Here’s how I went from broke to a millionaire in 5 years…
I was the classic sample of a “model immigrant.”
I first came to the United States after I graduated from college in Southeast Asia. I attended an American Studies summer program at the University of California Berkeley. It was eye-opening. So when I went back to my home country, I planned to go back to the USA. This time, I chose the sunny San Diego for graduate school.
Things didn’t turn out as well as I thought.
I did some fun stuff while going to school in this So-Cal ocean side city, but life did get in the way. Something happened at home thousands of miles away – and I went from a penny-pinching student to having no penny to pinch at all.
After obtaining a work permit, I worked as a pet groomer, a sushi maker, a legal assistant, and eventually, as a writer for several dot-coms. It was during Web 1.0 era, so websites weren’t that sophisticated. Amazon was still losing money, and social media networks haven’t existed.
I learned the hard way what would make a great writer and an online worker. I read more than 300 books, so I was able to distinguish “good writing” from “bad writing.” At that time, I wrote for several online publications, which most of them are now defunct when the dot-com bubble burst in 2001.
The sudden downward spiral in the tech industry made me lose more than half of my income. Financially, I was as low as I had ever been. But I kept on peddling despite bouts of depression. And it proved to be a wise move.
During that trying time, I learned to adopt these 10 habits, which I still do to this very day. I attribute these to the American way of thinking and living, as well as those self-help motivational books I read for my writing and editing jobs.
Interested in how to be a millionaire? Try these habits and see how they change your life.
10 Habits That Taught Me How to Be a Millionaire
1. Re-framing negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
You probably have heard about it millions of times. Think positive, not negative. Well, not quite. We can never be 100 percent control our thoughts. We can, however, re-frame every negative thought or perception into something useful and meaningful.
2. Giving without expecting anything in return.
If you are low on cash, give out information or encouragement. If you’re good at writing, write on your blog. Give out anything to add value to yourself and others. Open opportunities. Recommend people to things that would matter to them in the next few years.
Just give without expecting anything in return. Let the Universe surprises you with what it gives you in the future.
3. Filling idle time by sending a positive vibe to the universe.
Sometimes, we need to wait for our turn in life, like when at the dentist or the cashier. Use those few minutes to pray instead of checking your Facebook account and liking friends’ photos all the time. Praying is sending out positive vibration to the world.
Whether you’re a believer or a non-believer of God, it is a good way to recharge and cleanse our mind from the chaos of modern life. Sending positive energy into the world is a good start on how to be a millionaire.
4. Using hardship as a springboard.
When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade in large quantities, so you become the founder of a lucrative lemonade business. You can, of course, start with selling on a lemonade stand to begin with.
In short, think of a hardship as an opportunity to prove yourself. If your two-bedroom house was engulfed in flame, rebuild a mansion with four bedrooms. If you failed the first try, take another test and pass it with an A+. Use struggles as lessons on how to be a millionaire very soon.
5. Focusing on earning instead of saving.
An adage said, “It’s not what you earn but what you save.” It’s true, but it’s not the whole truth. You should focus on earning instead. Always strive to increase what your income, but limit your spending. Make measurable goals, like multiplying your earning every few months by learning new skills and starting micro online businesses.
6. Buying experiences instead of things.
I no longer buy things on sale. They satisfied my thirst for shopping but, over time, the stuff I accumulated became “trash.” Now I prefer traveling to interesting places, spending quality time with my loved ones, and savoring delicious international cuisines. They last longer in memory and they bring more smiles whenever we recall them.
7. Being a good friend to like-minded and kind-hearted individuals.
Many people would love to be your friend – but be choosy. There are levels of friendship. Make sure your inner circle consists of at least five successful, self-made, and kind-hearted individuals who are ready to help each other.
8. Creating multiple sources of income.
There are three types of income: hourly, per project, and residual. Combine all three, if you still need to feel “secure” by having a 9-to–5 job. At this point in life, I only work on “per project” and residual incomes.
9. Creating several residual sources of income.
If you want to know how to be a millionaire, you need to learn about creating sources of residual income.
Both online and opportunities are available to choose from. You can rent out properties, equipment, luxury items, and others. You can have an online business that generates earning even while you sleep. The key is having MORE than one source.
Imagine having to own two condo units and three online businesses. For instance: those two condos net $1500 per month and three online businesses net $2000 each per month. In total, you’d make $8500 per month. And the sky is the limit!
10. Learning from mistakes, because every single mistake is just “another way that doesn’t work.”
Mistakes are a dime a dozen. You can’t avoid them. You just need to go through them for experience and earn a badge of honor. Every mistake is a learning opportunity that you should take note of, study, and move on from.
Want to learn how to be a millionaire? First create habits – then let these habits help create your wealth for you.
From time to time, I do experience “low cash flow” when my bank account is close to zero. I no longer blame or label myself as a “poor” or a “loser.” I was, and still am, a millionaire, despite occasional low cash flow. I have all these ten habits that propelled me to millionairedom in the first place. And they’re likely keeping me there for as long as I live.