Updated: Nov 24, 2020
I think we have all had a thought that if we can just find the right business or the right hack we can get rich quick. I remember in high school purchasing a book titled something like “The lazy man's way to riches”. Ha! So maybe now you heard about real estate and might be having some thoughts like “this is it!” just what I’ve been looking for, the get rich quick program! Of course these TV shows about house flipping feed right into this idea. “We purchased this home for $200K, put in a light rehab of $30K and sold it for $325K!” Yeah, that sounds good but they don’t tell you about the times they lost money. They also don’t show you their tax return when they pay the top tax rate on the short-term gain on sale. Busting down a kitchen wall with a sledge hammer does look like fun though…….
I finally have figured out that there’s probably no quick and easy way to get rich. Sorry to break it to you, but if you haven’t figured it out yet I’ve just saved you a lot of disappointment.
So that’s out, but what about getting rich slowly? Now that’s a horse of a different color as the saying goes. Getting rich slow is pretty simple and only requires consistent action and patience. You can get rich with periodic stock purchases and an average return, it’s just a matter of time. Buy a S&P index fund, like Warren Buffett recommends, contribute a few hundred dollars per month and get a 7% - 8% return and you will get there, no big mystery. A $700 per month contribution for 30 years at 8% return will get you to $1,050,206.
Want to get rich faster than that? I know I do, that’s way too long. So, we want to find a place between a get rich quick unicorn and a very slow slog of mediocrity. What’s that middle way look like?
I think that middle path looks like working a regular job and also working a side hustle until that side business can grow large enough to take the place of the regular job. So, it’s a lot of work with early mornings and late nights if it’s going to be successful. A business doesn’t grow by itself, it takes a lot of effort. I like to think of it as, if I can dedicate one hour per day to my side hustle, that’s 365 hours per year. (yes, I like to add things up) That’s the equivalent of about 9 regular work weeks per year for the side business. That’s a pretty significant amount of time and a lot can be accomplished in that amount of focused, serious time. If we can make it two hours per day, now we’re talking 18 work weeks per year. Working on a business in the evenings sounds good on paper, but it can be difficult to accomplish. It’s hard to be consistently hammering out the work day after day.
Watch your mind and the thoughts that come up. You have to understand that your mind is out to sabotage your efforts at every moment. It sounds crazy, but it’s “you vs. you”. When you are trying to be an entrepreneur your mind sees it as risky and dangerous and will try and trip you up. Once I caught on to myself it became obvious what was happening. Now when I sit down to work I notice all sorts of other totally legit work projects start to come up for me. You know, safe work where no one gets hurt or offended. Like cutting the grass. Many of us would rather work for an hour on yard work in the hot sun than sit at a computer and compose a blog post to improve their business. Or make a cold call to a prospective home seller. You know, the weather is beautiful and you should take a walk now, it’s good for your health! You can make that cold call later. Much later, after you mop the kitchen floor. Later. That’s where my mind goes.
Success requires focus and consistent effort. Keep your mind in check and keep plugging away. Now that I recognize those distracting thoughts I can prepare for them. I put the business first and everything else goes to the back of the line. It’s a matter of priorities and a dogged determination to keep the schedule that you set for your business.
May you reach your goals and continue to make new ones.