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I took a bit of a hiatus. With my bachelor party, wedding coming up, and other business/personal tasks going on I had to shuffle some of the things I like to do. Such is business, such is life. BUT I AM BACK!!! With college graduations going on across the country and internships starting I think it is appropriate for me to not only congratulate those who earned their degrees, but also provide some value and insight to them as they move forward. And for those who are not graduated just yet, or those who have long since graduated, I hope to provide you some value as well. Key tips
  1. Your network is your net worth…physically, mentally, spiritually, and financial
  2. Commit to serving others now, not later
  3. Stop saving, start spending on your investments
 

Network = Net worth

As for number one I think it is somewhat self-explanatory. The healthier the people that you hang around are, the healthier you will be. And by health, I mean it all. Physical/Mental/Spiritual/Financial health. We are the average of the people we hang around. If you hang around low quality people, chances are you will have low quality outcomes. When many of us graduated, I feel we were soon forced to hang out with a new crowd at whatever job it is that we took. We felt pressure to go to happy hours, events, etc. that we did not necessary care for, but felt we needed to be there so we could work our way up the “chain.”

For some this was great. They hung around brilliant minds, passionate people, and were infused into a great culture from the get go. From my experience with talking to people, 4/5 people did not get lucky with this case. Myself included. To be quite honest I got paid more then some entire families made in a year…just to do PowerPoints and excel sheets. This pissed me off. One because I knew my time was worth more than just doing PowerPoints, and two there were so many people out there who needed that salary to improve their entire families lives... yet cause they do not have a “college” degree companies do not hire them. Our market undervalues its people and sadly it has become entirely about profit…but that’s another post I will make some other time. Some actionable advice I have for others. If you have any inclination like I did…do not wait to take action! If your job is not providing you with the type of healthy network you are looking for…do it YOURSELF! Go on meetup.com, Eventbrite.com, your local wework.com, generalassembly.com Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (endless resources at the tip of your fingers aka your phone that you and the rest of the world is glued to, myself included) …. use these to start networking with other people of all age ranges and demographics. Do not let any person or corporation tell you how much you are worth or who you can hang out with. I 100% guarantee this method works and I have others who I have helped who will tell you the same thing. So put yourself out there, meet some strangers, and feel the most alive you have felt in a while!

Serve Others

For number two, we will get right into the actionable advice. Just because you are 22/23/24 or even younger than this, does not mean there is no one out there that you cannot help get to the next level. Just like your family/teachers/coaches helped you improve your life, you can start seeking others out there who need guidance. Volunteer at your local high school, go to after school programs, teach youth sports…you catch my drift. While you will be providing others a lot of value, you will also help grow your own networking skills, public speaking skills, sales skills, marketing skills, all in a friendly environment. Do this while you are young and by the time you are 30/40/50 all of the service you provided will be served right back to you when you need it. The world is beautiful in this way.

Self-Investment

I saved the best one for last. While it is great to have a network, even better to have a service based mindset…none of those matter if you cannot learn to invest in yourself and water your own plants before showering on others. The biggest misconception we have though is that saving money in a low interest bank account, putting it into retirement, or stacking it under our pillow is going to do us any good. I am sure everyone has heard the statement it takes money to make money…well all those who have built massive followings, businesses, etc. understand this 100% … but the majority of their families, friends, and followers just have no clue. And I learned this the hard way. When I got into my first job they did not explain to you how to invest in yourself (buy books, take courses, pay mentors..etc) but instead they connected you with HR to put your money into healthcare plans, 401ks, and a bunch of other hoopla…that we just go along with it because “everybody else is doing it, why shouldn’t I.” Someone in that loop is taking a cut of your money and you have no clue. Let me put it the easy way. If you rather invested that 5-10k per year into improving your skills, your network, and your experiences…you will double, triple, quadruple…actually there is NO LIMIT to what your income could be one day.
What made me think like this..
Another example just to show you my story and my thought process to what I based my career transition off of. I was an engineer. I looked at the average salaries for the start, middle and ending career of a typical engineer. For most, the first ten years of the career add up to roughly making 100-120k. I got this number by using the average starting salary of around 50-80K, while ten years in it is typically 150-200k if we work hard. So I just averaged making 50K for 5 years then 150k for another 5 you get to around 100k over 10 years. After a tax of roughly 25 percent that means 750K was made over 10 years! While some may think that is a lot… the average cost of raising a child over a lifetime is around 240K…750k is not a lot! Especially when you add in the missed opportunity cost. What is that you may ask? Well the opportunity cost is all the new skills, projects, people you missed out on because you were stuck sitting at a cubicle doing one or two “jobs” for a decade.
What self-investment looks like..
What does investing in ourselves look like and what is it worth then?! This is a great question and it is one I had to seek the answer to. I started thinking like this. I figured out what was the minimum amount of money I could make that allowed me to have the maximum amount of free time to read, write, connect, and improve on my skills so that my marketable and my pay grade rises. Let’s put this into an example. For 3-5 years I/he/she/we could work for ourselves and make very little money, but improve our network, skills, and marketability because we actually had TIME to see what was out there for us to work on and provide VALUE to. Then on year 6 we have so many connections and skills we decide to build a company. By year 4 of the company we are a multimillion $$$ business and we do not work at a “job” we own something that will pay us when we sleep…meanwhile others are still strapped to a desk working for someone else hoping for a 3% raise year over year. But before you just throw your career and money left and right I will say it is not realistic to just quit. And this is not something I ever recommend. No matter what, always have a strategy. Instead, I advise to just change your mentality to start investing in yourself through books, people, courses, youtube, IG, (there are too many to list) rather than just following the rat race. Why should you listen to me?! It is simple. Look at your parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles… anyone in the older generation. Are they all retired and living the exact life they want to live? Most likely they are not. So you will have to change the game yourself and do things a bit differently. INVEST IN YOURSELF!

Let's THRIVE this Summer!

Even if you are not a recent graduate, learn to THRIVE this week by taking a look into how you can have a healthier network, who you can serve, and how you can invest in yourself to make all of your dreams a reality. Have a great week fam!