There’s no surefire way to become a millionaire. But there are steps you can take to put yourself on the path towards multimillion-dollar wealth — and obstacles that could be blocking your way.
To determine what those stumbling blocks are, Business Insider checked out the Quora thread “What are the biggest obstacles to becoming a millionaire?” and rounded up 11 of the most insightful responses.
While we can’t guarantee that eliminating any of these mistakes will make you rich, here are some factors to consider.
1. Lacking determination
Not having the perseverance and determination to make it through tough times on your path to building wealth could keep you from ever reaching your goal, according to Quora user Lukas Schwekendiek.
“It is not as simple as to say that they do not want it bad enough, or that they aren’t willing to work hard for it. Most of it boils down to the internal struggle,” he explains. “Becoming a millionaire isn’t about collecting a million dollars from some place or through hard work. Becoming a millionaire means you go on a journey to change yourself into a person that can handle a million dollars.”
2. Not acting on your ideas
“It’s one thing to come up with million dollar ideas, but a completely different thing to act on them,” says Quora user Bruce Cross. “Millionaires do not sit around and watch others advance in life. Millionaires do take action to help them reach their goals.”
He could be on to something. In a column for Men’s Fitness, billionaire Mark Cuban noted that you can differentiate a good idea from a bad one based on “whether or not the person started a company around it.”
“Ideas are worthless until you do something with them,” Cuban said.
3. Lacking creativity
“If you have no ideas, you are back with the civilians. Civilians won’t make a million,” author James Altucher wrote on Quora.
Altucher compares the process of coming up with good ideas to working out: If you skip the gym for two weeks, it will be difficult to get back into shape. The same goes for coming up with worthwhile ideas.
“Bad ideas are good,” Altucher writes. “You have to come up with at least 100 to 1,000 bad ideas for every one good idea.”
That one good idea might just be a million-dollar idea.
4. Not making connections in your industry
Numerous Quora users pointed to networking as a key trait shared by millionaires.
“You will not become crucial in life if you spend time with lazy people who aren’t interested in managing their money wisely,” Quora user Bruce Cross warns.
Cross pointed to the value of developing contacts within your industry and seeking out mentors to help guide you as you invest and grow your wealth.
5. Trying to make everyone happy
Don’t waste your time trying to please everyone — focus it on your personal goals.
“Some people won’t like you, they won’t believe in your vision or they won’t follow you in the direction you believe,” Quora user Saul Kropman writes. “They might be great people but they’re not right for you and you shouldn’t worry about them.”
6. Not tracking your progress
If you’re not keeping a close watch on your progress, how will you know if you’re getting close to your goal?
“We tend to become what we measure, so track your progress at least once a week against your key measures,” Quora user Selvaraj Mudali says.
7. Avoiding routine
Sticking to a set routine helps eliminate decision fatigue, the idea that humans have a limited amount of mental energy to use each day, which is slowly depleted every time we make a decision — even a small one, like what to wear to work.
“It’s not about copying Richard Branson or Steve Jobs’s daily routine; it’s about creating and sticking to your own,” Quora user Saul Kropman writes. “Wake up a 4 a.m. if you’re capable of it, but most importantly, create a routine that is plausible and stick with it.”
8. Getting too comfortable
While creating a daily routine will help you streamline your days and avoid wasting brain power on small decisions, settling into a comfortable life could drain you of the drive to hustle and build wealth.
“If you want to be a millionaire, you have to put in the grit and you have to strive for something greater,” Quora user Cory A. Martin writes. “You have to realise that you may be uncomfortable (sleep deprived, hungry, skip on your cable packages) to put in the work needed.”
9. Spending time with toxic people
The people you surround yourself with affect your productivity more than you might think.
“The toxic people in your life will drag you down,” author James Altucher writes on Quora. “The good people in your life will love you and inspire you. It’s a push-pull. Let the good people win.”
Altucher adds: “You can’t become successful with toxic people pulling you down.”
10. Only caring about money
Quora user Selvaraj Mudali explains that there’s two kinds of people: those who focus on solely on doing whatever makes them money and those who focus on building products and companies that impact the world. The second group “love[s] what they make and they see making money as a way to do even more of what they love.”
If money is your only goal in business, it will become difficult to develop a clear direction for your company.
“While it is certainly possible to find that one product that everyone wants and grow rich by selling that product, most successful businesses evolve and grow and as they make money, reinvest that money in a relentless pursuit of excellence,” Mudali says.
11. Blaming others
The only person who can make you a millionaire is you.
“Rich people just do their things and take it on themselves,” Quora user Pureum Kim writes. “Many people like to blame others for everything and that doesn’t really get anyone anywhere.”
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