How To Become A Millionaire In 10 Steps Flat

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2007-05-3156

Want to know how to become a millionaire? This story of the world’s first virtual millionaire may be able to tell us something!

There’s this woman who made a million dollars by creating a female avatar (or online character) in a video game called Second Life. By building a business empire within the video game’s alternative universe through real estate and arbitrage of virtual land, items and currencies, she amassed a fortune in the game’s currency which could be converted into real life dollars.

This female entrepreneur leveraged a premium membership of $9.95 in the video game and turned it into a million dollars. How sweet is that! Here are some images depicting her avatar as well as her true identity (her real name is Ailin Graef):

Anshe Chung  
 
Ailin Graef

Image Sources: Idea City

It goes to show you, anybody can become a millionaire by doing something well.

Even mastering a video game.

That is one unusual way to make it big. How about the more conventional avenues? Well there’s some great advice out there on how to become a millionaire, mostly telling you that you need to save, invest your money wisely and let it cook for a while. At the end of a few decades, you’ll be rich with a million bucks.


That’s all absolutely true, but I thought to provide some additional thoughts on this subject with the following commandments.

How To Become A Millionaire: 10 Mandates To Get To A Million

#1 Start saving and investing early.
The younger you are, the greater your chance of making a million if you start saving and investing early! The power of compounding is on your side. To start, you can open an online brokerage account — some good ones are Zecco and TradeKing.

Tip: If you’re ready to invest, here’s a full list of the best online stock brokers that I would highly recommend.

#2 Know that any type of work or business can make you rich if it has a market.
Any line of work can potentially make you a millionaire if you’re successful at it, and especially if you’re really good at it. Your skills, if they answer a strong demand, could be your ticket to big things. Many of the wealthy are people who excel at what they do — whether it be in sports, entertainment, sales, real estate, business, art, engineering, writing.

#3 Make some money by doing something you like to do.
If you enjoy what you do, the chances of you becoming great at your chosen area of work will increase. It bears repeating that if you are in a marketable line of work or calling, you have the opportunity to rise to the top and conceivably make very good money. As an example, check out these people who make money blogging. Many folks start out with a hobby that they eventually turn into a business.

#4 Enter the field you want to be in and find out what’s marketable about it.
Strategically work towards the goal of breaking into a marketable career. For example, you can start out in food preparation. But then build your experience and learn the business as best as you can so that one day you may start something on your own.

#5 Help yourself succeed with the following traits: positive mindset, can-do attitude, willingness to learn, knowledgeability, persistence, determination, passion and being action-oriented.

#6 Be willing to make sacrifices and to reset priorities.
Stop spending, watch your budget and set aside some money. Try to find some inspiration to help you through the financial challenges. Look into other people’s success stories and take encouragement from their own experiences.

#7 Don’t buy into the belief that you can get rich overnight. The only way you can do so is by being lucky. You can have a windfall fall on your lap tomorrow, but that would be lady fortune smiling upon you — a chance event. Lotteries and casinos are obvious crap shoots. If someone offers you the formula to get rich tomorrow with very little work all for a “small” fee, run away. It’s a scam.

#8 Learn all you can about finance.
Don’t invest blindly. Read up on it, learn how other successful people have made it and do the research via books, the web, workshops, classes or seminars.

#9 Learn all you can about business, if you want to become an entrepreneur.
Don’t get into business blindly. Learn how to run, operate and manage a business before you take on that risk. There are many people with specific talents who entered into business and failed. That’s because it’s not enough to be able to cultivate an idea or a skill, you’ll also need to know something about business before starting one. Either you have the head for business, or get a partner who does.

#10 Know the rest of the wealth formula, realizing that making money is just the first step to success.

Make money: this is obvious. You have to start somewhere, after all.
Grow your money: Your money has to work for you as well. So learn how to make it grow.
Preserve it, keep it, protect it: this is one element often overlooked in conventional financial advice because it’s not as exciting as the “making” and “growing” steps. But this is a whole realm of finance you’ll want to keep abreast of to be able to grasp the big picture. Some topics on this cover trusts, estate planning, asset protection, insurance and other wealth preservation strategies.

A Couple of Last Points

You don’t have to do everything yourself. You can always hire others — reputable experts(!) — to implement your plan. But I’d advice that you don’t hire a professional without knowing about these subjects yourself. You don’t want someone else, no matter how much you trust them, to be in control of your finances. In the end, you are the one who cares the most about your money and who wants to be that millionaire; hence, you’ll need to be your own financial boss.

Copyright © 2007 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Olson May 31, 2007 at 7:19 am

SVB,

5,6,and 7 really resonate with me. I started saving and investing in my 20s – when i was only a blue collar working stiff and it paid huge divdends creating a quarter million dollar net worth by 30. Now I’m 38 and well on my way to becoming a millionaire. I’d have to really screw up now to blow it. Index funds are the easiest. I’ve made over 50% (including dividends) on the S&P 500 since 2004 with no fees.

If i could tell young people one thing – it’s invest now – learn about compound interest. Create your future now!

Silicon Valley Blogger May 31, 2007 at 7:26 am

Steve,

That’s outstanding to hear! It’s impressive to see how just tracking the market can really make such an enormous difference. You don’t have to do any form of elaborate investing to get going in the direction we all want to go, simply tracking the market via indexes works.

I love hearing about success stories like this. :)

shaz May 31, 2007 at 8:09 pm

success stories are a real motivator and give great information that can be repeated for yourself

Minimum Wage June 1, 2007 at 5:33 am

What if you’re earning minimum wage and don’t have the money to start a business?

Steve Olson June 1, 2007 at 8:16 am

Minimum Wage,

this might sound cold… but…
If you are earning minimum wage and want to earn more, you need to find a way to give an employer or customer something… a service or a product that is worth more to them than the minimum wage. Then you can start to grow your wealth. You grow wealth be giving not getting.

I started at minimum wage… my wife worked for minimum wage for many years. Believe me you can get out and the sooner you find a way the better off you will be financially.

Minimum Wage June 1, 2007 at 5:42 pm

I have a college degree including a minor in comp sci, and high test scores; I think I have quite a bit to offer an employer. I am flexible and can learn new things (if the training is available) to meet changing demands. But I am a boomer with no career-related experience, and employers willing to hire older workers want them to walk in the door and use skill X immediately; so at my age nobody wants to hire me for anything other than menial jobs.

I have some ideas on filling an unmet market demand but it requires money up front which I don’t have.

MossySF June 2, 2007 at 11:25 am

Minimum Wage – I see you have a minor in comp sci. The best way to take advantage of that is to get experience on your own. Create your own websites, volunteer in open-source projects (if you can’t write code, there’s documentation/testing/support). While this kind of experience won’t help much breaking into the typical big corp, it ranks very high for small companies. Small companies above all want passion and iniative because they know very well people will have to tackle more than what’s in the job description. Someone who walks in with a portfolio of projects that they undertook because they had a itch to scratch would be highly valued in the hectic small company environment.

Lazy Man and Money June 2, 2007 at 11:50 am

Minimum Wage, perhaps you are in the wrong place. I can’t guarantee it and it would be some risk, but in Silicon Valley people seem to be hiring anyone with any kind of computer science expertise. If you can pick up a book on a language like Java and program some demo application, I think you’d have a lot to show off to an employer.

My company alone has been looking to hire 3 more engineers. They’ll take anyone – even guys like myself (I’m a terrible software engineer).

David June 9, 2007 at 1:53 pm

Like your Top 10 list. I plan to include it in our “Who Said That” on Friday, June 16th.

Millionaire Mommy Next Door July 16, 2007 at 10:24 am

I’m a woman, a mommy, and a self-made millionaire. At age 30 I decided I wanted financial freedom. Just ten years later, at age 40, I was completely debt-free and I had a million dollars in the bank.

I didn’t do anything outrageous– like win the lottery, invent some must have gizmo, inherit from my long lost auntie… or participate in any pyramid schemes. So how did I do it?

Briefly, I changed my thinking and I learned about money. I started working for myself from home (to keep overhead expenses low), paid myself first, spent my money in accordance with my values (makes budgeting a pleasure), and learned to invest without a broker (saved $$$ in fees and commissions).

I’m passionate about inspiring people to learn more about money, and in fact, I’m hoping to serve as a helpful role model and mentor for others aspiring to achieve financial freedom. I’m eager to share my experiences because I’m at a point where I want to give back. With this purpose in mind, I recently launched a personal finance blog that targets women and families in particular (although not exclusively).

Your post highlights many important considerations. Well done.
~Millionaire Mommy Next Door

kash August 9, 2007 at 5:40 am

If you save and invest money every month, you will become a millionaire at some point. As Einstein put it, compound interest is the “eighth wonder of the world.” It all depends on how much money you currently have, how much interest that money will earn (the tricky part), and how much you can save each month and, of course, how long you can wait. Another critical part of the equation is that you leave the interest earned alone so that it keeps earning interest.There’s one often-cited example of the power of compound interest.
Read more: Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

Silicon Valley Blogger August 9, 2007 at 7:19 am

@Minimum Wage,
With a background in comp sci, I’d brush up the skills a little perhaps, and shoot off my resume to anyone out there (companies, job boards, etc). I’d then negotiate a better salary than “minimum wage”. At this day and age, with some bit of skill especially in the computer arena, there’s no way you couldn’t possibly increase your income, which is the first step to getting out of any financial hole.

I agree that you can’t go very far with limited income, so focusing on getting higher pay should be #1. I agree with everyone who’s replied to your specific comments.

@Millionaire Mommy Next Door – congrats on your million (or more) :) Your blog and stories are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your experiences on the net!

@kash, compound interest is helping me out right now even as my pace of saving has diminished. With my past savings going full throttle in investments, I’m still doing ok. I still need to get my act together with regards to saving more TODAY! :)

living off dividends October 29, 2007 at 5:10 pm

attitude to wealth is everything.

once you start looking at everything as a potential money making idea, you start to attract money.

Dr. Art November 18, 2007 at 9:43 pm

Sounds fantastic!!

Dr. Art November 18, 2007 at 10:57 pm

Let me show my own way on how to become a millionaire in ten steps flat:

1. It is the realization that money is just an illusion and that money has a value since people have placed them so. If you really want to become a millionaire, you really have to realize that money has its own value simply because the illusion is there and people have placed value into it. In other words money has the semblance of gold where it can be stored for the winter so that it can be exchanged for food when it has become scarce. Realizing that it is merely an illusion the best way to become a millionaire is to store millions of it in the right place like the bank and investment firms.

2. To become a millionaire is but an easy tasks once one is prepared on how to handle it. People fantasize to become a millionaire but are not prepared on it. Becoming a millionaire is easier said than done. To become a millionaire there are several or multifarious things that must be in placed: A thorough knowledge where to invest the money, is it in the mutual funds, money market, money plan, stocks, bonds, TDs and savings Deposits?; A thorough knowledge on financial statements – you must learn the basics of accounting, know the laws of debits and credits, know how to understand Income and Balance Sheet Statements; A fundamental analysis in investing;A knowledge in the management of business risks; know to deal with labor unions; expertise in labor laws; an array of knowledge in management principles and ideas; Know what is break even points and contribution margins; Know and understand Cash Flow Statements; can read and understand Statement of Changes in Financial Operations; have knowledge in laws governing partnerships and corporations; know how to prepare strategic planning; could prepare SWOT analysis and has a thorough knowledge in the management by objectives.

3. To become a millionaire one must make his leisure in earning money activities. Unless you can understand that business is pleasure and pleasure is business then nothing would propel you to become rich. A millionaire is simply because he regards his business activities as his leisure time. In other words unless you enjoy the concept of money making business whether it is buy and sell, investments or simply having your business then you will never become rich and a millionaire. The Billionaire Donal Trump was right when he said: “Never take a vacation.” You take a vacation simply because you want a break in your business activities in other words you do not enjoy your job as an entrepreneur.

4. Understand that business is a matter of supply, demand, price, buyer, seller, purchaser and manufacturer. Where do we want to stand in business as a consumer or producer? The answer lies that we must produce the supply and the demand will simply come along. Remember that airline company when they were still building their fleet, people were mocking at them and when finally the first flight was set and customers started to check in, people now are asking why is that they only have one plane to meet their demands.

5. The most important thing to become a millionaire is to be able first to define your mission and vision of your company or business. Is your business simply to earn profit and money? if so you will never become a millionaire. First and foremost you have to define whether your business is in the service to the populace which will address their common and needed needs. First you have to define your intentions if you want to become a millionaire.

6. People must quantify when they said they want to become rich and millionaire. It is not enough to say I want to become a millionaire. Is it One million, two million, two hundred million or nine hundred million? The problem with the poor is that they only have that dream but not specific amounts on how much they want. They just said they want to become rich but could not answer how much. Set a goal first to acquire one million is a more concrete and realistic way of attaining your dream instead of just simply saying I want to become a millionaire.

7. In the Bible it says that to those who have much, much will be given. This is true indeed for like poles attract each other. If you earn more then the tendency is for you to look for ways and means to further increase your wealth and therefore they always say the rich become richer while the poor becomes poorer. Money attracts money as poverty attracts poverty. Wealth and affluence is in the state mind.

8. To become a millionaire the product you are selling must address the unsolved needs of the community and world at large. The one who invented the ATM machine simply by all means is already a millionaire since he was able to anticipate and solve the needs to automate deposit and withdrawals of money in the bank. In other words an individual who could fill the needs of the people will simply become rich.

9. A millionaire must be able to foresee the future business developments so that he could manufacture goods or products that will be in demand and make him a millionaire. The person who could manufacture the alternative of oil as an alternative to energy use at a cheaper cost will surely become a millionaire. Just imagine a person could manufacture decompressed air or oxygen could substitute oil for energy use at a very low price would simply become a millionaire.

10. A millionaire must realize that we are merely the stewards of God’s creation and therefore once he becomes a millionaire a portion of it must be returned to God as a gesture of gratitude and thanks giving. Donate to foundations whose cause will be to help the poor and street children. Donate some to the church so that it can address its mission to help the indigents and the helpless in the society. They always say store your treasures in heaven and not in earth is the better analysis and empirical science worth emulating for.

Sandra January 28, 2008 at 3:03 am

Hi!

Another way to become rich is simply inheriting from a relative! but what if you don t have a relative that you can inherit from?
Maybe you do, you just don t know about it! A good way to find out is to register at http://www.famillion.com , build your family tree over there and let the system find you matches with related trees. This way you can find family members that you didnt know about and stay in touch with them. And even the “uncle” you found is not wealthy, it s a gain in any way!!! So, guys, check it out! It s free and cost you only 20 minutes of your time!!!
regards,
sandra

Work from Home Guru March 17, 2008 at 2:20 pm

All are very valuable tips. There is a lot of work that goes into building your fortune, unless of course it was handed to you. I have placed my primary focus into making money online, which works well for me, though I haven’t made millions yet, I feel confident that one day I will. Loving what you do is very important, in ones success. That’s not to say that you can’t make good money doing something that you don’t enjoy, but why would you want to.

millionaire500 April 11, 2008 at 8:13 am

Thank you for this post. I agree that you need to love what you do. Otherwise every day is a chore and no one likes chores.

mae September 28, 2008 at 5:31 am

hope that i will be millionaire someday,.,after my college,., hahahaha

Where do I start? September 28, 2008 at 3:34 pm

All of this sounds good, but where does one start. I am the sole income with a wife and two kids. I want financial independence but can’t even afford to be a homeowner. I make pretty good money for my age but still live check to check. How does one turn the corner when life’s expenses demand most you possess?

Monevator November 29, 2008 at 8:05 am

Few people are going to feel like following Step 7 right now (invest early and keep at it). Bear markets are a real test of faith for equity investors, and yet saving cash to become a millionaire (in real terms) is never going to be an option for most.

I’m sticking with stocks and shares, but I can’t pretend it’s easy, especially as if you’re in you should be buying right now while prices are low, which requires even more faith!

Nowell December 17, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Mininum wage:

I was working for less then mininum wage years ago and somehow I ended up with $20,000 dollars in the bank after 5 years. The way I did it was start a savings account at a bank or credit union. I would only take 10% of what I earned and put it into a savings account. I would do this with every check no matter what the amount. As my savings grew so did the interest. After a while I had enough money to go and invest either in a mutual fund or a cd. I would also explore other opportunities and learn everything I could about business and money before I took the plunge into operating a home based business. This was how I started with a $1.68 an hour wage. Good luck to you.

Nowell

Lester Rennard December 17, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Some very interesting tips! I would like to highlight tip #7: Don’t buy into the belief that you can get rich overnight. Especially during tough economic times such as these, there are myriads of scammers who are offering pie-in-the-sky schemes promising instant millions if you will send them some of your own money. Some of these scams may include lottery winnings; millions in fees for sending your bank account to have multimillion dollars deposited by some widows or wealthy “religious” terminally ill patients who are looking for a honest person to use such wealth to help humanity; checks to sent to you for depositing into your account and for you to send off a portion by wire to the scammer and for you to keep a portion for yourself, and many others.

Remember, if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. They appeal to ones greed and intend to wipe out whatever savings you already have and leave you with only a dream that quickly turns into a nightmare, debt and possibly the loss of your freedom. Visit the following site for more: http://www.consumerfinancialeducationforum.com

dean graziosi December 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm

I’ve heard about 2nd life but never knew someone could make money off that. Unbelievable. The key for many is to invest at opportune times. Whether it be through stock investing or through courses that teach you to be a real estate millionaire, the key is to make wise financial decisions and utilize patience so you only invest when something is undervalued and your gut strongly tells you this investment will one day in the future pay off hopefully 10-fold.

blackbv January 1, 2009 at 7:28 am

Thank you for your submission to the December 2008 edition of the advice for women from women blog carnival.

Bayo Aderogba January 26, 2009 at 4:23 am

thanks for the information

Jim D January 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

That’s a great article. I need to read something like that every so often to stay focused. I started investing in the stock market recently and plan to make my first million by investing.

Thanks

Silicon Valley Blogger January 27, 2009 at 9:43 am

Jim D,

That sounds like a lofty and wonderful goal that we all aspire to fulfill. Do let us know how things work out for you. We love to hear about success stories! :)

Bernz February 5, 2009 at 8:49 am

This is such a great and inspiring post and a great comment indeed by Dr. Art. Actually, becoming a millionaire was supposed to be much easier in this decade than ever. Rising home values between 1996-2006 have created a lot of millionaires in this country. Well of course we all know what happened after 2006, the economic meltdown and the drop in real estate values have made us all smarter than ever with our finances.

Lisa April 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I know there’s money to be made at Second Life, but I still haven’t figured out how to dress myself on there. ;)

MoneyEnergy April 26, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Money is already virtual enough as it is; I can’t believe that people would spend it in a virtual online world so that it goes to the hands of someone in the “real” world. I suppose that’s no different than paying for the opportunity to play any game. But it does make me wonder where our collective wealth priorities are!

I love Millionaire Mommy Next Door’s story. She has a great blog. It’s great to be reminded of what she did!

Millionaire Acts October 21, 2009 at 7:07 pm

I think the ultimate way to become a millionaire is to EARN MORE and DESIRE LESS. Earning more increases your income i.e. (taking a second job, investing your money, buying assets that provide passive income, etc.) while desiring less lessens your spending (i.e. budgeting, frugality, etc.)

Make it a habit and definitely, you would become a millionaire someday.

christian November 14, 2009 at 8:21 am

great advice …if you follow this advice with great desire to succeed you can really make it!

Professor Money December 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm

The Second Life is a great example of uniqueness. Don’t go out and copy this, but instead follow the idea.

precious January 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm

i need to become a millionaire

Hossam January 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Thanks for a great guide. This is the recipe of a successful business.

Jeff Bridge August 12, 2010 at 9:24 am

Jeez I wish it was as easy as this! Good read though and some good points to follow up.

Anon October 5, 2010 at 10:46 am

Omg! You made millions from a game, wish it was that easy for me lol. Great post and good job !

Silicon Valley Blogger October 5, 2010 at 10:54 am

@Anon,
I didn’t make millions, Ailin Graef did.

Adwello October 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I love your story about Ailin Graef! I took a look at my opportunities today and I realized I can earn $2000 per week in my tiling business, I can earn $2000 playing the piano at events during the weekends, I can lease out my search engine optimization and social media marketing skills at $2000 a time and I can write a book based on my success in business which I can leverage into a paid membership site. With these few simple actions week by week I will comfortably earn $2 million over the next 24 months! And until today I had thought of myself as average. Not any more! Thanks for your inspiration :)

zorro June 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

This is inspiring information — I want to achieve this kind of success. I WILL BE A MILLIONAIRE SOON with God’s HELP. Wait for it!

I love toast :) July 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm

I like toast. Do you like toast? 1 million buys lots of toast!

How To Become Rich Fast November 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

What an interesting thought to own virtual property and make money from it! I will investigate immediately. Thanks!

Poolonez December 14, 2011 at 12:06 am

Savings in a bank nowadays isn’t the best way to save your money, IMO. Your savings don’t grow in a regular savings account. I prefer to put my money in mutual funds and stocks — you should consider these types of accounts if you plan to hold your money for quite some time so you don’t lose the value of your money over time.

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