I think about this a lot when the topics of finances and moving up the company ladder come up. It seems everyone is always talking about moving up to executive positions, to make six figures, to be the best of the best…
But what if you don’t want that? What if you want enough to be content with the occasional splurge? What if you don’t want to be an entrepreneur CEO? It seems that this idea is completely crazy according to the media.
I recently came across an article that generalized why Millennials haven’t reached financial freedom. The article talks with a 28 year old entrepreneur, Dandan Zhu, who has enough money to retire, about what she thinks is the main reason we’re not financially free.
Turns out it’s alcohol.
Well, my sober ass is looking for the thousands of dollars I’ve hypothetically saved by not drinking the past (almost) 4 years. I think she severely oversimplifies the situation most millennials are in. Her examples involve living in New York City, which I don’t think anyone without an absolute need to be in Manhattan would even consider living in the heart of it. They also involve examples of people who are mostly extroverts.
“Instead of investing in “boring” activities like wealth creation and income generation, we’re spending 80 to 95 percent of our free time dedicated to “fun” pursuits.” [x]
When it comes to the average millennial, it’s most likely we’re living paycheck to paycheck, don’t get the chance to do many things outside of work, and still have crippling student debt where a lot of us don’t want to throw money into investing when you’re reminded every month you still owe thousands.
There’s also the fact that most places I’ve looked into about investing involve needing a start up chunk to invest. Not many actually have that chunk to invest. If there are places that will take maybe $100 as the initial investment, I haven’t come across them.
As I pointed out earlier, those that are becoming these entrepreneurs are more often extroverts. They’re people who naturally work better with people, have no problem with selling themselves, and aren’t afraid to take the risks involved in starting their own business.
“In my headhunting job, I knew what I was doing since I used my natural strengths of being good at sales and people.” [x]
This is a quote from a different article, one that Zhu herself wrote, and I don’t know about you, but there’s a bright neon sign staring me in the face. What I’m talking about is “…natural strengths of being good at sales and people.”
Speaking from my own experiences, I’m terrible at sales and people. There are times when I’m talking to my co-workers, who I’m comfortable around, when I trip up on my own words because my mouth starts talking before my brain can catch up. I usually end up leaving out crucial details which makes my story fall flat because everyone else is missing the point.
I’m not good at sales, and I’m terrible at selling myself to others. She got lucky that she had a natural talent for things that would push her forward into success. If you’re good at selling yourself, you’re bound to get what you want eventually.
Are You an Entrepreneur?
“Instead of asking the question “Do I have what it takes to start a business?” the better question is “Am I willing to develop the entrepreneurial traits required for running a business?” “
This hits everything to me. Am I willing to develop the entrepreneurial traits required for running a business?
My answer is No.
I have no desire to be the CEO, the founder, the person to handle everything within a company. That’s not who I am. And that’s okay.
But that’s not to say I want to be a drone either. I’m fine with some responsibilities, but having the entire company on my shoulders is a huge undertaking that I’m definitely not ready for.
And with most of the people interviewed because they’ve made millions in their 20s are entrepreneurs, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that without being one, you’re stuck.
Happy with Being Content
I have no desire to live a grandiose lifestyle. I want to make enough to live comfortably as a single person, and a bit more if combined with a partner’s wages. I have never wanted to run my own business, I don’t really like being the center of things.
Right now I’m content with my job. I don’t hate what I do, and I don’t hate the people I do it with. I’m treated well and the way things are going, I have no plans of leaving any time soon. I wouldn’t mind making a bit more than I do now, I’d ideally like to move to a place where I can have a pet of some sort. At this point I don’t even know if I want to own a home. I don’t see that decision coming up for quite a few years.
If you’re like me and look around your life and think “you know, it’s not so bad” know you’re not alone. Know that it’s okay to live a more minimal lifestyle, or to not want to reach some of the superficial milestones your parents want you to hit. That’s not to say to ignore saving for retirement. But if you’re content living on a small salary now, it won’t make a difference when you have to do it later, you just won’t have a job to go to anymore.
Are you currently content with your life? Are you not? Let me know in the comments below!