How to make a million dollars – It isn’t easy and there are ways to do it slow with lower risk and ways to do it faster if you are willing to work, learn and apply your knowledge.
This may seem like a pipedream and for most, it will be. But there are people that do this every year so you know that it is possible, so what are the top three ways that people are actually doing this?
Could you do this? Could you learn the skills and then put in the work to make a million dollars in a year? Let’s explore how others are doing it and then you can decide which is right for you.
These ideas are based on my personal experience and opinion and should not be considered professional financial investment advice. Furthermore, the ideas and strategies should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, or without consulting a financial professional.
Table of Contents
Starting a Business
One of the most effective ways to make a million dollars in one year is by starting your own business. This could be anything from an e-commerce store to a brick-and-mortar storefront to a service-based business like consulting or coaching. Whatever your passion and expertise may be, there is likely a way to turn it into a profitable venture.
However, starting a business is not without its risks. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and often a significant amount of upfront capital. That being said, the potential rewards are well worth it. According to data from the Small Business Administration, around 50% of small businesses fail within their first five years. While this may seem intimidating, it also means that half of the small businesses do succeed after one year.
According to Robert Kiyosaki in his book “Retire Young Retire Rich” 9 out of 10 businesses will fail in the first 5 years. And do you want to put in 5 years of work to find out if your business is a failure?
Well, let me ask you a different question. What if you committed to spending the next 10 years working on one business after another?
What do I mean?
Come up with a plan to create a service or product. Then find out if people actually want that. Use social media and ask if anyone wants this. Find the people that do and then presale it to them. Take their money and then build it out – even if only one step at a time.
You know things that others don’t. Will people pay for that knowledge?
YES, people will pay for almost anything. I saw a Facebook ad the other day for a $150 course on how to add fake jewels to your shoes. I literally have zero idea how they thought I should see that ad, but there it was.
The question you have to ask is what problem do people have that you can help to fix? Who has those problems? Write out who that person is? What is their age / gender / background / how much do they make / do they have kids / are they married / what do they buy / etc.
This is called a customer avatar and then you can start to find more and more people that are willing to buy from you already.
Then build out the solution to the biggest problem they have that they are willing to buy from you before you build it.
This means that you will have to learn A LOT to be successful so starting a business isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t willing to learn how to build a website, post a blog or video, learn email collection, sales, sales page creation, course or ebook creation and distribution then maybe one of the other two ideas are for you.
Investing in Real Estate
Real estate is how the wealthy keep their money for generations. The royal family in England has billions of dollars of property that is rented out for them to all live comfortably.
The first way people get into real estate is a concept called house hacking. This is where you get a roommate to offset some or all of your living expenses.
You see the biggest monthly expense you will have is your mortgage / rent. After that, it typically is either food or transportation costs. If you can figure out how to reduce these three allows you to hit FIRE (Financial Independence Retired Early) much faster.
If you are unable to get a roommate because you have a family and using all your space you could invest in rental property. You should know that in order to get into a home that isn’t your primary residence you will need to obtain 20% down. This is why many people that start to invest in rental property will do one of two things: They will flip homes or buy multifamily homes.
To flip a home you will find a home to live in that needs work. Then you will be able to get a property at lower value that you can put some money and a lot of blood, sweat and tears into to sell at a much higher cost later. The issue with this is you are living in a home that may not be livable to the level you want (or your family wants). There are people that have been able to buy property after property and pocket enough money from the first sale to fund the next sales. It is perhaps one of the fastest ways to one million dollars.
The risk of flipping a home is that you get into a home that needs much more work than you are able to of funding and/or fixing. You also need to have or be willing to learn a lot about how buying and selling a home works. Then you will need to know construction, electrical, plumbing, hvac, as well as taxes and adjustable rate mortgages work. You will need to learn how to spot a good deal vs a money pit that will kill all of your gains. And you must be willing to fail maybe 3 times in a row before you can get enough expertise to make it work for you. The best way would be to partner up with an experienced flipper to learn the ropes.
The second way that most people use real estate to make a million dollars is to start with a duplex, triplex or quadplex. Come up with at least 3.5% down and move into one of the units for several years. Then rent out the other sides to offset your mortgage and maybe even pay you to live there.
Many will fix up one side to get even more rent out of it and then depending on the amount of units they own they will repeat this process. The goal is to live in the worst side of the home and rent out the nicer units. Then after you have lived there enough years to fulfill the legal requirement to call it your primary residence (you have to live in the home 2 of the last 5 years) you can move out and repeat the process. Some will sell the home to buy a bigger home. Others will keep the duplex and then look for another duplex or larger property to repeat the process.
Purchasing and managing rental properties can also be a lucrative venture, especially if you are able to scale your portfolio over time. This involves buying properties and then leasing them out to tenants. While it may take longer to see a significant return on your investment with this approach, the potential for passive income can be well worth it. To be successful in this venture, it’s important to thoroughly research the market, choose properties in desirable locations, and be prepared to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of being a landlord.
If you don’t want to be a landlord there are property management companies that can handle those responsiblities for you. This would need to be in place if you practiced buying homes in a different state than you live in because your state is too expensive. The downside of this practice is you will need 20% down and will have to find a lot of people in a different state to run your business, which can be risky.
If you want to read books about real estate investing and all of these different ways you can get involved read my recommend book list here.
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Leveraging the Power of the Stock Market
Another way to potentially make a million dollars in one year is by investing in the stock market. While this can be a risky endeavor, with the right strategy and a bit of luck, it can also be extremely lucrative.
To increase your chances of success, it’s important to diversify your portfolio and invest in a variety of stocks across different sectors. This will help mitigate the risk of losing all of your investment in the event that one particular company or industry takes a downturn. It’s also crucial to do thorough research before investing, including studying the financial health and performance of the companies you are considering.
Getting rich slow and steady
If you want to get rich slow and steay then I would suggest using dollar-cost averaging. This involves investing a fixed amount of money at regular intervals, rather than trying to time the market by investing all at once. This can help smooth out the ups and downs of the market and potentially increase your returns over time. Basically you invest in a 401k and/or IRA every time you get a paycheck. I talk about this a lot on this blog. But what if you wanted to get rich quicker using the stock market?
This is a much riskier strategy but you can find small companies that are trading for under $10 a share. You research everything you possibly can about companies in one or two industries. Know everything about what they do and how they make their money. Setup alerts on your phone so that anytime they show up in the news.
Riskier method that could pay off
Then pick 20 different stocks that you 100% believe will go from $10 a stock to over $100 a stock in the next year. Then pick an amount of money that you can afford to throw in a camp fire or flush down the toilet. Because that is basically what you are going to be doing potentially. Given that understanding what you will do is take an equal amount of money and put that into those 20 stocks and give it some sort of cut off time.
19 of these 20 stocks may go to zero or just stay about the same in value – so you are losing money basically on them. But one of these stocks, if you did your research, could go 30 – 100 times what you put into it. And the idea is to diversify your bets backed by really knowing one specific area of business and deep diving into that. The concept is that you will lose or break even on 19 of the 20 stocks, but the last stock should pay back all of the money you spent. Now this is incredibly risky because you have zero guarentee any of those stocks will make any money.
That is why I recommend maximizing your IRA and 401k if you are able to and invest in something like the S&P 500 index fund as that is the safest way to making long term wealth given the past 100 years of history, but the past isn’t a guarantee of any future results.
However, during any 20 year period the S&P 500 has returned at least 9.4% on average year over year during that period. That doesn’t mean that it returns 9% each year. Some years it may have a negative return and other years it may make near 20%. That is why investing in an index fund is a something that should be looked at over decades not years and definately not if the stock market has a bad week.
Where Is Your Money?
Most people don’t know what they are invested in when they start a new job and open up a 401k.
Do you know exactly what the fund or funds you are investing in even are?
How much are you spending on fees?
What if there was a way to invest in the biggest companies in the world easily and with fees less than 0.1%?
Wow, you read a lot to get here. Can you do me a favor, please? Can you leave a comment if this was helpful to you or if I missed something? Alternatively, it would help me out a lot if you shared this content with those that might need to see it. Thanks, you are the best!
How to make a million dollars
Absolutely you can, the question is now one of how long do you want it to take and how much work do you want to put into it.
Regardless of your work ethic, I would suggest you invest money into an IRA or 401k (if employed by a larger company) as that is a way to safe guard your money.
Now the question is whether or not you want to put in some extra time outside of your day job? If so, then you need to determine if you want to get into a business or into real estate.
For a business look for a problem to solve and see if you are able to solve that problem. Then see if people are willing to pay for that problem to be solved and how best to do that. I know a guy that couldn’t make any money because he was helping people without a job find a job. Since they were unemployed he couldn’t charge them what he knew his service was worth. The same would be true if you have a great idea about software for the newspaper industry. Unless it will suddenly help people pay for newspapers the solution isn’t worth much.
Real estate takes money to get into, unless you can convince someone to give you money for the down payment, so many won’t start here, but it is possible it just takes more time and energy on your part to make it happen. Alternatively, you may be able to move someone in to offset some of your costs and practice being a landlord.
There are lots of ways to make money and invest money to grow it to one million dollars, but it will never happen if you don’t think about how you would potentially do it and then actually implement some ideas in the real world.
About Dwight Scull
I have been married to my wonderful wife, Rebecca, who puts up with me since 1999. I am a proud father to my Gen Z, son, and daughter-in-law. Grandfather to my favorite granddaughter who was born in 2021.
I lost my mom, father-in-law, and 12 others in 2013 and was DEEPLY in debt. I started reading and watching all the financial info I could find.
I chipped away at my debt and went from a negative $105k net worth having one home paid off, no credit card debt, and saving/investing 45%+ of my gross salary.
I used these daily habits to lose 100 pounds and keep it off.
I believe that you can overcome any challenge you face if you just take small daily actions and be consistent with them. It is how you will be financially successful.
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