Not all “successful” entrepreneurs are rich —no matter how you define wealthy. However, a foundation many can agree upon is having a net worth of at least one million dollars. For the vast majority of people, that benchmark gives them a comfortable lifestyle.
Most millionaires are pretty normal people, and you may not earmark them as a “millionaire” on sight alone. However, if you are an entrepreneur who wants your definition of success to include a decent amount of wealth, you need to know what rich entrepreneurs do differently.
The first thing you should do is work harder and smarter than others. Start by figuring out who your competition is. These are likely other entrepreneurs in the same industry as you. Working “smart” is the number one way to optimize your time and efforts. This is basic common sense, but as Voltaire said, “Common sense is not so common.”
This is where feedback and listening to those around you, from your investors to your entry level employees, come into play. However, you also need “hard” work. A lack of ambition will not make you rich, so you need both.
Here are six more ways to get on the fast track to rich entrepreneurship:
- Make the most of your mistakes—then forget them.
You will make mistakes and fail. Learn what you can from them, and then stop lingering. Dwelling on the past is pointless. Not actually learning anything from the past is pointless as well. “Only those who are asleep make no mistakes,” quipped the founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, and that’s one entrepreneur worth listening to. Swallow your pride. It’s a skill worth having.
- Create something for you (kind of).
Rich entrepreneurs usually love their own ideas and products, which means other people will probably love them, too. Innovation is a pillar of entrepreneurship. It’s how you make the world better than it was before your idea. Plus, if you’re excited about an idea, that’s a big sign that you’re onto something.
- Get that budget under control.
Knowing how to budget isn’t something you’re born with. No matter how much or how little you have, budgeting helps you maximize your money. You’ll probably need help to do it well. Budgeting a CPA or financial advisor into the budget is one of the best things you can do. You’re probably wasting much more than you think.
- Learn to invest well.
John Rampton from invoice and ACH company Due suggest “Like budgeting, investing is another way to optimize your money. It can sound overwhelming, but basic investing is pretty straightforward. You can get advice online, with an in-person advisor or read books on the subject. Knowing how much you should invest, where it should go and how often is the basic approach.
- Forget the haters.
There will be plenty of people in the wings to discourage you. If you start listening to them, they’ll win. Surround yourself with supportive people whenever you can, and don’t waste your time actively trying to prove naysayers wrong. Your success will speak for itself.
- Save, save, save.
This is one thing all long-term millionaires have in common. The occasional splurge is fine, but the more you save the wealthier you’ll be. Have an emergency fund, a healthy retirement account and a “fun fund” at the bare minimum. Entrepreneurs should aim to have at least a year’s income put aside just in case.
Remember: Wealth is a long-term strategy, and rarely a windfall. Changing your habits for good is the only way to achieve stable wealth.