As I locked up the office and walked to my car, I was frustrated to notice that it was nearly midnight. I had been working all day because I was worried that if I didn’t, my boss would fire me.
Hours earlier, I sensed his frustration as he complained about his numbers looking bad because he had to take the time to train me. I felt threatened when he mentioned upper-level managers who were “aware of my situation.”
I heard him express that they all needed to see rapid and dramatic improvement, or there would be consequences. Feeling like I had no other choice, I worked the entire evening and didn’t even bill some of the hours so that I wouldn’t hurt my manager’s numbers further.
What was I to do with a wife and two kids to feed?
That was almost a year ago. Today, I am a business owner. I get to work where and when I choose. My co-workers, clients, and mentors are some of the wisest and kindest people I know. It is a joy to work with them.
My side income has grown over 10x since that day. With new opportunities, I have replaced the income that previous job provided. In the next few months my total income will likely be double.
And it all started with a mindset shift that I had while reading.
Your level of income is proportional to how much you read.
A few months before this harrowing experience at work, my wife and I read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. We were impressed with the principles of budgeting and avoiding debt that Ramsey made so clear.
I felt that something was missing from what he wrote, though.
Around the same time, I listened to Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki, which explains how true financial freedom comes from being self-employed. Kiyosaki is also wise and experienced when it comes to money, and gives a lot of great tips on how to get rich.
For a while, it seemed like I was listening to two differing views on money.
- Credit-card cutting Ramsey says to avoid debt at all costs, while Kiyosaki tells you that leveraging debt can be one of your greatest assets.
- “Make your money work for you” is one of Kiyosaki’s staples of financial freedom, while Ramsey hammers home the idea of budgeting wisely and snowballing your way out of debt.
- It seems like Ramsey has no advice on the “how” part of getting rich, while Kiyosaki’s methods seem a tad too risky to work for most of us.
After months of thinking on both of these ideas, while at the same time working our way out of debt and building a side income that now pays the bills, it finally dawned on me what I was missing.
Neither Kiyosaki nor Ramsey alone, have all the keys of financial freedom and wealth.
If you followed either one religiously, you would end up not getting rich or taking too many risks that might cripple you financially.
So, I combined their ideas into a way of finding financial freedom that works best for me, and it’s worked wonders.
We followed the principles in The Total Money Makeover to “snowball” our way out of debt. We took our smallest debts and paid those off quickly, then put those payments towards the larger debts and repeated until we were free of our most substantial debts.
At the same time, almost unknowingly, we were also following Kiyosaki’s advice from Rich Dad, Poor Dad, to build a side hustle and grow it. Our initial goal was to make an additional $250 of income to help us buy a house sooner, but we quickly reached over 10x that amount.
When I lost my job just three months ago, we were mostly debt free and living lean as Ramsey taught us, but also working hard to build wealth just as Kiyosaki helped us learn.
We didn’t even qualify for unemployment benefits because the money never stopped coming in.
While I appreciate the methods of both Kiyosaki and Ramsey, I still listen to others advice about money, and I never stop learning.
No principle or author can stand alone; there are always helpful ideas from others. Sometimes it’s what another money-wise person says that makes what these two say work even better.
And therein lies the secret — if you want to keep increasing your income, all you have to do is keep reading.
If I’ve nearly doubled my income in under a year, what can reading do for your financial situation?