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Progress | 19th of June

What if I told you everything you ever wanted was within your reach. Would you believe me? More importantly, would you do anything to make it your reality?

Wealth; everyone wants it- but not everyone gets it. Now, why is that? We are all told from day one “education is the key to success”. My parents always told me as a young child “you’re going to college”. They saw that as the way to achieve success. They were living proof of how hard my life could be if I didn’t go to college.

My dad was a business owner, who ended up closing his doors once Obama went into term the second time around. After that, with no degree or any real skill (what I mean by this has he had no modern business or tech skills- which in today’s world is essential. He didn’t even know how to use an iPhone). He was left to scavenge for whatever jobs he could find, competing with the younger generation. He ended up taking online college classes (at 50+yrs old) and graduated. Yes, he also finally got that iPhone too haha. Now he has a better career, & has finally arrived into this century- but starting over so late in life was beyond hard for him, and now he’s still just “working for the man” after all that. My mom has a steady 9-5, but as she gets older, her secure job is less and less secure. Just recently her boss offered her a retirement package 3 years before she’s able to collect on her 401k. Fortunately, they didn’t push her to take the package this year; but she doesn’t know what next year may demand. Then what? For two more years, she will have to also start over? Find another new job? She won’t retire two years early because they have bills that need to be paid like so many others. My mom did have a degree, but she graduated 30+ years ago. So now her degree isn’t relevant. This happens every day guys. As you get older- you are less valuable to “the man”, and if you aren’t educated- your chances are even slimmer.

I grew up watching them, & living their financial gains & struggles. I learned at a young age that I never wanted to struggle financially and that I also never wanted to live on someone else’s terms or conditions. So what did that leave me with? It drove me towards education. I graduated high school with honors, got myself a scholarship to college; graduated college with honors as well & was hired by the medical firm that I did my internship with. I felt like I “did it”. I accomplished higher education & was hired into a well paying career that I entirely earned on my own. But then what?
I was stuck at a structured job. I had structured hours. I couldn’t decide when I wanted to take off or use my vacation time- hell I couldn’t even use my medical benefits without limitations. Looking forward into my future; I realized that the pay rate I was making was pretty close to the “caps” limit that I would EVER make, all my life in that career field. This depressed me. I worked so hard to “cap out” so early in my career? Could I honestly be happy for the next 30/40 years of my potential career life just to possibly end up like my mom? Forced into an early retirement? The answer in short; no.
I hated waking up every morning. But what choice did I have? I had bills – not just a phone bill or grocery bill, but real life “I’m on my own in the real world, also supporting a child” bills. Those bills didn’t even include my new student loans. None of my friends understood this- as I was 21/22yrs old at this time, living on my own with my husband, while they were all living with their parents, the “life of luxury” as I called it. Back then, I thought “gee, it must be nice”.

Looking back, I was wrong, they were all being set up to fail. If I had taken the same path many people I know did, I wouldn’t be here. I’m financial, emotionally & physically independent today. My husband and I are able to support ourselves & our toddler with ease. This year, our 2015 brand new BMW will be paid off in full, among other financial achievements (that we never dreamed of accomplishing)- especially because we are so young; as I’m only 25 years old guys. I wouldn’t have been able to afford a BMW on the salary I made working for someone else. See that’s the thing; if you’re happy working for someone else & capping out with a salary, then by all means- that’s awesome! But is that something I was ever going to be happy with- no way. Why was my “boss” so special, that s/he gets to make whatever amount of money a year; while I’m stuck at a fixed income rate year in & out? Why can’t I have the dream house I want or the dream car I want? I didn’t think it was fair. We just decided we wanted to be the “boss”. Not only for the financial benefits; but for the freedom. How many of you ever see your CEO at your firm? If you work for BMW, have you ever met the owner? No. Why is that? Well, for one, he lives in Germany. Secondly, he doesn’t have to step foot anywhere he doesn’t want to because he’s built a sustainable company. But it doesn’t start out being what we see & know today. Every business owner gets their hands dirty in the beginning- and it honestly never really stops, you just get smarter and learn how to evolve your company.

Now- this doesn’t mean if you didn’t go to college, that you can’t have a great career, or be a business owner. But today- it’s so competitive & if you don’t have a degree, you’re more likely to be passed up in an interview & more likely to be fired or let go later on. It’s a fact that if you go to college, you’re more likely to have financial success. This fact isn’t just for those who want to work at a firm, but also for those who want to run their own. You may be into the arts- let’s say photography (as this is my career). But if you can’t run a business, you won’t have the tools you need to really grow. Word of mouth only goes so far. Now, you don’t have to go to college to learn how to run a business or figure out your accounting, or even the trade & stock market world (including how to invest). But if you don’t- it makes it that much harder to teach yourself through trial & error over the course of many MANY years – that honestly most people in business can’t afford to take the time to learn so, they give up. They decide to continue being at a stand-still, and eventually, end up getting that 9-5 or whatever work they can find because they give up trying to run their own business. Like I said; nothing in life worth having comes easy. It takes more than just talent to do anything. You can be the worlds greatest photographer, but if you don’t know how to run your social media like a business, or how to market yourself- you’ll never grow. All these things can be learned, but how badly do you want it? If you really REALLY want it, you’ll be successful eventually.

It’s crucial in this day & age (especially for the future), that you take advantage of everything you can, so you won’t have to end up like my dad, for example, 50+ yrs old & having to start over completely. Or end up like my mom, when age is against you & the company you have worked for all your life forces you into early retirement. If you’re on a fixed income retirement plan- how are you to be sure that this will even cover your expenses? Most of the time it doesn’t. My husband’s parents (adopted) are in their 70s, bartending or working at gas stations, doing janitorial work just to make ends meat. Now- there’s nothing wrong with any of this. But if you’re like me or my husband – this way of life isn’t going to cut it. We want SO much more. It’s our motivation & our curse.
Now, we are far from “successful” if you were to ask us our opinion about our status. To us, successful means we have our money working for us. We are able to financially support ourselves & our families, vacation anytime we want & own multiple properties. The list goes on. The end of this entry isn’t to say how “successful” we are. We are still on our journey towards success. We have come so far from our early days- but we also have a long way to go. All I know for sure; is that my husband & I won’t ever stop. We are always learning, evolving & creating. Even after college, we never stopped learning; taking online business & marketing classes, reading countless books, keeping up -to -date with googles rules & so on. The business we are in is constantly evolving, so we are too. When people decide they want wealth, but realize the journey towards it isn’t an easy one; most walk away. This is why the “1%” is 1%. But I’m here to tell you that being a part of that 1% isn’t impossible. You just have to change your way of thinking. Stop saying you “can’t” and start believing that you CAN & that you WILL. A little positivity goes a long way. The best investment you can ever make is in yourself.

Thank you for reading my latest blog post. Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast as well. On the podcast, my husband and I get into much more detail. We have fun & informative conversation & also bring on special guests. Don’t miss it!

If you want to leave a comment or any feedback, we would appreciate it! After all, I’m doing all of this for you guys. If you have any requests, questions or opinions- I want to know about them! Have an inspiring day!
-Erin

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