Getting old may be the opportune time to achieve your dreams. My biggest motivator is getting older and aiming for a fantastic quality of life.
Hindsight is always 20/20 when it comes to “what might have been” in terms of wealth and achieving success. While it’s impossible to go back in time and mend our poor choices, it’s never too late to start living for the possibility of wealth and success today.
Until I turned 35 it never dawned on me I would ever be obsessed with money. The prospect of becoming poor in old age should catapult people out of their recliners and start being obsessed with living LIFE.
If I could go back in time and tell my younger self what I know today about wealth and success, here’s what I would say:
I. Start achieving wealth and success ASAP
People like me who were raised in an average household by average (and neglectful) parents have never learned to shadow or mimic a successful person’s mindset and creative pursuits.
Success breeds success. Successful people tend to raise their children to be successful.
The opposite is also true. Loser parents tend to raise their children to be losers.
I discovered this when I encountered the youngest successful entrepreneur I’ve ever known. He was 14 years old. He was a freshman in high school and already had several online businesses.
I met him at a conference with his energetic, pint-sized mother in tow. I was taken by surprise at how determined this “fastidious, fixated mommy” was to see her son become a very bright young entrepreneur.
It hit me like a stack of bricks that my loser parents would have never supported me as a high school kid slash superstar entrepreneur. I was very envious of this cool young cad and his relationship with his even cooler mom.
Where most middle class parents would discourage their young children from pursuing starting a business, this kid’s mom devoted all her time to nourishing her child’s creative drive and spirit. She was involved in every aspect his life and his countless creative endeavors.
My parents were never involved in my life. And it stung a bit seeing this young man and his mother celebrate his success.
It’s never too early to start.
And it’s never too late to begin.
And it’s never wrong to encourage the people you love to pursue their dreams.
Cast out all your excuses, crack that whip and begin that awesome journey. While it’s possible at any age, the sooner you start living that good life the better.
II. Stop caring about what the middle class is doing
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but:
“Wanna watch the game, broski? How ’bout we guzzle some
broskis I mean brewskis and get blowned?”
“ZOMG let’s go shopppppingggg. I need the latest Kim K. butt bra and the 5-minute fake it ’til you make it nose job contour palette!”
You’ll notice this is the extent of your relationships with your middle class friends–being a passive consumer is the limit to your commonality and mutual bonding.
Middle class people spend their lives passively consuming and idolizing all the cheap crap that wealthy people like Kim K. produce for them. And they will never deviate from it nor even question it.
American Idol and Taco Bell are the sacred altars upon which middle class people worship.
If you devote your life to consuming I promise you will always remain middle class. And broke.
III. Creativity matters more than passivity
All the wealthy people on Instagram and in your, like, fave dope ass Top 40 bubblegum-twerk music videos all have one thing in common–the fierce, unrelenting resolve to spend every waking moment of their lives creating and producing for their hordes of passive consumers.
There is no monopoly on creativity–new creative types burst onto the scene with the freshest ideas, products and trends that passive consumers swallow up to the tune of billions of dollars in profit each year.
I’ve been a lifelong creator. At a young age I was always drawing, painting, writing poems, creating plots and concocting short stories (I loved writing erotica in my former life). I also enjoyed making my own jewelry.
My parents showed animosity towards the poems I’d written. After, they never read any of my other work much less bothered caring about any of my other creative pursuits.
For decades that brutal neglect made me believe nothing I created would ever matter to anyone.
No idea, poem, love story or exciting new book would ever be read by one single person, let along the masses.
For a long time I stopped creating. Worse, I stopped caring altogether about creating.
But soon when I could no longer ignore nor quell my urge to create, I wrote. With every blog post I began to forge a loyal following of fans who adored my work, who bought my books, who loved my ideas.
Don’t ever lose sight of your creative passions. Create all you can possibly create and share it with the world. People want it and NEED it.
IV. Plan on getting old sooner than you think
Entire decades will pass in a blink.
Looks and sex appeal will vanish.
That all-night stamina is non-existent.
Brains and their circuitry begin to fog.
Memories start to get fuzzy.
The body becomes more frail instead of sturdy and robust.
And people won’t treat you with as much care and concern as they did when you were a chipper 30-something who had the world in the palm of his hand.
American society is very cruel and dismissive toward its older generations. Ideas, opportunities and dreams begin to dry up quicker than a set of severed ovaries laying on an operating table.
Getting old happens fast. And 40 is when you begin to see the mortality marching up and down your own flesh.
You can’t afford to sit around and wait until the day you become invisible and irrelevant.
If you are young, seize life by the balls and make your dreams a reality. Because I promise you soon enough your physical state won’t permit you to be as crazy and carefree as you were in your youth.
V. Don’t listen to the unsuccessful people around you who don’t know anything about money
Every duderino insists he’s a breakthrough combination of Ghandi and Yoda bleating the common mistakes average people make when it comes to achieving success and financial independence:
- Go to college and pursue an unaffordable and totally worthless degree
- Spend your entire career at a “high paying” corporate job with a 401k and zero job security
- Put off having a family and children until “you can afford it”
- SAVE, SAVE, SAVE what little pennies you can spare
- Aim for lifelong temporary security instead of planning and taking calculated risks and achieving a very comfortable standard of living later on in life
What average people won’t tell you is average people who follow this advice spend the better part of their lives being disgusted with their finances. Especially in old age when they need money the most.
I’m not saying college isn’t a good idea. But it’s a bad idea for people who can’t afford it and aren’t smart enough academically to benefit by it.
I’m not saying your corporate job is worthless. But it’s essentially worthless to people who may be far better suited for successful entrepreneurship.
Saving isn’t a bad idea either. But it’s a bad idea when you don’t do anything financially brilliant with the money you do save.
How do you know whether you should pursue a corporate career or entrepreneurship?
When you decide that being broke is no longer acceptable to you. That’s when.
As a bonus, life continues to get better
Life continues to get better in my forties and beyond because I’m no longer struggling with money.
Not many average 40-something year olds can say the same.
The real harsh truth is, when you’re old you need money more than you need oxygen to breathe.
You can “get by” when you’re young. Until the day you wake up and realize money isn’t going to magically take care of itself.
What I never had as a young person is what I’m armed with now–my children are grown and out of the house and I have all the time, energy and creativity in the world. I’m in the prime of my life and I’m able to sit back and truly enjoy making money.
If you’re young, never ever be afraid to discover new places, meet new people and experience the untried and unknown. The world is a big place. Don’t delay. Go out and take what’s yours.
Life isn’t gonna get better sitting on the couch.
It’s quite the opposite.
Life gets better when there’s nothing but taillights in your rearview.