Most people don’t want to become a millionaire, they want to be one.
Back in either 2002 or 2003, I ran my first footrace. It was a 5 mile race held on the 4th of July. I was goaded into the race by my college roommate, who had boasted he could beat me, during dinner one evening in the college dining hall. Our macho bravado got the better of us, and next thing you knew, I was not only running the race, but had a 50 dollar bet going as well. This is still the largest cash bet I have ever made. This amount was enough to give me the night sweats. I thought of it often as I went out for training runs. Training at the time consisted of me running a 1.5 mile out and back course about 3 times per week. I attempted to run this course faster each and every time out, it was misery, I was running, but I wasn’t becoming a runner.
My finish time was 34:10.
My buddy and I started the race together, and stayed within arms distance of one another for the first 3 miles. We both knew I was the faster sprinter, so my plan was to simply run with him, and then out sprint him for the line. Like any good foolish college male, my confidence grew as we ran, and I decided to end the competition early. After the 3 mile mark, I simply speed up, and ran away.
I earned 50 bucks that day.
Upon crossing the line, I was exhausted, and remained in this state for the remainder of the day. At this time, I was a college basketball player, I exercised daily, and worked a physically demanding summer job. I was fit; the race whipped me!
Many people would be thrilled with such a result and many would claim that I, in fact, was a runner. I set my sights higher, and decided that I would become a runner. What needed to be done in order to become a top 10 finisher? Over the last 13 years, I have run at least 2-3 times per week, this is a conservative estimate. For the last 2 years, I’ve consistently ran 5-7 times per week. Using my conservative estimate, I have gone for a run somewhere between 1,350 – 2,028 different times, additionally I’ve gone on countless bike rides and swims during this time. (I was hooked on triathlons for a while)
I’ve found people faster then me, and made it a point to train with them.
I’ve gone to bed early, gotten up early, I’ve passed on nights out and eating extra sweets. I’ve tried to stay focused and make a consistent effort to train more, smarter, and faster. In July of 2015, I lined up for the same Firecracker race once again. I set my fastest ever time for the 5 mile distance. My time was 28.07 and I finished 5th overall. I have shaved over 5 minutes off of my time from that first year. I’ve become a runner.
Imagine if this same effort was applied to financial decisions over a 13 year span. Every week, 2 or 3 times you would forgo an expense or take an opportunity to perform some extra paid work. You would spend time thinking about your investments, expenses, and earnings.
You would surely become a millionaire!
Reaching your financial goals isn’t something that just happens, it is the culmination of making small purposeful decisions thousands of times. These small decisions often lead to a better understanding, and the ability to recognize opportunities, which only serves to increase the speed in which you are able to pursue your financial freedom.
What are you becoming?