I was visiting with friends over the weekend and we got to talking about life and how we reached our present positions. As we talked about our histories and career paths and goals achieved and failed goals, my friend asked, "What's the best advice you have ever received."
Wow, what a question. I had to stop and think. I've worked for forty-six years in good jobs, okay jobs and bad jobs. I've changed jobs/careers five times depending on how much you slice it and I've had great mentors and poor bosses. In a career that long what is the best advice I've ever received?
It actually came at an early stage of my life. My first job allowed me to work with a bunch of characters. I think that's the best way to categorized them. They worked hard and laughed harder. They were old school, some had seen action in World War II, others lost parents and siblings in the war. Some had worked the same job for their entire lives. Some told jokes that I can still remember and laugh about today.
Then what did he say that has stuck with you for so long? His words of Wisdom. . .
Save Your Money
We'll call this man, George Rollins, not his real name. He worked as a janitor for twenty years or more. George drove an old station wagon, lived in a modest ranch home, and ate dinner at friend's homes many nights of the week. He didn't spend money unless he absolutely had to. Sometimes the accounting department would tell him he had to cash his paychecks. This was before automatic direct pay systems. He would reach into his work locker, grab a small handful of pay checks and walk to the bank, cash them out and put them into savings. His greatest investment? He was so proud of his investment in funeral homes. You can't go wrong with a funeral home, as they say, "people are dying to get in."
Anyway that phrase, "save your money," stuck with me over the years. I was never as good at saving as George, but I tried to be less flippant with my money and it allowed me to make decisions later in life that I wouldn't have been able to make without a couple of dollars in the bank. So, I highly recommend, no matter where you are in life that you "save your money," just like George.
Advice from Jim Rohn
Around that same time in my life I listened to cassette tapes created by motivational speaker, Jim Rohn. He had a wonderful take on life and a wise personal and business philosophy. Take a few moments each day and look on YouTube for videos where he talks about success and life in general. You'll love it.
He said, "Don't spend all your money a quarter at a time. Save up and buy something special, something fine, something of lasting value. or something that will give you rich memories for a lifetime. Remember, all that candy money can add up to a small fortune."
He went on to talk about taking a trip to Carmel, California with a lady friend. Instead of struggling to pay for a fast-food hamburger he took the opportunity to buy a flower for his lady, they enjoyed a rich meal with fine wine. Save your pennies, dimes, quarters and dollars and purchase a wonderful experience with someone you love.
What's my Takeaway?
Yes, save your money. Don't spend it on candy bars and unnecessary trips to Starbucks. George had a lot of money. He enjoyed his life with his small group of friends, but I don't remember him ever having been married. He had no children. Where did all his money go? Could he have spent it during his lifetime to have a more rewarding experience of life? If he was an introvert, maybe his life was perfect. I don't know.
I think you have to take George's advice and marry it to Jim Rohn's advice and save your money for the right things, meaningful things. Whether it's helping others, taking your children on vacations with you, enjoying a special moment with a loved one or saving it for your retirement so you don't have to worry about your future. It's good advice.
Do you want to start a business or buy a house? Then discipline your spending and save up so when the perfect opportunity arises you are prepared.
What's the best advice I've ever received, "Save your Money."