So you want to be rich. It’s a common desire, but it’s not a lofty goal if you follow a set of tried and tested habits. First, it requires self-discipline and patience. It involves thinking of others besides yourself, how you can help them solve their problems and what you can learn from them.
It’s also about knowing how much work you’re willing to put in to achieve your dreams. Before you embark on your entrepreneurial journey, make sure that you’re pursuing a dream you care about — one that goes beyond a thick wallet. While the grind is important, it’s not sustainable if you’re not passionate. Establish a routine, draft a long-term plan and commit to it.
Here are 15 wise suggestions from Entrepreneur.com writers, contributors and people we’ve interviewed on how to amass wealth.
1. Live below your means.
“My best piece of advice for the quickest way to get rich is to not spend any of your money, and then you’ll have more than you need,” billionaire venture capitalist Chris Sacca told Entrepreneur earlier this year. If you save enough money, you might end up with the means to quit your day job and launch your own venture. That means flying coach even if you can afford first class, as Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has tweeted himself doing.
2. Shoot for the moon before the stars.
Small profits add up to big success. Consider investing: You don’t need a lot to get started, and you shouldn’t expect massive returns right away. With patience, you can turn a little bit into a large sum.
3. Help people.
You have talents, experiences and passions to share with the world. You can make a living if you’re willing to offer your time and skills to help improve the lives of others — or tell others how you do what you do to be successful.
4. Believe that you’re qualified.
Don’t compare yourself to others, and don’t worry that you’re not good enough to be paid for what you do. If people are requesting your counsel or services, you’re ready to sell them, and you should demand a competitive price. (Though note that there’s always room to learn and grow!)
5. Don’t buy a house.
While homeownership is a dream for many people, the entrepreneurial lifestyle is becoming increasingly remote and transient. Rather than waiting to pay off your home, it might be wise to put your monthly payments toward rent and consider other types of investments.
6. Choose your industry based on your interests.
To set yourself up for success, start a company in an area you’re passionate about. Entrepreneurship takes hard work, and you’ll be far less likely to put in that work over the long haul if your heart isn’t in what you’re doing. If you pick an industry because you think it will be a lucrative one, “there’s going to be somebody who’s going to know that business better than you do and is going to kick your ass,” Mark Cuban told Entrepreneur.
7. Solve a problem.
There has to be a market for the product or service you’re providing. Make sure you’re providing something customers need, as Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec has advised. If someone else out there is already doing what you seek to do, find a way to differentiate yourself and improve upon it.
8. Write down a financial plan.
How are you going to reach your goal of being rich? What goals will you have to meet along the way? Sit down and physically compose a plan, complete with priorities, timelines, retirement plan contributions — whatever is applicable to you and your situation.
9. Improve your credit score.
Having a good credit score will help you scale your business and obtain loans, financing and further lines of credit for big purchases. On the other hand, having a poor credit score will plague you with high interest rates. Many business owners are unaware that they should be establishing credit for their companies in addition to personal credit. A few actions you can take to boost your credit score include paying your bills on time, minimizing your debt and checking your credit report periodically.
10. Pay attention.
Keep yourself up to date on current events and subscribe to publications that specialize in your industry to stay in line with or ahead of your competitors. Take note of the moves and deals others are making, and get insight into potential connections, partners or new opportunities. You may want to educate yourself about investment opportunities such as real estate, mutual funds and stocks.
11. Wake up early.
If you wake up before your family, colleagues or anyone else who might distract you from work, exercise and daily organization, you’ll be further ahead — literally. Studies have shown that the most successful among us are early risers. For one, they’re proactive problem-solvers. Entrepreneur has gathered plenty of anecdotal evidence for this lifestyle hack over the years.
12. Be consistent.
People will remember you if you make yourself known for something, or if your product or service is always available at a regular interval. This tactic particularly pays off for entrepreneurs who use social media. Consider Casey Neistat, who built a following with his weekly vlog, or people who have made millions as Instagram influencers by being on message when their audiences expected them to be.
13. Walk the walk of a leader.
Act and speak like a leader if you want others to perceive you as one. Establish role models and emulate how they carry themselves, how they speak with intention and how they act with integrity to gain respect. While it might feel unnatural at first, it’s important to exude confidence. However, be wary that overconfidence can be a turn-off or a sign of insecurity.
14. Outsource and delegate.
Even the most multitalented entrepreneurs can’t achieve their vision alone. Hire talented people who can accentuate your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses. If you don’t have expertise in a given area, find someone who does. Devote your valuable time to the tasks you are best suited for — the ones you can’t hand off to someone else. For example, many investors encourage aspiring entrepreneurs with know-how in a particular industry (e.g. real estate) to find a technical co-founder to help them build their digital product.
15. Consider other forms of enrichment.
While it’s always referred to as “the bottom line,” realize that money isn’t everything. Don’t discount the importance of your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being toward living a productive and fulfilled life. In the end, if you focus on personal priorities such as health and relationships, you’ll be happier and more well-rounded — and the money will likely follow.