Editor's note: This Entrepreneur.com "Best Read'' was originally posted Feb. 11, 2015.
Being a millionaire is very rare in our society. Many work their whole lives and never reach the status. Of course, they'll validate that any way they can, saying things like "I don't care about money," "Millionaires aren't happy," "I don't need that much money." I'm sure you can think of 30 others validations. You don't make a million by accident, and if it's not a goal you sure as hell won't hit it.
This article isn't about the money, it's about interrupting the belief system you currently have and propelling you toward real wealth. Here is what I've discovered over the past 10 years and the common themes you'll see in all Young Millionaires.
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The best companies on the planet love young talent, they love those who are on purpose, and those with a sense of urgency to their life. Google is hiring more teenagers than college graduates, and even a 12-year-old who is just beginning high school.
Realize, now matters more than any other time, and the "someday isle" mentality is killing so many dreams. Opportunities are only opportunities if you're taking full advantage of them. Young millionaires always do, and they are consistently reaching for new goals and ambitions. You must have a sense of urgency that most of society doesn't have if you're serious about success.
2. Elevated influence.
Behind every young millionaire you'll find an educated and wise mentor. I have yet to meet any millionaires or billionaires who don't have mentors that guide them, challenge them, and focus them on thinking bigger. They understand deep down that it's impossible to grow, learn, and become the person needed to reach the million mark without an exceptional network behind you. Success rises and falls on who you associate with so make sure you stay aware of your surroundings. You can systematize a lot of things, but you can't systematize time so make sure you're always spending it with the right people.
3. Maximizing their strengths.
One of my favorite Gary Vaynerchuk quotes of all time is "I suck at 99 percent of stuff, but I go all out on that 1 percent I'm good at."
We're conditioned by our teachers, peers, parents, uneducated coaches and everybody else pumped to give advice that you must "learn to work on your weaknesses," and "strengthen your weaknesses," but all young millionaires focus 100 percent on their best skills and strengths. They learn to surround themselves with people who compliment their weaknesses, or they delegate them. You'll never get wealthy focusing on things you aren't good at. What is your one thing? What can you become the best at? Now, once you master that area, and start producing real results, you can then move to something else. The jack of all trades is seldom exceptional at anything, and usually broke as well.
4. Never trade time for money.
Young Millionaires realize they'll never become wealthy trading time for money, and neither will you. It's ok for awhile, but at some point you have to focus on scaling and leverage.
One of the reasons entrepreneurship, network marketing, direct sales and internet businesses are growing exponentially is because of the endless possibilities and upside. It's not easy, and it takes risk, but you must see past the risk and focus on the rewards. Focus on the power of leverage and how to create consistent income without trading time for money. Investment properties, membership sites, building a brand, partnerships, affiliate marketing, different types of programs, etc. Take some time to really analyze if you're maximizing your time. If you are trading time for money make sure it's an intelligent trade.
5. They don't worry what others think of them.
You must drop the need to be liked if you want an extraordinary life. People who care what others think of them will always be limited to others opinions. You best believe Young Millionaires take very few opinions and have a extremely thick skin. They study how to be mentally tough.
When you pursue greatness don’t expect others to support you, because you’ll represent the courage, strength, and vision they don’t yet have. The remarkable innovator, Steve Jobs use to say “your time is limited so don’t waste it living somebody else's life.”
Young Millionaires trust their vision, and have an unshakable confidence in what they do, even when everyone else is doubting it. I challenge you to stay fearless in everything you do. The reason most don’t take risks, live on the edge or push the envelope is the fear of what others might think of them. If you want to live the life you truly deserve, one of significance and fulfillment you must give up the need to be liked by everybody.
6. Producer first, consumer second.
MJ Demarco in " The Millionaire Fast Lane," talks about the importance of being a producer first, and a consumer second. Here is an excerpt: "Applied, this means instead of buying products on TV, sell products. Instead of digging for gold, sell shovels. Instead of taking a class, offer a class. Instead of borrowing money, lend it. Instead of taking a job, hire for jobs. Instead of taking a mortgage, hold a mortgage. Break free from consumption, switch sides, and reorient to the world as producer. To consume richly, produce richly first. Unfortunately, most people have it backward: consumption and no production. Producers get rich. Consumers get poor. Switch teams and reorient as a producer first, a consumer second. Make wealth attracted to you!"
Those focused on building something bigger than themselves, and those on purpose, are always producing results, not consuming.
I challenge you to take these seriously, and become more intentional in all you do. Most people spend the first half of their lives saying they are too young, and the second half saying they're too old. The time is now, and there is no tomorrow for champions. This is the greatest time in human history for those who take 100 percent responsibility for their economic well being. Respect to you and the progress you’re making towards a world class life.