Do You Listen To People That Have Been Through It?
We seem to be so busy and consumed with our own lives that we don’t take the time to learn the lessons that others have been through.
“Through it”, what the heck does that mean?
Everyone has been at a point in their lives where they think they know everything. Unfortunately, as you join the millions of people that work everyday, you realize you don’t know as much as you think.
Susan has been around the block a few times and she chuckles at the mistakes she has made. “Its part of the growing process”, she said.
Susan attended a seminar a long time ago and she heard all the speakers talk, but she really wasn’t listening. That’s a huge hurdle for most people to overcome in this instant gratification world we live in now.
Susan began noticing a pattern occurring in her personal life and professional life. There were certain people that were making sacrifices to achieve long-term goals.
She wasn’t real interested in this pattern of behavior. She wanted to live for today. The future seemed so far away and she just never thought about her plans for tomorrow.
When she graduated from high school, Susan had no interest in going to college because it interfered with her social life and she wasn’t about to give that up.
She learned later on that this was a big mistake. She didn’t want to go to school because she didn’t want to pay for it on her own.
Eight years after struggling to find a decent job, she enrolled in community college, which ultimately led to a Bachelor’s degree.
She realized having a bachelor’s degree didn’t make her any smarter, but in order to make progress with your career, it’s a given.
It’s funny, Susan was always a party girl, but she never did anything about networking with other people in her industry. On several occasions when there were job cuts, Susan could not to turn to someone for help because she didn’t know anyone.
During one of her layoffs, Susan read how people were getting jobs by networking. Once she added this to her “to do” list, she felt more secure if there were to be any layoffs.
This was an easy thing for Susan. The fact that she was a self-proclaimed party girl, she knew how to make friends easily and she made it a point of it to apply it to her work.
Susan has always been a good-natured person, but she also got depressed a lot because of her financial situation.
Saving money was never in the cards for Susan because she never thought about things past tomorrow.
This sentiment began to change after a while. She saw some of her friends take on a more disciplined approach and they were reaping the benefits of not just living day to day.
This was one of these life lessons that can hit you pretty hard. Susan learned two valuable lessons from the mistakes she was making.
She began to pay herself 10% each paycheck. It was bloody murder in the beginning, but after a while she didn’t even notice it.
The second part of this equation was to save 20% of her income for investment purposes. This one hurt ten times worse than the 10% strategy.
Susan didn’t know anything about investing so asked her networking friends for broker recommendations. Ten years into this strategy, Susan’s portfolio is up 147%.
She is so proud of this accomplishment because it gives her a little breathing room and a little more financial security.
“Live within your means” also became her mantra. Those spontaneous trips to Cabo San Lucas and Las Vegas don’t happen any more if she can’t afford it.
She also buys cars that are three to four years old now. A car is not an investment, but she always thought she needed something to show off. This was one of the ways she started super-charging her savings and investment accounts.
Susan also learned that greed would get the best of you. She would get caught up in stories people told her about the money they made. She learned that most of these were lies, but it was easy to get caught up in.
She began interacting with people that were smarter than her too. She felt intimidated at first, but she became smarter as a result.
It’s never too easy change anything you don’t like about yourself. No one is perfect and Susan was glad she broadened her horizons.
What possibilities do you see for yourself? It may seem painful in the beginning, but you will be glad you jumped into the unknown.