Transcending the 8-Hour Workday and Embracing the Hu$tle

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Good Things Come to Those

Ever wonder why people come to our country from foreign lands and make out better than we do? It’s because, by comparison from whence many of them have come, America’s street’s truly are paved with gold. The difference is their point of view. They see the opportunity of being able create several streams of income, whereas we make excuses with empty pockets.

In the United States, most of us experience challenges unique to the First World (I wrote about this in a previous blog post called Zero World Problems). To the average person surviving in the upper middle class, the WiFi connection going down is a major game changer. Typically, within a few blocks or miles of our comfortable homes, some people are sorting through trashcans and living in boxes.

Regardless of who takes the Presidency or which two teams are going to the Super Bowl, I believe that most of us can transcend our existences and actually LIVE, provided we see things outside our traditional jobs. You see, a job (which to some is an acronym for “just over broke”) is there to take care of basic necessities: food; shelter; clothing; modes of transportation. However, I think when the work day ends, the hu$tle should begin.

Here’s the typical day for the average American:

  • Get up in the morning to go to a job we can’t stand
  • Sit around at said job bitching, complaining, and wishing we were somewhere else
  • Return home to gripe some more about what went on at work
  • Eat dinner, usually in front of the TV; still murmering about the job during commercial breaks
  • Go to bed only to start the cycle all over again
  • Pray for the weekends which tend to pass too quickly

However, by slightly changing our point of view, this is how it goes:

  • Get up in the morning to fulfill our work day
  • Because we’re grateful to be working, we do our jobs while imagining the day our side gigs will allow us the opportunity to choose to how we go about making our money
  • Return home ready to start investing in one or more hu$tles
  • Sometimes, dinner is on the run or doesn’t happen at all because we’re grinding
  • Go to bed, sometimes a little late; dream about the future we’re forging for ourselves
  • See our weekends as an opportunity to get more things done

Let’s face it: America is the new Rome. Our empire is the dominant super-power and we’ve become lazy. We allow ourselves to be spoon-fed heaping helpings of processed foods and hours of mind-numbing TV, while imagining more ways to waste our money on the latest technological upgrades. We sleep too much, eat too much, and complain too damn much. We’re more concerned with building someone else’s dream instead of defining and realizing our own.

Ask yourself: If I carve two hours out of my day to build my own business and invest in my family’s future, where will I end up 5 years from now? 10 years? 25 years? Is my legacy one of excuses and gripes or of freedom from unnecessary debt and financial security? What do I want to pass on to my kids, nieces, nephews, and godchildren?

I am writing this on a glorified three-day holiday weekend. While everyone else is scrambling over what to bring to the barbecue and which teams will be playing, I’m moving my figurative chess pieces forward. Not knocking sports or good food, but I have a dream to build and a destiny to fulfill. You should be doing the same.

The dream is free. The hu$tle is sold separately.

Get hu$tlin’.

2:40 (wisely invested) = $1 million

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Image result for images of time is money hourglass

There is truth in the saying, “If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense.” It could also be a fact that time equates to money.

I grew up in church, learning to give 10% of my money to God’s house. However, I had to teach myself that I should also set aside 10% to invest in my future. The Lord, in his infinite wisdom, allots us all 24 hours each day, whether rich or poor. So, time is the great equalizer. It’s also the thing we can never get back.

Utilizing time wisely will make you wealthy…while wasting it can leave you destitute. If we weighed the hours of each day as a possible investment or forfeiture, we might make choices to maximize an ROI.

Or not.

That’s the amazing thing: how you spend (or waste) your time is completely up to YOU! Yeah, we can gripe about only having so many hours in a day, some of which go toward work (got to keep the lights on!), sleep, and spending time with family (that’s important). However, how much time do you spend watching funny internet videos? Aimlessly channel surfing? Messing around on social media out of boredom?

10% of a day is 2 hours and 40 minutes. Use the time to squeeze in that workout you say you never have time for (45 minutes); that book you never get to read (another 45 minutes); and that side hustle you keep making excuses for not building (1 hour); and making a daily journal entry on what you’re learning (the remaining 10 minutes). If you followed this simple formula, there would be nothing wasted and you probably could get back to watching that TV show or surfing the web.

Or you could just sit around and do what you’ve been doing all along. But ask yourself, how is that working for you?

Stealing Time, Squashing Procrastination

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In the military, we were taught that being on time is late. Though I spent over 20 years ensuring I was anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes early for any appointment, I am probably the biggest procrastinator I know.

Life is all about juggling and prioritizing. It’s easy to get sidetracked and hard to get back on the path afterward. That said, I do my damndest to not only remain focused on the goal, but to also keep a step ahead.

One of my favorite classic novels is The Time Machine by H. G. Wells. Of course, though we imagined and predicted that by now we’d be flying around in cars, living on the moon, and going back and forth in time, there has yet to be a device that can transport us as such. So the best way to get ahead and beat the clock is to outsmart it.

Time is the one form of currency everyone from the dead-broke bum in the gutter to the filthy rich fat cat on the hill receive in equal doses. Time is also the one thing that can be spent, invested, or wasted. Money is similar. However, though someone can reclaim squandered or stolen money, lost time is gone forever.

Chess is a game best played several moves ahead. The player weighs out the consequences of each move and every piece sacrificed. By forecasting, one is allowed to consider probable outcomes.

So, minus a time machine or do-over device, how can you make the most of the fourth dimension? Freak it. Instead of just letting one minute happen to the next, predict and plan. Think like the man or woman who went from rags to riches by working hard: treat every day as if it was the last. Make the most of it. Realize that each new day is another chance to plan the next move, learn from past mistakes, and progress.

More than anything else, make the most of every waking moment. Discipline yourself to make strides while the other guy (whether figurative or actual) is sleeping or sloughing off. Making the right move at the right time will allow plenty of time to rest down the line.

But then, I’m just preaching to the choir…