Yes - you need to start a business. In America, starting a successful business is the surest, most controllable path available to you for making a million dollars in less than 42 years.
And really, this decision to start a business gets us to a key part of our conversation. There are two mentalities at work in our economy today. Either you can be someone else's employee, or you can be the one who hires the employees. You can work for a business, or you can own a business of your own.
Now please note that I am not saying that "being an employee" is a bad thing. There are lots of good reasons to be an employee. For example, being an employee is a great way to learn how a business works so that you can open a business of your own. You simply need to become an employee with that approach in mind.
In other words, you work so that you can learn the ropes. Go into the job with the intention of learning everything you possibly can while someone else pays you to get your education. Many large coporations even make a point of advertising this fact. For example, McDonald's says on its Web site: "You'll be encouraged to grow, learn and develop the broad-based skills you'll need to move up fast -- with McDonald's Corporation, an independent McDonald's franchisee, or almost any company in the world. Having such experience on your resume will open eyes, not to mention doors." [ref] And that is true.
Compare this to a normal college education and you will realize how great a deal this is. When you are in college, you pay to get educated. When you are an employee, someone else pays you to get educated -- it is a much better deal.
So let's assume that you have made the decision to start a business, and you have worked to learn the ropes. If you follow this "start your own business" path, then what people will call you is...