If you dream of becoming a millionaire, there’s no set way to reach that goal. But there are steps you can take to put yourself on the right path — and obstacles that could be blocking your way.
On the Quora thread “What are the biggest obstacles to becoming a millionaire?” author, blogger, and podcaster James Altucher shared some of the habits he’s encountered that hold people back from becoming millionaires, both in his own life and in the lives of the millionaires he’s met and studied.
In addition to pointing out a few obvious factors that impact your net worth — your salary and where you live — Altucher outlines less tangible stumbling blocks that could be holding you back.
Here are three red flags to keep in mind if you’re aiming to hit that million-dollar mark.
1. You don’t exercise your creativity
“If you have no ideas, you are back with the civilians. Civilians won’t make a million,” Altucher writes on Quora.
Altucher compares the process of coming up with good ideas to working out: If you skip the gym for two weeks, it will be difficult to get back into shape. The same goes for coming up with worthwhile ideas.
“Bad ideas are good,” he says. “You have to come up with at least 100 to 1,000 bad ideas for every one good idea.”
That one good idea might just be a million-dollar idea.
2. You spend time with toxic people
The people you surround yourself with affect your productivity more than you might think.
“The toxic people in your life will drag you down,” Altucher writes. “The good people in your life will love you and inspire you. It’s a push-pull. Let the good people win.”
He adds: “You can’t become successful with toxic people pulling you down.”
3. You blame others for your mistakes
It’s hard to admit to failure. And it’s even harder to move past it when the wound is still fresh. But blaming others for your mistakes is never productive, according to Altucher.
“It’s really hard to [learn from it] when you are feeling the pain of failure. I often can’t do it,” he says. “But don’t blame either. That’s the first step towards learning, towards recovery, towards moving forward instead of backward.”
After interviewing hundreds of successful people on his podcast, Altucher noticed they all had one thing in common: “They all had periods of enormous failure,” he says. “Here’s how many of them blamed someone else for their failure: ZERO.”
Whether or not it’s their fault, successful people don’t dwell on failure — they learn from it and move on.