Fight for financial independence every day. There’s something really confusing that maybe you can help explain. I don’t understand why some people criticize others for doing the following:
- Saving and investing more than 20% of their income
- Taking stock of all their cash during times of volatility
- Working more than 50 hours a week
- Developing side hustles to earn more money
- Working gig economy jobs
- Going to graduate school part-time
- Sleeping less than eight hours a day
- Waking up at 5:30am to work on a passion project before work
- Getting good grades or at least trying to
- Eating a $3 cheeseburger instead of a $60 steak
- Learning a second language to broaden their reach
- Creating a platform online to leverage the internet
- Driving an economy car
- Investing money during violent downturns
- Living in a humble place
All these actions can help you reach financial independence faster. And who doesn’t want to be financially independent as soon as possible? Once you’re rich, you’ve got options. And once you’ve got options, you become the architect of your life.
Stop Wasting So Much Time
When I was 26, the admissions officer at UC Berkeley’s Evening & Weekend MBA program asked why I wanted to attend. After all, the median age of attendees was 32. I told her because I thought it would be better to leverage the degree for a longer period of time. Why wait until my 30s if I knew I wanted to get my MBA now? An extra six years of having the MBA on my resume could make a big financial difference.
The same logic goes for saving money. Everybody knows that saving more is better than saving less. If we know that boosting our savings rate from 10% to 20% allows us to get to our savings goal 100% faster, why not make it happen since we have a finite time to live?
The same logic applies to work. Given hard work requires no skill, if you can work 60 hours a week, you will mathematically do 50% more than the person who works 40 hours a week all else being equal. After 10 years of working 60 hour weeks, you’ll have done five more years worth of things! With five more years of productivity under your belt, you will inevitably get paid and promoted quicker.
The same logic goes towards building extra income rocket boosters. We know that life is uncertain. People lose their jobs, get sick, and get into accidents all the time. The more income rocket boosters we can produce, the higher the chances our plane won’t fall from the sky due to main engine failure. With the extra time we dedicate outside of our day jobs, we can create products, build a website, or master a valuable consulting skill. All activities will ultimate lead to more options.
There Is No Big Sacrifice: Fight For Financial Independence
One of the biggest push-backs to working and saving more is that it’s too much of a sacrifice. Why not live a more enjoyable life now? What I guess is hard to understand is the “sacrifice” you make in your 20s and 30s is no sacrifice at all because you’re setting yourself up for a life of freedom in your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. It’s actually exhilarating to put the energy you have as a younger person to maximum use that will set you up forever.
Why is it that people think those who save and work a lot have no lives? It’s not like we live in a concentration camp where after a 12 hour work day is over we go back to our damp jail cell and eat bread in the dark until 6am the next morning. Instead, we live in a free country with an abundance of everything. We can go outside and walk freely without fear of persecution.
Have we gotten soft? A bunch of interns recently signed a petition to change the dress code at their company. Interns! You know, the ones who are supposedly there to learn and be helpful in hopes of getting a job one day. Only wealthy, clueless, and disrespectful people would actually go into an establishment as a guest and demand change with a petition. The interns were summarily fired.
You Won’t Regret Your Effort
I don’t regret working 70 hours a week in my 20s and early 30s. There was so much to learn. Or maybe that’s it. Because I was so dumb, I had to work so much more than the average person just to stay even. Whatever the case may be, I was hungry for financial freedom. I don’t think missing out on mid-week parties because I had to start work before 7am every day was that much of a sacrifice.
Tacking on another 20 hours a week going to business school part-time was sometimes a bear. But the work is done, and nobody will ever take away my graduate school degree. The degree may be just a piece of paper, but it gave me the confidence to do better work in my late 20s. I’ve kept in touch with some great classmates, and I’ve applied many concepts from school to my business today.
Creating optionality for yourself is NOT a sacrifice at all. Having to work your entire life at a job you don’t like is the real sacrifice. Not spending as much time as you want with your friends and family because of money is a shame. Developing chronic physical pain due to an incessant amount of stress can shorten your life. Constantly having to worry about money will destroy relationships. The worst is looking back and wishing you had done XYZ when you had the chance and the energy.
Now that I’m middle-aged, I no longer have that fire I once did. Many older people will tell you the same thing. But the reality is, I don’t think we’re ever too old to go after financial freedom.
Fight For Financial Independence Every Day
Either decide to live well within your means or make a lot more money than you currently do by working more and investing smarter. Money buys more freedom, and more freedom brings more happiness. Finally, if you don’t have to worry about yourself, you can use your time and money to more freely help other people. What’s more rewarding than that?
Let’s not forget those before us who sacrificed to keep us free. It would be disrespectful to fritter our opportunity away by taking life for granted. Are you ready to fight for financial independence?
We need to more so than ever with this coronavirus pandemic restricting our freedom!
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