I must say, I’ve “had it up to here” with people born in the United States complaining about money, jobs, “the rich”, “can’t get ahead”, telling successful people they’re lucky… all of it.
You know who doesn’t complain? Immigrants. Immigrants who’ve been given a chance to make something of their lives here.
I haven’t posted as much as I’d have liked to in the past month or so. The truth is I’ve been super busy. I was in Arkansas for three weeks helping my son rehab a new rental. I’m invested with him in some Airbnb rentals there. As anyone who’s ever rehabbed a house knows, it’s a lot of work. And the last couple of weeks, I’ve been doing some minor, but time-consuming, updates to software that I designed. When I work on a project, I generally go “all in” and commit full resources to it. Not just to get it done quicker, but I believe good (great) work requires complete focus. If you’re working on something business-related, I don’t believe you can do it half-hearted (at least not in the early years). So I generally work 10-12 hours per day until something is done. That means I’ve been working 70+ hour weeks the last 6-8 weeks. I don’t have a moderate switch.
The truth is, though, when I’m not going all out on a house rehab, or making a minor update to my software, I don’t have to work that much per week anymore to maintain my software company. A “small” software company that has recurring/subscription revenue of ~$700,000/year.
Mark Gastineu was a great NFL defensive end for the New York Jets. Some time in the 80’s, he started the NFL craze of over celebrating a tackle. In some ways it’s kind of entertaining, but ultimately I believe it sets a bad example (more on that in a moment). At this point in time (20 years into the 2000’s), it’s gotten out of hand in the NFL. We now see players over celebrating a tackle even when their team is losing! I also understand that the Madden football video games had a big affect on current players, too. They grew up watching the video game characters over celebrate, and now they are modeling that behavior.
I believe it sets a bad example, because it models incorrect behavior in terms of competition, struggling, and perseverance. Long term success takes years, not one day or one moment. Yes, professional football players have put years into being where they are, but on that day, the “success” goal is to win a football game, and to win multiple games over a season, and win in the playoffs, and eventually win a championship. The goal is not to make one good play.
I am all for setting big goals, but goals should not be impossible. Furthermore, you can be a big success with small goals. Let me give you some examples…
You don’t have to have the success of Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) to be considered a success in investing.
You don’t have to have the success of Bill Gates (Microsoft) to be considered a successful software entrepreneur.
You don’t have the success of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) to be considered successful as an app maker.
You don’t have to own as much land as Ted Turner (he also created CNN/TNT/TBS) to be considered a success in real estate.
You don’t have to sell as many books or have as many podcast downloads as Tim Ferris to be considered successful in media.
Let me say from the beginning, before the PC police show up, by “beat most people”, I’m not wishing any ill-will towards others. But if you don’t think life is a competition… you’re losing.
Life is very hard, unless you figure out a way early on to be very strategic with your goals. You won’t be able to map out a perfect strategy in your 20’s… or really at any age “perfect” is probably not attainable, but you should try. Don’t wander through life waiting for things to happen to you; work towards making them happen for you.
I wish everyone could be successful in some way. Most are not willing to put in the work necessary to be successful, though. And if your definition of success is a 9-5 job until you’re 70, 5-10 years of retirement, and then you die… then I wish you well. I’m not here to change your definition of success.
As a child growing up in the country, and I mean way in the country, I lived at the end of a mile long dirt road. “Randy Road” was the name of this dirt road. Being it was a dirt/gravel road, it required monthly (maybe even bi-weekly — I can’t remember it’s been so long ago) maintenance to keep it flat, smooth, and drive-able. The maintenance was performed by an older man driving a large road grader (slightly smaller than the one pictured). Without the maintenance, the road would develop deep holes and bumps due to rain.
As a small boy, as you can imagine, this road grader was larger-than-life. Enormous. It had to move kind of slow to do a good job flattening the road. With it’s rumbling and roaring engine and grading of the road, I could hear it coming when it got to within a quarter to half a mile away. I would sprint down our driveway to watch the big machine go by our house (actually it was a trailer/mobile home).
I blog about money, financial independence (FIRE), life, and entrepreneurship. I got rich slowly (over 20+ years) with a niche software business. I also failed at a number of other things (and mild success with a few others). I share what I did right along the way, and a lot of what I did wrong, with a goal to encourage you think differently about life and money.