Start With A Vision |Seek Out Purpose & Joy |Always Think of Solutions | Develop Leadership Skills | Pursue Personal Growth | Don’t Lose Focus |Learn From Other Entrepreneurs | Do What Others Won’t | Help Other People | Know You Can Succeed
Millionaires are a staple of American culture. We watch television shows about them. We follow their luxury lifestyles on social media. We seek their advice in books, on podcasts, and in reality shows. For so many Americans, the “self-made millionaire” is proof that the American Dream is still alive.
But how can you actually become a millionaire?
It all starts with having a millionaire mindset. In other words, you need to be able to think like an entrepreneur. This is the first—and arguably most important—step in your journey to financial freedom.
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How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 10 Steps
A “millionaire mindset” is difficult to define, but it generally involves having a positive, focused, and opportunistic attitude toward your life and career.
Of course, that’s easier said than done.
But there are 10 steps you can take to develop a millionaire mindset, no matter what your disposition on life. These 10 steps are:
Start with a Vision
Seek Out Purpose & Joy
Always Think of Solutions
Develop Leadership Skills
Pursue Personal Growth
Don’t Lose Focus
Learn From Other Entrepreneurs
Do What Others Won’t
Help Other People
Know You Can Succeed
Let’s dive into each one of these steps.
1. Start with a Vision
Have you ever been possessed by an idea? It keeps you up at night, making you toss and turn on your pillow. You scribble notes about it at work. You want to tell everyone about this idea, and you’re not afraid of anyone stealing it because you’re convinced that the only person who can bring it to life is YOU.
If you feel that way about something, then you have “vision.”
For some entrepreneurs, vision means a unique type of product or service. For others, vision means finding a way to improve the world.
When Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, he envisioned a platform that could sell more products—more efficiently—than a retail store, and the company only sold books in its first years. Did he know the online bookstore would eventually make him the wealthiest person alive? Who knows. But the point is, “vision” is often a starting point and not a final destination.
Vision is the foundation of a millionaire mindset. If you care passionately about something, you’re more likely to develop a “do it now” mentality, which you need to be a successful entrepreneur.
Ask yourself what ideas you have that you’re unusually passionate about—ideas for a product or service, or ideas on improving the world.
2. Seek Out Purpose & Joy
You’re more likely to succeed if you’re doing work that’s truly meaningful and which brings you joy.
If you want to become a millionaire, you’ll have to work long hours and overcome challenging obstacles. Only people who truly love or believe in their work are likely to put in the time and effort required to reach the highest ladders of success.
Let’s use the Jeff Bezos example again. Bezos wasn’t particularly interested in literature—that’s not why he chose to launch an online book retailer. But he did have a profound interest in technology, and he was genuinely interested in how he could leverage the early internet in commerce. He probably felt creatively and intellectually challenged by the work of creating Amazon. He probably enjoyed the challenge, too.
When you’re doing work that you love, you’re bound to bring a higher level of energy and commitment to your entrepreneurship. Plus, you’ll live a much happier life when you’re doing something you love.
If you’re only cashing in on a trendy market, then you’re not going to be as engaged with your work—you’re going to be less creative and less motivated. You’ll eventually burn out.
3. Always Think of Solutions
Millionaires are always focused on solving problems.
From a big picture perspective, your whole business or entrepreneurial idea might be focused on solving a problem for consumers or society at large. But problem-solving will also help you overcome all the little obstacles that you’ll face in entrepreneurship.
Try to think positively about problem-solving: a problem isn’t a setback; it’s merely an opportunity to come up with a solution. Thinking positively about problem-solving will make you less intimidated or deflated when problems inevitably arise.
Too many people expect smooth sailing when they launch a new business or entrepreneurial venture. As soon as the going gets rough, they get second thoughts and ultimately give up on their pursuits.
Remember: most self-made millionaires earned their fortune by embracing the challenge of problem-solving—not by skating by obstacle-free. No pain, no gain.
4. Develop Leadership Skills
Some people are naturally talented at leadership. But like all other skills, anyone can improve their leadership abilities. If you’re going to be running a business, you must be ready to lead your employees and keep them motivated.
Leadership generally encompasses three areas:
Business Knowledge: As the leader of a company, you must have an expert understanding of the industry you’re selling. Market knowledge will help you make educated business decisions. You should also have proficient knowledge about running a company—like knowing what’s expected when it comes to taxes, budgeting, and payroll.
People Skills: People skills are an important aspect of leadership. If you’re not very good at talking with people, you’ll have a more difficult time interacting with employees, investors, or even customers. But you don’t necessarily need to be outgoing to have business-caliber people skills. It’s better to be quiet—but kind and communicative— than to be a loud-mouthed bully. Do your best to remember people’s names, some interesting things about them, and any special projects they’re working on for your company. Take notes, if you have to, and memorize them.
Talent Management: The best leaders can get the most from their employees. Try and recognize where an employee’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Give employees assignments that bring out their strengths and find ways to help them overcome their weaknesses—either by training or by paring them with co-workers who have complementary skills. Talent management is crucial when you’re assembling teams for projects.
Leadership isn’t a personality type. While there are plenty of millionaire entrepreneurs who are natural-born leaders, there are plenty who work hard at it every day in a perpetual effort to improve.
5. Pursue Personal Growth
If entrepreneurship were a sport, it would definitely be golf. Golf is competitive, but it’s mostly an individual sport where you’re always trying to beat your personal best.
Likewise, business ownership is competitive—you’re going to be competing with similar businesses for sales—but sometimes, it’s better to focus on your personal growth. The only way for your business to grow is for you to grow.
Constantly try to top yourself when it comes to productivity, business relationships, and cultivating your company culture. Focus on where your weaknesses are as an entrepreneur, and work on gradually improving those areas.
Developing a growth plan for your company is helpful, but never forget that your company’s ceiling is directly tied to your ceiling as a business leader.
6. Don’t Lose Focus
Self-made millionaires tend to be very focused people, at least when it comes to business. Without the proper focus, it’s all too easy to get pushed off course by major or minor obstacles—in business and your personal life.
Whatever you’re making a business out of, it should be a true passion for you and not just a hobby. Here’s the problem with hobbies: we tend to be engaged with them for a short amount of time, but our interest quickly wanes.
As mentioned in Step 1 and Step 2, it’s best to build a business from something you’re truly passionate about—something that’s going to engage you over the long term and which consumes a large portion of your mental real estate. It’ll be harder for you to get sidetracked.
That’s the key to developing a millionaire mindset: it’s not about powering through the surf. It’s more about anchoring yourself to core ideals.
7. Learn From Other Entrepreneurs
Millionaires tend to be people who enjoy learning new things. They’re “coachable” and responsive to constructive criticism. To develop a millionaire mindset, you need to approach business with an open mind and make a conscious effort to learn something new every day.
You can learn the most from other entrepreneurs. Other entrepreneurs have walked in your shoes, and they may have valuable insights on what to do or what not to do in any given situation. Take the time to network with other professionals, read entrepreneur blogs, or attend webinars.
It’s helpful to make this “entrepreneur learning” a part of your daily routine. Do it every morning over a cup of coffee, or on your lunch break, or in the evening before bed.
And don’t forget to ask questions. If there’s something you’re uncertain about, always go and seek out the answer—never let a question slip to the wayside, even if it’s a question you’re asking out of plain curiosity. Keep a notebook of questions you want answered, if that helps.
Long story short: devour as much knowledge as possible, as often as possible.
8. Do What Others Won’t
When you have a millionaire mindset, you’ll be compelled to do what others won’t. That could mean any number of things depending on the business you’re in. For most entrepreneurs, it means:
Working longer hours
Wearing multiple hats
Doing grassroots marketing
Once again, your willingness to work harder is largely dependent on Step 1 and Step 2. If you have a strong vision for a product for service, and your business pursuits are bringing you purpose and joy, then you’re going to push yourself harder than your competitors.
Risk-taking is something that passionate entrepreneurs are more likely to do and more likely to succeed at. Passionate entrepreneurs have a more detailed understanding of their industry and their business plan, so their risks will be more informed and calculated.
Dispassionate entrepreneurs—the people who are only trying to cash in on a trendy industry—are going to get nervous when their business plan doesn’t go as expected, and they’re more likely to make uneducated risks out of desperation and impatience.
Not to sound repetitive, but it’s very important to do what you love.
9. Help Other People
When you have a millionaire mindset, you want to help other people.
Your business might revolve around helping people. But even if it doesn’t, you should always ask yourself what you can do to help people every day. Ask yourself:
How can I make my employees feel appreciated?
How can I help my employees succeed in their jobs?
How can I improve the customer experience?
How can my business contribute to charity or give back to the community?
Entrepreneurs care about helping people because of their innate sense of purpose, as described in Step 1 and Step 2. They find meaning by improving the lives of others.
But there’s undoubtedly social capital at stake. Businesses that mistreat their employees or don’t do much to help the community often find themselves at the mercy of internet-driven boycotts. We’re living in an age when mean, bullying business leaders are getting their comeuppance.
A loss of social capital can lead to a loss of actual capital. Millionaire entrepreneurs understand this, and that’s why there’s a greater effort among modern brands to create strong company values and foster positive work environments for employees.
That shouldn’t be your only motivation for helping others. Eventually, people recognize transactional kindness for what it really is.
Remember: a millionaire mindset is rooted in positivity, humility, and building bridges—in which case, you’ll feel naturally inclined to help others.
10. Know You Can Succeed
A lot of people are paralyzed by the fear of failure. Nobody wants to fail because failure makes us feel silly and inadequate. Sometimes failure has financial consequences.
As mentioned in Step 3, it’s important to embrace obstacles. But it’s also important to embrace failure. Failure is a critical component of entrepreneurship.
As Thomas Edison famously said, I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
You can learn so much more from failure than you can with success. Success is not a very good instructor.
If you’re afraid of failing, remind yourself that your failures are not indicative of your worth or future success. Failing doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person, or that you’re dumb, or that you won’t succeed in your business pursuits.
Quite the opposite! Failure means you have the courage to learn the hard way, to risk being bad at something so you can learn and improve.
Think about failure as a stepping stone to success—if you don’t fail, then you’ll never get closer to reaching your goals. And when failure does happen, just be sure to learn from it so you won’t make the same mistake again.
If you want to become a millionaire entrepreneur, you need to develop a millionaire mindset. There are 10 steps you can take to build a millionaire mindset. But most of these steps are centered around having a positive approach to your entrepreneurial pursuits. It’s important to launch a business in something that you’re truly passionate about, that brings you passion and joy. You should have a strong central vision of what your business can achieve. Your millionaire mindset is built upon those ideas.
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