While helping start a nonprofit in Silicon Valley, financial expert Jennifer Openshaw got to know a few multimillionaires. She wondered how they accumulated their wealth and what traits they had in common. "My theory was that they somehow leverage what's right in front of them much more than the average person." Jennifer talks with Jean about her findings, which she chronicles in her new book, The Millionaire Zone: Seven Winning Steps to a Seven-Figure Fortune.
To test her theory, Jennifer says she hired two research firms. They found the secret to financial success was the way wealthy people tapped into a "life net" of people, organizations and resources that they already had. "It was clear millionaires did benefit more from their social networks than everybody else," Jennifer says. "It's less about how much money do I have right now, because if you [open] yourself up to what's already in front of you at your fingertips and [give] back to that 'life net' … you're going to find that you really increase the odds of hitting the financial millionaire zone."
Whether you want to start your own business or excel in the corporate world, Jennifer says the secret lies in taking stock of whom you know, thinking about how these people can help you reach your goals, and how, in turn, you can help them. "You've got to leave your comfort zone by tapping into resources around you," she says.