Why I always get what I want: I have the choice to do what I want
This is not me saying this because I’m a spoiled, silver-spooned brat who throws a fit on the floor and then mommy and daddy give in and buy me that pink pony I always wanted.
This is me saying this because:
- I am financially self-taught and self-made.
- I make a good income now, but I wasn’t born with any connections to make it.
- I am financially secure well-beyond the average for my age.
- I worked hard at minimum wage to pay for that college education.
- I worked hard to get that career by working hard in school.
- I am still working hard at my career to advance my skill set to deliver value.
What I mean by “I always get what I want”, is that I understand I have a choice in everything I do in life.
- I have a choice to stay with an employer or not.
- I have a choice to live where I want to live.
- I have a choice to dictate how I want my life to turn out.
I do what I want to do
People told me getting out of $60,000 of debt in 5 years (my original plan) was impossible.
I did it in 18 months.
People told me I couldn’t quit my job and freelance because no one would hire me with only a few years of experience, and even if I found a contract, it would be for peanuts.
I quit and found a contract the next day, before I even had my company registered and set up!
Then I made $90,000 in 3 months and the naysayers were silenced.
People told me I couldn’t just take off a year to travel because it’s just silly — NO ONE does that!
Guess what I did in 2011?
People told me that at my age, I should just be quiet & accept the salary I’m earning, be grateful for it and the job, and to not negotiate.
I was grateful for it, but I also know I’m worth more than what they’re paying me. So each time, I negotiated and asked for more, and I got it.
My first job paid $15,000 more. My second job pays $30,000 more.
People told me that a contract I didn’t like the terms of, couldn’t be changed because ‘that’s just the way it is’.
I told them it was their decision, but to do business with me, they would have to change the terms to be more fair to both parties — e.g. I could be fired at any time by the company, but I had to give them a month’s notice.
They’ve changed it each time I’ve asked and we’ve always reached mutually acceptable compromises.
“I CAN’T QUIT MY JOB”
Everyone has the same chance to make their own choices about their life, but instead of thinking that they can do what they want to do in life, they let others tell them what the rules are and they follow grumpily, but obediently.
You know what? The rules are always in the favour of the ones who make them.
When I hear of really crappy work situations in North America (which are nothing at all like work situations in China for instance), I always ask: But why don’t you just quit and leave?
People usually give me a look like I’m crazy. LEAVE? Is she NUTS?!?
When I ask why they think it’s such a crazy idea to leave, more often than not, it boils down to the fact that they need the money, they’re living paycheque to paycheque and/or they don’t think they can get another job.
If the problem is that you have a mortgage that is killing your budget so that you absolutely cannot live without earning a certain salary, then get rid of the mortgage by selling the house.
Or pick up another job and get rid of the mortgage instead of selling the house.
If the problem is that you are always living paycheque to paycheque and you haven’t saved a single dime in an FU fund that lets you be unemployed for the 3-6 months it would take to find another job, then get a budget and start tracking your expenses to stop the bleeding and start saving!
If the problem is that you don’t think you can get another job, period.. then you need to figure out what the source of that is:
- Is it that don’t have the right education?
- Is it that the city you’re living in is too small?
- Is it that you are in an industry that is dying?
All of the above are not set in stone and it only depends on what you’re willing to do.
So you don’t have the right education — go back to school and get it.
So you don’t have the MONEY for that education — budget, track your expenses, go into debt if it is a true investment in your future, and SAVE FOR IT.
So you don’t think your city is big enough for two jobs of your kind — move to another city.
So you are in an industry that is dying — switch now before it really tanks!
All of the answers that could be given to these little excuses, are all solutions to what can be done, but they all come with consequences and a price tag (what doesn’t!?).
If you aren’t willing to put in that time, money and effort to change your life, then it’s really just yourself that’s holding you back.
You think you don’t have a choice because YOU think you don’t have a choice.
“I CAN’T LEAVE WHERE I AM LIVING”
If there’s one thing I learned from my years of consulting, is that every city is pretty much like every other city in North America. Sure, there are differences — New York City is very different from Los Angeles or from Austin, but all cities have three things you need to live:
- Shelter you can pay for
- Food you can buy
- No fear for your general safety (e.g. no war)
Transportation is another story altogether.
Depending on the size of the city, you may not have a choice but to buy a car 😐 (unless you choose to move to a bigger city with public transportation, that is).
So moving cities? Not a big deal.
Moving provinces or states are also not a big deal.
Moving countries however, is another level.
You have to think about work permits, immigration, getting all new numbers for everything such as social security, bank accounts, drivers’ licenses, and so on, the practices of the culture (healthcare, retirement plans) and the laws are different too.
…but it’s not impossible.
People switch countries all the time, and if they’ve done it, it means you can do it.
Or.. at least that’s the way I think.
“I CAN’T CHOOSE WHAT I WANT TO DO”
I call BS!
You have a choice to decide what you want to do in life.
Look, even if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, it doesn’t mean you got to choose your lifestyle either.
It might even come down to the point where you are supremely unhappy because your parents want you to work for their business, and you aren’t allowed to start your own career, be with whomever you want to be with or live where you want to live.
You have an obligation to your parents, yes.. but you also have a choice to tell them “No, I am my own person, and I choose to NOT work for the business and I choose to date whomever I want, and live wherever I want.”
If they cut you off from the family fortune, then so be it — but at least you got to choose to do what you want to do even if it’s going to be a lifetime of hard work and big changes to your life.
Otherwise, suck it up.
Accept that you will be under your family’s thumb for the rest of your life, and that’s the deal you ‘signed’ by agreeing to their terms for access to their money.
Dictate your own terms for how you want to live, and if your circumstances right now don’t permit you to quit and start traveling the world, then change your circumstances and make it happen.
NOTHING IS SET IN STONE
Don’t let an employer treat you like crap because “that’s just the way it is, and we own you because you need our money to pay your mortgage”.
Think to yourself that your life could be different, start looking for another job, bettering your education and most importantly, start saving so you can leave.
Don’t think that you can’t do something because someone else says you can’t do it.
Say ‘No’ and choose to do what you want to do with your life.
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I love this post! I come back and read it often. Like today when I told a frind about my blog and everything she said was negative: how difficult it is to make money from a blog, how much work it is, how much time it takes etc… GRRRR!!!
Thank you for this post. I blindly let others convince me of my choices and what the smart ones were. As a result, I’ve learned what “bad fit” looks like in the work world. Luckily, I can remind myself that the future holds what my choices bring. One strategic step at a time. 🙂
Mochi & Macarons
Congratulations on taking control and becoming in charge of your life 🙂 One step at a time is exactly the way to put it!
No choice is right or wrong, it always depends on the person.
Very inspirational! And so true! I am the same type of person as you and I am suprised at how many naysayers there are out there!!
Mochi & Macarons
Well granted, these are a few naysayers in a sea of very positive, wonderful people 🙂
I LOVE this post, and this is why I find you so inspirational! 🙂
We all have decisions to make so that we can live the life we want. There are consequences to our decisions, but then, the path of our life becomes our own, instead of living out someone else’s life or dream. As Revenche says, “Life is hard, but the fight has merit.”
Mochi & Macarons
Thank you! 🙂
You know I love Revanche. She is someone I absolutely admire as well — coming out of actual poverty (not “poverty” as some might believe), and supporting her whole family singlehandedly is nothing to sneeze at.
I also really love that you wrote: ” There are consequences to our decisions, but then, the path of our life becomes our own, instead of living out someone else’s life or dream.” — I think you’ve summed up my entire posts into one sentence 😉
I can absolutely relate to this post. I’m going to add this to my reading list to re-visit when I need inspiration.