How to Cross The Minefield to Wealth

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Photo: Stefan Aarnio and Doug Vermeeren

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending some time with Doug Vermeeren. Doug is a very successful entrepreneur who has studied and worked with 400 of the world’s top achievers. Fox News calls him the modern day Napoleon Hill because he has studied the secrets and formula for wealth. He created the sequel to the movie “The Secret” called “The Opus” and has been able to turn $1 into $1,000,000 in six months.

I spent the greater portion of the day yesterday with Doug and my colleague, Shaun Furman from Millionaire Mentors Today. As we helped Doug set up his event in Winnipeg, he shared a short questionnaire that he used to interview the top 400 achievers in the world.

One question that I felt was extremely relevant to wealth generation is:

“A million dollars cash for you is on the other side of a field of explosive land mines. What do you do?”

A) Stay put

B) Make a run for it and hope for the best

C) Go slow and steady

D) Follow someone who knows the safest route

My initial reaction for what I have done in the past was; “B” make a run for it. In my career, I have earned my education at the “School of Life” and have paid my tuition with blood sweat and tears. I have stepped on a few “landmines” on my journey and fortunately, have not been wiped out by doing so.


Option 1: STAY PUT

If a million dollars were sitting on the other side of a field filled with explosive land mines, most people would stay put. For most people, any sort of risk is too much risk and they would rather have total safety and security. Unfortunately, you cannot become wealthy by just “staying put”. You must take action, make moves and make mistakes to cross the field. People who stay put never become wealthy.


Making a run across a field of landmines, regardless of the reward is absolutely reckless. You cannot “make a run”, take a blind risk and “hope” that it works out. Hope is for the hopeless. People who “make a run” in real life will take on so much risk that they end up getting hurt or financially wiped out. Some of these people may start risky businesses that they do not understand or “put all of their eggs in one basket”. Although this strategy could pay off, and pay off big, I do not personally recommend it. I have made a few “runs” in my life and have risked everything on some deals. In hindsight, making a “run for it” has far too much risk and there are so many better ways to cross the minefield of wealth.


Going slow and steady across the minefield is much lower risk than “making a run for it”. However, you may not be able to cross the field in time. Time is the most important currency in life and in wealth. Wealth is not actually measured in dollars, but in time. If you spend all of your time being cautious, and not crossing the field fast enough, you may not ever cross it. Caution is always important in the pursuit of wealth, but we need to balance caution and action so that we get to our destination on time.


Finding a coach or a mentor who has crossed the field is the option that most wealthy people have chosen to build their wealth. This is the option that I have chosen to pursue (after trying to “make a run for it”). Coaches and mentors can show you where the landmines are. They can also show you where they have failed and can get you across the field safer and quicker than you could alone. HOWEVER, to have the advantage of a mentor or a coach, there is always a cost to this. Usually you have to pay your coach or mentor either in time or money.

NOTE: Paying for success in time or money is much easier than paying in blood, sweat and tears. Mistakes can be very costly and the stress is never worth it.

Find the person that has what need to cross the minefield and find out what they need to educate you. Life is very simple when you understand who you are, what you want and who can help you get “across the field”.

I find it interesting that most wealthy successful people all answer the previous question the same way. There is a formula and a code for wealth and when you study enough people, we can see that there is no such thing as luck and that success is a choice.

In life, we are all faced with a minefield that stands between where we are today and where we want to be. The two questions we must ask ourselves are;

1)   How will we cross the minefield? and

2)   What will you pay to get to your destination?

Thanks for reading,

Stefan Aarnio

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