Wanting Too Much, Too Soon

We’ve all created wants and dreams at some point in our lives. We want a big house with a perfect view. We want nice cars and exotic vacations. Of course we know that all these dreams, don’t come true without a bit of hard work. So we get to work. We brainwash ourselves, we isolate from the real world in hopes of staying focused on our goals. But have you ever wondered, why after working so hard for so long, we still can’t seem to afford the above mentioned dreams? ”What’s it gonna take??”, we ask.

On a trip back home to the US Virgin Islands, I had a talk with a business associate and mentor of mine. We had breakfast at one of his ‘Built from scratch’ Villas. This guy is strictly old-school, worked like we all do, owned and sold a few restaurants, had a share in Real Estate flipping, and presently, he owns 2 successful retail stores and 2 luxury vacation villas. He travels the world when he wants, spoils his granddaughter and shares light and wisdom to those in his path. I’d felt his relief while we gazed at the ocean from his balcony, and I could just imagine how proud he must be for what he has built for himself.

Now, I didn’t come to the house to interview him at all, but from the moment I opened the door and stood in a custom built home filled with nothing but natural light, and ocean breeze beating against my entire being, I couldn’t resist the urge to blurt out my first question: “how did you do it!?” And as a fellow entrepreneur myself, I needed to add, “what am I doing wrong?”

His response was all too simple.

See, I was baffled because, as I said, this guy is super old school. Has no Digital Marketing experience, does no form of advertising for any of his businesses, and does not believe in doing discount SALES! He doesn’t post or socialize excessively online. What he does though, is: he works, he reads, manages his businesses by the book, accounts for every penny, reaps the benefits of word of mouth and engages with the right people face to face everyday! This has been his way of life!

His morning routine is as follows: Opens up the windows to let the ocean breeze flow through the house, Goes to the kitchen, reads his chosen book on his tablet over coffee, checks emails, manage villa tenants and then heads off to check up on his retail store when he’s not taking those tenants out on his boat to the BVI.

The answer to how he built this well sought out lifestyle was simply this: set realistic goals.

At his current age of 71, he admitted that at my age of 34, he had none of what I’m witnessing today. A little business here and there but the assets were not acquired. He had opened his first store 27 years ago (age 44) and built his first villa 10 years ago (age 63).

He stated that he never wanted for anything specific, never set his eyes on any specific prizes he couldn’t afford at the moment, never had luxurious dreams! He just knew how to work and understood how to make money. Through experiences and quality real life connections, he got insight on ways to invest and multiply his money and all of what I was witnessing were the results from years and years of discipline and building wealth.

This simple and super relaxing morning, after being served a veggie omelet and homemade mimosas on the balcony facing the ocean surrounding the island, had opened my eyes and mind to a whole new perspective on what my entrepreneurial journey should look like.

7 years ago, I’d accidentally fell into entrepreneurship while working my Marketing career at the Marriott Frenchman's Reef Hotel. When the opportunity presented itself, I didn’t procrastinate on maximizing it. I did the work. But when I finally started seeing what real money looked like, I started wanting, craving, and seeking out the things I couldn’t yet afford. I became anxious feeling like I needed to do more and more and faster! I heavily sought out that imaginary final stamp of approval ‘SUCCESS’

I’ve retrained myself to believe this: success is not the ‘final result’ of hard work, it is not the reward…success is not the house, car or vacations. Success is how well you perform during the process. The process that then allows us to be able to afford the things we dreamed about, or the things we set our eyes on.

I will say, its okay to dream, but many of us, fall short in the ‘wanting too much’ ‘too soon’ pit. We set unrealistic time frames to accomplish these wants and fulfill these dreams. We work endlessly and anxiously with no strategy. We make the money but we spend it on purchases that unknowingly keep us going backward vs living life in its simplest form. We talk more than we ’do’. We socialize behind a phone screen to a bunch of strangers that consume our talents and give nothing in return. We compare our now with their 'nows' and we put ourselves down or put way to much unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We create a mess, and through the thickness of this mess, we lose sight, we lose focus, we lack discipline; and therefore, we find ourselves asking, what are we doing wrong.

I walked away with this, slow down, don’t try too hard. Patience will allow us to build, but anxious, untimely behaviors are sure to keep us doomed. Set realistic goals as my new found mentor advised, develop a strategy and stick to it. It is only then, you will be deserving of the rewards and the stamp of approval by success once you’ve proven that you can handle the process.

10 comments

  • So true! Patience and discipline take us where we want to go. Love it! Thanks.

    MANOEL F SILVA
  • Good read and great advice. Thank you

    Ahsima Anthony
  • Truly an eye opening read! Slow down, enjoy the process and build!

    Angel Jae
  • Wow that’s all I have to say 😞 oh and Thank You very much for sharing this. Wow

    Anna-Maria Joseph
  • That was eye-opening! Having patience in the process, setting realistic goals, expectations for the success you will attain. Well done! Keep dropping them pearls!

    Charmain Hamilton

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