How To Start Focusing On Your Passion and Stop Worrying About Expenses
Don’t wait! Quit exchanging time for money.
When I was little, my mom and my grandma told me almost daily that I need to strive for good grades in school, be on time for classes (which people dealing with me today still suffer from because I can’t stand it when people are late) and to be a good boy.
I tried my best to follow their advice and ultimately completed school with reasonably good grades. In hindsight, that was an exchange of time for knowledge and learning.
Mind you, I didn’t learn a ton of stuff I could apply in life and pretty much nothing about making money, saving money, using money… or anything related to money.
All I knew was, money seemed to be something I never had enough of.
Next came my military time and those who influenced me were very convincingly making the argument that I had a duty to serve. I should protect democracy, learn how to fly fighter jets, and be ready to defend against the big red bear.
Then, Mr. Gorbatchov happened, the Berlin wall came down and that scenario disappeared. In a way, I was asked to exchange time for security and for knowing how to defend it. When I asked if my time shouldn’t be valued higher, I was told that money wasn’t, and shouldn’t, be a motivator when you serve your country and democracy.
Again, nothing about what to do with the little bit of money I made and the even smaller amount I saved.
Then, following a few more twists and turns, came the real deal: working hard for a company in a job and exchanging time for money — finally.
I thought: “This must be it. Finally an opportunity to advance and really get ahead.”
3 Facts Successful People Live By
In reality, I was beginning to ask more and more questions like:
- When will the income I make far exceed the expenses I have each month?
- Where is the manual telling me what to do with the surplus if there was one?
- Why did nobody warn me when the dot-com bubble burst in 2003 and most of my stock investment gains evaporated?
- How will I ever be able to stop working if I can’t put money aside and the little bit I do save and “invest” gets knocked-out every so often? (oh yeah… After being wiped out in 2003, I got a second serving in 2008–2010 from the great recession).
I finally decided nobody would tell me what to do and I’d figure it out on my own. I researched who was financially successful and began reading books, listening to cassette tapes, etc.
The main thing I learned was this:
Everyone keeps telling you that you need to keep working. Keep your head down. Work your way up. Save what you can. Be aware of the risks… and on and on.
Except, those people who really succeed do very little to none of that. They focus on the shortest path to the date on the calendar when they no longer need to exchange their time for money.
They discovered the following three facts:
- Life is short and you should do what you are passionate about — ergo you should not waste your time making money for others but let others make money for you. That’s what allows you to live your passion and your best life.
- The shortest path to reach the date where you can stop exchanging time for money is the one where you can use as much leverage as possible. If you can find a bank that gives you 80% of the cost of an investment and 100% of the profits, that’s the kind of leverage that accelerates your progress towards the date of economic independence. that’s the date when you stop the need to exchange your time for money and enjoy the freedom to do what you want.
- The best way to make sure that you are the last person in your family who needs to start life with exchanging time for money is to invest in real assets that you never give up. You only buy, exchange, keep, and add to the portfolio. If you do this as much as possible for as long as possible, your children, their children, and their children won’t have to work for money.
That’s what the Rockefellers did and they are all doing well (and probably will keep it that way). Act like them and you can live like them, in your own way of course! It’s your freedom to decide what you do with the proceeds.
If you’re lucky and do it well enough, you’ll even reach financial independence, or as JL Collins calls it in the book “The Simple Path To Wealth”, you’ll have bullshit money: that’s when you can buy whatever you want no matter if it makes any sense or has any lasting value.
“Everyone keeps telling you that you need to keep working. Keep your head down. Work your way up. Save what you can. Be aware of the risks… and on and on. Except, those people who really succeed do very little to none of that.”
A BHAG (pronounced “Bee Hag,” short for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”) is a powerful way to stimulate progress. A BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; […]. The best BHAGs require both building for the long term AND exuding a relentless sense of urgency: What do we need to do today, […] and tomorrow, and the next day, to defy the probabilities and ultimately achieve our BHAG? — “Built To Last” by Jim Collins
I regret losing so much time with these often useless exchanges. Don’t wait for learning, knowledge, glory, service, democracy, raises, and promotions.
Set yourself a big hairy audacious goal (or BHAG in short) that states:
“I want to make ___$ of passive income from my assets using as much of other people’s money as I can so that I can reach the date I will quit exchanging my time for money on ___(day), ___(month), ____(year)!”
Here’s a little secret I can’t keep to myself: when you set your goal and your date, you’ll see that it’s like an energy drink.
The more you do, the more you focus, the more you accelerate and get closer to that date, the more motivated you will be to focus even more and do anything you can. Because of that, you’ll probably get there sooner than what you originally thought was possible.
Don’t wait! Ask yourself: “If not me, than who…?” and get to work.
I’ll see you on the other side where all the people who live their passion hang out.