Getting rich doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, if you follow the steps below, you will find that it comes much easier than you could have ever imagined. If having a lot of money is eluding you—or if you’re making good money but aren’t enjoying life, then this is a guide for you.
I’ve been where you may be right now. Several years ago, I was at a point where I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing. I also wanted to make more money. I knew I needed a change.
I turned to books, articles and videos on successful people. Over and over again, there was a theme from how these individuals created their dream lives. I applied what I learned to my own life and within months I was enjoying my work and increasing my net worth exponentially at the same time.
I broke down what I learned into actionable steps you can take to increase your net worth significantly over time while still enjoying life. I call it the “lazy way” to wealth because, if you follow this guide, you’ll enjoy life more and yet have more money—which is how I believe everyone should live.
Do What You Love
As I outline in my article 5 Steps to a More Exciting and Lucrative Career, your career should be a reflection of you and what you enjoy doing. Life is just so much harder if you don’t like what you do. People who love what they do have more more fun in life—and often more money.
When you think of your career, do you get excited? If not, you have the wrong job. Believe it or not, it is possible to love what you do and earn a significant amount of money.
I always talk about how owning a business is the way to go and here’s why: Nearly half of all millionaires in the US started their own business. Plus, you can start your business in a field that you’re passionate about so it’s a win-win: You can love what you do and have more money. Not sure how to go about starting your own business? Then check out my article How To Launch Your Dream Business.
If you would rather stick with being an employee but don’t like your current job, check out my article on switching careers.
Either way, if you go for a career in a field you love and become an expert at it, people will pay you top dollar and you’ll love your job. From people like J.K. Rowling to Michael Jordan to Richard Branson, to get rich and have fun while doing it, you have to become a master in the field of your choice and stay determined. Learn what you need to know by studying the basics and read up on how others who have the job you want have done it.
Becoming a master at something valuable also has a feel-good factor: It will make you feel like a million bucks, even if you aren’t worth that yet.
Leverage is using other people’s time, knowledge, resources and, sometimes, money. Leverage is what makes most people wealthy and frees up their time to do the things they want.
You have probably already used leverage in your life and didn’t realize it. If you’ve bought a home or car and borrowed money to do it, you’ve used leverage because the bank lent you the rest of the money to make the purchase.
If you’ve used a mechanic to fix your car, you’ve used the leverage of this person’s knowledge and expertise. The same goes for if you hire an accountant to do your taxes, an attorney to hire your legal matters, a real estate agent to sell or purchase a house and so on. You hire them because they know more about a particular matter than you do. It also saves you a lot of time and headache because imagine trying to get all of the knowledge and licenses they have to handle these types of transactions yourself!
If you hire someone to clean your house, even though you’re perfectly capable of doing it yourself, than you are using someone else’s time to get something done that you don’t want to do. The same may go for hiring someone to look after or tutor your children, walk your dog, run your errands etc.
As I explain further in my article How to Become a Millionaire (A Beginner’s Guide), the wealthy have become experts at leverage. Without it, you are making life harder on yourself. While you’re working on becoming an expert in a field that you love—so you can earn top dollar—I urge you to use think creatively about how you can use leverage in your life.
For example, can you hire a cleaner to come once a week and spend the time you save on starting and building your business? Can you hire a babysitter twice a week? What about a part-time assistant?
You may feel like using leverage isn’t within your budget but there are options all around you. Thanks to the internet, the help that you enlist doesn’t even have to be in person. You can hire a virtual assistant, a virtual financial advisor, online writers and social media experts, and more.
To figure out which type of assistance you should spend your money on, try writing down three things that you don’t enjoy doing and that take you more than 30 minutes to do each week. Now find a way to get that help that’s affordable for you. Search online or ask your friends or family for suggestions. Take actions this week and get that help.
As for leveraging money, you have the option to raise money on crowd-funding sights like Kickstarter or IndiGoGo or applying for a business loan if you want to start a business. You can also consider borrowing money from a bank to get into real estate investing, but you better know what you’re doing or else you could end up with a tremendous amount of debt. There is even something called buying on margin, which allows you to borrow money to buy more stock than you normally could but this, too, can be risky.
I like what Kim Kiyosaki, the wife of Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki, wrote in her blog article titled “Can I Borrow Money for Stock Trading?”: “Rich Dad philosophy is to borrow money once you become educated, not before.” I completely agree. When it comes to taking on any kind of loan as leverage, you have educate yourself first—and then proceed carefully.
Invest In Passive Income Sources
Investing in passive income streams is one of the easiest ways to wealth. While there are many ways to earn passive income, the three best ways are stocks—particularly dividend stocks–real estate and intellectual property:
Investing in the stock market can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are stocks out there that are volatile, meaning they can take big swings in price so you never know if you’re buying at a good time or not. But you can take some of the risk and guesswork out by choosing stable stocks that pay a healthy dividend.
To get started, you can read my guide Why Everyone Should Own Dividend Stocks (A Simple Guide). The great thing about dividend-paying stocks is that you can usually set it and forget it and not have to obsessively check the stock prices in the companies you invest in.
Another way is to invest in an index fund. Index funds are types of mutual funds that are designed to track a specific index of stocks, bonds or other type of investment. What’s great about these funds is that you can use the knowledge and experience of a great fund manager, which means you will enact a type of leverage. And like dividend stocks, you can also usually invest and not have to keep checking the share price day in and day out.
Owning rental property is another way to generate passive income—although I would argue that it is semi-passive because you can’t just set it and forget it. Inevitably, there will issues with tenants and maintenance issues that arise. As Sam Dogen wrote in his article “I make $200,000 a year in passive income after retiring at 34, and it works because I followed 5 steps,” featured on Business Insider: “As I grew older, my interest in rental property wanted because I no longer had the patience and time to deal with maintenance issues and tenants.”
Still, one thing that is great about real estate investing is that you can leverage the bank’s money to buy pieces of property that you wouldn’t be able to afford on your own. Then you can generate income off of those pieces of property when you only had to put down, say, 10% of what those properties are worth.
You can also leverage other people’s knowledge and time by hiring a property management company to oversee your investments so that you can spend less time dealing with issues that arise. Just know, though, that you will still have to be involved on the bigger issues so owning property will take up some of your time.
Intellectual property is a mental creation that can be copyrighted, trademarked or patented. This can include books, articles, videos, artwork, music and more. The great thing about intellectual property is that once you create the work, you can often keep making money from it. For example, once I write a blog post, I can keep making money from it for years to come. The same goes for an ebook, videos on YouTube etc.
My suggestion is to make intellectual property a part of your business. Let’s say you want to start a business refurbishing old cars. You could then make videos and write how-to guides on how to refurbish old cars and put them online. You can make money from ads on YouTube, selling ebooks on Amazon and iTunes and even through ads on your website when people visit your site to read the articles you publish on the topic. Taking these actions also establishes you as an expert which means you can charge more for your services because you’ll be known as an authority in that field.
Intellectual property is a great form of passive income and should be included in your wealth-creating plan. Plus, if you choose a field and topic that you’re interested in, creating these types of work can be a lot of fun.
Take Advantage of Tax Breaks
There are obvious deductions that most people take, like a home mortgage and IRA contributions. But owning a business can also provide you with huge tax relief (yet another reason why I’m a proponent of being self-employed). By owning a business, you can save up to 35% in taxes a year.
Also, if you don’t have an FSA (flexible spending account) or an HSA (health savings account), you need to get one if possible. Both of these are used to pay for qualifying medical expenses and are tax deductible. An FSA can only be used via an employer so if you’re an employee and not a business owner, find out if your employer offers one. An HSA is for those with a high-deducible health plan (HDHP) and is available to both the self-employed and employees (provided that your employer offers it).
I particularly love HSA’s because they are the only type of account in existence where contributions, distributions and earnings are all tax-free. I explain this more in my article 4 Easy Strategies That Greatly Reduce Your Medical Expenses.
Have Systems in Place
Creating systems is a key factor in how you can get rich with as little effort as possible. Creating both large and micro systems can help you manage your life and earn you more money. This tip should apply to just about everything in your life, including work flow, business, investing and even “everyday” tasks such as organizing.
At home and in the office you can start by focusing on “like” items–for example, putting all of your bank receipts in one envelope; your tax documents in one large folder; all your dress clothes in one part of your closet etc.
Systems can be created for work and how to make money, too. It some cases, you may need to create written material that other people can follow. Other times, it may involve using a certain app or software that can do the process for you. Some ideas for utilizing systems in the work environment include:
- how to train employees (if you have them)
- how to find good contractors
- how to create your intellectual property
- the process of investing our money
- the process of paying bills and invoices
- how to bill customers and collect money
- how to sign up new customers
In some cases, you will need to think about the whole process before putting your system in place. For example, before creating a form online for people to sign up for your service, you will want to think about how this process can be as seamless as possible and even test it out once it’s in place.
It can take some time to find the best systems for your work and other areas in your life. But in the long run, it will save you time and stress and make your work (and business) function as seamlessly as possible.
If you learn to create a service or product that can really help people, you will become wealthy both spiritually and financially. Have you ever given something to someone who thanked you profusely for the help? Now take that feeling and imagine multiplying it by hundreds, thousands or even more. Imagine people thanking you every single day for improving their lives. That’s the impact you can have if you go on your financial journey with the intention of bringing joy to others.
If you have a business or finally decide to pursue one, keep in mind how you can solve other people’s problems and make their lives easier. Then you won’t have to work so hard to earn money because, once word gets out, people will come to you.
Combine this mentality with working in a field you love, using leverage, investing in passive income sources, taking advantage of tax breaks and creating systems in both your work and personal lives. If you follow these steps, getting rich will come much more effortlessly. Life will finally feel good—even fun. And having fun isn’t just a “lazy” person’s dream; it’s everyone’s:)