I decided that 2018 was going to be my year to make changes and get the life I really want. Ultimately, I decided I wanted one thing: I want financial freedom!
I want to be free to do what I want, to live where I want, go where I want and have what I want.
In order to have this dream, this lifestyle, and live well to the day I die, I need to make millions.
Why I don’t make Millions?
I, like so many others in the world, had been brought up with the message: Get a good job, work hard and you will be able to enjoy a modest to good life.
This, I have to admit sounded like good advice. My fiancée and I had good jobs and we were living well and saving a reasonable amount of money.
But when we started to think about how we wanted to live, and the life we wanted for our future children, and our future expenses and how we wanted to live in retirement, we came to the realization that we would need to work a very long time and save a whole lot of money. And even then, we couldn’t live the way we wanted.
I knew there was a better way. I knew there were people living much easier. I wanted more than the normal plan would give. I wanted financial freedom.
So I needed some new messages and some new lessons.
I read mountains of material and one of the most helpful resources I found, the one that got me started, was a blog I read for free on Medium.
What taught me to live like a millionaire?
I read Benjamin P. Hardy’s article, ‘Want To Become A Multi-Millionaire? Do These 15 Things Immediately’, and decided I was going to start following some of his rules and try and see if it would make a change.
I would encourage you all to read this article and learn directly from him what it means to live like a millionaire. However, at this stage I just want to explain how rules 1 – 6 have changed my ways of thinking and put me on a path to success.
1. Invest At Least 10% Of Your Income In Yourself
The basic lesson of this rule, is if you want to be a millionaire you need to be committed.
If you just have dreams and plans, you will never really be driven to make the kind of changes needed to have the type of life you want. Also, if you want to be earning millions, you need to have the skill to earn millions. You need to be worth it. To become worth it you need to invest in developing yourself and you need to invest real dollars so you take it seriously.
So I realized, if I wanted to earn big and become a million dollar level earner I needed to invest in myself. To begin with I started by researching and taking advantage of the free information on the internet. As my ideas became more focused I began to make small investments in books that I thought would hold valuable knowledge that I required. I bought several books, which I will expand on at a later date, but by thinking of them as an investment of my valuable time and money, I read them with purpose and soaked up all the knowledge they had to offer on becoming a success and making millions of dollars.
The next step was to up the game a small amount. From my research and reading I learned the value of online resources and the power of being part of a professional community. So I invested in a subscription to Medium. Knowing the valuable insights it contained and that it was costing me valuable money, I was driven to read every day. This kept me focused with the kind of reading that was geared to making money and being influential in the 21st century. It also kept me up to date with what was happening in the world. But most importantly, it put me in contact with serious people; people playing the game at a higher level than I was. This expanded my knowledge, my thinking, my community and my scope of living.
My next step will be to take courses that will work to provide me with the skills to one day launch my own business. A business that I will be inspired by, one that won’t feel like work. One that will eventually lead to full financial freedom and the feeling of working because I want to work and not because I have too.
By being invested, ‘having some skin in the game’, a wild dream can start to become a reality. By putting money and time on the line, it forces you to take it seriously and to make very serious evaluations about what is possible. Also, by expanding your knowledge, you start to answer the questions you need answered. Through this process, my fiancée found out where to invest our money and she made some great moves. I came to know where my skills were and about the areas I needed to go to find that great idea that would make me boss.
If you really want to live like a millionaire you need to be more than interested.
You must be invested!
2. Invest At Least 80% of Your “Off” Time into Learning
I used to think that you work hard then you got to enjoy your time off.
I used to work my full day then come home, go to the gym, have dinner, then relax – which usually meant watching TV, playing guitar, going out with friends, drinking, eating and so on.
Basically, all my free time was about consuming what I earned during my work time.
Rule 2, was a huge change for me.
My fiancée and I decided we would no longer waste our free time. We would invest it. At night I started reading articles and books about investment and making money. She would study the stock market and discuss investment options with her friends in the stock market game.
On the weekend, my fiancée already worked Saturday, so I decided to make Saturday my writing day. It started with 2 hours and then it quickly became a whole day job.
I cut back my drinking on the weekend and invested much more time into productive activities. This cut down our consumption on things we didn’t need and freed up more money to invest. We were becoming more focused on our goals and more aware of our situation in the world.
Free time, entertainment and relaxation are all very important. But like everything, they should be done in moderation and with purpose. We spend quality time doing what makes us happy. But we spend the greater quantity of our free time on making us stronger, smarter and better. This helps us to live with purpose and guides us towards our million dollar goals.
You can’t earn a million dollar lifestyle by paying for free time.
Invest your free time so you can spend your time free in the future.
3. Don’t Work For Money, Work to Learn
By this stage we were starting to invest our savings and feeling very grateful that we were in a situation where we could afford to make substantial investments every month. We were making modest gains from the stock market and feeling very good about our decision to become investors.
However, the dream of being financially free and living blissful everyday was not yet a reality. And it was starting to become frustrating dragging myself into work every day.
In my dreams I was rich, I was the boss – I was making the world a better place with my great wealth and amazing company. But in reality, I was still working day to day.
However, when I decided to change my mindset and decided to see work as a process of learning and not just a process of trading time for money, I discovered much more purpose and passion for it. I came to see that I had skills teaching. That probably the best area for me to make the most money was still in education.
So, I decided not to focus on the money. Work was now a possibility to learn and develop skills. Where possible, I guided work to fit my new needs; as a teacher I was able to choose activities and topics that played into my interests. My students also benefitted from learning about real life issues and skills.
Alongside this, I became more conscious of learning how to become a better teacher, a better communicator, how to use my time better, how to deal with children and colleagues and how to use new technology and so on. I was learning more skills and purposefully becoming smarter, stronger, and better.
Don’t simply work to make money. Work to learn the skills you need to take your life in the direction you want to go.
4. Don’t Learn For Entertainment, Learn To Create More Value
A simple but tough lesson. If you want to be a millionaire, you can’t waste your valuable time learning things that don’t add value.
For me it was difficult. I used to love playing guitar. When I was in Ha Noi, just prior to coming to Ho Chi Minh and starting out on this journey, I played guitar all the time. I was watching YouTube and studying how to play Spanish style guitar. I learned how to fingerpick and I had finally mastered Stairway to Heaven – well I could play along start to end (minus the solo).
I don’t play much guitar anymore. But when I weigh the value of my future success to my family, as opposed to the joy they would get from my guitar playing, I know I am making the right decision.
For others it may have been the right decision to keep playing guitar, but for me I know deep down I don’t have the passion to make it pay – my employable passion is writing, so that’s what I’m working at and trying to master.
I have always loved creative writing and I studied it at university. When I started at my new school I put my hand up to run a creative writing class and I make time every week to write. However, before I was writing very casually and it was very much an enjoyable time filling activity.
Now I write with purpose: if it’s going to take up my valuable time it needs to add value. Now I write professionally; I write to improve my life and my abilities, and I write with the goal that I will one day be able to make something out of it.
The other thing I love is TV. I haven’t been able to cut it out all together, but it’s now a very minor amount of my time. It’s part of that 20% rest and relax time, and I’m cool with that.
Long story short: If you want to be a millionaire, you need to make everything add value. You don’t have time to master hobbies and interests that don’t add value. But at the same time, if you take a million-dollar-mindset to your hobbies, you can turn waste of time activities into a true path to success.
If I thought I could play like Hendricks I’d be a guitarist, and not a writer.
Find your true passions and skills and make them pay!
5. Invest At Least 10% Of Your Income Into Vehicles That Will Generate More Money
The path to absolute financial freedom is by investing money in passive income generators like the stock market and property.
We plan to do both, but at the start, with minimal capital, we started with the stock market. I will cover more on this at a later stage, but basically, the more you can invest and the earlier you invest the better.
If you can start early and put away at least 10% of your income every month, then through the power of compound interest you can create a revenue stream that will one day let you retire before you’re old and allow you to live well.
My partner and I wanted freedom. We want it in 10 years time. So we put every spare dollar we can find into the stock market. We are making good returns by investing in good companies. We also feel a sense of empowerment when we think of ourselves as part owners of some of the biggest companies in the country.
Also, by being invested, we watch our money working for us every day. It is a reminder of what we’re worth and a driver for us to increase our worth. We still live well. Not as extravagantly as others, but we don’t go without. I will admit that occasionally I do get a bit jealous when I see my colleagues jet-setting off here and there every holiday. However, every day I’m buoyed by the thought that one day we will be making money by doing nothing at all. What we don’t consume today will multiply and provide me with everything I need in years to come. That’s a very happy thought.
Don’t work for money, make money work for you.
6. Shift Your Motivation From Getting To Giving
All of these lessons turned me on the kind of purposeful thinking and living that is needed if you want to go for massive success. However, there was still one massive question that bugged me: Why do I deserve to make millions?
I was raised with a Christian ideal for money – the message very clearly was “rich don’t go to Heaven”. So for me it was difficult to say I deserved to be a millionaire. It was something obscene to want to live lavishly and to have more than others. But rule number 6 gave me the answer.
If you want to make millions and you want to be a big success, you need to provide value to others. If you want to have a big successful company, you need to provide something your customers need.
Also, if my motivation is solely to be rich so that I can have a lot of stuff, then I won’t make it. Right now I have lots of stuff and I don’t really need much more – it would be nice but I don’t need it and it makes it hard to work extra hard for stuff you don’t need.
Furthermore, if it’s just about free time for me then that’s not enough. Work gives people purpose. I used to be a slacker trying to avoid work and I can tell you it didn’t make me feel good. I had plenty of free time and nothing to do.
But what drives me is my need to give to others. I have started to develop my idea for a business and it is rewarding because it fixes a problem in the world and it is designed to help humanity with its very real needs. This genuine motivation drives me to write every Saturday morning, even after I’ve worked all week and I wake up already living like a wealthy person. I can see the value and I love doing it, and it’s what I want to do forever.
I’m also really driven for my investments to do well. Not because I want more stuff, but because I want more time with my fiancée. I want to be able to spend more time with my kids, when we have kids. I want to be able to help people in trouble and I want to be a force for good in the world.
If I just wanted the money and the stuff, I would give up now. It’s too hard to win big just for stuff I don’t need. But I have a passion to make everything better. I want to live that million dollar life style I dream of and I want to help as many people as possible.
Make your life a gift to the world and your life will become a gift to you and let you live like a millionaire regardless of the money in the bank.
Now I Act Like a Millionaire:
In Hardy’s list he goes on to explain how to build your business into a million dollar business. I will work through these steps as I start to develop my own business ideas further. But for the time being, I truly believe that following these initial guidelines have put me on a path to tremendous success. In this way Hardy has given a great gift and I have no doubt he will have all the success he deserves.
In writing this I have further fanned the flames for my own mission towards success.
I truly hope that it helps to inspire you too to seek whatever greatness you can envision for your lives.
Thanks for allowing me to share and remember to always keep striving for success.