The Make A Million In A Year Challenge

I have taken a few days out of the 30 Day Challenge to pull together something that is continuing to make a massive impact on me and I mean ‘really’ changing me.

I thought I would write an article on it to see what kind of thinking and other interesting ideas people have on the subject. Hopefully too to find others who have similar thoughts, ambitions or experience themselves that they would like to share.

The idea is simple – to Make a Million in a year…

… so as my imaginationally challenged and sensible readers exit the page I’ll gratefully add to my more sympathetic ears remaining …

… there is truly something inspiring about putting a mountain in your path. It changes you!

Now whether you see this as ‘Make A Million Dollars In A Year’ or ‘Make A Million Pounds In A Year’ is down to you – but in my own mind, here in the UK, I am focused on pounds or GBP. This is the goal I set myself.

Yes – but you would keep this goal to yourself surely … you wouldn’t go shouting it out on statuses and updates in case you look really stupid in a years time.

Ahem… Oops …

OK Shawn – What have you done this time?

Well I sort of made reference to it at the beginning of the year, as a New Years resolution it was something that burned at the core for quite a while. I had a tough year and a cold (but fun) December to really think through that simple survival technique of earning a living. I kept coming back to one thing.

Why not make one year of full and drastic effort to make one million pounds.

There were many things motivating this and here are a few of them.

  • It would mean to me a complete break from the debt and credit treadmill that so many have got caught up in. I personally despise this unnatural system of government and financial entanglement that we regard as ‘normal’ and to break away from it would mean a substantial amount of money would HAVE to be made. I’ll add with some relief that this isn’t the reason for the exact figure of one million, I haven’t achieved that dubious honour, but I am sadly quite sure in years to come more and more people will. So in my own principles I needed to ensure that I can always pay off the sheep before they became the wolf at the door.
  • Similar to my first point and as a husband and parent, I truly need to be able to make sure my family have everything they need – and most of what they want. This responsibility is something built in and unbreakable. It hurts me when I am not able to do this.
  • I was tired of not owning my own time – the one limited and absolute resource that everyone owns personally. My first duty of time IMHO is to my own family and myself and outside of that should ONLY be my duties and obligations to the society I live within. If I work for someone else then I am giving them a part of my life for something that wasn’t necessarily helpful or useful to myself or the world around me. They, my employers, then held the keys of power over me and indirectly my family no matter who they became in the system of corporation. Though I wouldn’t paint everyone I have worked for as grimly as this I have had a few uncomfortable experiences and redundancies to keep that belief firmly in mind and know that corruption takes place when people are directly responsible for people in the quest for an employers profit. Any I also think we are all becoming ‘freelancers’ in a sense whether we like it or not, certainly no job is forever and your contract of employment an almost temporary bind on your effort, ideas and imagination. Maybe the one benefit of having a boss or employer will evolve into another form of having a mentor, in that without considering any financial benefit the only positive left would be that of learning and self development.
  • My aspirations over the years had become lower and lower, so low in fact I am sure if someone drew a chalk line on the ground right in front of me and said this is the only way to go I would have been stuck to it. But also during this time my ideas and imagination seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. Something has to give. Either I accept my lowly fate and toe the line or I have some very big things to attempt later. You can guess my choice but I feel making a million in a year is just a hill dwarfed by this mountain that is yet to come. I would have to be more focused, have more energy, more discipline and not fail at any hurdle. Yes, something needed to change.
  • Also, if I feel I want to help, in times like a natural disaster, I want to know that I can help usefully. That I can do more than just place cash in a tin of dubious destination.
  • Finally, I wanted to be a man of my word, to myself, that if I said I was going to do something then I would actually do it and not give up. Giving up, procrastinating or forgetting all about it seemed so easy to accomplish. Believe me, giving up consistently gives you a kind of lethargy and a severe form of depression that can only be fixed by a good dose of accomplishment. You just have to ‘go for it’ regardless!

With all the things pushing towards that goal I do know it was really is possible to achieve. The question of whether it is impossible for me to do it is what is valid here. I do know it that a million can be made by the right person!!! Learning the right skills, doing the right things, putting in the effort, working towards that goal is possible for most people and has been done a number of times over.

So what would it take for me to do it in a year?

The only answer possible here is to burn your boats behind you. You have to do something to make sure it doesn’t disappear like all other good intentions by the next morning. I had to make sure I would take notice of it every day and that I couldn’t possibly face failure. So I talk it over with everyone close and got a positive response that in effect stemmed between I know you can do it to I really hope you make it. I mentioned it on Facebook, made a passing reference to it on Twitter… no response? I made some absurdly non-important update later and got responses. That was strange. Obviously anyone who did see it paid me the courtesy of not responding to my obvious madness.

Still, it was done and January has now passed. What a journey it has become, what demons I have had to fight and so far the battle is only being won inside – no physical progress towards that goal has been made. It appears to me that this internal battle is really what is holding back … I needed answers, I needed to study this more.

I looked to the Internet for answers … First was the question –

What is a million really worth?

Well a million a million is not what it used to be…

There is certainly less effort needed to become a millionaire in recent decades, after the old image of the millionaire was born, that suggested that a millionaire would want for nothing and could have everything. Well, I think the current billionaires now hold a similar position with Bill Gates still taking the lead at $56 billion. However in recent years we have seen in the credit crisis create quite a landslide in these numbers. Last year it was reported that the number of millionaires here in the UK had more than halved, from 489,000 to 242,000 in 2007, but most of those are were in the first place because of the property price boom from 2003 to 2007. Whereas at the same time Bloomberg reports that world wide that 2008 had shown a slump of 15% to 8.6million millionaires in the world, most of the losses from North America.

This prompted me to look at how the CPI (Consumer Price Index) has changed over time at http://www.measuringworth.com to get an idea of how much you would need in the past to buy what a million dollars buys today. I did wonder whether I should have used the Consumer Bundle index to show the relative status of $1million over time but thought just for simplicity use the buying power denoted by the CPI.

I quickly calculated a little table:

1958 1968 1978 1988 1998 2008
$134k $162k $303k $549k $757k $1000k

So a million dollars today is equivalent to having around $757,000 just 10 years before. Also it shows that in 20 years a million dollars is only about half of what is used to be.

However, it is important here because it is still a symbolic measure. You attain a tag when you reach it, a millionaire and the next rung on the ladder is far away – a billionaire. No matter its decrease in value over the decades it is still a vast enough target to be a daunting and really really big challenge. It is big enough for me to have serious doubts about whether I can make it, but small enough to know that it is actually possible.

So what about the ones who tried to become millionaires?

Ruth Belena, writer, blogger sees it more as a challenge and not an achievable goal and gives some thoughts as to how you might accomplish it, Melissa Ing actually provides a brief month by month plan on how you might do it and Rhonda Campbell gives a few ideas of where you might look.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vKk8mp5NRo

It was interesting in my search I found the show The Next Internet Millionaire hosted by Joel Comm back in 2007. Something again I completely missed – It was interesting to see Andrea Yagers blog who was a candidate but didn’t quite make it onto the show.

Some actually tried it – Back in 2005 Astrid decided that this was going to be her million dollar year but she fell short by $994,321.90. I will congratulate her though in keeping a record of her year on the web. I do however wish she kept going and not given up.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nalkkjjiOO0

Josh Williams, a property investor, can be found in there appearing on Wake Up! WA we find him telling everyone that he will make a million dollars in a year and report his progress in TheHappySecret. I am concerned that he used as one of his sources of inspiration a video called The Secret which is an inspirational video showing how you simply but significantly increase the chances of something happening to you just by thinking about it. My concern for that fact is really that I think the secret is very good, if you can get past the annoying dramatics and actually worth watching, it is a small part of the reasons for my change in thinking.

Anyway, I cannot find what happened to Josh, I suspect he didn’t make it as the web pages do not exist now. But I also suspect he isn’t worse off for the experience.

You may come across Alex Tew’s, a British teenager, site the Million Dollar Homepage in which he sold each pixel of his page for a dollar. This is a definite success story which covered August 2005 when the site was launched up until January 2006 after loads of publicity when the last 1000 pixels were bought on EBay. Were there any copycats of this scheme? Well I think Million Dollar Weightloss was created to just cover that market but I do not see any sign of the page now.

Out of interest I looked for billiondollarhomepage.com and see that someone has a parked domain there – that was a bit hopeful wasn’t it 🙂 Apparently this was launched in March 2006 and relied on the idea proposed at 3D-infoSpace.com.

There are many more examples I am sure – If you know of any then please let me know.

OK – Well searching for those that have already done it wasn’t really very inspiring, …

What about big names. How did they do it?

Richard Branson was interviewed for his success at TED.com – apparently he described himself as dyslexic, had no understanding of schoolwork whatsoever, and would have certainly failed an IQ test, leaving school at 15 years of age. Richard like other apparently had the innate knowledge that they would become millionaires. Some have had this prediction made of them by people close, in his case his headmaster predicted he would wind up being a millionaire – or end up in jail. Well Richard had achieved both. Another case for a very thin dividing line between success and failure when you hear his story. A common theme is that it isn’t education then that helps you achieve this. I noticed an idea forming throughout these stories though, something common between them all and something I think I can grasp.

The gift of reaching rock bottom.

The gift? This I do sympathise with. Personally I think that the point that you hit rock bottom and realise you do not need to be there is one of the greatest gifts you can have. If you have that moment a powerful change within where you say ‘No More!!!, I am going to do whatever it takes to get back up and win!’ then something changes. How much you want to win I think is a personal choice but the change is there and real inside of you – you know then that YOU MUST DO IT and a barrier is broken through.

It may be like Frank Kern and John Reese being interviewed by Anthony Robbins that it is at a point of being broke, they hit rock bottom, that something kicked in and pushed them forward. It seems that at this point the world apparently changes invisibly, something happens that changes a person and opportunities, before missed are taken. Interesting that the point of the interview was focused on people that bought products from them that worked were not able to break through and what could be done to put it right and help them follow through. These people don’t experience that moment of winning, they don’t get to the point where they prove to themselves that what they have actually works – which could be the most life changing experience for them – the realisation that they could do it. They do not get to the point where they MUST do something.

Tony Robbins suggests you have to be hungry for it , you have to change your standards and ‘find the why’ that makes these changes. The state is achieved on the point of certainty – it is all in the mind. He produces a cycle that we all go through that will either take you up or bring you down. The elements of the cycle are :-

-> potential -> action -> results -> belief ->


That the key is seeing RESULTS, visualising, conditioning yourself to see yourself achieving the results. You become certain that you can do it that this in turn changes your BELIEF. Your belief in what you can do changes your POTENTIAL to achieve, in turn pushes you into ACTION to create the RESULTS.
You’ve got to have a ‘must’ – you have to do things ritually and you are defined by your rituals. Also if you look at the people that do win through – some make it by simply modelling the people that have already made it.

So do you honestly believe you can make a million in a year?

Most of the time I would have said no – I am naturally cynical but if I listen to those with more experience than me I must learn not to accept any negativity at all, I have to spend more time learning and I guess modelling from those that have done it and are teaching it. I will be ritually purging this by listening to the likes of Tony Robbins and see if I can break from the downward spiral.

What strategy will you employ to achieve this?

With my left brain kicking in I think the following:

A million is a significant figure to receive and will need to approached efficiently with my only two resources, time and effort. This time needs to be split between two activities, research and development. The research is a major part at the moment, the goal is to find methods that work. The development is the actual ‘doing’ the work necessary to build the product. I will find methods that work, systematise and measure the effort needed to achieve the goal and weigh that up against the measured income. Becoming and being more disciplined, cutting out time wasting activities and focusing on each process I think are key here – and looking for ways to improve my own efficiency in completing them, possibly even outsource them if they are effective. Towards the end of the year I will be focusing less on research, having found methods that work and then looking at what I can do to scale up to meet the target.

The right side seems to be just getting on with it.

Practically, even though I pretend to know about Internet Marketing and all the things I have read about and haven’t tried I am following through with Ed Dale‘s 30 Day Challenge and forcing myself to follow the process thoroughly – to stick with the program. I do not expect that alone will help me achieve a million pound with a year but it will get me into the habit of DOing it, actually doing the basic work needed. I fully believe that Internet Marketing is at least an area where someone like me can at least have some chance of achieving this goal.

So where I go from there – I do not know yet.

One month has gone by – What is your progress?

Well ignoring the fact that no material progress has been made I have found now after one month I have changed:

  • I have twice the energy than before – I am more likely to just get something done now rather than procrastinate.
  • I get ten times the work done that I have before – that really surprised me.
  • I am more determined than I have ever been – This is a good feeling, I am not giving that up.
  • I am more focused – I tend to be able to concentrate more on achieving something rather than get distracted.
  • I have less patience with annoying problems – again I just want to get on with things and not get held back by silly little problems.
  • I am less patient with people – OK, a negative one, but I am not tolerant any more with the less than truthful or mediocre conversations any more.

Let’s see if I can follow the right people, the right advice and do the work well enough to achieve it.

What if you fail?

Well that scares me enough to actually try it and if I fail I will feel really really bad. If nothing else I will certainly not be any worse of after I nurse my wounds and I certainly will not give up entirely.
I must learn not to accept that as an option and just get on with it…

You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success.
Indeed your conception of failure might not be too far removed from the average persons idea of success. So high have you already flown

JK Rowling. From an interesting and powerful Commencement Address to Harvard graduates in 2008.


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  • maigwa

    Im curious, did u reach your goal? im trying to do this but in 5yrs😜

    • Shawn Du’Mmett

      No I didn’t. In fact it seemed as soon as I jumped onto the idea I went totally the wrong way, in fact doing the opposite. The last few years have been spent learning a lot of lessons.

      But I am not giving up with the challenge. I will be jumping back onto this in the next or following year.

      I have another bit to add to this idea later too – a kind of twist on ‘pay it forward’. It seems that life has taught me that if you actually want something, then if you work out ways in which to give it to someone else it comes to you faster.