The original winner of 'The Apprentice' says a lesson he learned growing up has made all the difference with his money

Bill rancicJohn Medina/GettyBill Rancic, the original ‘Apprentice.’

When NBC’s “The Apprentice” first aired in 2004, former cigar business owner Bill Rancic came out on top.

Today, Donald Trump’s original “Apprentice” is a restaurateur, author, and has a multi-million dollar real estate enterprise in Chicago.

The serial entrepreneur got started early: at age 10, when he started a pancake business with his grandmother.

Appropriately, he also learned a critical personal finance lesson at a young age, he told Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her “So Money” podcast: “It’s not how much money you make, it’s how much money you save. … It was advice my dad started giving me ever since I was a little kid.”

Rancic’s dad isn’t the only one to preach this concept.

Robert Kiyosaki, author of the personal finance classic “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” says virtually the same thing in his book: “Most people fail to realise that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.”

Earning a lot of money doesn’t necessarily equate to wealth. At the end of the day, your salary is just a number, and if the cash behind that number is not managed properly — if you don’t save and invest it intelligently — it can disintegrate in the blink of an eye.

The good news is that anyone can start saving and putting their money to work. You don’t need to be rich to invest and take advantage of the power of compound interest — you just have to be smart and start as early as possible. When you start to save outweighs how much you save.

Rancic sums it up nicely on Torabi’s podcast: “You don’t have to make a million dollars to become a millionaire.”

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