There’s that word again; millionaire. I think we can all agree we wouldn’t mind being millionaires, especially if it’s US dollar millionaires. Wanting it is the easy part, of course. The hard part is how to get there. Through studying some of those who have achieved this and comparing the findings with general personal finance wisdom I’ve distilled a few lessons we can learn and tips we can use to moves ourselves towards the coveted status of being US dollar millionaires.
Count in USD
Time for my favourite quote again; If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it – Peter Drucker. I love it because for such a simple statement it contains generational wisdom. The only way you can improve something is if you establish some way of measuring it. You cannot know how well you are doing unless you have a measure. Unless you are doing terribly, that is easy to observe without any assistance. I will borrow from Mr Drucker and say if you cannot measure it in US Dollars, you cannot improve it in US dollars. So the first thing would be to start tracking your money in US dollars. Don’t stop at tracking it in US dollars, however. Take advantage of facilities like the recent liberalisation of Bureau de changes to sell foreign currency and US Dollar Nostro accounts to also save your money in US Dollars.
Focus on mastery
I have learned, the hard way, that in life you are rewarded for how well you do something and not necessarily the number of things you do. This is essentially the quality over quantity debate and the reality is quality always wins. The trouble is people think quality equals fancy. Not really. Quality is the suitability of a product for its purpose. To boost your income one of the best things you can ever do is to learn to focus on mastery. This means mastery of what is desired from you. Every business, role, the occupation has critical success factors and your best hope of boosting your income and horizons is in mastering your craft. This is not against diversifying, diversifying comes after mastery.
Think growth/big picture
A million US dollars is no small feat. One of the things you will have to do is expand your horizons as mentioned before. This involves big picture thinking. I’m sure you’ve come across the saying “it is better to own 50% of $1000 than 100% of $100or something along those lines. This is one thing you will have to learn in business and in growing it. I worked with a business that realised a 3 times increment in their revenue when they decided to pay referral commissions for clients referred to them. The kicker is the commission was only 10% in a high-profit margin business. Something they could very well afford. You will have to accept that growth involves letting go of some things if you hope to ever become a US dollar millionaire.
Closely related to the idea of big picture thinking is leverage. Leverage in this sense is the use of facilities to amplify something, in this case, your net worth via your income. Robert Kiyosaki in many of his books including Rich Dad, Poor Dad speaks about the two important kinds of leverage; other people’s money and other people’s time. Consider this; you start a business as a 1 person operation. As things get busier you employ someone (other peoples time). Down the line, you plan to expand your stock to meet demand so you borrow from the bank (other people’s money). It is strange then that in our culture (not to be confused with our tradition) and socialisation the two concepts are frowned upon at best. You must understand and embrace the importance of leverage in growth.
This is a tip if you want to be wealthy in any currency on earth. Investing is one of the best forms of leverage available to us all. Consider investing in a company like Econet. Econet employs a multitude of experts in most if not all of their positions. I can invest in Econet’s capacity and ability to grow my money. That is simply what investing is, putting your money into “better” hands. This is the other side of what we just spoke about in Leverage, you are now the other people supplying the money. Remember wealth is accumulation. By this I mean that wealth is measured by how much money you keep, not just how much you make. Investment keeps and grows your money without you lifting a finger.
Accumulating wealth, like many things in life, has a simple process; make as much as you can, keep as much of that as you can and grow it as much as possible. Hopefully, you can see how this article has approached those things and added measurement to help you find your way to being a US dollar millionaire.