Having a lot of money to start with is not a pre-requisite to become successful or extremely wealthy. Here’s what you need to do.

Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire — that too without money? Being rich, in fact, is usually the dream of every person. Whilst we all aspire to be rich, but very few among us are really able to accumulate extraordinary wealth, and then we tend to believe that millionaires are born, not made. However, this perception is not entirely true. Not all millionaires have inherited their wealth. In fact, there are equally good number of people who have been able to make a lot of money without inheritance or upfront investment.

Following are some of the common traits, which all successful people who have risen from very humble beginning possess:

Focus and Discipline

Rather than focusing on money, focus on your goal to achieve success, and money will follow. If you know what you want, and then have the discipline to go after it, don’t get sidetracked by less important matters. You may cut expenses or, better yet, look for ways to increase your income to meet your goal, but you must have to stick with your goal to become a millionaire.

Put your skill to work that you love to do, and chase your dreams

If your aspiration to start your own business or work is motivated just because you don’t like to work for someone else or are not getting enough pay, then it’s highly likely that you will not go too far in life. To get success, it is crucial to focus on your passion, choose something that you are passionate about and love to do. To get success you must have dreams and goals of your own, and being driven to see them through. Self-made millionaires have ambitions and are willing to take risks to make those happen. They are passionate and relentless in their mission to succeed. Set highly defined short-term and long-term goals with strict deadlines and you have to frame out exactly what you want and how to get there. While most of the common people ultimately want to lead a comfortable life, self-made millionaires push beyond the average, they believe in creating their own opportunities. Be ruthless with your vision and be clear about what you want to eliminate from your current life, and what you need to add over the next few years.

See the Big Picture

Expand your focus from the short-term success to the bigger picture of how you want your life to be shaped. Keep your eye on the biggest, most motivating reward and let yourself be continually driven and inspired to achieve that. Set bigger goals for yourself, choose something that is not easily achievable, something that will make you stretch your faculties to the maximum.

Take calculated risks, and persevere through failures

While the middle class lives in fear of risking too much, often content to stay in their lane, millionaires strive to move out of theirs and know when to go for it. Ordinary folks do not go beyond their comfort zone so as not to upset the milk bowl, but the fact here is that without taking calculated risks and overcoming fear, you would never become a millionaire.

You need to take calculated risks to be a self-made millionaire. When deciding whether or not to take a risk, ask yourself what is the worst case scenario? Evaluate the costs versus reward probabilities before jumping in with both feet. If you can anticipate the worst outcome, you can survive the odds. Millionaires overcome fear with knowledge, and educate themselves before taking risks, and then they consider the consequences of failing. They calculate the intensity of the risk versus the power of the reward. If you can survive the worst that could happen and if the most likely thing to happen will get you closer to your goals, then go for it.

Keep your thirst for knowledge lifelong, be more innovative and embrace change

One of the main secrets of self-made millionaires is that they are passionate learners and their learning curve actually has been shown to go up after formal schooling, rather than flattening. They are voracious readers and always remain eager to know about the world around them. They reinvent themselves and their business on a regular basis as the market and technology changes. Invest in yourself first, even if you know nothing right now. Instead of resisting every change, figure out what caused it and move forward by creating a solution that capitalizes on the new opportunity.

Shift Focus from Spending to Investing

You can never build wealth if more money is leaving your wallet than what is coming in. This is especially true for a salary earner who aims to become a millionaire. You don’t need to earn a lot of money to become wealthy; it’s what you do with that money that matters.

The rich don’t spend money; they invest, they count every penny and put in somewhere productive. The worst you can do in your drive to become a self-made millionaire is to spend your earnings. You have to develop the habit of buying what is an absolute necessity of life instead of spending on pleasures. You have to draw up a plan of what percentage of your profits to plow back into your business, and what percentage to invest into other things.

To summarize, having a lot of money to start with is not a pre-requisite to become successful or extremely wealthy. The only way to become successful and have that success translate into wealth is sheer hard work and grit, the ability to take risks and make the most out of opportunities that come their way. This is what separates the normal folk from the extremely successful. It is important to remember that all the successful, self-made millionaires had something special that set them apart. Either they were gifted with that talent or they acquired it through sheer hard work!

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