How to Make a Million Dollars [13 Great Ways Updated for 2022 ]

How to Make a Million Dollars [13 Great Ways Updated for 2022 ]

Start with Something That You Are Passionate About

The journey to success starts with passion  — you can achieve anything you are passionate about. Since I loved sports, I started brainstorming a business concept around sports. At that time, I really had no idea about how to make money around my interest in sports, but I knew that the first step was to just get started.

Some people are stuck at the beginning of their journey because they want to be perfect in everything — make a perfect plan, strategy, program, and anything else on their to-do list. In the end, they never made a dime because they were stuck in their tracks when what they should have been doing at the start was experimenting. You have to take action, even if your plan is not perfect. Keep in mind that good and done is better than perfect and never done/never profitable. 

I learned this lesson the hard way, causing me to lose time and money. It took me several months to create a website because I was so focused on small matters with minimal impact on my success, such as a good domain name, the right website graphics, the best content topics, the perfect logo design, and more. I was so busy doing things that didn’t matter much when I should have focused more on adding value to my audience.

A mentor told me to check out LinkedIn for opportunities, and I found out it was a good platform for me to start connecting with people around my interest in sports and add value to them. I created a sports network, established connections with sports executives and experts in the business, and learned valuable lessons from them. 

I interviewed famous sports personalities and posted these interviews on my website, promoting them without charge by sharing these interviews on LinkedIn and other platforms. In the end, I added value to these mentors with my free services while learning from them. At the same time, I also provided value to the readers by sharing with them the success journeys and inspiring stories of successful people. 

Later on, I started hosting and organizing Linkedin events and webinars, charging a small fee to the attendees so I could buy my own food and personal needs. I was already earning a few thousand dollars every month from these events where I talked about subjects I was passionate about. I wouldn’t have gotten to that point if I had tried to do everything perfectly — find something that you’re interested in and take messy action to get started — you’ll refine your process later!

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Making a Million Dollars: By The Numbers

  • Earning a million bucks in a year requires that you earn $83,333 per month.
  • That breaks down to $20,830 per week.
  • Based on the average 40-hour workweek, that means you need to earn $480.00 per hour.
  • But, we’re looking at a 5-year plan, so the amount you need to earn per hour is now $96.

Let’s assume that you’re not actively working to earn one million dollars, but that it’s achieved through passive income streams.

$1,000,000 / 8,760 hours in a year / 5 years = $22 per hour

Figuring out how to make $22 per hour through passive income isn’t nearly as scary as trying to come up with a business plan to generate one million dollars overnight, is it?

Now you can see just how manageable this goal is.

So here are 13 ways to make a million dollars in five years. And they’re totally doable.

2. Crush Your Self-Doubt

The right mindset is often the deciding factor between earning as much money as you need, and constantly trying but never getting there.

You might feel that you lack formal education…

Or that you don’t have enough savings…

That your credit score isn’t good enough…

Or that now is just not “the right time” for you to get started.

That’s just your inner critic talking, constantly reminding you of what’s not possible.

If it were possible to do so, I’d recommend punching your inner critic in the mouth…but let’s not go down that road.

But our world is full of examples of people who have done the seemingly impossible. People who built businesses from their garage and went on to become some of the wealthiest people in the world.

And the weird thing is many of the wealthiest people in the world lack a college education, like Bill Gates and Richard Branson, among many others.

One of the most important steps you can take towards becoming a millionaire is accepting that you’re good enough to make it happen. And that you deserve it in your life.

Your mindset can and will dictate the outcome of your efforts.

How Long Until You’re a Millionaire?

Based on the returns from previous years, see how long it might take you to reach a million dollars if you invest $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 in an S&P 500 index fund. The tricky part of this calculation is in choosing a hypothetical future rate of return.

Going forward, you can use a projected 8.5% long-term annualized return. By averaging the 10.09% returns from 1967 through 2016 with the lower 2007-2018 return of 6.87%, an 8.5% future return is a reasonable estimate. As the U.S. industrial base matures, and GDP growth slows, it’s reasonable to expect future stock market returns to temper.

Annual Investment Amount Years to $1 Million $5,000 35 $10,000 27.59 $20,000 20.32 *Assumes 8.5% compounded annual rate of return  

If you begin investing in the stock market at age 30, you might only need to contribute $5,000 annually to hit the million-dollar mark by age 65. Comparatively, if you wait until you’re age 45, then to reach that same $1 million by age 65, you will have to put away $20,000 per year. That’s a difference of $1,667 monthly for the 45-year-old versus $416 per month for the 30-year-old.

If becoming a millionaire is your goal, then investing in the stock market could be a good path. But as the numbers show, investing in the markets isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Financial-planning experts will remind you that stocks are a long-term route to wealth building.

Finally, before diving into the financial markets, be sure to save up some emergency cash, so you won't be forced to withdraw money from the markets during a downturn.

8. Earn Income on the Side



James Foster

James Foster

A part-time job or side gig courtesy of the sharing economy could be the ticket to generating some extra cash. If you invest the money or use it to, say, help you buy a house, you’ll get closer to your $1 million goal.

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Danielle and Joe Haymes of Houston found a side gig they love two years ago after searching for a place to board their two dachshunds. Danielle is a technology instructor for a local school district and Joe is a sales manager, but they decided to become dog sitters on the side after learning about DogVacay, which matches pet sitters with dog owners. The Haymeses usually take in three to four dogs at a time, depending on their schedules. In 2015, they earned about $13,000; the year before, they earned about $12,000. (Sitters set their own rates and pay 20% to DogVacay.) That income alone might not make them millionaires, but they’re planning to use it as leverage to reach a larger goal: They have saved most of the money as a down payment on their dream house in a neighborhood with a great school district.

Step 2: Create an irresistible offer

Understanding the pain and the problem is the first step. But you also need to take action on that pain. If you sincerely want to make a million dollars per year or more, you also have to create a compelling offer. Remember, it’s all about the right offer to the right audience at the right time. If you’ve found the audience and identified their problem, you now need to create an irresistible offer that will properly target that audience. So what makes an offer irresistible? 

There are many factors involved. But think about it yourself. What really turns your head when it comes to products or services? What truly makes you want to buy something from a person or a company that you might not know very well? There are numerous factors. But what are the most important? Dan Kennedy says that there are four important parts of an irresistible offer: 1. The offer has to be clear. 2. It has to have good value. 3. It should involve a discount or a premium. 4. There should be a logical reason behind the offer.

Related: 9 Everyday Habits of the Average Millionaire

But what else is involved? How do you really pull the lever and get people to buy something? Well, let me start by breaking it down like this. Ever seen a long line somewhere and wondered what everyone was standing in line for? Maybe the line was long or it wrapped around the block. Or, maybe, just maybe, you’re at a theme park and see this one ride that has the longest line and wonder what all these people are standing in that line for. 

What’s the first thing that goes through your mind? It must be something good. Why? Two words. Social proof. Beyond the other factors, people often reference the behavior of others when making decisions. As much as we want to think we are unique in our decision-making process, we’re often not. We follow the herd. And glorify the crowd. In turn, we’re not leaders. We’re merely followers. And that’s why social proof is so important. Yes, offer construction matters. But social proof is so incredibly important. 

Think about it yourself. When you see so many testimonials for some weight loss product or some system to make money online, aren’t you drawn to it? When there are genuine and compelling reviews, and so much social proof is built up behind something, that’s where the real magic happens. That’s when the other barriers of resistance fall. So how do you get social proof for something? In the very beginning, give it away in exchange for solid reviews. If what you’ve created truly solves a pain and really addresses the problem, then the rest, as they say, will likely be history. 

4. Own Your Home

Many of us rent a home or an apartment because we cannot afford to purchase a home, or because we aren’t sure where we want to live for the long term. And that’s fine. However, renting is often not a good long-term investment because buying a home is a good way to build equity.

Unless you intend to move in a short period of time, it generally makes sense to consider putting a down payment on a home. At least this way, over time, you can build up some equity and the foundation for a nest egg.

Time in the Market Beats Timing the Market

  • Pick a date — say, the 15th of every month — and marry that date. Invest the same amount of money each time, no matter what the stock market is doing. (Unless the world has truly gone in flames, you have nothing to worry about if you’re investing for the long term.) 
  • Investing should come as natural as paying bills. Pay your “investing bill” as religiously as you would pay your rent or mortgage.

Start With $10 Million

“Start with $10 million” is actually a joke, and it reflects how our brains tend to trick us into doing the wrong thing when investing. The best way to circumvent our “inferior mental angels” is to learn about investing, create a plan and stick with it. Our psychology often works against us, said Kirk Chisholm, principal at Innovative Advisory Group. It’s not difficult to make a million with investing — if you start young enough and avoid psychological pitfalls, such as following the crowd. Avoid trading in and out of your investments. Create a sound investing plan, invest through thick and thin, and over time you can become a millionaire. Those who buy and sell more frequently tend to underperform compared to those who buy and hold, according to Vanguard Research.

6. Dont Sell Yourself Short

Some individuals are extremely loyal to their employers and will stay with them for years without seeing their incomes take a jump. This can be a mistake, as increasing your income is an excellent way to boost your rate of saving.

Always keep your eye out for other opportunities and try not to sell yourself short. Work hard and find an employer who will compensate you for your work ethic, skills, and experience.

Be a Wealth-Building Hustler

It might sound obvious, but if you want to make your first million, choose a side gig to earn more cash. If you’re making just enough to pay for rent, food and utilities, it’s unlikely that you’ll get rich. You don’t need to be brilliant to become a millionaire, but you do need to be disciplined, hard-working and creative. Wealthy entrepreneur and businessman Mark Cuban started creating income streams at age 12. He sold packages of trash bags so he could afford to buy the shoes he wanted, according to Biography. In high school, he peddled stamps and coins for extra cash. He took college psychology classes in his junior year of high school, then skipped his senior year to begin college full time. This illustrates the wealth-building hustler attitude. He gave up free time and leisure to pursue his dreams. The same holds true for many millionaires.

How to Make 1 Million Dollars Online

I go into detail in the entire episode with specific stories, but below you can see the show notes on what I talk about with building your online business to generate millions.  Also note: I recorded this on my iPhone in Spain between practices while playing pro handball with the Reale Ademar team in Leon.  This is not recorded in the SOG studio in L.A.

1.  Start With Passion

–  My Sports Networker Journey, here I share how I got started, and why I started in the sports business.

–  How I Utilized LinkedIn marketing to build everything- the list was key for me, and LinkedIn gave me a platform to build an audience and I enjoyed teaching this to others.

–  Even more: I started hosting LinkedIn events, wrote a book, then did  workshop, speaking, bigger ticket product and webinars.

2.  Invest In Yourself

–  Keys to Finding Mentors– I cover the importance of investing time into a mentor (and how to find the right one for you)

–  Study as much as you can from people you admire or want to be like online.  As an athlete I learn from watching other great athletes compete.  Apply this to the online business world.

–  Investing in your online education:  If this means buying a course, software, or hiring a coach… do it!

–  Join a mastermind ASAP!  This is a HUGE key to making your first million online.  It might be the biggest accelerator to achieving this goal.

3.  Build Your Audience

– If I could do it all over again I’d just build a list without a site.  So many people are concerned with creating a site that they forget the most important thing is building a list.  Even when people do have their site up and running they forget to have a place for people to opt in.  The site almost becomes pointless when this happens.

4.  Learn Sales and Marketing 

–  You don’t have to be the best at marketing, you just need to know enough to get the job done.  Once you do, sales will be your focus.  I love using webinars to sell because it’s a great way to build your audience as well.  Start with an online bootcamp because you can start selling without having a product (this is key!).

5.  Build Credibility 

–  There are many ways to build credibility online.  I mention how to in this episode but to name a few you can write a book about the topic you love,  guest post on other sites, speak at trade shows, or write for magazines.  Anything to build credibility to increase your personal brand and value perception.

6.  Hustle Every Day 

–  Be as consistent as possible.  No one is going to hand you a million dollars.  It took me a few years of constant 14 hour days of hustling to the point we generated our first 7 figures.  Now I’m able to leverage my time and money to create greater products and live my lifestyle at the next level.

2. Save Early and Often

A portfolio worth $1 million is the gold standard for many new retirees. Depending on where you live and how much you can count on from guaranteed sources of income, it’s often enough for a secure retirement.

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Employer-provided retirement plans offer the best route to success. Contributions to a 401(k) are pretax, which lowers your taxable income. Money inside the account grows unfettered by taxes, which boosts your annual return.

The sooner you start saving, the more likely you’ll reach your goal, but you must be willing to increase your contributions. Nearly 60% of companies with 401(k) plans automatically enroll new employees, usually at a 3% contribution rate. But that will leave you short of your goal. For example, if a 30-year-old makes $60,000 a year and contributes 3% a year, he’ll have about $367,000 by the time he’s 65 (that assumes a 3% annual raise and a 7% rate of return). But if he bumps up his contributions to 10%, he’ll end up with $1.2 million.

If your employer matches contributions (and the vast majority of large companies do), you’ll have an even better shot at reaching the million-dollar milestone. If the same 30-year-old earns $60,000 and contributes 10% of his salary to a 401(k) plan with a 50% company match of up to 6% of pay, by age 65 he will have nearly $1.6 million.

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Step 4: Find a million-dollar business idea (it’s easier than you think)

One very common misconception about starting your own freelance hustle is that you need to come up with the “perfect” idea to do it — when that couldn’t be further from the case.

I know it’s difficult to imagine that you might have profitable skills already — but you do. In fact, Shannon has a perfect solution to find out those skills: Look at what your friends ask you to help them out with. That’s how she got her start as a freelance CPA consultant.

From Shannon:

“I had a colleague who needed help sorting through her finances. She asked me to help her out, and she became my first client. Then I had another friend who started a law office and needed help, so I helped them out with all of their accounting. I’d meet with them to make sure that they were still compliant and help with their tax returns.

It just started with helping people as a hobby, but then my husband pointed out that I was getting clients without even trying. Eventually, I was able to start a freelancing business from it.”

Sometimes it’s just a matter of trial and error like it was for Erik. He says:

“Before freelancing, I was at a large tech company, and regularly tried my hand at little entrepreneurial side-projects. Come to think of it, I’ve attempted to sell made-to-measure men’s suits, novelty wall clocks, coaching, and both product and digital design services. But nothing really stuck until Learn UI Design.”

Spend about 10 – 20 minutes now writing down five skills that you already have and could charge money for. Once you’re done, congratulations — you now have 5 potential business ideas that you can grow into a flourishing side hustle.

For now, just choose one business idea. It’s okay, you can always change it later. For now, we’re going to just try one out and try to find a client with it.

Need to find a way to earn money without leaving your house? Check out my free List of 30 Proven Business Ideas to find the perfect opportunity for your lifestyle.

Step 1: Get out of debt

The number one barrier preventing people from compounding wealth is debt.

That’s why getting out of debt is step one on the road to becoming a millionaire. Before you even think about investing, saving, or earning more money, you need to take steps to get out of credit card debt.

Getting out of debt was also a priority for Shannon when she and her husband/business partner first got married.

“When my husband and I were first married, we were really disciplined about getting out of debt and saving,” Shannon says. “We paid off all of our debt out of college. We paid off all of our car debt. And now we’re paying off our house.”

Paying off your credit card debt is one of the most important investments you can make into your Rich Life. I’ve written extensively about this before, both on the blog and in my New York Times bestselling book.

If you’re in debt and want to learn more about my system, I highly suggest you read my article on how to get out of debt fast.

If you’re worried about your personal finances, you can improve them without even leaving your couch. Check out my Ultimate Guide to Personal Finance for tips you can implement TODAY.

Step 5: Track, analyze and re-adjust your approach

There’s no boiler-plate approach to making a million dollars or more in a year or a month or in any other time frame. What you have to do is make sure you track at the finite level. The more detailed you can track and analyze your progress, the more likely you’ll be to get closer to your target faster. It’s similar to an airplane that takes off at a pre-determined time with a pre-determined destination. It has a goal. And in order to get to that goal, it needs a plan. 

However, sometimes, the plane’s plan doesn’t work out. There’s air-traffic congestion or turbulence or a storm in its path. To determine where it’s at and how far it’s come, it has to track and analyze often. Plane’s know moment by moment where they are. And, they also know that they might need to change their approach to reach their target. You should do the same. Don’t change the goal, but if you have to, change the plan. That’s the way you get there. Not by giving up. 

 

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