How to Make 1 Million Dollars Online (Even If You're Broke)

Savvy Quick Picks: Helpful Apps For Growing Wealth

Now if you’re like me, you want to know a few apps that can help you earn more money and start saving ASAP!

Here are our favorite apps that can help you better manage your money, save more cash, and up your income so you can reach millionaire status quicker:

Be Patient

Regardless of the path you choose to get rich, it will take time. Investing in the stock market takes years for your money to grow and compound. Starting a business and nursing it to success doesn’t happen overnight. When it comes to the math of compounding returns, the greatest financial growth occurs in the later years. “Making your first million will often take longer than making your second,” said Daniel Zajac, certified financial planner and partner at the Zajac Group. “Whether it’s through building a business, or years and years of saving, the first million is often the hardest. Stay committed, stay patient and keep your eyes focused on the goal.” Don’t let the initial slow growth through compounding or the pitfalls of starting your own business thwart your long-term wealth aspirations. Fear and impatience can be your worst enemies when trying to make $1 million.

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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.

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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How To Make a Million Dollars: Start With Bite-Sized Goals

It’s a great idea to break a larger goal into smaller chunks. After all, how do you go about eating an elephant?

One bite at a time, folks!

First-time marathon runners don’t wake up one morning, strap on a pair of sneakers, and run 26.219 miles on their first attempt.

Instead, they establish a training plan, repeatedly running shorter distances until they achieve their goal.

Earning $1,000,000 is achieved using the same methodology.

An income goal of five years is not so close that it terrifies you into inaction, but also not so far away that you can conveniently ignore it.

Setting a time frame around your goal makes you accountable to it, and that’s the only way to achieve real success in anything you do.

But before we go any further, look back at the last five years of your life.

What have you achieved?

What would you do differently?

How would it have felt to have tackled any of the challenges you faced with $1 million sitting in your checking account?

Step 1: Identify the pain

First things first. What is the pain in the marketplace? What are consumers struggling with or grappling with? If you’re unsure, all you have to do is jump into well-traversed Reddit threads or popular Facebook Groups. What are people talking about? Are there some resounding complaints that seem to come up repeatedly? If you stick around for long enough, you’ll find the pain in the marketplace. That much is for certain. As long as you can identify the pain, then you’ll find the problem.

One thing that’s for certain is this: The bigger the pain, the bigger the problem. And, the bigger the potential to not only make a million dollars per year or more but also to get filthy rich for that matter. Entrepreneurs who are bold enough to go out there and tackle big problems are often the ones who reap the big payouts. They’re disruptors, dissatisfied with the status quo. And they exist in every industry under the sun. They’re filled with a willingness to tackle massive problems that have faced us for years, if not decades in most cases.

Jeremy Delk, an entrepreneur at the helm of a $100 million business called Tailor Made Compounding, tells me that you should go where the pain exists in the marketplace. While money is important and is a necessary course in business, if you can properly identify the pain, that’s always the major starting point. If you can’t find the pain, how can you present a solution that will help to take that pain away?

Jesse Itzler, the founder of Marquis Jets, another entrepreneur with well over a $200 million net worth (and husband of Sarah Blakley, the billionaire founder of Spanx), tells me you should never fear failure or shy away when you’re tackling those big problems. You have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’re not always going to have all the answers. But you have to be willing and persistent enough to find them.

Index Funds

  • Invest in low-cost index funds. They can be ETFs or mutual funds. Compare their expense ratios and average annual returns using a site like Morningstar. For Nancy, I assumed an average annual rate of return of 7%. 
  • First invest in tax-efficient accounts, like 401(k)s, IRAs, or HSAs, before using normal brokerage accounts

I would love to learn more about what you think. Send me an email at hello@firstmilli.com if you have any questions or doubts. Meanwhile, check out the following hashtags #debtfreecommunity #FIRE #FIREjourney and be empowered by all the amazing goals these communities are accomplishing across the socials.

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.

Build Credibility

Trust adds value to the business and helps acquire more sales through repeat purchases and referrals. If you want to succeed in a business that lets you earn your first million, you need to build credibility, which is a long-term and continuous engagement. Infusing credibility into your culture or company values can help the business thrive in a highly competitive market. The people who trusted your brand will remain loyal, giving you a steady stream of income. 

For me, engaging in webinars puts me in front of the target audiences while building relationships and credibility among them. I also wrote books and guest posts, creating a good reputation among the readers. So, when I lead a webinar, I can easily convince my readers to join my upcoming events without being sales-y. 

2. Fund Retirement Plans ASAP

When individuals earn money, their first responsibility is to pay current expenses such as rent or mortgage, food, and other necessities. Once these expenses have been covered, the next step should be to fund a retirement plan or some other tax-advantaged vehicle.

Unfortunately, retirement planning is an afterthought for many young people. Here’s why it shouldn’t be: funding a 401(k) and/or an IRA early on in life means you can contribute less money overall and actually end up with significantly more in the end than someone who put in much more money but started later. How much difference will funding a vehicle such as a Roth IRA early on in life make?

If you’re 23 years old and deposit $3,000 per year (that’s only $250 each month) in a Roth IRA earning an 8% average annual return, you will have saved $985,749 by the time you are 65 years old due to the power of compounding. If you make a few extra contributions, it’s clear that a $1 million goal is well within reach. Also, keep in mind that most of your earnings are in interest— your $3,000 contributions alone only add up to $126,000.

Now, suppose that you wait an additional 10 years to start contributing. By this time you have a better job than when you were younger, you earn more, and you know you've lost some time, so you contribute $5,000 per year. You get the same 8% return and have the same goal to retire at 65. But by starting to save later, your compounded earnings won't have as much time to grow. In this scenario, when you reach age 65, you will have saved $724,753. That's still a sizable fund, but you had to contribute $160,000 just to get there, and it's nowhere near the $985,749 you could've had for paying much less.

7. Dont Rely on Luck

Becoming a millionaire won't happen by any luck, such as winning the lottery, or some other unforeseen circumstance. The only way to become a millionaire is by diligently working to do so. Expecting luck to bring a financial windfall will only delay the time you have to build your wealth. The money spent on lotteries and other get-rich-quick schemes will be better utilized as savings and investments.

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.

5. Write an e-book

"Six years ago, I hired someone for $100 to design my first e-book, 'Crush The CPA Exam Study Guide.' It only took about a week to create — and all I had to do was write the copy. It's been selling on autopilot ever since, and I've made at least $100,000 as a result. It was shockingly easy.

Use your knowledge and resources to write a book. Then, pay a designer from a global freelancing platform (e.g., Upwork) $100 to make it look nice and incentive people to sell it for you through an affiliate marketing program. Simply contact the websites that show up in Google when you search for your e-book topic (e.g., type in 'best CPA study guides').

Offer to pay them a commission for any sales they send to you. When you leverage their traffic and the trust they have built with their audience, you don't even have to build a website."

—Bryce Welker, CEO of online education company Crush Empire and founder of Crush The CPA Exam. Follow Bryce on LinkedIn.

Invest Early and Often

  • The best time to start investing is now. The numbers show that a 21-year-old who invests for 10 to 15 years for a lower amount can outperform someone who starts investing heavily at 45. The idea is that you want to give our friend compound interest the time to work its magic.

Hardest Way To Make $1 Million A Year

The hardest way to make $1 million a year or more is in a profession that relies mostly on individual performance. If you remove the CEO, the company will still run fine. The stock might even go up.

As a professional tennis player, nobody is going to win a match for you. If you are a fund manager, you’re either outperforming your respective index or you aren’t. As a professional blogger, you’re either going to come up with interesting content that gets shared or suffer in purgatory.

Despite the difficulty of making over one million dollars as an individual performer, there is also a fantastic non-monetary upside. Individual performers get the most satisfaction.

Building something from nothing is more rewarding than jumping on an already established business. Working incredibly hard on your craft and then winning feels amazing.

I don’t have to tell you that earning $1 million a year is difficult. That’s $83,333 a month in income or operating profit. Even if you do get to such a milestone, it may be harder to stay there over the long-term due to competitive forces that will eat away at your product or services.

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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