Life is complicated.
There are barriers to everything in life. Politicians lie, cheat, and steal their way to power; CEOs will do anything it takes to make a profit; the government is always taking more from your pocket.
At least that’s what most people seem to think.
Back in my first years of university, I didn’t work and was a complete financial mooch on my parents. I never bought anything extravagant, mostly took money for lunches, clothes, and school supplies. Regardless, it never felt right but I remember thinking there wasn’t a better option—until it became obvious there was.
A friend of mine at the time would consistently invite me to hang out. I kept declining because my parents worked hard for the limited money they did have and I didn’t want to spend it frivolously. He simply asked ‘why don’t you just get a job?’, and it honestly never occurred to me up that it was an option while I was in school (a story for another day).
I went home and started the seemingly complicated process of finding a job. I was stubborn, arrogant, and thought I deserved way more than I got. I had no job experience, no real skills, no professional network. I refused to work an entry-level retail job, like make coffee or stock shelves, so I went for the next best thing, I loaded trucks.
It surprising how low the bar is when applying for these sorts of jobs. Show up, on time, put in a full day’s work, and you’re almost guaranteed to be hired. In hindsight, I should have started working far sooner. With the right mindset, any work experience can be instrumental for your career.
It was great having money coming in. I could easily afford to pay off tuition, I could go out, make friends, and enjoy life. It lifted a mental fog that comes with not having financial means. It can’t be overstated enough how important this was for me.
At our core, we all have the same needs. As I’ve gained more experience, I’ve learned how much the basic needs of people matter and how simple it can be to attain them. I am in no way disillusioned to the challenges that many face in their day-to-day lives. Overcoming suffering is the path to a better life and it begins by taking a step.
At the time, for me it meant have some sort of money coming in. Money is an amazing tool and life without it is playing the game on hard mode. There’s no need to play the game on hard mode. I started with job, built experience, learned what I liked and didn’t like, and over time built a career. Starting your financial journey simply means starting with the basics.
Start simple, start now.
Where are you in your financial journey? What next simple step can you take?