Where’s My Money

Moving to college has been a ridiculous adventure that is just as amazing as I imagined and more stressful than I could have ever imagined. Between jumping feet first in to school again after graduating high school over two years ago, dealing with roommates three of which are Koreans and all the joys that come with that, trying to find time to date with absolutely no avail, and work, I am burning out quickly. Each semester is only four months but I worry I won’t make it another week. Such is the life of a college student. I have accepted this life. Heck, I am paying nine grand a year to live it. This is my choice. But something is wrong. I know college kids are broke. And if I wanted to do it again, I could throw a startup business again but I don’t know if I would have the time to run it. So I wimped out and got a job. Stemmed easy. I clocked in and clocked out. Got a pay check every other week, no hassle. Except for one problem. The money isn’t enough. I’m pulling in $800 a month, with $400 of bills, next semester to pay for, my grandfather to pay back for my car, and Christmas rapidly approaching. It’s not going to work. I asked for more days, but that still means seventy miles of travel each day I work. In a college town, you can imagine how hard it is to find a job. Most of my work experience have been startups and family businesses, so my resume is a little bare. Bosses don’t like recognizing employees who obviously have more work experience then they do, and believe me mine especially hate it. However this is not about my unpleasant job, this is about work and money in general. I see money differently than other people. To me, money is just a limit. How much money I have limits me on what I can do and how I can help people. As long as I’m not going to starve, if you need money and I have, I will give it to you. I believe because of that, I’ve never had to hungry. But I know how to make money. I make sure I’m always aware of the biggest money-making opportunities around me. It’s mostly laziness that keeps me from doing what needs to be done. Making a lot of money is never as easy as they make it look. Even robbing a bank is a lot of hard work. But now I’ve lost my choice. I can’t afford to be lazy anymore. If my current job that I hate can’t afford my bills, and there isn’t any work out there, it’s time for me to dust off my work boots and create my own job.

I chose a major that will not make a lot of money. Money isn’t my goal, my family is. And while it’s not here yet, the tax man still wants his paycheck, so I have to find money. Money problems don’t ever go away. You go ask Bill Gates or Elan Mosqu if they have money problems. The problems just change. They still have to pay taxes, they still have a house and utilities. They still eat, get sick, have medical bills. But they too decoded they couldn’t afford to work for someone else. Not only that, they probably hated where they worked too. Do you? Do you like having a boss? Fighting for PTO? Is your paycheck enough right now that you have no debt? What about retirement? Even if you could retire in the next twenty years, what would your lifestyle be like? Could you travel the world? Could you go visit your grandchildren for Christmas every year, regardless of how far away they were? If you died right now, could your family afford to put in a box in the ground? Because I’ll tell you right now I can’t afford a shovel to dog my own grave. How sick is that? The average person lives to be 85 years old. 85. Most people don’t finish college until they’re about 26 or so. Let’s say you retire at the now fairytale age of 65. That’s how many years that you have to work? That’s 38, 39 years. For 39 years, you are waking up and doing the same thing day after day after day. For what? To pay your credit card bill? To pay off student loans just so you could work for 39 years and have nothing but stories to show for it? Just because the guy in front of you did it his whole life doesn’t mean you have to. You can choose to be different. You can choose to make as much money as you want. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs used to be mortal enemies. The creator of the biggest technology company in the world had no college education. He took one class, calligraphy. And no it wasn’t Bill Gates. These guys, they didn’t inherit some fortune. They didn’t make there millions in some office on Wall Street or Capitol Hill. In fact one of them made theirs in a garage. They guy that invented Kevlar, he sold his first vests out of the trunk of his car. And a 12-yr old boy talked five investors into giving him $400 each and with a return of 10%, he started his own company mowing yards. His secede lawnmower costs $1,8000 and he bought it at 14. His company pulled in over $6,000 a year. For a kid, that’s quite a bit. That company lasted until age 18, when he moved onto bigger and better things. His parents weren’t money geniuses. He grew up in a house with only one bathroom in it. At times he was even a bank to his parents, interest free of course. But now he’s only making $800 a month. He hates his job. He dreads coming home from school and having to drive 35 miles that costs $5 in gas only to bring home $60 a day, three days a week. Let me tell you folks, if you spend 39 years getting up every day to do something you hate, that’s your fault, no one else’s. So what’s the secret to being rich? Stop worshiping money. See it as a limit, not as title. See it as a limit then break that limit. Move so far past it that you forget where it is. That’s what limits are for, to break. Set goals for yourself. Instead of just ago all to save $2,000 a year, set another goal and say next year I’m going to make $2,000 more than I did this year. When you have the goal and you truly want to break that limit, you will find a way to make it happen. The opportunities to make money are all around us. Every day, somebody you know needs something. And guess what, they’re going to need it again next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. Somebody has a problem they are willing to pay you to fix. And if you don’t fix it somebody else will. Poor is not a state of being it USA state of mind. I may be broke, but I am not poor. Poor means you’ve given up. Poor means you’ve excepted where you are. And guess what, they’re right. The rich do get richer and the poor do get poorer. You choose to be poor, and once you choose to be poor today, it’s going to be that much easier to be poor to row and the next day and the next day. And it will not stop until you change. I wish I could say being rich was the same way, but it’s not. Money is not a flat stretch, it’s a hill. It will always be easy to go down, but it will never be easy to go up. You decide how far you go. Regardless how much money you have, that doesn’t affect where you are on that hill. That hill is not a number, it’s your thoughts. It’s your drive to keep going. To keep pushing that limit.

Life is too short to be poor. It’s also to short to do something you hate. But it is never to short to work for what you want. If you get to the end of your life and you still do not have a penny to your name, I guarantee you will feel so much better knowing you kept pushing. But guess what, that won’t happen. That pushing pays off, both figuratively and literally. The only limit you will ever have when it comes to anything in your life is your imagination. Dream it, work for it, it will be yours. I guarantee it. That work also means knowledge. Become money smart. Those opportunities will become transparent when you learn how to see them. But first it takes will, it takes drive. Make the decision to be rich.