Mark Ford was never interested in entrepreneurship — or at least not initially. He was interested in getting rich.
In fact, I’ve never known anyone with such an unwavering commitment to wealth building as Mark, who’s now worth a cool $60 million.
So, how did he do it? Over the next two weeks, you’ll hear from Mark in an interview with Early to Rise Editorial Director Tara McMeekin, who sets out to learn his trade secrets.
An Interview with Mark Ford, Part I
By Tara McMeekin
Mark Ford isn’t your typical success story. From an early age, he knew he wanted to become a writer — but never did he imagine he’d become one of the most sought-after entrepreneurs in the newsletter-publishing world.
Mark is also an expert investor, and has started more than 100 businesses. Among them, he founded Early to Rise in 2001.
His titles Automatic Wealth and Ready, Fire, Aim have been recognised as New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.
Mark has also authored many other books, including The Pledge, Living Rich, Seven Years to Seven Figures, and The Reluctant Entrepreneur.
He’s also the brains behind the Wealth Builders Club.
Mark has long been recognised and applauded for his no-nonsense approach to business and wealth building. As a self-made millionaire, Mark ‘walks the talk’, epitomising the fact that success comes down to what you’re willing to do and how dedicated you are to achieving it.
We are thrilled to have caught up with Mark for this interview. We believe his advice continues to get better with time, and we know you’ll glean some serious inspiration from his insights.
What originally inspired you to become a writer and entrepreneur?
When I decided to get rich, I also had two other goals: to become a professional writer, and to be a good teacher. In retrospect, I have been pursuing those goals all my life.
As to becoming a writer, I’ve wanted to be one since I was about six years old. I wrote a poem called ‘How Do I Know the World Is Real’ and my father — who began his career as a playwright before beginning a family of eight children — told me it was ‘quite good for someone my age.’ My mother was a huge reader and admired writers. My godparents were writers. It was in my family.
So was teaching. Both my parents were teachers. So was my maternal grandmother. Three of my siblings are teachers. That has always been part of my value system too. I don’t think I spent a lot of time wanting to be a teacher as a kid. It was more like something I expected of myself.
I never set out to be an entrepreneur. I set out to get rich. Entrepreneurship was something I got into, gradually and indirectly. My first move was to become an invaluable employee — to become an intrapreneur. After that, I began starting businesses on my own.
I first wanted to be rich when I first realised I was poor. I showed up for school in first grade in hand-me-down clothes, and the way the other kids responded to me made me want to be rich.
How do you maintain or find new inspiration?
I read a lot, listen to podcasts, travel, go to museums, talk to interesting people — the usual stuff.
How would you advise people to set goals?
Before you attempt to set your goals, you have to spend some time determining your core values — your feelings about good and evil that are buried deep in your heart. If you set goals that contradict your core values, you will wake up one day and say, ‘I did everything I said I wanted to do. But so what?’
Once you’ve determined your core values, you can convert them into long-term goals. Seven years is the longest it’s ever taken me to accomplish any of my goals.
When setting your goals, you must be specific. The goal must be actionable, time-oriented and realistic.
At the beginning of each year, I write down a single goal for the year in four areas of life: health, wealth, social and personal. And I make each goal significant, yet specific.
Do you have a formula for success you’d recommend to others based on your wealth-building expertise?
I have lots of them. But here’s a formula based on my ‘Golden Buckets’ system that anyone can follow:
With every paycheque you get, cover your necessary bills first, then put some money towards savings and some towards investing. Add to your spending account, only after you’ve ‘paid yourself’.
I’ll also share some of the key tenets of my wealth-building advice.
First, accept responsibility for your future, and the fact that you are solely and completely responsible for your current financial situation.
Secondly, stop complaining about how much you make and commit to adding to it with a second income. Take an honest inventory of the non-productive hours you spend monthly and devote those to building wealth instead.
Next, recognise that your net investible income (the amount of cash you have after spending and saving) is the single most important factor in determining how quickly you will become wealthy. So, the idea is to add to the income you have now by creating additional streams of income and then directing those extra streams to building your wealth. The journey to millions of dollars is earned $100 at a time. To earn an extra $10,000 this year, you don’t need to come up with a $10,000 idea. It’s easier — and smarter — to come up with several $100 ideas and then repeat them over and over again.
Some great tips there. Thanks Mark (and Tara!) for such an insightful interview. Be sure to tune in next week for Part II.
For Markets & Money
Editor’s Note: This interview originally appeared in Early to Rise.
Mark has spent more than three decades dispensing wisdom like this…and now he’s compiled it into the most comprehensive wealth-building program in existence…
It’s called the Wealth Builders Club. It includes everything from extra income blueprints (which could have the potential to generate thousands of dollars per month) to wealth-building strategies, plus several of Mark’s bestselling books. Click here to learn more.