I believe one of the keys to building wealth and having success in life (and not just financial) are the choices we make. I think some of the most important are around patience, frugality, and also making sacrifices. All three of these can not only lead to financial success, but also lead to success in business, our personal lives, and other aspects of life too. Patience, frugality, sacrifice, deciding to invest in your family’s future, and taking responsibility for the consequences of those actions.
At its essence, money (and success at anything in life) is the measure of your choices. Work ethic refers to our willingness to invest in the future, both you own and your families, by employing patience, frugality and sacrifice.
They are 3 simple words…patience, frugality, and sacrifice. But they are so important. Think about them in the context of saving and investing.
First, patience. No goals are hit overnight. They take time. If you want to build a successful business, you need to work your butt off, discipline yourself, be focused, but also show patience as it takes time, effort, and there will be setbacks. They grow and evolve.
Patience also comes to building wealth. It is very, very rare (impossible?) to get rich overnight from investing. You need to save, invest, sacrifice, and have patience to watch your money grow and work for you over the years. This is a choice you need to make every day…be patient.
There are always the bubbles, like the latest being bitcoin, and for those who think they will build money overnight they are mostly going to lose money from these bubbles. I remember telling this to someone last December when they asked me, and I said Bitcoin is a quasi-scam, bubble, has no intrinsic value. And I see Bitcoin is down about 70% this year.
Patience is also critical to relationships, friendships, and everything else. Too many people react without thinking, are short sighted, and harm themselves/are self-destructive, and one big issue is lack of patience. They want something in their lives instantly and are not willing to work or wait for it. Setbacks happen in all aspects of life, both work, personal, relationships, and everything. It is how you respond to them that matter the most. No business is built overnight or in a short period of time.
Frugality, or living within means, is also important in all aspects of life. You need to live within means so you can save money for retirement; save money to invest; keep your business profitable; stay out of debt; and many other reasons. Americans are terrible at all those things as the data shows. You need to make a choice every day as to how to spend your money.
You can decide to go buy a new “material” item that makes you maybe happy for a day(s). Then you want someone else to get that “high” once that feeling dissipates, so you buy something else new. Those are choices people make, and they are short sighted. Living frugality to save and invest is one of the main traits of people who came from nothing to be millionaires. It is a choice to invest (at least at first until you build wealth) until you hit those financial goals.
Frugality, or living within means and smartly, is also important in personal relationships. Financial disagreement(s) are one of the main reasons couples fight. How many people divorce due to money issues? How many people are selfish, do not tip servers enough, do not give back to the less fortunate, etc. Living within means, staying humble, and giving back can all be done when living frugality.
Sacrifice, another simple but complex word. So many people want the quick dollar. They want instant gratification or a business to launch, but they are not willing to make the sacrifice. It takes tremendous disciple and commitment to launch a business or to be successful at anything…investment, sports, singing, writing, anything. Or maybe you want that new, short term high from a drug, from a few dollars of quick money, or something else. Then it starts a cycle of wanting that “high” again and again, leading to more risky behavior.
People see a successful singer and they say, oh, I can do that. But most work around the clock…which most Americans do not know. They see someone who launched a business and they say “I can do that”. But they do not know the sacrifices that person made in working 80 hours a week for month to launch that business. They see someone who is in the top 1%, and often say “they had it easy”, but they do not see the years of 7 day per week work, investing, giving up many aspects of their life to make that happen.
Sacrifice…I can’t tell you how many times I would have liked to take a trip on a weekend or buy some new video game when I was younger. But I sacrificed that, and made the choice that instead of buying a new game I invested the money in stocks.
I cant tell you how many times I made sacrifices, needed to be patient, and made a decision to live financially under my means when I was younger. Instead of going away in my 20s or the weekend I worked 30 hours that weekend on my business. Instead of laying in a warm bed I got up and worked. Instead of buying something on a credit card, and running up debt, I worked for it. They were choices and sacrifices I made. I can’t tell you how many times I slept on 3 hours of sleep, awoke at 3am to work on my business, watch the European stock markets open so I could get an edge on investing, and so many other sacrifices I made. Even to the point of my body given out on me from exhaustion/panic attacks. They were choices, sacrifices, and decisions to live below my means.
Instead of rushing the building of a business, I slowly and methodically built it out, studied to be an experts, and took critical steps needed. Instead of going for the quick buck, I decided to be patient and build assets over time. I made countless choices of patience, frugality, and made tons of sacrifices to get where I am. No one gave me a thing.
It is possible to go on and on about these topics with countless examples. But what it comes down to is life is made up to choices, and patience, frugality, and sacrifice are the three of the big ones. No matter what choices you make, those are also consequences for the ones you decide.