You Can’t Keep Doing The Same Things And Expect a Change
I don’t know if you have felt this on my blog over the past six months but I’m definitely trying to find myself lately. The funny things are that I’m super happy with the life I have: I have an amazing wife with three super nice kids. I do a job that I like and even have a nice company built on the side with the coolest partner possible. I love where I live and enjoy it every single day.
So what’s wrong?
Not much, but…
I can already see you thinking “oh Mike, don’t you think you have enough already? Just start controlling your budget and you will be fine, you don’t need more money”.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
I don’t want more money. I don’t need more money. What I need more is motivation. I wrote a piece about having the fire in your eyes a while back. This is what I’m talking about. I want to crush my life like it’s the last day of my life, every single day. The problem is that it is almost impossible when you fall into your routine.
The routine is what’s killing me. And I’m about to seriously enter into the routine: 3 kids, wife, mortgage and a good job. All that’s missing is fido, the white picket fence and I’ll have the “perfect family”. This is very dangerous. I don’t want to sit down on my couch every night at 8pm after my kids go to bed and watch TV until I pass out around 10pm too tired to “take care” of my wife ;-).
How many times do you have a feeling of déjà vu when you arrive home and go through your evening? Same supper, same place to eat, same bath time and bed time for the kids; same routine. What’s the highlight of you day? Dexter is on with a new series (man, I’m so HAPPY to watch a 7th season of this show!). But still, they only run Dexter once a week, I have to keep myself occupied the other 6 days…
Routine is probably your worst enemy and you don’t even know it. By the time you realize that you are incrusted in a minute-by-minute plan and you will feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day; it will be too late. Maybe 5 years, maybe 10, probably even more. But you will have wasted a lot of time doing nothing with your life.
The problem with Routine is that it’s darn comfortable. You feel secure, happy, even feel that you don’t need anything. Plus, Routine gives you all kind of good excuses to stick with the status quo:
You have a new job,
You are working on a very demanding project,
Your last one is sick and you didn’t sleep all night,
Your must rest because you are leaving for a 10 day business trip next week,
You simply too tired to do anything because you already have to make supper, wash dishes, clean the house, wash your clothes and prepare your lunch (and the kids’ lunches) for tomorrow.
Is there any time during your week when you can get out of this routine? It feels that it has taken all your time and sucked up all your energy. This is what Routine does: it’s a time and energy blood sucker. It prevents you from doing something cool and inspiring your life.
Don’t worry; I’m not going to tell you that you need to quit your job to make your life inspiring. I didn’t quit myself, so there must be a way to live a fulfilling life without having to quit everything and run after your dream (and sometimes you are going to run far if your dream is to become a full time blogger lol!). In fact, I think that there are some small actionable steps you can do to make your life exciting and get out of that routine without having to scrap what you have built so far. After all, there must be a reason why you are living the life you are right now and it’s probably because you like a part of it, right?
The first thing I did this fall was to leave my comfort zone; I registered to play in a soccer league. I’m active by nature and in pretty good shape at the moment. But at no time in my life did I spend more than 30 minutes playing soccer with other adults. Playing with my son is one thing, but playing with people that run as fast as I can is something else; especially when “these people” have been playing soccer for the past 5-30 years! I’ll be honest, I run fast and have good cardio that will keep me up during the whole game; but I can’t kick that darn soccer ball with power and accuracy at the same time. At best, I’m accurate, but I don’t have any kind of power in my kick…
It’s quite hard to start a sport at 31 while everyone else has been playing their whole life. Each time you get a pass you don’t feel right with the ball next to your feet. You feel that you will make a mistake and you fear the moment of facing an opponent, or worse, facing the goalie a few seconds before making a bad kick. But this is what is making me feeling alive. For 90 minutes, I run like a demon and push myself outside the limits my brain (with his friend Routine) have set for me. In my third game, I even scored a goal. No matter how nervous I feel before stepping on to the soccer field, I’m looking forward to this moment each day of the week.
By doing something out of my comfort zone, I’ve got another goal in my week, another thing I’m looking forward to. This is another dose of adrenaline in my week.
I’ve also decided to take part in my children’s elementary school council. I have no clue how it works, I don’t even know which kind of decisions will be made but I’ve presented myself and “sold” my competencies (who would not vote for a banker, who’s a soccer coach and already volunteering at school? Hehehe!).
So I got my spot on the school council and therefore added another thing to my schedule. Once a month, we have a 1 hour meeting to cover what is going inside the school. I just attended the first meeting where I was “the new guy”. It was a bit intimidating (trust me, school boards do NOT work like a business!), but I really liked it. I quickly got involved and shared my point of view. This is going to be a fun adventure!
The second thing you can do to get out of your routine is to do more than what you are currently doing. Interesting enough, we all feel that we are at the maximum of our capacity. Here again, our brain (conspiring with Routine) have already set the limit in our minds and we follow them like good boy scouts. But if you shut down the voice inside your brain for a second, you will see that you can do a lot more than you are now. Here’s the secret: the more you do, the more you want to do more. The less you do, the less you want to do!
This is why I changed two things in my week:
- Starting this morning I wake up at 5am to extend my work out program + work more on my online company.
- I’ll be doing 3 cold calls a day (now including cold visits to businesses).
The first modification is to cut out 30 minutes of sleep in order to extend 30 minutes of work out. This should help me push my physical limits further and get into better shape. I will now be able to run at least 30 minutes each morning + lifting 30-45 minutes of weights. I guess I’ll have a pretty nice shape in a few months!
I’ll also wake up at the same time during my “blogging day”. Once a week, I spend 6 hours to work on my blogs in order to make our business grow faster. Starting this week, I’ll extend my working day to potentially 8 hours but still finish around 3-4pm to play with my kids. I want to work on several new projects and need to increase my workload if I want to prevent any potential future kicks in the nuts (I think I have had my share of kicks this year!).
The second modification is to push myself to develop more business at work. If you have ever been working in an office, you probably know that it’s super easy to fall into your routine, shuffle papers all day and not doing much productive work. It’s not that you are not working, you are actually working pretty hard. The problem is that you are not working on the right things! Doing 3 cold calls per day will generate several clients meetings as my closing rate is about 4-5/10. This means that I should generate 5 more meetings per week with this technique. If I close 1 client out of 5 meetings, I’ll get impressive results by the end of the year. I’m also including cold walk visits in my plan. This is when you simply enter a business and ask to meet with the owner of the place. Sometimes it works; sometimes you get turned around pretty fast! Nonetheless, it’s the perfect way to kill 30 minutes between two meetings when you are already on the road!
By doing more, I’m not going to get more tired; I’m going to gain more motivation! By surpassing my limits, by going out of my routine; I’ll be having more exciting weeks! I won’t have to wait until I start my summer vacation to have fun, I can have fun every single week of the year.
There is something awesome about pushing your limits; you become proud of yourself. Your motivation skyrockets and you simply want more. Instead of being discouraged because I have to go to work tomorrow, I’ll be super motivated to close another deal, run another mile and create another site!
The thing that drives me the most in my life are goals. When I can measure and follow my progression on something, I get super motivated, read obsessed. I’m currently following my eBook sales like a maniac, but also finding new ways to improve them at the same time (I’m at 224 now after 3 weeks!!).
In order to get me out of bed, I’ve decided to set new goals:
#1 I want to weight 180lbs by Xmas (I’m currently back to 193)
#3 I want to bring in $2M of business by the end of the year at work
The three goals are a challenge when they are taken individually. They become quite a mountain when you combine them. But I don’t really have a choice right. This is how I feel anyways. I want to feel the surge inside me and I feel that the more I rest, the more I become lazy and the more I need to rest. Sleeping more and being relaxed is not for me. In fact, it’s quite boring! This is why I need some challenges; I need to find myself “obsessed” by something.
When you set short term goals like this, it creates the urge for action. You stop planning and thinking about what nice thing you could do and you focus on actions. The good thing about taking actions is that it’s always fun and interesting. You learn, grow as a person and live a real life instead of watching others lives through your plasma TV screen.
What I like the most is that my wife is following this “new routine”. She actually started activities that she wasn’t comfortable with, she is part of the parent’s committee which organizes activities for the kids at school and she has a new fitness goal, just like me. In fact, she is not only following me but she is more like an inspiration to me.
All my life I have been working on breaking my routine and living a more interesting life. I call it escaping the rat race. I don’t want to wake up every morning, doing the same thing during the day and rushing home to get everything done as fast as possible to get in bed and get some rest. This is a boring life and I don’t want that. At the same time, I don’t want to quit my job and live like a hippie!
In the past 10 years, I’ve done a lot of things to gain more time, get more money and enjoy life the way it should be. If you want to simplify your life, stop rushing and master your time and finally, get more money by working less; I’ve packaged all my strategies and actionable steps in the following book:
This is how I broke my routine, stopped feeling miserable with my life and started having fun every single day of my life. I’ll be using the tricks from this book to achieve my next three goals and start 2013 with a blast!!Comments: 11 Read More
Today, I’ll reach the summit of controversy.
I’m going to climb to the top of the highest mountain and yell to the world:
Oh boy. By writing this line I almost feel ashamed. It’s like saying: “I’m stupid, I’m well aware of it and even darn proud to be a rat!”. That’s it! After so much effort to tell you that it sucks to be stuck in the Rat Race, I’m taking a big jump into the race…dumb!
Did I change my mind? Not really.
Did I lose my mind? Don’t think so.
I still want to quit my job eventually and become a dot com mogul. However, this won’t happen next year… as my previous plan was designed for… Let me tell you a story:
Back in April of this year, I saw an opening at work to get one of the highest jobs for a financial planner: working in wealth management. This department is like playing for the NHL: you only deal with multimillionaire clients. I got the interview and everything went pretty well. In fact, I know I’m made for this job and it looks that the guy interviewing me was thinking the same… until he asked me the fatal question: What would you do if a similar position opens up in a year closer to home? Mind you, I live 85km (that’s 52.8 miles) from work. That causes some serious lack of sleep.
I thought I was able to deal with it but it’s all BS… it’s been almost 2 years and I’m dead tired now (and maybe that’s because I’m running my online company at the same time ). I was able to do it for a while but waking up at 4:30 every morning has become too much for my brain to support. So this is why I had answered that I would jump on the job and quit this one. Ugh… yeah I knew that I had just shot myself in the foot but I believe in honesty (so naïve! But that’s me!).
So instead of getting the job, the guy arranged for a meeting with the manager in my area. It looked like they were planning on opening a similar position… 5 minutes away from where I live. Can this be? Really? It was like a dream coming true. But the budget hasn’t been approved yet. In fact, the business case was supposed to be presented back in August.
So a few weeks passed and fast forward to October. I just got back from the FINCON11 and I’m more motivated than ever to crush it and make a killing with my online company. At the same time, I speak with the guy who tells me that he didn’t get the okay yet to add the position.
I’m not the kind of dude who waits in line.
I don’t wait until someone calls my ticket number.
I just go directly to the counter and ask to be served.
This is exactly what I did: I told everybody that if nothing happens before my wife is due (we are expecting our 3rd child in February 2012), I would take a 7 month paternity leave (I told you that sometimes paying taxes is a good thing). I will work on my online business during that time. It wasn’t a threat by all means. It was just the blunt truth. I decided to create 2 “A” plans instead of having a plan B!
Plan A: I score a dream job 5 minutes away from where I live while I continue to grow my company on the side.
Plan A (2nd version): I get paid 75% of my base income for 7 months while I work my ass off on my blog to make a killing.
After a few weeks, I was starting to make some serious plans about my decision. I started to think about some projects I would start if I could work full time for my online company. I was tired of waiting and was looking at a golden opportunity to jump out of the rat race while being paid to do it. A risk free ticket to financial freedom. How cool is that???
And then, last week, I got a call from “the guy”. He now has his budget to make my 1st plan A happen. I’ll be meeting with him in a few days for my official interview. I don’t know if I’ll get the job but I know one thing: if I get an offer, I’ll jump on it. I’ll be jumping in with both feet. Directly into the rat race hole as if I didn’t know that there was a trap beside the piece of cheese!
So did I change my mind? Wasn’t the rat race the worst thing anyone could get stuck in? I still believe it. But let’s face it; I’m a small, little coward and I can’t live with the idea that I am putting my family on the line with my online business.
I would rather make more sacrifices and stay on the path inside the rat race for a few more years… so my kids can go to private school, so my wife can continue to stay at home and take care of them, so I can pay off my debts… so I can live my cowardly life quietly…
The real problem is that I currently make too much to stop (see all the details about my income here). Another problem is that I’m used to this lifestyle inflation. I just can’t quit in a heartbeat. I need to devise a more evil plan to make it happen. At least, I have a plan. But I won’t tell you yet… I’ll wait until I know that I have the job or not ;-).
It hurts, but this sounds like the right choice at the moment. I don’t have blind faith in everything (far from it!) but I believe in destiny. I actually believe that you are the sole designer of your life and the only person responsible for what is happening to you (death is just an overrated myth in my opinion). However, I also believe that we are all given choices or opportunities at different points in time. And sometimes you can push on Destiny’s back to make some opportunities happen. And this is what I did by making up 2 A plans. If you push in all directions, set the rules and then you just have to wait for Destiny’s sign to make your final move. I believe you better listen to it when it happens! So this is why I’m taking a shot at this golden job. My resume has been sent, I’m just waiting…
What do you think? I’m just a coward or am I taking the right path?Comments: 14 Read More
Let me ask you a question, do you like the following scenario:
a) Work all your life (to build your pension plan);
b) Save all your life (to pay off all your debts);
c) Make sacrifices throughout your life (to keep working and paying your debts);
d) Wake up one day at the age of 65 and find out that you are still broke!
Believe it or not, chances are that this is exactly the story of your life resumed in 4 lines. You are stuck in the rat race! The Rat Race eBook is the first step you should take towards financial independence. What is financial independence?
Financial independence is reached the day you don’t have to work to support your lifestyle.
Pretty simply isn’t? So how come you are still a rat? That’s because we have been educated to follow the rules, to live in a Matrix. But in this world that has been created for you; you are condemned to work every single day of your life just to pay off your expenses in order survive the next month.
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve looked for many ways to get out of the Rat Race before finding something interesting. I’ve read tons of personal finance books and listened to numerous financial gurus. They all tell you to leave your job and follow your passion and money will come eventually. “Stay positive, believe in yourself and one day, you will make it”. Nice BS! At one point, you even wonder if the guy who wrote the book became rich before or AFTER writing his damn book about getting rich…
But I’m different from these guys.
If you have been following me, reading this blog, you know that I’m making it, that I’m out of the rat race.
I have a family,
I have a mortgage,
And I certainly don’t want to quit my job and “follow the secret” blindly!
This is why I’m writing the book: To tell you how to get out of the Rat Race without compromising your financial situation.
Our goal with this book is to help you get out of the rat race with techniques that has been tested by myself. But you get more than a simple book. here’s your package:
A 97 pages eBook that will drag you out of the sewer you are stuck in!
A private newsletter that will help you build the life you really want
Multiple annexes to guide you through the financial jungle!
A 100% 30 days Money Back Guarantee!
How to take your boss by the nuts and ask for a raise each year (and GET IT!)
How to afford crazy vacation and awesome Xmas because your making more money (while working less hours!)
How to avoid divorce and financial stress by mastering your personal finance (through the Smart Rat Bootcamp!)
How to become Superman and shift your personal finance (by doing things people don’t get!)
How I got out of the rat race with all my personal secrets (doing my own case study to prove you it’s possible!)
but you better bet ready…
Are you willing to work or study at night?
Are you ready to remove “I’m tired”, “Tomorrow, I’ll” and “I wish that…” from your vocabulary?
Are you ready to replace them by “I’m on fire”, “Today, I will” and “I made it happen” instead?
Are you willing to do things people tell you not to without needing to justify yourself (‘cause arguing is a waste of time and energy)?
All right, now you are ready to party!
Yup, you read it write. You can download this book and ask for your money back if you feel that I suck! If you think that I am a lunatic and that you have wasted your time with my book, stop reading and ask me for your money back. I left my email in the book for reimbursement!
But just to make sure you don’t buy it for nothing, this book is for you if:
You are under 40 and ready to hustle
You have a good idea for a side income business but you don’t know where to start
You struggle managing your budget and building assets
You are not getting the promotion you deserve, the investment return that you hope and don’t have enough time in your day to make this all happen
Need more to get convinced? You can either look at my first book Dividend Investing as it is free. This will give you an idea of what we can deliver! Or you can read what people are saying about the book:
“Staying trapped in the Rat Race keeps people from reaching their ultimate potential – it’s really that simple. Mike and Pierre know how to break-free of the trap, because they done it themselves. They worked as employees, built financial freedom, and finally built a hugely profitable online business in just a few hours a week. My cardinal rule is to learn from people who have “been there, done that.” If there is an angle to escaping the Rat Race, you better bet they’ve explore it.”
- Adam Baker from Man Vs Debt
“Lots of bang for your buck here. “1 Year from Now, Will You Still be a Rat?” is filled with tons of information to help you make the move towards financial independence. Mike has done an excellent job of sharing the intimate details of his successes, as well as highlighting the major concepts that you need to know to have your own success. Get ready to take action!”
- Phil Taylor from PT Money
“Mike has found a way to build a profitable online business while slowly extricating himself away from the daily 9-to-5 grind. It’s only a matter of time before his online earnings exceed his full-time income as he openly telegraphs his stats and earnings on The Financial Blogger. Mike is doing some great things and will show you how to do the same!”
“This is a hard hitting guide, from the beginning all the way to the end. Mike calls you out and gives many challenging calls to action. The action steps will push you and get you thinking outside of your comfort zone. Simply put, if you want to see some serious results with your life and finances, you need to make this small investment.”
- Martin Dasko of Studenomics
Comments: 11 Read More
Are you tired of waiting until you are 65 to retire?
Are you afraid that even at that age, you might not even be able to enjoy life as it should be?
Yeah, I know, we all heard those catchy lines before. Today I’m not going to sell you some miracle recipe to be rich. I’m not going to tell you how easy and simple your life could be if you would be a millionaire. You already know that. But today, I’m offering you an amazing tool to check up your financial status.
The Rat Race Calculator has been designed to determine how far are you from financial independence?
Some people think that I love money. Some others think I’m a careerist. I’m neither of them. Actually, I’m looking toward to reach financial independence. This is the most important gift you can give yourself: the ability of being independent financially.
It doesn’t mean that you don’t work;
It means that you work because you like it.
It doesn’t mean that you are debt free;
It means that you have good debts to grow your income.
It doesn’t mean that you are rich;
It means that you have income generating assets.
It doesn’t mean that you have bad spending habits;
It means that you can enjoy life the way you want it.
So how far are you from financial independence?
Or should I say: I far are you from escaping the rat race?
A few weeks ago, I spent some times thinking on how can you make money when you are a handy man. When I think about how I can increase my income and net worth, the following ideas come to mind:
- Become a better financial planner and bring more money to my book.
- Write eBook on escaping the Rat Race and sell it (it’s coming… don’t worry!).
- Offer consulting services
- Invest in the dividend market
All these ideas are great and I’m actually working on all of them. However, there is just one thing: all these ideas require brain power. But what if I’m more of a handyman and that the side of my brain that is developed is not the cognitive one? Well it doesn’t mean that if you don’t like reading books and going to college that you can’t make some extra cash. Here’s a little story of someone I know.
The physiotherapist who made $400K last year and will make $500K this year
According to Physiotherapy.ca, an informative website about the physiotherapist profession, the salary range for a physiotherapist is from $56,000 to $77,142. While this is a pretty good wage, can you tell me how the hell the physio I know made more than 400K and will keep earning such a high income year after year? I’ll let you guess:
a) He is working with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez
b) He is working with all star hockey player Sidney Crosby
c) He has invented a revolutionary therapy
d) He is selling all kinds of natural products to his clients
e) He his making his money from something else
Which one do you pick? Ooopps… that’s not fair, I should add the following choice:
f) None of the above
Yup… this guy is doing something way simpler than working with high end clients or selling some crazy product. He is simply running his own physiotherapy clinic. He has hired other physiotherapists that work for him and manages his business by himself. So instead of increasing his work hours to 80 per week and be good for a depression in 5 years, he is hiring tons of physiotherapists and his job is to dispatch them accordingly.
No classes, no books, no inventions. He just took his job and made a company out of it. The best part is that he used to work very hard but he is now in a position to enjoy life. He has the money and time to do what he wants to do. Isn’t that beautiful? Oh, I missed the best part: he’s not even 40!
So this leads me to the ultimate secret of being rich:
LEVERAGE YOUR EFFORT!
Whatever you do in life, you need to scale it in order to become rich. There are tons of physiotherapists making 50, 60 or 70K annually but only a small group of them are able to generate mid 6 figures. The only difference between the 2 groups of people is that one decided to quit the 9 to 5 rat race and make a business out of their job.
Not convinced yet?
How about a multimillionaire Fitness Trainer? Google “Tony Horton” and you’ll find probably the richest fitness trainer in the world… and the creator of his own program: P90X, which is a stay at home workout program that will make you fit in no time. Warning: as he did this before becoming rich: you are going to sweat a lot if you want to escape the rat race… or if you purchase his training method! Lol!
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