Based on the title of this article, you may be wondering if I'm a millionaire or what my net worth is today...
I am not close to being a millionaire and I won't disclose my net worth here but just know that keeping track of your net worth plays a significant role in becoming a millionaire. Why is it so significant?
Put simply, it's pure mathematics. If you want to buy a car in the next 6 months and you need $2,000 for a down payment, then you will need to save around $334 each month for the next 6 months. It is that simple and it really only takes discipline, financial discipline.
So, if by the time you retire you wish to be a millionaire...you will need to do the math. You will need to keep track of your net worth. You can calculate it here: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/networth/networth.html
Once you calculate your net worth, it should then be equal to the number based on this equation: (Your Age) x (Pre-Tax Annual Income)/10
(which I got from the life changing finance book called Millionaire Next Door - if you don't have an Audible account, your first audio book from them is free.)
What if your net worth does not match up with the above equation? If you want to be a millionaire when you retire, one main goal in your life is to ensure these numbers match up. Your actual net worth should match up to the number from this equation: (Your Age) x (Pre-Tax Annual Income)/10
If it does, it means you're on track to becoming a millionaire because it's simply math (just like the saving for a car example above.)
You don't have to be born rich to become a millionaire. You don't even have to earn a large annual income.
We live in a world where we have learned that having stuff, accumulating material items, and showing these items off, equates to being wealthy. This cannot be more untrue. Accumulating savings and spending less on material crap will actually build your path to becoming wealthy.
I am 31 years old (and feel that I am quite behind to the financial planning club.) So what am I doing to set myself on the path to becoming wealthy and why am I so confident?
It's always simpler to take the easy way out. To expect wealth and retirement to be given to us or to just say "I only make 50,000 a year." Honestly, it doesn't matter how much you make, you can invest $50 monthly into your IRA and, once invested, that money will grow far past your annual income. (The sad truth is...if you can go out and party with friends or eat out for dinner...you can use that money instead to invest.)
It is simple math. It is about saving and investing and it is NOT about spending stupidly.
Unfortunately, my parents were not taught to manage and save for their financial future so I wasn't taught to build my wealth. I was taught to work hard to make a huge income and then to spend it but that is not correct.
You always invest in yourself the moment your paycheck hits your account. You don't go buy groceries first. You don't go eat first. You pay yourself first by AUTOMATICALLY depositing something into your IRA or your child's college fund. Strange right?
I've had my IRA opened for almost 2 years and I already see the growing benefits it will have on my future and my child's future. I'm determined to be a millionaire when I retire and it's not based on luck, it's all based on math.
Until next time,
Is it possible for a high school runaway (with a mohawk might I add) to later become successful in Silicon Valley? Is it possible to obtain career success without a Masters degree or without being an engineer in Silicon Valley?
I am here to tell you that it is and you don't have to be an exceptional Being to get it done. You do need to have a strong backbone and be willing to dedicate money and time to get where you want to go. (And yes, I was a runaway punk rocker in high school with a mohawk.)
I am no expert on the "science of success." I can only speak from my experiences. I'm sure you might be wondering who the hell am I and what is it that I actually have as a career. I am a Corporate Marketing Manager and I'm finally getting paid well doing what I actually studied in college: Film & Digital Media. I didn't always have this career and it took immense dedication and challenging experiences before I got where I am today. I can also tell you that I know I'm successful in Silicon Valley (aka I'm very well compensated but it's not just about compensation as you'll see below.)
My list is in chronological order from when I got out of college up to today (a span of 7 years) so stick around until the end because there are some interesting, more mature points.
Here are the keys to career success that worked for me (success to me = generous compensation + love what you do):
1. Take the big name internship, even if it pays nothing
I know you've heard, "It's who you know, not what you know." I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it's a popular saying for a reason. I landed an internship right out of college at NASA through a gal I knew for many years. We were in a nonprofit organization together as teenagers. Years later, she worked at Singularity University, an innovative technological program at NASA, and told me about an internship in their media department. I was paid a very small stipend that was enough to pay for gas to and from work. You better believe I took it! Having NASA on my resume, even as an internship, has contributed to my career success. It's not about instantly making money early in your career, it's about building the steps to create a staircase to the top.
2. If it doesn't feel right, move on or risk becoming complacent
Early after my NASA internship ended, I landed a job in real estate. Why did I take this job? There was potential opportunity for video work and some updating of real estate brochures. It was a small step in the right direction however the couple I worked for micromanaged me and I knew that I couldn't thrive and excel in that environment. There is no need to stay in a situation that you know you cannot do your best in. So I moved on and landed a job in Apple retail, another big name.
3. Get the experience but eventually move on to bigger and better things
Anyone who has worked in Apple retail knows it's an unforgettable experience and one of the best. Some of the most critical interpersonal skills I have, I learned from Apple. I was a software trainer and had the opportunity to teach customers design and video skills. The problem was it was still just retail and in the end it was damn hard to move up so I moved on.
4. If you change career paths, you can still go back
After Apple I decided to switch it up to the extreme. I became a first grade teacher at a private school. Why would I do this? I needed to move out of retail but on a more interesting point, my stepson was attending this expensive private school and I wanted him to attend at no cost so I sacrificed a few years to allow him to get a great education for free. The pay was saddening and the work was exhausting. It didn't matter how much I out-shined others, I never received proper recognition. I was afraid to venture on because after 3 years of teaching I knew it didn't align with the rest of my experience or dreams. Remember, you are never stuck. It just takes some investment on your end.
5. Invest the time and money
While I was a teacher I decided to create a website through Weebly and start a blog (which you're reading right now.) I pay an annual fee to host my site. I invest time in producing content, including YouTube videos, for my blog. I also pay for a Lynda.com subscription, an online learning platform that contains courses on business, marketing, technology, and design. Rather than spending all my evenings going out and wasting money away, I sit at home and teach myself more design and marketing skills to add to my current experience. You need to invest some time and money.
6. Contract positions are a stepping stone
It's simple, contract positions pay well and help you to gain experience. They are a great stepping stone to land a permanent position elsewhere and to obtain a bump in pay. Just be careful not to get stuck in contract roles for years. Check out: How I raised my salary by 35k in only 9 months!
7. Remove yourself from toxic work environments
Yep, I said it. Out of all the places I worked, only one was truly horrifying and toxic. There are just some places where success is impossible because sadly there are some people whose goal is to tear everyone down. I was bullied at the YMCA of Silicon Valley and it was the first job in my life where I had to quit on the spot. The compensation package was stellar but it wasn't worth the mental and physical distress. Check out: Bully Bosses at the YMCA Sometimes you have to get out of a situation and leave it behind. Although I cannot use this on my resume I learned some valuable lessons.
8. It's some skill but mainly attitude
I guess I made the right choice leaving the YMCA because now I am making twice as much! Over my 7 years of career advancement I have learned that skills are important but people hire you for your attitude. I have always been positive, energetic, and passionate about work. People value this because they trust that you will deliver quality work.
It took me 7 years after graduating college to become successful and the great thing about it: I know this is just the beginning of my success, not the end.
What are your tips in becoming successful?
Written by Sterp
Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/board-chalk-blackboard-success-1097118/
Like many UC Santa Cruz alumni, I can’t help but smirk and reminisce when I hear people discuss the hobbit fairytale university that resides in the forest. Like a fairytale, there are many narratives about UC Santa Cruz and the credibility of an education acquired in the woods. Part of the alumni experience is knowing the truth, a truth that outsiders wish they knew but were too afraid to know. Every UCSC alumnus, at some point in their life, is addressed with these questions: Did you smoke with your professors? I heard UC Santa Cruz doesn’t give grades, is that true? Is there really a huge 420 celebration? Do people streak on the first day of rain?
As a parent, these questions might terrify me at first but research doesn’t lie. I will answer those terrifying questions later but first I want to highlight why I am proud to call myself a Banana Slug and prove how you can absolutely receive a credible education frolicking out in the middle of the forest.
Here are statistics and facts from 2016:
1. UC Santa Cruz ranked 4th in Research Influence Worldwide
Besides providing a higher education to people, universities have a responsibility to contribute knowledge and innovative ideas to the world. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings collects and analyzes data across universities worldwide and presents this to prospective students to help them choose the best school for their future. UC Santa Cruz ranked with a citation score of 99.8, ranking 53 out of 148 in the United States for being a top university whose faculty’s published works are cited by scholars worldwide. Learn more: http://news.ucsc.edu/2016/10/research-influence.html
2. UC Santa Cruz is Among the Top 50 Universities in the World
The U.S. News and World Report 2017 Best Global Universities rankings evaluated 1,000 universities in 65 countries and focused on 12 indicators to find out which universities rank at the top. UC Santa Cruz continues to climb the ranking ladder. In 2015, the university was ranked No. 63 and today it is tied at No. 27. UC Santa Cruz ranked high in the areas of citation impact (see research influence at number 1) and earned a No. 4 spot on the Best Global Universities for Space Science.
Learn more: http://news.ucsc.edu/2016/10/global-rankings.html
3. UCSC Biologist Wins 2017 Breakthrough Prize
Harry Noller, a molecular, cell and developmental biology professor, won the 2017 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and will share a $3 million grant with his colleagues. Noller joined UC Santa Cruz’s faculty in 1968 and his 50 years of research has helped in the development of new antibiotics that might be able to work against germs that are resistant to current drugs. Learn more: https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-santa-barbara-physicist-and-uc-santa-cruz-biologist-named-2017-breakthrough-prize-winners
4. For the First Time Ever, DNA was Sequenced in Space Using UCSC Technology
In 1996, USCS research professor David Deamer and UCSC professor of biomolecular engineering Mark Akeson created the nanopore research group, a group dedicated to making important advances in nanopore sequencing technology. In July of this year, NASA astronaut, Kate Rubins, successfully sequenced DNA aboard the International Space Station. Professor Deamer explains, “The fundamental research and patents underlying the technology of nanopore sequencing were carried out here at UCSC.” This technology is critical in protecting the health of astronauts and can be a significant tool in identifying life beyond Earth. Far out UC Santa Cruz!
Learn more: http://news.ucsc.edu/2016/09/nanopore-in-space.html
5. UCSC Alumnus Restores 1917 Women's Suffrage Film Footage
As a Film and Digital Media graduate, I had to put this one on the list. On October 13th, 2016, Mothers of Men was screened at the Del Mar Theater in downtown Santa Cruz. The silent film was shot in Santa Cruz 100 years ago and was assumed to be lost. James Mockoski, a UCSC Film and Digital Media graduate, came across a print of the film in 1997 and since then he has restored the 1917 footage, showcasing a historic Santa Cruz that imagines a progressive future where women can vote and serve as judges, lawyers, and state governors. How much has our election process improved since 1917? Many relevant questions can be raised from this film.
Learn more: http://news.ucsc.edu/2016/10/arts-silent-fim.html
These are just some highlights of the talent and innovation being born out of UCSC. I promised I would answer those terrifying questions: Did you smoke with your professors? No, I never smoked with any professors. I heard UC Santa Cruz doesn’t give grades, is that true? Up until 2011 UC Santa Cruz used a narrative grading system where professors gave in depth evaluations of a student’s performance. Today, all students are traditionally graded. Is there really a huge 420 celebration? I can neither confirm nor deny the festivities that a”rise” on the date of April the 20th. That is all. Do people streak on the first day of rain? Yes, be prepared for the first day of rain because you will see nudity.
So before you bash a university for being a pot head school you might want to look at the statistics first. Numbers never lie and UC Santa Cruz continues to rise in the rankings and contribute innovative ideas that are born in the middle of a forest.
Written by Stephanie Briggs
Welcome my lovely Beings! You can call me Sterp. When I come home from my corporate job I am welcomed by my YouTubing 11 year old gamer, my dancing 2 year old, a ginger husband who specializes in making me laugh every day, a cockatiel named Frida, and my husky Rocko, the Thief of All Food. I practice Buddhism to help keep my sanity while sitting in traffic and dealing with toddler meltdowns. Life presents us with many challenges so I try not to take it too seriously. Don't forget to follow me on all the social networks below!