Trying to pick a career and decide where you are going to direct your time towards is in doubt a stressful and very heavy decision. Most of us are forced to make this decision when we’re around 18 years old, with little or no direction. You normally hear things like, “What are you good at?” or “What do you like?” as questions to help you make a decision about how you want to spend the next 40 years of your life, working 40-50 hours per week.
I was personally a numbers guy and excelled in math and concepts, which was why I decided to study accounting in college. As much as I did enjoy accounting, I never really saw myself working as many as 50-60 hours per week at an office in the middle of downtown Los Angeles, auditing financial statements day-in and day-out for 40 years.
I want to be Rich
In fifth grade, my teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I got older, and my answer was, “I want to be rich.” What I learned later on was what I really meant was that I wanted freedom with my time. Even then, I knew the teacher was looking for me to respond with fireman or police officer, but my honest answer was I wanted to be wealthy enough to be able to do what I really enjoy doing. Of course, at that time it was 180 degrees different than what I do today. Freeing up my time was what I wanted because getting a job or being tied down doing something for years was not my idea of a career.
Many people might actually think I’m lazy, and they would be 100% accurate in that assessment!
My laziness was exactly the inspiration I needed to work three times as hard as some of my friends who couldn’t see why I was so determined to sacrifice temporary fun and reckless spending to get to a point where I work for myself and spend my time with my family. Until I got there, I put the effort into working low-end jobs, living frugally, and taking chances on things that could take me to the next level of financial freedom, which was what I really wanted to have in my adult years.
I still work hard today at things because I have future laziness goals that I have still yet to achieve. Long story short, I got to a place where much of my time has freed up and I do the things I love, which includes running a business, managing my investments, and spending time with my family. I don’t believe my situation is unique for just me. I believe people just need to be exposed to more truth than what the masses are being fed by conventional wisdom.
Give it Everything You Have
I ran into a 16-year-old who plays drums, and he was trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and if he was going to pursue drums as a career. He said that he loves playing the drums, but yet he is worried that once it becomes a career, his love will fade for the instrument and it will become a chore. I told him what will make his career choice a chore is if he does this for years while being overworked and underpaid. This goes for anyone in any career choice.
I told him that if he wants to pursue drums, he should, and he should give it everything he has. He should work hard at developing his skills, learn to network in that industry, and pinpoint exactly where he wants to take his career with that decision. In addition to that, and more importantly, he should learn to invest his money to build financial freedom to take the pressure off of him later on in his life that will cause him to hate his job, rather than enjoy it at his leisure in what he loves to do.
This really resonated with him, and I felt like I was able to open his eyes to the bigger picture. Not only that, weight was lifted off of his shoulders because I saw him understand the potential in building your wealth and freeing up your time for things you do want to do — for him, it was drums.
Paradigm for Your Future
Working a job I didn’t like or putting in the time into something that I didn’t necessarily enjoy never really scared me because my focus was long-term and I knew the jobs were only going to be temporary. The bigger picture for me was that the effort I put in today will one day be leveraged and pay dividends that will far outweigh the work I do in the future.
Young and older people alike are conditioned to think that their only option to be successful is to endure hours of labor their whole life. Because many of us have embraced the 40-hour standard work week as normal, we assume it’s a given for our lives as well. Doing anything 40-50 hours a week on a regular basis will get monotonous and stressful. Individuals — especially young adults — aren’t thinking about how they can exit the rat race. Most are just thinking about how they can get in.
A combination of success in anyone’s financial growth includes development of marketable skills, smart money management, and an increasing stream of income that will contribute to greater amounts of investing. This will lead to a point where you have options to do what you want, rather than what needs to be done to survive.
For everyone reading this, make intentional decisions that you can one day leverage to do the things you want to do!
Chief Editor at CrushTheStreet.com