Getting Rich In America.
That was the name of the iconic audio program from Brian Tracy that I listened to over and over again while driving my Dodge Colt from sales call to sales call.
A hot summer day, no air conditioning, stuck in traffic on the Garden State Parkway, and dressed in a suit and tie as was required in the late 1980s. Trying not to think about the debt I was piling up with every passing week, I’d roll down the windows and crank up the soothing voice of Tracy, “Someone becomes rich in America every 12 minutes. And what these self-made millionaires have done, so can you.”
I truly believe it’s never been easier to achieve great wealth, no matter where you are in the world today.
Why? Because at no other time in history has it been easier to get access to successful people. Regardless of whether your interest lies in wealth, health or love, it’s never been easier to get the inspiration and knowledge you desire.
In the past, ambitious people primarily relied on books to guide the way. Think And Grow Rich and How To Make Friends And Influence people are classics that continue to sell very well today.
When tape players became ubiquitous in cars, broke but ambitious hustlers turned our drive time into “automobile university.” My friends and I would have stacks and stacks of audiocassette programs, teaching sales, service, goal setting, investing and many other topics.
While books and audio programs offered hope and help, those who consumed them couldn’t actually ask the authors questions. We couldn’t get a glimpse into the authors’ daily lives as they practiced what they preached.
But now, with social media video breakthroughs like Snapchat and Instagram Stories, the experts can interact directly with their fans. Students can engage with teachers.
I will admit, when it comes to Snapchat I was initially skeptical. Isn’t that just what my three teenagers use all day? But I set up my account (@KevinAuthor) and learned how to use it by reading HootSuite’s helpful article, “How To Use Snapchat: A Guide For Beginners.” And I always thought of my Instagram account (@KevinAuthor) as a place to post your best personal photos, but since they copied the Snapchat Story functionality, it has also become a great place to engage with others.
My big surprise was just how many high-achievers were sharing glimpses into their daily lives. Self-made millionaires, startup CEOs, celebrity fitness coaches, bestselling authors—all kinds of highly successful people were bringing you into their homes, their offices, and even their meetings.
And many of them interact with their followers daily.
Why do they do it? Or to put it another way, as one skeptic commented to me recently, “Who are you to give advice? Sure, like a millionaire would spend time replying to comments on the Internet instead of working on making more millions.”
For myself, I believe life is about making an impact, not making an income. Ironically, the income and wealth actually comes from that impact. The value you give comes back. When it comes to answering individual questions every single day, I do it because I remember what it was like to be 22 years old in a hot junky car wanting to achieve more. I do it because I wish I had had more help for myself thirty years ago.
Similarly, real-estate investor Grant Cardone, explained his motivation in a recent blog post titled “How a Millionaire Uses Snapchat to Reach Young Entrepreneurs.” He wrote:
I remember being 15 and feeling so lost. My dad had died when I was 10 and all I wanted was some direction and guidance from someone. Even at 15, I was already interested in money, business, and success. Today, I’m reaching young people on Snapchat that remind me of my younger self. It’s a great place to connect with a younger audience, but it’s not just young people on there. I’m 58 and I’m on Snapchat every day.
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, there are five self-made millionaires who I see routinely answering questions on Snapchat or Instagram almost every single day.
Grant Cardone (@GrantCardone), with an estimated net worth in excess of $100 million engages with his followers on all the social media platforms and takes questions on real estate investing, entrepreneurship and selling skills. In recent days he’s given tours of his Miami home, office and private jet. He often challenges viewers with some type of question and gives away cash or copies of his books to those who guess the correct answer.
Justin Kan (@justinkan) is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the original “lifecaster” who sold his company, Twitch, for $970 million. He often reads and responds to followers while he’s getting a workout in his treadmill. Given his own startup background, he often fields questions about getting jobs in the tech industry, raising capital, launching new apps, and building teams.
Shawn Thomas (@AskAMillionaire), based in Nashville, built and sold Uniguest when it achieved approximately $20 million in annual sales. His new brand is literally, “Ask A Millionaire” and he has amassed a large following on all the social media platforms. In recent days, Thomas answered questions from his office and from Vegas casinos on everything from social media marketing, sales, and even fine wine.
Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee) immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union as a child and today is the co-founder and CEO of VaynerMedia, a $100 million advertising agency. Vaynerchuk is widely known as the leading thought leader in social media marketing and shares snippets from his daily “hustle” frequently. In recent days, from his office to his barber’s chair, he’s answered questions about whether or not to raise venture capital, investment decisions he regrets, and the best way to build a business using Instagram.
Tai Lopez (@tailopez) is more mysterious about how he makes his money although he alludes often to having owned a string of nightclubs. Today, he preaches reading a book a day and showcases his rich-and-single lifestyle. In recent days Lopez has answered questions related to real estate investing, starting a social media agency, and even dating.
Due to their popularity, there are no guarantees that these wealthy “Snapchatters” will answer every question you ask. And if you aren’t watching all of their stories every day, they could have answered you already and you may have missed it. But with persistence and patience it’s highly likely a millionaire mentor will give you specific guidance, and perhaps even better, you will learn daily as they answer other people’s questions, too.
Kevin Kruse is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. Connect with him on Snapchat at @kevinauthor.