To become a millionaire you have to do more than save money.
So says Steve Siebold of Boynton Beach, Fla., a self-made millionaire who interviewed 1,200 other millionaires and wrote a book about his findings, “How Rich People Think.”
People who salt away millions tend to be both frugal and pragmatic — they’re always looking for ways to make money, Siebold said in an interview.
“They take their skills and find a problem they can solve,” he said.
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While saving is important — there’s even a national movement called America Saves Week — Siebold said it is also important to adopt the mindset of millionaires and develop a passion in building wealth.
“I’m all for saving money,” he said. But the average worker won’t reach a million dollars in net worth just by saving, Siebold said.
Better, he said, to save and develop an entrepreneurial passion. Millionaires tends to be lifetime learners always looking for ways to improve products or services and make money, he said.
“The rich expect to earn more money every year and aren’t surprised as millions of dollars flood their bank accounts,” he said. “The rich have trained themselves to expect big things to happen, and as a result they are bold, aggressive and fearless in their pursuit of wealth.”
Siebold, a former tennis player, said he first became a millionaire at age 31 by creating a service for large companies. He teaches sales people mental toughness to pursue business leads even when their sales pitch is rejected.
He said he got the idea when he was teaching athletes to mentally prepare for competition — and then figured he’d make more money helping Fortune 500 companies train sales people.
“That turned out to be right,” Siebold said.
A Chicago-area chiropractor, Dr. Alok Trivedi, said he has been able to build wealth using Siebold’s advice in looking at problems he can help solve. Trivedi said he has helped both patients and other chiropractors.
“In looking for business opportunities, we look at what problems we can solve with our skill set,” Trivedi said.
Over the years, Siebold has appeared on national and local television news shows — from CNN to Fox.
Nancy Register, a director of America Saves Week, agreed with Siebold that it’s important for people of any income level to acquire knowledge and skills so they can make more money.
But it’s also important that people learn to regularly save and invest some of their earnings so they can build wealth, said Register, who is with the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America.
“It’s making your money work for you,” she said, adding, “You want to take advantage of the time value” and build net worth with years of dividends, compound interest and gains in stocks, bonds, real estate and other investments.
Right now, about a third of Americans spend more than they earn and don’t even have savings to cover an emergency, the Consumer Federation has found. About half of Americans acknowledge they aren’t squirreling enough away for their retirement, the federation added.
As a young man, Siebold said, he was broke. That’s why he studied how millionaires made their money.
He said he has had to take risks and suffer losses — he lost money during the housing bust, for example, when he bought real estate.
But long-term, Siebold said thinking like a millionaire has paid off.
“They’re real focused on making money,” he said.