Relaxing vacations on the French Riviera, huge donations to your favorite charity and an early retirement. These are the kinds of things people think of when they hear the word “millionaire.”
It’s unlikely you’ll ever experience that. Sorry.
Unless, of course, you can overcome the following four roadblocks stopping you from achieving millionaire status. Each roadblock below also offers an “immediate action step” to help you overcome the things holding you back. Let’s get started.
1. You don’t understand how money works.
Money is not a complicated topic, but still, few seem to really understand how it works. Do you? Sure, you can blame the school system or your parents, but the responsibility is still on you to figure out how money is made, how it is held, how it is invested and how it is preserved.
Related: 4 Smart Money Habits to Help You Earn Your First Million Dollars
Millionaires understand that money is not something that is discovered, won, or created by chance.
As I stated in my previous column, 5 Powerful Books That Changed the Direction of My Life, wealth is not an accident, but an action. Building wealth is the world’s largest game, and if you want to win, you need to learn the rules. So start studying.
Immediate action step: Start by reading several great money books, such as:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason
But don’t just read, internalize the knowledge. Debate it. Talk about it with your spouse, grandma and mail carrier. Personal finance can be learned, and by mastering it, you might discover that wealth is much easier to build you previously thought.
2. You don’t value your education.
I get it: you are busy.
You have 25 hours of work to do every day and there simply isn’t enough time to get it all done. That’s the life of an entrepreneur, so something needs to be sacrificed. Chances are, you are sacrificing your continuing eduction, and it’s severely hurting your chances of becoming a millionaire. Wealthy people never stop learning, despite the business in their life.
In a recent interview on The Tim Ferriss Show, Noah Kagan says he takes time every morning to read, as well as setting aside time every Tuesday morning to simply learn.
When is the last time you scheduled “learning time”? Do you just try to “fit it in” when everything else is caught up?
Follow the advice of Kagan, Ferriss and other incredibly successful entrepreneurs: never stop learning, no matter how busy you are.
Immediate action step: Listen to the interview with Noah Kagan on The Tim Ferriss Show. Trust me — it’ll get you far closer to millionaire status than those TPS reports you were planning on working on today.
Related: 8 CEOs Who Amassed a Fortune Before Age 30 (Infographic)
3. You live to your means.
What are you doing with your extra money each month?
I know, you probably don’t have any left over. Your boss doesn’t pay you enough. Your company hasn’t taken off yet. Or whatever other excuse you have. But let’s face it: you are spending too much money. I don’t care how much you make — it doesn’t matter. Everyone lives to their means. You could make $2,000 per month or $20,000 per month and you’ll still be broke.
The millionaires I know have made a conscience decision to live on less than they make. Instead of upgrading their life every time they make more money, they choose to put that extra cash to work for them through various investments, such as their business, stocks, real estate or other assets, which I’ll talk about next.
Immediate action step: Pull out your bank account statements for the past three months. Figure out where every single dollar went, organizing the entire list into categories. Then, create a solid budget for your future. If budgeting is difficult for you, I’d recommend YouNeedABudget. Also, read The Simple Action No One Does That Will Make You A Millionaire. That blog post alone might just make you a millionaire, someday.
4. You don’t collect assets.
A job will never make you rich. Neither will saving all your cash in a coffee can. So how can you build that wealth?
Start collecting assets.
An asset, as defined by Investopedia.com, is “a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit.”
Millionaires collect assets. It’s as simple as that. Do you?
An asset could be a profitable business, a growing stock portfolio or investing in the right piece of real estate (not all real estate is a good investment. It’s what you do with it that matters.)
Your car is not an asset. That shiny new electronic gadget on your arm is not an asset. Your home might not even be an asset. These are all liabilities that are robbing you of future wealth.
Stop collecting these, and start collecting things that will make you money in the long term.
Immediate action step: Make a detailed list of all the assets in your life, as well as their current value. Are you comfortable with this list? Then, make a detailed plan to acquire more assets and make a pact with yourself to NOT buy so many liabilities.
Becoming a millionaire is not impossible. In fact, it’s relatively easy when you have time on your side and the knowledge to do so.
However, it does require overcoming hurdles, which can be tough. If you want to achieve a million dollars in net worth, or more, continue to learn about the game of money, value your education, live below your means and start collecting assets. You’ll get there soon enough!
Thoughts? Disagree with me? What other steps am I missing? Leave your comments below!
Related: Don’t Fall for These 12 Mental Money Traps