It takes time, perseverance, hard and smart work to make it life. If you want to be rich, you probably have to double the effort. The right path and attitude cannot be overemphasised.

It is highly unlikely you will become rich in five years if you are not in the right industry, investing in the most important ideas and solving real problems.

Here is what two expert Quora users recommend you do to increase your chances of becoming rich in the next five years. These answers are in response to the question: What are some realistic ways to get rich in 5 years? originally asked on Quora.

Zach Pinnell, Been selling online since he learned to read and write.

If all you want to do is get rich in 5 years, there’s no need to aim high with a venture-backed business.  What you need is a simple, sales and cash-flow oriented business model.

So, drop ship some e-commerce products.  With drop shipping, your supplier ships and stores the product for you.  You don’t even pay for it until you make a sale (and collect payment from your customer.

I normally recommend that people use free traffic to generate sales, just by producing valuable content around the web.  But most drop shipped products don’t even need that, a simple facebook ad campaign can turn one product sales page into a money printing machine.  A machine you put quarters into and get dollars back.


Well, if your gross margin (sales price minus product cost) is $70, and your facebook ads cost $.50 per click, you could sell your product to just one in ten visitors and take home $65 every single sale.  $70 gross margin minus $5 in advertising equals $65.

Sales volume would only be limited by your advertising budget.

Where are you going to find a product with a $70 margin?

Sounds hard, but it just takes some time and research.  The other day I spent an hour or two browsing around Etsy, evaluating some opportunities.  I will reveal one of those opportunities below: a beautiful clock I found someone drop shipping with a sale price of $65, at a cost of $10/unit to him.  He is making a KILLING.

I’ve mentioned in previous answers many different places you can source product: Etsy, Alibaba, AliExpress, as well as more obscure, niche wholesalers.  Etsy is a particularly great place to start for a few reasons…

  • High concentration of well-designed, unique, white-label products.  We aren’t looking to sell well-known, branded items.  Competition is too intense, and margins are too low.  Plus, Etsy products are easy on the eyes, and that is a huge factor when it comes to the value your customers perceives in the product.
  • People come to Etsy for low prices.  This drives prices down for us when we are looking to source product to sell in more profitable channels.
  • Many Etsy sellers aren’t very business savvy.  Consequently, it’s common to find product being sold for much lower prices than they could be selling for if they were marketed better.  That’s where you come in.

Some things to keep in mind as you search…

When browsing through Etsy, your main objective should be to identify products where there is a wide discrepancy between what you would pay to source the product, and the value your customer will perceive in the product.

This is true for any product sourcing platform, not just Etsy.  You will heighten customer’s perceived value with a brand of your own, great pictures/design, and better distribution channels (Etsy is a marketplace where price is a huge factor for customers, whereas it won’t be as important to customers elsewhere).

So, anytime you see a product and think it is priced too low, that’s a great sign.  Of course, there is no set profit margin for Etsy sellers.  Some will markup 10%, others 300%.

But chances are, if you think a particular seller is marking up less, they will be more likely to give you a better price and appreciate you helping them sell more product.

Other Etsy sellers, like the one selling the clock I mentioned above, are drop shipping product from places like Alibaba.

It’s not a great idea to drop ship product on someone else’s platform like Etsy, Amazon, eBay.  You can make money, but not nearly as much as if you build your own infrastructure, build a brand around the product, and forgo the fees.

Etsy’s audience is limited.  Plus, you can’t retarget visitors with ads to remind them to come back.  A sale takes 5 exposures to the product on average, so you don’t want to be counting on selling to impulsive buyers only.  People who only see the product once.

Brian Knapp, Christian, author, software developer, entrepreneur, troublemaker

If your goal is to simply make money, you need to get good at selling things. Sales is the easiest way to control your financial destiny. However, I don’t mean you need to become a salesman for your day job.

What I mean is you need to practice the act of selling things to people. Use Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, Amazon, Google Ads, whatever it doesn’t matter. There are 100 different ways to get practice selling things.

But, you have to get practice in selling things because at some point, all money making comes down to selling something to someone else at some profit. Even stock trading.

You must get familiar with the idea of arbitrage or what I think of as “playing the spread”. There exist millions of opportunities where you can simply purchase something in one market, and sell it in another market for a profit.

Here is a simple example. You can go to Goodwill or thrift stores and find used clothes that might still have the tags on it. Or, you can find cheap items on clearance at many, many stores.

Then you take those items and sell them on a different market. Some flip items on eBay or Amazon or Craigslist and can make as six figures simply doing that.

I’ve heard of people buying cheap firesale deals on gadgets, then turning around and selling them on Craigslist. They make money on the information imbalance between a global and local marketplace.

Some people buy broken down cars, fix them up, and sell them for a tidy little profit. Some find used books and sell them on Amazon. Some find affiliate offers and buy cheap traffic on Facebook to promote them. Some buy undervalued stocks and sell them days/weeks/months later and sell them at a profit.

The point is, you have to get in on the transactions. You have to hustle.

Once you gain skill in buying and selling things at a profit, you’ll over time notice more and better opportunities. You’ll even realize that some very successful retail operations like Gamestop are operating on this principle at scale.

All retail works on a notion of arbitrage. Buy wholesale in bulk, break the bulk and sell at a profit in your store.

If you do this long enough, eventually you’ll gravitate to a market that suits you best. A group of suppliers and customers you like buying from and selling to.

Selling things at a profit is a valuable skill, one of the most valuable skills in the world actually. If you develop the skill, it doesn’t matter if it is one year, five years, or ten years. You’ll get to where you want to be.