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Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank recently invited me and my family to the Falcons-Patriots game as his VIP guests. And boy, did he pull out all the stops…
I thought we were just going to sit in the owner's box, but we got escorted out to the field through the same tunnel the players use – and we got to watch them warm up, too! In fact, one of the players noticed my son wearing his number and stopped to give him a big bear hug. Some of the cheerleaders even came over to take pictures with my kids.
It was one of my best "dad" moments…
Now, I've known Arthur for nearly 35 years – long before he became a self-made billionaire and while I was working my way through college (I'll tell you more about that in a second).
And while it may seem impossible to become a millionaire – it's actually easy to do.
And it all boils down to these three simple steps…
Before we get into the three simple steps to making your first million, I want to share something with you about Arthur that you might not know…
I met him back in 1983 when I was working my way through college at a small little company Arthur founded called Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD). Back then, there were only a handful of stores, so he used to come in at night with a bunch of pizza and help us stock the shelves.
And it was then that he shared with me the secrets to his success…
No. 1: Be Persistent – Even If It "Kills" You
What you're looking at to the left is the very first Home Depot store in Georgia. This was back when the company was so small, the owners used to take money from their own pockets to make sure each and every employee was paid. At the time, Kmart was the big competitor… It had plenty of money, but like many older retailers, it didn't want its employees to be creative. It wanted things done by the SOP (standard operating procedure), which turned out to be its biggest mistake.
Arthur used to preach "persistence" to us all the time in management training classes. His idea of persistent was to be category dominant. He didn't want to become just another retailer – he wanted to corner the entire home improvement business. And he did just that… Home Depot is now the home improvement powerhouse. And Kmart? Well we all know what happened to it – lack of persistence led to its demise.
Persistence is just as crucial to your trading – and your financial success.
The most important thing you can do as a trader is to be persistent and make your money work for you – not the other way around. Step outside of the traditional forms of investing and be confident in knowing that everyone takes a loss from time to time, including myself. It's OK… It's about the overall number of winning trades versus losing ones. So don't let one bad trade get you down.
No. 2: Never Stop Learning While You Earn
Back in the '80s, Arthur always used to say, "We're not in the home improvement business – we're in the people business." It took me a while to understand exactly what he meant by that, as I thought he was simply referring to servicing customers. But it was much deeper than that.
About the Author
Tom Gentile is one of the world's foremost authorities on stock, futures and options trading.
With more than 25 years' experience trading stocks, futures, and options, Tom's style of trading systems and strategies are designed to help individual investors propel themselves past 99 percent of the trading crowd.