Those who know my story, I started working with 14. I dropped out of school, mainly because I liked the idea to earn money. I wasn’t really thinking about my goals and my future. It started with an internship, then apprenticeship and ended in a convenient 9-5 job while diligently climbing up the career ladder.
Initially, I chose this path to learn practical knowledge about business and basically fulfill my needs for security and financial freedom. At that time, financial freedom meant that I could go out few times a month, pay for a computer to play games and afford a nice little flat. As I also got a supportive and caring big brother I reached that lifestyle quickly. I was a young guy without direction, enjoying what I could have.
Then, our company hired a consultant to steamline our processes. Meanwhile I was working as the CEO’s PA and his reporter of our accounting activities. As such, I was the consultant’s ally to identify problems. It was him to show me another life that -to that point- was completely absent in my reality.
He told me about his life in his flat in switzerland, his trips to london and spain and his jobs around the world and I loved it.
One thing I learned on my way is that we often love something just because we don’t know what else is out there. I used to love working 9-5 until I heard of the world where people don’t work at all because their money works for them. I traded an hour of my life for 10 bucks because I didn’t know you could also leverage your knowledge and use your time to live. 7 days a week, not only on saturdays and sundays.
I got a quick view on true wealth and it got my new goal.
Step 1: Define Your Goal
So let’s save you some time. Choose your goal now and please, don’t let yourself be influenced by your beliefs.
Forget what you think you can do, just decide what you want:
Option 1: Time-Trader Life
Choose this if you want: Security, Stability, Reliability
This life basically describes the average to good life. Most of the time it involves a 9-5 job either as an employee or self-employed, mortgage on the house, Barbeques and retirement with 60 or 70. This life is recommended if security, stability and reliability is highly important to you. This kind of life can be very convenient. It only works, if you have something you love doing. You get paid for doing something you would be do anyway.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~Confucius
If you choose this option, please read ‘How To Make More Money‘ to get the most out of this life. Unfortunately, many people choose this life and live it in a manner that’s actually lacking its key benefits: Security, stability and reliability. In his book ‘The Millionaire Fastlane‘, MJ DeMarco refers to their lifestyle as ‘the Sidewalkers’. The lifestyle is based on illusion, instant gratification and credit card debt. 2 paychecks from broke. It’s a very dangerous and yet common lifestyle to live. Choices are limited and probably not in your favor. And their consequences might transcend your whole lifetime.
If you want security, stability and reliability, please create your lifestyle around these points. Also use what you learned in the article about ‘How To Make More Money‘. Find what you love and what your strenght is and build upon it so you are in demand. If your skills are not in demand, it’s just pseudo-security. Read more about finding your field below.
Examples of successful Time-Trader Lives:
- Business Owner/Employee offering rare services or products for a niche or high-demand market
- Professional offering rare services or high-level skills to a niche or high-demand market
- ‘Guru’ (Professionals offering coaching or training)
Niche market means that there’s actually a market (=demand). It won’t help to be a world-class knitter if there’s noone buying. Observe the market. Aquire rare or high-level skills. Combinations can be very powerful, too. If there are many accountants, aquire another skill that sets you apart.
Option 2: Entrepreneurial Life
Choose this if you want: Change, Challenge, Innovation
The benefits security, stability and reliability are almost non-existent here. Although we listed business owners before, the big difference to the entrepreneurial life is the non-existent link between time and money. Businesses might offer services, they have employees that need to be lead. Whereas, Entrepreneurs invest time in creating products, services or systems that do not have a direct link between the time invested and the money made. The creations require no or marginal time effort to be kept running. They possess unlimited scale potential. While time can’t be scaled, systems can. Everyone has 24h a day. If you offer a service that takes 2h you can max do 12 a day (sleep’s overrated). Entrepreneurs oftentimes are either people with lots of ideas or people with empathy, analytical or observational skills. They need to change quickly, adapt to new trends and demands. This implies that this kind of life is, at least at the beginning, unsecure, hard and requires a lot of work. Ideas alone don’t count anything, it’s all about the effort and thought you put into to bring it into life.
If you choose this life, prepare for a tough time. Find what you want to do as quickly as possible (read below), don’t waste time. Time is actually your most valuable asset. Read a lot and learn from the failures of others. While failing is inevitable, reduce you failures using the Six Sigma and F-22 planning. Avoid big ones that throw you back by years. Find your passion; the business you want to create; your utopia. Prepare to work hard for the “10 dark years”. Even the smartest people like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates had them. You will only withstand if you love what you are doing and once again, you’d do it anyway. Results for entrepreneurs oftentimes come stacked at the end. ‘Getting rich quick’ exists, but it demands a lot of process. Read our article on ‘How To Get Wealthy‘, too.
Getting wealthy demands sacrifices that few make, to resolve to live like few can. ~MJ DeMarco
Examples of successful entrepreneurs:
- Warren Buffet
- Bill Gates
- Steve Jobs
- Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com)
- Picasso (yes, Entrepreneur)
- Elon Musk
- Sam Walton (Wal-Mart)
And yes, while they’re all obviously very smart, they all had at least the ’10 dark years’.
Now that you know the lifestyle options, let’s go ahead and find your passion.