Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.
This is the time of day that many of us are getting ready to leave for work. Hopefully you only have to do this once each day. There are lots of people who work more than one job, clocking in twice or even three times a day. Sometimes it’s just for some of life’s extras, like maybe a down payment on a car or a vacation. But all too often, we need these extra jobs just to make ends meet.
There could be lots of reasons for that, some a little more self-inflicted than others. But it really doesn’t matter. When bills are piling up and there’s not enough money to make them go away, it’s more than frustrating. It can be downright paralyzing.
Of course, the easy answer (and the one offered up most often) is don’t over-extend yourself. That’s great advice, but it doesn’t do much to make the problem go away right now. Time is usually not part of the equation, because the time to get something started was weeks, or even months, ago. Even if you started a second job today, it could be three weeks before you get paid.
Part of the problem is we tend to miss the signs that things are headed in the wrong direction. We know the bills will need to be paid, but somehow overlook the reality that there just won’t be enough to go around. By the time the problem becomes obvious, it’s too late. Now we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul, and setting ourselves up for months, or even years, of being behind.
It all goes back to a concept I’ve written about in the past – dig the well before you get thirsty. Digging the well takes time, and the first water coming up may not even be fit to drink. But if we see the need and respond before it becomes a problem, it’s usually little more than a bump in the road. You pump the handle, and out comes water. You go to the bank, and the money you need is there.
And this concept stretches way beyond just financial matters. Have you ever seen a job posting for something you’d really love to do, but realize in reading the qualifications you’ve come up a little short? Sure, you could take a class or learn a new skill. But the company doesn’t have time to wait. By the time you could get through a class, the job will be filled.
Or maybe you read about a special cruise with your favorite musician. It’s a once in a lifetime event, and you’d desperately love to go. But over the course of the year, you’ve burned all your personal leave a day or two at a time, maybe with frivolous things or just because you didn’t feel like going to work. Now, even if you had the money, you couldn’t get the time off.
Digging the well means anticipating the unexpected. It means recognizing that events will transpire over the coming year that you can’t begin to plan for. At the start of 2018, I didn’t expect to have brain surgery by the end of the year. But it happened, and let me tell you, having a little money in the bank and a whole bunch of vacation time on the books made a world of difference.
Digging the well also means keeping your mind open to trying something a little out of the ordinary. No matter what you hope to accomplish, there are opportunities out there just waiting to be discovered. But you have to do two things. First, you have to actually be looking. Opportunity doesn’t knock. Bill collectors knock. If you want to find opportunity, you have to do the knocking.
You also have to be ready when opportunities arise. That means being able to recognize an opportunity for what it is, to look beyond potential flaws and what other people think, to find what may be a pot of gold waiting at the end. It means keeping your options open instead of immediately looking for reasons not to even give it a try.
There are many paths to success, some a lot more traditional and predictable than others. But the fact remains, the obvious and predictable path is crowded, and the rewards may not be all that special. If you want something more, you have to do something more. Take those chances, stick your neck out a little. Be willing to embrace the path less traveled.
To have something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. And success means spending a few years of your life doing the things most people won’t do so you can spend the rest of your life doing what most people can’t do. You’ve heard this all before. The question is, what will you do about it?
That’s all for now. Have yourself an awesome day!
© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved