8 Practical Steps to Getting Rich
Forbes published their 2019 list of the world’s richest people. According to their latest count, there are 2,153 billionaires in the world.
Jeff Bezos retains the number 1 position with a net worth of $131 B. Bill Gates comes in number 2 with $96.5 B. Warren Buffet follows in the third position with $82.5 B as Mark Zuckerberg comes in at number 8 with $62.3 B.
Jeff Bezos is 55 years old, Bill Gates is 63 years old and Warren Buffet is 89 years old. Given that the top three richest people are over 50 years old, does it mean that age is a factor in attaining great wealth?
Mark Zuckerberg is younger, at 35 years old. He is one of the founders of Facebook. Does it mean that to become rich while relatively young, you have to invent something?
The list by Forbes provides more information to help confuse (or understand) the matter. The youngest billionaire is Kylie Jenner, worth $1 Billion.
Do you know how old she is? 21 years old. And she is a self-made billionaire. No inheritances here.
So what’s the secret?
Clearly, this has nothing to do with age, work experience or sheer luck. Because if someone could be a self-made billionaire at 21, there has to be an effort in it.
Apart from the effort, there are definitely some things these people know and do which the rest don’t.
Today, from looking at the lives of many successful (read rich) people, here are some of the things you can do if seeking to climb up the wealth ladder.
Before we get to the steps you need to take to become wealthy, here are two things to note:
- Get-rich-quick schemes – these are scams. Even if you know people who have become rich through these methods, it most likely happened by chance. Of course, unless they were the ones operating the schemes.
If you consider the lottery, the system works behind the scenes to ensure the business owner makes profit. Even a quick calculation of the participants and the amounts used to play lottery will tell you that the business is making big money. That’s why they can pay for TV ads.
- Take responsibility – the responsibility to become rich lies squarely with you. Your background aside, your future life is very much dependent on your actions. If you decide to wait for the unemployment compensation, rest assured that you won’t get rich.
Your past may have contributed to your present situation but your future can change. Acknowledge the need for change and prepare your mind for action.
HOW TO BECOME RICH
Many people want to become rich but few are willing to put in the effort required. There is some work to be done.
Many observations have been made of how the rich do certain things while avoiding others.
And their lifestyles are not easy for many to adopt.
But if you’re really interested in changing your fortunes, read on and see how attainable riches are.
1. Develop Self-Discipline
Having mentioned lifestyles, it’s important to understand that your habits play a key role in determining what kind of life you live.
Habits are of two types; bad habits and good habits.
These are easy to identify. Just look at your life and take note of the things you do either consciously or unconsciously.
After identifying the habits, ask yourself which habits push you towards your goal of becoming rich?
The ones which push you towards your goal are the good ones. The rest are bad habits.
If you desire to amass wealth but are not yet there, consider all or a majority of your habits to be bad habits. These need to be dropped as soon as now.
And this is where the challenge comes in. If you struggle dropping the bad habits, then your problem is really a lack of self-discipline. If you don’t have self-discipline, you won’t succeed in your quest. It is also likely the reason you haven’t succeeded so far.
Developing self-discipline is important and you have to start at this point.
One of the things self-discipline will help you with is time management. Time management is a challenge to many. But if you master your time, nothing will be able to stop you.
Time levels the ground for everyone. Both the rich and poor have 24 hours in a day. Yet some make good use of their time while others seem to always run out of time.
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.” – Charles Richards
Managing your time well means you have the ability to say no to distractions. These are what take your focus away from your goals and ensure that you don’t achieve them.
Common distractions include social media, watching TV, too much sleep and attending unnecessary parties.
Here is a video to help you with this.
2. Define Success
Once you have self-discipline developed, then you’re good to go. Now you can embark on the actual journey towards riches.
You want to become rich? Start by answering this question: What does it mean to become rich?
In other words, you have to set your goal. And the goal has to be specific.
You cannot say that you want to have a lot of money in the bank. Or that you want to be able to buy anything you want anytime. These are too vague to become goals.
Since you’re just getting started, look at your current life and write down the things you want to have in around 1 year.
These should be things which are realistically achievable though not with your current earnings.
For example, if you make $300 per month, you could aim for three times that figure i.e. $900.
The idea here is that the growth should be gradual. This is because in reality, growth is indeed gradual. This will also cushion you from the possible frustration you may experience in case you don’t reach your goal.
If you set a high amount, e.g. $10,000 a month from a mere $300, then you’re really setting yourself up for a tough time. But if you achieve the relatively small goal, you will increase it.
Moreover, what you haven’t worked hard to achieve, you’re likely to lose it quickly since you don’t know how to sustain it. You don’t even understand its value. This is why many lottery winners go back to poverty soon after becoming rich.
Once you have your definition of success, give yourself a timeline for achieving the goal. With our example of tripling your earnings, you can give yourself a year to achieve it.
3. Believe That You Can Achieve It
Knowing the exact goal you’re working towards is great. But do you think it’s possible to achieve it?
Do you believe that you have the ability to achieve it?
If you honestly feel like it’s too high, feel free to bring the figure down. You can work with $600 or even $500. Just remind yourself that the growth is to be gradual.
At this point, it might help to understand that the extra $200 (in case you go with a goal of $500) will be extra income you never had. Think of it like an unexpected pay rise. The extra money will help you do things you were never able to.
Technically, you’ll have become richer than you were the previous month.
But even that extra $200 needs some real strength in order to be achieved. If that wasn’t the case, many people would be getting richer every second of the day. But since that’s not happening, then you know it’s not automatic.
Your goal may look intimidating, especially when you consider the changes you need to make in your lifestyle.
For example, if you’re used to sleeping for 10 hours every night, you may need to adjust to 7. Working towards self-discipline might also mean cutting down on TV and internet. Is this easy for you?
If it’s not, don’t be quick to reduce your goal further. You may get to a figure that gives you no real motivation as it doesn’t reflect any big change you will experience by achieving the goal.
Instead, work on your self-belief. Get yourself revved up for the task ahead. To make yourself able to achieve the goal, here are three things you can try:
- Read relevant material – it’s all about equipping yourself. Reading and researching is just as important as going to school. The mental abilities of those who have studied a lot are higher than that of those who haven’t.
The more you read, the more your mind develops. As your mind develops, your ability to think, be creative, solve problems etc increases. Having more abilities will naturally make you more confident. This will in turn make it easy to believe in your ability to achieve the set goal.
- Use self affirmations – affirmations are the positive words you speak. You can use these on others as well as on yourself. Simply telling yourself that you can do it and that you believe in yourself can go a long way in building yourself up.
We all need some encouragement to counter the many challenges life poses. However, that encouragement may not be available if you only wait for others to provide it. So come up with the encouragement and give it to yourself.
As long as you can get yourself to believe in your abilities, then you can achieve them.
- Network with successful/rich people – networking with the rich is a form of mentorship. You may not afford expensive hotels or know how to play golf, but there is still a way of getting mentorship from these people.
The trick is in using social media. Just identify 2 or 3 rich people who inspire you. Follow them on social media and interact with their content. These people may not be very active on these platforms but they share a lot of wisdom which can help you turn your life around.
Here is a video talking more about this kind of mentorship.
4. Create an Emotional Connection With Your Goal
With your goal in mind, you should now create an emotional connection with it. The goal exists in your mind. But now you need to connect it with your heart.
Your mind is logical while your heart is home to your emotions.
The reason you need to create an emotional connection with your goal is because your logic is not as powerful as your emotions.
If you argue that you always think through your actions, then this statement may not make sense to you.
Thinking through your actions is a good thing, but it happens that the final decision is not always logical.
This is especially true if you’re not a rich person. This far, had you been making logical decisions, you would definitely be wealthier than you are—by far.
But you’re not.
Because your emotions always, or at least, often, overrule your logic.
Think about it. Between saving some money and going out with your friends every weekend, which one do you often do? Between saving to buy a new OLED TV and using your credit card to buy one now, which option are you likely to choose?
As you will learn in the next step, these choices are very tough for most people.
They may not have the money to spend, but since they want the experience, they go ahead and make an unwise decision.
And this doesn’t happen accidentally.
How Advertisements Work
That ad which you watched or the display you looked at before deciding to make a purchase, was designed to make you want to buy.
You see, marketers and advertisers understand that people buy emotionally, not logically.
If you keenly look at many ads, you’ll realize that their story lines aren’t the most compelling. But the overall ad, especially video ads, they sell you the desired experience.
Ads are meant to urge you to imagine yourself enjoying the experience you’re seeing in the video.
Once you imagine yourself there, you start desiring it. If the desire is strong enough, it can even lead you to debt as you seek to fulfill your desire.
Making the Emotional Connection
With your goal set, you need to imagine yourself experiencing it. This works for any goal you have set.
For our example of $200 more, imagine yourself holding that money in your hands. Imagine the things you would be able to do that you previously couldn’t be able to.
Once you have this, then you have your primary motivation. With an emotional connection, you will always have a reminder of what you are out to achieve.
Whenever your mind gets distracted or feels tired, just remind yourself of what your achievement will provide.
5. Buy What You Need, Not What You Want
The first four steps have dealt with the preparations. Now it’s time to take some action.
This step talks about how to indirectly make some money. It also touches on the self-control you gained after working on self-discipline.
Like a majority of people, you may be buying things you don’t really need. This is easy to start avoiding once you understand the point about emotions and marketing.
It’s important to understand the difference between wants and needs.
Needs are the things you cannot live without, like food. Wants are things you simply desire but are not necessary, like ice cream.
Wants are things you may be convinced that you need but after the purchase, you start regretting.
Or maybe you don’t regret, but realize that the benefits and experience were short-lived.
If you have such an experience, then you were lured by the emotional appeal of the ad or display.
You will need to train your mind in order to withstand the allure of ads. For starters, here are three financial principles to help you:
- Live below your means – this might be tricky to implement if you’re already living beyond your means. It means cutting down your expenses in ways that may hurt you feelings. But if you’re serious about getting rich, then you should not allow your current lifestyle to interfere.
Living below your means will give you the opportunity to earn some money in the form of avoided expenses. If for example you could buy a $400 TV but decided on a cheaper brand going for $350, you’ll have saved $50. This can be channeled elsewhere.
- Don’t spend more than you make – related to the above principle, you should check your expenses to ensure they’re not above your earnings. If they are, you need to cut down on them. Take a serious look at your lifestyle and remind yourself that it’s the reason you’re not rich.
One major problem for many is debt. There is good debt and bad debt. The primary difference is the future value.
Good debt gives you something that appreciates in value. An example is mortgage. The home you bought will be of higher value by the time the debt is fully paid. Bad debt leads to lower future value. An example is a car or TV bought on loan.
Borrowing to buy a car or TV subjects you to great losses.
These things start depreciating in value the same hour you buy them. An exception is when you buy a car for business purposes.
Despite depreciating in value, it facilitates efficient operations—if you’ve done your math right.
- Track your expenses – you need to learn the discipline of using a budget. Once you get paid, draft a list of necessary expenses and the amounts required for them. If the amount is more than you have, make amends until everything fits. Keep in mind the above principles.
Once you have your budget, stick to it. Do not be distracted by your inner critic who may tell you that you need a life.
That you need to make room for fun activities. If your budget doesn’t allow it, skip it. Be firm with yourself and remember that it’s only a matter of time.
“Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin
Do not fall into the trap of wanting more now and even more later, without having a consistent source of income to support it. Deny yourself now to enjoy the future.
You can ask a close friend to help keep you accountable. You can even take this journey together.
6. Don’t Save, Invest
With some extra cash from minimizing your expenses or your normal savings amount if any, be wise in what you do with it.
The advise to save some money is widespread and that’s not a bad thing.
However, it is worth noting that savings pay very little interest compared to what investments do.
And in case you didn’t know it, the banks you save with, invest the money so they can pay you interest from what they earn.
Can’t you be as smart as they? Or even smarter?
When we talk of investing, do not automatically think about huge sums of money required to start off.
There are many types of investments. There are investments requiring huge capital like real estate.
But these are not the only available options.
There are other investments requiring relatively low capital like mutual funds.
Something else to consider is the time value of money. This refers to the reality that the value of money changes over time. And in most cases, it reduces. The value of $1,000 now is not the same as its value two years from now.
Whatever the money can buy now, may be too expensive later.
This means that the extra money you have is better off increasing in value as quickly as possible. This is why experienced investors calculate the Required Rate of Return to ascertain the profitability of an investment.
Before investing, take time to do some homework. Educate yourself on the various investment options and listen to expert advice.
7. Build Multiple Income Streams
One of the things you’ll discover when looking at the lives of rich people is that they don’t put all their eggs in the one basket. Not only is that risky, it’s also foolish.
No matter how profitable a venture is, never put all your money in it. You can have the majority of your investments there but certainly not all of it.
Remember to also invest in the areas you understand well. This prevents over-reliance on people’s advice such that you cannot move except at their word.
As for diversity in investments, there are many options available.
Some are easy while others aren’t so easy.
Still, it depends on the knowledge you have, your willingness to learn and keep up with new information and how much time you have.
Two common and successfully-implemented income ideas are:
- Blogging – blogging is very popular since it’s mainly a matter of writing and expressing your own opinions. But don’t be fooled, blogging isn’t a skill everyone has naturally. Just as some people can convince others more easily than others, some bloggers are just naturally good.
Blogging is also an art. And in that regard, you can learn how to blog successfully.
If you decide that blogging is the way to go, understand that bloggers make money from the traffic their blogs enjoy. As such, you have to first of all attract many readers to your blog.
Once your blog is popular enough, you can make money through ads. This is the primary way of earning for most bloggers. You can run ads which people click on or promote products and get paid if your readers buy them.
- Online courses – some people, especially those with a skill in teaching, make money by selling courses online. These courses are usually not time-constrained. It is not a must for them to be finished within a certain time frame.
The convenience of learning at your own pace and having access to the teacher (in some cases) is enough for many to buy. These courses are usually cheaper than what you might get in the traditional school systems.
If you have an area of expertise, this is a great income generating idea. Just ensure your website is well designed and secure for the financial transactions.
Also, make sure the courses provide real value to those who take them. That will increase the chances of earning from referrals.
Watch this video for more ideas on how you can make money through various channels.
From the video, pick three or more ideas which you can implement and implement them.
Do more research on them and learn how to get started and keep going. Put in the required effort and push forward toward your goal.
Remember the specific definition of riches you set for yourself.
8. Be Persistent
In many cases, the hard work is not in figuring out what to do; but in starting to do it.
Ask a number of entrepreneurs about this and they will confirm it. There is usually a fear to be overcome before any business is started. You will have many questions about the business.
Is this the right business idea? Will it last or go down after several months? Will it bring me the expected returns? Have I done enough research?
Here is free advice for you: do not waste time trying to justify your decision to your inner critic.
Find out what income-generating ideas you can implement.
Do your research on how to get started and keep going. Listen to the advice of those who have successfully done it.
Work hard at it and you will see the results come in.
Remember that we started by talking about discipline.
Decide that you’re going to work on the ideas and build them up.
Once you’re started, decide that you will overcome the challenges which will come. When challenges come, take them as opportunities to become stronger.
Do not give up and always stay focused. As long as you persist in your desire and keep in touch with the emotional connection to your goal, you will succeed.
Great wealth comes from hard work. The hard work is put in at the initial stages and acts as the foundation.
As with a building, the foundation doesn’t look beautiful and has little to show for the effort.
But once the building is finished, the bigger it is, the more appreciative of the foundation you’ll be.
Be willing to put in the hard work to build the foundation. Once the systems of income streams are in place, the money will flow in will little effort.
Then you can enjoy vacations and other luxuries with little worry since your money is working for you.
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