What would you do with a million dollars?
Most people have pondered on it from time to time.
For some, it would be eradicating debt and securing a future for their loved ones. For others, a million dollars would provide the opportunity to experience life without worry and to its fullest measure, opening doors to travel, cultural experiences, without the constant stress of figuring out ways to meet life’s demands. While it may be true that money does not solve everything, quality of life is best achieved when stress is low and your needs and wants are being met. However, most individuals feel millions of dollars are out of their reach.
This belief stems from history and how money has been traditionally made. If you are not born into wealth, fortunate enough to become an actor or professional athlete, or able to achieve CEO status of major corporations, making a considerable sum of money has been difficult in the past. Throughout history, those who were making millions were doing so on a corporate level, through investing and consumer participation. I am sure you have heard the expression, “It takes money, to make money!” which is one reason why most people feel like seven figures is a pure myth. No one has 500,000k to throw down on the investment table, even if the logic behind it creates major dollars.
Luckily for us, the world has changed.
Believe it or not, making a million dollars is not as difficult as it once was. There are several steps one can take toward building a lucrative future. While some pathways require you to start early in life, others do not. One of the most telling revelations I’ve uncovered during the construction of this article is that the many ways of making a million dollars are far more expansive than ever before.
This is how you do it.
1. Prioritize Your Goals
While many of us would agree that 1 million dollars sounds nice, we may not all agree on what we would be willing to do to achieve it. For some who boasts dreams of becoming a surgeon, others considering a lifelong career in the medical field is off the table. Some want to be hands-on and are willing to try new things, while others prefer a passive approach, that requires minimal legwork. There is also the question of risk. Are you able to spend money to make money, and what is your timeline before you need to begin to see returns?
Be honest with yourself and set clear boundaries. The more your next steps align with your natural abilities, life goals, and expectations, the more likely you are to follow through with your plan and see your goals realized.
2. Expect to Have Multiple Revenue Sources
Making a million dollars may not be easy, but there are certainly easier ways than others to see your first seven figures realized. However, what appears to be synonymous across most research is the key to earning money, is to capitalize on success by either diversifying your earning potential or expanding your income revenue further. For example, PrestonPlayz is a famous YouTuber that earns 14 million a year from hosting multiple Minecraft servers, from YouTube advertisements, merchandise, and other sources. He began 10 years ago playing Minecraft from his bedroom. His story began on YouTube and as he found success, he was able to capitalize on his brand by bringing in multiple revenue resources, while keeping himself relevant.
Building up multiple revenue sources is a key component to reaching one million dollars.
3. Creating a Healthy Money Mindset
According to most millionaires, one of the first lessons they learned about making their first million was to not let money become your number one goal. Doing so, can lead to burnout, false expectations, unrealistic goals, and poor choices. Not only is doing so considered an unhealthy mindset, but it actually could hinder your ability to set goals, set clear expectations, or hinder you from making those choices that take more from you but payoff in the long run. One of the most respectable pieces of advice was to shift your money mindset from “I want to make a million dollars” to “I’ll make a million dollars if I…” Not only is this a healthier foundation to build your goals upon, but it shields you attributing success to your bottom line, rather than what steps worked and which need to be adjusted. Depending on how you are approaching your goal, it might take some time for you to find your niche, but do not let this discourage you. It is all apart of the process and will likely become the critical point of your earning narrative.
4. Investing In your Future
Here is where we will discuss two types of investments that are normally associated with financial success: self-investment and investment.
Self-investment in its basic form refers to the belief that you are the key component to success in your life. Self-investment affirms that the quality of time you spend on yourself directly reflects in the quality of outcomes you will experience. For example, self-investment can be something as little as practicing self-care, taking a seminar, experiencing new cultures, traveling, to life changing choices such as investing at a young age, choosing a career, or finding the right education platform. In fact, choosing a lucrative profession is one of the areas most people understand well in American culture. We know that doctors make more than Kindergarten teachers, and scientists make more than social workers. We don’t usually regard this as an investment—but it is. Not everyone has the aptitude nor the want to become a doctor, physicist, or CEO of a major corporation. However, if you are, it can be in your favor.
The Top Ten Highest Paying Careers that Could Make You Millions:
|Cardiologist||$400,000 per year|
|Plastic Surgery||$250,000 per year|
|Orthopedic Surgeon||$400,000 per year|
|Neurosurgeons or Neurology||$400,000 per year|
|Lawyer||$250,000 or more per year|
|Cyber Security||$250,000 per year|
|Gynecologist||$210,000 per year|
|Software||$150,000 or more per year|
|Business Manager||$125,00 per year|
|Pharmacist||$125,00 per year|
Self-investment additionally refers to the time you spend cultivating your knowledge and ability. Therefore, if your aim is to own ten properties and generate income from them, then self-investment might look like you taking courses, doing research, speaking to other landlords in the area, and building up skills to help save you money during your journey! This could be learning home maintenance and plumbing, doing your own landscaping, and taking steps to protect your expendable income. Some people struggle with self-investment because it takes time before you start to see the fruit of your labor, but knowing what you are doing before you do it almost always has greater success than going at it blindly.
Investment refers to how you spend money to make money. The earlier you begin this process, the more money you will make throughout your life. This can include major investments, or something as simple as capitalizing on your 401K through retirement. It is said that investing is your quickest and easiest way to a million dollars, and that the average worker could make more than his dentist if he invests well over time.
The most common types of investing are as followed:
- Fixed Deposits, otherwise known as a term deposit, is a type of indirect investment that you make with a financial institution, in which you deposit a certain amount of money for an agreed upon term. This agreement often ranges from months to one year. During which time you earn money off the accruing interest, making you money. When it comes to term deposits, you cannot remove your money until the term ends and how much you make depends on how much you deposited and the rate at time of deposit. Some prefer term deposits because they earn quicker than traditional savings accounts.
- Real Estate investing is by far one of the easiest and most profitable forms of investing, and unlike others, it does not fall under the age-old adage “you have to spend money, to make money.” Many people start in real estate with little income to begin with. Some choose to buyout properties, flip them, and sell them for a greater return. Others choose to purchase multiple properties and triple their income through rental profits. However, land, hard-lending, or pursuing the commercial real estate sector have rewarding potential. Lastly, some simply choose to contribute to invest via crowdfunding and other opportunities and earn a passive income this way. Though this may not bring you millions, passive income is one way to leverage your skills and begin making money through multiple sources.
Here are the various types of real estate investing opportunities available:
- Single family homes
- Multifamily properties
- Vacant land
- Commercial real estate
- Passive income
- Stocks or “equity” are shares you own of a particular company or corporation. If a company is profitable, you make money from their success equal to how much stock you purchase. Stocks are usually bought and sold in a stock exchange, and often fluctuate with the current market.
- Bonds and Debentures are broken down into types: secured and unsecured bonds. Unsecured bonds are called debentures in America. This is not synonymous across countries so be sure to research different terminology. Debentures appear to be specific in nature and are used to fund a specific project or meet a goal that may be coming down the pipeline. Then, income generated from said project, is used to repay the bond upon success. Bonds in general do not act the same way and are not as risky so to speak. “bonds serve as an IOU between the issuer and investor, and often assets are kept in bods because of the safety and assurance that come with them.”
- Gold is a tangible investment that does not deal in speculative legalities. Meaning you are not holding a virtual share of a company or dealing with insured bonds where assets have been converted. Gold is gold, and in this world, this translates into liquid money. If you decide to invest in gold, you will do so through exchange-traded funds, also known as ETF’s. ETF’s value change throughout the day and fluctuate with the market. Despite gold (being gold) be sure to research it before investing. While some have experienced marked success, others have not.
- Mutual Funds, often associated with crowdfunding, is a collective pool of money put forth by investors to be managed by a single unit whose sole purpose is to make those investors money. A few benefits of mutual funds are that they allow individual investors access to greater portfolios and do not fluctuate during market hours (like ETF’s). When your employer offers a sponsored retirement plan—this is often a mutual fund.
How much you make depends on many factors. It could be swift, or it could take a couple years before you see momentum. Research often points toward the millionaire mindset as being one of patience, with the ability to follow market trends. Years ago, when I was in college, a former professor often spoke of a missed opportunity. Apparently, he was approached by a longstanding friend to see if he was interested in investing in a coffee chain based out of Seattle. Laughing, he passed, thinking who in their right mind would invest in a coffee chain? Millions of missed dollars later, he often peers at Starbucks from afar—and identifies that moment as one that could have profoundly changed his life. I am not sharing this story to provoke you into thinking that every opportunity will be Starbucks, because it will not. However, understanding current trends or partnering with those who do, will get you that much closer.
5. Investing Without Money
There are ways to get experience in investing without putting forth a great deal of money. Everyone starts somewhere and considering small investments to get your feet wet and gain experience could provide you with the piece of mind you are searching for. Here are some considerations to get you started:
RealtyMogul is designed to provide passive income and takes as little as $1000 to start. With them, you can invest in commercial or residential opportunities, which not only works to build your portfolio, but enables you to expand your experience into both domains. RealtyMogul continues to be praised for its ability to offer their investors premiere opportunities and strives for nothing less.
Fundrise is a crowdfunding, real estate platform that allows people to earn passive income that range from the low hundreds to much, much more. With Fundrise, the market drives your return, so be mindful of this as you begin investing. Lastly, Fundrise does not restrict you to one opportunity and allows you to begin with as little as $500.
Remember when I said it is never too early to begin investing? Eventually a little goes a long way! Acorns is a financial wellness app designed to help you pay for retirement by investing your free change to put toward your future. Acorns works directly with your bank account by rounding up your purchases. For example, if you purchase a Frappuccino for $3.75, Acorns takes $.25 and places it into a retirement fund. Imagine doing this for ten to twenty years? This is one way to invest in your future and diversify your income sources.
Public: The Social Investing App
Not only will Public allow you to take your dream of investing to the next level, but it offers you direct access to peers and professionals that can guide you a long the way. Like any other social platform, Public offers a community that works to support you in reaching your goals. This is a revolutionary ideal for beginners, who are needing camraderie and learning experiences. What I love about Public is their attitude and positive support. If you are considering investment but are unsure where to begin, Public should be on your list for consideration.
6. Understanding Risk
I read once that “there are a million ways to become a millionaire” but keep in mind some are more direct than others. While there may be risk involved with any new venture, it is important to determine what level of risk you are comfortable with before moving forward. For example, buying rentals and delving into real estate is likely to be a lower risk than expending a great deal of income on the hopes of creating an app or pursuing YouTube (more on YouTube below). That is not to say that there is not money when it comes to both platforms, but the risk is higher.
What is Risk?
Risk in investments refer to the probability of loss that an investment will not bring forth the projected return. Or in simple terms: losing money. Risk in self-investment works similarly, in that the effort and time you put in may or may not produce expected results. For example, paying over $75,000 on a degree in philosophy may be considered a greater risk than placing that same money toward a degree in the medical field.
It is important to remember that there will always be an element of risk involved because nothing can be assured, and that risk is subjective in nature. What Billy perceives as a risk, Maria may not. Everyone’s situation, comfort levels, output, and person are different, so risk is going to feel and look different to everyone. However, when it comes to making money and spending money, do your research. Find out the risk and weigh the long-term implications before making any solid decisions. Never make a choice that would prevent you from moving forward and remain flexible if something does not work out. There are those all or nothing types that have lost everything they have or earned truly little. This is something you want to avoid at all costs. One way to protect yourself from risk is to learn more about your chosen field. This minimizes rookie mistakes, while providing insight into trends, pitfalls, and how to avoid them.
7. General Pays More than Niche
Thinking global almost always brings in a better return than niche startups that are only relevant to a particular few. Why do you think Walmart is a mega corporation and REI is not? For a moment, you may think I am comparing apples to oranges, but in a business sense, the idea is still the same: to make money. For example: REI is a major retailer that services the outdoorsman, providing high quality gear for every adventure. Walmart has an outdoors section, but also provides everything you may need from one direct store. REI made 3.12 billion in 2019, while Walmart’s final total averaged somewhere around 290 billion. Or think about it this way, would Facebook be half as successful if the users were required to fall between the ages of 26-56 and if the platform disallowed you to post pictures of individuals who are not already on Facebook? One of the solid pieces of information I’ve read on becoming a millionaire is to stop looking at your end goal in terms of money and start thinking about it in terms of people reached.
Humans are consumers, and consumers make/spend money.
The more people your specific brand, investment, idea, real estate venture etc. reaches–the greater return you will see. This is true for doctors choosing to live and work in cities vs. rural communities! Thus, the idea does translate across most future goals. Ideally, if you keep within the two respective categories that the human experience tends to naturally gravitate toward: “needs” and “wants” — you will find yourself making easier choices. Ask yourself: What is the thing that everyone wants? What is the thing that everyone needs? If you can solve a problem, market a trend, or be one step ahead—this can assist you moving forward.
8. Minimizing Debt and Improving Your Credit Score
It goes without saying, if you manage to stay debt free throughout your life, you will have greater access to your money and the ability to invest in opportunities that provide lucrative returns. The average American between the ages of 20 to 30 is over $20,000 in debt. A debt that follows them well into adulthood because of interest rates and other factors. Therefore, keeping your debt low stands to provide you with a wide range of opportunities that all work to see your dream realized.
Another aspect you should consider is your credit score.
A credit score is a snapshot of your financial health, spending habits, your debt to income ratio, and is used to predict the likeliness you will be able to pay off your debt. Depending on your pathway, your credit score matters. This can be the deciding factor in how your ventures will be financed and the quality of your interest rate. This is especially true for real estate investors.
Banks must provide you a free copy of your credit report every year. In addition, you can access your numbers directly on Experian, Creditwise, or Credit Karma for free. Starting to improve your credit or making financial choices to boost your overall score will provide you with greater opportunities throughout your life.
9. YouTube Famous
Everyone wants to know about becoming YouTube famous. I do not blame you! There are major earners right now whose main position in life consist of opening small toys from plastic eggs, offering hours of nature sounds, reviewing other YouTube content, or playing their favorite video game. Some of YouTube’s top earners rake in nearly $14 million a year. However, many do not. Here is how YouTube works!
A YouTuber’s main goal is to gain subscribers… and to get those subscribers to opt in for notifications every time a video is posted. Why? Subscribers and notifications, equal reliable views, and reliable views translate into dollars provided by ads posted on their channel. YouTubers make money from ads. They also generate income from merchandise and other sources, but that is not directly YouTube. Breaking this down even further, a channel that gains over 1.5million views per day has the potential to earn around $7,500 per day, which equals around 2.7 million a year. That is huge! Not 1.5 million views on the channel, but per-day, every day.
What does this mean if you want to become a YouTuber?
Here are some helpful hints to get you started:
- You must be accepted into their Partner Program and to do this your channel has to have at least 1000 subscribers and accumulate 4,000 watch hours in one year.
- Your content cannot be offensive, contain nudity, or violate their ad terms in anyway. If it is, you will be demonetized.
- You cannot violate any copyright laws, nor can your content. Ever wonder why YouTubers are wearing their merch or wearing clothing with no labels? No popular music? Etc. If anything in your video so much as nudges toward a copyright infringement, you will not be paid.
- Pick one topic and stick with it. Most YouTubers began doing one specific thing: unraveling toys, making funny videos, playing Minecraft, reviewing content, etc. And expect to be doing this until you have generated enough reliable viewers to explore your content further.
- YouTube is intensive. Until you hit a high status, you must be adding content daily, nonstop, and work extremely hard to build up your fanbase. This includes maintaining a presence on popular media such as Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and much more. YouTube is one of those jobs that start tedious and gain flexibility overtime. Which makes sense, if you make $14m a year, you can take a few sick days.
- People are not always nice on the internet. I would go as far to say that YouTube is not for the faint of heart. Expect negative comments, reviews, and all the not so fun parts of what it means to be in the public eye.
- If you lose subscribers, you lose revenue, thus you must maintain your status and channel and be consistently posting relatable content.
While there is massive earning potential with YouTube, the reality is not everyone makes money from this platform. Some truly make extraordinarily little despite their best attempts. Keep that in mind so you can research and overcome any barriers that has kept others from reaching their full potential.
If you are considering YouTube as your platform, be sure to read their rules and regulations, speak to other personalities or channel owners, and begin building your brand. As always, having clear expectations and an understanding of obstacles that might hinder your success will keep you moving toward your goal.
10. Perseverance! Do not Give Up
Lastly, but most importantly, do not give up. If something does not work out, find out why. Reach out to your community, rework your plan, try again, and move in a positive direction. Very few people make a million overnight. For most, it is a lot of work and can take several years to get to a place where they are generating enough money to slow down a bit. Be prepared to reinvest in your company or self for the first couple of years, and do not be discouraged if your bottom line looks a bit listless. Many millionaires discuss how for the first years of startup they basically came out even, regardless if their return shows over a million or close to. This is because you are not only making a million dollars, but you are building a dependable income source that will provide for your future.
It is not surprising that having access to a million dollars would change most peoples lives. While money is not the root of happiness, it does assist to drive down life’s stress, provide access to greater healthcare, travel, experience, and assists in providing for not only your future, but generations to come. Luckily, making a million dollars has never been more accessible. No longer is seven figures restricted to generational money, corporate owners, or those professions that most people do not pursue. Right now, there are viable pathways that allow everyone to capitalize on their talents, interest, or financial pursuit. A million dollars is not out of your reach. By taking the appropriate steps, you are that much closer to your dreams than ever before.