Whether you want to do great good in the world or just enjoy the finer things, being a millionaire appeals to almost everyone. While wealth cannot be reduced to just a bunch of material things, money sure can bring a measure of peace and security to our lives. Therefore, financial success is something that everyone should strive for. Judging from the stories of so many unlikely people who have amassed personal fortunes, it seems that just about anyone can become a millionaire.
In fact, most millionaires are self made. They were not born with financial security. They created their wealth by working hard and making the right moves. Many were not even privileged with higher education. You might not even recognize them on the street! But they are millionaires and they got to be that way somehow. So how did they do it? And if they did it, then why can’t you?
10 CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EVERYDAY MILLIONAIRE
We could examine many situational factors in the lives of these unlikely millionaires. But if we want to emulate their paths to fortune, the best thing to do is to identify the shared characteristics of these financial achievers. These characteristics underlie their success and you can put these characteristics to use in your own life to get wherever you would like to go. So what is it that characterizes an everyday millionaire?
- They are very skilled in money management. They are millionaires simply because they know what to do with money, using it and handling it in the wisest possible manner. It is not so much about what they have, but more about what they do with whatever they have.
- They are not scared of debt, which is very much related to their knowledge of how to handle money (above). Debt is not seen as their problem, because they have utilized smart debts, and have minimized bad debts. They do not use money in bad ways. Therefore, debt is not the enemy. If anything, debt contributes to their overall financial gains. If any debts are taken on, the debts ultimately end up paying for themselves and become profitable. Have you strategically thought about how your debts can be turned around into profits? Is this the way you think about debt?
- They will often live below their means. This is why you would not recognize many millionaires these days. Living below their means is how they rose to financial freedom and, in many cases, continues to be a key characteristic of their lives. Living below your means creates more money to be saved or invested and can grow wealth tremendously.
- Their budgets include entertainment. Millionaires have lots of fun because entertainment and leisure can often result in greater productivity. But they enjoy fun activities within a budget and do not overspend. Their fun has a limit.
- Millionaires are also characterized by their organizational and planning skills. Behind everything is a carefully laid out plan. They plan their budgets, their spending, their entertainment, and their debt management. Every one of these plans informs their financial decision making, and they abide by these plans.
- Millionaires may be dreamers, but they are also people of action. Through their planning and money management skills, they see a direct path to get wherever they want to go. And they take the necessary steps to arrive at their destination.
- Millionaires are well-prepared for bad times and unexpected occurrences. They usually have money stowed away for emergencies, along with different streams of income. They are always able to cope with failure because they are not dependent on one major source of income.
- Millionaires save for what they want in the future, rather than work hard to pay back what they have acquired in the past. Most people make a major purchase and then spend their time and energy trying to pay back what they owe. Millionaires, on the other hand, are willing to be patient and will not spend money on what they cannot already afford.
- Millionaires see money as a tool. They are not primarily interested in how much money they have, but they are more interested in what their money can do.
- Millionaires are not necessarily driven by what others think. They are willing to do things that most people would not do. They are willing to make radical choices and design their own life, rather than have a life that is dictated to them. They know what will make them happy and they go for it, regardless of what anybody else may expect from them. It is this personal freedom that defines their success.
So what holds you back from being a millionaire?
Going from a low-income to being a millionaire surely requires hard work. You also have to be keenly aware of your financial situation and how to change it. But most importantly, new habits and disciplines need to be acquired. Here are some common things that hold people back from realizing their potential for success:
Unwillingness to change
Perhaps your lifestyle is contrary to building wealth. You keep repeating the same vicious cycles and it just seems like it would be too costly to give up some of your bad habits. Start identifying those bad habits and weigh the costs of what you stand to lose if those habits are not broken. And picture what could happen if certain things were to change.
Don’t think that being a millionaire requires some Ivy League education. Think of people like Steve Jobs or Abraham Lincoln or the long line of others who were not so privileged, yet managed to teach themselves what they needed to learn. If you need competence in a certain area, there are plenty of online resources that can help you. There is nothing stopping you from getting all that you need to know. It is readily available and at your fingertips.
Remember how millionaires think of debt. They use debt in such a way that the debt pays for itself by bringing some kind of huge return. Debt does not have to control you or make you fearful. Debt can be configured in such a way that it serves you and does not master you.
Lack of self-control
Managing your money and your life is vastly important when it comes to financial success, and this requires self-control. If self-control is a problem for you, then develop some kind of plan that is driven by a great, compelling vision. Build your self-control by knowing what you really want and going after it.
By emulating these characteristics of today’s ever-growing population of millionaires, you can begin to climb the same ladder towards financial success and personal freedom. It will take hard work, discipline, and clear-headedness, but the opportunity is there for anyone to seize.