“In a free-market economy, anyone can make as much money as they want,” emphasises self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, who has also studied over 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people.
And it’s never too early to start.
To help you reach the seven-figure mark by 30, we rounded up nine pieces of advice from people who became millionaires at a young age, as well as those who have studied hundreds of self-made millionaires.
We can’t guarantee millionaire status, but doing these things won’t hurt your odds.
Kathleen Elkins wrote an earlier version of this story.
1. Focus on earning
“In today’s economic environment you cannot save your way to millionaire status,” writes Grant Cardone, who went from broke and in debt at 21 to self-made millionaire by 30. “The first step is to focus on increasing your income in increments and repeating that.
“My income was $3,000 a month and nine years later it was $20,000 a month. Start following the money, and it will force you to control revenue and see opportunities.”
Earning more money is often easier said than done, but most people have options. Read about 50 ways to bring in additional income, some high-paying jobs you can do on the side, how you can earn passive income, and the first step to take before starting any business, from an entrepreneur who earns up to $170,000 a month.
2. Develop multiple streams of income
One way to earn more is to increase your streams of income.
In author Thomas C. Corley’s five-year study of self-made millionaires he found that many of them develop multiple streams of income: 65% had three streams, 45% had four streams, and 29% had five or more streams.
These additional streams include real-estate rentals, stock market investments, and part-ownership in a side business.
“Three streams of income seems to be the magic number for the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits study, but the more income streams you can create in life, the more secure will your financial house be,” he writes.
3. Save to invest, don’t save to save
“The only reason to save money is to invest it. Put your saved money into secured, sacred (untouchable) accounts. Never use these accounts for anything, not even an emergency. This will force you to continue to follow step one (increase income). To this day, at least twice a year, I am broke because I always invest my surpluses into ventures I cannot access.”
Investing is not as complicated or daunting as we make it out to be. The simplest starting point is to contribute to your 401(k) if your employer offers one, and take full advantage of your company’s 401(k) match program — which is essentially free money — if it has one.
Next, consider contributing money toward a Roth IRA or traditional IRA, individual retirement accounts with different contribution limits and tax structures — which one you can use depends on your income. If you still have money left over, you can research low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffett recommends, and look into the online-investment platforms known as “robo-advisers.”
The key to consistently setting aside money is to make it automatic. That way, you’ll never even see the money you’re contributing and you’ll learn to live without it.
4. 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 Cardone. “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.”
Need inspiration to save more and spend less? Read up on tips and strategies from regular people who saved enough of their incomes to retire before 40.
5. Change your mindset about money
“Getting rich begins with the way you think and what you believe about making money,” self-made millionaire Steve Siebold explains.
At the end of the day, “The secret has always been the same: thinking,”