I teach people how to be a millionaire and how to create a million-dollar business. But honestly, what I'd really like to say first is that just because you're a millionaire, it doesn't mean you don't have any problems, or learning how to make a million dollars doesn't necessarily mean that you know how to be a millionaire and a successful millionaire and continue to grow and hang on to your wealth. In fact, Brian Tracy has a quote, which I think is really, really worth remembering, "Being a successful millionaire is not about learning how to make a million dollars, he who wins is the one who keeps the million dollars." What you really want to learn first is how to manage your money. It's super important to learn and grow on an evolving basis and take responsibility for being a money manager, look at your money as your business, because it doesn't matter how many times you make it, if you keep losing it, then it actually has a lot of wear and tear on you emotionally.
To give you some examples, I really like to encourage my clients to start with, how am I going to make my first $10,000 in a repeatable way so that I can continue to do that over and over. And then how am I going to manage that money and really start getting educated on the whole process of money as a business? Because over my lifetime, I built a lot of businesses where I started out with no money or very little money down, I used the business itself to kind of bring in funding to get started. Then everything I earned for years and years went back into the business or into the house that I was renovating. As money would come in I would pour it back into my investments. So I lived very leanly, in fact, I still live very leanly. I always liked to keep reinvesting what I'm earning.
What ends up happening is, when you finally sell the business, you have a big payout, and all of a sudden you're cashed up and you've got money again. Or when you have a really big year, I've had some years where we've made millions of dollars in our business, you got to be careful that you don't end up with a massive tax bill because you haven't prepared for it, for instance, because then you're just losing half the money that you worked so hard to make. I've had lots and lots of really bad experiences with taking on business partners. I actually love working with business partners, I get really tired of working on my own. I'm very social. I'm very collaborative. I love brainstorming. I love working with smart people.
I have gone into quite a few partnerships that have been great for the first few months or the first year, but then because we haven't been managing the money and I take responsibility for that, it's quite often I'll get so excited about being the creative rainmaker, bringing in all the customers and getting out and building up the business that I stopped looking after the money side of it. And my partners have taken advantage of me for not taking an interest in the money. And I have had partners that have just blatantly stolen the money right out of the business and set up quite complex fraud schemes so that I wouldn't notice for a while.
You've really got to take responsibility for the management of your money. And if you can't do that, if it's not something that you're ever going to be interested or skilled in, then you got to make the effort to find a responsible money person, to be your chief financial officer, to be your CFO, to manage your money on a monthly or at least quarterly basis, to sit down with you and say, here's how much you're making, here's how much you're spending you talk about what you're going to invest in and they tell you whether they think it's a good idea. Quite often, what you can do is you can say, I want to do this now and you have a discussion about it. And you say, well, let's sit on this for two or three months and see if we still want to do it in two or three months because that gives you some breathing space to decide if it's a good idea.
What happened in my life was that I kept reinvesting in businesses and reinvesting and growing and reinvesting and growing. And then eventually one of our businesses, we sold for millions and millions of dollars and suddenly we had so much wealth that it was a whole new set of problems, because we'd never had to look after that kind of money before, and it's just a constantly learning and growing process. You want to make sure that you've surrounded yourself with people who have an experience that can guide you, that you can trust. Because sadly, when you have a lot of money, you will also attract, there's an awful lot of con men out there who are looking for people who have money and who are naive about how to manage it. Learn how to surround yourself with people who you can trust and how to do your due diligence on these people. And double check, if you're not sure if you're getting financial advice from one person have another person from another company that you feel you can trust and compare their advice. And if you have to bring in the third one, if you can afford it, because you'll find that there are as many people dispensing financial advice, is there a different type of people. It's worth looking at your money as an investment and a business in its own right.
When we became multi-millionaires, we ended up with all these people coming out of the woodwork, asking us to bail them out, bail out their businesses, bail out their mortgages, help them with their divorce. It seemed like everybody was coming to us with their hands out. So then you need to learn how to deal with that. Honestly, it's a never ending process, just becoming a millionaire isn't going to solve all your problems, but learning how to manage your wealth, that is a skill worth learning.
Cydney O'Sullivan, Founder of Millionaires Training