I spent twenty five years of my life working 9-5, drowning in self pity and complaining about my lack of financial success. Although I was in total control of changing my life if I wanted, I felt helpless and wasted all my energy complaining.
The beginning of the wake up call for me came when I started dating one guy. During the early stages of courtship, I found out this man, who was only two years older than me,was a lot more successful than I was. He had several investment properties and was worth a couple of million bucks while I was struggling to make ends meet.
Soon after dating him, I realized that I had been exposed to bigger opportunities than him. So what was the secret of his success? Instead of continuing my self victimization, I started picking his brain, listening to his investment success stories and paying close attention to his daily habits.
I worked 7 hours. He worked 15. His day started at 7am. He would get home around 7pm, eat a light dinner and then he would go straight to working on side hustles. When I made the comparison between his life and mine, it was clear that I wasn’t on the right track.
My workday would end at 4:30pm and I would go out to dinner with friends every other night, because my mindset was that I was stressed out and I “deserved to have fun”. So instead of using those hours after work to develop fresh ideas and pursue other business ventures, I was wasting money and time hanging out. On nights when I went straight home, I would watch TV because again, I needed to unwind my stress. Anyone that thinks that you can become successful working 7-8 hours, I have news for you, you probably have a better chance of winning the lottery!
Sacrifice and discipline
Sacrifice the now to reap the benefits later. I learned from this man’s past stories that he had made lots of sacrifices to get to where he was at the moment. For instance, When he wanted to buy real estate, he would sacrifice socializing to save money towards down payments. He had the intelligence and discipline to understand that sacrificing temporarily would lead to reaping benefits later. I realized that I had lived my life pursuing instant gratifications and I knew that had to change if I wanted a better life.
Food is the second largest expense after rent. When I started coming over to his place, I learned that he had a daily habit of cooking himself dinner. He did the math for me and explained how much more we waste when we order take out or go out to restaurants. It’s also healthier to prepare our own meals. My excuse for not cooking was always that I had no time or was too tired when I got home. So he taught me how to make simple meals and I was able to stick to this regimen thereafter.
Waiting for someone to reward me.
I also had a bad habit of thinking that my hard work would be magically rewarded. And the truth is that no one will reward us unless we stand up for ourselves and seek each opportunity. If you want to be sucrsduk, you have to go out there and hustle.
They say we are the average of the company we keep. The right people in your circle is sometimes what stands in the way of you and the next step in the success ladder. I know that for me, dating this man was crucial in my career development. He was definitely an eye opener. You can have the degree and the experience but if you’re not well connected, you will struggle to land the right roles.
So, stop wasting time with Netflix Marathons and scrolling social media. Every night after work, come home and cook your own meals and get to work on your dreams! I promise you it will pay off!
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