Think about that. I received an education. I had multiple jobs. I earned thousands of dollars over the course of my lifetime up until that point. Yet I somehow managed to be worth less 27 years into my life than I was when I started.
Back then, the thought of hundreds of thousands of dollars in my bank account was nothing more than a pipe dream. That was “lottery money”, as in the only way I could possibly attain that kind of wealth (especially at a relatively young age) was by winning the lottery.
So I was at a crossroad, if you will.
I could spend what little excess money I had at the end of every week on lottery tickets, hoping that I’d somehow beat the odds (which are incredibly stacked against those playing the lottery) and win a huge jackpot.
Or I could do what I did instead.
I Changed My Life
I moved across the country to take advantage of a better economy down in Florida (relative to Michigan at the time), no state income tax, better weather, and higher pay.
I later sold my car – taking advantage of the great weather down here which makes riding the bus easier – and cut expenses across the board. I was able to start saving more than half of my net income, something I achieved for four years straight.
And I took that excess capital and started investing in high-quality companies that reliably and regularly pay and grow dividends to shareholders, thus creating a whole new source of ongoing and increasing cash flow.
The combination of maintaining low expenses by avoiding lifestyle inflation and living below my meansmeant any increase in cash flow, which was achieved via raises at work and growing dividend income, went purely to the bottom line, accelerating my ability to grow cash flow even more. Thus, any increase in cash flow was used to create even more future cash flow. Success begets more success.
Winning The Lottery
And success begets more success until you’re all of the sudden incredibly successful. Now, it doesn’t happen overnight. Saving and investing your way to financial independence can be tedious at times; it’s certainly not a get-rich-quick strategy.
But it is a strategy that allows you to get wealthy over time if you stick with it and stay consistent.
Just a few years ago, I couldn’t imagine controlling that kind of wealth. But it’s now my reality. I can wake up in the morning, log in to my brokerage account, and see that I have almost two hundred thousand dollars. It’s absolutely insane!
Look, I grew up in a poor house filled with drug activity on the east side of Detroit. My father left us when I was eight years old. My mother, heavily on drugs, effectively left us as well, giving up control of us just a few years later. Nobody ever taught me about money. In fact, I never thought I’d have any kind of wealth at all in my life. And I was proving myself right all the way into my late 20s.
But I woke up one day. I got my act together. And I’ve since effectively won the lottery in the form of controlling a similar amount of wealth. However, I didn’t even have to gamble a dime.
Reaping The Rewards
And just like winning the lottery all of the sudden would dramatically change my life, I’m currently reaping the rewards that a relatively substantial amount of money can provide.
I left my full-time job in the auto industry last year to focus fully and completely on writing. You often hear about how people are going to quit their jobs when they win the lottery. Well, that’s basically of what I did!
But I could never have done that without the level of freedom that hundreds of dollars in monthly dividend income and almost a decade worth of expenses could provide.
Even better, the habits that got me here in the first place means I’m especially well-equipped to keep the wealth and grow it. Whereas it’s common to hear about lottery winners that end up broke just a few years after winning a jackpot because they lack the good habits necessary to sustain wealth, building your own wealth to lottery levels from scratch means you’re in a wonderful position to continue down the path to greater wealth and freedom.
By not throwing away my money on lottery tickets with incredibly long odds, I’ve been able to circumvent the waste and continuous disappointment of losing week after week. And by living below my means and instead using that capital to purchase high-quality stocks that pay and grow dividends, I’ve ended up effectively building my wealth to lottery-level proportions.
The odds of winning the lottery are incredibly low. But the odds of achieving similar wealth, and the financial independence that this kind of wealth can buy, by simply living on less and intelligently investing your excess capital are incredibly high. Anyone can do it. I know that because I’ve done it, and I continue to build my wealth to even higher levels. I’m a guaranteed millionaire at this stage.
Put the odds in your favor and end up with lottery money!
What do you think? Have those of us that are already well down the path to financial independence already effectively won the lottery?
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