Is it possible to become a millionaire by the age of 30? I don’t mean by starting a company, taking it public, and becoming a multimillionaire.
That’s a million-to-one shot that makes for great headlines, but isn’t it doable for the average person. But can it be done by just about anyone with a combination of hard work, consistent savings and regular investing?
The answer is absolutely yes, according to Grant Sabatier, a man who did it himself. This is the true story of a young man, who at 25 was down on his luck, but chose to take his life in a different direction. Five years later – at the age of 30 – Grant was worth over $1 million.
How did he do it?
Getting to Know Grant Sabatier
I met Grant Sabatier at a mastermind conference of million dollar bloggers in Nashville. The people who were in attendance are bloggers who are crushing it. Some make a million dollars from their blogs, and some even sold their blogs for millions of dollars.
Grant was in the group, and though I hadn’t heard much about him before, his story made me want to get to know more about him. I even did a video interview with him to learn more.
Known as the Millennial Money Expert, Grant Sabatier is the founder, owner and host of Millennial Money blog. He didn’t start out as a blogger. In fact, his blog is just three years old, but he’s already made over $400,000 from it in the past year. That’s an amazing story all by itself.
Grant describes his beginnings as typical of young people today. He graduated with a degree in philosophy, then bounced around jobs, even being laid off twice. He then moved into his parents, sleeping in the same bed he did when he was a kid. That’s almost a cliché Millennial story. He was deep in credit card debt, had only $2.26 in savings, and his parents gave him just three months to get his life together.
But it was then Grant Sabatier set a seemingly unrealistic goal: to save $1 million, and retire as quickly as possible. Five years, three months and six days later, he had amassed a fortune worth $1.25 million.
Grant disclosed that during the five-year time frame it took him to accumulate over $1 million (2010 to 2015), his income averaged about $257,000 per year. He saved and invested an average of $144,500 per year, or more than $720,000 in total. The rest came from investment earnings.
How Grant Sabatier Went from $2.26 to $1.25 Million in Just Five Years
Being unemployed, and sending out hundreds of resumes with no response, Grant looked for solutions which could change his life. That started with the book, Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominquez. There he learned whenever you work for money, you’re trading your life energy. After calculating how much he earned in the previous three years, and being stunned at how little it ended up being, he realized the truth of that claim.
While performing a Google search, he responded to an ad. He learned he could make between 15% to 20% of someone’s budget for managing their Google ads. He got Google certified online – for free – and learned the trade from watching YouTube videos.
In just 45 days he had a job at a digital marketing agency.
But he didn’t stop there. He began developing income streams through side hustles. That increased his income well into six figures. He started by picking up a side gig, building a WordPress website for a law firm for $500. From that gig, he got referrals for other law firms. Within 60 days of landing the first gig, he did a similar job for another law firm that paid him $50,000.
How did he go from $500 to $50,000? Says Grant, “I spent a lot of time with the head sales guy at my company, and learned all I could. He recommended I charge them ‘until it almost hurts’, and to stop working for people that don’t have money.”
Between his regular job and the side gigs, he made about $300,000 in the first year, saving and investing an incredible 80% of it. As you get to know Grant, investing such a large percentage of your income comes close to being his “secret sauce”.
From Side Hustle to Self-employment
Grant finally launched his own digital marketing agency, but kept doing side gigs. And he invested 100% of the money he was earning from the side hustles.
His first digital marketing agency was focused on real estate agents, doctors and law firms. But after two and half years, he abandoned that and started a partnership which focused solely on marketing online MBA programs.
While his income from his agency and his side hustles continue to grow, he became obsessed with money. He’s since left that business to concentrate on his blog and other ventures.
That’s when he launched Millennial Money, which was an effort to help others to follow the path he was on. The blog is unique as it focuses on entrepreneurship, personal finance, and investing. He recognized the connection between the three.
“It’s the power of these three things that allows you to maximize your money,” says Grant. “ It doesn’t matter how much money you make, if you’re not saving and investing. And it doesn’t matter if you invest if you’re not making enough money to do it. ”
Investing was a critical piece of the financial independence strategy for grant. He gradually increased his investment contributions to as much is 80% of his income. At the time, he was living in the “crappy is department and driving the crappy is car you can imagine).
Grant Sabatier’s Core Message: Release Your Inner Entrepreneur
The entrepreneurial aspect of Millennial Money is particularly interesting. There are many blogs focusing on personal finance and investing. But few include an entrepreneurial piece, certainly not to the degree that Grant Sabatier does.
Not surprisingly, Grant Sabatier is down on personal finance. “It’s motivated by a scarcity mindset,” he says. “Instead of clipping coupons, cut your three biggest expenses – housing, transportation and food – then use the money to invest or begin a side business.”
That’s where the entrepreneurial part of his blog becomes critical. Grant Sabatier is a serial side hustler. He prefers to focus on the more basic task of increasing income, which ultimately leads to investment success.
A blog, Grant told me, is a personal brand. You can use it as an opportunity to launch all kinds of income generating ventures. Meanwhile, the blog generates revenue from advertising and affiliate sales. Grant is now also in demand as a speaker, earning between $10,000 and $15,000 per speech.
Probably his biggest entrepreneurial realization was recognizing you can take just about any site business idea imaginable, and convert it from making a few hundred dollars on the side to a full-on business. That’s also how a side hustle grows to be more profitable than a full-time job.
Entrepreneurialism helped Sabatier understand money is unlimited, which is an empowering concept. It’s one he freely and frequently shares with others.
Personal Coaching: Sharing the Wealth About Wealth
The blog has enabled Grant to move into personal coaching. When you’re as successful as he has been, others are anxious to know how you can help them.
He regularly gets comments and emails from readers of the blog on their personal situations. Mostly, they ask how to make more money. That’s a topic he’s become an expert in. He’ll work with clients who have a basic business idea, and coach them on how to make it into a more profitable venture.
One college student he counseled went from making $16 a dog walk, to $250,000 in one year. Sabatier provided him with advice and plans for how to get more customers, then subcontract out the actual dog walking to others. The student went from being a humble dog walker to being a dog walking entrepreneur.
Sabatier confidently maintains there’s never been a better or easier time in human history to follow your dreams and create the life you love. The Internet means the power is shifting from the big corporations to the individual, or at least to those who are willing to put themselves out there and create an online platform where you can engage people.
“You have two choices: what’s easy or what’s going to help you grow,” says Grant. “Easy is the enemy. And so are apathy and convenience. So many people coast through life and wonder why they’re unhappy. Financial freedom doesn’t come from easy. It comes from struggling growth. ”
And From Blogger to Author
Grant Sabatier is clearly a man on the move, and he hasn’t sat still since reaching his goal of acquiring a seven-figure bankroll.
Rather than retire to blessed nothingness, he wrote a book, Financial Freedom – A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need. It focuses on optimizing your full-time job, creating a profitable side hustle, and knowing how to invest. The basic purpose of the book is to help you make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time.
He works with the basic question, What would you do tomorrow, if you didn’t have to work for money? Everyone needs to come up with an answer to that question for themselves. But once you figure that out, you’ll have all the motivation you need.
Grant Sabatier’s Investment Strategy
The advice on the investment front from Grant Sabatier may be a surprise, given he accumulated so much money so quickly. You may think he took advantage of some magic formula that enabled him to grow his money exponentially. But the truth is much closer to the ground.
He recommends the most basic investments, including stocks, bonds and real estate. For stocks, he recommends index funds. He holds his long-term investments in tax-sheltered retirement accounts, like a 401(k), a SEP IRA and a Roth IRA. Once he maxes out his contributions to those accounts, the rest is invested in a Vanguard brokerage account.
He does his own investing, keeping 70% in index funds, and 20% in individual stocks. The remaining 10% is split between physical real estate and real estate investment trusts, and non-traditional investments, like web domains and art. But he specifically avoids more speculative investment practices, like day trading, short sales, buying tax liens, or investing in any type of hedge funds.
Rethinking Your Relationship with Money
You might think going from being flat broke to millionaire status will cause a person to rethink a few things. And that certainly has been the case with Grant Sabatier. He’s changed a few of his thoughts on money, and shares those concepts with others.
One of his most important revelations has been the concept of time. “One of the biggest myths is people think money is time and time is money,” says Sabatier. “But money is actually infinite – you can always make more money, but you can’t get back your time.”
Why time? “Time is so much more valuable than money,” he says. And there are plenty of tools and resources available today, that have never been in the past. Just as important, they’re available to the average person.
“While it’s definitely not easy, it’s never been easier in history to make enough money to live a life you love,” says Grant. “There have never been more high quality low cost investing options available literally at your fingertips, it’s never been easier to work remotely on work where you don’t need an office, and there are so many blueprints that you can follow to make more money in less time.”
These are the very concepts he shares in his book. “I wrote Financial Freedom to share the exact step by step blueprint I used to go from $2.26 to $1.25 million in 5 years. While I’m definitely an extreme example, the principles will work for anyone.”
Can Anyone Do What Grant Sabatier Has Done?
If Grant Sabatier is an extreme example, can anyone really do what he’s done? “At the end of the day it comes down to what tradeoffs you’re willing to make, and not wasting time,” he adds. “Over the past three months I’ve had the opportunity to meet with thousands and thousands of people while on my book tour and it’s incredible to see the creative ways people are making money and living awesome lives. Money only matters if it helps you live a life you love. Life is too short to not love your life. “
Decide whatever the dollar figure of financial freedom is for you, and set that as your goal. Next, figure out how long it will take you to reach your goal. Look at how much money you have saved and invested already, then how much you can save on a regular basis. If it’s not sufficient, lower your living expenses, particularly the big three – housing, transportation, and food.
It’s likely you won’t be able to reach your goal based on your current income. If not, look into side hustles. Grant Sabatier virtually built his seven-figure portfolio from running multiple side hustles. You can do the same. You just need to figure out what it is you want to do, and how to scale it up so instead of earning a few hundred dollars month from your venture, you can make thousands.
But perhaps his most important advice is to make sure you save and invest the extra income from your side hustles. He has no fancy advice here, just to invest through retirement plans and brokerage accounts, sticking with index funds and stocks.
And if you get hung up along the way, check out Grant Sabatier’s blog, MillennialMoney.com.