“It’s easy to make $1 million, it’s harder to keep it”
SnewJ is a Youtuber who asks millionaires in affluent areas how they got rich. Whether in a harbor full of yachts, a car show full of Lamborghinis, or just in wealthy neighborhoods, he goes up to people to ask them how much they make and how they got to where they are today. The most important question he asks though, is always the last one: “Do you have any advice for people who want to become financially successful?”
I find the answer to that question inspiring for entrepreneurs, because everyone has a different story, made their money a different way, and so has words of wisdom specific to their journey.
Climbing the corporate ladder is one way to get rich, but it tends to look the same no matter the industry you work in. People who go out on their own and end up making millions never do it the same way. I also love that SnewJ asks people born at very different times: 20-somethings, retired people, 50-year-old CEOs… It shows the realm of possibilities when it comes to becoming financially independent, and it’s a great reminder that it’s never too late to change your life.
With that in mind, I watched almost all of SnewJ’s millionaire interviews and took note of each piece of advice they give. In this article, I’ll go over the best tidbits of knowledge I have collected, as well as my own insights on them.
SnewJ interviewed Mario Arrizon, a business owner and motivational speaker. After they hit it off, he did a longer video with him and came to visit his house to talk about success. In the video, Mario is rebuilding everything at a cost of $3 million, and he’s looking at a $10 to $15 million valuation when all the work is done on the land. The neighborhood is amazing, and Mario has the biggest house on the block. He says he now makes $1 million a month, but it wasn’t always like this:
“I remember being so darn broke, and this is a tip for everybody: go to the neighborhood you want to live in. Get inspired again, remember why you started again. I remember driving through this neighborhood, thinking “One day I’m going to live here.” And now we got the biggest house here, it’s crazy.”
Some will call this manifestation, but Mario also reminds us that it’s not about sitting down and waiting for things to happen, trying to visualize a mansion in your mind. That’s where a lot of people get manifestation wrong.
“I work my butt off, it’s not just “manifest and it’s gonna happen”. You have to execute, know what you want and go after it.”
I remember watching an interview with Drake where he talked about doing the exact same thing when he was younger, and not famous yet. He would pick up girls in his old car after school and take them to Bridle Path, the richest neighborhood in Toronto. They would drive around, look at houses, and he would tell them: “One day, I’m going to live here.” The girls would probably smile and nod innocently, not taking him seriously. In 2020, Drake’s $100 million mansion finally came to completion in that exact neighborhood.
Picturing your life as a successful person and always seeking inspiration is key to becoming successful. Envisioning your future house in a rich neighborhood can be a great way of doing that, as long as you remember to put in the work.
“Don’t look for the quick dollar, it’s not there. You have to work hard. The problem with the younger generation is that they want the big buck, right now. And some people make it, but the best is to begin with solid, hard work. It’s a journey.”
This is advice from a 60-something who used to make $500K+ per year in the wholesale business. He certainly didn’t start off that way, and so his number one piece of advice is to take it slow and remember that consistency pays off.
TikTok and Instagram were not around when that guy was 20 or 30 years old, and it was probably easier to focus then. We live in a world where a lot of the technology we use is designed to make us lose our focus and waste time, and also to bombard us with images of “successful” people who need our eyeballs to make their money. Make no mistake, the “quick dollar generation” is an illusion.
Especially in the age of endless scrolling, light-speed liking, quick messaging, and sometimes instant social media fame, it’s easy to think that anybody can become a millionaire overnight. But the truth is:
- Number one, it only happens to 0.0001% of the people trying to make it, and when it happens overnight it’s always due to a stroke of luck. If you want to make it in life, remember that luck is out there, but never rely on it.
- Number two, more money means more problems, and many people who become rich overnight squander their fortune away and/or live above their means because they haven’t been educated about how to handle money that way.
You can start as a normal employee at a big accounting firm making $100K a year, and work your way up over 10 or 20 years to $500K or $1M per year, the sky is the limit. It takes time but it’s a reliable way to succeed. You don’t even have to go the corporate way, there are a million different ways to make a million dollars. But remember that hard work is always part of the equation.
“I have a sales and marketing company, I’ve been doing it for 35 years […] I made my first million dollars in 1997 and lost it in 1998, and I did it 5 times. What I had to do was learn […] Nobody taught me how to make a million dollars, but once you learn how to make a million you can always do it. What they don’t teach you is how to keep it. Once you make it you become a vault […] and you’re measured by how much you save, not what you spend.”
If you think about it, it’s not mathematically hard to make $1 million in sales and marketing. Here are a few ideas:
- Create a company that makes $200,000 a year in revenue and sell it at a 5x valuation (companies often sell at 10x or 20x valuation)
- Sell $1,000 worth of a product or service to 1,000 people
- Sell $100 worth of something to 10,000 people
- Make a 10% commission on $10,000,000 in sales
Take the first option on that list. It may take a lot of work to get started selling to people. You have to create your company, come up with a business plan, maybe create a website… It may be challenging but it’s not impossible, and once the machine is well-oiled and you get your marketing right, you can get to $200,000 in revenue pretty quickly. Or take the last option. If you want to make a 10% commission on your sales, you just have to find a company that will pay you that, become the best salesman, sell $10,000,000 worth of contracts, and you’re there. It takes time but it’s doable.
There’s an old saying that goes “It’s easier to go down the hill than to climb up.” If you don’t educate yourself on how to keep your money, you’ll blow through it in no time. $1 million gets you a nice house, maybe a nice car, that’s it. Learning how to make your money work for itself is key to becoming wealthy rather than just rich. Rich people make and spend money, wealthy people save and invest it. Measure your financial success by how much you save and invest, not how much you spend and own.
“The superior state of mind is a third-way approach. Somebody might see the jug half empty, somebody might see it half full. The third approach is cut the top off, and you get a full jug. That got me a long way.”
This advice is from the same guy who makes $50 million a year with his marketing company. He explains that once you start looking at problems and solutions through the SSOM lens, everything changes.
When the jug is half full, the top empty half represents everything standing between you and success. If you find a way to either fill the jug all the way up or cut the top off to remove problems and end up with a full jug, you’ve found a way to success.
This is not just some life metaphor to help you push through when things get tough. This is a new way of looking at problems. It’s good to be optimistic and see the jug half full, but if you leave the other half empty, or don’t find a way to get rid of it, you’re still only halfway there. Sometimes, the biggest challenges can be solved with a simple yet radical change of perspective.
“There’s not substitute for hard work. If you grind hard enough, if you network hard enough, bother people, make yourself known, put your name out there… You become annoying to a point where someone has to give you a shot. If you sit around and wait, it’s not going to come to you.”
SnewJ runs into a young entrepreneur who owns a concierge service that caters to famous personalities. He makes 6 figures per year and explains that one of his favorite sayings is “no passion, no point” because without passion you won’t “grind” hard enough.
The only way to push through when things get really tough is to be passionate. If you’re not passionate, you’ll give up sooner or later, and the less passionate you are, the quicker you’ll stop. Success is made of highs and lows, and the lows are the hardest to get through. Passion helps remind yourself why you started, where you’re headed, and it also gives you clarity on the next steps to get out of the chaos.
Yes, you can perform well without being passionate, you can get really far with just a good work ethic. But you’ll never become truly successful if you don’t bring passion into the mix.