The Go-Getter Series: A Guest post by Zach Strange
14 weeks from finishing up grad school…. check
14 months into blogging with thousands of hits…. check
1 month away from completing and publishing my first book…. check
6 vacation trips in the past two years…. check
If you look at these four accomplishments, would you consider that to be successful for someone in their early twenties? Yeah, probably.
Now, how about if I told you I was 41 years old, with a wife and two children and had recently begun to transition into a different part of my life? Would you still consider this success?
Or, would you begin questioning why a forty-year-old is still in college? Would you wonder to yourself, “What did this dude do for the first two decades of his adult life that kept him from taking off?
If you are asking yourself these question then let me supply you with the answers as well. It’s simple really. I worked. And, I worked. And, I worked a whole lot more.
As a matter of fact, I have only spent two months unemployed since I turned eighteen. And, what is there to show? Is there an accumulation of wealth? Not necessarily. Twenty plus years in the workforce should have at least built up a decent investment account of some kind right? Not really.
See, here’s the thing. When you work for someone else, there is a pretty hard ceiling on the amount of cash that you can earn. The limit is set at what your employer is willing to pay.
Now, it’s not all their fault that I don’t have more put back. I did a pretty fair job of creating debt in my twenties that my wife helped me dig my way out of. I have purchased a few items along the way that I probably did not need and there have been plenty of vacations that I definitely did need. And, I have spent the last ten years of my life working for non-profit organizations where the blessing of the job (and it is a tremendous blessing) is in the work done, not necessarily the pay.
However, one thing just kept ringing away in the back of my head… over and over again… for the last twenty years.
You’re not winning.
You’re creating wealth for someone else.
You have set your bar way too low.
Then, about a year and a half ago, it clicked. Nobody is going to change this for me. And, they will not change it for you either. The employers of the world are perfectly content to allow you to make far less than you’re worth. That is part of how they make money. It just makes sense. The more an employer pays their employee, the less they get to keep. This is not rocket science. But, it is something that the majority of society has bought into.
We are told that the moment we leave high school that we need to get a job. Part of this is fueled by generations who have gone before us who’s financial status was anchored to their 9 to 5 employment. They worked hard and they earned their pay. However, the world has changed. The possibility of making your own money, which has a much higher ceiling, truly is limitless. Yet, many people watch those possibilities pass them by.
You, my friend, are watching possibilities pass you by.
It is time to put an end to this cycle.
Yet, maybe you love your job. You know, I am not suggesting that the workforce is a bad place to be. There is a lot of security with corporate employment. You get a nice retirement package and excellent medical coverage. You can develop excellent working relationships with people that become friends over time. Opportunity to advance up with your company can put you in a strong position to create security for you and your family. These are not bad things.
But, what if you start feeling that itch to create something new?
You know what I am talking about. Maybe you have always wanted to write but never felt like you had the time. Perhaps, your dream is to travel the world but could never finance it or get the time off work. Maybe you have always dreamed of buying a little building on the corner of your downtown market district and running a business.
This is where my first comments become extremely relevant. If you are in your twenties and recently graduating college, the world is yours. What if you’re older? What if you are in your forties and have a family to support? It’s harder right? Hey, I am right there with you. but, guess what.
It’s never too late to start winning.