Those of you who have been following me for a while know bullshit’s not in my DNA. So I won’t bs you. Friday’s are great. For most it’s the end of the workweek and usher’s in two days of freedom. Like you, I love Friday’s. But ever since I’ve been on this Rich Habits journey of mine, Friday’s have taken on a new meaning for me.
As many of you know, I run a CPA firm. It takes a lot of time. It’s a lot of technical work, paperwork and stressful work. I have to spend thirty minutes every weekday morning reading about taxes or financial planning or accounting or any number of things, just to stay current with my industry. I’ve always liked my financial services job. Particularly, when that job entails advising clients, teaching clients and helping clients improve their financial lives. But at the end of the day, it’s still work.
Tax season, for me, is a period when I must devote myself to CPA/Tax work seven days a week for ten straight weeks. Each workweek day during tax season is typically a twelve hour day. Weekends are six to eight hour days. As a result, Friday’s have no special meaning to me during tax season. But once tax season ends, Friday’s make me happy. I get happy because all I’m thinking about is waking up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, knowing that I’ll be able to devote a solid four to five hours each day writing and doing research related to my Rich Habits. Imagine that. I’m excited because I get to spend more time working on the weekend.
This excitement is the byproduct of doing something that I’m passionate about. I’m passionate about my Rich Habits. I’ve found my calling in life; my main purpose. And I’ve learned what many of the self-made millionaires in my study already knew – when you find your passion in life, work, is no longer work. Passion takes the drudgery out of work.
In my research on the Rich Habits, I gathered data on the number of hours self-made millionaires worked and then compared it to the number of hours the poor people in my study worked. What I found was that self-made millionaires worked far more hours every week than the individuals in the poor group. Here’s the hard data:
96% of the self-made millionaires worked 58 hours a week. Only 5% of the individuals in the poor group worked as many hours.
My critics (I have a lot of critics) will stop there and say, “Tom Corley is beating up on poor people. He’s calling them lazy”. And they would have a point, if I stopped there as well. But I didn’t. I dug a little deeper. And when I dug a little deeper, that is when I uncovered the truth -those self-made millionaires worked more hours because they loved what they were doing. Work, as most define it, had a very different definition to those millionaires. Work was play or something fun that they enjoyed doing.
In December of last year, I had an opportunity to speak on the same stage with Richard Branson and I was able to steal a few precious minutes afterwards to talk to Sir Richard. So, I asked him if he considered what he did work. He smiled, that toothy Branson smile, and told me that he loves what he does for a living, so he didn’t feel like it was work to him and because it wasn’t work, he devoted an enormous amount of hours to it. Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Tim Cook (Apple) and many other self-made millionaires I’ve studied share Branson’s opinion and they, coincidentally, work an enormous amount of hours.
If your work was called fun, instead of work, and you told someone you have fun fifty-eight hours a week, what do you think their reaction would be? They’d probably think, “that person is not a hard worker”. We all pretty much see through the same lens, when it comes to our view of work. And that lens sees work as something that is not fun. So, as a result, when we look through our lens, we label every self-made millionaire who is putting in fifty-eight hours or more a week as a workaholic. And, because of our work lens, we can’t help but think that anyone who works so many hours cannot be happy. But they are happy. And they’re far happier than everyone else precisely because they view work as fun. They get to play and have fun every day.
Well, all I can say is, thank God it’s Friday because tomorrow and Sunday I get to play for ten hours. And it makes me happy just thinking about it.