or freelancing. I’m not saying you can’t make good money consulting and I have friends that get over $100 an hour but even at that rate and a generous profit margin of 50%, it would still take you 20,000 billable hours of work to hit that million. You’re trading time for money and you’re always going to be limited.
So any business you start, one of the first questions needs to be, how scalable is this and how do I automate the process.
I’m going to talk about one of my favorite business ideas you can scale with huge potential for six- and even seven-figure annual income.
Fulfillment by Amazon or Amazon FBA is easily my favorite new business idea and really an amazing concept when you think about it. This is a special program the company has that basically turns you into your own consumer brand.
In the past, if you wanted to start say a clothing line or an exercise equipment company, you’d need hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions to buy all the manufacturing, set up the marketing and the logistics.
With Amazon FBA, you can now get started with less than $5,000. You can have your own brand of jeans, sell it to a global market and compete against Tommy Hilfiger for probably less than you spend a year in clothes.
Amazon is the future of shopping. Online shopping is still just a fraction of total shopping but growing every year and it’s a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs. With Amazon FBA, you don’t need your own warehouses or manufacturing, you don’t need your own fleet of trucks or dozens of staff to manage all this.
So I want to go over the idea here and some tips on getting started so you can see how scalable this business is.
First is finding your product. Start by looking through the Amazon best-seller list to see what types of products are trending. Products between $15 and $60 work best. Higher value products will be more competitive but lower price stuff might not leave much room for profit. Smaller products, less than a few pounds each will also make it cheaper to ship in bulk.
Then you click through to each of the top ranked pages in a few product categories. You’re looking for product categories where a lot of the top-ranked pages aren’t very professional, maybe images are weak and descriptions kind of lame. You want to see lots of pages where the product is ranked 1,000 or higher in its category, which means you might be able to beat it.
Sourcing your product is actually very easy. Alibaba, which is like the Chinese Amazon, connects manufacturers with people looking to sell on Amazon FBA and this site has it down. You can easily compare different manufacturers, quality ratings, prices and all kinds of factors.
Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few, you can get them to send you a sample to test the quality. You pick one and put in your first order. They’ll package your products and even slap your branded stickers on them before shipping them off to the Amazon warehouses.
Through your Amazon FBA account, you’ll be able to track all the inventory you have at the warehouses and can use this to reorder from the manufacturers. This means you can get it down so that you don’t have a lot of inventory sitting around.
I’ve seen people have the most success with Amazon FBA when they have their own blog around the product topic and links to their product pages on Amazon. You can do all your marketing directly on Amazon through Amazon Marketing Services but this is going to cost money. The idea with having your own blog is that all you need is a handful of organic sales from the blog each month to help you keep your products ranked highly in their categories.
This is the same strategy I use to sell more than 600 copies of books a month. Getting a handful of sales from my blogs plus maybe a hundred sales from Amazon ads to keep them ranked within the top ten in the category.
Now there are obviously thousands of different business ideas out there but remember you have to take it back to that one question first, is this business scalable. Ask yourself how you’re going to grow the business to a point where you’re making at least six-figures a year and not trading time for money.
Making Passive Income to Become Wealthy
Our next business strategy is around passive income.
Now this is one of the most popular and abused subjects here on YouTube. Everyone loves the idea of passive income, getting paid to do nothing, but I have to tell you that kind of income just doesn’t exist.
There might be some businesses that produce passive income once you get started and I’ll detail one right now but you are always going to be putting in some time or money into getting the business started. Anyone that tells you they have a business idea that is completely passive from the start and requires no investment is either a scammer or an idiot, honestly.
But you can’t avoid passive income ideas as a part of your wealth building strategy. You can create an amazing, scalable business but what’s the use of making all that money if you’re always busy making money?
While a lot of passive income ideas like blogging or affiliate marketing are barely passive or won’t get you closer to becoming a millionaire, there are a few that are easy to set up and as passive as you’re going to find.
I’ll share my favorite passive income strategy here but I want you to ask yourself these three questions whenever you’re deciding on a passive income source.
First, how much does it cost to get started and how much can I expect to make? I’ve seen a lot of investment ideas masquerading as passive income. Again, investing is great. I love making money off my money but it’s not a business idea.
Second is you need to find out how long until you can expect to be making money. Everyone talks about blogging as passive income. I’ve had my five blogs since 2013. I started making money within six months and make more than I ever thought I would but I still wouldn’t consider it passive income.
Last here is how much maintenance work, how many hours do you need to put in on the business every month to keep the income stable? This is really the defining question of passive income ideas, right? The answer doesn’t have to be zero but if the business isn’t creating income without much work then it’s not passive.
For our example passive income business, I want to highlight self-publishing. For those in the community, you know I’m a big believer in self-publishing not only for full length books but also shorter printables you can sell on a blog or through social media.
Self-publishing is one of those things that seems complicated but is actually extremely easy and it’s by far the most passive of the seven income streams I use. I spend $20 a month per book in advertising and do nothing else for marketing, no promotions or book tours, my advertising is set on auto-pilot on Amazon and helps keep my books ranked for consistent sales.
In fact, the ten books I’ve published average just under $2000 a month and give me the freedom to build some of my other businesses that don’t cash flow yet.
Let’s run through those three questions for passive income ideas and then I’ll show you a process that makes self-publishing easy.
First, it costs absolutely nothing to get started self-publishing. You can write your books, do all the graphic design work and publish them on no budget. I spend a total of $300 to outsource some of the steps because I’m just not that good at cover design and it’s worth my time to have someone else format it for me.
How much you make self-publishing varies depending on whether you have a distribution channel like a blog or a big social media following. I promote my books through the blogs but don’t really do much other than the $20 spent on Amazon marketing each month. That means I net about $170 per book every month but I know several authors that make upwards of five hundred per book because they have bigger audiences. Even someone with none of this can make $100 a month easily, that’s over a grand a year and you’re going to see in a minute how easy and fast it is.
That final question of how much work does it take to keep making money we’ve already answered. I love blogging and the channel here on YouTube but there’s a constant need to keep producing content. You don’t have that with self-publishing. If you can stay ranked on Amazon in your book category, you’re going to keep getting sales every single month.
I’m going to give you my 5-step process for developing your book idea and a way to stay on schedule to publish. So many people start with a book idea or just dream of publishing but then get side-tracked. Having a process like this is going to keep you on track and get your book published.
First is to start with the transformation, this is the change you want in your readers after finishing the book. It’s important because people don’t buy books for the information, they read for the transformation or they read for entertainment. Show people how your book is going to improve their lives and build your idea around that.
Developing what will go in your book means starting with that transformation and working backwards through the steps a reader needs to get there. Each of these major steps is going to be a chapter in the book.
You can also do a little research by looking at books in the topic on Amazon, look at what other authors are talking about and what’s missing. One great little hack is to look through the reader reviews to find what people liked seeing and what they wanted more of in the book.
Once your research is done and you have eight to twelve chapter ideas, you start outlining each, just writing out the basic ideas for each chapter. Then you’re going to take it a chapter at a time. Don’t try to sit down and write a book, just focus on writing out a chapter.
This makes publishing a natural fit with blogging because you can post each chapter on the blog. That’s going to help keep you on schedule and make it more manageable. By the time the books written and published, those individual chapters are getting Google traffic. You can go back through and add a link to your book and they become instant marketing.
Once you’re done writing the chapters, all you need to do is read through to format for publishing and make sure they fit together. Formatting takes less than a few hours and you can design your book cover in any graphics software.
Using Real Estate to Get Rich
Our last business strategy to become a millionaire is going to be a mix of that business idea and passive income in real estate investing.
I’ve been in several real estate businesses and an investor since my early 20s. In fact, it was my first professional job as a commercial property analyst after getting out of the Marine Corps that really sparked my love of investing. No other asset class has created as much family wealth as real estate and it’s one of the few investments that every millionaire owns.
So there are several different ways you can invest in real estate. I’ve got an entire video detailing seven ways to invest with no money. Some of these are going to require more work while others will be more passive so it’s a great way to supplement your income from a business or as a part-time side hustle.
My favorite property investing strategy and the one I recommend to all new investors is called house hacking. I’ve heard this one called training wheels for real estate investing because it’s going to give you that initial experience without a lot of the risks.
House hacking means buying a duplex or triplex property, living in one of the units and then renting out the others. Since you’re living on the property, you can get a low-rate FHA loan for as little as 3.5% down and even bad credit borrowers can qualify for a loan. This is one of the first strategies I tried when I got into residential real estate except I used a VA loan from the Veterans Administration instead.
House hacking means you cut out all the travel time and a lot of other headaches when managing your properties so it’s a way to get started without all the stress that usually comes with rentals. You also have less to worry about for repairs because while you have two or three units, you only have one roof and fewer other systems to worry about.
So try house hacking for a year or two before buying any other properties and you’ll get an idea of what it takes to manage real estate. I guarantee you’ll be hooked on the cash flow and that pride of owning a real asset.
4 Steps to Become a Millionaire Fast
Now you’ve got the three strategies I’ve used to build wealth. I wish I could tell you that was enough. I wish it was good enough to embrace those four characteristics of the rich and use one of these strategies to make millions but it’s not.
You see, I’ve seen people be extremely successful and still not reach that seven-figure payday. I’ve also seen people get rich, actually get there, but then lose it all. And it’s all because they didn’t execute on these last four tactics.
It’s these last four action steps that are going to help you not only grow the wealth you’ve created but also avoid losing it. I know it’s a long video but give me just five more minutes of your time and I’ll guarantee all that hard work you did will pay off.
First here is to understand the difference between buying an asset and spending money. The fake rich buy stuff, they spend money but it’s short-term rich. I know. When I first made my money in real estate in my early 20s, the first thing I did was buy a new shiny-red Porsche Boxster convertible.
It was fun but that car almost drove me to the poorhouse. It cost thousands to repair, hundreds in insurance and attracted all the wrong kind of people.
Compare that to an asset, things that create wealth rather than destroy it. These are things like rental real estate, reinvesting in your business and other investments. Use your wealth to buy things that will create more, not destroy it.
Next is to live within your means. OK, I imagine you’re watching a video titled how to become a millionaire because you don’t want to live within your means, right?
You see what it’s like to be rich, to have the cars and the houses, and you want that.
All those phony millionaires you see on YouTube, the ones posing in front of Ferraris and huge houses, this is something they haven’t learned and it’s going to bankrupt them.
I’m not saying you can spend your money and enjoy it but if that lifestyle depends on you constantly making six-figures or more, how rich is that really? Sure, you make a lot of money but you’re a slave to it. Slip just a little and you’re broke.
The way you have both, the way you enjoy your money while not worrying about running out is a little trick I use. You take your last five years’ income, the average annual income you’ve made over that time, and that’s how much you can spend minus 15% for saving and investing.
This way, your spending isn’t going to jump that first year or two you start making money. Your lifestyle is going to gradually build so you’re not living outside your ability. Even better though is that if your income does start to drop, it forces your spending to come down as well without destroying your wealth.
The third tactic, and this is one of the most important is to plan for multiple streams of income including passive income. I love the four millionaire strategies we talked about but you cannot depend on either for your sole source of income. Each one can be a great source of cash flow but they’re unpredictable, you might earn five-figures one month and barely break a few grand the next.
Besides that uncertainty in income, some of these are a lot of work. Put together a portfolio of real estate and you’ve got a full-time job managing rentals. I love Amazon FBA but you need to keep up with inventory, marketing and ranking your pages.
So you need to balance your sources of income. That means some sources that pay off when others don’t. It means mixing sources that are more passive with others that take monthly management.
Next is you need to invest in yourself. Besides just that trait of constantly improving your skills, reading and learning from others, understand how to reinvest in your business. Part of this is going to come from learning how to run your business, what you can outsource. It’s also going to be reinvesting in the software and technology that will make your job easier.
Invest in your business and yourself, not just to keep it growing but to keep it competitive. There are tens of thousands going to be trying to do what you’re doing and some will have all the drive and motivation you have. Being better isn’t just about growing but about staying on top once you’re there.
Becoming wealthy and making millions is easier than you might expect. It comes down to using the right business strategies that will get you there and developing the habits that will make you successful. Don’t over-complicate the idea of getting rich. Start with the basics to build your business.