A financial planner says there's something everyone should do before trying to get rich

Smiling couple races wealthyRichard Martin-Roberts / Stringer / Getty ImagesBefore you chase wealth, define what it means to you.

Many people want to be rich.

That’s why we like insight into how rich people get to where they are, from the actions they take to the habits they foster to the strategies regular people use to become millionaires.

However, says certified financial planner Jeff Rose, founder of Alliance Wealth Management, there’s something aspiring millionaires need to do before instituting actions, or habits, or strategies.

“Before you chase wealth, define what wealthy means to you,” he tells Business Insider. “Being wealthy does not have to revolve around money. You can have wealthy relationships with family and friends, or a wealthy experience in travel and adventures. Having wealth can also be defined as having a lifestyle business that replaces the traditional 9-5 job.”

The idea that wealth and money aren’t necessarily synonymous is one echoed by many successful people, including multimillionaire life coach and author Tony Robbins, who says he was down to his last $US20 the day he became a wealthy man, and billionaire Richard Branson, who equates success with being fully immersed in your work — not with how much money you earn.

Rose cautions against blindly pursuing wealth when you aren’t sure of your ultimate goal. Otherwise, how will you know if you’re making progress, and how will you recognise your ultimate achievement when you get there?

Even if you consider money and wealth to be the same thing, many experts advise quantifying that idea beyond simply “a lot of money” into actual dollars: Are you aiming to pay off your house? Save enough to send your kids to college? Have a $US1 million net worth? Travel internationally once a year? Earn a $US150,000 salary?

“Don’t sacrifice your life, family, and friends to chase something if you aren’t 100% confident you really know what it is,” Rose says.

Read more financial planners’ best advice to grow your wealth ยป

This article was written by Business Insider without the involvement of Merrill Lynch.

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