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From Bill Gates to Richard Branson: top tips on how to become a millionaire according to those who are

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates. Photo: Matthew Knight/Reuters

There’s no better place to start when looking for advice on how to become a millionaire than those who have already made their millions and billions.

Here’s what they have to say about how you could become a millionaire too.

Start small, think big, scale fast — and be scrappy

Sara Blakely, Spanx founder:

What I did was start small, think big, and scale fast. I didn’t ever get ahead of myself on spending. I only spent what I absolutely needed to. The Spanx headquarters was my 1,100-square-foot apartment. I used my roommate’s bedroom...I have that mentality on everything. If I can save money here or there, I’ll do it ... I feel like that’s a big part of the formula... For me, it’s about being as scrappy as I possibly can. And by the way, I’m still that way. It’s like I can’t get it out of my DNA.

(via Money)

Invest in yourself

Grant Cardone, real estate entrepreneur:

Successful people invest time, energy, and money in improving themselves. A man told me once: "The best way you can help people in need is to not be someone in need." Help yourself out so you are in a position to help someone else out. This means investing in yourself to become great at something.

I invested in sales training when I was 25. That made my income-producing ability skyrocket. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.

(Via CNBC)

READ MORE: Five recession-proof investments

Delay gratification

Alexis Ohanian, founder of reddit:

The miracle of compounding is real. It’s important to have a long-term focus when it comes to investing and saving. Generally speaking, the better you are at delaying gratification and the overall happiness of spending, the better off you’ll be with your long-term financial well-being.

(Via MarketWatch)

Don't worship money

Spike Lee, filmmaker:

People ask me for advice about money, but I’m not going to tell people what they should do. I’ll tell you what’s worked for me, though: I don’t kneel down at the altar of the Almighty Dollar. That’s not for me. If that’s for you, have at it.

(Via Wealthsimple)

Pay yourself first

David Bach, best-selling financial author:

Number one: You have to pay yourself first. Save at least one hour a day of your income (that’s about 12.5% of your gross income). And save it automatically.

And don’t ever carry bad debt like a credit card balance or a car loan. Drive a car off a lot and it goes down in value 30%. If you’re buying real estate, that’s different. You borrow money to buy assets that go up not down.

(Via Acorns)

READ MORE: Five reasons why REITs are better than buy-to-let for property investment

Focus on income, savings, and expenses

Grant Sabatier, self-made millionaire who retired at 30:

In order to build wealth quickly, you need to maximize the potential of all three levers. By reducing expenses while simultaneously growing your income, you'll have more money to save/invest, which will help you increase your savings rate.

While both are essential, to fast-track financial freedom, increasing your income is more powerful than cutting back on your expenses because you can only cut back so much and it gives you the opportunity to invest more money more often, accelerating the rate of compounding and the growth of your money.

(Via BusinessInsider)

Set clear goals

Bill Gates, Microsoft founder

You can achieve amazing progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal-in a feedback loop similar to the one Rosen describes. This may seem pretty basic, but it is amazing to me how often it is not done and how hard it is to get right.

(Via Gates Foundation)

You need a network of allies

Sam Dogen, founder of Financial Samurai

To get ahead, you’ve got to build as many allies as possible. Being a hard worker isn’t enough. You have to talk to people, show an interest in them and get them to like you.

Once you have someone with significant power on your side, your entire career will advance much faster. I always made it a point to take a colleague out for coffee at least once a week. Building deep relationships helped me get promoted to vice president at 27.

(Via CNBC)

READ MORE: UK commercial property: top trends investors should know about

Do what you love

Richard Branson, Virgin founder

Do what you love. You already have enough experience to know what you like doing, so you're in the perfect position to try to channel that passion into a business idea. You now have the time to pour your focus into your start-up, and if you are having fun and enjoying yourself, it won't feel as much like you've gone back to work.

(Via ThisIsMoney)