Everyone wants more money. There’s no argument there. How you get more money, however, is an interesting topic.  Let’s rule out gambling or playing the lottery to start.  I am talking about earning more money.  Which isn’t glamorous, but it’s the best way to go about it.  The big question around making money is whether or not you can make significant amounts working for someone else.  According to Tom Corley, you can.  Tom Corley is a chartered accountant and spent five years researching his books Rich Habits and Change Your Habits, Change Your Life.  Corley says, “when most people think about self-made millionaires, they imagine some entrepreneur working around the clock, passionately toiling away in the pursuit of greatness”. Honestly, this is what I always thought.

And yet, 39% of the self-made millionaires in his study, have become rick working for someone else.  I find this fascinating because one just assumes that in order to become wealthy, you simply need to make more money.  Or be smart about your money and invest it wisely.  But according to Corley, that’s not exactly the case.  He outlines the following three strategies:


Save and Invest 20-30% of Your Income

This kind of scares me.  I’ve heard this number before, but when I look at my current financial situation, I am nowhere near being able to save or invest that much of my monthly income.  I have bills.  But this isn’t about me.  Corley says, “saving your way to wealth is the safest way to accumulate wealth. It is also the longest way. It took the average self-made, employee-millionaire in my study 32 years to accumulate their wealth. By assiduously saving 20 to 30 percent of their income every year and then investing it diligently, they were able to accumulate an average of $3.3 million. Most of their investments were in stocks and real estate”.  Does owning a house qualify for this category?  Corley says that this isn’t the fastest way to become rich, but it certainly is one strategy.

tim cook

Work for a Big, Public Held Company in a Good Industry

Maybe this isn’t something that everyone can do, but its something you should find a way to achieve.  According to Corley, the big reason for this is that you can take advantage of generous stock options.  Corley suggests, “other employees in my study worked for big, publicly held companies in an industry where profit margins were very good or in an industry that was growing. Due in large part to prodigious profits, these employees were beneficiaries of generous stock option or employee stock purchase plans. Because the stock of the companies they worked for continuously appreciated, the stock they received provided the lion’s share of their compensation packages and made them rich.”


Sales Commisions

For most big companies, sales is the engine for growth.  Which means, if you want to make money, you are going to have to get good at selling things.  “Big companies rely on their salespeople to grow their revenue, so they often receive commissions in addition to their base wage. The best salespeople get the biggest commissions and can become extremely wealthy selling products or services for their employer.”

In addition to the above strategies, Corley found that your behavior helps determine your success.  If you want to succeed you need to do one or more of the following:

  • Put in the Hours: successful people in Corley’s study worked an average of 51 hours per week.  44% of those studied started their workday three hours earlier than other employees in their company.
  • Develop a Niche Within Your Company: In order to see yourself grow, you need to develop some kind of niche in order to set you apart from others.  A good tip is to find something that no one else likes to do.  This will put you ahead of others, for sure.
  • Take on Additional Responsibility: Seek out projects to help you learn new skills – or even develop new ones. This will give you a competitive edge over your co-workers.
  • Patience and Persistence: While this isn’t my strong suit, it might be now. People sometimes get passed up for promotions because they left the company after they felt they didn’t get what they deserved.  The employed, self-made millionaires stick it out until they get their promotion, according to Corley.
  • Controlled Emotions: People who are successful make a habit of being upbeat and optimistic, and they never lose their temper.  This not only puts people at ease, but it also makes them appear easy to work with.

If you’re trying to make more money and you’re struggling to do so, try some of these strategies.  Or better yet, pick up Corley’s book on Amazon. I was honestly convinced that I had to work for myself if I ever wanted to become wealthy.  I also thought that I was already too old to make any financial gains and that I would have to learn to live with the way things are.  But, you don’t have to.  You have to be able to develop good habits in order to be successful in life.  That’s not limited to wealth but applies to health, wellness, and happiness also.

One thought on “Can You Become a Millionaire By Working for Someone Else?”

Comments are closed.