By age 22, Daniel was $100,000 in debt. By age 25, Daniel became financially independent. Here is the full transcript of Daniel Ally’s TEDx Talk titled ‘How to Become a Millionaire in 3 Years’ at TEDxBergenCommunityCollege event.
Book(s) by the speaker: Daniel Ally
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Daniel Ally – Founder of The Ally Way
Today I want to talk with you about a subject that many people have been talking about for a very long time. And that subject is called “success.”
You see, success means different things to different people, but what success might mean to me is different than what it may mean to you. And what it may mean to you is different than what it means to a kindergartner who is just trying to get a star on his homework assignment.
Or perhaps to a housewife, who has been trying to get her five kids in bed by 9 o’clock pm.
Or maybe even a corporate executive who’s been working for his or her corporation for 20-plus years, and only wants to become the CEO of their organization.
As you could tell, we have so many different definitions of this word success, but the greatest definition I can give you today is this: “Success is all about self-expression.” It’s about being who you want to be, doing what you want to do, going where you want to go. Because when it comes to your life, you are the boss, and you have a choice. In fact, you are who you are today because of all the choices that you’ve made in your whole entire life.
But you know, as we are growing up we have a lot of people who try to tell us how to make these choices: our parents, our teachers, our bosses, our friends, even our neighbors. They try to tell us how to live our lives, what we should do, where we should go, how we should walk, how we should talk.
But my question for you is this: “If you’re trying to be what other people want you to be, then who will be you?” So the key to success is to stop conforming to other people’s expectations, and start performing to your own level of expectations. It’s to believe in yourself; it’s to know that what you want will eventually come to fruition, as long as you believe it.
You see, you have to have faith, and faith is knowing that what you want will eventually come to fruition as long as you believe it. And if you feed your faith, you will find often times that your fears will starve to death, because if you believe in yourself, everyone else in the world will believe in you.
Fortunately, for a long time, I didn’t quite believe in myself. Actually, I used to be the kind of person that mothers would often warn their daughters about, and fathers would tell their sons, “If you keep doing what Daniel Ally is doing, you are going to end up where Daniel Ally is going.” Now they had some credence to what they were saying, because as you can imagine, your reputation really is your best advertisement.
I really didn’t have a good reputation, because I was living so far below my potential, I was actually living in my mother’s basement. By the age of 21, I’d worked over 40 different jobs. I got fired from more jobs than more people had. In high school, I graduated second to last, the last guy; well, he was in jail. I was on drugs for eight years, and I was confused. I was broke, busted, and disgusted, and I knew that I wanted to change; the only problem was that I didn’t know how.
Can I see a show of hands if you’ve ever been in a situation where you wanted to change, but you just didn’t know what to do? Well, we all have been there, maybe we are there right now. I discovered there are only three ways that I can make a change in my life. Three ideas I wanted to share with you today that can absolutely revolutionize your life from today. I know these steps work because I’ve been able to do it myself.
By the age of 24, I became a self-made millionaire. I have been able to write three books and travel to dozens of countries. I now reach millions of people with my work. I believe that these three key principles can change your life, no matter how you define success, whether you want to live to age 100 or even have a dozen kids, or just have a little house on the mountaintop somewhere no one knows about. These three key principles will help you to realize the success in your life.
Read more books
The first one is to read more books. All the books in the world can help us to solve all the problems in the world. But the truth is that we don’t have to read all the books in the world, because we don’t have all the problems in the world, but we do have to read the books that help us to solve our problems. So, for instance, if you wanted to learn about money, you better be reading books that talk about money. Or if you wanted to learn how to manage your relationships, or to become a better communicator, there are a lot of books on that.
What I am saying basically is that our libraries are paved with gold, and library cards are free. You see, books are the tools that release the heavens of your mind. And leaders are readers. If you want to succeed, you have to read. Most people in the world read about one book every single year, that book, I would suppose, would be Facebook. And before people even get up and do their things, before they drink their coffee or read their paper, they read Facebook. But the truth is that if you study miscellaneous things, you get miscellaneous results; you become what you study.
What do you study, and where is it taking you? You see a lot of people come up to me, and they say, “Well, Daniel, I don’t really have time to read. I have kids, I have work, I am student. I already have so many textbooks, I am doing so many things, I am too busy.” But if you don’t have 10 minutes a day, you’re basically saying you don’t have a life. We all have time to read, we all have time to pick up a good book and read for ourselves so that we can learn.
Look, if you read 10 minutes a day, for 30 straight days, that’s one book a month. One book a month, in 12 months, is 12 books a year. You can do in one year what most people do in five years. Talk about not having time. We all have time to read. Remember, readers are leaders, and the only way you can succeed is if you read.