10 Lessons I Learned While Making My First $1 Million

The last 6 years in business have been transformative for me – both personally and financially. I have never been more fulfilled and purpose-driven than I have been doing what I do. And, as a result of stepping out on faith (it took a huge leap of faith to leave what others thought was a secure lifestyle to delve into the unknown), I’ve learned some powerful lessons. This journey has taken me places that I’ve only dreamed of going, while accomplishing some key milestones along the way.

Folks always ask how I did “it.” Recognizing the importance of paying it forward and sharing what I’ve learned, I managed to synthesize an actionable list of the 10 lessons I learned while making my first $1 million.

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1) Invest in personal development first (and consistently).

Before entering the matchmaking profession, I spent several years in self-development. I went back to school and obtained a graduate degree, participated in multiple coaching programs, became an intern (as a 30-year-old adult), attended numerous conferences and more.

I noticed that many of my peers stopped the “study” grind once they “made it.” But I’ve learned that [inlinetweet prefix=”#FirstMillion ” tweeter=”@PaulCBrunson” suffix=””]sustained success is dependent upon the research of your craft[/inlinetweet], and is something that should never stop.

 

2) Stop chasing money and start chasing problems.

Successful entrepreneurs don’t create lasting legacy or make fortunes because they can come up with clever solutions. It’s because they become infatuated with problems.

In previous ventures, I always fixated on either making money or making cool products. When I became a matchmaker, I changed my focus to a problem that has kept me up at night for the last 6 years.

 

3) Never be dependent on one source of income.

[inlinetweet prefix=”#FirstMillion | ” tweeter=”@paulcbrunson” suffix=””]Diversify from day one[/inlinetweet].

When I started matchmaking, I quickly realized matchmaking was cyclical (with summer months being the slow season), so I launched coaching services and launched flow dating events.

As my business has matured, I’ve created revenue streams outside of matchmaking (and the above listed).

 

4). Remove all middle-men.

I love affiliate programs, but know you’re never going to make a fortune peddling books that aren’t yours.

TV shows actually don’t make people money, but I know several people who do by developing their own videos and delivering them to their fans directly.

For me, it was traffic. I relied on Facebook and Twitter to drive sales, but those platforms squeezed us out.  Still, it helped me build a sizable email list that helped save my business.

[inlinetweet prefix=”#FirstMillion | ” tweeter=”@PaulCBrunson” suffix=””]You never want to find yourself relying solely on third party platforms to drive your business[/inlinetweet] because the developers of those same platforms have the power to change how things are done. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to remove the middleman.

 

5). There is no such thing as “get rich quick.”

Get rid of your “I’m going to be a millionaire by ___ (fill in desired age). Also, stop with the thoughts that your pyramid marketing participation is going to make you a billionaire. It’s simply not healthy.

For me personally, growing up I always said  I was going to make my first million by age 25, then moved it to 26, then to 27, then to 28, then to 29, then to 30 and it continued.

[inlinetweet prefix=”#FirstMillion | ” tweeter=”@PaulCBrunson” suffix=””]Wealth (not riches) should be what you’re after.[/inlinetweet] I define wealth as a concept that goes beyond monetary attachment. For me, it’s all about living a healthy, fulfilled life and helping find solutions to the problems that keep me up at night.

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”― Epitectus. I couldn’t agree more.

 

6). All money ain’t good money.

Early on in my matchmaking career, I took on any client I could get. People who had no business in a professional matchmaking service, I still took them on. I did it because I needed the money.

Turns out those clients ended up needing greater amounts of my time (and on a per hour basis, I could have been paid more flipping burgers) and where the greatest liabilities.

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do, but [inlinetweet prefix=”#FirstMillion | ” tweeter=”@PaulCBrunson” suffix=””]be selective with who you’re making money from[/inlinetweet].

 

7). Get serious about analytics.

Someone once said, “What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done.”

Once I was able to better identify where customers came from, how long the sales process was, and what messaging better resonated, I was able to dramatically increase conversion rates. For measurement of my efforts, I use Google, Facebook, and Twitter analytics.

 

8). Focus on one customer at a time.

My grandfather once told me, “you don’t have a real business unless you can sell a product to 10 people.”

Early in my matchmaking career, I focused on selling to those 10. In the process, I learned the importance of listening and adjusting. All great entrepreneurs made slight modifications to products and services along the way.

Listening and adjusting is imperative (that’s how I not only got to the 10 in the early days, but how I just surpassed 600 clients over 6 years). Each new customer should realize the value of your knowledge from your experience with all previous customers.

 

9). You can do it!!!

Of course, making $1 million isn’t everything, but to an entrepreneur, it’s a solid milestone. The key to achieving goals is first knowing that they’re possible. As the wise business strategist Napoleon Hill once stated, “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

 

10). Continue to strive for greater.

If you can make $1 million, making 10 of them thangs ain’t too outlandish of a goal :-).

Even after you achieve your goals in both business and life, there’s always growth when new challenges are identified and tackled. One never “arrives,” so it’s important to continue to set your goals – whatever they may be – higher and higher.

 

There’s really a variety of important factors that contribute to the achievement of this goal: stepping out on faith, proper positioning and planning, and training. And while money isn’t everything and is certainly not the key indicator of “success,” having tangible resources to work with while on the path to making your dreams come true is important  – and very encouraging. These lessons, paired with the practice of successful habits, will have you well on your way to accomplishing, and surpassing your own personal and business goals!

 

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About Paul C. Brunson
Mentor, Entrepreneur, & Television Host. My goal is to help you live your best life. I’m the world’s most influential matchmaker, founded and exited three businesses, host two television shows, spent nearly a decade working directly for a billionaire, and share my experiences by mentoring through Knowledge Share

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RobTYoungblood
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RobTYoungblood

Great post Paul. I had to share it with my network. There are so many who focus on the money, on the product or brand, instead of focusing on the principles. Your words of wisdom are sound and should be adopted by all. Thanks for sharing.

missjeris
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missjeris

As always, thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience. It is truly invaluable. I have taken a leap of faith before, and as scary as it was, it was totally worth it! I feel another one coming on lol! But this time, things are much different, I.e. mortgage, student loans, etc. So I’m interested in the process this time. I want to make a leap without creating a hardship for my family…

TheCandidBelle
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TheCandidBelle

Great post and exactly what I needed to read this morning. I think this is a post I will return to regularly to keep my mind right!  Thank you so much for sharing. As always, you never disappoint.

David PA Mullings
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David PA Mullings

These lessons are excellent. I especially like the ones about focusing on wealth instead of money and being careful about who you try to make money from. Some clients are simply not worth it even if you are desperate.

GristleNGossip
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GristleNGossip

As always very informative. A couple thoughts that maybe you could help me with. I am a food blogger, a very “grassroots” food blogger and at times have difficulty understanding that I am “selling” something. In reality the only thing I am in control of is my brand, of which I am building. But I feel as though if I am not selling anything these points don’t apply to me. Would you be able to help me understand this vision from a more “external” prospective?

Renia Butler
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Renia Butler

Read it and left you a comment. Let me know what you think. Thanks

RaeShanda Johnson
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RaeShanda Johnson

Why was I just reading this?! Loved it. Especially #4 and #6 Thanks big bro!

Shaun Saunders
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Shaun Saunders

Fantastic article…. (Seti Mayet please read this article, so many good lessons, etc)

Angela Smith
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Angela Smith

Well done Paul. Taking time to reflect and share is such a gift.

Hasnorliza Salih
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Hasnorliza Salih

Kelo Ejefobiri for u

Rachel Renee Smith
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Rachel Renee Smith

Nicole Griggs Jeff Smith Hasani Pettiford

Alyssa Rachelle Savannah
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Alyssa Rachelle Savannah

Nice! Thanks for this post!!

Cindy Vees
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Cindy Vees

Sharing with my associates ~ great article Mr. Brunson.

Danielle Russell
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Danielle Russell

Calvin O’Neal Russell Jr.

Hill McGrew
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Hill McGrew

Thanks Brother!

Trish McGinnis
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Trish McGinnis

Thank you for generously sharing your strategies to success!

LaurenJohnson_VS
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LaurenJohnson_VS

GristleNGossip

LaurenJohnson_VS
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LaurenJohnson_VS

Good Words and sound advice to follow!

Professor-Brent Lyle
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Professor-Brent Lyle

U0001f44c
Thanks for sharing this. No crabs in any barrel here!

Elodie Nadine
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Elodie Nadine

<3

Debra Van Kallen
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Debra Van Kallen

Thank you Paul, I needed this at this moment!

Kim Arnold
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Kim Arnold

I am kim Arnold from usa i was suppose to get married to a love one, but he suddenly changed his mind just because he found him self a new love, my heart just got broken and so devastated to the extent of committing suicide, a friend of mine introduced me to a powerful prophet called Prophet bonkubo when i first heard of him i never believed his powers until i visited the holy temple of the great prophetic man Prophet bonkubo, a man of wisdom and understanding he helped me out after having some conservation with him, and my… Read more »

Kellz Mulumba
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Kellz Mulumba

Really enjoyed this article. Especially the talk about becoming problem oriented. That’s goldU0001f44c. Thanks Mr.Brunson

Quando Valantre'
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Quando Valantre'

Thanks Paul! I appreciate your knowledge because it has been my experience as a adult people do not want to share in order to help you achieve so you can do the same for someone else.

Lavar Q. Harden
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Lavar Q. Harden

Crystal Smith

Crystal Smith
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Crystal Smith

Lavar Q. Harden good stuff! Thank you

Eric Andrews
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Eric Andrews

Guillermo Trey Bailey

Lady A
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Great tips!

Tynell Mitchell
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Tynell Mitchell

Awesome advice!!! Thanks.

Joey Spataro
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Joey Spataro

1.000.000 thing’s I learned being poor but T.C.B.. GOOD STUFF THOUGH

Carmin Wharton
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Carmin Wharton

10 of the best business tips I’ve ever read!

PhyllisHenry
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PhyllisHenry

Love what I just read, solid and really full of wisdom.  Look forward to more articles from you.

cocowednesdays
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cocowednesdays

#1 is most important to me right now. For years I’ve just been wanting a career that I haven’t really educated myself on yet, I’m starting all the way at the bottom and it’s going to take hard work, but I’m not complaining. I know that if I study and learn my craft, I will succeed.

Paul Carrick Brunson
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Paul Carrick Brunson

Lauren G Reliford Nice! Let me know if you have any questions.

Lauren G Reliford
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Lauren G Reliford

Glad you’re here Paul Carrick Brunson. How do you put a price on the solutions you develop?

Mary Garvey
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Mary Garvey

Looking forward to this read!

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest
Paul Carrick Brunson

Lauren G Reliford I look at my cost, pricing of similar products in the market, and perceived demand.

Lauren G Reliford
Guest
Lauren G Reliford

How do you calculate perceived demand? Paul Carrick Brunson

QueenofForgiveness
Guest

I have to agree with you on focusing on solving problems instead of creating the next cool product or making a certain amount of money. I have learned that if you can help them reach their goals, then the money you ask for will definitely flow. 

So you do have to decide what you want to charge or price your product, but be sure that it first solves a real need.

Paul Carrick Brunson
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Paul Carrick Brunson

Lauren G Reliford Testing the market (survey, focus group, Q&A with existing customers).

Casey N Ritchie-Brown
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Casey N Ritchie-Brown

This came right on time! Thanks! 🙂

Melodee Forbes
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Melodee Forbes

Awesome!!! I love all of your tips, especially the one about keeping measures and working consistently with a mentor from the beginning.
Question, did changing your mindset about money play a factor in achieving your success? If so, how did you change it, and what resources did you find most beneficial?
Thanks for always providing such great value!!

Lauren G Reliford
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Lauren G Reliford

Thanks so much! That simple clarity just helped me a lot! Paul Carrick Brunson — #tweak #facebookmentorsession #grateful #workswithmillionaires #millionaireinthemaking #focusonsolutionstoproblems

JoAnn Holmes
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JoAnn Holmes

“Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.”― Epitectus.
That resonates, Paul.

Lori Antoine
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Lori Antoine

Ashley Brown close to what I requested…lol

Valandra German
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Valandra German

Rahmel King

Wendi Bekoe
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Wendi Bekoe

This might sound reeeally stupid… but I don’t know why it never occurred to me before that you would be a millionaire. It’s nice that you’re not boastful or flashy about it.

Paul Carrick Brunson
Guest
Paul Carrick Brunson

Melodee Forbes Really good question. My mindset regarding money took awhile to change. Years, actually. The most significant event was in reading and seeing the pivotal role non-monetary actions play in a child’s life (I was researching parenting in 2010 when my first son Kingston was born). It resonated that while money is helpful, it was not critical or imperative in influencing the greatest aspects of our life.

Nathan Fidler
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Nathan Fidler

Great read buddy …

Dawn Simpkins
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Dawn Simpkins

Quaashie Wigglesworth, so much to discuss after the break, but read this.