The road to riches can be a hard one. I always think about where I was 10 years ago. Let's see, I was just finishing off my junior year in college and coming back from a semester in London. The market was horrible! It was the spring of 2009 and I was getting nervous about being a Marketing major and finding a job that would reap earnings sufficient for me to be able to move out of my mother's house. That summer, I examined the accounting and finance track to see which one would cost me the least amount of time and money to switch. Finance was the winner and so I took my first finance class the summer before my senior year. Looking back on it, I was happy that I had made the decision for a number of reasons.
1. I liked Marketing a lot but I never thought it was something I needed to necessarily had to go to school for and could potentially do later in life. (i.e my freelance business)
2. I love money and wanted to learn more about it and how to get into the world of investing and saving.
3. I dreamed of working in the finance world and potentially wanted to try my luck on Wall Street
Well wouldn't you know, at the time the worst career you could be in was Finance. Wall Street was literally on fire as banks failed left and right. Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns were being annihilated and ultimately went under. The internship I got at Merrill Lynch for the semester turned out to be a bust as the Senior Adviser I was working for at the time stopped coming to work because he wasn't making his quota in sales each week. Merrill of of course got purchased by Bank of America by the end of my internship. I remember coming into the office in downtown Minneapolis and there was rows and rows of empty cubes with random keyboards and pens sprinkled all over the place. It honestly looked someone had raided the place. It was just a bad time for Finance. So I did what anyone willingly to fight for what is theirs did, I applied to over 150 jobs and landed in Accounting. Technically Audit but nonetheless it was a career path I never even dreamed of being in. Being a young impressionable 21 year old, I wanted to work my way up the corporate ladder in the world of Risk Management and run the company. Sounds boring right, but apparently the movies made it look so glamorous. That was until I got my first dose of reality of what it means to work in a corporate setting and having the taste of what it means to grind. The politics, the canoodling you had to do to get in good with the right people and the performance reviews. It all just wasn't for me. Not to mention, I've never been the one to sell my soul to anyone, it just never felt right authentically.
Once I realized I didn't want that life-style or at least for a long, I began this quest to get to explore what I was good at and what I was bad at. I buckled down in my 20's to put more effort in my career and start a side hustle of graphic design my first love on the side. I never truly gave up that piece of me and it became even more apparent when I suddenly realized I had actually given away of a piece of my soul to the almighty dollar. I felt that it was imperative in my 20's to grind so I can begin to build in my 30's, with my new side hustle I knew if I wanted to I could make my lifestyle of a corporate girl by day and entrepreneur by night work.
After my husband and I had our son in our late 20's, I thought it was even more important that I establish a legacy for him. He was so small and vulnerable and honestly by the time he was my age, who even knew what type of financial state the world would be in. Suffering through my 20's also built me up emotionally, mentally and physically. I started doing a few things during that time, that really helped me put things into perspective.
I respect everyone'y decision in what they believe in and even for those who are not spiritual or religious, it's important to slow down and listen to your own thoughts. I spent a lot of time in my 20's people pleasing and honoring other people's feelings more than mine. It was important that I built in more time for myself. Especially after being a mom, I realized how "me time" was even more important. I believe everything has balance in life and spending quality time with yourself helps you to reflect and reset yourself with the world.
Whether it's an idea, a class, a job, or a person. Say what you will do and do what you say! I believe in always living up to what I say when it comes to how I carry myself. If I say I'm going to send an email, I'm sending an email. If I say I'm going somewhere with someone, I'm going somewhere with that person. I spent a lot of time in 20's watching people around me tell me one thing and doing another. I always knew your word means everything and it helps build loyalty and reliability when you can honor it. I also think being an entrepreneur and working in consulting always had me thinking about your brand and reputation. I have a strong work ethic and I never wanted anything to damage that.
Staying Disciplined and Focused
When I was a senior in high school, I knew there was something special about me, because despite the norm, I applied to over 40 scholarships and ended up with $250,000 to go to school for 4 years. I had won so much money, every semester I got a check for a couple of thousand that helped over the semester so I didn't have to work. It was that same discipline that had me applying to 150 jobs, so I can land in an Audit Rotational Program at a big bank and start my career in the world of auditing financial crimes. I think that endurance has always been in me but I want to continue to keep fostering it. I learned a long time that the more time I put into something, the more I see the fruits of my labor.
This was by far the hardest lesson I had to learn. I spent a lot of my time in my 20's wishing I was on the next step, not really enjoying where I was at or appreciating it. I was your check-the-box type of girl and it was never enough even to just check the box. It's fair to say in my 30's I've learned to slow down and take it like one week at a time lol. A day is way to slow for me! The point is that although it's good to forecast sometimes, it even more beautiful to live in the moment and enjoy the right now.
After having those four simple things shape my 20's it feels good to say that in year 1 of my 30's, so far it's been so great! My son is happy, my marriage is healthy, my business and career is flourishing. All those days of struggling to find peace has paid off and for that I'm grateful.
The Lioness is a financial blogger based in the Twin Cities. After spending most of her career in accounting, she decided to leap into the world of small business, investing and savings. As she is on this journey of juggling both her career and small business, she wants to share what she is learning along the way, as she builds her passive income with her husband and family.