I am often asked by people how I was able to quit the corporate world and become an entrepreneur. And many times, I would simply share my life story to them.
I’d tell them how I planned my resignation from work, how I built my first business, and how exactly I managed my finances. I thought that if I shared the concrete steps I took, then people can just choose to “copy” them. And then eventually they’d find their own success.
However, I realized that if I really wish to help them achieve their goals, then it’s not enough to just share the details of my life story.
More than that, I should be telling them, the most important and critical decisions I made. The choices that really allowed me to turn my life around. Things which I am now sharing with you below.
1. I decided that I will retire young, and retire rich.
I used to “dream” and “wish” that I could retire young and retire rich. This was what I did for many years but nothing really happened with my life.
Then one day, I made a commitment to myself – an absolute resolve. It was a “nothing-will-stop-me-from-doing-this” decision that I will retire young and retire rich. And from that moment on… everything started to change.
2. I stopped waiting for the “right time” to do things.
October: “I’ll wait for the year-end bonus before I resign from work.”
January: “I could be up for promotion, I’ll wait and see first.”
April: “I’d like to enjoy summer, so I’ll just tender my resignation in June.”
July: “Times are hard, it’s not a good time to be unemployed.”
These are the things which prevented me from leaving the corporate world year after year after year. Then finally, I said to myself, “If I don’t do this now, I’ll never will.”
I can’t recall anymore which month I actually resigned from work. And all I could remember now was the feeling of excitement and freedom; and the great realization that I should have done that much sooner.
3. I started to pay attention to the future.
During my first job interview, I was asked where I see myself five years from that time.
I answered with a well-rehearsed, “I’m looking for a stable and long-term career. And based on what I’ve learned about this company, I’m confident that there’s opportunity for me to grow here in the next five years.”
That was a BS answer just in case you’re wondering. However, that really got me thinking. And several years after, I finally had an honest and straightforward answer to myself.
Indeed, it was not until I started to really think about my future… the life that I wanted to live five, ten, twenty years ahead – that I began to live the present moment much differently.
Suddenly, owning the latest mobile phone seemed shallow compared to owning a business. A weekend spent in Boracay, began to pale in comparison to travelling the whole country.
When I shifted my time perspective – my small, short-term goals quickly gave way for big, long-term dreams. These then changed not only how I manage and spend my money, but how I make decisions in life.
How about you?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Remember that wherever that is, you should decide, commit and start working for that dream today, not tomorrow, not next week, next month nor next year – but today.
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