2017 is the year of the bimillionaire

In 2017 I will be a bimillionaire. Not content to be a simple millionaire, I plan to have $2 million in the bank. I have some good reasons for that date – although it’s flexible – and that number – although it, too, is flexible. I am also not particularly gung-ho to be rich, either. I don’t envision that as my ticket to buy a mansion or start rolling with A-Rod, even if he was still a Yankee. No, the reasoning is that with that much money socked away my family’s lifestyle could 100% detach from any concerns over money. The interest off that capital would mean that none of us would have to work at anything unless we chose to, which is the “mission statement” of several of my favorite books and blogs:


My intention, therefore, is to figure out how to get there.
I’ve already achieved the goal, mentally, which in my book is about 99% of the battle. You may think that is strange but I’ve seen again and again in my life that this is true. There are certain external events that cannot be controlled. However, that is exactly the point – they cannot be controlled or predicted with any degree of certainty, so I do not bother to do any “what if” planning. I prepare for the unexpected (emergency fund) and protect my family (insurance) but I can’t, for example, make savings plans which include a provision for an invasion of Ukranians or, much more ominously, Urainians. So once I’ve determined that this is the goal, AND mentally decided it’s achievable, the only question will become how I will get there.

I’ll give you a parallel. If I decide I will lose 25 pounds this month, it’s doable. Not in ways that won’t destroy my health, though. I could starve myself, develop a heroin habit or cut off my head. I can pretty quickly eliminate those means. Yet if I decide I will lose 5, I know it is doable. I have done it before. The only question will be whether I decide to do it or not. This is at the heart of visualization. This is not the hocus-pocus dreaming visualization of The Secret. This is the firm determination that you have to pass that test; to lose that weight; to get that job; to run that last mile. You take control of the doubts, fears and inner naysayers and just get on with the task at hand.

So I am close to being partially on the way to being a bimillionaire, give or take a few percent. I’m not counting the value of my home (which I never do – I assume if I sold it today I would get $0 profit, just to be conservative). I have estimated how much I need to save each year and what rate of return I need to get there, and realistically it’s not happening that way unless the market skyrockets for the next decade or I sock away 50% of my income. My thinking, therefore, is on alternative income, and more importantly how I can detach my earnings from my presence.

It’s been beaten to death that you can’t earn money in most jobs without your physical presence, so to speak. If you show up and work and earn money that way, there’s a limit to your earnings. You can’t come in on the day between Saturday and Sunday and put in some overtime. You can’t work 3 shifts. You can’t clone yourself – Michael Keaton tried it and it just got weird. The goal, therefore, has to be getting someone to make money for you, or creating something that earns while you sleep.

I plan to take some current ideas of my own, mix them with other people’s ideas, throw it in my mental oaken cask and pour out some great vintage ideas in a few days or weeks or even months. I have minimal alternative income right now, but I think there are so many possibilities out there that the only obstacle is me. If I don’t have the determination to keep working on my blog to write more interesting or more viral stuff, if I keep thinking my novel ideas are silly or if I don’t believe anyone would buy the gadget I’ve toyed with making, then I’m not going to be a bimillionaire, and it’s my fault. If I try any of those things and they fail, then the only person who will stop me from trying again is – you guessed it – me. There are no ‘No Second Chance’ police.

Don’t assume that this is all about money! It’s about achieving personal goals, one of which is having the time to seize back my life from corporate America. It’s taken its pound of flesh from me. Actually it’s taken its pound of flesh, fried it and served it with scrambled eggs. Right now my house is basically owned by my corporate clients – if they decide to quit making payments, so to speak, I’m cooked. So I want to get out from under their thumb. You can do the same thing, even if you’re starting under a pile of debt. We all can. To quote my favorite self-help author, “What the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.

16 comments

  • You’re really inspirational! To have a plan, the motivation, and the means to become financially independent is amazing. I would worry that I might just start spending when I felt financially secure…

  • Well put–particularly the explanation of why this isn’t about money. In many ways, money ends up having little to do with the reason and the goal, just one of those necessary steps along the way. Now get ready for the “you can’t do it that way” reactions to your alternative income ideas–then do ’em anyway.

  • 1. That’s cause you’re a SpendingDiva! i joke i joke…

    2. Multiplicity is a cheesy, yet surprisingly witty movie.

    3. Thanks for the good idea and motivational tools to set such goals. Not that I’ve never thought of it…i’ve just never TOLD myself that. I know that I’ll achieve certain goals, but still not sure if I’m ready to set such lofty monetary ones. See, I have no idea if I have the gumption (yet) to sacrifice certain things, and do what it takes to think several million…low millions sounds reasonable (and somehow inevitable when I consider family history). We’ll see how I feel later in my 20’s.

  • SD, when you feel financially secure and have freedom of doing anything you want with your time, I guarantee you will not be spending your money for trivial stuff, you won’t care about Gucci purses or Jimmy Choos. You will value the freedom that money provides you.

  • Thanks for all the comments! I do think that there’s a common thread to these comments, which is that making the change to thinking of money as a tool, instead of a “thing”, is key. Money has no value other than what it can be exchanged for – making the decision to exchange money for time instead of for things is key.

    Multiplicity was witty, yes, but Michael Keaton plays crazy a little too well for me…. loved him as Batman, though.

  • I thought this was a great post. Achieving this kind of freedom is one of my goal as well, although I haven’t put the time and effort into it that it will require to achieve. At least not yet.

    I also never include the value of my house in any of these kinds of calculations. If you are gong to live free, you need to calculate what you are willing to part with, and leveraging your home isn’t the best way in my opinion.

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  • I have some pretty agressive long term goals and I was really digging your article but lost my train of thought due to the Multiplicity reference. I have a serious crush on Andie MacDowell but I had my doubts about this movie when it came out.

    Ps. When you’re calculating your net worth… do you count the value of a company that you own lock stock and barrel or just the dividends that you take from that company.

    For example, I have a company that I think will be turning over $8 mil/year withing six years. Am I worth what the company is valued for sale or am I worth what I take from the company as pay?

  • @Aaron: Andie MacDowell was definitely crushable, but in that movie? Err… better in Green Card or Groundhog Day. Heh.

    I do count the value of a company I own based on current market values. I don’t think anyone can count on future values as part of net worth. Your Money or Your Life (which I don’t think is 100% accurate but close enough) defines it as “what if you had to sell everything you own today – how much would you have.” So if the company was going to be worth that much in the future – and others would recognize that – it would be worth a lot today. If its cost is much less today, then it may be that other investors don’t view it as a sure-fire thing like you might. What you take from the company as pay, however, is a rock-solid figure that is worth exactly what it is worth – dollars in pockets.

    All in all, net worth is not the absolute best measure of your financial position anyway, just one of many. Cash flow is important, debt to income, etc. are also good measuring sticks.

  • Nabloid.com

    Think and Grow Rich is a classic!

    I really liked Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I was younger, and agree with some of the principles, but too many people link Rich Dad, Poor Dad to investing in real estate with very little money down and other 'get rich quick' schemes that aren't reality, safe, or good wealth building principles.

    Robert Kiyosaki isn't as smart as he tries to pretend… go read some of his articles on Yahoo Finance and you'd quickly find out that guy doesn't know much about many of the topics he pretends to be an expert on. I think he may be good at educating people and perhaps even good at real estate (though during the boom where he created most of his real estate wealth, everyone made money because the market was practically going straight up!). That said, don't blindly follow Robert Kiyosaki… I've actually come to dislike him the more I read of his books and his very lame articles… Rich Dad, Poor Dad may be fake or real, but it has some good principles for many beginners to read, but don't blindly follow his advice and go buy expensive real estate that you can't afford.

    BTW, I really like the layout of your site and your quality articles!

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  • Wow, you hit on a lot of the things that I have thinking and working on every day. The visualization that you have spoken about in some of your posts is a powerful thing. I often practice this… although I never thought it to be a specific concept. It works. If I want to achieve something the following day, like running, or cleaning the house – I visualize myself doing the acitivity and I am much more likely to make it happen, because in visualizing, I actually organize the process of getting out the cleaning supplies, imagining which room to start with etc.

    I've been reading a lot of personal finance blogs lately because I an trying to get organized in my financial life as well. Thanks for your insight and personal revelations! I am inspired to continue.

  • Hi BrBl: I'm sure that you've taken inflation into account in coming up with your 'bimillionaire' number?

    It's great that you are willing to share your number … I have a new social network in Beta where others can do the same ( naturally: shareyournumber.com ) … AJC.

    AJC.

  • Hi BrBl: I'm sure that you've taken inflation into account in coming up with your 'bimillionaire' number?

    It's great that you are willing to share your number … I have a new social network in Beta where others can do the same ( naturally: shareyournumber.com ) … AJC.

    AJC.