No, becoming a millionaire isn’t exactly easy. Along the way, there will be hiccups, setbacks, hard work and learning experiences. There will be moments of serious doubt, matched with moments of boundless self-confidence. But the general template for success contains only three, fairly easy steps: playing the game, investing your savings, and rolling with the punches. Let’s take a look.

Understand the Game, and Play It

The first and perhaps most important piece of advice for those looking to amass wealth is to be an active participant. Don’t rely on luck alone; don’t rely on the universe to seek you out and give you what you’re owed. You have to play the game. But in order to do that, you have to understand what you are up against.

Even when playing the lottery, if you want to become a millionaire, you first have to research frequently asked questions about the Powerball and learn as much as you can about the game. The same goes for investing: take the time to understand the different asset classes, as well as what kind of portfolio diversification works best for your particular income, goals and timeline (more on that below).

Essentially, the first step is to take control of your future – make real, serious resolutions to improve your financial situation, and learn as much as you can about the world of finances. To kick start your journey, here is a list, courtesy of the Balance, of important financial lessons everyone should know.

Earn, Save, Invest… Repeat

The process of becoming a millionaire is often not an overnight thing (unless, as mentioned above, you win the lottery!) It requires years of methodically following a proven process: earning money, saving a significant portion of that money, investing those savings shrewdly and then repeating the process.

For many, it is the “saving” step that proves the trickiest. The key here is to live below your means. Try and abstain from vanity purchases, and be careful not to let “lifestyle creep” take too much of your discretionary income (the term, if you are unfamiliar, refers to the phenomenon by which people spend more money the more they make, regardless of whether they need to).

Before long, the money you invest will start seeing returns, which you can in urn reinvest. In time, those reinvested returns will deliver returns of their own. Money, once saved and invested, can have a snowballing effect. That’s why independently wealthy people often say that “you shouldn’t just work for your money – you should let your money work for you”.

Stay Positive and Roll with the Punches

There will be times where your investments take a big hit. That’s part of the deal with high-risk, high-reward investing. There will be times when your personal projects don’t pan out, or fail to meet your standards. There will be times you lottery ticket doesn’t pay off. The point, throughout all your setbacks, is to take them on the chin, and try to view each as a learning experience. Otherwise, you might scare yourself out of some life-changing opportunities.

That’s the general guideline for becoming a millionaire. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? That’s because it follows a positive, proactive approach through a series of rational actions, with a focus on saving your money and investing it wisely. It may not be easy to become a millionaire, but it’s not as hard as you think!

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