I have never seen so many freaking emails in my entire life.
If you're new here, there's a good chance that you probably found the site by seeing an article about me paying off my student loans or giving some type of debt advice. When I got called for an interview with CNBC earlier this month, I knew it was going to be pretty cool.
However, I didn't know it was going to turn into three separate pieces syndicated all over the internet cool. So if you've sent me an email asking questions about student loans or other general $$$ questions…don't worry! I AM going to answer you.
But I want to talk about “easy” and “instant” first.
From all of those emails – I can tell one thing for sure: so many of you are out there grinding to try to get ahead right now. It's almost unreal to me how many millennials are actually fired up about getting out of debt or just figuring out money in general.
That's not all though – you guys are starting blogs, side-hustles, house hacking, investing, moving up the corporate ladder, whatever. It's cool as hell, and I'm so stoked that we're starting a community of people who want to kick money's @$$.
But then there's the other group.
So many people are on the fence about sacrificing like crazy to get ahead. They don't want to drive a crappy car. They like going out to eat. They don't want their quality of life to take a hit.
While they are waiting for the easy option to show up, other people are doing the stuff that totally sucks and actually getting ahead.
There is no “quick” without discomfort. There is no easy way to deal with student loans. Building a business or career isn't simple. There is no instant credit card relief. Here's what that stuff actually looks like (hopefully):
A lot of people have asked me how I “got so lucky” with my student loans or this site. I did stuff that sucked. All those things that people pretend they would do but actually wouldn't? I did them.
I lived with the in-laws. Let my friends pass me up. Dealt with the jokes. Quit my job. Had the panic attack. Only made $1,200 a month. Drove the lame car. Stayed up for hours learning instead of playing.
Stop waiting for easy
If you're hoping for some kind of simple way to reach all of your financial goals – you're going to be waiting a long damn time. People forget that the basics of personal finance are generally pretty simple. A lot of the time (especially with consumer debt), we are talking about kindergarten numbers.
The math isn't the problem.
The problem for most people is that they are allergic to uncomfortable. The unfortunate reality is that you can't drink Starbucks 3 times a day if you want to be debt free quickly. You can't have the freaking personal trainer. Downloading a saving app isn't going to be enough.
What I've found so far is that the people that are real with themselves about how hard it's going to be or how long it's going to take are the ones that make it. The people that are more concerned about their “work-life balance” than their $100k of student loans at 8% interest probably aren't going to make it.
It's financial Darwinism.
So yes – you're going to have to give up some stuff and work really really hard to get places faster, but it's OK. I'm not even talking about copying my strategy and being extreme. I'm just talking about being willing to live less comfortably and put in extra work.
The cool thing is that the general population has seemingly zero ability to do those things, so if you can you may have an advantage. The massive amounts of advertising and “social norms” that we are all exposed to tend to beat people's courage and tenacity into debt and complaining.
Just remember this if you're working on something big:
Success isn't fast. Period. There are a lot of bull$hit people in all walks of life that will try to sell “easy” or “instant” solutions.
They don't exist.
The common denominator is your work ethic. If you work your butt off, you can do incredible things. If you keep going, good things happen (just not when you want them to).
Keep grinding. Keep hustling. Keep failing. Keep trying new stuff.
There IS light at the end.