Most millionaires in America today are self-made. Most millionaires are also very similar in their approach to business and life. Learn how millionaires think and act so that you can start taking the same daily action steps they take each day to build your own empire.Sign Up to Watch
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-My name is Caleb Taylor. I'm a host here at Thrive 15 and today we will be sitting down with Clay Clark, the palest man in the world and founder of Thrive 15. The topic today is how to become a self-made millionaire and grow your business. Guys, if Clay Clark can do it, I promise you, you can too. And he's going to be telling us exactly how that's done.
Today we'll be looking at specific habits that all these self-made millionaire share and tell you how to apply those same habits in your own life. These habits are simple. We'll walk through each step with you and teach you how to implement them immediately, whether it's your budget or a mindset.
Remember, here at Thrive 15 we believe that knowledge without application is meaningless. So as you're watching today's episode, continually be asking yourself, how can I apply this to my own personal life andto how you can grow your business? Because if you don't, today's episode might be more meaningless than following yourself on Twitter.
-All right, Clay.
-Today we are talking about the 10 characteristics of the self-made millionaire. You are self-made millionaire so we were all thinking if you can do it, other people can too, right?
CLAY CLARK: Yeah.
-It's not as hard as we're led to believe.
-Now, I want to make sure we're clear on this because I think a lot of people have fallacies about this.
CALEB TAYLOR: OK.
-To become a millionaire, it means if you take all your assets and you add them up together, that your total net worth would be a million dollars. A lot of people define a millionaire as being someone who makes a million dollars a year or who has a million dollars of cash.
And I want to make sure everybody is clear on this. If had a million dollars of cash today, you would now have $400,000 of cash, because after taxation you would lose it all. So I want to make sure your goal here would be to have a million dollars of net worth.
That would be the goal here and I think a lot of people are trying to get $1 million of cash. And I'm telling you, every time you put a dollar in your bank, you have to pay taxes on that, right? So you really would have to have two million dollars to have a million.
So I think it's important that we all think of it, just from the very beginning, to be a millionaire, that means you have a million dollars net worth.
CALEB TAYLOR: Got it.
-OK, so your assets versus your liabilities, million dollars.
CALEB TAYLOR: Got it.
CLAY CLARK: Cool.
-And you passionately believe that anybody can do this. This isn't something that's crazy. It's not unattainable. Where does that belief come from?
-Well, one, I want to again-- I'm not trying to belabor nuances, but I think anybody who is diligent, who is hard working, meaning that they apply effort consistently, anybody who has high integrity and anybody who has a discernible skill can do it.
If you have a skill, OK, and you have integrity, and you're diligent, you can do it. And I've seen it happen time and time again. If you don't have any skills, and you're not diligent, and you don't have integrity, you cannot ever do it.
So if you're watching this and you're like the get rich quick guy. You're like, I just want to get rich as quick as possible and then I'm willing to compromise my integrity, I'm willing to just, I just want to bet it all. If you're that kind of person, you're not going to ever get there.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-If you're watching this and you have no skills at all, you're not going to do it. You have to learn skills. So everyone can do it if you have those three things.
CALEB TAYLOR: I like it. And I know there's a book that you've read, "The Millionaire Next Door", written by Thomas J. Stanley PH.D. And William Danko PH.D. That book really challenges the belief that most people have about what millionaires are, who are millionaires. A lot of times we think, oh that's just the wealthy getting wealthier. But this book really challenges that, doesn't it?
CLAY CLARK: Yeah well, "The Millionaire Next Door", as we get into it today, that's the guy who lives next door to you who is a millionaire and you don't even know it. The book "The Millionaire Next Door" talks about America's wealth today and they start to show that like, eight out of 10 Americans who are millionaires today earned it themselves. They didn't inherit it. They weren't second generation. They didn't win the lottery. These are people who earned it the hard way.
CALEB TAYLOR: What was that number? How many?
-A little over 80%.
-Wow. Yeah, we don't think that way.
-We're told not to think that way often.
-Yeah, you always hear, that's old money.
-Oh, I remember people that I hung out with growing up, they would say, well, that's old money. They come from money
-It's more comfortable to think that way, right? Because if you don't have it, they had something that you didn't.
-It's a lazy thought.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
-It's easy to say, well, I could never do it. They come from money.
CALEB TAYLOR: Right.
CLAY CLARK: It's easier to think that way.
-So we're going to dive into those points. And so what we're going to do is specifically dive into the 10 characteristics, like we said, of the average millionaire. So that you, everybody around the world, can learn how they themselves can become a millionaire.
-(SINGING) All around the world.
-So let's start with Characteristic Number One here. Characteristic Number One is we are married with children. OK, so here's a quote from that book we just mentioned, "The Millionaire Next Door. It says, "I am a 57-year-old male, married with three children. About 70% percent of us, millionaires, earn 80% or more of our households income." Why is that important? What is that quote saying?
-What it's saying is, right now, there's a lot of women watching this who feel like they can't become successful. Well, Sara Blakely became the woman who became a billionaire the fastest.
CALEB TAYLOR: Spanx.
-The Spanx founder, yeah. And so Oprah has become a billionaire. I mean, there's women shattering that belief. But right now, the average millionaire in America is a 57-year-old dude who has kids. I think it's important that we think about that because a lot of people who are in their '30s and '40s and they say, well, because I have kids, I just can't start a business like you can.
You know, I have kids so it's harder for me to take a risk. I don't have that, I can't be crazy. I've got to work at this job because I've got to provide for my kids. Well, I have five kids and you were around them last night. I mean, these are great kids.
-Oh, I love them.
-And there's a lot of pressure. But I will tell you again, we come back to those three, you have to be diligent, you have to have a skill and you have to have integrity. And find to be a parent, and a good parent, you have to have integrity. And the kids actually drive you to work harder.
CALEB TAYLOR: Yeah.
-So it's not a hindrance. It's actually something that will help you.
-So the reason this is the first characteristic is again, kind of breaking down that idea that we have, or maybe excuses that we have in our heads, right? Like you said, I can't do it. I'll get there maybe someday, but I can't right now, I have kids. Most millionaires.
CLAY CLARK: A lot of people say, well, I have health problems. I have kids. It's really hard for me to make money. Well, I can tell you this. My kids, they keep having these teeth that need to be pulled.
CALEB TAYLOR: Yeah.
-It's like $1,000 every time. I'm like, just keep it in there. You know, kids get sick, they twist ankles, they break arms. Things happen. And a lot of people are sitting here on the sidelines of life watching the millionaires on TV saying, I can't become successful because I have kids.
And I'm telling you, you're wrong. You can do it. You can do it, regardless of whether you have kids and all the expenses that go with it. In fact, that's going to help you because you're going to be one of the more motivated people.
Married employees, as a general rule, outperform non married because they have this sense of obligation to provide--
CALEB TAYLOR: They can't fail.
-For their dependents. They can't fail.
-So that's Principal Number One. We're married with children. It's taking away all your excuses. You can do
Grow Your Business and Learn How to Become at Self-Made Millionaire
-So now we've got characteristic number 2. We live on the cheap. We're going to stick with that same book now-- The Millionaire Next Door. It says, "On average, our total annual realized income is less than seven percent of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than seven percent of our wealth." That's mind-boggling. Is that real? People do that?
-Well, a friend of mine, Braxton Fears, who's one of the Thrive venture capital partners, and who's a member of the Thrive team, and his wife have capped their lifestyle. The founder of Hobby Lobby, Mr. Green, he capped his lifestyle-- meaning that they've decided, "This is how much money I'm going to live on every year, and then anything I make beyond that's going to go back to savings."
Most Americans spend whatever they make. So I see doctors who make $100,000 a year, and they spend $100,000 a year. In fact, they don't spend $100,000, they spend $110,000, because they borrow money. Or you'll see someone who makes $200,000. Now they're spending $220,000 a year. NBA players-- they make $60 million, but they spend $70 million.
-The majority of them end up without any money.
-We can point fingers at the celebrities, but a lot of people do it in their own lives, too. People pick on Robin Williams, and they say, "How does somebody lose all their money when they made so much money, like Robin Williams did, the actor and comedian?" Everybody's doing it. The only way to do that is to do what nobody else is doing, which is to live below your means.
-This is a habit. The reason we're bringing this up is it's a habit that these people ingrained early on, when there often was no choice, right? You can attest to that. This is something you lived by when you had no choice and you live by now.
-I remember when my wife and I were trying to start the DJ company, called DJ Connection. At the peak of it we were doing almost 4,000 weddings a year-- 80 weddings a weekend. And I just remember that one time I came in, and I said, "Hon, we're going to have to turn off the air conditioning unit in our apartment if we're going to afford this new ad I want to get."
-And you're living in Oklahoma.
-So it's 100 degrees in the summer in July-- usually 90s and muggy-- and then no heat in the winter. 30 degrees, 20 degrees, no heat in the winter. Seriously, that's what we did. But it was a decision we had to make, because we could not afford to buy the ad and to maintain climate control in our place.
Then we also had one vehicle. So we made a decision that one of us would walk to work in that temperature for about a year. And another one of us would have a cell phone, and the other would not. And one of us would make this sacrifice. We decided we're not going to watch TV.
For me, even to this day, I don't know if it's a wealth strategy or not, but I go out annually-- I just did it a couple weeks ago-- I just bought six new suits. And I'll buy six suits a year, and I wear those six suits every day. And that's all I do. I suppose I could buy new clothes every week. But to me, it's not a habit, and I'm not going to do it.
You've got to think about those destructive, wealth-eating habits that we're doing right now. Ask yourself, if you're watching this, what weird, wealth-destroying habit am I doing? And you have to stop it.
-Again, I just love that these habits were ground into you when there was no choice. Now you live with heating and cooling, but that same habit is in your mind, affecting everything you do-- all your purchases and your savings, especially. It needs to infiltrate all areas.
-Next we've got characteristic number 3-- we did not receive an inheritance. We touched on this earlier. Here we go-- another quote from that book. "Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not receive an inheritance. About 80% of us are first-generation affluent." Again, that's from The Millionaire Next Door book. What does this mean to you? Why is this important to talk about?
-I've met entrepreneurs from coast to coast who are millionaires, some of which are billionaires. They all do things that are very different from people who live a life of poverty. An example-- every one of the wealthy people I've met who has come from poverty has refused, at one point in their life, handouts. They've turned them down.
They say, "I'm not going to take welfare. I'll just live on a couch with a buddy. Just out of personal pride, I'm not going to take welfare." Whenever somebody gives them money, they almost always want to pay them back. They're like-- I know you gave me money to help me during this time, and I appreciate that, but I want to pay you back. They have this mentality. It's not that they're not thankful. It's that they just cannot become a dependent or become a mooch. They can't become a mooch or they can't be dependent. And what he's saying here is that these people never felt like-- man, I'm disadvantaged because I wasn't given any money.
I see poor people-- when people die, I've seen this. It makes me just sick. Vomit! I've seen poor people who, when a family member gets sick, they literally get together and start talking about who's going to get the inheritance. They start speculating about how much inheritance there is and who's going to get it.
And watching this, you might think-- well, that's not me. Well, some people-- maybe not you people, but other people-- are doing this. They literally are getting together when somebody's on their deathbed. Instead of thinking about hey-- how do we maximize the amount of time we spend with this person?-- they are sitting together and strategizing. Who do we do we believe is going to get the most money? And how much money do we believe this person's going to leave us? That is sick. But that as not what happens. That is not what wealthy people do.
-So if I want to be wealthy person, we've blown them away any excuses. We said you've got to have that habit of being in control of your budget. And now we're saying don't worry about the inheritance. You don't need that. You don't want that. Because it creates the wrong mindset.
-You don't need a government grant. You don't need some sort of government handout. You don't need a rich Uncle Bernie to give you money. You don't need a big break. You don't need a lottery. You don't need to have luck. You're just going to grind it out, because you know that what you think about you can bring about only if you're diligent and hardworking enough to make it happen.
-Kind of like a honey badger.
-You are a honey badger! You eat snakes and larvae, and you're getting stung by bees--
-By poisonous snakes!
-You take the pain, and you turn it into motivation.
-It fills you.
-For some reason, I like it.
-Now let's go to characteristic number 4-- we live below our means. A quote here from the same book. They say "We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars. Only a minority this drive a current-model-year automobile. Only a minority of us lease our motor vehicles." What does this mean? Why is this important?
-A lot of people that I meet all the time who want to be successful entrepreneurs-- I had one lady. I remember meeting with her. She was trying to grow her business. I noticed that she had a COACH purse. I noticed that her office had really expensive name-brand types of decor in it that weren't necessary for the customer. It was just personal stuff that she had in her own private office. And I realized that financially, she was in a bad spot.
And I wished that she was unique or that she was one of the few people out there, but it's kind of like people that are poor who want to buy the Air Jordan or the most expensive shoes possible. Sometimes we have to focus on what matters. And it's hard to build much financial momentum-- Warren Buffett refers to as the snowball. When you have a snowball, if it starts up here at the mountain, let's say your snowball is only $5. That's fine. Well, if you can save that $5 and then grow it into $10 and then $20, and $40 and then $80 and then $160, pretty soon, you're able to have a massive snowball. And the momentum that you have coming down this hill is tremendous.
But a lot of us, we're not able to save the money, because for some reason we have to spend the $10, so we can't have the $40, so we can't spend the $80. And it makes it tough for us to get ahead. Because money allows us to buy opportunities.
We were just talking today about these RED cameras. Just a minute ago we were talking off-camera about buying these RED cameras, the ones that are really expensive and nice.
-The cameramen are salivating.
-If that's my life goal, or that's what we want to do, we can't buy them unless we've saved. Team Thrive, we have to save if we want to buy these tools that we need. Every business that is watching this, if you want to be successful, you've got to live below your means. You've got to live the way that no one else lives right now so that you can live the way that no one else lives in the future. You've got a live on the cheap.
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