So, you say you want to be a millionaire? You’re not alone. While we all start businesses for different reasons, entrepreneurs almost always list financial security as one of the primary reasons for going into business for themselves.
And while a million dollars sure doesn’t go as far as it used to, becoming a millionaire is still a great goal to have! It isn’t the money itself, but the freedom that money affords those who have it, which is appealing to most of us.
So, what do you need to do in 2011 to become a millionaire? The answers aren’t as exciting as you might expect. Most millionaires do more than just start a business that brings in a ton of money. They do specific things with that money that helps them reach and retain millionaire status. After all, there is a reason most lottery winners end up broke – it isn’t the money coming in but how you live that determines your ultimate success with money.
Tip #1 – Spend Less
While many think that earning more is the key to wealth, spending less is often the missing piece. Most people end up spending as much as they earn (or a little more). Instead, try to find ways to spend less than you do right now, allowing you to not only have more money, but also make more of extra income that you do make. Try not to increase your spending as your income increases. This will allow you to hold on to more of your money and get you steadily closer to becoming a millionaire.
Take a hard look at your finances to see where you can cut down. Some common places to look include:
- Cable television – First of all, if you plan on becoming a millionaire, you’re not going to have a lot of time for TV. Plus, most any entertainment you could want is available online for free, or through Netflix for 10 bucks a month!
- Cell phone plans – Most people have cell phone plans that are far more expensive than they need. Look at your past habits to see how many minutes you really need and then downsize your plan.
- Internet access – It’s likely there isn’t much of a noticeable difference between your current broadband plan and the next one down. And because many stores and shops now offer free WIFI access why not take advantage? Review your bill and see if downgrading makes sense for you.
- Credit card fees – Start paying off your credit card bills when they come in, and stop paying for the convenience of charging things with finance charges. That $5 purchase at the local deli can become a $25 sandwich that doesn’t leave you with anything more than a few crumbs at the end of the day…and a bill you need to pay. Coffees – Yes, those $4 coffees can add up to wealth, especially if you’re making those stops daily. At least consider brining your own cup and having it filled with regular coffee. You’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll still get your morning jolt!
- Coffees – Yes, those $4 coffees can add up to wealth, especially if you’re making those stops daily. At least consider brining your own cup and having it filled with regular coffee. You’ll save a lot of money, and you’ll still get your morning jolt!
Tip # 2 – Invest More
This year, take the money you’re saving in Step #1 and invest it. You were spending it already, so you won’t miss it, and you’ll turn that same money from a liability into an asset. Not only do you get a tax break in some cases, but you’ll begin to accrue interest from some investment accounts. Sure, the stock market has had its major issues over the past few years, but it still allows you to have a better chance at making money from your savings than letting it sit in a bank account. Over the course of time, the stock market has risen, so while there are dips in the market, the trend is upward – along with your wealth.
Tip #3 – Use Social Media
One of the least expensive, most effective ways to market your business is through Social Media. If you have a business that you want to turn into a multi-million dollar company, you need to start using the online tools available. Get a free Facebook business page, and start building a community. Use Twitter and LinkedIn to send your message even further. The more you can extend your reach, the more customers you will attract. Also, start a blog with keyword-rich articles to help you continue to connect with clients and customers and build your site traffic. As the word spreads, your income will increase and new prospects will come to you – and it won’t cost you very much. Check out our Internet Marketing section for some great articles on this topic.
Tip #4 – Become an Expert
Are you serious about becoming a millionaire? Then become a recognised expert in your field. There might not be a faster path to wealth and fame! Being seen as an expert sets you apart from your competition, attracts customers that would not have otherwise found you, and can even be its own revenue stream. Learn all that you can about your market and then start writing articles and using the tools mentioned in Tip #3. If you have doubts as to the power of this approach, just look at Gary Vaynerchuk who took his parents’ liquor store from $4 million to $60 million a year by following this method.
Tip #5 – Network, Network, Network
While this tip is certainly linked to Tip #3, there’s something to be said for old-fashioned, face-to-face networking. The more you talk to others, the more your business name will be on the minds of others. Have a 30 second introduction to what you offer ready to go so that when you’re with others, you can quickly talk about what your business does, hand out a business card, and connect with as many people as possible. You never know when a quick chat with a stranger at a networking mixer might turn into a business proposal. For some great tips on effective networking, check out this article.
Tip #6 – Offer Products and Services with Recurring Revenue
When it comes to what you’re selling in your business, think about what people need in terms of a product or service that they can use again and again. That’s what millionaires do. Unless you sell very large ticket items, the best way to build your long term revenue is through repeat business. Offer something unique in your business that people must come to you for on a regular basis or that customers can subscribe to. This way, all new customers are adding to existing revenues rather than replacing yesterday’s customers.
Tip #7 – Move to a Cheaper City
This might be easier said than done, but when you really consider how much you can save, it could be worth some serious consideration. If you’re living in an area that is expensive, you’re going to be spending more for everything – from gas and food to housing. If you can live outside of a major city instead of in it, you can cut expenses and invest the difference. Imagine the money you’d have if you cut your housing or business rental costs by 30% or more!
Tip #8 – Look at the Real Estate Market
Real estate is a scary word to a lot of people right now, and that can actually be a good thing for an investor. Housing prices are at all time lows and signs point to people getting ready to dive into buying again. If you’re able invest in the real estate market today, while prices and interest rates are at rock bottom, you can increase your chances of becoming a millionaire in 2011 and beyond.
Tip #9 – Find More Ways to Earn Interest
The more accounts you have that pay you (instead of you paying fees), the better for your personal and professional bottom line. Find accounts that pay you interest to use them, find investments that have higher earning rates, and stop paying as many fees as you can. Banking is a competitive market right now, so you can find some very attractive new account offers. The more you can make your money work for you, the more you earn in the long run.
Tip #10 – Save More
With all of this extra money you have, you can begin to save more. Start by paying yourself, building a nest egg that will support you during leaner times. The economy is on the upswing, but the potential for a rainy day is never far off. When you have a savings plan in place now, you will make more money and will ensure that your money grows, no matter what might happen next. Starting with a goal of saving 10% is a good idea. As your income grows, continue to save as much as you can, and before you know it, you’ll have some serious money saved up. As you do this, remember Step #2 and invest that savings wisely to maximise your earnings.
Becoming a millionaire takes discipline, but it can become a fun game where you are always the winner. If you use these tips, you’re certain to find more money in your pocket at the end of 2011 than you did when you rang in the New Year, and you just might end the year as a millionaire!
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