If you wanted to, you can become a millionaire in less than 5 years.
I was able to do it sooner than that, but it wasn't that easy. There have been many sacrifices to make and obstacles to overcome, but I was determined to make it happen. Dealing with adversity was my greatest teacher and it allowed me to build the type of resilience that helped me walk through the fire.
Some are made to go through the fire; some are made to be fireproof.
Dealing with People
Eventually, I became fireproof. In the process of reaching the 7-figure mark, I've learned dealing with people is the most important attribute. No one can become a millionaire without knowing how to deal with people assertively. You must be prepared when your best friends turn on you or your family betrays you. Sometimes, it will happen at the most unpredictable times.
I had to let old friends and family members know that I was moving on in my life. One time, I pulled a cousin over to the side at a family gathering and told him the truth about how I felt. Strangely enough, he unexpectedly died the next week. If I had not forgiven him for his transgressions, it would have haunted me for years.
Forgiveness is the best revenge. - Unknown
In my first year of business, I barely scraped by financially. That same year, I faced dozens of overdraft fees and late charges on almost every bill. I had to sell my car to keep moving forward. I learned I still had to keeping show up and handle my business, despite the failures and discouragement. Soon enough, I began to prosper and my income skyrocketed ten times in the next year.
Those experiences were hard. The night before I received a payment of $10,000 to speak to a large audience in Delaware, I had to sleep in the car in the freezing cold by myself! At the time, my account was severely overdrawn by over $200 and I couldn't afford a hotel. It's a good thing I had a wool suit that night!
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. -Oscar Wilde
Dealing with Embarrassment
Another time, I was stuck at the grocery line with nearly $100 of goods. When I swiped my card, it was declined. After fumbling with other credit cards, I looked behind me and there were at least ten carts behind me. I had to go home and eat tuna that day--with no bread or mayonnaise. My water was shut off that night too, so I washed the food down with a few teaspoons of rain water!
Asking for Help
At a certain point in my business, I couldn't grow any further until I hired a few key people. Asking for help wasn't my forte, but I had to make it happen. Within months I had a lawyer, editor, personal trainer, part-time chef, and other personnel. It cost me a fortune at first, but eventually helped push me into the million-dollar mark. Most people won't ask for help because their ego is in the way.
I failed English class thrice in high school. One college professor told me that I should even bother writing and failed me in her class. For years, I believed that my gift of writing could never come to fruition, even though I had so many ideas. However, once I started writing books and articles, it changed my confidence. Today, I reach millions of people with my words.
You gift will make room for you. - Ancient Proverb
Fixing My Attitude
Creating excuses was one of my greatest obstacles. I used to blame my environment and upbringing. I allowed my circumstance to dictate my life, instead of taking control of my life. Eventually, I had to let go of these excuses and limitations. Many times, I had to submit myself into the 'attitude shop', where I would sit in my study to renew my mind and change my perspective.
When I became emotional, I'd have to check in with my confidants, telling them the brutal truth about my situations. In the process of making myself vulnerable, I was able to gain freedom, releasing myself from false pressures and anxiety. By sharing myself with others, I was able to maximize my efforts and make major breakthroughs in my life.
Before reaching the 7-figure mark, you must take many risks. Taking risks requires much faith in yourself and others, but it must be done. Faith is knowing that what you want will eventually happen as long as you believe it. You'll have to take major leaps in your life, sometimes not even knowing where it will lead. However, it will pay off once you get to the other side, even if you burn a bridge or two in the process.
Risk is the safest way to go. -Daniel Ally
Showing Up (On Time)
If I showed up, I would come in 'fashionably late'. However, I realized I had to stop this behavior once I missed an international flight. That day, I sat in the airport and looked at my watch: I was only 2 minutes late. After facing that great disappointment, I vowed to be early for the rest of my life. I've kept true to that promise.
There's a great difference between an amateur and a professional. In my amateur days, I would design my own websites, cut my own hair, and change my own oil in my car. All of this would take up valuable time and effort, causing major frustration in the process.
Nowadays, I leave these duties to the professionals since that's what they do best. This way, I maximize all of my talents, which allows me to reach my highest potential. Today, I only keep the best people around me. It costs a little bit more, but I've learned the value in 'paying the price.' That's what professionals do.
If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse. - Jim Rohn
Each year, I faithfully read over 100 books. I also skim dozens every month. In order to become an expert, I've learned that amassing knowledge in my field requires at least 4 hours per day. Along with this, I learn from everyone I meet, studying their intent and purposes, doing my best to understand human nature.