Most people in the US have little or no money saved when they turn 40.

Most people in their thirties today are still paying off student loans, have giant mortgages and a lifestyle they can’t afford.

Becoming wealthy isn’t about how much money you have today though, it is about your ability to make money. Most people who do become wealthy don’t reach a high income until they are in their 40’s. People younger than 40, don’t have the experience required to get big promotions or high paying jobs. Even the most successful people I know, CEO’s of companies, successful entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, didn’t start to make real money until they were in their 40’s or 50’s.

We all know that investments compound and multiply over many years. Successful people incomes compound and multiply as well.

My former boss spent several years out of school bouncing around from job to job, not making or saving any real money. Then he found something he was good at and for 15 years made a comfortable living as a commercial real estate broker, but he wasn’t really wealthy. When he was in his mid 40’s things started to take off for him. He became the managing partner of the firm, brought in major clients he has been chasing for decades, and tripled the size of the business. When he was 40 he was making a comfortable living of $150,00 – $300,000, ten years later he was making 10x that.

Most of the successful and wealthy people I know spend years being broke, then make most of their money in a short time frame. They get the big promotion, their business takes off, they find their competitive advantage and master their craft.

The real question for someone who is 40 and want to be a millionaire isn’t how much money they have already, it’s what skill, experience and platform have they created to make money in the future.

Are you about to get promoted to the big job?

Are you ready to start the business you’ve always dreamed about?

Have you been growing and improving yourself for the last 20 years?

This is what matters, far more than the number in your bank account. The average age of an entrepreneur is in their 40’s.

The young people you see on Instagram living the dream aren’t what you should base your success on. It’s not real, or at best they are outliers. It’s extremely rare for the college dropout to start a business and have it take off. You’ve probably read statistics about how most businesses fail and how unlikely it is you will be successful. The failure rate is exaggerated though by people who start businesses with no experience or knowledge.

The best time to start a business is after you’ve worked in the industry and learned from someone who knows what their doing. Then you go out on your own and find a competitive edge in your industry, something that is lacking from the marketplace. Kids fresh out of school don’t have a clue about how an industry really works or where they can find a hole in the market. Whatever industry you are in, find something you can do to add value to people. Find ways to charge for that value. Then build a business on that.

Don’t think you need to be 22 and have entrepreneurship in your blood. It also doesn’t matter if you aren’t in a “prestigious” field or have a high status job. I had a client who was a groundskeeper at a golf course for ten years. He spent hours every day riding a lawnmower around the course. Over time he thought up a better way spread fertilizer on the grass. He designed a prototype in his garage for an miniture trailer that gets pulled by a golf cart and sprays fertilizer on the grass. He now sells them all over the country for $30,000 each, making millions of dollars in the process. He wasn’t well educated, he wasn’t an engineer, all he had was a little bit of knowledge about an industry. He knew what the budget was for a golf course and knew he could sell something that saved his customers time and money.

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to do things to build knowledge and experience. Once you have that your career will explode.

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