Saturday Morning Thoughts

It seems as if a large percentage of society is in a trap; going through the motions and just being able to pay the bills.

A new survey highlighting the fact almost half of working Canadians are living paycheque to paycheque reveals the inevitable corollary of failing to save enough: For most of us, retiring before age 60 will be a pipedream if we don’t get our saving act together.

Far from being confident about a comfortable retirement, 48 per cent of the 5,600 working Canadians surveyed by the Canadian Payroll Association say it would be hard to make ends meet if their paycheque were delayed even a single week, according to the Canadian Payroll Association (CPA)’s eighth annual Research Survey of Employed Canadians, which is being released Wednesday.

So whats the answer. There is no magic solution other than working smart instead of working hard. There are no shortcuts, hoevever, there is a big difference in the ability to work smart. But in order to do so, we must take risks. You can work hard your whole and be diligent about saving money; and you will but the risk takers are the ones that become really succesful. Founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos’ success has been hugely due to the risks he has been taking all throughout his career. Recently, he bought The Washington Post, a struggling new operation and looks to turn it around into a revenue generating business.

Jeff Bezos started his first company from a garage in 1995 and by 1998 he was in charge of a $22.1 Billion market presence.

Although this may seem idealistic and perhaps unrealistic, it is patently true. But you have to be willing to step outside your comfort zone. When FedEx was denied a business loan they needed to foot a gas bill and stay afloat, founder Fred Smith took $5,000 to Las Vegas to raise the cash. If that’s not the epitome risk taking, we don’t know what is.

In order to suceed, double your failure.

Thomas Watson Jr – founder IBM

Lets consider the story of Abraham Lincoln.

  • 1816: His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
  • 1818: His mother died.
  • 1831: Failed in business.
  • 1832: Ran for state legislature – lost.
  • 1832: Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
  • 1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
  • 1834: Ran for state legislature again – won.
  • 1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
  • 1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
  • 1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
  • 1840: Sought to become elector – defeated.
  • 1843: Ran for Congress – lost.
  • 1846: Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
  • 1848: Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
  • 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
  • 1854: Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
  • 1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – got less than 100 votes.
  • 1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
  • 1860: Elected president of the United States.

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