2012 will definitely be a great year!
I’ll be a father for the 3rd time!
I’m about to pass the ultimate test with my company!
I’ve been awarded the Best Financial Planner in Montreal within my company for 2011!
And I’ll be working 5 minutes away from my house!
Yup, I got the job of my dreams!
I know, it’s a funny line coming from a guy who advises to quit the rat race ASAP. But when you do something that you love, don’t have to work ridiculous hours and that brings you a very high level of security, it’s hard to spit on it!
Once I go back to work after my paternity leave (which is at the beginning of March), I’ll be starting at my new job. I had the opportunity to leave for 7 months with 75% of my base income under the paternity and maternity leave program. This was my other plan as I really wanted to see how far I can push my companies. With this promotion, I couldn’t take off for that long but I was able to negotiate 6 weeks of paternity leave prior to starting my new job.
The reason why I’m staying in the rat race
There are 2 big reasons why I’m voluntarily staying in the rat race (with a smile on top of that!):
1- I’m scared to leave the comfort of a bi-weekly pay check
2- The job offered is the most exciting and motivating job I could think of
Considering the latter, I’d say that it was a no brainer choice for me. While I’m still in the corporate world where I have to report to a manager, the job itself is made of pure magic! My mandate will be to develop my own book of clients as I’ll be starting from scratch. My main targets are millionaires, which is very interesting as it opens the door to infinite possibilities in terms of financial planning (holding companies, business transfers, estate planning, trust structures, etc.).
The job obviously comes with a healthy salary and a generous bonus grid. What I like the most is that my boss will be in different office 50km away from mine. This means that I’m definitely considered as a true professional and that nobody will follow me to see what I am doing on a daily basis. To be honest, I don’t really work well in an army structure with a “general” . I’m better off left alone so I can unleash my talent and start hunting.
Better lifestyle, lower expenses and a career for life
I’ve made this move for the other 3 reasons mentioned above. The fact that I’ll be working at 5 minutes from my house grants me with a huge improvement in qualify of life. I’ll be able to keep blogging, going to the gym everyday and SLEEP full nights as well! How cool is that?
In 2011, my biggest expense was transportation costs. Believe it or not, but it had cost me $10,000 just for me (I’m not including transportation costs related to my Tribute which is driven by my wife). That $10,000 was mainly gasoline, parking, metro tickets and car maintenance. By switching jobs, I’ll be able to cut this expense to almost $0 which will help me achieve my 2012 financial goal of paying down my debts.
The third reason I picked this job is because it can be a career for life. If I like what I do, I’ll be able to do this for the next 25 years and retire at 55 J. I know very well in my industry that once your book of clients is built and you do a good job (this takes about 4-5 years), the money comes in while you sleep. It’s almost like another source of passive income .
I’m very excited to start this job!Google+ Comments: 15 Read More
A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to post about the evolution of my income during my career. Since I have a pretty short work history (I only started working back in 2003!) I hadn’t thought about writing such an article. But when you think about it, I have been able to grow my income by 586% in 8 years, from $30K to $176K in 2011.
Did I start to sell drugs in the process?
Did I work over 60 hours a week for 5 years before hitting the jackpot?
Did I have to be a brown-noser?
No way Jose!
So how the hell I was able to grow my income faster than a 15 year old footballer eats a double pepperoni medium pizza? Keep reading, you’ll get the answer
I finished my bachelor degree in finance & marketing in 2003. At that time, I was able to get a cool job as a clerk in the back office of a trading firm. My job sounded cool at first as I was dealing with traders to “clear” their trades at the end of the day. It was in the stock options and futures department (also called derivatives). But the sad truth is that it was boring me to death! I could have been asked to paint stop signs red and it would have been more fun! All I did all day was balance numbers in an excel spreadsheet and was desperately waiting for the clock to hit 5pm!
After 6 months only, I quit my job and watched TV for 2 weeks until I found a better job for a better salary (from 30K to 37K) in a bank.
The start of 2004 was a great adventure as I started it by being in charge of a $25M RRSP loan campaign. I was in charge of making sure that everything ran smoothly and that all the loans were approved and disbursed on time. As I didn’t have many employees under me, I did the whole job and was working 14 hour days with no breaks (literally, people were dropping food and coffee on my desk so I didn’t die). I was looking like those Chinese zombies who play World of Warcraft non-stop.
2 months of work that gave me my first raise (from $37,000 to $42,000) along with a $5,000 bonus at the end of the year. Man, I was almost at $50K after only 2 years on the market.
I really liked where I was working back then so I continued to hustle hard. My biggest strength was that I was able to do my job and then find ways to improve our processes within my work week (which was 37.5hrs/week at that time). Therefore, I earned my first promotion (with another raise to a base salary of $48,000). My boss liked me a lot because all those improvements in his department were making him look good big time. He was a nice guy so he was sharing the wealth and gave me a lot of tricks to go higher.
One of them was to get all my tuition fees paid my employer. This is how I got my stock trading license along with my financial planner courses paid.
Another year, another promotion. This time, I was promoted as the senior of my team. This came with a hefty salary raise (up to $52,000) along with a bigger bonus at the end of year ($9,000). I really like this year at work because I was adding a lot of responsibilities and I was invited to all kinds of important meetings with the big bosses. I was about to join the “big guys” one day. This is when I realized that my sacrifices and hard work started to pay off. I was now known by VPs and my name was getting around.
A year later, I was starting to get bored. I realized that being the senior of my team wasn’t only about its advantages. On the other hand, some people were getting jealous and I didn’t have many friends there anymore. While work became another synonym for routine, I had the great opportunity to go on my first week long business trip.
To date, this was one of the best professional experiences I have ever lived. I had the opportunity to go visit much of British Columbia speaking with many very interesting individuals. But when I came back from this trip, I got the bad news that our bank held a lot of commercial paper (also known as ABCP) and that our bonus was going to be cut big time. So even if I had a salary increase that year, my overall income almost stagnated for the first time. I was due for a change!
I didn’t tell most people in my entourage but the real reason why I quit my job at the bank to become a financial planner in 2008 was because I didn’t win a contest at the end of 2007! I know, I can be a big baby sometimes, but I really deserved to win that darned contest. This is why I decided to change jobs in the middle of my MBA.
It was a really hard year for me; I had to adapt to new colleagues, new systems and a new job while finishing my MBA. On top of that, it had to be the worst year on the stock market for the past 50 years! Anyways, this job change didn’t bring me much in terms of income and I didn’t perform well enough (I had only 6 months to add assets to my book). This is why I finished the 2008 year with the smallest bonus I have ever had: $2,300!
While 2008 was really rough, 2009 was life changing for me. I was performing like there was no tomorrow and I finished the year at almost 200% of my objectives. In the meantime, I finished my MBA and asked for a sizeable raise due to my performance and my new degree. I was becoming a pillar employee in my branch and the manager wanted to keep me on his side.
This is the first year where I started to combine my online income to my day job in order to break the 6 figure income for the first time in my life (at the age of 28!). While my online income wasn’t that much at the time, it was just enough for me to bump up my total income in the major leagues.
The biggest change in 2009 was not about my income; it was about how many hours I had to work to make it. In 2009, I started working 4 days a week, so 30 hours a week at my day job. It gave me more time to spend with my family and to work on my online company.
2010 was literally a continuation of the past 2 years as I completed a second year in a row with 200% of my objectives. The bonus was similar (roughly 33K) but I was able to negotiate another income raise based on my past performance. In addition to that, the benefits earned from my online company started to increase at that time.
My partner and I decided to pay me for my full day of blogging at the same rate I was earning at my day job (bonus excluded obviously!). This was one of the best decisions we ever took as the business has grown way faster since then. With less than 10 hours/week, we were able to make it grow significantly.
There is not much difference between 2010 and 2011 while the income is larger. In fact, 2011 is definitely the sum of all the good decisions I have made over the past 8 years:
- Getting my CFP title
- Completing my MBA with honours
- Moving towards a job where the bonus is linked to my performance
- Working 4 days a week to become more productive at work
- Giving awesome service to my clients
- Concentrating on my online business to generate a steady flow of income
- Focusing on value added actions instead of doing what I had to do
2011 is my ultimate proof that when you have a solid plan and work on it for several years, the sum of your actions generates exponential results.
In 2012, I’m not expecting to make as much as 2011. I think this will be my record year for a few years to come. As I mentioned in my 2012 financial goals, my objective will be to pay off debts and take care of myself. I’ve reached very high level of income quite fast without having to work numerous hours (remember, I worked 30hrs/week at my day job in 2011).
I think that the most important part is to do things that you love. This is how you can make money and crush it like I did. My ultimate goal is to stick to the 6 figures without having to work much. I am not aiming for a 250K or 300K salary even though I now know that I could eventually get there. I would rather have a low 6 figure income and enjoy life now instead of waiting desperately until retirement to enjoy it!
We’re going to do something a little different today. Instead of listing out an epic piece of this week, we’re going to check out some of the most interesting articles from M-35, the same company that brings you The Financial Blogger.
Let’s check out the epic M-35 shiz for the week…
Green Panda Treehouse:
The Dividend Guy Blog:
What do you think about the articles from the M-35 network? Have you had a chance to check out the other blogs offered by M-35?Google+ Comment: 1 Read More
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We all have the same resources to a degree. We all have some access to funding (bank loan or credit card at the very least). We all have the ability to speak with successful folks and pick their brains.
If we all have so much in common, why is it that some of us make it big while others are stuck working some crappy job? The truth is a bit harsh here. Are you ready for it?
Some of us just don’t have the balls to make it.
I’m not trying to throw anyone under the bus here or trying to get you to feel bad about yourself. I’m in the same boat as you. I’m brave, but I’m not as brave as some serial entrepreneurs. We don’t just wake up with the guys to risk everything and take a huge chance.
Why do you need to have balls to make it?
You’re going to have to take on many risks. Sure some of the risks will be “calculated” risks while others will be just plain reckless. The problem with taking risks is that most of us have high anxiety and just don’t have what it takes to be willing to take on those huge risks. You know how it goes, “the bigger the risk, the bigger the potential reward, or failure.” This is what usually scares me off. Do I want to take a huge risk with time and money? Would I rather take the steady job and not worry about the other side?
“The linchpin feels the fear, acknowledges it, then proceeds. I can’t tell you how to do this; I think the answer is different for everyone.” — Seth Godin
What are you going to do to overcome your fear and take on more risks?
You’ll encounter many people that will tell you that the journey is not worth taking. You’ll interact with those that have already failed and have long given up hope in starting a business, getting in shape, or becoming better at dating.
Should you ignore these people? Not totally. You can acknowledge and respect what they say. You don’t have to live by it.
The reason that you need balls to deal with those that are telling you it’s not worth trying is because it’s really easy to give in and make excuses. Why bother trying when someone tells you it’s not possible?
The truth is that those saying something is impossible should shut up and stop bothering those that are doing it.
Failing sucks. Most of us just don’t have the guts to fail over and over again. We would rather be safe and happy. Failure is embarrassing. Who can handle all of that humiliation? Those with balls are not afraid of failing many times and dealing with it. There’s too many people taking the path of least resistance and too few taking the big risks. This is why I feel that not everyone will be as successful as they would like to be. We’re just too afraid of failure.
What are some examples of people with balls?
Mike (owner of this blog). The thing that I respect about Mike is that he’s not afraid of leverage and taking chances. Too many new bloggers are trying to start a new blog from scratch in hopes of building it up to be the next Get Rich Slowly. Mike’s smart (and brave enough) to buy established blogs and leverage their existing platform. Spending money to buy blogs is risky and requires balls because it’s a fairly new strategy. More and more buyers are getting into the game now, but Mike was one of the first ones.
Oh and he has the balls to let me write content on here without editing it!
Adam Baker. I enjoyed his story when he first hit the online world because he sold all of his crap and went to the other side of the world (New Zealand at first, I think?) with his family, while building an online empire. Baker traveled the world for a long time with his wife and daughter, in a world where most people with kids are afraid to even leave home.
There are many more examples of people with balls. These were just the best examples that came to my mind.
Long story short, do I have the balls? Since I’m writing this piece I should probably answer the question. I need to work on this. I’ve been nervous in the past. I’ve always held down some sort of a part-time job. I’ve never gone all in. I’ve never thrown it all on the line to try to reach a goal.
At the end of the day. the thing holding you back could be something as simple as not having the balls to go all out and show fear the middle finger.
Am I making sense or being delusional to you?Google+ Comments: 4 Read More
Do You know what this guy and I have in common?
Yeah, I know, he’s cut… but that’s not what I’m talking about .
For those who don’t know him, it’s Tim Tebow, new quarterback star of the Denver Broncos. He came out of nowhere this season to lead the Broncos to the playoffs and even beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round (yeah, I know, they lost last weekend, but that’s not what I’m talking about either!)
You know what? I’m not a football fan.
In fact, I don’t know anything about football (besides that Peyton Manning was seriously injured and this is why the Colts missed the playoffs… so my partner says anyway ). So I don’t really know if Tim Tebow is a good player or not. I don’t know if he’s just lucky or not.
But I know one thing: I wake up with the same look in my face everyday!
Do you see what I see? Do you see this light in his eyes? Let’s look at a bigger close-up:
Nature’s fan will see it like this:
Others may see it like this:
And geeks like me will see it like this (it’s Merton’s magic in Final Fantasy III :
This is the look of someone who wants to win.
This is the look of someone who likes what he does.
This is the look of someone who’s looking for something better.
This is the look of someone who’s going to do whatever it takes to make his life fun.
And this is how I feel when I wake up in the morning!
I truly believe that we should all wake up at least 5 times a week with this look on our faces. You should want to get up and conquer the world and live the life you want. If this isn’t the case, there is something wrong with your life. And you know what? Life is too short to ignore this problem!
Where did I find the inspiration to look like William Wallace every morning?
Some people look at me and they just don’t get how and why I can do all these things without falling down. Many people have told me that I am heading directly towards a burnout. As if I light the candles with a blow torch… but I don’t believe in burnout. Not if you like what you do and do it with great passion.
And I think this is where the secret lies: within your passion.
I’m happy to wake up early because I love working-out while you sleep.
I’m happy to start my day while you are still in bed because it means that I spend time writing on my blogs.
I’m thrilled to start my day at work because I can’t wait to meet inspiring people.
I can’t wait to get back home to tell my lovely wife about my day and to play with the kids. I actually play with my kids 4 days out of 5 in average. Note this: playing with kids is the best way to stay young. And I also play with them because I lost the last 28 Yum Jr games we have played and I desperately want to win! Lol!
As you can see, there is not only one thing that makes me want to crush it every day of my life. I have plenty of motivations. On the other hand, someone could easily see the same day with the following perception:
I can’t believe I’m waking up while everybody else is still sleeping. But I’m afraid of getting fat so I have no other choice but to go to the gym.
I’m upset at people who take time to read the newspaper while I have to blog for an hour.
Then, I’ll have to bend over to some impossible requests from annoying clients.
And finally, I have to get back home, supervise my son’s homework and play boring games while I’m too tired to shoot myself.
See? Same day, 2 ways to see it. So the problem is not with your life. Tim Tebow didn’t become “the starting quarterback” by thinking what he sacrificed to get there sucked. Your life is just great. And Tebow just did what he had to do because he loves football with a great passion.
Now it’s up to you to make your day look like an amazing opportunity.
Remember; today is very unique: it’s your first and only chance to live it and it’s happening NOW!
Google+ Comments: 7 Read More
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