By Aarron Pitman, featured on Mashable
If there is one universal truth, it’s that everyone is looking to get rich quick. This probably explains why so many people are willing to believe there’s a Nigerian prince out there with their email address, ready and willing to mail them money. Truth is, whether looking for your dream job or starting up a new company, too many young people are looking to strike gold as quickly and easily as possible.
As someone who made my first million before I turned 30, the question of how to become a young millionaire often arises. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any magic pill to take or button to press to become instantly successful.
For starters, I followed the 10,000 hour rule of mastering any subject, deferring parties in college to spend sleepless nights working on business plans with a select group of other broke overachievers. Along with my 13 other roommates, I spent most of my formative “party” years working hard, mastering skills and eating a lot of Ramen noodles.
I know it’s possible to become wealthy early in life if you have the drive, determination and ambition to succeed. Here are a few tips that helped me achieve success and just might help you, too.
1. Confess and Attack
As a young worker, most people will see your age as your biggest hurdle and most pressing handicap. But the truth is that your youth just might be your biggest advantage.
So many of the people I networked with and contacted were older (sometimes much older) than myself. Often, these people knew they wanted to get hooks into the online space but just didn’t understand how the game was played online. They were actually looking for someone hungry and motivated, but best of all, they were looking for someone who had grown up around technology and understood the market.
Still, there is definitely a real perceived disadvantage to being a young and “inexperienced” worker or entrepreneur. This is when I began to formulate my “confess and attack” strategy. I would tell potential business partners the fairly evident truth: I’m young. But this doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing or that I haven’t put in the time and energy to become an expert in my field.
Once I confessed what we both knew and explained my skills, I would attack their preconceived notions. I would push the conversation back to them, explaining if they weren’t comfortable with me or my team after understanding my skills, then perhaps we weren’t a good business fit.
I took back control of the situation and found business partners who actually believed in me and my ability to succeed, instead of jittery investors ready to bail at the first signs of trouble.
2. Your Socializing Can Determine Your Success
As a young job seeker or entrepreneur, your network is key. Think of the old saying, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” This is as true for the business world as it was when your mom said it about that one friend you had in high school who was always trying to get you to skip class.
According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, we are the average of the five people we chose to spend the most time with. We will often emulate the people we’re closest to and, if those people are successful, your own chances of success rise in proportion.
If your five closest companions are highly motivated and successful individuals, these traits will likely spur you to work even harder. In fact, a study showed people who shared goals with others were 33% more likely to achieve those goals.
In my own experience, spending time with successful people has allowed me to meet interesting individuals and expand my professional network. The relationships I’ve fostered have been sincere, allowing me to help others as much as they offer guidance and support.
For instance, I had a contact at the NFL who introduced me to a former player he knew who was influential in our industry. We shared business ideas and became fast friends. One night, I got a call from this player inviting me to attend a party he was throwing.
Once at his gathering, I had the opportunity to connect with many influential and successful people. In college, I didn’t spend much time socializing because I was putting in my 10,000 hours, now I was chatting with a well-known tennis star. A big part of my current social life is surrounding myself with successful people who understand what I’m working toward and can attempt to help me reach my goals. Connecting with the right movers and shakers is extremely effective for allowing you to see what direction your own path to success might take.
Unfortunately for us all, money doesn’t fall out of the sky or grow on trees. The good news, however, is that nothing is holding you back from being successful at a young age. You just need to work hard, have confidence in your abilities, and surround yourself with positive and successful people.
What do you think? Were you successful at a young age? How did you achieve it? Share in the comments!