What would you do if you got fired tomorrow? Would you sink or swim?
The person I interviewed for today’s article, had to deal with this exact situation. In fact, he told me the story over beers at a Financial Blogger’s Conference in Chicago back in 2011. He’s a fun dude and he was willing to take a few minutes to go over some questions on working for yourself, building your dream lifestyle, and taking action.
We recently looked at the idea of creating your dream lifestyle with Jim Wang. Today, I have another treat for you guys.
[Quick note: don’t forget to check out the $1k rule for chasing your dreams. This whole series is meant to be inspirational with actionable tips so that you make things happen]
Guess who we have today? J Money of Rockstar Finance.
J$ on designing his dream lifestyle in his 20s (he’s over 30 now):
How did you survive your 20s without getting into massive debt?
J: Hah! Probably because I was lucky enough to have parents who would have disowned me for it, bless their hearts, as well as not being much of a material guy in general. I often look back in amazement as to how far our dollars would stretch back in the day!
At least in the early 20s, I swear I was better at managing money then than I am now, simply because you don’t have much to live on.
Though I don’t want to go back to those days anytime soon – it’s very comforting having more than $10.00 in your savings account.
What’s your lifestyle like now that you work for yourself?
J: Oh man, it’s all over the place… Some days are incredible and you can’t imagine ever going back, and others you wonder why you were crazy enough to try it in the first place 🙂
You get all the perks that you can imagine (flexibility, doing things YOUR way and on YOUR watch, working in your underwear, etc.), but you also get all the cons too (no insurance, no paid vacations, no fake sick days).
But honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way, at least at this given point in time.
I feel like there are certain things you have to try out when the stars align, and if you don’t you’ll just be kicking yourself later for not having the courage to jump on it.
Regardless of whatever it is (working for yourself, traveling to that country you’ve always wanted to go to, asking for that hot girl’s number as she’s flirting there right in front of you, etc.).
The way I see it is that you can always go back to your old boring self, so you might as well try and partake in some adventures when the opportunities arise.
And that day came for me 3 years ago when I got fired and had to decide to either sink or swim (aka try blogging full-time or get another job). So far so good.
What if things don’t feel right?
What advice would you give to someone in theirs 20s that’s broke and pissed off?
J: To redirect that hate into action! You got yourself into this position, so it’s up to you – and only you – to get yourself out. No one cares as much for your livelihood than you do, so it’s time to stop the bitching and do something about it.
I won’t bore you with all the things you know you already have to do (track your money, pay off debt, build an emergency fund), but just know that having a better, less stressful, financial life IS possible.
Millions of people have been in your shoes over the years and overcome it, and you’re just as smart, if not smarter (you are on this blog, after all) and there’s nothing saying you can’t do it either. It’s just a matter of making it a priority once and for all and then DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Until you really care enough to change, you’ll be in this same position now, and many years to come too. Do one small thing to change that today!
What has led to all of your success?
J: Hustling, and then even more hustling.
It’s amazing how much farther you go when you just spend more time doing it – even if it’s small and mundane.
You rarely hit a home run the first time at bat, so you gotta get out there and keep swinging away until you figure stuff out (man that was lame, sorry – but it’s still true!).
I mentor a lot of different people in the blogging game, and I can usually tell right away who the do’ers are vs the thinkers.
You definitely need both sides of the equation, but the do’ers get much farther ahead than the thinkers because they’re out there building and experimenting. You can have the most brilliant idea in your head, but until it’s out in the real world percolating you’ll never know if it works or not.
And you have to be okay with failing too (in fact, you have to EXPECT it). It sucks every damn time and you hate it, but it’s all a part of the process if you ever want to “make it big” one day. And again, caring about your project/goals/dreams will get you there faster too.
Just like with getting out of debt, if you make things a priority and dedicate time to it, you’ll “magically” reach the finish line faster. There’s really not much secret to it.
Thanks for your time J!
There’s a lot that we can all pick up from this chat on building a business, saving money, and creating a solid lifestyle. What will you takeaway from this piece?