Content provided by Bryan Kuderna, CFP, LUTCF
“I think everybody should get rich and famous to realize it’s not the answer.”- Jim Carrey
I stared at my overwhelming Inbox early Monday morning. Amidst the usual client emails sat countless follow-up questions regarding financial strategies and monetary goals stemming from readers of my book. “I really think this title backfired on me”, I thought to myself. Certainly, with a name like Millennial Millionaire and a subtitle of A Guide to Become a Millionaire by 30, one naturally thinks about money, money, money. However, as a CFP® intimately involved with my clients’ familial and business goals, I am here to tell you unequivocally that success is NOT about the balance sheet, and it never has been.
Based on countless interactions from the affluent to the broke, here are my 11 universally agreed upon steps to have it all!
- Travel– if materials depreciate and memories appreciate, then seeing the world is priceless. It might be a Mediterranean Cruise or just a new park across state-lines. Every good story needs a “where”.
- Set Physical Goals- if an idle mind is the cousin of the devil, a sedentary body is its close friend. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the first major jump in my business occurred the year I ran my first marathon, or that my best year yet was the same year I completed an Ironman. Such totally separate physical exertion somehow renews the shortened work schedule.
- Track Your Excitement– every couple of hours pause and take your pulse. Not your real pulse, but just how you feel… excited, in the zone, or bored and unengaged? This simple exercise can help you refocus on your passions and push aside meaningless tasks, it’s guaranteed to make you more efficient, effective, and happier.
- Faith- no one is immune to doubt and every day is sure to bring its share of curveballs. Some form of ultimate guide (Bible, Torah, Qur’an, etc.) and overarching belief system promote confidence, stability, and a positive outlook.
- Read- this is the simplest way to level the playing field between an Ivy League graduate and someone who barely completed high school. Not only is the public library one of the best educators, it is a great fictional escape that can spark creativity in the dullest of moments. My wealthiest and cheeriest clients are always telling me about something new they read.
- Yoga- many of the greatest minds of all-time credit meditation. Yoga has become the 21st century panacea for the busy-bee who can’t sit still and hum.
- Entrepreneur Time- going back to tracking your excitement, even a business owner can get lost in the tedium of his or her labor. Facebook, Google, and several other rising stars have implemented 20% time in their work schedules, allowing employees’ minds to run wild 20% of the time on projects they enjoy.
- Skip Work/Life Balance- one of the industry’s favorite terms is a scam. This is why Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, endorses “Work/Life Harmony”. The suggestion to balance these two facets of life immediately pits them against one another, as if work is the villain and personal life the protagonist. If you want to answer your e-mails at 9PM, then go for it, who’s to say hitting the beach for surf at 11AM is wrong, as long as the results are met.
- Don’t Retire- if there’s one thing us financial advisors understand, it’s retirement planning and retirement living. Until the Baby Boomers have fully checked out, the public might be surprised to find this final stage a bit of a letdown. Maintaining a purpose in life combined with the reality of being needed (even by a nagging boss) keeps one moving forward. Feel free to graduate elsewhere, but don’t retire.
- Carry a Notepad- We’ve all had our fair share of AHA moments, and then most of us forget them. Tap into the full capacity of your thinking power by carrying a notepad (or using the reminder feature on your smartphone). This quasi To-Do list will keep you on track and out of the quicksand of emails and other time-killing activities.
- Get Married (to the right guy or gal)- even though most millennials are still shying away from this concept, loners do not exist. It’s mankind’s hardwiring to obtain a soul mate. Sadly, over half of marriages are now ending in divorce which becomes an emotional and financial nightmare. So, choose wisely and follow the previous steps for a happy life together.
This quick guide does not dispel the need to live and work harder, but rather to do so smarter. Please continue to read my book, but perhaps approach Millennial Millionaire less as a mandatory financial achievement and more an ambition of fulfillment.
A Guide to Become a Millionaire by 30… Bryan Kuderna reveals the secrets of financial literacy for young professionals.