If you want to achieve financial independence quickly, you have to be extraordinary. That doesn't mean you have to be the Katy Perry of music, the Michael Jordan of sports, or the Warren Buffet of investing. Indeed, many people of exceptional talent who earn millions still end up broke. They lack the three key skills.
When I say extraordinary, I mean something different. The roots of the word "extra" are from the Latin for "outside." Extraordinary means "outside" or "beyond." So are you making decisions outside the cultural norms that will keep you broke and working till 70 or longer?
The Path to MIGHTY Extraordinary
- 85 percent of Americans finance or lease the new cars they purchase. That is the ordinary path. The extraordinary path is to recognize that (as per our 9th grade math skills) it is much smarter to buy a used car that you can afford with cash, especially as it will be much cheaper to insure, register, etc.
- It's Mighty Extraordinary to buy a triplex in your 20s and rent out the other two units and cover your entire mortgage on the complex through the rent paid by your tenants (you live for basically free).
- To not try to buy status, but be confident in yourself and know how to project social status through non-financial means.
- Never finance your vacations on credit cards, ever.
- The extraordinary thing is to not blame anyone for your financial situation, recognize that building wealth is a multi-decade game, and get to work.
- To work on building your business in your twenties instead of blowing your money, time, and mind in the bars.
- Apply for a position seven times at the same institution until you get the job of your dreams.
- Live with relatives and save money for a year to pull together a down payment on your first home and never rent a place as an adult.
- Keep your job and build a business on the side--not quitting until that business is making real money.
- The super extraordinary thing is to pick your spouse based on their character and common sense (and--yes--of course chemistry, too), but that's beyond the scope of this site!
The Mighty notion of extraordinary isn't about being different for its own sake. In fact, we think the American obsession with being different and special is kind of weird and leads people to waste money on status. Nope, being Mighty Extraordinary is just about being smarter and more strategic than our cultural mainstream teaches or encourages.
I haven't done all of the above examples. At all. There were plenty of missteps along the way. That's life. But you know what? The extraordinary move now is to recognize where you can improve your choices and decisions and take action immediately to build the life of your dreams.