Ever wanted to peek into the habits of an actual millionaire? I am not talking about someone who inherited their wealth and is living off mummy and daddy’s money. I am talking about someone who had to build their wealth from nothing.
In this article, I am going to talk about the habits and mindset that allowed me to go from a broke immigrant to a multi-millionaire lawyer, real estate investor and entrepreneur. You’ll find unfiltered and genuine insights that can catapult you to the next level.
Let’s get into it.
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The information contained in this post is for informational purposes only. It is not a recommendation to buy or invest, and it is not financial, investment, legal, or tax advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified professional before making any investment or other decisions relating to the topics covered by this article.
1. Find the Time
Any path to success requires effort.
And that means you need to devote time to it. When I started investing in real estate over ten years ago, I was working full time as a corporate lawyer and had two kids. As you can imagine, I was super busy and exhausted at the end of the day.
But I knew that I wanted something more for my future than just collecting a paycheck from my job and putting it into a 401k that would eventually allow me to retire at 65 or 70.
So I decided to buy rentals and manage them myself. I found pockets of time at night or on the weekends to do this. I made it work and now own a portfolio of rentals that is worth millions of dollars.
Once that was mostly running on autopilot, I then shifted to starting a blogging and YouTube business. In the beginning, I woke up at 4 in the morning to write articles. I spent time on the weekends creating videos. And that paid off too. My online businesses generate thousands of dollars a month in cash flow.
All because I found the time. I know everyone is busy, but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t devote the time and effort to make things happen.
2. Be Mindful of Your Energy
I know this sounds a bit hokey, but you absolutely must be aware of your energy levels and find ways to boost them. Of course, getting enough sleep and keeping your body fit are obvious ways to do this.
But you should also know yourself and when you are most productive. For me, it is early morning – shortly after I get my cup of coffee. I find those first couple of hours super conducive to getting things done, so that’s when I do the most important and mentally demanding things of the day.
If you are off in this area, you will find that you make mistakes, which can ultimately lead to losing both money and time.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Copy the Greats
You don’t have the be the most creative person in the world to make a lot of money. I have found that very few people are capable of coming up with good ideas that no one has ever thought of. Most take inspiration from what has worked and try to replicate it or improve upon it.
I do the same thing. I study and research the most successful people in my area and try to discover what made them so great. I then see if I can leverage that information to improve my business or investments. It seems simple and it is, but most people don’t take the time and effort to do this.
If you can see further by standing on the shoulders of giants, why not do so?
4. Focus on Becoming Excellent at One Thing – Diversification Comes Later
All the personal finance gurus talk about diversification and long term investing. That’s all fine, but the whole point of diversification is to protect against losses once you have money. It is a poor strategy for people who are looking to make their first million money.
When you look at the truly rich, they didn’t get there by diversifying. People like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg had an absolute obsession with making one thing work.
If you want to make real money, this is what you need to do.
Here’s an example. I started investing in real estate over ten years ago. I didn’t know what I was doing and made a ton of mistakes. But I started to learn. I bought better properties, mastered my tenant screening process, and figured out how to minimize vacancies and control costs. This took a year or two, but it absolutely transformed by real estate business.
I succeeded because I did not diversify. I didn’t try to learn how to flip properties or get distracted by other money making strategies or businesses. I devoted my full attention to learning this specific industry and this specific strategy within that business.
5. Exploit Asymmetric Risk and Reward
There is this thing called the risk-reward trade-off. It’s an investment principle that states that the higher the potential reward, the greater the risk.
So if you buy high yielding junk bonds, you can potentially get a great return, but you run the risk of those bonds defaulting before you can make a profit. On the flip side, if you invest in US Treasuries, your risk of default is almost zero, but you are getting a paltry return.
But what I do is try to find opportunities that break the risk-reward tradeoff. I want something that will give me outsized returns with very little risk. Is that a pipedream? Absolutely not.
But there is a rub.
You need to have knowledge and expertise that eliminates or massively reduces the risk, but keeps the upside. Here’s an example. Starting a restaurant is super risky and expensive. The failure rate is high.
But if you are an experienced and successful restauranteur, you have figured out exactly what you need to do to make a restaurant profitable. You know how to find a location that works, you know how to market the opening of your restaurant, you know how to hire reliable staff, and you know how to operate the business efficiently, so it makes money.
This knowledge creates an asymmetric risk reward scenario. They still have the potential for high reward, but their expertise drives down the risk to a far lower level.
6. Tenacity, Tenacity, Tenacity
If you dare to try something big, failure is bound to find you at some point. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. So it is important when faced with failure to not give up. How do I do this? Well, it’s not easy, especially when you have devoted a lot of time and energy to something. Failure can be incredibly de-motivating.
What I do is try to ignore my emotions and go full analytical mode. I objectively examine what went wrong, what worked, and see where I can improve. Usually that gives me a jolt of motivation to try again, but now with a smarter plan. If you continue to do this, you can find success over the long term.
7. Step Back and Take in the Big Picture
Look, money is an important part of life, but it is still just a part of it. Remember to wake up each morning grateful for the life you have and the opportunities that may come your way each day. I have found that taking just a few minutes each day to reflect on all I have to be grateful for rejuvenates my spirit and clears my head.