SO…going a little counterculture here and dropping a FULL article. I know, I know, the social media algorithms say you are supposed to post 20K times a week (and typically provide less value) But I’d rather just go ALL IN here and provide as much authentic value as I can in one shot.

Today more than ever my wife and I believe you should have more than 1 way to make income. I have degrees in finance and economics, a concentration in financial planning and a 14 year career in commercial banking. Not even ONCE did any of my professors or managers advise me to not only diversify my investments but also to diversify my income streams. This is near insanity. As I frequently say, there is less job security than the 20th century, but more opportunity than ever.

Not to mention, most people are more dynamic than their job title and most job roles do not allow us to exercise our full scope of talents and abilities.

From the beginning my wife and I had a very clear vision for our lives. We wanted to become full-time parents and part-time entrepreneurs. We wanted to own our days and have the freedom to travel and invest time into the things we value most. As a result, we had to find a way to step out of Corporate life AND still make money–just on our own terms. After over a decade of burning the candle at both ends, we won the battle and accomplished just that in 2016. Other than the gift of life, marriage, and our 2 and 5 year old children, it has been the biggest blessing anyone could possibly hope for. My wife and I wish this blessing upon anyone who has the desire to do the same. So from our family to yours, here are my top 10 ways to make it happen.


#1. Have a deep passion to NOT have to work for someone else. It should burn in the embers of your soul. I know, a little dramatic, but true. If you don’t have this feeling STOP READING. Please find some other content that will provide temporary entertainment or a quick technique/life hack you can apply. The below is not for the meek of heart.

#2. HAVING AN IDEA: You don’t necessarily need a brilliant idea or to build something from scratch (although you totally can–it’s just typically a steeper climb). Ultimately, you need to develop or leverage SYSTEMS that will pipeline or hot rod money into your bank account on a systematic basis. As a former commercial banker I have seen quite a few different methodologies that can accomplish this: real estate, YouTube, social media influencing, affiliate marketing, network marketing, franchising, independent franchising, general investing, annuities, or building an agency–just to name a few. If you don’t have an idea on where to start I would consider looking for the “Who” vs the “What.” In our case finding someone who had the results we desired ultimately got us to the “What” or the vehicles we use today.

IF you do have a brilliant “idea” just make sure you have a clear plan (or soon develop one) on how to eventually scale and systematize, otherwise your idea, even if you make money, will likely cause you years of pain, sweat, heartache, frustration, and potentially even debt.

#3. REGARDING YOUR CAREER: Take a job that pays you well and has good flexibility. You don’t HAVE to try to be a superhero in your job AND your own company. A lot of millennials I see today want their job to pay them well, be extremely passionate about the work, have tons of flexibility, and change the world all at the same time! It’s a lot of pressure to put on your job…SO….why not have other ways to express yourself or build wealth??? One way to go is to lock in a job you like and pays well. Make sure you return the compensation with your fair effort, and build the daylights (or should I say night-lights) out of your dreams on the side! ***Also as a special note, you don’t need to announce to your boss, co-workers and company about all your elaborate side hustles. You can if you want, however I just always treated my other ventures/investments that were private as just that, private.

#4. ON WORK ETHIC: Work 35-45 hours a week in your job. If your IQ is slightly above average like mine, for every hour you put in your job match at least 1 hour for building your own company, assets, investments, or means by which you plan to replace your job income. If you are a genius plan for a 1/2 hour and if you have average intelligence, well, time to hustle….My point is you aren’t going to dabble your way to financial independence. You will likely need to work your face off.

#5. ON MENTORSHIP: Quit being cavalier and get a mentor. Like a REAL mentor. Extremely marginal mentorship or “coaching” is super easy to find now, as a result, authentic mentorship is difficult. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE CREATED THE RESULTS YOU WANT IN LIFE! If you can, get to know a mentor on a personal level and their family–it will tell you a lot more about their authentic happiness and character then their fancy car or watch. Vet them and when you find a good one do ANYTHING you can to convince them you belong in their inner circle. One of the most amazing blessings Carrie and I were able to capture is a now 13 year relationship with a handful of entrepreneurs that are not only created a lot of financial success in their life, but by all accounts we can measure, excellent family members as well. They have always challenged us to pay this mentorship forward and in the right scenarios, we have been able to help others step away or even partially step away from Corp life–becoming one of THE MOST REWARDING AND FULLFILLING parts of the entire journey. Giving back once you have achieved “success” is the actual success.

#6. ON MENTAL TOUGHNESS: Dig your heels and mindset in for the toughest, meanest, 5-10 year dogfight of your life. We are not talking about intramural basketball, curling or badminton here, we are talking about your financial emancipation. It’s a HUGE F***ing deal. It’s about earning back A LOT of time, really, your life. It will likely be really hard AND really worth it, and you need to be mentally and emotionally prepared for the long haul. By human nature you will most likely overestimate what you can do in the short term and underestimate the long term. Embrace the adventure and the ups and downs will feel more like a great coaster than a life or death situation on a battlefield.

#7. ON BUDGETING: Stockpile as much cash as you can from your job and keep your life costs low/manageable. Have a budget. You don’t want to get caught unable to fund your company’s vision because you “needed” the new car or a daily Starbucks Latte. Don’t let small undisciplined bad habits keep you from your bigger vision. General Financial Tips:

I. Cars = Suck (Just get something reliable)

II. Home = OK. Just don’t overspend and also consider a Condo–mostly to save TIME which you can invest back into your side hustle to create WEALTH.

III. Clothes/Jewelry/Fancy things = Quality Clothes OK. Everything else, a potential anchor on your freedom.

In my case (because I’m an uber conservative former banker) I always contributed to my 401K and stayed out of consumer debt, but then we invested every other dollar I could save and muster to build our companies. Depending on your industry and what you are trying to do–you may need to forgo any savings–but it’s a great thing to run by a mentor.

#8. ON TIME MANAGEMENT: Have a TIME BUDGET!!! Don’t let anyone influence you who hasn’t achieved the goal (as you define it). Nothing is a bigger anchor and drag on your goal than a well meaning relative who loves you but has absolutely NO credibility when it comes to replacing an entire life’s worth of income and jamming it into a 5-10 year work period. They won’t GET you. WHY? Because they don’t necessarily see your vision. Love them but don’t necessarily listen to them–at least when it comes to your finances.

#9. ON LEARNING: Don’t get lost in the throngs of consuming other people’s random content. For those of us who grew up without the internet it was called Television– for those in the information age you have more enemies: Netflix, podcasts, Hulu, Candycrush, Youtube, Facebook, etc… Ironically, most successful people dropping large amounts of content are NOT the ones consuming it. If you are consuming positive content it is great and can absolutely be helpful….just realize watching or listening to hours of content every day has an opportunity cost against taking ACTION and putting in WORK.

#10. MANAGING STRESS: Learn how to unwind in a smart way. I use exercise, time with my kids and wife, and golf with my dad and father in law. It’s positive, and, exercise and quality time help me rejuvenate. If you are truly going to burn the candle at both ends for multiple years you also have to learn how to keep your body, mind and spirit energized for the long haul.

#11 REMEMBER POINT #1: Make sure you want it bad enough.

From the bottom of my heart I hope this helps! For my wife and I building our own businesses has given us the liberty, security and options that I wouldn’t trade for much—just realize the journey is not for everyone and have a clear vision of what you want to create, don’t get lost chasing money or success and miss anything that may be more important.

Godspeed to all the adventure, prosperity and love you can handle,

Craig & Carrie

*If you had the tenacity to complete the full article please add something in the comment section. What did you find most helpful? What has been the biggest challenge in creating your own success? Of course, let us know if we can help you unstick anything stuck on your journey*

#dreambig #lifevision #passiveincome #financialliteracy #budget #timebudget #sidehustle #entreprenuership #vision #goals #family #ownit

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