In order to improve yourself and your finances immensely, you’ll need to put in a TON of work, which is why most people never start. What many people fail to realize though, is that the workload is spread over many days, weeks, months, and years! Transformations do not happen overnight, nor should they. The best way to improve yourself and your finances is to do it slowly.
Training For Life and Training for a Marathon
My girlfriend and I got off our butts last year and decided to run in a 10k race. We put in the work and did quite well considering neither of us had ever competed in a race of this distance before. After we crossed the finish line (and as I was gasping for air, trying not to toss my cookies), the first words out of my girlfriend’s mouth were, “So we’re doing the 25k next year, right?!” Lol. Let’s just say I didn’t commit to it then and there, but eventually I agreed.
Our training for the upcoming 25k began three weeks ago. Here’s a sneak peak of what our schedule has been so far:
Notice the titles: Warm Up, Fundamentals, and Build a Base. Nowhere in the first three weeks does the training schedule say, “Go run 10 miles”. No, instead it starts us off with some walking and light jogging, and then constant jogging, and then some interval work with a little extra distance. The weeks beyond this will ramp us up to 7 miles, then 8 miles, and THEN 10 miles (but that’s not until week 7 of training). In order to succeed in this race, we need to improve our running very slowly, week after week.
What if after the first week we felt pretty good and therefore decided to just go out and run the full 25k distance? First of all, we probably wouldn’t make it. Secondly, even if we DID make it, we would probably end up injuring ourselves because our bodies were not yet conditioned to run such a long distance! The best way to improve in running is by doing it slowly. The same is true for personal growth and financial growth. The best way to improve yourself and your finances is by improving in little bits at a time over the course of months and years.
The Best Way to Improve Yourself and Your Finances
Brian Tracy has a YouTube video out there that’s called, “Increasing Your Income 1000% Formula”. In other words, he has a simple formula that will help you increase your earnings by 10 times in just 10 years! If you earn $15,000 a year now, you could be earning $150,000 ten years from now. If you earn $100,000 a year, then you could earn yourself $1,000,000 a year in ten years. The formula is simple and fits perfectly with this message of improving slowly.
Within the video, Brian explains that every one of us could improve our output by 0.1% each day and I wholeheartedly agree. Within my 8-hour day at work and with my 8 hours of free time at home, I could easily increase my work production by one tenth of one percent each day. Either I could simply work harder or I could find a way to improve my efficiency, but improving by 0.1% each day is definitely doable.
Along with this, Mr. Tracy provides another great tip for improving ourselves (and ultimately our finances): reading. The average millionaire reads at least one non-fiction book each month. The more successful millionaires often read one book every week! In order to do this, it is best to slot out an hour each morning to read and learn. If you typically wake up at 7am, then start getting up at 6am. If you wake up at 6am, then get your butt up at 5am. Pick out books that will help you grow and improve yourself – books like:
- How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling
- The Magic of Thinking Big
- Personality Profile
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
I have read each one of these books and found multiple gold nuggets in every single one of them! By implementing the lessons in these books, your knowledge of people will increase, your knowledge of business will increase, and ultimately your confidence will increase (which will naturally improve your finances, right?)!
The Best Way to Improve – Take Your Time
Dave Ramsey found himself eating lunch with a multi-billionaire a few years back. Naturally, he took his notepad and pen and was ready to soak up every bit of knowledge that this guy was willing to dish out. One of Dave’s first questions was predictable, but the answer provided was anything but. “What books would you recommend that would help me become more successful?”
The wise man leaned over with a gleam in his eye, “Do you want to know the most influential book of my entire adult life?” Dave could hardly breathe as he waited. “The absolute best book for acquiring wealth for me has been….The Tortoise and the Hare.”
As the multi-billionaire explained, sure it’s just a children’s book, but the message of slow, consistent pace is a powerful one that the wise man needed to remind himself of every single day. Moreover, every time he read the book, the tortoise always won. And, now in his old age, his earnings had amassed to an unbelievable amount, and it was all due to slow growth and consistent persistence. It’s quite obvious that this wealthy man and Brian Tracy were on the same page.
My Experience So Far
While it certainly isn’t exciting to grow slowly, it has certainly proven true so far. By reading at least one non-fiction book a month and by improving my production each month, I have really begun to see the benefits.
- My knowledge has improved, which has therefore helped me relay my understanding simply to others
- My relationships are better, which helps me personally as well as in my work
- I have found that my pay has increased by more than 10% each year (which will work out to more than 10x over the course of 10 years)
How about you? Have you begun to develop yourself recently? Sure, the growth is often slow and unnoticeable at first, but after a few months and certainly after a couple of years, the benefits are clearly seen and understood, which will only increase your excitement and your willingness to improve even more!
What are you reading today? Are you choosing to grow slowly over a large time-frame?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.