“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” — Bill Gates
Won’t lie. It’s incredibly hard to not only use long-term thinking, but apply and implement it without giving up.
If you can do it, though, you will become superhuman. If you’re able to, somehow, sustain a level of practice for something like ten years, the results you’d be able to get would blow your mind.
Anyone who diligently worked on a profitable skill or business could become a millionaire in a decade, easily. I’m halfway there and that’s my plan.
If you worked out three times a week for ten years, you could have the body of a Greek God and Tyler Durden abs.
If you carefully spent time building the right connections and invested in your community, you could own your city.
But, like I always say, easy enough for me to say.
Best I can do is relate my own experiences to you and give you a glimpse of what it’s like to hone a craft and design a life one day, one week, one month, one year at a time until you become successful seemingly out of nowhere.
Idon’t consider myself “wealthy. No Lamborghini photos or mansions to show you. I drive a 2008 Kia Optima and live in a small duplex. I wear $5 t-shirts I bought from H&M. I’m pretty much a normal person except for one key distinction.
I’m a free man.
I wake up and do exactly what I want when I want to do it. No one tells me what to do. Rather than flaunt my wealth, I retain it and grow it. Freedom is the most important metric to me, so everything I do is centered around it.
And I built that freedom over the span of five years.
That’s your first benchmark.
One of my blogging mentors, Jon Morrow, said it will take 4 to 6 years to become skilled enough at blogging to make a real living doing it. Cool. No skin off my nose. Did it.
Most great runs take five years to fully actualize. From careers to classic bands and dynasty sports teams, there’s something about the number five that just seems to fit.
If you want to be free.
If you want to design your life instead of letting life happen to you, it will take years. I’m not a fortune teller, but my educated guess is three to five years.
It’s hard to make that commitment up-front, which is why I always suggest aiming for 90 days, then 6 months, then a year. A life broken down into chunks seems doable. So do it.
Here’s the most important thing to remember on your path to building a new life. Don’t spend a ton of time imagining the future. It’ll trip you up. You’ll think about your current self trying to do hard things, except you won’t be your current self when you do those things in the future. You’ll be a different person by then.
If there’s anything to hold in your imagination…it’s the fact that you will become an upgraded version of you that your current self wouldn’t believe.
I’ve been repeating this theme in quite a few blog posts lately, but that’s okay, because I feel so strongly about the power of creators and the level of opportunity to be had in the next ten years that I need to seer this into your brain.
You can get scary, scary, scary good at what you do. You have no idea.
If you’re a writer, you can go from zero to millions of fans in five years.
If you’re a business owner, you can go from total newbie to six-figures or more. To boot, you’ll have a skill set that will protect you from ever needing to get a job again. Once you know hustling skills, you know how to get money in a pinch when you need it.
In five years, you can overhaul your entire personality. You can go from timid and terrified introvert to charismatic master communicator. You can go from abject laziness to superhuman levels of productivity compared to your former self. How do I know? Because it’s my story.
If I were to go back in time five years and tell my former self what he’d go on to accomplish, he’d laugh. In the back of his mind, he probably thought it was all possible, but he didn’t or couldn’t know.
You can’t know.
You won’t be able to predict how much better your life will get if you put in the work.
So just do it and see. Trust me.
Now, this next part is just speculation. I can only tell you what I’ve heard. Based on the way my life is going, though, what I’m about to say does seem very likely.
After five years you’ll have your mini-empire. You won’t have financial freedom quite yet, but you’ll have flexibility. You’ll have enough to not do shit you hate. In ten years, supposedly, you can gain true wealth.
After putting in work for five years, you’ll have a litany of second nature habits. You don’t need “motivation” anymore.
You’ll have many different avenues you can go with your life and if you do things right, you can build a life of true wealth, abundance, freedom, all that good stuff.
The question is…why would you want do to this?
Isn’t money the root of all evil? Isn’t worldly success empty and vain? Shouldn’t you be happy with what you have? No, no, and hell no.
Aside from brainwashing by society, this type of thinking comes from an inability to understand long-term time frames.
Case in point:
- Most people have little to no savings.
- They don’t have enough retirement money to live for the next 30 years after they stop working.
- They’re in debt, so they have to keep working.
- Lack of wealth-building means they have to trade time for money doing things they hate constantly, which causes stress and literally leads to an early grave.
From a purely pragmatic standpoint, you need much more resources than you have right now. Much more.
Your goal? Get wealthy. Build generational wealth. This is what is supposed to happen from years 5–10.
When you have a profitable skillset you built from years zero to five, you can leverage them even more from years five to ten. You can teach your skills to others. You can train others to perform your skills and become your employees. Once you build one pillar of skills, you build another, and another, and another.
You create leverage, you get your skills to work for you. You get your money to work for you. You get your brand to work for you.
Two favorite quotes from Naval illustrate this:
“Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.”
An army of robots is freely available — it’s just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it.
You won’t understand the true power of leverage until you experience it for yourself. I have three books out, all of which pay me in my sleep — purchased by people all around the world. I get pings with notifications from affiliate income. I make Medium income. Because I put my work out there and I have an “army of robots” pushing out my writing all across the web, people reach out to me to give me money.
Regardless of what niche you pick, I encourage you to do something in this whole online milieu — writing, e-commerce, freelancing, something. You have to have skills involving in a computer or smartphone in 2020 and beyond. It’s not much of a choice anymore. You need to create this “permissionless leverage.”
The more leverage you create and the more time you have, the more you can pursue other streams. After spending the first five years or so working “in” your business so to speak, you’ll want to start working “on” it. That’s how you get wealth.
In my case, I’m starting to work with contractors and assistants more often. I’ll take on employees. Anything that doesn’t need me to personally do it gets outsourced.
The more you do this, the more you’ll understand the unfathomable power of the internet.
I’m going to come out and say this point-blank.
If you can consistently work on a profitable skill involving the internet for the next five or ten years…
If you take advantage of the technology and the market available to us…
You can have whatever kind of life you want.
Don’t fall for the outrage machine. They’re full of shit. Honestly. I hate them. I hate what they’re doing to you. The sky isn’t falling. You’re living in the Golden Age. Forget about Trump, the news, the climate, the isms, all of it. That stuff is going to be there regardless of whether or not you personally get pissed off about it. Let it the fuck go and work on yourself. Please. Trust me.
I’m trying to help you save your life. Let me.
You want wealth. Not just wealth of money. Wealth of time. Wealth of health — I see broken men at age 40 and 50, not me, I will be deadlifting 600 pounds at age 80, I’ve seen it done. Wealth of experiences. Wealth of freedom.
Here’s some life advice for you — stop listening to losers. Thats what they are. The people who tell you that you can’t do what you want with your life? Suckers. All of them. Forget about them.
Let’s ride into this new decade together and win.
Imagine it’s 2030 right now. You have five best selling books out. Your e-commerce business is doing 7 figures in revenue. You’ve visited 20 different countries. You look and feel better than 99 percent of the people in your age cohort. Your investments, properties, and other forms of passive income are paying for your bills.
Most importantly, while everyone else is schlepping around super-stressed out and trying to grind out an existence instead of doing something as simple and doable as harnessing the power of the internet, you’re stress free.
You have good stress. The type of stress you feel when you’re pushing yourself to become excellent. But not the low level malaise that kills people.
My tone is becoming sharper because I just don’t think people really get it. They create this false dichotomy. It’s not live a normal life or drive a Lamborgihni. You’re not greedy for wanting become great. You’re not greedy for wanting wealth.
Becoming successful is the sanest, most reasonable, and pragmatic thing you can ever do for yourself.
Once you understand this, you’re free.
Let’s destroy this next decade, eh?
Ayodeji is the Author of Real-Help: An Honest Guide to Self-Improvement