The Greatest Obstacle To Becoming A Millionaire (a story that changed my life…literally)
The greatest obstacle to becoming a millionaire…
Many would say it’s not having a prestigious education, not knowing the right people, or coming from a poor family.
Well, I believe it comes down to one thing:
Being too realistic.
Not being ignorant and optimistic.
I have a story that can prove this.
A young boy, at the age of 13, lived in a happy family of eleven—including his parents. One cold and windy afternoon, his father went for a plane ride around the valley (he was a scientist who studied plants with infrared technology from planes). The wind was too strong and blew the plane into a mountainside, demolishing it into pieces.
Their family of 10 was left with little to no money. The mother had no job and no skills to provide for their family.
Instead of giving up and being a victim to life, this young boy was optimistic and ignorant to the reality of the situation. When he turned 15 he started selling chocolates door to door to help put food on the table for his eight brothers and sister. Within a year he had a small business with 10 employees (other little 10 yr olds) going door to door selling chocolates.
He made enough money to pay for his family’s dinner every day for years.
As he grew up, he learned the value of working hard and never being entitled to anything. Always optimistic and a bit ignorant—not having any formal education beyond high school.
He had a decent amount of money saved when he got married and life seemed hopeful.
But on the way back from his honeymoon he got a call from one of his business partners. He was informed that their 3rd business partner had taken all their money and escaped the country. (They had recently made an investment with the majority of their money and he had access to all the funds).
Upon arriving home, he had a total of $52 in his bank account.
Life seemed hopeless. Again.
Many would give up, say life is not fair and get a job busting tables to make ends meet.
But not if you’re ignorant and optimistic.
Luckily, this young man was.
Twenty-one years old, just married, no college degree and almost zero dollars to his name, a realistic person would look at this scenario and predict this man to a life of struggle. Maybe after some hard work and schooling he could make his way to a decent life—but never a millionaire. . .
Instead of seeing how a realistic person would and conforming to the life currently laid out before him, he pushed on, just like he did when he was 15—ignorant and overly optimistic about the future.
Within two years, he started a successful coaching business by going into small businesses and promising them he would raise their sales by at least double. He would do so by interviewing all the employees, discover what the business lacked, then implementing it.
After two years, he was making $150k a yr (equal to $350k now). He wrote a book about how he did it and became a millionaire by the age of 23.
Fast forward a few years. This same man had invested all his money in real estate. He and his business partner had over 10 million dollars of investments that they could not sell. The bank would not give them any more loans and they were in a pickle. So one day, his business partner decided it would be a good idea to transfer their debts to this man’s house so that they could keep getting loans for the company. It ended up being the worst move for them and they lost almost all their investments. And now his man’s house had a four million dollar debt on it that needed to be paid off and their business was miserably failing. His business partner moved out of state and never contacted him again.
Instead of being realistic and saying “Crap. I have four million dollars in debt, I should file bankruptcy and face the facts”, he was ignorantly and overly optimistic. He got up, brushed himself off, and kept going.
Ten years later, he started another business doing car emission testing and within one year it was generating over a million dollars a year.
There are two more stories that are almost identical to these last three. He lost almost everything he had—the last one being the real estate crash in 2008.
But every time he got up, brushed himself off, and kept going—making his money back 5 to 10x each time.
Being ignorant. And being overly optimistic….
I am blessed and lucky enough to have this man as my father.
Time after time I have seen him go through hell and fight his way out. The funny thing about it, you would never know he was in hell. With a smile on his face and a skip in his step, he never saw his life as it was but as it could be.
The worries and anxieties of the normal man bounce off him like water on rubber.
He is the most overly optimistic person I have ever met.
I am so humbled I have him as my mentor and role model. And I hope I can have a fraction of his success one day.
The reason I tell this story is because the path to having a million dollars in your bank account isn’t for realistic people. You will face trial after trial. Get knocked on your butt time after time. The realistic thing to do would be to give up and get a comfortable job in corporate America. But the one who gets up and pushes on is the one who gets the prize.
And maybe that prize is a million dollars.
Maybe it’s not.
No matter what, living your life ignorantly and optimistically is the only way to a successful life. Financially—but most importantly, emotionally.
Here’s a picture from the first page of his book “Zero to $8,000 in 2 Days”: