If there's one question I’m asked almost as much as which property should I buy, it’s this one: How long before I become rich?
It’s human nature to want to discover the secrets of other people’s success.
It’s also human nature to wonder, in the midst of all the hard work, how much longer you’ve got to go.
Well, I have some good new and bad news for you.
The ‘bad news’, which I don’t consider too bad, but you may, is that it takes most successful people around eight years. A recent study of the world’s richest people found that on average the world’s richest earned their first million at age 35, with most making their fortune through their own business ventures.
That may sound young, and it is, but remember that the world’s richest people have a habit of starting young too, with most taking about eight years to reach their first million.
Of course some took even longer.
Two fashion kingpins, Zara’s Amancio Ortega and Kering’s Francois Pinault, took 11 and 25 years each!
The good news is that those first eight years will be some of the most rewarding of your life.
The other piece of good news is — and don’t roll your eyes when you read this — it will also take you a lot longer than eight years.
The lifelong wealth journey
What do I mean by that?
Well, you should never stop becoming rich.
If you are doing something just to make your first million, then I’m here to tell you that you will never get there.
Does that sound too harsh?
Well it’s the truth.
Very few of the world’s richest people set out to make money for money’s sake.
They were entrepreneurs and builders of things, and, as is the case with Steve Jobs, the products they created altered how we act, think and communicate.
The one question you should ask yourself
Which leads me to the most important question you need to ask yourself before you set out on your wealth journey.
And it’s this: What am I creating?
Have thought about that before?
For some, the answer will be simple: you are creating a business that sells something, you are creating a new product or you’re creating a form of technology that hopes to alter the lives of thousands, if not millions.
Or you may be investing to create security, for yourself and your family.
There's nothing wrong with security or lifestyle as your end goal.
That's the point of money anyway- isn't it? To facilitate a lifestyle that you can enjoy and one that gives you freedom to pursue what you’re passionate about.
But focus on the money, and the money alone, and it will slip through your fingers.
If you’re desperate to be a millionaire to prove something to someone or to feel important, I can guarantee you that you won’t survive the first year, let alone the eight.
Because in order to stay the distance, you need to enjoy the journey, the process of wealth creation.
It should be hard, it should be rewarding and it should challenge you.
But it shouldn’t feel like something you rush through just so you can reach a cash reward.
As soon as you understand this wealth-growth mindset, and adopt it, you’ll notice how things change.
You’ll be off and on your way and better than that: you won’t be worried about timelines or comparing yourself to others.
The Kardashians in this regard have a lot to answer for!
Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is a best-selling author, one of Australia’s leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Update blog.