A socialist, a capitalist and an entrepreneur walk into a bar for a drink. The socialist asks for one round of the same drink for all, probably a shot of Jameson or whisky. Once they’re finished, he leaves for the night. The bartender interjects, “There’s no incentive for him to drink more, which is why he left quickly and un-motivated”.
The capitalist and entrepreneur wrap up their engagement and discussions for the night after polishing off a few more beers.
The capitalist asks the entrepreneur, “What’s your next move?” The entrepreneur replies, “I’m going to take the financial road less traveled by, I promise that will make all of the difference for me.” He proceeds to stay up into the early hours of the morning energetic and eager-to-succeed.
Robert Frost’s 1916 poem The Road Not Taken is symbolic to my attitude and mindset surrounding money and financial advice today. In addition to that, as I re-read Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad for the third time in October 2018, it too has molded my mind upon who to listen to, and who not to listen to, when the subject and education of money arises.
In a socialist or communist country, I’m positive these subjects are taboo for the majority of people to discuss. Even here in America, our beautiful capitalist country, people still stress out about money and finances when they come up in discussion. Why is that?
Here we are in 2018 (soon to be 2019), and still, too many individuals don’t see any room for improvement in their lives when it comes down to money, so they don’t even bother making more or increasing their value to the marketplace. And yet we live in an entrepreneur’s swimming pool and utopia!
No country on the planet has produced more rags-to-riches success stories. Nowhere in the universe will you find it simpler to start and grow a successful business. Shoot, most business today you can start for less than the price of the new iPhone X. So why are so many people willing to settle for mediocrity?
“Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” — Howard Schultz
Well, for one, most of us were taught to be average from the start. Most of us (myself included) also learned about money from our parents. Nothing against that because I love my parents to death, however, my financial programming and mindset wasn’t nearly as polished back then as it is today, or could have been from the start.
Don’t get it twisted, we did have money growing up and I’m grateful for what they sacrificed for me to put food on the table, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, and never having to struggle or miss putting a meal in front of me as an only child.
There merely wasn’t a fruitful abundance (much left over) or discretionary income after the bills were paid, mortgage was taken care of, other expenses paid, and savings stocked away. That’s probably the same for 80 — 90% of Americans. But I always saw myself and things differently. To this day, I still do because of my experiences in life and what I’ve been exposed to from a wealth and monetary standpoint from others’ success stories domestically and globally.
It begins at any early age for most people when we were trained to conform to the standards of society, to adopt to the rule-book and not make any gigantic waves. Who else (I cannot be the only one) by the time we became teenagers, or went off to college, felt the need to “rebel” which really meant not be like our parents or subject ourselves to their same lifestyles. Most people just want to “fit in” — to be like everyone else.
I don’t know about you but I wasn’t put on this Earth to be average. A big fear of mine has always been never becoming my own and best version of myself. Don’t be like most who figure this out far too late in life, or live the end of their life with regret because they didn’t get to do in life what they truly wanted to or were passionate about.
“For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.” — Tim Ferriss
What I’m getting at is that mediocrity is safe. Being average means you never have to face risk or challenges. You just sort of exist, go with the flow mentality, put in your time at work and let the matrix deplete you like a disposable holiday toy. Here’s the truth: Mediocrity breeds a false sense of hope and comfort, and nothing good ever came in anyone’s comfort zones. It’s dangerous because it keeps us all in a rut or stuck on a treadmill.
When money is brought back into the picture, most people believe, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” So why is it that an even smaller percentage would say, “The lack of money is the root of all evil.” Coincidentally, I believe it boils down to the main reasons why the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class struggle all their lives in debt because the subject of money is taught at home, not in schools or universities.
The old paradigm of, “Stay in school, study hard, get good grades, and do your best” only elevated my financial lid so far. Reflecting on what I know now (which still isn’t much in the grand scheme of things), I have a long way to go but my goal is that this post helped shed light on dark areas.
The entrepreneur has fears like every other man or woman. But he or she jumps into them, unafraid of the opinions of what other people think. Don’t demand the government do more for you or take care of you, guaranteeing that proves you’ll be in a rut much longer.
Reject the old models and paradigms because there are newer rules in place today. If you want more out of life (which I’m assuming you do if you have read this far), realize no one’s going to do it for you except yourself.
Like our entrepreneurial companions in Britain, Australia, and other parts of the globe, America is willing to risk comfort and safety for greater rewards in the long run. And for that I applaud all of you entrepreneurs out there.
Embrace capitalism. Embrace the journey. Embrace the struggle that will come. Embrace being a business owner. Embrace entrepreneurship. Embrace the personal and leadership development that’s needed to succeed. And keep repeating to yourself, and the right circle around you, “It will all be worth it.”
My Very Best,