Okay, it’s not you that’s screwed. After all, you’re reading this blog, and probably many others. And, hopefully you’re implementing the ideas you read about. But most people are screwed. Let me tell you a story to illustrate why.
For those of you who haven’t bothered to read the nice little bio dealie at the bottom of my posts, I’m a salesman for a major snack food company. My job consists of driving a big truck around filled with the snack in question and selling product into both grocery stores and convenience stores.
One of my customers runs a small convenience store. This store isn’t very impressive, but it does a reasonable amount of business. Every single time I show up at this store, the owner is working. Recently I was bugging him about working too much. His response was that he worked every day. His store is open 14 hours a day and between him and his wife, one of them is there all the time. He usually works at least 10 hours a day, each and every day.
He has no hobbies. He goes home, eats, relaxes for an hour or so and then goes to bed. Then he gets up the next day and repeats the process. He lives frugally, in a house that’s been fully paid off for years. Although I don’t know any exact numbers, I suspect his business is pretty profitable. After all, he doesn’t have any employees to pay.
How Hard Are You Working?
This shopkeeper isn’t alone. There are thousands of other people, in all sorts of other industries, who are working just as hard.
Meanwhile, let’s compare my store owner friend to some of the people you or I know. And because people like to hate on teachers, let’s look at some of them as examples. (Relax teachers, I still love you.)
Teachers get over 2 months off, thanks to summer holidays and various breaks. They get every single weekend off, and are generally away from school by 4:30 in the afternoon. I know a few teachers, and guess how many of them of them are working on some sort of sideline business in their spare time? If you guessed less than 1, you’d be very warm.
I’m picking on teachers here, somewhat unfairly. There are all sorts of people who have spare time and fail to do something productive with it. And naturally, they’re filled with all sorts of excuses. They work hard, they deserve time off. They make enough to be comfortable, so why bother doing anything extra? Or, which has to be my favourite argument, they make $25 an hour at their day job, so it would be pointless to work at something else making $15 an hour.
All these are is excuses. It’s time for action.
What Are You Waiting For?
If you’re one of those people who’s just putting in their 40 hours a week, you need a wake up call.
You have one of two options. You can either work your tail off at work, or start a side hustle. And, unless you’re a commissioned salesperson, I’d strongly urge you to put your efforts into a side hustle. In most situations, the only person you’re benefiting by working extra hard at work is the owner. Sure, you could get that promotion, but often more goes into that decision than just work ethic.
You’ll hear a lot of talk about frugality, especially in certain corners of the personal finance blogosphere. I’m not going to argue with frugality, since I’m generally a pretty frugal guy. My 27 inch TV from 10 years ago isn’t drawing a lot of compliments, but it works fine. I spend about $10 a year on alcoholic beverages. I can go on, but you get the point that I’m not anti-frugality.
Well, except for toilet paper. I buy the good toilet paper.
While frugality is a smart strategy, it has its limits. You can only cut so much. Meanwhile, extra income is only limited to the amount of time you’re able to put in. And, as you start to invest that extra income, it’ll compound over time. Compound interest is pretty outstanding.
As they say, the opportunities are endless. I don’t care what your skill set is, you’ve got some skill that people are willing to exchange money for. Every night you spend sitting around and watching TV is a night wasted. And you better get started soon, because there are some people who are working much harder than you. They’ll have the money, and you’ll be wondering what happened. Don’t let that happen to you.