Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold says that building wealth is a learnable skill. If you work at it, you can improve. “Like most things in life, becoming good at attracting money is no different than becoming good at anything else, be it being a sub-par golfer, losing weight or mastering a second language,” he writes in “How Rich People Think.”
Money, like the perfect chip shot or fluency in a different language, doesn’t simply come to you one day. Getting rich takes sustained work.
Here are five lifestyle changes that have worked for self-made millionaires and billionaires and could also work for you.
Ditch the steady paycheck
Siebold, who spent decades studying the world’s wealthiest people, says the rich are typically self-employed, while average people tend to settle for steadier situations.
“It’s not that there aren’t world-class performers who punch a time clock for a paycheck, but for most this is the slowest path to prosperity, promoted as the safest,” Siebold writes in “How Rich People Think.” “The great ones know self-employment is the fastest road to wealth.”
That’s not to say you should quit your day job right now. In fact, self-made millionaire Daymond John says the idea that you have to quit your 9-to-5 to become a successful entrepreneur “is garbage.”
Instead, start something on the side, says John, who was living on the tips he made waiting tables at Red Lobster while launching his clothing line that would evolve into a $6 billion brand.
Get used to being uncomfortable
If you want to earn more or get ahead in life, you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone, says Siebold: “World class thinkers learn early on that becoming a millionaire isn’t easy and the need for comfort can be devastating. They learn to be comfortable while operating in a state of ongoing uncertainty.”
Stepping outside of your comfort zone could mean taking a job you feel unqualified for, learning a new skill or calling up people for advice. After all, self-made millionaire Bobbi Brown and entrepreneur Koel Thomae both launched their successful careers by cold-calling.
Negotiate your salary
Sure, negotiation can be a tricky business, but not getting paid what you’re worth could mean the difference between an average life and a rich one.
After all, as self-made millionaire Grant Sabatier says, “the number one thing that will dictate your future earning potential and get you to $1 million the fastest is how much money you are being paid today.”
Before asking for a raise, do your homework. Read up on costly negotiation mistakes, negotiation tips and career expert Suzy Welch’s top advice.
Don’t show off — show up
“I didn’t buy my first luxury watch or car until my businesses and investments were producing multiple secure flows of income,” writes self-made millionaire Grant Cardone, who was struggling to make ends meet before hitting seven figures. “I was still driving a Toyota Camry when I had become a millionaire. Be known for your work ethic, not the trinkets that you buy.”
Billionaire Warren Buffett may live by a similar philosophy. After all, the legendary investor prefers to eat at McDonald’s and never spends more than $3.17 on a breakfast sandwich.
Take risks and be willing to make mistakes
Self-made millionaire and host of CNBC’s “The Profit” Marcus Lemonis says too many people let fear hold them back from making important decisions.
“You’re going to fail at something,” he says. “Who cares?” Instead of being afraid to take risks, see each opportunity as a way to learn new skills.
As self-made billionaire Richard Branson says, “nobody gets everything right the first time. Business is like a giant game of chess — you have to learn quickly from your mistakes. Successful entrepreneurs don’t fear failure; they learn from it and move on.”