Welcome back dear readers. I come this week bearing great news: you, yes you, hold your future in your hands. Whether or not you decide to become rich can be decided today.
Yep, that’s right. You can make a conscious choice today to start making the choices that will lead to a rich life.
With enough time and hard work at the right things, you too can become rich. Assuming that’s one of your goals. If you’re reading my blog, I assume you value your time and your money and wouldn’t mind having more of both.
The more you save and invest, the less time it will take to become rich (financially).
Many dig themselves into scenarios where they’re spending more than they earn monthly. Or they’re covering bills but spending every last cent they earn, not putting anything back for the future. The outcome of these actions will be the opposite of rich, in the financial sense.
By saving more than you spend you’re setting yourself up for a pretty big bank account, regardless of your income. When you combine this with working harder at your chosen pursuit, things really speed up.
Many spend money on things or experiences. As such, I want to remind you I’m not telling you to never spend money. Figure out what you value first, then you’ll know exactly what to spend your money on.
Before we go down this path, let’s figure out what your priorities are in life. You have to know which actions to take before you start taking them. Perfect practice makes perfect.
This is highly subjective, but let’s lay a few things out for consideration.
Some will think of being rich as having a certain amount of money. This is usually to afford specific items they have in mind. Nice house, car, trips, etc. This is a valid way to view it. I do too to a certain extent. To me the nicer things in life are definitely preferred (but not necessary). I strive for them because I know I will enjoy them while using them or experiencing them.
But have you ever seen someone who works 24/7 and is rich but thought to yourself, “that person sure does have a lot of money, but they sure are neglecting their health and family… and when is the last time they took a week long vacation?” This is a natural consequence to someone’s actions when they value career and money at the expense of everything else.
Another way to view being rich is with time. Not being handcuffed to a job is empowering. Being able to choose what you do with your time every minute of the day is the pinnacle of being rich, in my opinion. Being able to walk away from something like a salary because you don’t agree with the way things are being done is a position of strength many would love to be in.
It is possible to have all the time in the world but no money. Money is a resource. You could go through life without any or very little and still be happy. I’d wager all reading this blog are not into that exact lifestyle, though… But realize that not pursing a career or working hard at the one you’re in or want to be in, that a natural consequence to this is less earnings over time.
I think it’s best to strike some balance between the two. In order to acquire money, most people must give up their time for it – assuming you don’t have a trust fund of course. But, this buys you time later. Going back to what we said earlier: the more you save and invest, the quicker you’ll become rich.
This is worth repeating because this is how most live their lives. We consistently trade our time for money for careers that span 30-40+ years. If you save more upfront, the “free time” in life increases. You gain more independence earlier in life.
To summarize: you trade time for money with the goal of having a good sum of money and a lot of free time. This is accomplished by keeping back more money than average, investing it, and working hard to increase your contributions in the meantime. In turn, this frees up your time to pursue what you want to in life, if you aren’t already, and allows you to afford the preferred things and experiences you choose for your life.
Regardless of how you define rich, we must next accept that to get there we must take the right actions, daily.
Day in and day out you’re doing something. Whether that is pushing you closer to your goals or not, you’re doing it. This is why having goals in the first place is important. You’ll know where to aim. Defining what a “rich life” means to you helps set the precedent to your actions.
If you know you have a savings/investment goal for the year you need to hit, then your actions must reflect that in order to be successful.
We add or subtract to our life through our actions. I’m an accountant because I chose to go to school for that. My daily habits are what they are because they help me get closer and closer to my goals. At the end of my life I will be the sum of all my actions up to that day. Whether or not I will be glad for my past actions depends on what I do now, in the present.
If you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth
Take a person who goes to the gym. If they show up and don’t have a plan, or a goal in mind, and their nutrition isn’t thought out, and they got poor sleep the night before… that is a recipe for no progress.
However, if your nutrition and sleep are on point, you know exactly what your goal is (certain weight to lift or a future competition), then the actions become clear when you get to the gym. Lift exactly what I need to according to my plan. Don’t deviate. Repeat this until the goal is met, then reevaluate. Continuously improve.
Becoming fit is a natural consequence of those specific actions and lifestyle.
If you decide to go to college, you’ll quickly realize that the amount of time spent studying and paying attention to lectures generally is a direct reflection of your grades. In order to pass your classes you have to follow certain actions. There is a big time investment in learning all of your subjects each semester. But you follow the syllabus and you go through the degree plan set out for you knowing that if you do those things you will graduate with a degree in hand.
I currently drive an old car. My goal one day is to have a race car again (RIP my old one, mentioned in the first blog). If I went out and bought one now, which I could, I would either have to take a significant hit to my net worth, or significantly reduce my monthly cash flow.
My daily action of driving an old vehicle is saving me quite a lot. It’s affordable to fill up and insure and it’s pretty reliable. The initial purchase price was reasonable and it’s also been paid off for 5 years or so. Foregoing a monthly payment is going to pay off, but I have to stay patient to see it through.
That’s a big item example. Something I do day to day is eat food I’ve cooked. I meal prep on Sunday mornings for the following 5 days. On the weekends I prepare food fresh as needed. If I go out to eat it’s almost always with a friend.
Having food in my fridge I can easily heat makes it easy for me to not spend money on food. I also only buy things that I should be eating. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to make a cheat meal in my house most weeks. This is because my health and fitness goals require good nutrition. As a consequence, this daily action saves me money and keeps me healthy and fit.
This post isn’t really here to give you specific examples. It’s to get you in the right mindset and following the principles behind getting rich.
It’s about short-term trade-offs for long-term payoffs.
Everything in life has a trade-off. That’s why understanding your definition of “rich” is important. That sets the tone for your actions because it shows you what you value in life.
Now that you understand the importance of taking the correct actions, let’s explore consistency. For me this is the hardest part of anything. I’m an action taker. But I am not consistent at most things in my life.
For me I had to figure out ways that made me more consistent. In the Budget Mindset post I hit a lot of strategies that revolve around keeping me consistent. For me, going on a “win streak” really helps me see progress and stick to things. Also knowing my “why” behind what I am doing makes a big difference.
Some may be able to get away with just being aware of their goals to stay consistent. Some need visual reminders, maybe making your dream home the background on your phone, for example. I keep a picture of my son at my desk to remind me to work hard every day. It benefits me and him. It reminds me that the things I teach him potentially have the chance to echo through many generations.
Figure out what you can do to be a consistent action taker and you’ll start to see some quick success. Eventually, you’ll begin to apply the formula for success (action+consistency) to every facet in life. That’s when things will really start to get good.
To recap: Define what being rich means to you, in what ratio. Break down the steps to get to that goal. Take deliberate action towards those goals. Do this daily.
Remember, at the end of the day, there’s a natural consequence to everything we do in life. Get to the end of your life and say you did the things you wanted to do. Money can be the resource to make those things and experiences happen. Time is our most valuable resource. Trade some for money, but keep back more of that money now, so you have more of that time (and money) later. This will free you up and allow you to afford even more preferred things and experiences.
Do these things for long enough and you’ll be able to call yourself “rich” with confidence.
Here are ways to support, stay in touch, and work together:
I look forward to speaking with you and helping guide you down this life changing path.
In health and in wealth,