All the respect to billionaires, but millionaires are better for the average person to look up to.
Many people look up to these kinds of folks or have been looking up to them at some point in their lives. And while I’ll admit that at the beginning I used to have stars in my eyes from looking at them, but that sensation is gone.
It’s been far gone for me for many reasons.
I won’t deny that billionaires have made no impact. They have. They’ve changed the world around and are attempting to do more of that.
But that is where my respect lies with them. Not that they have billions of dollars sitting in their bank accounts.
One thing that I learned recently was from Robin Sharma’s book The Greatness Guide is that we need to have solid references.
The idea is if we’re looking to become someone, we need to have a good example.
From there, I can see why so many people are enamoured by billionaires. They’re quite in the public eye and many people raise them up to the point they seem like gods among us.
But even the gods can be messed up and have their flaws. Have you read any Greek mythology?
Point is I can understand people are more keen on pointing to a single billionaire and trying to be like them. But I feel it’s weaker. And with each passing year, I’ve come to realize it’s better for many of us to pursue something not as loftier.
Instead of trying to become a billionaire, why not try our hands at being a millionaire instead?
And while I’m certainly no millionaire, I’ve read enough to get an idea of what these people are like. Not to mention I’ve written enough to get a good sense of what a millionaire is like.
Millionaire Status Is Easier
The biggest is that millionaire status is easier to achieve. I know that’s obvious in terms of money. Six figures is obviously smaller than nine figures.
But I’m also talking about in terms of everything else.
One of the most common things you’ll see in most “How to become a millionaire” articles is the fact it feels a lot easier.
By no means is it a cakewalk, but the threshold for millionaire status feels lower.
It’s a matter of being wise with how you spend your money. You also need to pay off all your debts. Hell, you can be a millionaire by keeping your day job and running a side-hustle.
Compared to a billionaire, this bar feels a lot lower. When we look at billionaires, most of the billionaires of the world are CEOs of massive companies that they built from the ground up. And while their stories of triumph are grand and the lessons they learned valuable, it doesn’t sound like what most people want to go through.
Their stories are of massive sacrifices that not many people are mentally prepared for. Not to mention the circumstances are all very different.
Billionaires feel like they’re in a tier in of themselves. And while a lot of that is to do with peoples own elevation of those people, it feels more sensible to start emulating millionaires before we emulate billionaires.
Millionaires Are More Subtle
The reason I argue to look at millionaires is that millionaires have a number of key habits. The biggest one is that they are more subtle than billionaires.
Of course, billionaires get a lot of press and attention, but some of that attention is self-imposed.
Remember the time Elon Musk called a British Cave diver a pedophile? He apologized for sure, but it was his own action that started this news in the first place.
You can also look at Donald Trump who is a “billionaire” as well and was and is constantly in the news whenever he says or tweets anything at all.
But let’s compare that to millionaires.
Because I know many millionaires don’t like being in the limelight.
They’re actually fairly subtle people when it comes to their wealth.
And the reason I know this is because I have an uncle who is a millionaire. And he does not like many people to know that. Furthermore, if you look at him you wouldn’t even know if he is one.
And if you think my uncle is an outlier, think again. In the book, The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley, Ph. D. and William Danko, Ph. D. explain in great detail what a millionaire is like. And most of them live a middle-class lifestyle.
What this means is they hardly ever give the impression that they are extremely well off. These are people who’ll order off the dollar menu at fast food joints, wear casual clothing, and their jobs are like I described, either a day job with a little side business or they’re an owner, but the company is fairly small in size.
In other words, they don’t attract undue attention to themselves compared to most billionaires who seem to be obsessed with attention whether it’s positive or negative.
There Isn’t A Massive Lifestyle Shift
Because of this subtlety, I feel that there isn’t a massive lifestyle shift. For sure there is a transformation in your current lifestyle. But along the way, a non-millionaire learns what it takes to be a millionaire.
This goes back to the habits that we learn and from looking at them again they don’t feel like a high demand.
It doesn’t feel like you need to pull a constant all-nighter or get very little sleep to be a millionaire. From the looks of things, it’s a matter of paying off your debts and then living within your means. This feels easier to do long-term than say building a massive company that will change everyone’s lives.
We see that the lifestyle shift isn’t as dramatic. And it bleeds into that subtlety once more.
No one is going to run a front-page article about someone finally being free of their student debt or mortgage or be debt-free. But they will if you created a company that can cure cancer.
And that subtlety is nice as not that many people want to be in the limelight. In fact, some people avoid being millionaires because they feel they have to be in the public eye when that’s seriously not the case.
This shift in lifestyle is a lot easier to swallow as you’re more focused on creating tangible habits for yourself rather than trying to find a way to become massively famous.
This leads to my final point.
Millionaires Feel Like Regular People
Because they are subtle and because their habits don’t feel as insane as billionaires, they feel more human. And for sure billionaires are humans with flaws themselves, but their flaws are more prominent to the public.
We see their mistakes and our image of them shatters. They’re not someone who holds all of the values that we’ve learned from them and in fact they may be a weak example of who we really want to be.
We see the glamour but that’s before we pull back the curtain. Their lessons and sacrifices are valuable to us. We can learn a lot from that.
But when we look at who they really are today, that magic feels a little lost. It feels like they’re in a section in of themselves, but it’s a section that many of us don’t want to be in for various reasons.
And that’s why turning to millionaires is a little more sensible. For sure they have their issues. But the values that they have, feel more stable and smoother to transition to. We still need to make sacrifices, but we’re not sacrificing our entire livelihood to become famous.
The actions we’re taking are a little more natural. We’re not getting in our heads that we need to build a large company. We realize that planning, budgeting, and developing a few core habits is all that we really need to become a millionaire.
And there are many people out there who follow those practices that we can point at and follow.