What is the meaning of sacrifice in terms of finances and personal development? Is there a reward in the end?
One of the best tidbits of advice I’ve received came from a friend who had been living very minimally, for months, to the point that I was concerned for his well-being.
He had reached a point where he only kept up with the basics; outside of studying, eating, and basic hygiene – he was the type of individual you’d find researching a new, big idea while being willing to sacrifice social acceptance.
What he brought o me was this: You must be willing to take a major risk for a major reward.
To that point, I felt I had been held back because I no longer wanted additional debts added to my student loan nor taking on the weight with the combined finances of rent, food, and utilities. But he was right because – in all honesty – I was most likely going to owe this money for a long time so what was best? Do I push a project that could be lucrative, pay back what I owe, and continue to earn or… do I just settle into a position where I’ll handle basic payments on a 10-15-year cycle (or longer)?
I knew I wanted to do something bigger and better than ever before – I was ready to take the plunge
I think it’s great to have these types of individuals in your lives despite what the safe-and-sound individuals must say about handling finances. It may sound reckless, in some manner, but some of the greatest businesses were built on a whim and chance in these dire situations.
For my generation – millennials – we face a mounting challenge that is integrating into a workplace which is often dismissive of our ideas or lifestyle. It’s not that we’re lazy – we are more than willing to work – the problem comes when such work is presented where you need to fill the 40 hours with nearly 30 of it as “busy” time. It is frustrating when you’re ready to start a project but the bureaucracy of a company prevents you from pursuing your ideas.
It’s no wonder that so many of us are willing to take on additional debt to pursue our ideas – isn’t that the core of the American Dream? I felt the same way. “I decided to refinance our motorhome for the necessary capital and then I started to work on my own personal projects. Did I know it would be a success? Of course not… but it was better than simply biding my time.”
I was reminded, again, of my friend and his rant about the meaning of sacrifice if there is a larger reward at the end of the struggle.
Through both my work experience, I came to find out these things about the real world, which aren’t talked about in school:
- Everyone is bluffing
- Age is a real limiter (at times)
- You still need to pay your dues
One of the first things I noticed was that these business individuals that thought they were the reincarnation of Steve Jobs were just your average Joe. They may have jumped on a great idea that was outside their comfort zone but they needed smart people around them to keep going.
Next, is the fact that if you’re too young (or too old) some individuals will dismiss your ideas on principle. You could have a great idea but someone senior pitching the same one will often have greater success because of their seniority; it’s a real pain but it happens, you either embrace the way it is or move on, fast, to another business that appreciates your ideas.
Lastly, some managers want to see real work, often for years, before they’re willing to consider a promotion or acknowledgment. This disregard isn’t fun but it shows what the meaning of sacrifice actually is: you have to be willing to take it if you want the larger payout. In time, by showing your expertise, you’ll either be in a higher position or working for a competitor – either way, it’s a win/win if you’re willing to put in the time and pay your dues.
So what is the meaning of sacrifice in terms of finances?
It may all be a bit muddied but the consensus is that sacrifice leads to betterment.
There may be months (maybe even years) where it feels like a down-point but if you’re working on a larger project and keep your goals intact, which can lift you from the mediocrity of the corporate world, then the sacrifice is worth it because of the greater reward due to experience and connections.
Maybe it’s just an odd idea from my friend – maybe I drank the Kool-Aid – but I see it all the time in business.
What about you? What lifts you from the constraints of simply being a pawn in business? What’s your opinion on the meaning of sacrifice? Let us know in the comments below.