The Three Simple Steps to Making Your First Million

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.

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It wasn't about just ringing them up at the cash register - it was about creating the full customer experience. And Home Depot went out of its way to not only sell products - it taught people everything they needed to know to improve their homes without spending thousands of their hard-earned money paying someone else to do what they could. This concept turned the retail establishment on their heels, which is why the likes of K-Mart never stood a chance.

The same is true of trading and making your first million.

Just like building or improving a house, the how is the most important part. That means constantly building your knowledge and creating a strict set of rules (rules-based trading) that allow you to take the emotion out trading (which prevents you from making the types of mistakes the people who lose all of their money to the markets make).

No. 3: Share Your Success

Arthur also always taught us to give back - and I'm not just talking about cash. I'm talking about time, too. Now, he was always a huge contributor to Habitat for Humanity. I didn't have the wealth then that I have now, so I gave back by helping rebuild housing projects in Atlanta. And I've got to tell you... there's nothing like seeing the smiles on the faces of those you help.

Tom Gentile is known as America's No. 1 trader, and for good reason. Since 2009, he's taught over 300,000 traders his option trading secrets, including how to find low-risk, high-reward opportunities. Now he's sharing that insight with you. To get started, just click here – you'll get Tom's twice-weekly Power Profit Trades delivered directly to your inbox, free of charge.

So I've made it my personal mission to follow in Arthur's footsteps by giving back in any way I can. That's why - despite my wife wanting me to retire - I'm still doing what I do. I believe, just like Arthur, in helping others reach their dreams. I want to share everything I learned in my journey with you so that you can achieve everything you've ever wanted - the easy way.

If not for my experiences at Home Depot and the American Stock Exchange, I wouldn't be who I am today - or where I am today. And it's my lifelong commitment to help you reach all of your dreams and become the best trader you can be.

I just hope that I can be half the mentor to you that Arthur Blank was to me.

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About the Author

Tom Gentile, options trading specialist for Money Map Press, is widely known as America's No. 1 Pattern Trader thanks to his nearly 30 years of experience spotting lucrative patterns in options trading. Tom has taught over 300,000 traders his option trading secrets in a variety of settings, including seminars and workshops. He's also a bestselling author of eight books and training courses.

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