A humble low-income earning janitor became better off financially than a highly successful doctor. It happened…only in the Cashflow 101 game.
Last weekend, I had the great fortune to host another round of Rich Money Habits Cashflow Workshop. And I couldn’t have prepared myself for the suprise that I was about to witness — a janitor beating a doctor in the cashflow game. It happened. It really happened.
How did it happen? Simple. The janitor took advantage of the opportunities that came his way, even though he had little money to begin with. In the end, he got out of the rat race and achieved his dream. The doctor, on the other hand, was a little bit more careful and took his time investing in opportunities. While he was able to generate a lot of passive income, in the end, he wasn’t able to get out of the rat race.
Of course, it helped that the janitor only had minimal expenses, so he only needed a few extra passive income to get out of the rat race. But then again, he also did not let his meager paycheck affect his willingness to invest in income-producing assets. Even when the deal was “too big” for a janitor’s income, he still managed to face his fears and take advantage of the opportunity. In short, he invested in income-producing assets and when the market turned up, he sold those assets and got a hefty sum that allowed him to invest some more.
The doctor, on the other hand, wasn’t doing bad financially at all. In fact, he actually acquired more properties, earning him more passive income than the janitor. How many? A lot more, I would say.
Why then was he not able to get out of the rat race? Reason? He had a high expense. That high expense spelled the difference. Because of the high expense, he needed to do a lot more than the janitor. Whereas the janitor needed only 2 properties to get out of the rat race, the doctor was only half way to getting out after acquiring about 10 properties.
It appears a story like this happens only on fairy tales. A happy ending. A triumph of David vs Goliath. But the message is clear. It isn’t so much about how much money you make. It is also about how much you spend, and how you invest the difference so you can get out of the rat race faster.
Taking this important lesson to real-life, here are things you can do to help you get out of the rat race.
1) Take charge of your cashflow
As my good friend Jay Castillo mentioned in one of his popular articles, you should become the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of your own financial life. You have to treat yourself as a business enterprise. You have to look at your finances from an eye of a business tycoon. How much money is coming in (salary, side businesses, investment income, etc), how much money is going out (rent, food, car, starbucks, etc), and how you are going to invest the difference.
2) Take the right mindset
Having the right mindset will help you build the right money habits which will lay out a good foundation to your financial journey. It is not about getting rich quick by taking advantage of other people. Nor is it getting rich winning the lottery. It is not about getting rich being a crook, or a dishonest politician, or an evil-villain in movies or soap operas. It is about being rich with integrity and honesty by providing value to a lot of people. It is about being rich so you can bless more people.
3) Take baby steps
One of the most dangerous things you want to get your mind off is the idea of winning a one-time BIG-time fortune. It just doesn’t happen that way. Take baby steps. You start small. You learn. You grow. Once you learn the lesson, you’ll be able to handle the responsibility when the BIG fortunes come your way. Having the BIG fortune when your not ready can even be detrimental to your growth. Ask any of those who won the lottery and ended up poorer a few years after winning.
4) Take your time
Be patient. It will not happen overnight. It takes time to learn the right mindset, to develop yourself to be able to do the things that you need to do to provide value to other people. You will go through a lot of discouragements. But all people who have accomplished great things have gone through trials. It just makes the victory even sweeter. Just like wine, the longer the wait, the tastier it becomes.
5) Take responsibility
One thing all great people have in common is that they take responsibility of their results. If you fail, it’s your fault. If you succeed, it’s also your fault. There are no excuses. We are dealt with the same lemons every now and then. It is up to you to take those lemons and turn them into a lemonade. It’s never a question of being lucky or being dealt with a fair amount of challenges. Time and time again, the thing that makes people great is never in the amount of challenges they have to face. It is in the realization that they have a tremendous power to take on those challenges, if only they believe in themselves enough and the God who made them.
Go out there and be rich with honesty, integrity and humility.
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