money habits

Some people overestimate the impact wealth has on their life. They think being rich will solve all of their problems, even though that is almost never the case.Money can be a huge door opener for future opportunities. Not having enough money can be a huge source of stress and a career limiter. Here are ten ways that you can fast track your way to making millions in an effective and healthy way:

1. Figure out what your goal really is — and be honest.

Before you embark on trying to make a lot of money, ask yourself why you want a lot of money? Do you want financial freedom? Do you want to look good in front of your friends? Maybe you want to help pay for your younger siblings or kids to go to college?

Once you find the why, you should ask whether making a lot of money is the way to accomplish this goal? Often, people think that a lot of money will solve their issues. Empirically, though, on average, once someone is making $60,000 per year (depending on your location in the world) their happiness increases very little with more wealth.

The other question is what you’re willing to sacrifice to make a lot of money? Are you willing to work 80 hour weeks? Do you value your leisure and spending time with friends and family?

Better understanding what you are trying to accomplish can help you move forward in a more focused and deliberate way.

2. Decide how much risk you are willing to take on.

There are a variety of tactical ways to make a lot of money. This could be by making your way into private equity, it could be by starting a company, or it could be by going to Vegas and taking your chances. Each of these options allows for different preferences of risk.

If you are married and supporting a family, then going to Vegas to gamble (although a bit extreme of an example), could have detrimental consequences. Living by yourself, on the other hand, often allow for a higher risk preference with less consequences that you will have to pay in the case of failure. 

3. Hedge your bets for making millions.

There is a misconception that in order to start a company you have to quit your job or drop out of school. That is entirely not the case. Zuck did not drop out of Harvard until he felt like he had no other choice.

Many successful companies started as small side projects that grew naturally to the point of founder having to go full-time. It is totally feasible to work a secure job while pursuing additional ways to generate revenue. In a 40-hour job, you still reasonably have 20-40 more hours during the week to pursue something else.

4. Pick up skills that can add real value for people.

It is easy to think big picture, but building skills that can generate real value for people is a great place to start. Becoming really good at one thing that is in high demand is one potential way to make large sums of money. By generating these skills, at worst, it provides you with something you can do while pursuing another project.

For example, doing freelance engineering work at $50/hour and 30 hours per week would generate over $75,000 per year. These practical skills are a great way to hedge your bets. Or, if your skill ends up being in high demand, people will be willing to offer high salaries for your skills.

5. Find what you enjoy doing.

It is easy to think about picking up skills purely from the lens of what pays the most. Yet, finding what you enjoy doing is even more important. In the short term, if you are motivated by making a lot of money, you can pick up a skillset and do that work. Over time, though, it is hard to find energy to do work that you do not enjoy.

The other side is that it is hard when the things you enjoy do not pay well. That being said, continuing to explore new passions and being tactical about how your passions might be able to make you money can go a long way. If you are passionate about playing the guitar, for example, maybe there is a way to start a website to help others.

6. Work on projects.

There is always time to work on side projects that can contribute toward your goal of making millions. These are extremely valuable for a few reasons. First, they are a great way to learn and get your hands dirty. Second, in the process of building things, you will likely meet a lot of people. You never know what those people might work on that you could get involved with. Third, you never know when a small side project might become something larger.

Let’s say that each year you work on 3 side projects and each side project has a five percent chance of generating you a million dollars. Over the course of five years, the chance that one of those ends up generating a million dollars is over 50 percent.

7. Spend time with the best.

Surround yourself with people who are the best at something you want to improve in. It will inspire you to be better and will teach you what you need to get here. It is appealing to be the big fish in a small pond, but there is limited opportunity in a small pond.

There are many more learning opportunities, chances for growth and ways to develop skill when surrounded by the best. They can teach you easy it is to be making millions in no time at all. 

8. Invest early and often.

It is extremely underrated to focus on investing money. Spending time to understand how investing works and doing so early and often is an easy way to set yourself up to make more money long term.

9. Stay up to date with innovation and be thoughtful about the future.

The first movers in exciting, emerging fields tend to do well. Many of the first ones involved in the internet age went on to make a ton of money. These were the people that were around with invaluable expertise when it became super important to understand how the internet worked.

10. Work harder than everyone else.

If you want to succeed and make a lot of money, then work harder than everyone else. There is a reason that not everyone who wants to be a millionaire has a million dollars — no one else will be willing to do what you have committed to do. Working hard is crucial.

Finding something you love and can do for a long time and then going all out heart, might, mind, and soul — which means focus and work — and will lead to big time results. In the process, you’ll enjoy what you are doing and making millions at the same time. 

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Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.

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