I was 27 when I retired a millionaire. Not exactly the age that most would associate with retirement and yet for me — I was right on target with the goals I had set for myself. I’d accomplished what so few will ever do and I did it in record time. They say with great power, comes great responsibility. It also brings great knowledge. So what did becoming a millionaire at such a young age teach me?
Here are five things I learned from Becoming a Millionaire
1. Planning is guessing
I now realize that you do not need a great business plan, budget, performance, to be successful in business. Long term planning is like fortune telling. It’s more fantasy than reality. More often than not, you’re only planning for made up scenarios that live in your mind.
When you’re planning for the long-term, you have no choice but to base it on assumptions. So why base your business decisions on fiction? And the truth is that business plans are almost never used after they are created. In fact, for many entrepreneurs, planning gets in the way of the creativity required to innovate and construct something astounding.
2. The best solutions make life easier
Anytime you can reduce effort for someone, you have a million dollar business. And the inverse is also true. Anytime you create effort for a client or end user, you push them farther away from your business.
When I began my career as a real estate agent, I kept on noticing how many people needed help renting and managing their properties. People needed proper property management to make their life easier, but no one was offering a seamless solution.
I knew this need was my opportunity for a million dollar business, and I was right. Thus, Renters Warehouse was born.
3. Money can bring happiness
Case and point, most of us work to pay the bills and hopefully retire happy. My perspective included this, but at an expedited rate; Why not retire a millionaire in my 20s?
The reality is that we only have one shot at this life. After it, there is nothing. We’re just dead. Some may say this is morbid thinking, but I think that when you realize this, your life really begins. For me, it helped me focus my life, forcing me to focus on my goal of attaining $7 million after tax by age 27, allowing me to retire in my 20s.
I reached that goal and was able to live my life the way I wanted, something I could only accomplish with substantial financial security. Early retirement meant freedom to choose my days as I saw fit. Reaching that $7 million benchmark meant happiness.
The point is that money can bring happiness if you’re smart about it. Don’t let anyone let you limit your success because of their ill-conceived notion of what happiness is. Happiness is self defined. And it’s up to you to figure that out and the steps you need to take to get there.
4. Stay humble
There is always someone richer than you, you know, The Joneses. Don’t pit yourself against the bull, you’ll lose. If you have a competitive nature, then compete against yourself to be better. That way you’ll focus on what matters – your financial goals. And when you’re not getting caught up with comparing yourself with others, you’ll save a lot of headache and money.
Humility means you are focused on what matters instead of padding your ego or “looking the part.” Remain grounded and focused on your goal, not what others expect of you. Check your ego at the door and be yourself. This way you’re much more likely to concentrate on what steps you need to take to reach your objective.
5. Beware of the haters and cynics
They are poisonous. Many will attempt to diminish your success at some point, so stay away from them. The more successful you become, the more others will try to bring you down. It’s (unfortunately) the nature of the way people work. The resulting emotion is often envy and jealousy, and it’s why they will treat you with such disrespect. Who cares about those people.
When I first ventured into property management, many people didn’t believe or even see the opportunity I saw so clearly. They thought it to be too lofty and unattainable – mostly because they didn’t believe in me or the vision.
If I had listened to them, I wouldn’t be a millionaire.
Watch the full interview with Brenton Hayden in the Secret Academy.