You have probably heard the expression “the first million is the hardest to earn.” That statement is absolutely true. The first million you earn is by far the hardest million to make. Most people believe earning their first million is the hardest because they start with nothing, while subsequent millions build on the previous.
Most people have doubts, fears, and an overall lack of belief about earning money before they’ve done it. Once you’ve achieved something unusual, the doubt, fear, and worry disappear.
The subsequent millions are earned far faster than the first million because you no longer have any hesitation in your mind or actions. It’s a direct route to financial success when you eliminate any form of psychological interference.
If you are not coming from a very rich background, then making your first million will break a lot of psychological barrier that mentally hold people down in poverty. There are lots of mental barriers that can keep people from getting rich, like “only the rich gets richer , while the poor gets poorer” – The truth is that poor people are getting rich every day, and some very rich people yesterday are poor today. Young people today use technology to accumulate vast amount of wealth much faster than the older generation. Mark Zuckerberg was born in 1984, by a dentist father and psychiatrist mother, a typical middle income family, but today he is richer than any man in Nigeria and the entire Africa (forget dictators) and in fact the 5th richest man in the world.
Other mental blocks include beliefs that “to be rich, you must have connections” – the fact is that to be poor, you also need serious connection to poor people. A rich man will find it very difficult to have your kind of poor directionless friends, just as you will find it very difficult to have his kind of rich, disciplined friends. So it is a matter of choice. If you want to be poor, you need the connections of poor people to surround you as friends and advisers, while if you want to be rich, you will need the connection of rich, ambitious and disciplined people as friends and advisers.
I can go on and mention so many other mental blocks that trap so many people in poverty, but the point am trying to make is that such mental blocks are usually erroneous even though they are forced upon you from every corner, sometimes even by your own parents, the media and the masses. Just realize that because a saying is a common cliche, does not make it right. Question every such saying with an objective mind.
Now from personal experience, I can tell you authoritatively that making your first million is easy if you follow these 7 simple steps.
1. Get a Mentor.
I made my first one million when I was 24 years old. Two years before then , I couldn’t imagine making such amount of money. I really have no clue as to how to even go about making such amount of money, and then 1 million Naira was really a huge sum of money.
However, something happened to change my mindset. I got in contact with a man who later became my mentor. By divine providence and personal determination, I decided to do my IT with this man, instead of going to an oil company at that time. Just being in the same vicinity with my mentor, changed my entire perspective on wealth. One day he gave me a sack of money to deposit for him in the bank. I have never handled such money in my life before. The sack had about N3 million inside, after counting and depositing that money, something just changed in my thinking. I just knew that it was possible for me to make millions. On another occasion, I was entrusted with the task of selling off a full container load of fruit juice in one day, with my initiative. I started early in the morning, and finished that task by midnight that same day. I came back with several millions and carefully gave account to my master. Even though I did not get even N10 extra for myself, I just knew that I have what it takes to be a millionaire. And within 2 years, I proceeded to make my first Million and bought myself a clean Mercedes V-boot.
Many years down the line, I realized that my divine encounter with my mentor was essential to a paradigm shift that positioned me on the path to wealth.
2. Surround yourself with people who will stretch your mind.
What is your dream that is so big that the thought of accomplishing it seems impossible — and maybe even scares you? Do you think you would be more likely to accomplish it if you had a group of advisors who were already playing at that level? If so, take action on forming relationships with them, and let them guide you the rest of the way.
You must have heard of the popular saying, show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. This saying is absolutely correct. Another one, says that you are the average of 5 of your best friends. The Bible says, that if you move with the limp, you will learn to limp and a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
Great people always back themselves up with a “master mind” group. You see them moving together because lions cannot hunt together with sheep, neither can eagles soar with chickens. In life, water always finds its level. A master mind alliance or your “reference group” is usually responsible for 90% of your success (or failure as the case may be). It is made up of those people that talk with you every day and advise you. They are the people with whom you habitually identify and associate with most of the time.
Imagine you are thinking of going into export business, and then you make friends with 3 people who are into export business already. You visit and discuss with them regularly. Do you think it will be easier to break into exportation? what if you never met them, but have 3 best friends who are experts in playing bet9ja. Which group will be of more help to your ambition?
3. Choose your customers wisely.
The price a customer is willing to pay is directly tied to the amount of value they receive. If your services deliver a 10 percent sales increase to company that does 1 million in revenue, then you brought 100,000 in value. If you deliver the same 10 percent increase to a 100 million company, your value is exponentially higher. Would the first company pay you 250,000 for your services? No way. Would the second? It is quite possible.
Sometimes what stands in your way from exponential growth is not you or your product. It’s the customer you are targeting. A select group of customers will be willing to pay you 50 times more for the same service and product you are currently offering. Market targeting and positioning is extremely important in making your first million and in success generally. This article will be too small to do justice to this topic, but we have a full course on this in Millionaires Academy. See the course here.
4. Reinvest in yourself.
The safest investment I’ve ever made is in my future. Read at least 30 minutes a day, listen to relevant podcasts while driving. You don’t just need to be a master in your field, you need to be a well-rounded genius capable of talking about any subject whether it is financial, political or sports related. Consume knowledge like air and put your pursuit of learning above all else. It is called the LAW OF INTEGRATIVE COMPLEXITY. The Law of Integrative Complexity says that, The individual who can integrate and use the greatest amount of information in any field, soon rises to the top of that field.
5. Build a resilient mind.
The biggest differentiator between mediocrity and meteoric success is the ability to work productively for hours at a time. These long stretches are when important work is almost exclusively completed. Focus is paramount and, without intentionally developing mental stamina, you won’t be able to effectively compete with those who have systematically built up their endurance over decades in the business world.
Fast track your skills by being mindful of distractions and recognizing when you begin to wander out of focus. Perform a thorough analysis of your daily activities each night and aggressively seek opportunities for improvement.
6. Think big. Be big.
The science behind goal setting and its remarkable ability to accelerate success is infallible. If you don’t already have your one-, five- and 10-year goals written out and visible to you on a daily basis, do so right now. Now that you just want to make your first million, it will be helpful to write this goal clearly and paste it in your mirror or anywhere you will see it every morning. Don’t just write, “I will make my first million this year”. be very detailed. Write what you will do to make that first million. Example, ” I will make 1 million by December 2017 by serving 2000 people with quality food” or something in that order. Just write something that is big enough, but also you know that you can achieve. And don’t forget to give a time frame, else it will just be a wish and not a goal. Everyone has wishes, few have concrete goals.
7. Believe in yourself.
If not you, then who? Someone has to make it, and nothing is stopping you from being the person who accomplishes your wildest dreams. Nearly every person who has ever failed has had an excuse. Successful people have stories of the challenges that they overcame with creative solutions. The moment you confidently feel that there is nothing you can’t learn or develop to solve the most complex of problems is the moment of guaranteed greatness.
Remember success is a process, not a destination. Making your first 1 million is not life-time success, but it will help lift the veil of financial ignorance off your eyes, liberate you from the shackles of poor mentality, and enforce you with the ability to create changes that will benefit not only you, but your family, relations, and even entire nations.
When you refuse to better your life, you are not the only one suffering. You will also allow your spouse to suffer, your children and your loved ones. Resist the stupid notion that poverty is good. Poverty is selfishness, it is an inability to discipline yourself, take risks and do what is needful even if it is not palatable. The best thing you can do for yourself, your loved ones, your family, your nation and the world at large, is to force yourself to be successful, so that you can add value to life. Remember, if you cannot do it alone, help is always available. If you can afford N5000, then Join Millionaires Academy. I know that many people who wants to be “Millionaires” cannot afford N5000. That is very interesting, poor people love freebies and will spend on stupid things, but they find it very difficult to buy even books that will change their life or pay for seminars. It is easier for them to buy a phone, a pair of sneakers, recharge cards, clothes or even give to their girlfriend or boyfriend. If I say join us for free, sure enough, every person will join, but then 99% will be poor people who will never be rich. Well, we don’t want those, that is the major reason for the registration fee. It quickly weeds out the cynical losers and master complainers, from adventurous, optimistic and more serious individuals. Good things are not free, It will cost you something, but this one, is a bargain. Believe it or not.
However you don’t have to join us, just follow the 7 simple steps above, and create your own alliance. I am just interested in seeing a positive paradigm shift in the way youths think. Right now, the level of pessimism among the youths is alarming. Young able bodied men and women are just wasting away, surrendering their glorious destiny and giving up without a fight, just because they are listening to the wrong crowd. Remember that the “masses” are usually wrong, that is why 1% of the population controls 90% of its wealth. Don’t listen to the 90% friends, journalists, pundits, critics, complainers, nay sayers, gossipers and masses, these failures will convince you that you can never make it in this nation, run away from these destiny killers before they poison your soul with anger, hatred, bitterness and self-defeating behavior. Many people don’t understand the principles of wealth. How can you prosper in a land that you curse? Do this simple experiment, curse your farmland daily, and by harvest time, compare it with previous yields. Don’t join the masses and curse the land in which you are planting, let God judge the politicians, but you should bless the land, so that when you sow in it (business-wise), it will produce bountifully for you. So Seek out and listen to the 1% captains of industry, empire builders, great men and women. They usually don’t have free time to debate nonsense, but their few words and actions alone, will speak volumes. Wisdom does not lie in the multitude of words, a single word is enough for the wise. I love listening to Aliko Dangote, when he speaks, you will immediately discover his love for this nation and his strong belief in our future. When others were running away with their cash and investing in foreign land, he invested almost everything in Nigeria. He saw potentials where others are seeing problems. Today he is the richest not just in Nigeria, but the entire Africa. And today, he continues to believe in this nation, investing $ 1 billion dollars in an integrated rice farm, and several billion dollars in the first private refinery in Nigeria.
So you have the 7 easy steps to make your first million. Whether or not you choose to follow it, is totally your choice. Failure and Success are more by choice than by accident.
See you at the top. Cheers!
Engr Ifeanyi Okoro