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How to become a billionaire without a billion dollars

woman in the city

You’re never going to be Oprah. Get over it.

These are the words I told myself a few months ago when I realized how much time I was wasting trying to be somebody else.

I am over it and I’m happy now.

Oprah was the competition in my eyes.

Either I had to become a billionaire mogul that the world admired or just crumble in the corner and get out of everyone’s way.

Unless I had a fanbase that was comparable to Beyonce, I might as well just quit life and die.

These were the pressures I put on myself.

It wasn’t until I went from being absolutely broke to making a very healthy living that I realized this whole billionaire thing was a waste of my energy.

It’s not what I really wanted, it’s what I thought I needed to feel as the sense of happiness and fulfillment us humans are always looking for.

I quickly went from enjoying memes about sacrificing my sleep to “win” to enjoying other things like… well…  sleeping.

I started walking slower, sipping my coffee with more gratitude and realized that living like a billionaire doesn’t require a billion dollars. Especially nowadays in our excessive capacity economy.

People want a billion dollars because they want life to feel like a play ground.

We don’t want to feel limited or obligated by time or money.

So what’s the solution to that?

Just be a millionaire. Duh.

Wait, no. Millionaire isn’t good enough. You have to be a billionaire now to be cool.

It’s either you’re a billionaire or you’re nothing. I can’t be the only person who feels that way right?

First of all, there’s a few things about this whole billionaire thing that I feel don’t get talked about enough.

womanstaring1. The exponential difference between a million and a billion.

People throw around the world million next to billion as if they’re, you know, similar. They’re not. It’s a completely different mass of cash.

Check out this photo proving it.

millvsbill2. Having a billion dollar net worth is a sh*”t ton of stressful responsibility.

People hear that somebody has billion dollars and think that they spend an hour a day rolling around it in.

For the most part, acquiring that much capital usually means that it’s attached to a lot of companies, contracts and vulnerable relationships.

Thus, you are totally f*cking stressed out.  

Most of the time when I hear that somebody is a billionaire I take a moment to be grateful that they have taken on the responsibility.

That’s like a worldy f*cking responsibility to me.

I can only imagine the hard work that goes into making decisions that not only greatly impact your personal life but also grasp the way the world turns.

But anyway, back to this playground life that we associate with being a billionaire.

It’s a pretty simple recipe and it doesn’t require a billion dollars.

When I hear somebody say they want a billion dollars, I really hear this:

“I want to be loved, respected and free.”

The good news is that you don’t need a billion dollars to feel any of those things.

Those are all things that can be completely controlled by a decent amount of mental work and building a living that provides freedom which in today’s world is totally doable.

I’ve figured it out and I often feel the same three things that are the ultimate result of what you think a billionaire would feel.

Okay let’s start with the first thing:

1. to feel loved.

Cost: $0

This one just requires me to surround myself with people who love me and show it in a way that is fulfilling to me.

I noticed that some people in my life loved me but they had a very unhealthy of showing it and so I removed myself from them.

The number one times I feel loved is not by other people though, it’s when I have moments where I can actually feel myself loving myself.

I’m forgiving on my thoughts, on my writing on the embarrassing stuff that comes out of my mouth sometimes. I just don’t take myself too seriously and enjoy everything I can about being me.

2. to feel respected.

Cost $0

I feel respected when I work and build relationships with people that I can be honest with.

If I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around somebody, it’s a clear indication that this person does not respect the honesty within me.

Thus, I cannot respect myself if I continue to be around this person.

To feel respected is really up to me. I cannot demand the world to treat me how I would like to be treated but I can of course require that I provide it for myself.

3. to feel free.

Cost $0

I feel free when I don’t care if I make mistakes or look, you know, uncool.

Living in New York, I’m around a lot of hot shots, big names and there are a million opportunities to look as uncool as possible.

The chances of it are very high.

In fact, I’m sure that when I step into my audience of 8 million people (NYC population), I probably look uncool to a good portion.

I’m also sure I look cool to another portion but the point is to not get caught up in any of it.

It’s a mental prison and to me, mental prisons are not f*cking cool.

My work/business is also another place where I could fall into a vicious mental trap.

I’ve been there before. It sort of feels like the “chokey” that Ms. Trunchbull would terrorize Matilda in but accept it was all in my head (which made it more scary) and I was doing it to my own self (which made it even more scary).

I can get in the mental chokey every day if I wanted to (some days I do) but somehow even the biggest, scariest money/business/reputation problems dissolve when I remember that choosing to suffer will not do anything but make me feel miserable.

I’m sure there are many billionaires who feel the choke hold of their money/business/reputation on a daily basis.

Funny huh?

You’re scratching the walls trying to be like somebody else and they might be on the other side of the wall scratching to get to what you have.

Written by Alex Wolf

Named By Fast Company As "Top 100 Most Creative In Business", Alex Wolf is a creative marketing consultant with a specialty in social media and viral marketing. She's been featured as a "Top Creative Entrepreneur In Media & Marketing" by Inc. magazine. She's grown the fastest growing network of millennial business women with a following of over half a million in less than two years.

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