Apply this analogy to personal finance and it becomes clear that everybody wants to be financially independent, but is it really that nobody wants to do the work? Perhaps this applies to some people, but it appears that unlike bodybuilding’s diet and exercise, there isn’t a clear-cut path to becoming a self-made millionaire. Is there? Is it possible that people just don't know how to get rich? Or how to become rich and stay rich?
Enter Brian Tracy. He’s one of my favorite authors and motivational speakers. He’s been doing his thing for years and he’s helped countless people reach their goals and improve their lives.
I recently watched him give a speech about the “Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires” and he gave several interesting points. He explained that millionaires have been studied extensively (through favorites of mine such as The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind) and that by taking advantage of the law of cause-and-effect, you can take on the habits of millionaires to get closer to actually becoming one.
Here are some of the points Mr. Tracy gave:
1. Dream big dreams.
I think it was Donald Trump who said, “If you’re going to be thinking anything, think big”. This pretty much sums it up because with average dreams and average action, you’ll get average results. If you have a lofty dream in mind, you’ll work that much harder to achieve it. Other people may call these dreams unrealistic, but what’s the point in being realistic if reality will happen regardless?
2. Do what you love to do.
Steve Jobs explained in one of his interviews that his success was due to his passion. He told the interviewer that any other person would’ve given up, but because he loved what he was doing, he kept going. If your heart is in your work or business, you will be twice as productive as the next guy – that equals results! Besides, how fulfilling is it doing something that you don’t love to do?
3. Commit to excellence.
“Remember, it takes just as long to be great as to be mediocre. The time is going to pass anyway. Your job is to commit to excellence, to get better and better each day, and to never, never stop until you reach the summit” – Brian Tracy. Millionaires devote themselves to self-improvement. They read self-improvement books, practice good habits, exercise and eat healthy foods. Every little bit counts, so even if you listen to a self-improvement audiobook on your drive to work, you’re that much more committed to excellence.
4. Develop your unique talents and abilities.
This ties into the last point because by developing what you have to offer, you are improving yourself and committing to excellence. Your unique talents and abilities are what differentiates you from everyone else. A special skill is the value that you add to your business or organization. Be sure that you are not replacable.
5. Develop a clear sense of direction.
Napoleon Hill espoused definiteness of purpose in Think And Grow Rich and Brian Tracy echoes the same point. Tracy is a huge proponent of goal-setting, which reinforces a clear sense of direction. You should know where you’re going and how to get there. “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there” – Lewis Carroll.
6. Refuse to consider the possibility of failure.
There’s no such thing as failure, only temporary setbacks. Tracy talks about how failure itself does not hold anybody back – it’s the fear of failure itself that does the real damage. “Failure” just gives people feedback about what doesn’t work, therefore it should be embraced. “Before success comes in any man’s life, he’s sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps some failures. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and the most logical thing to do is quit. That’s exactly what the majority of men do” – Napoleon Hill. Don’t be afraid of failure.
Keep in mind that while a million dollars in the bank may not be the goal, these six points will help you enrich your life and the lives of those around you. That’s what really matters.