20 Lessons I Learned Going From Debt to $1 Million

I wish someone gave me this list when I was 18

Photo by Jonas Tebbe on Unsplash

It took me 21 years to get from being $5,000 in debt to having a net worth of $1 million. I was happy when I finally made it, but often wonder how much further I could have gotten if I started earlier. If only I knew then what I know now.

Lesson 1 is the most painful. It’s an important lesson to bare in mind when building your wealth.

Let’s get started.

  1. Just because you reach a net worth of $1 million doesn’t mean that you can’t fall backward. I no longer have a net worth of $1 million. I have plans to get back there though.
  2. The younger you start, the sooner you’ll grow real wealth. I didn’t start until age 29. Long story.
  3. It’s never too late to start.
  4. If you haven’t already started building wealth, start right now. Waiting until tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year will only set you further back.
  5. Yes, you can afford to invest. Start small. Building an investing habit is the important part, not the amount you invest.
  6. Grab every opportunity with both hands. I procrastinated over a few great opportunities. The result was that they disappeared.
  7. Take advice from those that are already successful not from those that aren’t. Unsuccessful people love to offer advice on building wealth.
  8. Build a great career instead of just getting a job. Great careers pay very well. Sometimes, that’s all you need to build wealth.
  9. Build a side hustle. Adding a side hustle into the mix can accelerate your journey to $1 million and beyond. You’ll probably want to start with a blog. See how you can set up a blog for just $33 for a year.
  10. Buy property. I know it’s a contentious issue these days, but most people that have built wealth own property.
  11. Don’t forget to have fun. Building wealth is a journey. Don’t put your life on hold while you’re building wealth,
  12. Money isn’t everything. Your health, family, and friends are all more important than money.
  13. Don’t try to build wealth just for the sake of it. Know why you’re building it and what your end goal is. Don’t work 80-hours weeks to get to $1 million if you only need $500,000.
  14. Conduct an annual review to see what’s working and what’s not. Adjust what you’re doing so that you stay on track.
  15. Keep it simple. A great career, index funds, and property may be all that you need.
  16. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall for investment scams that promise the world but deliver nothing.
  17. Don’t get greedy. Slow and steady wins the race.
  18. Bring others along with you on the journey. Building wealth is more fun if you do it alongside family and friends. If they’re not interested though, lead by example.
  19. Celebrate when you reach milestones along the way. This can be as simple as taking your significant other out for a special meal.
  20. Relax. You have your whole life ahead of you. There no need to rush the process. The journey will take as long as it takes.

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