Don't Be a Sucker
Who wants to be rich? 🙋
The attraction of wealth, especially “baller money;” that is, wealth that affords you the most extravagant lifestyle - mansions, cars, first-class, five star - appeals to many, yet is only achieved by few.
With advancements in technology - the internet, cryptocurrency and social media platforms to name a few, opportunities to make money seems more plentiful than ever before.
And there’s no shortage of spruikers to prove it and sell you the dream. Internet celebrities, entrepreneurs and influencers are plentiful.
But with the wealth of information available, various avenues to make money and “successful” entrepreneurs offering their products, who can you trust?
Money and You
It’s all too common to hear stories of lottery winners winning millions of dollars, only to go broke within a number of years.
Similarly, stories exist of extreme weight loss (like The Biggest Loser) contestants regaining a lot of weight after the show ended.
The reason for both? Because the lottery winner’s relationship with money and weight loss contestant’s relationship with food was habitually poor.
A lot of people who live paycheck to paycheck and/or have outstanding bad debt (credit cards/personal loans) are in this position because of their ongoing relationship with money.
Think about your own relationship with procrastination (time management). When the deadline is a distant care, you’ll waste time, tell yourself you’ll work on it later, then when the shit hits the fan and there’s little time left, you’ll knuckle down and focus all your effort into getting it done.
Compare that to someone poor with money management. When money is plentiful (payday 💰), they’ll spend more freely, tell themselves there’s enough to get by, then at some point realise they’re gonna have to reign it in significantly because they overspent, didn’t account for something, etc.
Some exacerbate the problem by owning a credit card or taking out personal loans, putting them under more financial stress as their debt rises.
And all it takes is for something major and unexpected to happen - job loss, for example, to bring it all to a head.
There are many resources available to improve your relationship with money, however, it must start with you committing to make that change. Just like needing to lose weight, cut back on screen time, social media, drinking, whatever - if it’s not a must for you, you won’t change, and making more money won’t solve your problem because the more you make, the more you spend.
Where should you begin? Start with the Financial Times’ psychology quiz to understand your relationship with money.
There are far better ways to invest your money than leaving it in the bank, however, where you invest must be a well-informed decision.
You can purchase almost anything and it be guaranteed to work - a new car, for example. Provided you comply with the operating requirements, the manufacturer provides a warranty period after purchase. Some people have purchased a car with no research whatsoever. Literally walked onto a lot and bought a car there and then.
You cannot safely do this when it comes to investments.
Be it investing in property, shares or other, there are no guarantees, therefore your due diligence is essential to make an informed decision.
Countless stories exist of people losing thousands in shonky deals, all because they put their faith into the salesman at a free seminar (or otherwise) without conducting any research of their own.
An investment of these sums of money requires (at the least) basic knowledge of how the market works, the buy/sell process and terminology so that when you’re receiving the sales pitch and accompanying jargon, you understand what’s being said and can ask questions accordingly.
I’ve attended a free real-estate investment seminar. The company was pushing a brand new development in an outer “up and coming” Melbourne suburb. The seminar was professionally done and very convincing, with multiple speakers and “experts” showing off previous developments, recent sales and growth projections that would outdo my own investments. There were agents at the back of the room, ready to sign you up at the end of the seminar.
You may not have prior experience to sense something wasn’t quite right, however, I still did my due diligence afterwards and researched the company to find multiple stories in real estate forums of people being burned by them.
There’s no such thing as guaranteed income or risk-free investment. Utilise all tools and services (including a lawyer to read the fine print) before signing anything or putting money down.
If it’s an offer that sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Looking for Financial Freedom?
Sick of grinding the nine to five? Envious of social media influencers flaunting their wealth?
Searching for that multi-million dollar idea or venture to set you free financially?
Now, more than ever, many are looking for ventures where they can be their own boss with the hopes of making big money. Opportunities exist, however, the road to success is often varied and unclear.
The rise of online “gurus” is one such avenue utilising unscrupulous schemes by signing up followers to their products/seminars, teaching little to nothing about how to actually succeed in that niche market, robbing thousands of dollars from many individuals for products which promise success, yet never deliver.
In plain and simple terms, these courses are scams where the only person profiting is the guru.
There’s no shortcut to success, and no one’s gonna give you the blueprint either. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, by all means, keep searching and give things a go, but similar to an investment, be wary and do your due diligence before committing large sums of money into any course or product.
I was always in search for that hobby or business idea I could sink my teeth into. I tried many things - poker, cryptocurrency, property and share market, to name a few. The experience and knowledge gained from my efforts into each of them were worthwhile but found blogging to be my calling. It’s still in its infancy, but something I enjoy and can excel in.
It’s important to recognise your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. You don’t want to be doing something you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at.
In property investment, there are multiple strategies in which to make money. One of them is flipping - buying a property (requiring work), increasing its value through renovation, then selling for profit within a number of years. I’ve bought and sold a number of properties, however, have no desire to lift a finger when it comes to manual labour. I have a career that pays a decent salary and value my time to not be knocking down walls or tiling floors. It’s just not my cup of tea. For others, it is and can earn far more in a shorter period of time doing what they enjoy than I will with my buy and hold strategy.
Recognise your talents, analyse your interests and find your niche, that way you’ll be doing something you enjoy and never feel like you’re working a day in your life.
"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn
There’s no such thing as easy money, otherwise, we’d all be rich. Success requires time and effort.
It’s never too late. Ray Kroc was a struggling salesman for years before opening his first McDonalds franchise at the age of fifty-two.
Financial stress is one of the most difficult things to experience in life.
If you’ve not given it the attention it deserves, prioritise money management so you’ll never have to endure it (again).
And remember, the only person you can truly count on is you.