If you wanted to, you can become a millionaire in under five years.
I was able to do it sooner than that, but it wasn’t that easy. There have been many sacrifices to make and obstacles to overcome, but I was determined to make it happen. Dealing with adversity was my greatest teacher and it allowed me to build the type of resilience that helped me walk through the fire.
Dealing with People
Eventually, I became fireproof. In the process of reaching the seven-figure mark, I’ve learned dealing with people is the most important attribute. No one can become a millionaire without knowing how to deal with people assertively. You must be prepared when your best friends turn on you or your family betrays you. Sometimes, it will happen at the most unpredictable times.
I had to let old friends and family members know that I was moving on in my life. One time, I pulled a cousin over to the side at a family gathering and told him the truth about how I felt. Strangely enough, he unexpectedly died the next week. If I had not forgiven him for his transgressions, it would have haunted me for years.
Forgiveness is the best revenge. – Unknown
In my first year of business, I barely scraped by financially. That same year, I faced dozens of overdraft fees and late charges on almost every bill. I had to sell my car to keep moving forward. I learned I still had to keeping show up and handle my business, despite the failures and discouragement. Soon enough, I began to prosper and my income skyrocketed 10 times in the next year.
Those experiences were hard. The night before I received a payment of $10,000 to speak to a large audience in Delaware, I had to sleep in the car in the freezing cold by myself! At the time, my account was severely overdrawn by over $200 and I couldn’t afford a hotel. It’s a good thing I had a wool suit that night!
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. – Oscar Wilde
Dealing with Embarrassment
Another time, I was stuck at the grocery line with nearly $100 of goods. When I swiped my card, it was declined. After fumbling with other credit cards, I looked behind me and there were at least 10 carts behind me. I had to go home and eat tuna that day–with no bread or mayonnaise. My water was shut off that night, too, so I washed the food down with a few teaspoons of rain water!
Asking for Help
At a certain point in my business, I couldn’t grow any further until I hired a few key people. Asking for help wasn’t my forte, but I had to make it happen. Within months I had a lawyer, editor, personal trainer, part-time chef, and other personnel. It cost me a fortune at first, but eventually helped push me into the million-dollar mark. Most people won’t ask for help because their ego is in the way.
I failed English class three times in high school. One college professor told me that I shouldn’t even bother writing and failed me in her class. For years, I believed that my gift of writing could never come to fruition, even though I had so many ideas. However, once I started writing books and articles, it changed my confidence. Today, I reach millions of people with my words.
Your gift will make room for you. – Ancient Proverb
Fixing My Attitude
Creating excuses was one of my greatest obstacles. I used to blame my environment and upbringing. I allowed my circumstance to dictate my life, instead of taking control of my life. Eventually, I had to let go of these excuses and limitations. Many times, I had to submit myself into the “attitude shop,” where I would sit in my study to renew my mind and change my perspective.
When I became emotional, I’d have to check in with my confidants, telling them the brutal truth about my situations. In the process of making myself vulnerable, I was able to gain freedom, releasing myself from false pressures and anxiety. By sharing myself with others, I was able to maximize my efforts and make major breakthroughs in my life.
Before reaching the seven-figure mark, you must take many risks. Taking risks requires much faith in yourself and others, but it must be done. Faith is knowing that what you want will eventually happen as long as you believe it. You’ll have to take major leaps in your life, sometimes not even knowing where it will lead. However, it will pay off once you get to the other side, even if you burn a bridge or two in the process.
Showing Up (On Time)
If I showed up, I would come in “fashionably late.” However, I realized I had to stop this behavior once I missed an international flight. That day, I sat in the airport and looked at my watch: I was only 2 minutes late. After facing that great disappointment, I vowed to be early for the rest of my life. I’ve kept true to that promise.
There’s a great difference between an amateur and a professional. In my amateur days, I would design my own websites, cut my own hair, and change my own oil in my car. All of this would take up valuable time and effort, causing major frustration in the process.
Nowadays, I leave these duties to the professionals since that’s what they do best. This way, I maximize all of my talents, which allows me to reach my highest potential. Today, I only keep the best people around me. It costs a little bit more, but I’ve learned the value in “paying the price.” That’s what professionals do.
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn
Each year, I faithfully read more than 100 books. I also skim dozens every month. In order to become an expert, I’ve learned that amassing knowledge in my field requires at least four hours per day. Along with this, I learn from everyone I meet, studying their intent and purposes, doing my best to understand human nature.
You need the skills to pay the bills. I’m always practicing my keynote. I’m writing a minimum of 3,000 words per day. I’m sending out hundreds of emails each week and making at least a dozen calls on my busiest days. Do my skills increase? Substantially. That’s why I’m continually adding more value to more people in less time.
Early on, I would travel for hours to make a “free” appearance. Time after time, this was worth it since I was learning about the world of business, shaking hands with people from all over the world. Some of my greatest opportunities came from philanthropic endeavors when I expected nothing from those I visited.
With hundreds of inquiries every week, I need to constantly keep track of which ones are most important. I cannot afford to take $10,000 opportunities when $1,000,000 opportunities are available. By using great discernment, I must turn down parties, movies, award shows, speeches, and deals of all different kinds. Does it bother me? Not at all. I just pass along to those who need these opportunities.
One of the greatest decisions I ever made was switching from consumer to producer. Here’s the difference: consumers eat the pizza, producers make the pizza; consumers watch the videos, producers make the videos. You get the point. Instead of selfishly pleasing my own desires, I sought out ways to help those who were in need.
As a teenager, I naturally scoffed at people who volunteered in my community. By my early 20’s I became the biggest volunteer in town! My life was changed once I learned the value of giving my time, energy, money, and creativity to others. When you give, you get far more in return. I discovered that the richest people give the most, that’s why they get the most! The secret of living is giving.
From what we get, we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life. – Arthur Ashe
Set Big, Juicy Goals
You must also set goals that scare you. You must become ultra-specific when you set your big, juicy goals. In my first year of business, I shed blood, sweat, and tears to achieve these goals. I had many sleepless nights, doing whatever it took to get the job done. Today, I’ve achieve far more than I would have imagined for myself.
Following Your Purpose
I was deeply enlightened when I learned this fact: when you become bigger than your purpose, you can’t do anything. However, when your purpose becomes bigger than you, anything is possible. This means that if you take part in a purpose greater than yourself, you can achieve every goal you put your mind to!
Let me simplify how you can become a millionaire in under five years: be true to yourself. Only take opportunities that allow you the greatest chance to promote explosive growth in your life. Usually, it’s by taking a sales position or starting your own business. If you have the desire and potential to make it happen, you can become a millionaire before you know it!
Written by Daniel Ally, a contributor of entrepreneur.com