The real secret to getting rich

I wish that I actually had the secret to making a lot of money quickly—I’d sell it in a seven-part infomercial, run weekend retreat courses, and brand my own swag. That being said, I do believe that we can carve our own wealth if we plan our careers strategically.  Some of us are going to come up with great products, skills, and ideas that will change the world.  The rest of us can still do well in our own unique and amazing way.  I’ve come to realize that the one unifying factor that we see in everyone who accumulates substantial wealth is simply time.

We can talk about hustling, hard work, luck, wealth accumulation strategies, but none of these tactics will give you that financially independent wealth overnight. It just doesn’t happen.

Unless you win the Powerball (I have not).

Rome wasn’t built in a day. You’re not likely to become wildly successful overnight either.    And that is okay.

Find that goal.

Somehow we’ve been programmed by society to find ambition, achieve our goals as quickly as possible, and find other goals to tackle.  The average American takes less than two weeks of vacation annually! I was offered a job working in the tech industry that also offered two weeks of PTO annually. They even allowed you to carry-over PTO. We work more than essentially everyone else in Europe. The only countries that work more are Japan and South Korea.

This is essentially a race to the grave. There is nothing wrong with hustling, but hustling without and end goal is counterproductive. Even worse, you could easily burn out and fail. Step number one in the wealth accumulation process is to figure out your end goal. Is your goal to quit your job by age 50? What about 40? Or is more vague, like creating a situation for yourself that would allow you to venture into other interests or spend more time with the family? The goal doesn’t have to be super ambitious. You can adapt it as you progress and determine what makes you happy.

Set that timeline.

Whether you plan to reach that goal in five years or twenty, you need to have that deadline. A definitive course gives you something to strive for, and aim for a realistic timeline.  Mr. 1500 days set his goals, reached it earlier than expected, and then adjusted his “magic number”.

We have to be flexible. Work situations change. We might end up moving. You never know. These are the cards that we’re handed, and we deal. I’ve encountered three different situations where my job trajectory could be impacted, including losing my job due to my employer shutting its doors. I fortunately have not been dealt the axe, but these instances will force us to craft out a Plan B.

Work hard, sit back, and enjoy the journey.

You life goals aren’t going to be handed out on a silver platter. You still have to work for it, and stay focused. Fortunately the journey isn’t a straight-shot to the moon (or as high risk). It’s more like an extended hiking expedition. Life is more pleasurable if you enjoy the nuances of our daily activities. Is it the espresso shot that you make every weekend? Or the trips to Costco? It doesn’t matter, because this is what it takes to help keep your eye on the prize.

Going fast is useless if you don’t know where you’re going.

Before you know it, that time will come!

(Photo courtesy of Flickr)

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