There are certain realities of chasing financial success that you’re never going to find in a book or through watching a documentary and I know this because I’ve faced a fair share of them myself.
You see, people chase financial success for many reasons. For some, it is a means for them to pay off their debts and buy the things that they desire. Maybe a dream house or a trip to an exotic destination. Others want money because of the freedom that financial success provides. For instance, if you are financially independent, you can decide to live wherever you want or eat whatever food you desire or send your children to the best schools. Whatever your reasons for chasing financial success are, it’s your choice and you can do whatever you want with the money you make but now let’s go straight to the 7 harsh realities I realized chasing financial success.
Reality #1: Not everyone will understand your efforts
The first thing that I realized is that not everyone will understand your efforts when chasing financial success. For me, there are friends and family members who didn’t see things the same way I did. To some of them, I was being overambitious and to others, they thought I didn’t know what I was doing. However, what they didn’t understand was that you can’t keep doing the same things and expect a different result. What I wanted was different from what they want, therefore, I didn’t do the same things that they were doing. I knew I wanted to be financially free and to achieve that I realized that I had to change my lifestyle.
Also, I realized that not everyone would understand my efforts because our goals differ. As a result, when everyone else was out partying, I was busy working. I didn’t care if I had the latest designer shoes or gadgets, I was careful about how I spent money. Although, some people thought I was being mean to myself by not having fun, I didn’t allow their opinion to stop me from saving and investing my money.
You have to realize that if you are striving for financial success, you can’t allow what others think about you, stop you. Remember, if you do the same things that they do, you’re going to get the same result that they are getting. It’s not your job to force everyone around to understand you. Just find support and motivation from the few people who understand you.
Reality #2: The grind never stops
While chasing financial success, I realized that it’s an ongoing pursuit. At first, I just wanted to work for some time and make enough money to enjoy myself but I realized that to make more money, you have to produce more. No one tells you that you’re never going to stop wanting more money. Although it is not uncommon to see people without money talk about money as if it’s a bad thing. For instance, you hear them say things like “money isn’t everything” or “money won’t make you happy”. While this may be true, money won’t make you unhappy either! Therefore, you have to be comfortable with wanting to make more money!
In addition, I realized that it is good to always want to make more money. For instance, more money will help you sort yourself out in case of an emergency. Making more money also gives you options to choose from. You can choose where you want to live or go wherever you want to. More money will also get you the best medical attention and you can live healthier and longer. Hence, the second harsh reality I realized chasing financial success is that the grind never stops!
Reality #3: You will need more skills than you thought
I wonder why no one told me that I would need more skills than what I started with? I realized in my chase for financial success that you’ll need more skills than you thought. It is just like the popular saying, “what gets you here won’t get you there.” There is only so much that your current skills can do.
As I began to build wealth, I realized that I would have to learn and accumulate new skills. For instance, as an entrepreneur just starting, you may not have any need for people managing skills because you started alone. However, as you begin to grow, you will realize that you need more people on your team and such skills become necessary. Therefore, you have to constantly evaluate your skills and see how it has contributed to your goals and see if you have the necessary skills to take you further. If you find out that there are key skills you lack, you have to create a plan to start learning them. Remember, “What got you here won’t get you there!”
Another reason why you need more skills than you thought is the rapid increase in the rate of technological advancement. A good example is the internet and how it is changing the business world. Before now, the main method of advertising was through billboards, newspapers, radio, and television. However, with the internet, you can reach a wider audience faster and through cheaper means. Therefore, if you only had skills to advertise on radio, it is important that you also learn how to advertise using the internet if you want to be able to compete effectively in an ever-growing world.
More skills will usually result in more opportunities and more opportunities will give you more money. Some of the common skills that you can learn are communication skills and leadership skills. Communication skills offer you the ability to clearly and concisely express yourself and they’re important if you want to market yourself or your services. Moreover, leadership skills are important because they are the ability to build, assess, motivate, and encourage a team. In summation, if you want to succeed financially you will more than likely have to tool-up.
Reality #4: Working towards wealth is a team sport
It is said that it’s not the team with the best players that wins, it’s the players with the best team that wins. Another reality that I found out was that working towards wealth is a team sport. For some of you who like doing things alone, you will find out while chasing financial success that working towards wealth is a team sport. Although working alone can allow you to express yourself freely and make all your own decisions, no financially successful people did it on their own.
Also, I realized that not everyone can be on your team. Sometimes, it may be better to work alone than with the wrong people. To build a great team, you need to look for people with similar goals that you can work with. One of the advantages of a team is that everyone will contribute to the success of the goal. Your weakness may be another person’s strength and that way, you complement each other. At the beginning when you are just starting, it’s okay if you’re alone but if you want to build wealth, you will need to have an excellent team around you.
Some of the most successful organizations in the world today achieved their success because they had a team. Google was founded by two PhD students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who worked together to make the largest search engine in the world today possible. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple computers. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft. Therefore, if you want to achieve financial success, start by looking for a team that you can build with.
Reality #5: Building wealth takes more time than you think
Another thing I realized was that building wealth takes more time than you think. Although we all have big dreams and believe that our idea is the next big thing, the truth is that no one becomes successful overnight. Financial success is the result of continuous effort. Building wealth has several stages and each of these stages requires patience if you want to build wealth.
For instance, it will take time for people to get used to your products if you are new to the market and it takes time for people to learn about your products and decide whether to use them or not. Sometimes, you may even have to build more than one product before you finally find the one that will become successful. Also, building wealth through investing takes time. You may be able to make a lot of money in the future by investing little money now, however, it takes time for those efforts to bare fruit. For example, if you invest $100 today at 5% per annum, in the first year, you’ll only receive $5 as interest but after 15 years, the interest would be $107.89, which is more than how much you invested.
In addition, you need time to gain the experience you need for your business to become successful. No matter how much you learn about a business, there are some things that you might never know until you experience them. Time is a great teacher. You can learn from your failures and successes.
Reality #6: Most days will be uneventful
Many believe that the path to success will be filled with exciting moments all throughout. However, the harsh reality that I got to find out is that most days will be uneventful. I know that’s probably not what you expected but that is what I realized while chasing financial success. There are days when the motivation you had when you started will no longer be there. You might even feel like giving up at some point but it’s all part of the process. Therefore, if you want to be successful, you have to prepare yourself for these uneventful days. You may be lucky to have some big wins or see your business experiencing exponential growth for a period of time which is then proceeded by everything possible going wrong. Luckily, you may be able to maintain your motivation by preparing yourself for these uneventful days ahead. It’s easy to stay motivated when your business is growing, however, you must keep pushing during the uneventful days. Remember why you started in the first place and keep working whether things are eventful or not.
Reality #7: The reward is worth the effort
Finally, the last thing I realized chasing financial success is that the reward is worth the effort. The struggle is hardest at the beginning but in the end, you’ll be glad you didn’t quit. There were several times where I had to sacrifice short-term pleasure in order to achieve financial success. However, I realized that delaying gratification and achieving your financial goals feels much better than succumbing to short-term pleasures.
To sum it up, I also realized that short-term pleasure distracts you from achieving your long-term goals. For instance, short-term pleasure will make you spend the money that you should have invested in your business on something that isn’t worthwhile. Also, short-term pleasure will make you choose to stay in your comfort zone rather than trying something new. However, when you delay gratification by saving and investing the money that you wanted to spend, you will feel more in control of your life. Delayed gratification improves your will power and helps you make better decisions. Therefore, from now on, decide that you’re going to put all the effort it takes to achieve financial success because the reward is worth it!