The Ultimate Success Guide For Graduates Who Want To Kill It: Part II - Smart Money Seed

1/24/18

The Ultimate Success Guide For Graduates Who Want To Kill It: Part II

Last week we gave you some awesome advice on how to kill it in your Career and with your Money in Part I. Sometimes, however, even if you're making good decisions regarding your career and money, life seems to have a way of making you feel stuck. In order to increase your happiness and motivation to push yourself to attain otherworldly levels of success, you need to be focusing on your Wellness and your Development.

Let's Get Personal

This post is all about you. In order to handle higher levels of success, you need to personally grow. In order to personally grow, you need to focus on improving your wellness and furthering your development. These aspects of life can be overlooked as you get caught up in life's rat race and feel like you're drowning, but their importance cannot be overstated.

3. Wellness

Many people fantasize college as being the time when you really go out soul searching to find who you really are and who you really want to be. Maybe that does actually happen for some people. But for me, this process has really been taking place over the first few years of my career. I spend a lot of time trying to balance and improve my wellness from a holistic perspective including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

Now that you've got some money in your pocket and a regular, less cyclical life schedule, you owe it to yourself to figure out exactly what makes you happy. I'm not exactly just talking about the adrenaline-based type of happiness that comes with doing shots at the bar at 2 A.M. (although there's definitely still room for that). I'm talking about true contentment where you're living a life you're proud of and that brings you joy.

     1. Make Time For You.

If you're spending a traditional 40-50 hours per week at work, you're going to have to get really good at managing your time so this doesn't become overwhelming. By the time you get home, make dinner, and settle in for the night, you're about ready to sleep, rinse, and repeat. You need to design your days such that you don't become a slave to the hourglass.

Don't be afraid to say no to people. You get to choose how you spend your time outside of work. Nobody else should be making those decisions for you. If people are negative influences on your life and your wellness or you just plain feel like staying in and decompressing for the weekend, go for it! Sometimes saying no can be the best thing you can do for yourself.

I'll walk you through some examples of how I've been working on my time management to support my goal of improved wellness.
  • Physical - My alarm goes off at 5:15 A.M. (although I sometimes don't roll out of bed until 5:30) so I can go spend an hour in the gym. I've lost about 10 pounds since I really started getting serious about my physical wellness, and working out first thing in the morning gives me energy and mental clarity for the rest of my day. This doubles as a mental wellness boost. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can even reduce the effects of depression and anxiety.
  • Mental - I've been making a conscious effort to spend more time unplugged. I resist the urge to scroll Twitter between sets at the gym, I go for short walks throughout my workday to give myself time to think, and I'm trying really hard to stop mindlessly scrolling social media. I write a short paragraph in a journal at the end of every day to reflect on how that day went and how I want the next day to go. I'm a Christian, so I'm also making a conscious effort to pray more which helps with my spiritual wellness as well (this multiple benefits per effort thing seems to be a theme).
  • Spiritual - The first thing I do when I get home from work is read 2 chapters of my Bible. I then try to take 5-10 minutes to reflect on what I read and sometimes send a quick message to Amanda about my reflection. I'm also working on meditating regularly just for about 10 minutes every night which again helps with both spiritual and mental wellness. The issue with meditation for me is that I keep falling asleep!
  • Emotional - This is by far the area where I need the most improvement. This doesn't really have anything to do with time, but I'm focusing right now on just establishing and maintaining deeper relationships with people. I don't want to talk to you about the snowstorm coming or when it might get warm again. I want to talk to you about what makes you tick, what you're really passionate about, and how we can help each other improve our lives. Smart Money Seed has actually been a good way to open that door because personal finance is such a personal (duh) subject. It's obviously helped improve my relationships with Ty and Christian, but it's also given me a subject where people are starting to trust me and open up to me and allowing me to reach into other people's lives and allow them to reach into mine.

     2. Have A Way To Decompress After A Stressful Day.

This was a tough transition for me once I moved out of my parents' house. I used to have a 45 minute drive to process and reflect upon the day's events and would come home to a nice meal from Mom. Nothing takes life's stress away quite like Mom's cooking and spending time with loved ones.

When I moved to Findlay, I knew I needed to find a substitute for this decompression routine, but I didn't quite know what to do. I started out by doing the Insanity workouts, but I found it added stress to my work day because I would try to get home early so I wasn't taking the living room from Jordan all night. Then I started going to the gym after work, but it was always so crowded and took up basically my entire evening.

Blogging + Friends + Beer = Happiness
This is about the time that Christian and I decided to re-launch Smart Money Seed. This blog is currently a hobby for me that I'm actively working every day to turn into a business. I enjoy the artistic aspect to writing, the problem solving aspect of growing our brand, and the connection that it provides for me with other people. It is occasionally stressful when I can't think of anything to write about or I write a post that flops, but overall working on this blog is a great decompression strategy for me.

Whether you care about working out, a particular hobby, watching your favorite show or sports team (which I do plenty of), or have any other passion, use it to help you decompress and improve your overall wellness. Don't forget to have a little fun.

Also, cut out extra stressors you don't need in your life. According to an article from the Huffington Post, 55% of Americans are stressed about their home organization. I'm making a commitment to limiting my stress and introducing hygge into my life. It's a work in progress as I sit here slightly stressed about how I need to finish my laundry today and clean my dishes. And yes, I did just link to a Wikipedia article, thank you for asking. Take that, librarians and teachers!

Finally, always remember to have fun. Whether you're able to do something quick on a weeknight or spend a weekend shooting the shit with your best friends, social interaction is so important to our overall well-being. That can mean going to a sporting event, grabbing coffee, or just sitting around and doing absolutely nothing. Remember to surround yourself with good company who will make you feel happy.

     3. Don't Lose Sight Of Your Spiritual Side.

We all know a coworker who puts in the minimum 8 hours, goes home, probably orders a pizza, watches TV all night, and does it all again the next day year after year until they retire. They're stuck in auto pilot with no real passion driving them, and they've lost touch with their spirit.

When we're kids, we are so in tune with our spiritual side. I'm not just talking about the Holy Spirit or Jesus although that's definitely a factor if that's something you're in to. We have great dreams and aspirations and whether you dream about being a dentist like I did or an astronaut or even a garbage man, you're adamant that you're going to be the best damn garbage man who ever lived. You're excited about your dreams and you talk about them to anybody who will give you the time of day.

That's your spiritual side. That's what unfortunately far too many people lose touch with in life. And I truly believe that's a huge factor in our happiness equation. If you're super unhappy with your life, change it and start doing something you can do with passion and allow your spirit to drive you. Even if that's not exactly the case in your work life, make sure that's the case in your personal life.

4. Development

Do you think your 16 years of education have taught you everything you could possibly need to know and you get a free pass to coast for the rest of your life? Since you're reading this, I would venture to guess that's not the case.

Take a look around you at the more *ahem* experienced people in your life. By now I would hope you've gained some perspective that your parents and grandparents weren't complete dumb asses and they knew a thing or two about life. Take a second to thank them and give them a hug if you haven't done so already. Hug your grandparents for an extra second even if your mom gets jealous.

You have a lot more to learn over the course of the rest of your life. And the best part is that people aren't really telling you what you have to learn anymore, with a few exceptions sprinkled in just for good measure. The best part is that most of your development from now on is going to come from the school of life through trial & error and observation which is worth way more than any degree or certificate could ever be.

     1. Make A Commit To Continuous Learning.

Whether you care about learning more about your field through advanced degrees, licenses, or certificates or you want to learn a new trade and new skills, make a commitment to learning for the rest of your life. Like I mentioned previously, since nobody is telling you what you have to learn anymore for the most part, you get to choose what you want to learn about.

If you choose to learn about the things you're passionate about, then learning will actually become a fun task believe it or not. I spend a lot of time learning about personal finance and how to effectively manage and build a blog, and I absolutely love it. I've started reading which is something I haven't done regularly on my own time since before middle school. 

I really enjoy the process of researching the important things to learn, putting in the time and effort to learn a new skill or strategy, and putting that to use. Recently one of the things I've been learning is how to utilize and manage media like pictures and videos. I think my output speaks for itself here:


. . . Okay, maybe I have a little bit left to learn. But the important thing is that I'm trying!

Learning about the areas in your life you want to improve the most will have a major positive impact on your overall happiness and success. Social media can be a really great place to start in this. For example, if you want to improve your finances, like a bunch of personal finance pages and join a bunch of groups on Facebook. If you want to improve your fitness, follow fitness gurus you can relate to or at least idolize on Instagram. This is a great, easy way to incorporate learning into your everyday life.

     2. Find A Hobby You're Passionate About And Own It.

Whatever you really enjoy spending your time doing, whether it's playing sports, knitting, bird calling, or blogging, make a commitment to owning your space. You don't need to put pressure on yourself, but you'll get a good amount of satisfaction out of creating outputs for the rest of the world to enjoy. Make a commitment to bettering yourself every day until those outputs are the best in your space.

Watching TV or scrolling through social media is okay from time to time, but you'll feel much more fulfilled in your life if you find a hobby you're passionate about that allows you to make a positive impact on the world and, most importantly, on your own life in some way. If you're passionate enough about your hobby and work hard enough at it, you could even make it your full time job one day.

     3. Solicit Mentorship From Someone You Trust And Look Up To.

Mentorship is so important in expediting our ability to learn those tough life lessons. The more trusted mentors you have, the faster you will be able to make substantial progress toward achieving your life goals. Unfortunately, although mentors are generally honored and more than happy to act as a mentor, they don't exactly go around offering their services to just anybody. It's on you to solicit mentorship if that's something you really want.

If you have someone in mind you'd like to have act as a mentor for you, Forbes has some awesome tips for you. My advice? Buy them coffee. Everyone likes coffee, and a cup of coffee can go a long way in getting people to do things for you. The value of their mentorship will much more than offset that $2.50 you spend per meeting.

A popular tactic among successful entrepreneurs is joining mastermind groups. Mastermind groups are groups of people with common experiences and common goals who help each other to learn and achieve bigger and better things. It's a circle of trust where people who have experienced varying levels of success help each other to all become wildly successful. Joining a mastermind group is going to be an important step for Ty, Christian, and me as we continue to work to grow Smart Money Seed and to create more and more value for our squad.

Get Out There And Kill It!

This is such a fun time in our lives. We're most likely never going to work as hard or play as hard as we are right now, so live it up. Always remember to make time to have fun, spend time with the people you love and who love you back, and work hard. Work hard to manage your MoneyCareer, Wellness, and Development, don't forget to smile and laugh along the way, and do your best to make others smile and laugh along with you.

Oh, and please tell us what you're doing! We love hearing from you, and we can't wait to talk about all the successes we're all having in life or even the struggles we're facing. We'll make it through this together, squad!

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