The Million Dollar Page

Who would ever bother typing ‘how to make one million dollars’ into Google? You’d have to be an optimist to think you are going to get anything remotely useful returned by Ms G. It is not something I would normally even think of doing, but today, along with perhaps one or two other people in the world, it was me. After all, I am an optimist – remember?

Now the first thing is that I got a little laugh right away. Would you believe it, someone has actually written an article entitled, ’10 Foolproof Ways to Make One Million Dollars’? Well, the title says it doesn’t it? Apparently, here are ten ways that a fool could make $1 million – what a load of rubbish!

There was even an article on HowStuffWorks entitled How to make a Million Dollars and it is quite lengthy. But when you get into the guts of it, it says that there are actually two ways; the easy way and the hard way. Now brace yourself, because here they are …

The Easy Way

The simplest way to become a millionaire is to choose the right parents and/or grandparents. Paris Hilton of the Hilton Hotel chain fortune “chose” this route, as did Jamie Johnson of Johnson & Johnson and many others.

The Hard Way

[S]et a goal to become a millionaire – or at least a goal to achieve financial freedom. In order to achieve their goals, most of them started their own businesses simply because it’s difficult to earn enough money to become a millionaire when you’re working for someone else.

Forgive me for being a tad over-analytical here, but I would suggest that choosing your own parents is probably a lot harder than attempting to create a successful business. Oh, my aching sides – I was having a great time reading this stuff.

About then, in my quest, I came across a guy who had made a YouTube video essentially asking millionaires to give him $1 million. It was, I think, simply a joke after all, the guy is a comedian and I actually found the video quite funny. But, unbelievable as it may seem, a New York millionaire liked the joke so much, he has actually agreed to give $1 million to the guy! Probably the best joke he has ever written eh?

That was about when I came across Steve Pavlina’s Million Dollar Experiment page. The idea is to manifest $1 million just using the power of your mind. Looking at the easy way and the hard way (above) I first started wondering where this way fits. Finally, I decided that it has got to be an easier method than either of the above suggestions – if it actually works, of course. There are many people who suggest that it is possible to attract things into your life using mind power – that is the essence of the Law of Attraction. But $1 million?

Anyway, visiting the page, I discovered that, apparently, the experiment has (at the time of writing) manifested over $5 million – Wow – that’s impressive! But then, it turns out that there are (again, at the time of writing) 1,599 participants. That means, on average, each person has manifested just $625 – not so impressive. The average amount ‘manifested’ (peanuts) coupled with our natural inclination to misattribute events according to our beliefs, means that this experiment is actually a complete failure.

Next, I found a presentation by Marshal Brain, the founder of HowStuffWorks.com – someone who has actually achieved the goal. The presentation was the online record of a talk he had previously given and I bet it was a good talk too. He referenced three great quotes:

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Woody Allen

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss
of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“Those who have succeeded at anything and don’t mention luck
are kidding themselves.” – Larry King

The quotes probably don’t need too much in the way of commentary. The fact is that you do have to actually ‘begin’ to become successful; you certainly have to pick yourself up and get going again following your failures; and there is bound to be an element of luck involved. But I would like to have seen a fourth quote added to the above to temper Larry King’s (correct) observation:

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Deepak Chopra

According to this perspective, luck is something that is not entirely out of your sphere of control. You can’t engineer the perfect timing of the intersection of preparation and opportunity, of course. But you can be prepared and, if you should fail, you have to resolve that you will pick yourself up and go for it, again. Baseball is not my game, but I love the analogy: you have to keep swinging the bat.

Brain’s presentation then went on to outline the procedure for making one million dollars: start a business – ah, the so called ‘hard way’. But there was more to it than that. He gave good advice on having the right mindset and also creating value – the essence of any successful business.

So, that was my morning’s reading. I doubt that I shall be doing that search again. But for people who are doing exactly that, right now – I expect this article will turn up on page one of Google sometime in the future – I would like to summarise the best advice to be found.

The right mindset is to realise that making $1 million in the economies of the modern developed world is definitely achievable for many people. It is as simple as completing a sequence of the right transactions. The number and size of those transactions can be remarkable small.

But the key to achieving your goal is to start your own business to serve a specific group of people that you know you are able to help and then deliver exceptional value to your customers. Without this approach you are likely to fail, but with the right attitude and a little guidance, there is no reason you cannot achieve your goal.

To see what the web makes possible for you, watch my video.

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