If you’ve ever looked at your paycheck and wished the amount you were depositing into your bank account were higher, you aren’t alone. After all, higher balances translate into more freedom and opportunity and a greater sense of security.
Fortunately, building wealth isn’t just about working your fingers to the bone or begging the boss for a raise. From cutting expenses to embracing self-promotion, here are some effective hacks for increasing your wealth and quality of life.
1. Stop Watching the Clock
If all you ever do is focus on how much you get paid per hour, you’ll be working long hours for the rest of your life. Take a lesson from Tim Ferriss’ “4-Hour Workweek” and start thinking about how you can get paid for results instead of time. You’ll be motivated to work smarter, not longer.
2. Don’t Shy Away From Self-Promotion
Whether you’re advertising your skills or a business, you need to feel comfortable doing it. Promotion can sometimes feel pushy, but it’s a crucial part of business — especially if you’re trying to establish a customer base. Use social media, local advertising and other marketing methods to get your name out there.
3. Stop Confusing Wealth With the Appearance of Wealth
You don’t need to become a full-fledged minimalist, but it’s time to trim the proverbial fat. Look at your budget and identify the ways you’re throwing away money on overpriced nonessentials. Spa treatments, expensive restaurants, retail shopping excursions and unused gym memberships are excesses that can sabotage your financial health.
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4. Change Your Playlist
When you’re not working, you should be learning and gaining as much knowledge as you can, whether it’s related to your business or not. Listen to audio books and podcasts while you drive, shower and clean your house. You’ll find that it’s as relaxing as watching a show at the end of the day, but you’ll be getting a brain workout instead of just vegging out.
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5. Monetize Your Talents
If you dream of earning $1 billion, start with your talents. If you have a valuable skill, you could create a business around your talents. Whether you’re a skilled programmer with a vision for launching a development company or a fashionista ready to create your own product line, use your interests, passions and abilities to make money.
6. Get a Mentor
James Wilkinson, CEO and president of Pamco Machine Works, Inc. in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., recommends that you find leaders in your industry and contact them for advice.
“Be bold by asking, writing, emailing or calling them directly,” he said. “Ask them to help you solve a specific problem, give you general advice or become your mentor.”
7. Drink More Water
Life’s simplest necessity can actually increase your wealth. If you cut back on sodas, coffee and other costly — and unhealthy — beverages and stick with water, you’ll reap the financial benefits. Plus, your body can become healthier and your brain more efficient.
8. Give More
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that greed equals growth or that your success must come at the expense of others. Help people by volunteering, giving your time, truly listening and being generous. Be happy to share your successes with people. You will create more avenues to success by gaining allies than by making enemies.
9. Stop Wishing and Start Setting Goals
Wealthy people don’t allow their successes to hinge on hopes or dreams. They commit to success by working to achieve clearly defined goals. Set some goals for the next week, month, six months and beyond. Define your goals and outline the smaller steps you should be taking to achieve them. A good calendar system helps.
10. Adapt as You Pursue Goals
While being committed to your project is important, you’ll also need to adjust your plan or perhaps even change your end goal, if needed. For example, if you’re developing an app and you start seeing the need to change directions, don’t be afraid to shift focus if it will mean long-term success.
11. Clear Clutter for More Brain Space
Some messiness might be acceptable as part of the “creative mindset,” but eventually clutter becomes a distraction to your work — whether you realize it or not. Clear your primary work area so you have space for your thoughts. You’ll be surprised by how much more productive you can be in a clean room, and you’ll learn your clutter is actually costing you money.
12. Drive Less
Not only will less driving save you money on gas, maintenance and potential accidents, but the exercise of walking and biking can help boost your brainpower by slowing brain cells’ aging, improving memory and alleviating anxiety.
13. Identify Needs and Invent Solutions
If you ever think to yourself, “I wish there was a product that could…,” then start thinking about how to turn those ideas into realities. Chances are good that, if you’ve identified a need, others would pay money for a solution to the same problem.
14. Accept Criticism
Don’t be too proud to accept advice and criticism. It doesn’t always feel good to hear critiques, but learning from them and moving forward can feel great. Use criticism to motivate you to perfect your business model further.
15. Ask Questions
Wealthy people are driven by a desire to learn and grow. By asking a lot of questions, you can learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences, gain knowledge about your field and create strong relationships with people.
16. Stop Blaming Failure on Bad Luck
If you want to be able to take credit for your successes, you need to start taking ownership of your failures. Success is as much a mindset as it is a status.
17. Block Your Time
As helpful as social media is for connecting, informing and entertaining, most people find themselves distracted too frequently. Between click-bait titles, cute videos, friends’ updated statuses and online games, it’s a wonder anyone gets any work done at all.
Set up a timer or a block on your computer for the websites that are your biggest time wasters. Create time blocks in your schedule for work and play. Your mind will be clearer, and you’ll have more time to focus on what’s important.
Blocking their time is just one of many things wealthy people do every day.
18. Recognize That You Reap What You Sow
Think of your brain as a crop field. If all you ever did was harvest creativity and success, your fields would soon become dry, barren and picked over. Allow yourself time to sow seeds of success by resting, thinking, brainstorming and taking breaks.
19. Put Your Money to Work
You work hard, and your money should, too. Make your money work for you by investing in stocks, mutual funds, CDs, real estate and other vehicles that can help you build wealth. If you and your money work at the same time, you can earn money even faster.
20. Associate With Other Successful People
Rubbing elbows with successful people is a great way to take steps toward building wealth. By creating relationships with influential people, you can reach a wider customer base. You can also learn about wealth and business from seasoned pros.
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About the Author
Tess Frame is a journalist, a mom, and a home-and-family blogger based in sunny San Diego, Calif. She writes about personal finance topics including budgeting, mortgages and increasing income, as well as wallet-friendly DIY and home improvement projects. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from BYU-Idaho and has been writing for various websites since 2009.