An Evening with a Multimillionaire

by Nov 14, 2019Personal Finance

A few years ago, I attended a presentation by a multimillionaire. After very humble beginnings, he started as a high school coach, until he decided to learn about personal finance in general and residual income in particular. And that changed his life within a few years. Here are the main points from the presentation. 

Traditional Versus Residual Income

Most jobs imply trading time for dollars. In the veterinary profession, we use our skills to improve animals’ lives.

In exchange for an associate’s knowledge, the clinic receives payments from pet owners. But when the associate takes a vacation, the money stops (or at least, it decreases if you’re on ProSal).

There is a very different source of income: residual, or passive, income. This applies to veterinary practices with multiple associates. While the owner is away, a whole team keeps working and generating money. 

It also applies to rental properties. The owner of an apartment complex receives rent money whether they’re working, sleeping, or vacationing (please note that this is not an incentive to go get a rental property!).


Like most high-achievers, our millionaire friend is a voracious reader. In his speech, he strongly recommended reading self-improvement books on a regular basis. Even if you only read 10 pages every day, he explained, you will end up reading 15 to 20 books every year (please note that he was not talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, but “business” and self-improvement books).

Consider how much knowledge and wisdom about leadership, management, personal finance, investments, goal setting and so much more you could absorb from 15 books per year.

Don’t have time to read? Then listen to audiobooks and use the time you spend commuting or working out.

As best-selling author Jim Rohn says: “If you want to have more, you have to become more.” And, as many have repeated: “The more you learn, the more you earn.”

These quotes are good reminders of the importance of always acquiring new skills. That is the reason we attend CE, but the idea applies to other areas of your life as well. 


Another classic quote from Jim Rohn is: “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” It is critical to surround yourself with people who encourage you, motivate you and support you instead of dragging you down, being jealous or crippling your progress.

Subtle hint: joining the Veterinary Financial Summit community and attending the conference are great ways to connect with like-minded peers, and to further your financial knowledge in a safe environment. 

Hard Work

Thomas Edison once said, “Opportunity is often missed when it knocks on the door, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” Millionaires are hard workers. They don’t spend their day on Facebook.

They also spend a lot of time planning, brainstorming and strategizing. Our millionaire joked that most people dedicate more time to plan a weeklong vacation than they do to plan their lives. 


Success is an equal opportunity employer. Reaching worthy goals has a lot more to do with your attitude than your background, ethnicity or gender. Our millionaire grew up in a humble family and in a tough neighborhood. Nevertheless, his positive attitude helped him conquer obstacles and make it to the top. 

Moral of the story

Noting that most people hate change, our millionaire reminded attendees of the quote: “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”

Changing your outcome begins with a strong desire to embrace new habits and increase your financial knowledge. 

We are here to help you on that journey.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Co-Founder of Veterinary Financial Summit