Ahhhhhh. Lake life. Definitely doesn't suck. I'm currently taking a break from this sweet lakehouse/boating vacation I'm on to *DING DING DING*…work. I was sitting on the deck last night with some friends, and I asked them what I should write about for Monday's post. Basically, the topic came up of “work hard, play hard” (which everyone on this trip does in one form or another).
It's really perfect, because it basically sums up the lifestyle and financial approach that I push on this site constantly.
As a note before I go on, two of my friends on this trip are legitimate multi-millionaires (and another is a sales [email protected]$$ that will make those two guys look very very very poor soon).
One made/is making his money through commercial real-estate, the other through the stock market and building his own company for 30 years. There are two quick side-lessons to learn here:
- Surround yourself with successful people
- Ask successful people what the hell they do, and then do that stuff
If you were wondering, they are both retired. The original “financial independence”, not the version that people get by living in a mini-house now. People love to throw that term around like it's some easy goal, when in reality it's unbelievably hard and most people won't achieve it.
I've basically dissected their careers and financial strategies in my mind through hours and hours of conversations over the past few years, so if you want to know how to be truly successful financially…here are the keys to the castle:
If you're the stock millennial, those two words probably just made you cringe a little. I was the same way once upon a time, so it's all good. We have grown up in this weird culture where we see random people crowd fund their way to billions of dollars through trendy start-ups…while wearing flip flops to work.
It looks awesome, but that's not how you are going to achieve FI. Sorry.
Every freaking 20-something working at a coffee shop assumes they are going to be magically wealthy just by being alive. There is a 99% chance you don't get there. Literally.
The internet has certainly made massive success much more achievable for young people, but to truly make it to the top it still takes hustling harder than every human around you and living below your means until you don't have to. Then you mix that with gutsy decisions. Check it out:
David (Real estate guy)
Lived in a pool shop when I first met him. He basically went ALL IN with his life's savings on a storage facility, and maintained that business while he worked a grueling full-time job. It was stressful just watching him on a day to day basis.
A few years later, he bailed from his 9-5 and owns three properties with the intent (and means) to purchase many more. Every time one sells, his liquid net worth will grow by $1 MILLION plus. It's crazy.
Jim (Stocks guy)
Worked his @$$ off building a swimming pool company for almost three decades. Then, in 2008 when the market crashed he sold his business and dumped essentially his life's work into a free falling stock market.
If you've seen the DOW from 2008-now, you probably could guess how that worked out for him.
Rented in a 10×10 room from my wife's parents, drove a POS car and wouldn't even buy new clothes or shoes. I paid off my student loans and became debt-free, then quit my good job to manage a literally worthless website.
Now my life is legitimately awesome. Isn't that interesting that I basically copied their formula for success and now I'm achieving it? Funny how that works…
Here's the point.
If you want to do the nice vacations like I'm on, and you want to own the boat or write a check for the Mercedes, that's totally cool and I support those decisions. I like fancy stuff too believe it or not. But you aren't going to get there by financing your life away and looking for work-life balance in your 20's and 30's.
You'll get there by laying low, working your butt off and taking massive (read calculated) risks in life. $$$ That's the secret formula $$$. You have to out-human everyone around you. Period.
If you waste your time consistently giving in to advertising and peer pressure, you can't blame the government or mommy and daddy when your life doesn't turn out as awesome as you hoped it would. Your success and failures are on you.
Now I'm going to go back to playing hard. Have a great day guys. 🙂