I don’t want to win my first million. I want to earn my first million.
I wholeheartedly agree. I have the same mindset as well.
But just because you’re smart, talented, experienced, have all the right connections, and have access to resources abundant, doesn’t mean success is guaranteed.
I don’t care how hardworking you are. Failure is never off the table.
Even in entrepreneurship, which is all about playing the “long game,” it’s possible to succumb to shortsightedness.
The reality is, there are only a few possible scenarios. Best case, you will sell your business for a small fortune. Worst case, it will collapse (most do). Of course, there are shades of grey in between.
But most entrepreneurs haven’t even stopped to consider that revenue is not wealth. And to retire and live on your own terms, what you need is wealth. Revenue won’t be there forever – it’s more of an insurance policy than anything.
Project yourself 20 years into the future and consider a reality where your financial situation is the same as it is today. We’re usually prompted to envision the opposite but trust me when I say it’s not a remote possibility that you will be in the same financial situation 20 years from now. I have hardworking, ambitious friends who are. So, imagine that future.
The sad part is that if you didn’t invest, you missed a huge opportunity. You could have started saving up 20 years earlier, earning compound interest on your investment vehicles. You would not have been considered any less smart, self-made, or entrepreneurial for doing so – quite the opposite!
Instead, you’re 20 years older, can’t retire or live on your own terms, and still need to keep up an impossible work ethic to sustain your income. Your health is suffering, and so are your tired relationships.
Again, I know you’ve probably read all the personal development books that told you to envision and create your desired future, but you’re not thinking accurately if you’re not planning for worst case scenarios. A little stoicism doesn’t hurt when it comes to setting and working towards big goals.
After all, we’re often told:
Dig your well before your thirsty.
But this doesn’t just apply to expanding your network. It applies to expanding your wealth too.
Even if you are playing the long game, don’t be shortsighted. Don’t attribute superhuman qualities to yourself you don’t possess. You’re not too good to fail. And you’re also not too good to start investing either.
Time will pass anyway. Use this to your advantage. Bet on yourself, yes, but also plan for worst case scenarios. Your worst case scenarios can end up being best case scenarios if you’re shrewd with your income.