I have been working and paving my own way consistently since high school. I’ve worked hard and saved some money but I’ve also floundered, lost my way and had to ask for help at times. By no means did I accomplish my goals and achievements alone. There is a huge network of family and friends that I’ve relied on and still do to this day. We are all in this together and we all need to accept and give help where we can. What follows are some of the steps I’ve taken to get to where I am today in my life and career.
I go back to these ideas time and time again to make sure that I’m staying on course. I’m not advocating that these are hard and fast rules for everyone to live by. They work for me. I completely understand that everyone’s situation and circumstance are different so not all of these thoughts may apply for you. I should also note that I am not a financial adviser nor did I consult one for this post. There is plenty of room for each of these topics to change and evolve depending on a person’s circumstance. My hope is that this post offers some small morsel of advice that helps get you to take action towards doing one small task that can lead towards a better, more fulfilling future for yourself.
What I do know that works for certain is that doing something is better than doing nothing. If there’s one thing to take away from this post let it be that. I hope this helps and I wish you the greatest success.
1. Let Go
Put the past behind. We all make mistakes, what’s done is done. You can’t change what happened or change other people’s actions but you can change you. Move forward.
2. Get A Job
If you don’t have the job you want then get what you can so you can work towards something better. Having some money is better than no money to help get you to where you want to go. If that means working retail, becoming a waiter or driving Uber for a while, then do it. But do it well. Take pride in whatever you do, no matter how menial you think the work might be. Most people will see when someone is giving it their all no matter what the job is. Work towards being the best at what you do.
3. Be Nice
The world has enough shitty people and assholes, we don’t need anymore. Be kind. Make friends. You’ll need them to help get you through. Return the favor when they do help you. As they say, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”
4. Don’t Focus On Money
This is a hard one. You may need money right away especially if you have kids and debt and bills that total more than your monthly income. However, try to focus more on the quality and performance of your job. Money will usually follow hard work and effort. Find a part of your job that you can consistently take pride in then work towards keeping up that standard. More often than not, if you do this then the people that you need to notice will reciprocate. You are only entitled to the work anyway, not the reward. The reward is the product of the work so keep your eyes on the prize and work your ass off.
5. Save the Money You Make
Putting $10 per week away for 52 weeks per year equals $520 per year. After five years you’ll have $2,600. If you put it in an account that gets good interest, even better! Have patience and save some of the money you make. Put it away and don’t touch it, no matter what. You’ll get to use it later when you really need it. Increase your savings a bit at the end of each year after you get that raise from focusing and taking pride in your job.
6. Don’t Spend Money You Need On Shit You Don’t Need
Again, practice patience. In time you’ll be able to get what you want but not now. If you’re trying to reach a goal you have to be disciplined. Right now you need to focus on your goals and taking care of the basic necessities. That means, kill your TV. You don’t need cable or Netflix, or the latest electronic gadget. You don’t need booze, cigarettes, or lottery tickets. What you do need is food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep, sunlight, oxygen, exercise and possibly transportation. Everything else is a luxury. Choose wisely, be patient and stay focused.
7. Pay Your Debt
Pay for your rent, bills and food first. Anything left over, save it. Repeat.
8. Educate Yourself
Learn from your mistakes. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Don’t repeat them. Do the thing that you or they should have done. Don’t cut corners. With regards to money, following the rules helps you advance. If you don’t know something, look it up or ask for help. Then go help someone else after you learn it. Constantly be a student and keep learning and applying that knowledge to your situation to better yourself. Then return the favor when you are presented the opportunity.
9. Don’t Give Up
Move on, move forward, move upward. Staying neutral is the same as going backward.