THE BLOG
09/30/2015 04:11 pm ET Updated Sep 29, 2016

How to Get Rich Slowly - 3 Ways You're Self-Sabotaging

This isn't a get rich quick scheme or a "how to get rich fast" tutorial. If you're looking for one of those, then you already have a problem with how you think about money, business and success. Short of winning the lottery or inheriting millions, there isn't any way to get rich overnight so stop looking for one and start planning ways to get there legitimately.

The unfortunate truth that very few people will tell you to your face is that you are the primary reason you aren't rich and successful. While there are plenty of factors and even negative forces keeping you down, there are millions of Americans who have overcome obstacles to get to the top. The main difference between them and you is...you! Here are 3 reasons why you are preventing yourself from reaching your goals.

You're A Hypocrite

Yes, I called you a hypocrite. Most people are. You preach one thing, and do another. You claim you're broke, and then find ways to spend money on the latest gadgets. You're frugal on groceries, but spend $100+ a month on an unlimited data plan or cable access. When you get your tax refund, you immediately start planning a vacation you convince yourself you deserve.

If you observe most rich people, you'll realize that a majority accumulated their wealth over the course of decades. The saved, invested, and grew their incomes consistently with the goal of achieving financial independence in mind. While they likely had some moments of hypocrisy as well, the instances were few and far between, and the dollar amounts were small compared to their overall net worth.

So stop being hypocritical and be brutally honest with yourself. Otherwise, you're just hurting yourself.

You're Lazy

Many Americans come home from a long day at work, turn the TV on, eat dinner, watch more TV, peruse their social media accounts, and then fall asleep. Working a job to earn an income is the bare minimum to becoming successful.

You're going to argue that you're tired, right? But who isn't? You can compare yourself to some lucky Americans who got rich easy, but that's a disservice to you and your mental need for motivation. In reality, your role models should be the successful entrepreneurs who worked 10-12 hour days only to come home and work on a side hustle or grow their investments.

Your side hustle can be anything from blogging to freelancing to investing in and managing real estate. For example, I used to work in private equity. After a long work day, I would drink another cup of coffee in the early evening and start working on my websites. I would spend another 2 to 3 hours per day developing content, improving my design, and reading industry news to learn more about SEO (search engine optimization). After a few years, my side income rivaled my salary and I felt it was time to take the plunge to self-employment. All this was in addition to my self-education, reading finance news and making smart investment decisions.

The bottom line is that, if you have a skill set, there is likely a market for it. While you may not have overnight success, just the fact that you are exploring new income opportunities means you are increasing the probably of coming across a venture that has potential for success.

You're Looking For Shortcuts

As I mentioned earlier, if you came across this article while searching for quick ways to make money online, you're taking the wrong approach. The world is full of smart, competitive people who are all looking for ways to exploit their advantages and their competitor's disadvantages. You aren't going to find an opportunity to make thousands or millions of dollars with 30 minutes of research in an industry you know nothing about.

In fact, don't even think about businesses in terms of millions of dollars. Just try to find a product or service you can provide that will earn you a couple thousand dollars a month. Start with an industry you have intimate knowledge of and focus on serving a practical need. As Albert Einstein once said, "Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value."

On the flip side, if you have a high-paying job, don't take wild risks trying to hit the jackpot. Be consistent in your saving and investing, find a quality brokerage house for your needs, open an IRA, fully-fund your 401K, invest excess cash in real estate and pay off debts. In the long-run, this is a winning combination.