If you’re a member of the collegiate class of 2014 you’ve most likely wrapped up your final exams, donned your cap and gown, and walked across the stage to receive your degree (as long as those parking tickets were paid.)
Most likely, you also sat through a somewhat inspirational, borderline boring and almost certainly cookie cutter keynote speech in which some notable person implored you to shoot for the stars.
Whether the speech fired you up or simply served as an opportunity to take a few more graduation selfies, that type of speech was probably appropriate for that occasion.
Now, it’s time for you to get some REAL advice.
The skills that got you through school aren’t the same skills that will lead you to success in life. You’re going to have to think differently if you ever want to pay those student loans back in a reasonable amount of time.
Since my invite to speak at your graduation must have gotten lost in the mail, I’ve put my best tips for you (the recent grad) and for the no-so-recent grad to implement to enhance your chance at success in today’s environment.
Understand WHO You Work For
The idea of having a “career” is cute, but it doesn’t exist anymore. Face it, your parents had “careers”, but you won’t.
Pensions are a thing of the past. No one goes to work for a company for 40 years and then has the company pay them for the rest of their lives.
Because there are no more pensions, you and you alone are responsible for your retirement. This means, you better get good at managing your money…fast.
Because of these major shifts in business, you no longer work for a company.
Everyone is their own business now. You work for yourself. Period. You are not a businessman, you’re a business…man (thanks Jay-Z), your “boss” is your client.
Now, a business with only one client is a business that can go out of business any day. Do you think it’s smart to run a business and serve only one client? No? Well why are your running your business that way?
Understand WHY You’re Working
I’m sorry, but I have to tell you something. It IS about the money.
If we agree that you are a business, then just like any other business, your obligation is to make as much profit for your shareholders (you and you family) as possible.
I’ve said before that you’re probably in a race to save $2.5 million as soon as you can, so that you can live on at least $100,000 in retirement.
With that goal in your mind, are you going to sit around and wait for your boss to give you a 3% raise this year? I doubt it.
You’ll Be Successful WHEN You Stop Waiting for Permission
College was very regimented. You knew what you had to do to succeed. Write your paper. Cram for your exam. Rinse and repeat.
In real life, there is no guidance counselor to make a success schedule for you. In fact, outside of your spouse, your parents and your dog, no one cares if you are successful or not.
It you’re waiting on someone to “discover” you, pick you, promote you or tell you its ok to do something great…you’re going to be waiting for quite sometime.
Most people W.A.I.T because they’re too busy asking themselves Who Am I To…? (See what I did there?) You know how it goes:
“Who Am I To truly enjoy what I do everyday?”
‘Who Am I To be this good looking?”
“Who Am I To give other people advice when I’ve made my own mistakes?”
Get over it. You deserve it as much as the next person. It’s action that determines who gets the spoils.
But wait, there’s more…
For the rest of my golden rules for college grads check out this week’s #MoneyMonday video (above) where I’ll tell you two major things that will deterrnine where you end up in life and the one person that can speed up the process of getting there.
You’ve spent 4 (5? 6?) years of your life and nearly $100,000 (even if you had grants and scholarships, that’s the sticker price) learning.
You have what you need. Now go get what you want.