This is a guest post from Janet Miller.

The first million is usually the most challenging to earn, at least that’s what “they” say. They may have a point.

I’m still working on it. 

But because millionaire status is highly coveted in our society, lots of research has been attributed to understanding the habits and characteristics of millionaires. One thing is for sure, it can be even more difficult to earn your first million if you make certain mistakes. Here are the 7 mistakes that may be standing between you and your first million.

Poor Budgeting
Don’t live on temporary happiness. Balance your life by indulging once in awhile, but keep your indulgences within your budget and keep savings and investments as top priorities. Millionaires don’t start out making their millions by throwing their money around and taking breaks whenever they’re doing well. They make their millions through intelligent decision making, planning and investing, and holding onto their money until it adds up to a fortune.

Wasting Time on Perfection
People who make a million off their ideas are innovative thinkers and risk takers by nature. By the time a person takes any one idea and perfects every part of their plan, an innovative risk taker may have tried and tested a dozen different ideas, of which at least one or two may have made it to the market. When you focus all of your energy on perfection, you risk losing time and money. Try everything and learn from your mistakes. Focus on experimenting and testing. Don’t be afraid to take a calculated risk.

Lack of Routine
Follow a strict routine. That old saying, ‘the early bird catches the worm’ didn’t come from… Click To Tweet When you’re up before the rest of the world, you have time to reflect, plan, organize, eat well, and most importantly find a work style that works for you. A clear mind and organized day will allow you to make smart decisions and stay ahead of the competition. A good diet and consistent workout routine will give you the energy to do it all.

Lack of Clarity
When you begin a task or project, you should first have a good idea of what you want the end product to look like. Then you can reverse engineer the scenario. If you begin a project or try to execute an idea without having a desired outcome in mind, you’re working by pulling at straws and throwing stuff on the wall, hoping something sticks. Envision your desired results through execution of your plans and ideas, and work through everything with those results in mind. Plan for the long-term first, and then work in your short-term tactics to get there.

Fear of Delegating Responsibilities
Many entrepreneurs like to be in control. It’s in the nature of business-minded go-getters. If you’re a perfectionist who believes that your ideas are the only good ideas, your execution plan and problem solving strategies are the only ways that work, and that no one can organize a desk the right way (your way), then it’s time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and re-prioritize your time. Millionaires have to choose what they spend their time and energy on very wisely. Click To Tweet You can’t do everything on your own and earn seven figures. Eventually, you’re going to have to delegate some of your responsibilities to someone else. In order to do that, you need to figure out which responsibilities you want to begin delegating out and choose your partner or team intelligently.  

When you pick your team, choose people who can do the same things you can do at least 80 percent as well as you can do them, and make sure that each person’s role and tasks are clearly defined. Hire slow and fire fast instead of hiring the first person you come across for the position and giving them multiple chances when they make mistakes.  You need a motivated team who shares your values and prioritizes the goals of your business.


Always Trading Time for Money
Millionaires make the most of their time.

You need to maximize your time by not trading it for money. When you do have to trade your time for money, be positive that the trade will be worthwhile. You want to increase your net-worth by increasing your value, not by reaching a plateau. Investment, affiliate marketing, online empires, and programs are just a few ideas for ways you can add more value to your time.

Not Delivering what Your Target Customer Wants
Understand what your target customer base wants and focus on delivering it, not yourself, your experience, or your expertise. Of course, all of those things may help you sell your product or service, but empty promises are not going to capture most customers and keep them coming back for more. Your target customers are hunting for a solution to a problem of theirs, and your goal is to provide them with that solution. Focus on understanding the demand and be sure to deliver.

 

Janet Miller is a mom of four, full-time RVer, former Fortune 500 executive and executive coach. She is the co-founder of JenReviews and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse and Tiny Buddha.