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Brian Tracy
A leading authority on the development of human potential and personal effectiveness, Brian Tracy is a dynamic speaker with a wonderful ability to inform and inspire audiences. He is the president of the Institute for Executive Development and was formerly the president of a major development company. The author of numerous books and other materials aimed at helping people perform at their peak and achieve their full potential, Tracy has shared his winning insights with thousands of people throughout the world.
  Who Are the Millionaires?   #786
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If you are really serious about becoming wealthy, you will want to know the five main ways that fortunes are made in this country.

Number one — top of the list, top of the hit parade throughout the history of America — is self-owned businesses. It is entrepreneurship of all kinds, including in real estate. Seventy-four percent of self-made millionaires in America, not only in this generation and in this century but in the last century as well, come from self-owned businesses.

The great majority of wealthy people started businesses and built them from the ground up. In the nineteenth century, fortunes were built by people like Andrew Carnegie, John Jacob Astor, Thomas Edison, Commodore Vanderbilt, J. P. Morgan and others. In the twentieth century, especially in the last few years, businesses and fortunes alike have been built by people like Bill Gates, Steve Case, Larry Ellison, Ross Perot and Sam Walton. Each of these people started with nothing and built a business from scratch.

The second major group of self-made millionaires in America is senior executives. Ten percent of the self-made millionaires in America are men and women who have joined large corporations and worked with those corporations for many years. They rose to positions of seniority, were paid extremely well and were given stock options, profit sharing and bonuses. As a result of holding on to the money, they became millionaires.

Richard Eisner of Disney Corporation received a $126 million bonus in a single year. Lee Iaccoca of Chrysler Corporation was paid $26.7 million as a bonus in a single year. It's not hard to become a self-made millionaire when you are making that kind of money.

The third group of self-made millionaires in America is doctors, lawyers and other professionals. Men and women who become very, very good at what they do and rise to the top of their professions are eventually paid very, very well. The top five percent in every field earn 10 and 20 times as much as the average person in that field.

The fourth major group of self-made millionaires in America is salespeople and sales consultants. Fully five percent of self-made millionaires are men and women who are the top salespeople in their fields. They never started their own businesses. They never went to college or university to get professional degrees. They just became very good salespeople for their products or services and were paid very good money. The secret was that they then invested the money conservatively and held on to it.

Ninety-nine percent of self-made millionaires come from these four categories: self-owned businesses (74 percent), senior executive positions (10 percent), doctors, lawyers and other professionals (10 percent) and salespeople and sales consultants (5 percent).

The final one percent of self-made millionaires is made up of all the people in all other areas. This one percent consists of people who have made their money by inventions, in show business, in sports, through authorship of books and songs and by lottery winnings and inheritances. But these people make up only one percent of the total.

The bottom line is that there are so many ways for you to become a self-made millionaire that it is almost impossible for you not to achieve this goal if you are really serious about it.

Now, here are two things you can do to put this information into action as soon as possible.

First, decide what you really enjoy doing, and then throw your whole heart into doing it extremely well. There is a direct relationship between excellent performance and the kind of high income that leads to financial independence.

Second, be perfectly honest with yourself on an ongoing basis. Is what you are doing right now going to lead you to financial independence, or do you have to begin making some serious changes in your work and in your life? Whatever your answer, take action on it immediately.

Other BestSteps® You Might Enjoy
The Definition of Wealth
Three Factors for Financial Success
Three Reasons for Business Growth
Five Essentials for Business Success
Leveraging Your Financial Potential
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