20 Ways to Make the First Million

There are new innovations being made in tech every day. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Invent Something Revolutionary

Nearly every rags-to-riches story comes from someone who invented something that changed the world. Think about Bill Gates of Apple Computers, Joy Mangano of the Miracle Mop, and so many more who became millionaires from making something new.

The key to inventing something is to imagine something useful that you would love to have in your own life, but it doesn’t exist yet. Make sure it doesn’t already exist, file a patent, and get started trying to make and sell your product.

You’ll need to work hard if you want to be a millionaire. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Hustle Really, Really Hard

No matter which way you try to become a millionaire, no one is going to hand you the money. You are going to have to get out there and work really hard. This may mean getting a second job, or working overtime in order to make the extra income. When you do this, it most likely means that you will have to make sacrifices, like spending less time with family, or giving up a hobby you really enjoy.

Many employers offer a 401k plan to their employees. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Save The Maximum Amount on Your 401k

When you get a full-time job, most employers will give you an option of what percentage of your income will be removed from your paycheck and deposited into your 401K. Many companies will offer to match your contributions, meaning that you are both saving together. A lot of people, especially when they need money, will select the lowest option of saving for the future, because they feel that they need the money right now. But if you just increase that amount being withdrawn, it is easy, painless, and you don’t have to think about it. Depending on how much money you make, this may only be one small part in your journey to becoming a millionaire.

Putting your money in real estate can pay off big time. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Invest in Real Estate

Some of the wealthiest families in the world have made their money by investing in real estate. This is done in one of two ways. They might buy old houses, fix them up, and flip them for profit. If you roll your profits from the first house into a second property, you can often avoid paying taxes on that income. (If you do this, please hire an accountant to help you!) After flipping multiple houses in a row, you’ve got your million dollars. Or, you can always buy a house or apartment complex, lease it to tenants, and collect the rent money each month.

Obviously, this summary is over-simplified, and it makes the process sound easy as pie. In reality, if you want to do this, you have to treat it like you’re studying for a new degree. There is so much to learn, it may take you months or years before you are ready to invest in real estate. Anyone who promises to make you a real estate millionaire in just one course is probably scamming you out of your money. The information is out there for free, and you should never have to pay to learn about it. If this is something you may be interested in, check out BiggerPockets.com, where there is a ton of free information about how to succeed in the real estate business.

If you want to have a million dollars, you should get out of debt, first. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Whatever You Do, Don’t Get Into Consumer Debt

If you want to be a millionaire, it will never happen if you continue a cycle of debt. If you are one of the millions of people who are in student loan debt, this advice is coming a little too late. However, there will be plenty of times in your adult life when you are going to feel tempted to borrow money on a credit card in order to get things you want. The amount of interest you pay on credit cards each month is like flushing money down the toilet, and it could have been used to invest in something that will make your money grow.

Instead of buying the newest cell phone or shoes, put that extra money towards paying off your consumer debt. Figure out which card or loan has the highest interest rate, and start there. Once you are out of debt, try to get in the habit of saving up for big purchases and paying in cash, instead of charging them on a card. It may not seem like a lot of money right now, but if you make this a habit over the next 20 years, that is some serious cheddar.


Game shows allow people to have overnight success. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Win The Top Prize of a Game Show

Okay, this is a bit of a stretch, here. But if you live within proximity of New York City or Los Angeles, and you just so happen to be good at trivia, why not take a chance and go on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Jeopardy, or The Price is Right? There is no rule that says you can’t go on as many game shows as possible, either.

Today, there is an app for just about everything. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Develop a Popular App

If you have a background in computer science, you may consider creating a smartphone app or game. The smartphone game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood made $80 million, and some would argue that it’s not even that great of a game. If you think you can do better, get out there and do it!

If you can find like-minded people who are equally as passionate as you are, a startup can work. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Turn Your Passion Into a Business

A lot of startup businesses fail within the first two years of operation, but the ones that survive are the ones that are run by people who are truly passionate about the work. If you can find a team of people who are equally as passionate about doing a good job as you are and making the company succeed, you just might be able to turn it into a million-dollar business.

If you want to be a millionaire, you just might have to switch careers. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Switch To a More Profitable Career Path

If you are serious about becoming a millionaire, you need a job that matches your ambitious goals. In the very first bullet point on this list, we talked about the fact that you can save $25,000 a year over the course of 40 years, and you’ll save a million dollars. This goal is obviously easier to accomplish if you make $100,000 a year versus $30,000 a year. After getting a new job, there is the added challenge of maintaining a low-cost lifestyle. For example, if you got used to living on $30,000 a year, and you’re suddenly making $100,000 after taxes, that means you could save $70,000 a year, and save a million dollars in just 14 and a half years instead of 40.

For most people, once they start making a six-figure salary, they realize that they don’t actually need a million dollars to be happy, and they would rather enjoy the perks of being in the upper-middle-class while they are still young enough to fully enjoy it.

Millions and millions of dollars. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Start With More Than $1 Million

Ha ha, very funny, right? If you had a million dollars already, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article. But the old adage that “It takes money to make money” is very true. The more you learn about the different kinds of investment opportunities that exist in the world, the more clear it becomes that you need a lot of startup capital in order to make big profits. There is a very good reason why there is such a drastic divide among the rich and the poor. Millionaires literally make money in their sleep without having to go to a job, and many of them can live off of the interest their money is earning.

We’re not saying this to make you feel bad, or feel like giving up, either. It’s just a valuable lesson to understand that priveledge is very real, and there is a reason why some people are growing their wealth faster than others. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to do the same thing. It just may take you longer than someone whose father gave them a trust fund. As long as you understand that it will take time, it becomes easier to keep pushing forward with your game plan.

If you want to write a book, it takes a lot of dedication. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Write a Best-Selling Book

Some of the richest people in the world, like J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, made their millions from writing best-selling novels. This is far easier said than done, of course, and it takes a lot of hard work and talent to write a book that is going to become a New York Times bestseller. But if you are already a writer, you might as well finish writing that novel you have always had floating in your brain, because you never know if it will become a huge success.

If you want your wealth to grow, make a budget. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Live on a Budget

If you want to save up a million dollars some day, it would be wise to make a game plan of when and how that will actually happen. Write out all of your monthly bills, your income, and a realistic amount of money you can afford to set aside to build your future fortune. If you end up with a calculation telling you that it’s going to take another 500 years to be a millionaire, you’re going to have to change something about that. Either get a job that pays more money, or cut back on some of your expenses.

Also keep in mind that during this budgeting process, you can set small goals for yourself, and make a game plan later. For example, you could save $1,000, and use that as the startup money to open a new online business where you can turn that initial $1,000 into $10,000, and so on and so forth. There is a saying that “if you shoot for the moon, you will land amongst the stars”, and it is also true when it comes to budgeting. Maybe you won’t make it to a million, but you will be far better off than you were without budgeting at all.

Your loved ones may leave you money in their will. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Make Your Inheritance Grow

If your older family members left you an inheritance in their last will and testaments, you might be tempted to spend that money on a new sports car or a family vacation. Instead of spending it all, try to figure out a way to invest that money into something where the money will grow, or put it in a valuable asset, like a house, or starting a business.

YouTubers are like the new movie stars. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Create a Successful YouTube Channel

There is a stereotype that some YouTubers make tons of money just by hanging out and eating on camera (We’re looking at you, Trisha Paytas!) but the truth is that the vast majority of people who make a living on YouTube have to work very, very hard to get a following. If you want to succeed, you need to have a high-quality production that is uploaded consistently. And, of course, it has to be entertaining enough for people to want to sit and watch the whole thing without clicking away. In recent years, YouTube has made it more difficult for people to earn a living, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Invest in as Warren Buffett style for long-term gains. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Use Warren Buffett’s Investing Technique

Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world, and has a current net worth of $82.5 Billion. He got all of that money because he has a strategy called “value investing”. Instead of studying charts and graphs, he will do an extensive amount of research into a company before he buys their stock. He tries to find a company that seems to have a very bright future, but their stock price is still low, or “undervalued”. Then, he buys up as much stock as he can, and waits.

This strategy is easier said than done, of course, and it’s an overly simplified explanation, as well. It takes a lot of self-education and patience, since it may take several years before this promising company actually proves to the world that they are worthy of the stock price going up. It also takes a lot of confidence in a company for you to hold on to the stocks and not panic-sell when the market is down. However, if you learn to do it just right, you can make a lot of money. If you want to learn more about this, find some of Warren Buffett’s books on Amazon, or listen to interviews on YouTube.

Millionaire lifestyles of the rich and the famous. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Get Into The Entertainment Industry

Everyone knows that some of the richest people in the world are movie stars, musicians, and the talent agents who help manage them. However, the big-paying jobs are usually in Los Angeles, and of course, the field is incredibly competitive, as well. But if you want to live like a rock star, you might as well try to make it big in Hollywood. Big name actors was known for making several million dollars per movie contract.

Twitch streamers make a ton of money nowadays. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Stream on Twitch

Just like YouTube, there is a growing number of people who are becoming millionaires from streaming footage of themselves playing video games on Twitch. While this sounds almost too good to be true, keep in mind that this is just another form of entertainment, and people who are interesting to watch are getting rewarded for their content. People who subscribe pay $5 a month to watch their content, and the monthly subscription fee is shared 50/50 between Twitch and the person who is streaming.

If you wanted to make a million dollars in one year on Twitch, you would have to make at least $83,333 per month. This means you need at least 33,333 people who are willing to pay $5 a month for your content. This might sound really difficult to achieve, because it is. But some people, like “Ninja” on Twitch has 5 million followers and 250,000 subscribers on Twitch, and he makes $3.25 per subscriber, since he has more followers. That’s over $800,000 a month on Twitch, and he also makes money from YouTube and brand deals, as well.

You cannot change your life if you have a Debbie Downer mindset. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Change Your Mindset

Your beliefs are far more powerful than you will ever know, and your inner thoughts have a lot to do with achieving your goals. Do not allow yourself to feel like becoming a millionaire is impossible. It is extremely difficult, yes. But it’s not impossible. If you have confidence in yourself, and you keep pushing forward, you are likely to become successful one day.

With that being said, you need to do some self reflection to figure out if being a millionaire is really what you’re looking for. When we think of a millionaire lifestyle, you might imagine someone who has the freedom to work whenever they feel like it, and travel as much as they want. Or maybe you imagine someone with a huge walk-in closet full of designer clothes. Sure, those things are easier to get with a lot of money, but it’s not impossible on any budget. Make a list of your priorities, and figure out if you can accomplish those goals without being an actual millionaire.

Very few people actually win the lottery. Credit: Shutterstock

1. If All Else Fails, Win the Lottery

The very last item on the list is a no-brainer. So many people have become overnight millionaires by getting lucky and winning the lottery, which is why some people have this misconception that it is actually possible, or even something you would want for yourself. In reality, the odds of winning the lottery are slim-to-none. There is a saying that it’s “a one-in-a-million chance”, but really, it’s more like 1 in 14 million. And even if you did win the lottery, many winners claim that coming upon a windfall of money completely ruins their lives. Suddenly, everyone is coming out of the wood work to ask for a handout, and you become a target for thieves and people who are trying to take advantage of you. For whatever reason, since you didn’t actually earn that money, other people feel entitled to it, too, simply by being in proximity of you. This is why, in 2018, a woman from New Hampshire had to sue to keep her name out of the media when she won the $560 million Powerball Jackpot.