Updated: Nov 2, 2020
At 25 years old, Tony Bradshaw realized he was doing the same stupid things that his family had done with money. He made a change. He began learning about money. He learned about how to make money, manage it, and multiply it. He realized that by making the right life and financial choices he could break free from his bad financial choices and become a millionaire. At age 40, he reached his goal and changed his and his family’s life forever. The Millionaire Choice Show helps people make the millionaire choice and create their own millionaire plan. On the show, we talk with millionaires and future millionaires about how to build wealth and what to with it once you have it.
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1. Welcome to the Millionaire Choice Show with Tony Bradshaw
Announcer: Is money slipping through your fingers. Are you missing your opportunity to become a millionaire? Welcome to the millionaire choice where we talk to millionaires and future millionaires about how to build wealth and what to do with it once you have it. We're here to help you do two things, make your millionaire choice and create your own millionaire plan. Here's your host, speaker, wealth coach, and author of The Millionaire Choice. He made his choice, and he created his millionaire plan at age 25; now it's your turn. Welcome your host, Tony Bradshaw.
Tony: Welcome to The Millionaire Choice Show, and I'm your host, Tony Bradshaw. And I want you to know on this show, I'm going to be talking with millionaires and future millionaires about how to build wealth and what to do with it once you have it.
People like Kelly Hollingsworth, one of only five women in the world who have managed her own hedge fund, and Joe Saul-Sehy, hosted the top 10 personal finance podcast, Stacking Benjamins. And I believe wealth has a purpose, and that's to enjoy life, help others, and serve God. And I believe anyone can become a millionaire.
So a little about my story. I grew up in a lower-income family in a financially messy home here in Nashville, Tennessee, and I remember the power and the water being cut off because we couldn't pay the bills. I also remember my mom asking my dad to go out and turn the water back on because she needed to take a shower, and I'd go with my dad out to the water meter.
We'd pull out the water key and turn the water back on, and that works pretty good until you get padlocked. Yeah. You keep doing that enough, and sure enough, the water company's going to padlock your water, and then when you cut the padlock off and turn the water back on, well guess what happens? Then they take the meter out, and there's a huge reconnection fee.
At school, I wasn't the kid wearing the brand name, clothes, and shoes. I was the other guy, the guy that wore jeans that were too old and too short and shirts that had seen better days. But I didn't stay that way forever. And as I got older, you know, things changed for me. And in my twenties, I found myself doing the same stupid things with money that my parents and my family had been doing for generations.
And at 25, I had a financial awakening. I got my first W2 as a mechanical engineer, and I was shocked. I had made $39,000 and had almost nothing in the bank. And $39,000 for some of you may sound like a lot of money. For others, that may not sound like much, but for a 25-year-old guy, that was about five to six times more money I'd ever seen in my life, and I couldn't believe I'd made that.
And what's worse, I couldn't believe that I spent it all. So I had to ask myself, where'd all this money go that I made? And I looked around, I was living in a studio bedroom apartment at my parents' house. I'm doing pretty well. I was only paying about $200 a month in room and board and pretty much live in the highlight for a 25-year-old out of college. But somehow, I was $16,000 in debt. And I looked around that studio bedroom apartment, I took notice of everything that's spent money on: I had a desk that my dad had put together for me. He's a carpenter and had built a desk that I needed; a computer, which I had financed, a car with a $315 car payment (and about $13,000 in debt), 27 at Sony television and a killer stereo. I believed in investing in electronics cause I knew someday I was going to get married, and I just guessed that my wife would put her money into the furniture, and so I needed to buy the electronics. And then the final item I had on my list of things that I had wisely spent money on was a bed I'd made for myself at a wooden fence post and two- by-sixes from Home Depot. So I carried the skills that my dad had taught me, and I made my own furniture.
But something happened in that moment when I looked around that room, and I realized, you know, that was a recipe for a life of disaster, just a horrible future ahead of me, and I knew that I could never repeat that mistake again. I could never somehow turn a $39,000 income into $16,000 in debt.
I knew I had to change, and so I began learning everything I could about money. And I realized something as I began learning and I began reading all these magazines and these books: that money isn't really all that complicated. At its core, money is really just a math problem, and I was pretty good with math. Fortunately, I went to school for engineering. But the reality is money is really not even a complicated math problem. It's really pretty simple. But just like math, if you do the right things, you're going to get the right answer. And if you make the right financial choices, I believe you can become a millionaire just like I did.
It's not some mystical word, some kind of thing that is out there that nobody can achieve. So at 25 I figured out I could become a millionaire by age 40 and I made it. And I thought I was pretty special until I realized in talking and writing my book and talking to other people that I met a guy that had become a millionaire by age 30 and his situation growing up was even worse than mine.
He grew up in out in LA and a low-income family, poverty-stricken. And he just realized at a young age he didn't want to live like that the rest of his life. And he figured out he was going to have some money and so he set out with a goal to do that. And if that guy wasn't a good enough example, I met another guy; who made his millionaire choice at age five to become a millionaire, and he made it by age 25. And you know, the interesting thing about his decision is the catalyst for him making his financial choice or his financial awakening, or his millionaire choice was a candy bar. He had realized that going to the store, his mom would tell him not to buy candy bars or ask for candy bars because she didn't want to be embarrassed by telling him no, that they didn't have enough money to buy a candy bar at the store. And he figured that that wasn't a way to live his life, and so he very early decided he wanted to become a millionaire as well.
And it through this and talking to all these different people that I've met over the years, I really discovered that really anyone can become a millionaire. I'm not someone special. I'm not some financial genius, and I didn't work any harder than any of you other guys out there. I just happened to make different financial choices with my money.
So I believe now it's your turn. I believe there should only be two kinds of people in the world. That's millionaires and future millionaires, and I believe good-hearted, wealthy people will help make the world a better place. So I want to create as many millionaires out there as possible because I believe you guys are going to do the right things with your money, and when you see somebody in need, you're going to help them out.
Now, unfortunately, 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck because they're making bad life and financial choices. Now, my goal is to help you do two things. I want to help you make your millionaire choice, and I want to help you create your millionaire plan. Now, there's more than one way to become a millionaire, and we're going to spend time talking about all of them. We're going to talk about wall street. We're going to talk about real estate, how to boost your income, how to get out of debt, and a whole lot more.
Now, while a lot of the money shows out there, you listen to are going to focus on one specific topic like real estate or the stock market. We're going to try to cover everything. And so there's a lot of different paths on this journey. You just have to find the one that works for you. Now, let me talk to you for a minute about the three myths of wealth and money that I find in talking with people.
Number one, people like to believe that they'll never be wealthy or have a lot of money, and that's just a lie. The reality is you're going to be able to accumulate as much money as you set your mind to. The opportunities are there. There are no excuses. People come across to the States, the United States from overseas with nothing, with nothing in their pockets, and they become millionaires. I've met ladies. That walked away from jobs with $700 in their pockets and started businesses, and they became millionaires. There really is no excuse, and it's really up to you to make the choice and make the decision.
Now, the number two myth I like to talk about with people is there's this common belief out there that these rich people got lucky. They're just in the right place at the right time. And it makes me sick when people tell me this because that means that all the work I did, all the college I went to, all the studying that I did, all the late nights, all of the getting up early, all of the working late and working a hundred hours a week at times, sacrificing time with my family; and I got lucky? It's just not true. The reality is you're going to get out of life what you put into it, and it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of effort to reach and accomplish those goals.
The number three myth that I come across from time to time is that there's this belief that rich people are bad, and so people tell themselves that they don't want to be rich because they don't want to be a bad person. They think money's going to somehow ruin them. Now the truth is money is going to make you more of who you really are. So if you're a bad person at your heart or a greedy person or a selfish person, when money comes around and you have more of it, you're going to become more selfish, more greedy, and more mean. So the reality is it's your character is the flaw, not the money. And so you need to work on your character so that you can be the right type of person when you accumulate this wealth and grow into a millionaire.
And the reality is all three of these are just excuses on why you're not managing your money well or building wealth. Most people just want to feel good about themselves, and so they have to make these excuses on why they're stuck and that 78% of people living paycheck to paycheck group. And I want to help you get out of that.
Now the truth is money is just a tool, and just like any tool, you have to learn how to use it. You have to learn how to use your lawnmower to cut grass, and you had to learn to use a pencil to write your name. You have to learn how to use money to build wealth.
A second truth is time is one of your most precious assets. How you use your time will determine if you will become a millionaire or not. You have to invest your time into the right things. The rich people didn't get lucky, they use their time wisely. They didn't waste it.
And last, I want to mention to you that almost anyone can become a millionaire. You just need