“I’m ready to get to the next level. I’m bored with where I’m at.”
One cool thing about running a personal finance blog over all these years is watching the readers and friends grow with me (financially, not sure about emotionally). My friend Mike was saving up and hitting his targets. He finally started making decent money. He was now seeing his bank account grow for the first time in his life. He applied all of my advice and hit $10k in savings. He wanted to go from $10k to $100k. He wasn’t sure if this was possible. I showed him a snapshot from one of my bank accounts that had over $100,000 in it. This inspired him. He’s officially now there today after four years since following the advice in this article.
Personal finance is like getting in shape. It feels like it’s taking forever when you’re getting started. You want to see results immediately. The slow process almost breaks you down. You eventually manage to commit on a daily basis. Then you like what you see in the mirror one day and you want to keep on going. Suddenly you’re posting topless photos constantly on social media (or is that just me?).
How do you go from $10k to six figures in the bank? How do you get to the next level in personal finance? How can you have over $100,000 in your bank account?
This is exactly what I did. I did this and then I had my friend Mike follow these steps after he was inspired by my results.
Step zero: Get into the habit of saving money.
Grow your bank account so that you’re not flat broke. Before you can think about six figures you need to save $10k and $1k (and possibly even $100). You can’t go from zero to hero. This isn’t some popular meme where we talk about how some celebrity went from being homeless to living in a mansion. I have to be realistic with you. I’m not a delusional dreamer.
Get started with these tips:
- The Cancun Technique For Saving Money. Find a bold goal that’s going to force you to save up (buy a condo, quit a job, or retire early).
- The Houdini System for saving money in the long run. Hide your money so that you don’t have access to it.
- Six Rules For Six Figures. Further reading on the topic when you have time.
Get in the game first. Then we can talk about getting to six figures.
Step 1: Remember that what got you here won’t get you there.
“Excellence means that you are indispensable. At least right now, in this moment, there’s no one else I would choose but you.” — Seth Godin
I struggle with this on a daily basis. You have to change your attitude and approach to get to the next level. You need to have a certain attitude. You have to stay positive. You can’t complain even when you’re tempted to whine. You have to constantly believe in yourself and step outside of your comfort zone.
Here are a few things to work on at this stage:
- You may have to work on your social skills.
- You could find yourself finally focusing on getting into shape.
- You might have to upgrade your skills (take some courses or read some books on new topics).
Do you see where I’m going with this?
I’m always working on simple things like how I greet someone.
Do you go for the hug to make it seem like you’re closer? Do they get the hand shake? Is it a firm shake?
You have to be the kind of person that people want to be around. You have to shift your entire mindset. Your loser friends will never see $100k in the bank. You can’t spend your free time waiting in line at clubs or following every new Netflix series.
The next step is critical…
Step 2: You have to make money in your sleep.
“You only have so many hours in a day, let others make the money for you!” – Nick Haase
There’s no way around this. I’m assuming that you don’t want to wait 20 years as you clip coupons and work 3 jobs. You want this six figures thing to happen pretty fast, right?
YOU HAVE TO START MAKING MONEY IN YOUR SLEEP.
What are ways to make money in your sleep?
- Passive income. This could be real estate, stocks, or a business.
- Start a business that you can automate. Let your business make money for you.
- Figure out how to invest your money so that your money works for you.
These three articles will help you make money in your sleep. It’s your move to take action. It took me a little bit of time to figure out that I couldn’t always be trading time for money.
There are only so many hours in a day. When I first got into personal finance it was the summer of 2005. I was making decent money and working multiple jobs. I kept trying to up my hours.
Then a co-worker shared some wisdom with me:
“You can’t work 24/7.”
At the one place I was working we could pick up as many shifts as we wanted. I loved this. I couldn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t doing this. Then finally someone brought up how you can’t always work. It’s fun to take a weekend off. It’s kind of nice to make money when you’re not working for it.
At some point your money has to work for you. The good news is that there are articles out there on ever possible topic. We’re living in the best time period in history.
Step 3: Keep on investing in yourself.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn
This is where 99% of us will give up. We just don’t know what to do to make the situation better. We know that we have to make more money. We just don’t know how to get there.
The secret to making more money is: you have to invest in yourself so that you become more valuable and can make more money.
“I wasted my time on college. I’m done with school.”
A friend brought this up during the summer. I totally get that. College isn’t for everyone. However, you should always be learning.
Here’s how you can invest in yourself:
- Read. Reading books will open your mind to a whole new world. You can start with business books and biographies of successful people.
- Take courses. Spend your weekend learning stuff (before you party!).
- Attend events and conferences. Seek out events. Go there. Learn at the actual sessions. Make connections after hours.
- Make yourself look better. Get into shape, get a decent haircut, buy some stylish clothes, and see how amazing you feel.
If you don’t invest in yourself then why would anyone else invest in you?
Imagine you’re an employer or an entrepreneur or a customer. Would you take a risk with your time and/or money on someone who doesn’t take pride in what they do or how they appear?
We all want to do business with winners. When you look to hire a freelancer to take photographs at your wedding or for a personal trainer to get in shape, you don’t go for the worst person. You ask around to see who’s the best.
I know that it’s going to get tough. It sucks doing things that don’t lead to an immediate return. Sometimes you have to trust the process and think of the long-term. You can’t always expect to get an applause for everything that you do.
For example, I took a personal training course. I got my certificate. I spent a few hundred dollars on it. I realized that I didn’t want to work at a gym trying to hustle clients. However, I figured that I loved helping people and that I wanted to get as jacked as possible.
Theo became a tutor and took this full-time. You can create a similar story for yourself.
Step 4: Take a calculated risk every once in a while.
“Ideas are worthless without execution, and execution is pointless without ideas.” — Gary Vaynerchuk
You have to take some calculated risks if you want to get to the next level.
“Quit your job and sell your stuff to live the life that you’ve dreamed of.” — all useless gurus online.
I’m sick of this advice. That’s not taking a risk. That’s just being a moron.
Here are my biggest risks:
- Spending more time on the blog. I should be doing more freelancing.
- Real estate. I bought my first condo before I even had the money.
#1 is a risk because it’s much easier to pick up freelance writing gigs. When I post articles here, they don’t technically generate me any money. Real estate was a big risk because it was all on-the-job training for me.
What risks will you take?
You can’t get to six figures without a few big paydays.
This means that you have to risk money on something and then cash out.
Does this make sense? This could be the sale of your business or rental, a signing bonus for a new job, a brand new client, or some other major event.
Step 5: Surround yourself with people who are already there.
“I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat-out, people do business with people they know and like. Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same” — Keith Ferrazzi
Every parent has that corny line about how they can tell what kind of person you are based on your friends. I hate to admit it, but that’s pretty accurate. That annoying and corny line is like the best life advice ever.
“You’ve changed. You don’t come out anymore.”
You’re going to hear this a lot when you’re growing and levelling up. Your friends will wonder why you’re spending your evenings freelancing and why you’re not always at the bar.
This might actually be the toughest part when I think about it. You have to find a way to get around people who are where you want to be.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you to ditch all of your friends. I just want you to try the following:
- Say yes to events you normally wouldn’t attend (anything from dance lessons to a sporting event).
- Try to find conferences or events in your field.
- Stop doing the same thing every weekend. I promise you that everything will be fine if you miss one night of clubbing (plus there’s always Tinder).
I went through this journey to six figures on my own. One day I hope to write the article on how to go from $100k to $million. I currently don’t know how to do this. I’m working on it. It’s your turn to join the six figures club.
These are the only five steps that you need. This won’t happen overnight. I can’t spell this out for you any more than I did. Stop watching useless motivational videos and chase after real results.