The Millionaire Mind, by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D.
HOW TO BECOME A MILLIONAIRE. IT’S ALL IN YOUR MIND. OR NOT.
By Eric C. Wentworth
Everybody wants to be a millionaire, although being a millionaire in the 21st Century is relatively common. The Spectrum Group estimates there are 10.1 million millionaires in the U.S. (2015). Fully 1 in 20 people who live in New York City are millionaires. Anyone who owns their home in some parts of the country could technically be a millionaire.
In the 1950’s there was a popular TV program called The Millionaire. Every week anonymous benefactor John Beresford Tipton Jr. would entrust his aide Michael Anthony to deliver a million dollars tax free to some unsuspecting soul. The resulting drama would typically demonstrate some aspect of human nature affected by his largess. The moral of the show was how people responded to the million dollars…either positively or negatively.
Unfortunately, there were few tips on how the average TV viewer could become a millionaire. But there are plenty of books (making a lot of money, by the way) telling you how to get rich, starting with the granddaddy of them all Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
I’ve recently gone on a deep infusion into the millionaire literature, reading several books on the subject in an effort to distill the secret sauce of how to become a millionaire. The reading list includes The Millionaire Mind, by Thomas J. Stanley Ph.D.; Cracking the Millionaire Code, by success gurus Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen; The Millionaire Next Door, also by Thomas Stanley; The Millionaire Fastlane, by MJ DeMarco; Click Millionaires, by Scott Fox; Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker; and Rich Like Them, by Ryan D’Agostino.
All these books have something to offer, often the same thing. But I’ve selected The Millionaire Mind, first published in 2001, as my review book because it seems to embody the best of the rest.
Essentially, there are two ways to become a millionaire. One is exciting, the other boring. The exciting way to become a millionaire (or billionaire) begins with one core element…a good idea.
Or more precisely, a good idea that millions of people are willing to pay you for.
Think Jeff Bezos, who as a 30-year old researcher in New York one day thought, “How can I make a lot of money from this new internet thing?”
Or Mark Zuckerberg who as a college student envisioned the social media potential of the internet.
Or J.K. Rowlings, a welfare single mom who had recently been fired from her job, who threw a creative “Hail Mary” pass by writing the first Harry Potter book…and is now the richest woman in England.
It’s simple really. If you create a widget that costs 50 cents to make and sell, and you sell five million at a dollar each, you become a millionaire.
A good idea loved by millions is the surest route to becoming a millionaire. IF…
• “You have the courage to overcome your fear of economic failure” and persevere. 1 in 5 millionaires owns or started their own business.
• You work hard…usually harder that 99.5% of Americans are willing to work. 70% work more than 40 hours a week.
• And you get lucky. Had Bill Gates been born to any other family in any other place at any other time, he almost certainly wouldn’t have had the opportunities that paved his way to becoming the world’s wealthiest person.
It also helps, as Facebook CEO Cheryl Sandberg has said, to marry well (“your most important decision in life”). Fully 2/3 of millionaires are part of dual-income households.
The other way to become a millionaire is to invest in a relatively safe thing like stocks. Start when you are 20 years old by investing 20% of your income, reinvest the dividends, and by the time you are 65 the chance of being a millionaire is pretty good (barring any economic collapse).
The one way you won’t become a millionaire is to spend your time and money attending Millionaire Mindset events, somehow hoping that by osmosis you will gain an insight into becoming a millionaire (like the person giving the event). Play the lottery instead…you odds are better.