Some time ago I realized that you don’t need to be a millionaire in order to live like one.
What you need to learn how to do, though, is thinking like a millionaire.
The mindset shift happens slowly over time, but then changes your reality as your new way of thinking affects your judgment and actions. You turn into a more responsible, productive and successful person, manage your time and money better, make changes in your environment, reach your specific goals, and eliminate anything that shouldn’t be in your life.
What’s the end result? In a short time, you’re able to start living the lifestyle of a millionaire.
Meaning, you have full control over your time, have the exact amount of money you need to live an enjoyable lifestyle, can travel whenever you want to, learn new skills and have hobbies, spend enough time with your loved ones and also meet new people all the time – and all that without actually possessing a million dollars.
But how is that possible?
Well, money is overrated. It’s all about time, freedom, independence, doing what you enjoy and having less but only the essential.
For instance, being a millionaire doesn’t mean you’ll be happy. In fact, most millionaires are miserable due to the rich people problems.
Managing that amount of money makes you go crazy, it doesn’t let you sleep at night, you can’t have a single moment of peace and contentment without having tens of thoughts about money, business, investors, new projects, or else, pop up in your mind.
But when you only think like a millionaire, and have a small business or are working for yourself making just enough money to do what you want to do with your life, things are much better.
A millionaire may be considered a success in his industry, but often it’s not even what he wanted in the first place, it’s not what he’s passionate about. He doesn’t have any free time to travel or do things he enjoys. He can’t work on new creative projects when he feels like, and can’t get out of the game just like that.
In this case, money becomes a prison. Millionaires often come to the point where they can’t stop making more money, although they want to. Which leads to not being able to enjoy even one meal in silence, not being able to ask their kids about their day because there’s always another meeting, another deal, another call.
So let’s skip that part, and actually live like a millionaire by developing the mindset of a rich person. Here’s how:
A Beginner’s Guide on How to Live Like a Millionaire
1. Spend less than you make.
That’s finance 101, but it’s what average people never do.
The most basic financial rules you should start following at an early age are:
- No credits.
- No loans.
- Spend less than you make.
- Cut most of your expenses.
- Save money.
2. Define the ideal lifestyle.
To think and live like a millionaire, you’ll need to be strategic. But before anything else, you should get clear about what you want in life, and which aspects from your current lifestyle you want to get rid of.
That will be your vision statement. Write it down, in details. Draw the picture in your mind.
Include the people you want to be around you in the near future, the things you’d like to have time for, what you hate about your daily life now (like having to wake up early and go to an office to do a job you don’t like).
Turn the text you just wrote into goals.
Keep that list somewhere close, you’ll have to reread it every time you need some motivation.
3. Hack time management.
How you manage your time is closely related to how you manage your money and life.
It’s a super valuable resource, and if you don’t know how you’re spending it, chances are you’re doing many time-wasting things.
So, write down how your days go for a week. Then, analyze the results.
See how many hours each activity/task/project takes you daily.
Is it necessary? Can it be done in less time? How can you optimize it for better results?
It’s alright to eliminate some things that you thought were important, but which aren’t actually taking you anywhere. That will give you more time for what matters.
To live like a millionaire, be ruthless with your time. Spend it only on things you care about and which are directly connected to your goals, and don’t let random people or daily chores take it away from you.
This means saying no quite often, and even offending someone every now and then. That’s a necessary step on the way to success, though. So don’t overthink it.
4. Start something on the side and replace your regular job with it.
Living the millionaire lifestyle means not working for anyone else, not making anyone else rich, not having any other boss than yourself.
That takes a lot of time, and it’s one of the biggest parts of the whole transformation. So put enough thought, hard work and focus in it.
Here’s the easiest way to quit your job and become your own boss:
- Do your research. See what the Internet offers, how others are creating online businesses, what niches are profitable, etc.
- Choose your niche. It must be something you’re passionate about (so that you don’t get bored in a few years), something you’re good at (either have a skill, experience in the field, or be willing to master it and share your knowledge), and something people are willing to pay for (here’s the time to check out the competition to make sure products or services are being sold in the industry already, and that there’s a chance for you to get a piece of the pie).
- Start building your brand. You’ll be on your own, so your name should become known in your chosen niche. That’s a long process, and small consistent actions are necessary. Learn more about branding. Here’s the time to build a website, learn a thing or two about WordPress, start a blog (here’s a quick guide on how to do it) and join all big social media platforms.
- Give value. Before you make any money online, you’ll need to do things for free first, that’s how it works in the digital world. But that pays off in the long run as it will become part of your brand, and even your portfolio. So start writing and publishing great content on the blog, share insightful posts and comments on social media, do work for free for a few clients (if you already have a skill and are good at what you do).
- Networking. Connections will be built 24/7. From answering comments on social media and reaching out to influencers and thanking them for the inspiration they are, to asking potential customers what their biggest struggles in life are with the sole purpose of creating a product that will help them in the future.
- Make your first dollar. If you’ll be a freelancer and do your work remotely, join sites like UpWork, Guru, Freelancer and PeoplePerHour and start pitching employers to get your first gig. If you’ll be growing your website traffic and then putting ads on the blog, put systems in place, start testing things and create content like crazy. If you’ll be building your own product and offering it on a third-party platform (like a self-published book on Amazon, a course on how to do something for beginners on Udemy, or else), make it quality.
Once you earn your first few dollars online, everything changes. You’re now getting closer to developing the millionaire mindset.
Work on your side hustle whenever you can – early in the morning, late at night, in your lunch break and during the weekend – and leave your 9-to-5 job the moment your online income reaches your current salary.
5. Be a creator, not a consumer.
Those who think and live like millionaires, create. Average people, on the other hand, consume.
Here are some examples:
Entrepreneurs create businesses, rich people make more money, successful individuals give without expecting anything in return, creatives write, design, paint, or else.
But there’s more to that. They also create possibilities, job positions, content, art, inspiration, strategies, etc. They even like to prepare their own food, to write their own books, to generate new ideas, to begin new projects, to think of new ways to do business or hack different areas of life.
Average people, however, who aren’t anything like millionaires, consume the information that’s already out there, buy and eat the food from the nearest supermarket without thinking about how it affects their body and mind, work a job given to them by someone else without starting something on their own, ask others for advice and motivation without finding a way to be their own supporters.
So you see how different these 2 mindsets are. And to live like a millionaire, you’ll need to have the approach of a creator.
6. Fill your time with pleasant and productive activities.
Now that you’re working for yourself, you have your time back. Most of it, at least in the beginning, will be dedicated to work, of course, so that you can take things to the next level.
But once you begin working smarter rather than harder, you’ll be free to fill it with things you enjoy, like travelling, a new hobby, a sport, learning great things that will exercise your brain and help you with your business, exploring new fields and more.
This will make your more productive and happier in general.
7. Be all about numbers.
Numbers are everything. Just think about it.
You have 24 hours in a day, just like any millionaire. How you spend each of them is crucial. So you need to plan your days out, to have a fixed time for everything, to know how long it will take and to optimize things until you’re as effective as possible.
Then comes the number of goals you’ve set. If it’s too big, you won’t have the time and focus to reach any of them. So it’s time to leave some for later.
The same is true for the tasks on your daily to-do list. Too many means your time management isn’t good. Because most of these items aren’t necessary. So you need to define your priorities, put them on top of the list, and start with them.
Tracking every aspect of your business is crucial. Decide on the right and most important metrics (do you want more leads? how many new followers on Instagram are you planning to gain this month? how much money do you need to be making in a year so that you can have the lifestyle you desire? is this exact marketing plan turning enough readers of your blog into email subscribers, or is it time to try something else?)
Budgeting is another thing you should keep an eye on. Know exactly how much money you’re making from each of your projects, and what your expenses are. Have weekly, monthly and yearly lists both for planning and tracking and analyzing results. Here’s how to create a simple budget.
8. Think like an investor.
I’m not saying you should be investing right now (although it must happen down the road), but that you should develop the mindset of an investor.
What does this mean?
That at any moment you should be asking yourself what’s in it for you in the long-term.
Sometimes, this may mean giving a big sum of money for something right now (an online course, for instance), which will pay off in the future (you’ll learn a skill that you’ll add to your services, or may start designing or even coding your own website and platforms and thus save money on developers).
An investor takes each decision carefully. How will this turn out a few weeks, months and even years from now? Is it worth the investment?
Read The Intelligent Investor by Warren Buffet’s mentor Benjamin Graham. It’s considered the best book on investing out there.
Learn what compound interest is and how it works.
Start doing your own research about a particular market, instead of listening to the media, and see how it performed in the last few years, what analysts are saying and predicting, and even make your own predictions on how things will be a few years from now.
Start small. When entering a new market, or even working on a new project, test things first without putting a lot of money, time or energy into it. See whether it’s profitable and meaningful enough.
Just like in investing where it’s always smarter to buy your first stock, for almost no money, just to see how things work, to get over the fear of investing, and to feel empowered and work with money effortlessly.
9. Start generating passive income.
What to live like a millionaire? Earn passive income!
Passive income is about putting systems in place that don’t require you to be in front of the screen in order to earn money. It’s where you do the work first, and enjoy the fruits of it for the rest of your life. It’s also what many call ‘making money while you sleep’.
One of the best resources on the Web about that is Pat Flynn’s website Smart Passive Income. Here’s how he defines what passive income really is:
“Building online businesses that take advantage of systems of automation that allow transactions, cash flow, and growth to happen without requiring a real-time presence.
In other words, we don’t trade time for money.
Instead, we Internet entrepreneurs invest our time upfront creating valuable products and experiences. We work hard now to continually reap the benefits later.”
So, once you’re familiar with the content, it’s time to give you first passive income idea a try.
If you’re freelancing, that would be productizing your service. You’ll make the transition from a freelancer trading your time for money, to a business owner offering a product that helps others.
A productized service means turning your services into products that you can sell to clients. You’ll offer fixed packages, and target a small number of clients but specific ones, that will need exactly what you give them, and no side work.
You’ll need to simplify the process as much as possible, to define 1 main problem of your ideal client and solve it with your product. You’ll also guarantee monthly recurring revenue.
One of my favorite resources online on the topic is Brian Casel’s website.
Another fantastic way to start making passive income is to build your own product (or hire someone to do it for you). It can be a membership site, an app (here’s how to make an app) for the Apple and Google Play stores, an eBook (here’s how to write and publish your first book) or audio book, a course, or else.
Such an offering will be a great addition to your brand too, and you can create as many products as you have resources for and that will only make your income bigger in the future.
10. Develop a growth mindset.
Average people have a fixed mindset.
They think there’s only so much we can achieve, they stop learning things after school, and focus on their limitations and even use them as an excuse not to try new stuff that take a lot of time.
To think and live like a millionaire, however, you’ll need a growth mindset.
That’s actually a concept developed by psychologist Carol Dweck and described in details in the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
What’s different about individuals with a growth mindset?
Well, they believe in the potential each of us has within and that success is just a matter of trying enough times and not giving up.
Such people, like millionaires, are focused on hard work, taking action, being strategic, trying different things until one works, learning and improving. Unlike most people who prefer to procrastinate, be negative about the outcome of a project, avoid learning stuff and who give up after one mistake.
Living like a millionaire will only be possible if you become a lifelong learner and consider each failure a stepping stone to success.
Keep reading books, exploring new industries, talking to all kinds of people and getting 1% better daily. Never lose momentum and hope. Persevere and know that it’s more work and dedication that are the reasons you haven’t achieved your goal yet.
So all that, combined, is how you can live the life of a millionaire. It’s a fantastic journey if you accept it as such and find ways to enjoy the ride.
Think like a millionaire, and you’ll live like one!
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
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