Can You Get Rich From Nothing?
Roadmap to Riches

If you want to know how to get rich from nothing, the real question is are you willing to learn what it takes? Because, unless you plan to win the lottery or do something illegal, there is a learning curve involved. There is also a mindset adjustment that differentiates the haves from the have-nots. Are you ready for it? Here it goes!  

Roadmap to Riches

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Step 1: Establish Income Streams

The roadmap to riches starts by establishing at least one income stream. This is not necessarily about earning large sums of money from the get-go. Everyone can begin the journey with a different starting base. The essential element is to generate money that can then fuel your progress with some regularity.

Multiple streams of passive income, a buzz word du jour, underscores an important objective - systematic earnings and growth - which we will get to in a moment.

9 Key Steps to Your Roadmap to Riches

  1. Establish income streams
  2. Budget wisely
  3. Know where your money goes
  4. Pay down debt
  5. Have an emergency fund
  6. Compound your interest
  7. Leverage credit
  8. Start your own business
  9. Diversify - Multiply - Scale

We are lucky! Our contemporary economy is in the midst of the internet revolution. Online marketing is a new frontier for budding or seasoned entrepreneurs alike. And entry barriers are as low as can be found in any industry at any time in history.

Virtually anyone can start an internet business of some sort. The key is learning what to do and how to do it properly while staying away from all the noise and get-rich-quick schemes that don't work. Truly, information is king and knowledge is power. 

A great side or main gig to kick-start an income stream or three, is affiliate marketing. Now, hold on before you start rolling your eyes. Not to bore you with the numbers that won't matter to non-believers anyway, but affiliate marketing is big! And it's here to stay.

Why? Because there's always going to be a product or service that someone is selling and will need a middleman to sell more of. That in a nutshell is what affiliate marketing is. It's simply about a go-between that facilitates more sales between a supplier and buyers.

Except, these days the middleman can earn his money straight from the comfort of his own home, over a laptop. If you learn this as a trade, the sky could be the limit.

Let's just say that according to the employment agency Indeed, working a corporate job as an affiliate marketer averages salaries of over $60,000 per year in the United States. Every year, there are more and more successful affiliate marketers working for themselves and making upwards of $150,000.

Will you make that kind of money in affiliate marketing? No one can answer that question. Obviously, there is serious work involved in setting up your online operation, maybe a website, social media accounts, or even paid ads.

But, it's a reasonable assertion to say that if you apply yourself diligently, you can join the ranks of those who build at least one income stream from this industry. Our top picks for reputable affiliate marketing marketplaces will be discussed on related links.

Of course, you don't have to choose affiliate marketing, but once you reach your goal of having steady income that you can rely on, the next challenge is managing it.

Step 2: Follow a Budget

Do follow a budget that is sensible, ideally automated, and that eliminates wasteful spending. The more of your income you're able to save, the more you'll afford yourself the opportunity to invest and let that money work for you day and night.

Step 3: Know Where Your Money Goes

As billionaire Richard Branson likes to say, count your money! And know where every bit of it goes. There is a misconception that the rich spend lavishly without counting. While some certainly do, perhaps some celebrities or athletes who struck it rich help to propagate that myth.

But many who do that tend to end up in gossip columns with headlines showing them bankrupt or destitute after foolishly blowing millions of dollars.

The reality is that making money, keeping it, or growing it, all require meticulous, detailed financial planning. No one knows it better than the truly rich, those who know how to stay rich and grow richer.

For more on this, read books like "Rich Habits - The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy People" by Thomas C. Corley. The author interviewed 233 wealthy people versus 128 "have-nots" over a period of 5 years. It's a great window into the way the rich think about money.

Step 4: Pay Down Debt

Pay down your debt strategically if you have any. Keep in mind that not all debt is bad debt. Sort out good debt versus bad debt and get after it.

Whatever you do, always start by paying yourself first. A portion of any moneys received should automatically go on reserve for yourself. A rule of thumb is systematically stashing away a minimum of 10% in your rainy day fund or reserves.

Step 5: Build an Emergency Fund

Build an emergency fund relative to your debt load, by growing your reserve up to a certain amount based on your individual circumstance. This step can sometimes take precedence over the previous one, depending on whether your debt obligations will allow it or not. Whatever the case may be, do not downplay or neglect it!

Your emergency fund should be raised to sustain you for at least 6 months in case of an unexpected crisis. Determine the amount of your emergency fund according to whether you're single, head of household with children, or whatever your particular circumstance may be.

Step 6: Take Advantage of Interest Income

Capitalize on compound interest and start the proverbial snowball effect. Once you have reached your emergency cash or quickly accessible liquid funds goal, let the money you save start working for you.

One option is to open an investment account and/or a retirement account. It might be beneficial to you to seek accounts that allow pre-tax deposits, like 401k or 403b.

Vanguard ETFs are also low-risk stock exchange investments, similar to mutual funds that allow you to grow your money while mitigating the hazard associated with stock market volatility. They are made of leading S&P 500 companies representing top performing US companies that spearhead the growth of the American economy itself. In other words, they are quite safe investments.

As much as possible, automate your deposits and as they say, set it and forget it! These accounts are trusted for reliably growing your money unattended over periods of years and decades.

Step 7: Leverage Credit

In step 3, we talked about strategically paying down debt. That ought to also help you leverage your credit. Your credit rating is a critical weapon in your arsenal. To establish creditworthiness for most lenders, maintain a FICO score of 660 to 760, or better. We will discuss steps to improve your credit in related content.

Always be sure to evaluate what good debt and bad debt look like in your case. An example of good debt would be borrowing money to buy a condo that you put up for rent to generate positive cash flow every month above and beyond your repayment and costs.

An example of bad debt would be borrowing the same amount to buy a flashy Lamborghini that will do nothing for you financially but drain your hard-earned cash for  years to come.

Leveraging credit enables you to make smart investments that put your wealth building in overdrive, sometimes by taking on good debt. With that said, no debt commitment should ever be taken lightly. Always do your due diligence.

When you use credit cards, use them in a way that allows you to pay them in full at the end of each month. Or, with better credit, opt for no-interest credit card deals where you can pay off your balance owed in monthly installments before any interest is charged.

Step 8: Start Your Own Business

For multiple reasons, including potential tax advantages, everyone should start a business, or at the very least a side gig. Don't forget that one of the best return-on-investment vehicles remains starting your own business -- one that succeeds, of course.

With a little luck, this can actually outperform most interest-bearing or stock market accounts, especially if you're looking for great returns in years, not decades.

In fact, successful business ventures on average can boast returns of up to 30% while most over investments hover around 10% returns.

Step 9: Diversify-Multiply-Scale

Deploy diversification and multiplicity, or scale your business if you opted for that route. When your investments take hold, secure your position by averting the proverbial "all your eggs in one basket". At this point, you want to adopt the big 3: Diversify-Multiply-Scale.

The majority of wealthy individuals diversify by buying Real Estate properties in markets where their value can appreciate sizably. You can follow that path.

You can also diversify by banking on the trust gained by long-term investments like the S&P 500 index funds. It's a proven way to safely place your money in the stock market and let it grow over time.

Concurrently, you can steadily multiply your business ventures and keep an eye to scale the scalable ones.

And that's all folks! That is your basic blueprint on how to get rich from nothing. The secret to getting rich is that there really isn't one! It's all about understanding the process and following it diligently and patiently.

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