It seems that every university and graduate school now has hundreds of courses for you to choose from. However, they vary significantly in quality, which is why’ve we’ve taken out the guesswork for you and picked 15 free courses that are useful, truly worthwhile, and highly regarded.
Content in this guide
- How To Build A Start-up
- Model Thinking
- Introduction to Finance
- Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship
- An Introduction to Operations Management
- On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn from Great Philosophers
- A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behaviour
- Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part II/a>
- Content Strategy for Professionals: Engaging Audiences for Your Organisation
- The Science of Everyday Thinking
- Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?
- Building Mobile Experiences
- An Introduction to Credit Risk Management
- SEO Fundamentals
- Online Marketing Fundamentals
How To Build A Start-up
- Platform: Udacity
- Length: This class is self-paced. You can begin whenever you like and then follow your own pace.
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: Because it’s self-paced, it’s a good idea to set goals for yourself to make sure you stick with the course.
- Why you should consider it: You’ll learn the key tools and steps to build a successful start-up (or at least reduce the risk of failure). Included is an introduction to the basics of Steve Blank’s famous Customer Development process, where entrepreneurs “get out of the building” to gather massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback, and then use that feedback to continuously iterate and evolve their start-up business models, improving the chances of success at every step.
Related: Start your Business with R80
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 4 to 8 hours of work per week, over 20 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: Students should be very comfortable with basic algebra. Calculus isn’t necessary but a conceptual understanding of how derivatives give the slope at a point proves useful.
- Why you should consider it: You will learn how to think with models and use them to make sense of the complex world around us. Evidence shows that people who think with models consistently outperform those who don’t. And, moreover people who think with lots of models outperform people who use only one. Why do models make us better thinkers? Models help us to better organise information – to make sense of that fire hose or hairball of data (choose your metaphor) available on the Internet. Models improve our abilities to make accurate forecasts. They help us make better decisions and adopt more effective strategies. They can even improve our ability to design institutions and procedures.
Introduction to Finance
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 4 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 4 to 7 hours of work per week. Exposure to economics, accounting, and/or algebra and statistics will help. However, the course covers the fundamentals and will highlight when there is a need for you to do some further work in specific subjects.
- Why you should consider it: This course will introduce you to frameworks and tools to measure value; both for corporate and personal assets. It will also help you in decision-making, again at both the corporate and personal levels. This course is primarily devoted to the fundamental principles of valuation. We will learn and apply the concepts of time value of money and risk to understand the major determinants of value creation. We will use both theory and real world examples to demonstrate how to value any asset.
Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 6 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 5 to 7 hours of work per week. The presenters expect this course to be taken by people completely new to the topics, and have designed the content in that way.
- Why you should consider it: You will explore how to identify and develop great ideas into great companies, to identify opportunities based on real customer needs, to develop solid business models, and to create successful companies. This course assists aspiring entrepreneurs in developing great ideas into great companies. With strong economies presenting rich opportunities for new venture creation, and challenging economic times presenting the necessity for many to make their own job, the need to develop the skills to develop and act on innovative business opportunities is ever present.
An Introduction to Operations Management
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 8 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 5 to 7 hours of work per week. The course is designed for business school students and executives. There are no academic prerequisites for the course; this is not a math course and nothing done in this course requires more than high school math. This course will be helpful to students who are preparing for their career in business and want to lay some foundations or for those who are in the middle of their career and have some real problems to solve right now
- Why you should consider it: This course will teach you how to analyse and improve business processes, be it in services or in manufacturing. You will learn how to improve productivity, provide more choice to customers, reduce response times, and improve quality. Along the way, you will learn about topics such as Lean Operations, Six Sigma, and the Toyota production system, you will hear about bottlenecks, flows rates, and inventory levels.
On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn from Great Philosophers (Part 1)
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 6 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 2 to 3 hours of work per week. No background knowledge or skills are required, though an interest in philosophy is recommended.
- Why you should consider it: With the help of great philosophers, you will rediscover the art of thinking. The success of a business depends on its capacity to make a difference regarding competition. Creativity demands the ability to unshackle yourself from conventional ways of thinking, to “think outside the box”. However, once outside the box, you need to construct a new box or boxes (new intellectual frameworks or models) to help you structure your thinking, so you can generate truly game-changing ideas.
International Leadership and Organisational Behaviour
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 6 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 7 – 11 hours of work per week. Curiosity about human nature.
- Why you should consider it: If you really want to learn how organisations behave and take decisions and at the same time develop leadership skills, then this is the course for you.
Grow to Greatness: Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Part II
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 4 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 4 – 6 hours of work per week. You may attend this Course even if you did not take Grow to Greatness, Part 1. The only prerequisite is an interest in learning about how privately owned entrepreneurial businesses grow. The course is aimed at students, business owners, managers and employees of private businesses, and people interested in growth, economic development, and job creation.
- Why you should consider it: This course focuses on people challenges faced by private businesses when they attempt to grow substantially. You will study stories of how six different private businesses faced their growth challenges. While strategic focus and operational excellence are necessary to build a great growth company, they are not sufficient. Growth requires the right kind of leadership, culture, and people. The research shows that every growth business faces common challenges. You can learn from others’ experience – you do not have to “reinvent the wheel”.
Content Strategy for Professionals: Engaging Audiences for Your Organisation
- Platform: Coursera
- Length: 6 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 3 – 6 hours of work per week. This is for people anywhere in an organisation who have content development experience and want to significantly improve their abilities to understand audiences and develop strategic words, pictures, graphics and videos to convey their organisation’s most important goals.
- Why you should consider it: This course is for people who have content development experience and now want to significantly improve their abilities to understand audiences and develop strategic words, pictures, graphics, and videos to convey their organisation’s most important goals. Content strategy is a conversation that provides thought-leadership. It starts a “conversation” with users and stakeholders inside and outside an organisation. Conversations also enable people to develop “stories,” which lead to understanding and helpful mental pictures.
Related: Are You Torturing Your Customers?
The Science of Everyday Thinking
- Platform: edX
- Length: 12 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 2 hours per week. No prerequisites
- Why you should consider it: This course will explore everyday thinking: why people believe weird things, how we form and change our opinions, why our expectations skew our judgments, and how we can make better decisions. It debates topics such as medical diagnosis, paranormal phenomena, placebos, miracles, and more. You will learn how to evaluate claims, make sense of evidence, and understand why we so often make irrational choices. The course provides tools for how to think independently, how to be sceptical, and how to value data over personal experience. We will examine the mental shortcuts and rules-of-thumb that people use and misuse, and apply this knowledge to everyday situations to help make better decisions.
Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?
- Platform: edX
- Length: 6 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 4 hours per week. No prerequisites
- Why you should consider it: You have an idea for a product, but do you know who will want to buy it? Many seemingly great ideas and technologies come to a sudden halt in the face of one simple, inescapable question: “Who is your customer?” Every class session will be an in-depth and focused case study of MIT entrepreneurs from areas as diverse as mobile applications, 3D printing, power electronics, international development, and watchmaking. You will learn, through the stories of MIT entrepreneurs, how to go from idea or technology to the necessary understanding of who and why will want to buy your product.
Related: Complete an MBA for Free. Really!
Building Mobile Experiences
- Platform: edX
- Length: 12 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 10 – 12 hours of work per week. Java experience (or Objective C for iOS users) and a smartphone are required.
- Why you should consider it: This is a project-based course that guides students through creating a novel mobile application – from generative research to design, usability, implementation and field evaluation. This course will explore what makes mobile devices unique. A primary focus will be on studying existing behaviour and using key findings for design. While writing the code for an app is a part of the class, the majority of the topics will cover designing and evaluating a unique mobile experience. Along the way, you will have opportunities to share your work with other students from around the world.
An Introduction to Credit Risk Management
- Platform: edX
- Length: 7 weeks
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: 6 hours of work per week. You should have completed introductory courses in statistics and probability and have a basic knowledge of financial vocabulary
- Why you should consider it: What is credit risk? Why is it so important, in modern economies, to correctly deal with it? This course combines theory with practice to answer these questions. At the end of the course, you will be able to understand and use the basic tools of credit risk management, both from a theoretical and, most of all, a practical point of view.
- Platform: lynda.com
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: Video tutorial. 3 hours, 29 minutes. Beginner level.
- Why you should consider it: In this course, you’ll learn what search engine optimisation (SEO) is and how you can start using it to increase your website’s visibility to search engines and attract the right kind of traffic to the right kinds of pages on your site. Discover how to read a results page and find your ranking, and see how rankings affect both large and small businesses. Then find out how to implement basic optimisation strategies, like conducting keyword research, building inbound links, optimising your pages and content, and measuring your successes and progress while planning for a long-term SEO strategy. SEO for ecommerce, local search, and an international audience round out this comprehensive look at the basics of SEO.
Online Marketing Fundamentals
- Platform: lynda.com
- Time commitment/Pre-requisites: Video tutorial. 3 hours, 29 minutes. Beginner level.
- Why you should consider it: In Online Marketing Fundamentals, marketers, web designers, business owners, and executives will be introduced to the world of online marketing. The course takes a look at the basis of any online marketing effort – a business’s website – and reviews how the different components of the site can support the business’s goals, from SEO and SEM to social media, online PR and content marketing.
21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be
Besides thinking differently, you have to work harder to achieve the kind of financial success you’re after. These millionaire tactics can help you.
Here are 21 choices the world’s wealthy make that have brought them to and kept them at the top of their finances and lives:
From the moment you get out of bed, you’re defining your own financial future. Without even thinking about money, the decisions you make in every aspect of your life affect how close you get to attaining more than just comfort, but real wealth.
Thinking big must come naturally
Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right. Henry Ford knew what he was talking about. From a gasoline-powered horseless carriage, to the cars we drive today, no one would have blamed him for thinking his ideas were far-fetched – but he did it anyway.
If not you, then who? That’s how rich people think, asks T. Harv Eker in his book Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.
The only thing standing between you and your first million is your mindset. Small thinking produces small results, and aiming low won’t get you where you want to go.
They invest in their physical and mental health
Self-development is a choice – and you’re probably not making it. Balance is key when climbing your way to success, so skipping gym in favour of burning the midnight oil or sleeping in could be harming your efforts.
According to Thomas Corley in his book Change Your Habits, Change Your Life, cardio is not only good for the body, but also the brain.
“It grows the neurons (brain cells) in the brain,” he says. “Exercise also increases the production of glucose. Glucose is brain fuel. The more fuel you feed your brain, the more it grows and the smarter you become.”
Join 76% of some of the world’s wealthiest who work out at least 30 minutes a day.
Getting a head start gets them going
Squeezing in a cardio session a few days a week requires you to make time, so getting up early is a prerequisite.
How early? Try three hours before you’re due at work. This give you time to navigate the inevitable daily disruptions that could so easily derail your day.
These disruptions have a psychological effect on us, says Corley. “They can drip into our subconscious and eventually form the belief that we have no control over our life,” he explains.
Getting up early affirms that you’re in control of your life and that confidence alone is enough to get you through the day.
They know they’re in control
You can either let things happen to you or regain the reins on your life. Rich people do the latter, as Eker explains:
“You have to believe that you are the one who creates your success; creates your mediocrity, and your struggles around money and success.”
It comes down to a mindset shift that can only be achieved when you acknowledge the power you possess over your life, and the direction in which it’s headed.
The risks they take are calculated
While average people play it safe, the rich know that every investor loses money on occasion, and there’s always room to make more cash.
“One group stays awake worrying about losing what they have, while the other can’t sleep because they’re dreaming of what’s possible,” Corley says.
Making money is never going to be guaranteed, but knowing what ‘good’ risks to take can make you wealthy.
Money doesn’t come first for them
The reason they keep going to almost insane levels is that wealthy people are doing what they love to earn the money they have.
You’ve heard people say you need to find a job you don’t need a vacation from – well, that’s the secret to getting and staying rich. Do what you love and then find a way to get paid for it. It’s not about doing a job you hate just for the money.
“Members of the middle-class have been trained in school and conditioned by society to live in a linear thinking world that equates earning money with physical or mental effort,” says self-made millionaire Steve Siebold.
They are bigger than their problems
A bad day doesn’t mean a bad life, and no one knows this more than financially successful people.
The routine you read about being so important earlier can easily get derailed, and you have to make a conscious decision not to ruin your day. Focus on your goals instead, says Eker: “The road to wealth is fraught with traps and pitfalls, and that’s precisely why most people don’t take it. They don’t want the hassles, the headaches, and the responsibilities. In short, they don’t want the problems.”
He says the secret to success is to grow yourself so that you’re bigger than any problem you may encounter.
Their inner circle is also rich
This is more than just about birds of a feather flocking together. The right crowd comprises positive and successful people. This motivates you to do better as you’re surrounded by inspiration, proving it can be done.
According to Eker, the fastest and easiest way to create wealth is to learn exactly how rich people, who are masters of money, play the game. Be grateful to have a template for success instead of being jealous of their achievements.
Opportunities are their main focus
What’s your outlook on challenges? Successful people see opportunities where the average person would see an obstacle. They’re always focused on what they can learn from something instead of worrying about the negative impact it may have on their plans.
Peak performance coach Phil Drolet believes that rich people choose to see everything as a blessing; as a stepping stone for something greater.
“That way, you can start developing the mindset that will lead you to exceptional wealth,” he says.
They don’t use their own money
It’s said it takes money to make money, but no one said it had it be your own. “Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant,” says Siebold.
“The real question is, ‘Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?’ The truth is you have to have great ideas that solve problems to make money. If you do, you will attract money like a magnet.”
Investors don’t feel like they’re giving away their money, but helping solve a problem. It’s a win-win situation.
Despite fear, they act
“If you want to create your greatest life, you have to tame the beast of fear,” says Drolet. “Fear will never completely go away, but it’s the ability to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ that separates those who create their dream life and those who simply dream about it.”
That’s why wealthy people are few and far between – they face their fears, acknowledge them, and get on with it. It’s the only way to learn and grow.
Their money works for them
You’ve worked so hard for the money you have now. You don’t have to keep working as hard to grow it substantially. Passive income is the best tool to building your wealth, so don’t just keep your money in that investment account – invest it so it works for you (almost) as hard as you worked for it.
Money in the bank won’t make you rich, and successful people know that. It’s of no use if it’s waiting for you to need it, when it could be multiplying right now.
Their net worth trumps money in the bank
Net worth is a combination of your income, savings, investments and cost of living – not how much is in your bank account right now.
Eker explains that your net worth is the financial value of everything you own and that’s why it’s the ultimate measure of wealth: “If necessary, what you own can eventually be liquidated into cash.”
Successful people, therefore, focus on optimising what they earn, how much they spend and their savings and investments to acquire and keep their wealth.
They know not all assets are equal
“Things don’t make you rich. Image doesn’t make you rich.” Financial planner Ian van Greunen learnt this valuable lesson from his father when he started working. “He told me that a good suit has its name on the inside.”
He notes that wealthy people don’t have fancy lifestyle choices that put them in a negative vortex of spending on assets that don’t appreciate.
Flashy cars and high-end labels make you look and feel good, but they’re not part of the bigger picture you’re trying to achieve, right?
Even their smallest decisions are smart
Your spending habits could be standing in the way of you becoming wealthy. That latte from the coffee shop every morning. That sandwich from the deli every day. That pack of cigarettes that could be costing you up to R1000 a month. They add up.
“Assuming that you work for 40 years, you would spend R480 000 on cigarettes over the course of your working life,” Van Greunen theorises. But, what if you invested that same amount instead?
“Assuming inflation rates of 5% and that we could invest that money to achieve a real return 5%, if we took that smoking habit and invested it over 40 years you would accumulate R6 million,” he says.
So, consider this: What is the real cost of your spending habits?
They choose property wisely
Property is only an asset if you’re making money from it. If you’re going to purchase an expensive home, ensure it’s going to appreciate enough for you to benefit off its sale, or that you’re able to rent it out and make a sizeable return – you can even do both.
Van Greunen, however, recommends the home you live in should be modest, like most of the world’s wealthy. “You do not become a millionaire by living in a million dollar house in a million-dollar suburb,” he says. “Most millionaires buy existing homes in the average suburb.”
He suggests this formula to determine how much you should be spending: “Take your total household income per annum and multiply that by three. This should be the highest amount you spend on a home.”
The things that make them rich would surprise you
Some of the highest paid professionals in South Africa still don’t save enough. Why? Because having a high income doesn’t mean you’re wealthy.
“Wealthy people, as much as they hate doing it, run their lives every month on a budget,” says Van Greunen.
If that sounds like too much admin, consider how much longer it’ll take to reach your financial goals if you’re not monitoring the ins and outs of your money. And if you think your money isn’t a big enough sum to manage, you’re wrong.
“The habit of managing your money is more important than the amount,” says Eker.
They aren’t concerned with humility
You know your capabilities, can name all your achievements and probably know your worth. So why shouldn’t everyone else? Self-promotion isn’t a bad thing – just ask all the successful people who promote themselves, their ideas and their products with enthusiasm.
Believe it or not, you can do this without (most) people thinking your ego is as big as the amount of money you’re looking to get them to spend.
There’s even an award for it that author Tim Ferriss won in 2008: The Greatest Self-Promoter of All-Time.
They’re committed to making money
Working hours are going to get longer if you want your earnings to get larger. If you’re not going all in, it’ll be evident in the result of your money-making efforts.
“Getting rich takes focus, courage, knowledge, expertise, 100% of your effort, a never-give-up attitude, and of course a rich mindset,” Eker notes. “Rich people are unwavering in their desire to attain wealth. As long as it’s legal, moral, and ethical, they will do whatever it takes to have wealth.”
Clarity is key, as Drolet says, you have to be absolutely clear in your mind that you’ll create exceptional wealth, and you will.
They are trailblazers
“You can’t sit with us” is music to a successful person’s ears. They’re going to find a new table and get other people to sit with them, because who wants to be part of the herd when you can lead your own?
According to Corley, failure to separate yourself from the herd is why most people never achieve success. “We so desire to blend in, to acclimate to society, to be a part of the herd, that we will do almost anything to avoid standing out in a crowd,” he says.
You don’t need to be popular to be great. Everyone’s doing one thing, so naturally doing something else, you really care about, should earn you greater success.
They’re in it to win it
Most people want to have just enough to cover their living expenses, go out once in a while and vacation somewhere nice once a year.
If you think like this, that’s all you’re going to get. Aiming to be financially comfortable isn’t enough, because you’re going to make just enough to survive and not a cent more, says Eker.
Next slideshow: 8 Rules To Build Wealth When You Weren’t Born Into Money
8 Rules To Build Wealth When You Weren’t Born Into Money
Use these eight rules to build wealth when you weren’t born into money. The harder you work at these rules the closer you’ll get to achieving the wealth you want.
Here are eight rules to build wealth when you aren’t born into money
99% of people aren’t born into wealth, and have to work their whole lives to achieve six-zero figure financial freedom.
“If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it,” says Elon Musk. The path to wealth, for numerous people, is complicated and filled with obstacles and is unique to their specific circumstances, But, their determination to reach their goals allows them to make the money they always wanted to make.
You’ll need to make smart decisions in your personal and professional life to build your wealth up over time. “Great wealth builders focus on both saving money and earning more,” says Todd Tresidder of FinancialMentor.com. It’s a twofold system that you’ll have to operate the best of your ability.
Rule 1: Pay off high-interest debt
Your first step to achieving wealth is to settle outstanding debt. If you’re holding significant debt, you won’t be able to make new investments or buy assets. You’ll find yourself spending all your disposable income on paying off the interest and never really getting to the principle amount. This puts you in a circle of debt where you never make any progress.
“Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this,” says Dave Ramsey.
Once you’ve dedicated more money to servicing debt, and you’ve paid off high-interest accounts, you can progress to investments and saving larger portions of your salary. You can now use your excess debt instalments for your investments, and the interest you’re earning will now build on your wealth instead of taking away from it.
Rule 2: Always have money left at the end of your month
This rule is an easy concept, but challenging to put into practice. If you want to grow your wealth, you’ll need to ensure your monthly expenses are less than your monthly income. “It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for,” says Robert Kiyosaki.
The key to following this rule effectively is lowering your spending so you can increase your savings. You can start by slowly putting away a certain amount every month. Keep in mind you still need to pay your bills and live comfortably, which means the amount of money you put aside needs to be any extra cash you have left over.
Rule 3: Take advantage of tax-free savings accounts
With a tax-free savings account, you can put aside a specific amount every month that you don’t pay tax on. The money you’ve saved, should you need to withdraw some of it, or all of it, won’t be penalised by the taxman. “Try to save something while your salary is small; it’s impossible to save after you begin to earn more,” says Jack Benny.
Take advantage of this investment offer before your expenses grow along with your salary and you find it difficult to put anything aside.
Rule 4: Develop wealth building habits
You need to adopt habits that lead to wealth and help you to build a solid financial foundation. Multiple, small smart choices consistently conducted over time, will create wealth. But, it needs to be consistent and over a long period of time. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do,” says Mark Twain.
Wealth building is not a get rich quick scheme, it will take years, potentially decades, but if you’re diligent you can reach your goals.
Rule 5: Hustle. Hard
You need to work harder than everyone else around you because if working at average speed could grow wealth, everyone would be wealthy.
“There is no such thing as overnight success or easy money. If you fail, do not be discouraged; try again. When you do well, do not change your ways. Success is not just good luck: it is a combination of hard work, good credit standing, opportunity, readiness and timing. Success will not last if you do not take care of it,” says Henry Sy.
Hard work will help you to accomplish your wealth making goals. “I still work hard to know my business. I’m continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I’m always selling. Always,” says Mark Cuban. You need to always be considering ‘how can I work harder?’, but also smarter to increase wealth. Don’t become complacent about your methods, as it could lead you down a challenging wealth creation path.
Rule 6: Create multiple revenue streams
Investing your savings is a way to create multiple revenue streams. There is also the potential of part-time work, but note that freelance work is growing in popularity amongst those looking to increase their incomes.
“Building wealth is about creating value and then recapturing that value in financial compensation. Whether it’s providing services, knowledge, or experience, if you aren’t creating value then there’s nothing for you to build wealth with,” says Jim Wang of Bargaineering.com and Microblogger.com. “This value can also take many forms. It can be actual monetary value or it could be providing entertainment or saving time or reducing headaches. The more creative you are, the more opportunities you’ll see.”
Rule 7: Know how to manage your money
You need to learn how to work your money so that it benefits you the most. “The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It’s simple: to master money, you must manage money,” says T Harv Eker. Without this skill your money is going to underperform and it will take a lot longer to reach your goals of wealth.
Until you study up and learn how to manage your money, you could try this suggestion from T Harv Eker: “If you don’t have the money management skills yet, using a debit card will ensure you don’t overspend and rack up debt on a credit card.”
Rule 8: Hire expert help
If finance is not your area of expertise, and you’ve accumulated knowledge but now you need insight that can only be delivered by a professional, then you need to hire them.
“The wealthy person has three best friends: her attorney, her accountant and her adviser. The wealthy tend to use the law and tax code to their advantage when figuring out how to maximise their wealth, especially over multiple generations, and they are not afraid to spend money up front for counsel to get these answers,” says Justin Kumar, a portfolio manager. “The wealthy look at value over cost, but they are still prudent in their decisions.”
Once you’ve implemented every rule, start again, ensure that you’re constantly working on improving your finances, reducing your expenses, increasing your savings and investments. Once you have the rhythm of wealth-building in your genes, stick with it until you reach your financial goals.
Next slideshow: 20 Things Millionaires Aren’t Sharing With You
20 Things Millionaires Aren’t Sharing With You
Want to find the secret sauce that helps regular people achieve wealth? Here are 20 insights that millionaires aren’t sharing that can help you become a tycoon too.
Here are 20 secrets to wealth creation that millionaires aren’t sharing with you
Millionaires have particular habits and strategies in their daily lives that result in them becoming wealthy.
There are 46 500 millionaires, 2 060 multi-millionaires and 639 ultra-high net worth individuals (+ 30 million) in South Africa, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2016. This shows that more people are figuring out how to achieve financial freedom, but the question remains; how are they doing it?
Spend less than you earn
Over the long run, you’ll be better off if you strive to be anonymously rich rather than deceptively poor.
“Financial peace of mind isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this,” says Dave Ramsey, an American businessman, author, radio host, television personality, and motivational speaker.
The more money you don’t spend the more you can accumulate and invest, and turn into passive income, which in turn will grow your wealth.
Keep your focus
You won’t become a millionaire overnight, so you’ll need to keep your focus and remain patient until it happens.
“If you took our top fifteen decisions out, we’d have a pretty average record. It wasn’t hyperactivity, but a hell of a lot of patience. We stuck to our principles and when opportunities came along, you pounced on them with vigour,” says Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
Numerous millionaires make it to their end goal by saving and investing, and slowly over time they become millionaires. Patience and focus can help you achieve your wealth goals.
Weigh-up value versus worth
The reason people are reaching millionaire status is because they aren’t buying the flashy cars and the fancy houses. They’ve learnt from Warren Buffett’s example and they still live in the same house and they still drive ten-year-old sedans.
“Too many people spend money they earn to buy things to impress people that they don’t like,” said Will Rogers, a stage, motion picture actor and social commentator.
It takes a particular type of person that doesn’t care what people think, and is focused on their goal to forgo spending money to impress others.
Pay off your monthly debts
As any financially savvy person knows, no matter how much you earn, if you still have debt it’s going to eat away at your income.
“The only way you will ever permanently take control of your financial life is to dig deep and fix the root problem,” says Suze Orman.
It may not feel like you’re moving forward by paying off your debt, but once it’s gone everything extra you make can start earning interest and growing your wealth.
Money will never buy happiness
Money does allow you to achieve financial freedom, but remember: “There are people who have money, and there are people who are rich,” says Coco Chanel. Money can provide an easier life, but that should not be mistaken for happiness, you’ll need something else to drive you to achieve millionaire status.
“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort,” Franklin D Roosevelt said.
Financial freedom is a mind-set
Financial freedom is a state of mind that comes from being debt free, which you can attain regardless of your income level.
“Financial freedom is a mental, emotional and educational process,” says Robert Kiyosaki.
You need to have the right mind-set to achieve the millionaire status or you won’t make it to the finish line. When you have no debt, you can take more risks.
“Every risk is worth taking as long as it’s for a good cause, and contributes to a good life,” adds Richard Branson.
Have multiple sources of income
Getting a second job not only increases the size of your income, but also keeps you busy, and a busy person doesn’t have time to spend the money they already have. Never depend on a single income. Make investments to create a second one,” says Warren Buffett.
On the other hand, if you aren’t knowledgeable in the stock market, then perhaps start your own business on the side.
“The best thing you can do is start a home-based business,” adds Dave Ramsey.
Manage your money to attain growth
You can’t expect your money to grow and mature if you aren’t using some form of credible money management.
“The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It’s simple: To master money, you must manage money,” says T Harv Eker.
Without financial management, your money isn’t going to do anything, you need to be proactive and work your money every day to ensure maximum growth.
“If you look at the average amount of money you will earn over your lifetime, and figure out how many years you are working, most people earn more than a million dollars over their working life, but very few people become millionaires,” says Nancy Butler, a certified financial planner.
“How they manage what goes through their fingers usually makes the difference.”
Pay yourself first
Paying yourself is an essential strategy of personal finance and a great way to build your savings and instil financial discipline.
“Paying yourself first means saving before you do anything else,” says David Blaylock, a financial planner.
“Try and set aside a certain portion of your income the day you get paid, before you spend any discretionary money. Most people wait and only save what’s left over — that’s paying yourself last.”
Paying yourself first will allow you to grow your wealth and increase your principle investment every month.
Have a passion for your work
People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. The reason is because it’s so hard to succeed in business that if you don’t, you might give up. You have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people.
If you really look at the ones that ended up being ‘successful’ in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, oftentimes it’s the ones who were successful that loved what they did, so they could persevere when it got really tough. And the ones that didn’t love it quit because they’re sane, right? Who would want to put up with the stuff if you don’t love it?
“So it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a lot of worrying constantly and if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail,” said Steve Jobs.
Don’t underestimate a well thought-out plan
As the saying goes, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Millionaires that reach this milestone without a plan, usually, get there through luck, and what are the odd that’s going to be you?
“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them,” says Denis Waitley, Human Achievement Expert.
It’s not enough to declare that you want to be financially free; you have to work out every step to get there.
Set big hairy audacious savings goals
Don’t be afraid to think big when setting your savings goals.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got,” said Henry Ford.
Don’t be afraid to really go after what you want even if it’s hard, or you’re uncertain you can make it.
Financial success demands that you have a vision that is larger than you can currently deliver on.
Work harder than anyone else
Hard work can often help to make up for a lot of financial mistakes throughout your journey to success, and you will make financial mistakes.
“I still work hard to know my business. I’m continuously looking for ways to improve all my companies, and I’m always selling. Always,” says Mark Cuban.
Hard work can literally set you apart from your competition and help you to reach your goal faster.
“There is no such thing as overnight success or easy money. If you fail, do not be discouraged; try again. When you do well, do not change your ways. Success is not just good luck: It is a combination of hard work, good credit standing, opportunity, readiness and timing. Success will not last if you do not take care of it,” says Henry Sy, Sr.
Ensure your long term success by insuring yourself
Bankruptcy is a reality and can come for you at any time. It can be triggered by variables including: Death, divorce, disability or even a poor investment.
“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down,” says Mary Pickford.
When you insure yourself against risk it gives you time to course correct and save your future.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardship and decide not to surrender, that is strength,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Time is most precious
If you begin saving in your twenties, you can take maximum advantage of the power of compound interest for your savings.
“No matter how great the talents or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant,” says Warren Buffett.
Remember that you’re playing the long game, and sometimes the only way to achieve millionaire status is to keep doing what you’re doing for long enough.
Keep your money hidden from you
You can’t spend what you can’t see. You should use debt orders to pay your retirement and other savings accounts. As your salary increases, you can painlessly increase the size of those deductions to ensure you put money aside every month.
“If you want to get rich, you’ll need to save what you earn. A fool can earn money; but it takes a wise man to save and dispose of it to his own advantage,” says Brigham Young.
Pay off your large scale debt
Once you’ve paid off your house and any other large scale items, you can direct those payments into your savings as well.
“To acquire money requires valour, to keep money requires prudence, and to spend money well is an art,” says Berthold Auerbach.
Ensure you’re spending your money on what really matters and not just the interest on your debt.
Your salary’s only half the story
Climbing up the corporate ladder will only get you so far, eventually you will have to make your money work hard for you.
“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for,” says Robert Kiyosaki.
Generating income from passive, rather than active, income sources is the best way to do this.
Timing isn’t (always) everything
No one can really predict the market; in order to be wealthy you can’t moonlight as a day trader.
“Time [period] is more important to investment success than timing,” explained Peter Lazaroff, a financial planner.
“Most of the population believes that timing the market’s moves is the key to growing rich through the stock market. The wealthy, however, understand that time and compound returns are the most important factor in growing wealth.”
Achieving millionaire status requires investors to adopt a buy-and-hold strategy, ride out market fluctuations and ignore rumour and speculation.
Value vs cost: Understand the difference
Paying for consultants to give you insights into growing your wealth shouldn’t sound counter-intuitive, especially if this isn’t your area of expertise.
“The wealthy person has three best friends: Her attorney, her accountant and her adviser. The wealthy tend to use the law and tax code to their advantage when figuring out how to maximise their wealth, especially over multiple generations, and they are not afraid to spend money up front for counsel to get these answers,” says Justin Kumar, a portfolio manager.
“The wealthy look at value over cost, but they are still prudent in their decisions.”
Next slideshow: 15 Wise Money Quotes From Millionaires And Billionaires
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