My father always told me that you can’t get rich by working for other people. For many years, those words meant very little to me. I always wanted to work for someone else; I had no interest in being a business person. Dad was a business person who had enjoyed success; he knew that the best way to get rich was to work for yourself, but he also spent a part of his life working for someone else.
I think the first mistake we make when someone says; “you can’t get rich . . . [dot, dot, and dot]” is by having the thought, “well, I don’t want to get rich anyway. I just want to have a comfortable life.” Of course, a comfortable life is very relative and highly subjective. Many of us find that this “comfortable life” is attainable but limited. Most average income earners try to live within a budget and don’t usually have very much left for over “extras”. Some people live paycheque-to-paycheque or go into debt to enjoy some “extras”. Extras are not even necessarily things we want but don’t really need; sometimes extras are important things like allowing your children to play and fully enjoy the sports and activities they love, or getting further education for yourself, or being able to afford to visit loved ones who live far away.
It took many years for me to understand what my father meant when he repeated that old saying time and again. I believe he meant that as long as you work for someone else it doesn’t matter how many hours you work or how excellent the quality of your work, your income will be a set rate and that rate will not change relative to how hard you work, how many bright ideas you bring to the organization, how much initiative you show, or how many hours you spend working. Regardless of any of this, your income alone will never amount to financial wealth. I finally understood that the only way I could create more income, ultimately wealth, was by using my own ideas, my initiative, and my hard work, and putting these toward something that offers people benefits and is marketable. It is clear to me that it’s only when you find a way to take charge of your income that your income can become limitless, however lofty that may seem to you.
Please don’t be confused by the use of the word limitless [income] – it simply means that the amount of money you earn is not salaried or waged; that is to say that when you do not work for someone else your income is unrestricted. You create your income as you go and it’s based on the amount of work you put in and the roads you choose to follow.Now I want you to begin to think about all the things you know how to do, all the things you’d like to learn about, and all the experiences you’ve lived to date, and I’d like you to know that some of those things, maybe many of those things are things that if you wanted to offer to people as a service you would find yourself earning money from due to your knowledge and from your service.
Many, many people from restaurateurs to tradespeople to artists decide to become entrepreneurs because they want to control every aspect their work life – their hours, their vacation schedule, and their income. Now perhaps at this point there’s a little voice inside your head telling you that many entrepreneurs aren’t successful and their business ventures fail or they don’t achieve long-term success. In answer to that little voice I want you to think about this: “success requires a very specific plan and very deliberate and consistent action.” There is a road to success and it must be followed. Sometimes people fail because they stop trying; failure is required in order to succeed. A large part of learning what to do right is learning, through failure, what to do wrong. Many restaurateurs, tradespeople and artists toiled for years before being able to choose their hours and enjoy a solid income and they each did it because they knew that eventually they would achieve the success and the freedom they desired. Each of us has to decide whether we will work tirelessly for someone else for 25 years for fixed wages, or tirelessly for ourselves for as long as it takes to gain an unlimited income.