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Millionaire Income or Lifestyle? - Think Carefully Before You Answer!

Aug 18, 2007
"Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?!" That's the simple question Regis Philbin would ask at the start of every episode of the game show (he's now moved on to his other millionaire ventures). The show quickly became a smash hit from its origin in the UK to the US and instantly around the world. Why?

"Generate Insane Profits on Auto-Pilot & Become an Instant Millionaire While You Sleep!" If you've conducted any online research looking for home business opportunities, you've likely found yourself on dozens of web sites screaming outrageous promises to you of overnight riches and millionaire status. How come?

Because there is a common bond among the vast majority of people that is the "American Dream." This dream has one very simple and consistent component: the relentless pursuit of money. It is this pursuit of riches that makes you want to live in a nice house, with multiple luxury cars, and expensive toys.

This Is Unbelievable! Quick Fact from My Quick and Dirty Google Search

First, before I share my findings with you, let me ask you this: If you have a choice (which you absolutely do) of being a millionaire or a billionaire, which would you choose to be?

So here's what I just did as I was writing this article. I ran two searches. One for the term "millionaire" and one for the term "billionaire." I found it mind boggling that there were roughly 6.76 million search results for "billionaire" compared to a whopping 16 million results for "millionaire!" But after taking a moment to think about why such a discrepancy exists, it all makes sense.

First, there are many more millionaires in the world than there are billionaires. According to Forbes Magazine, as of March 2007, there are 946 billionaires in the world with 178 of them being newcomers. (I did the math for you: the world now has 23% more billionaires than it did a year ago!) And this compares to the 9.5 million millionaires in the world (Merrill Lynch & Cap Gemini, The 2007 Wealth Report).

The second reason this discrepancy makes sense is that there were millionaires in the world way before billionaires existed. Back when having a $100,000 net worth was considered filthy rich, there were very few millionaires relative to today's numbers. For example, in 1900, there were fewer than 5,000 millionaires in the US. Not until inflation and world economic productivity grew to a certain level did we have our first billionaire (John D. Rockefeller became the world's first billionaire in 1916).

Third, it's getting easier and easier to become a millionaire these days. Inflation plays a key role in this. As prices go up, and household income levels go up, it follows that making a million dollars isn't as big of a milestone as it was a hundred years ago. But don't get me wrong, making my first million is probably the most exciting thing to happen in my life!

So let's get back to the question at hand: is it the millionaire income or is it the lifestyle that you're really after? Well, that's entirely based on where you are at this point in your life, where your mindset is, and what you still feel like you haven't yet accomplished. The answer likely surfaces when you ask yourself this question a few times and take the time to write down what it really is that being a millionaire means to you. How will being a millionaire benefit you, make you happy, and relieve all stress and worries?

Take this simple exercise and let's get to the root of it right now. Take 60 seconds to jot down all the ways you would complete this sentence:

"Aah, if I had a million dollars I would..."

Time yourself. Go ahead, I'll still be here. 60 seconds might seem like not enough time, but just do it right now and I'll explain to you why in a minute. :)

Okay, if you have your list, then it's probably short and sweet and primarily comprised of the most important things that you want. And that's precisely why you only had 60 seconds - to make sure you didn't go off naming every make and model of every car you want in your driveway! Now you have a list of those things you consider to be of highest priority.

What you want to do next is, beside every item on your list, put a "$" symbol if that item represents something that requires money and a "*" next to the items that don't. For example, if you wrote "pay off debt," that gets a "$" since you need money to pay off your mortgage, credit card debt, etc. If you wrote something like "spend more time with kids," that gets a "*" because you don't need to write a check to do that.

If you wind up with more $ signs than * symbols, then what you're probably after at this point in time is the millionaire income. If you have more * on your list, then you're more likely in pursuit of the millionaire lifestyle. This is a quick, simple exercise to get you thinking about what you really want, income or lifestyle. You might find that you are balanced and you want a little bit of both. And your mindset will change over time as you get closer to achieving millionaire status, and perhaps decamillionaire status!

You might try this exercise in 12 months and realize that your answers have changed significantly. If they change, analyze the reasons why and make sure that you fell comfortable with those reasons. If they haven't change in a year, you should ask yourself why. There's a good chance you haven't taken any steps toward achieving the goals essential to becoming a millionaire.

Final Thought

If you've ever thought to yourself, "I will never be a millionaire," then it's true. The mind is a powerful thing, and your thoughts are what make or break your reality. If you share the American Dream, then take the time to understand what it is that you're really seeking and why. Then, and only then, will you be in full control of your destiny.

See you at the top!
About the Author
Copyright 2007 Frank Saffoori, MBA, award-winning marketing strategist, entrepreneur, author and speaker. Frank helps entrepreneurs, overworked and frustrated corporate executives, and struggling mom-and-pop outfits reach new levels of growth and profitability with their businesses by working smarter than the average person. Get a Full Disclosure Business Overview of Frank's most successful venture to date, visit Formula-4-Success.com.
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