We’ve all heard before that you need to think like the rich in order to get the things that the rich have. So, I thought it would be interesting to interview one of the few millionaires that I know. This particular millionaire (let’s call him “Evan”) is a young, intelligent, educated, fun-loving, eligible, black man who has learned a few things along the way and didn’t mind sharing his some of his experiences and thoughts with me. Here is our quite candid conversation:
I cut right to the chase: So, tell me, how long did it take you to make your first million?
Evan: From the time I started in finance, it took ten years to make a million per year. I was frivolous at first, even though I was making $700,000 per year for a while I didn’t keep it. I spent the majority of it on living the lavish lifestyle–taking expensive trips all the time, spending on expensive drinks and parties, you know–living that lifestyle. Then the financial crisis of 2008 scared me and I consciously made a lifestyle change and started saving money and started making even more money and being much more conservative with it. I know a lot of guys that made a lot of money who are broke now. They didn’t make those changes.
Me: Hmmm. That’s scary. How many streams of income do you have today?
Evan: Well, I don’t have a job, I have a career, and my career in finance is my main source of income. I have investments and small projects, real estate–but my other avenues of income don’t generate substantial income like my career does at this time. Because I enjoy what I do, I’m thinking about structures, ideas, strategies, and making money at the end of the day when I’m off and going home. The corporate umbrella gives credibility to what you want to do, and so you “run your own business” within your career with a company that you are responsible for generating your own revenue. That’s how it is for me.
Me: Yeah, I definitely understand that, although most people probably don’t see it that way. So with you making the kind of money that you’re making, would you say that you are living the life of your dreams?
Evan: Hell no! Some people would say that I am because I can do whatever I want…life is fun. But I say, no, I’m not living the life of my dreams because if I lose my job I will have to have a significant lifestyle change. Even though I have millions, I wouldn’t be able to sustain my lifestyle with what I have now. I need more to do more with in order to secure my lifestyle. I still gotta do my job and do it well. I’m disciplined and know what I want out of life and know what I have to do to get what I want out of life.
Me: What challenges do you have?
Evan: Professionally, it’s hard striving to achieve professional success and realize you still have a long way to go. And there’s a lot of responsibility…I wouldn’t change that.
Me: And what’s your biggest motivation?
Evan: Fear of being in a bad situation–not having any financial means; not allowing myself to get in that situation because there are very few people that I would feel comfortable calling who could actually have my back. It would be a whole lifestyle change for me and people I am responsible for.
Me: What do you value most?
Evan: There are two things I care about most in life: my mom, with my family being kind of a subset under her, and my career.
Me: Who are your friends?
Evan: I try to surround myself with likeminded people who have stuff in common–careers, goals, aspirations–who are educated, career-focused, successful. My friends are similar to me in accomplishments. This is important because it’s hard to motivate yourself and achieve when you are by yourself. It’s easier with people who are like you.
Me: I’m curious, with all this talk about money and success, how important is your health to you?
Evan: Recently over the last several years since becoming a working adult, I’ve paid close attention to my health. With having insurance, there is no reason not to go to the doctor. I go to the doctor frequently–about whatever doesn’t seem right and for regular check ups. I monitor my blood pressure and cholesterol regularly. I love myself and want to be in the best condition possible! I watch my diet and fitness. I’m around health conscious people all day. I can do better, but I’m trying.
Me: If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
Evan: Two things: A high school altercation that I could have avoided. My ego put me in a bad position and I got hurt; I wouldn’t let my ego put me in a no-win situation [now]. The other thing is that I was in a relationship that I no longer wanted to be in, but I stayed in anyway, much longer than I should have for various reasons; but ultimately, my self-confidence suffered.
Me: Hmmm, yeah—we don’t need to go into details about that…. What’s your vision for your next three years?
Evan: That really depends. I may be married with a kid on the way.
And then as if on cue, his doorbell rang and he suddenly had to attend to his “guest”….
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Evan. I appreciate him taking the time to be so open and unguarded with me. Hopefully you can gain some insight that will help you with your life’s endeavours. One thing that I definitely gained was that priorities, values, health, and money management are all important no matter how much money you make…that and surrounding yourself with likeminded people. Leave me a comment below to let me know what you gained from this interview or leave any other comments you have.