I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I would approach life differently if I could reverse time.
My body has seemingly broken down as a result of going back to work.
On Monday, I opted to go back one day earlier than necessary to work an overtime shift. Of course, the sole purpose of the overtime shift was to add more income to the dividend business.
By Tuesday evening, I was already becoming frustrated with the lack of time to work on the blog. I simply cannot maintain the pace and workload I aspire to while working a full-time job. Furthermore, life becomes a chore in itself after 30. Exercising and maintaining a proper diet is a part-time job now.
Next, the poor sleeping habits made an appearance. I was up until 5 a.m. doing nothing of significance that night, and it all stems out of fear for the repetitive jobbing cycle—the moment you go to sleep is the moment that the cycle starts all over again.
You wake up unnaturally to an alarm clock, force-feed yourself, shower, and rush out for the cold commute. And you have to repeat that same time-wasting process every single day…
By Wednesday, I had developed a scratchy throat and noticed my energy levels depleting.
By the end of my shift on Thursday, I was non-stop sneezing and blowing my nose.
Shit, I thought. Now I’ve got to head to the drug store to force-feed myself medication, which sickens me by the way. When the hell did society become ok with taking pharmaceutical drugs in order to ensure we don’t miss a day at the office?!
I mean, we’re all gifted with these short, potentially beautiful lives, but a system has been put in place to stop us from thinking.
Frankly, this entire series of events has me wondering about what changes I’d make if it was possible to start over.
Of course, I’m grateful to have a job, and I realize life wouldn’t be the same with the experiences I’ve had. But I definitely would’ve acted differently with a more clear vision of what I wanted.Changes I’d Make If It Was Possible To Reverse Time By 10 Years Click To Tweet
What Life Was Like At 21.
Before elaborating on how I would mentor a 21 year old version of myself, I will briefly cover who I was at that time.
I was living at home with my parents while working a full-time job for an electronics retailer. I sold batteries, laptops, Motorola Razr’s, and some of the first Blackberry Smartphones.
In regards to income, I wasn’t earning much. I was earning roughly $600 to $800 every two weeks depending on if it was a commission pay cheque or not. During the holiday season, I could probably exceed $1,000 a few times.
As for my expenses, I had very few fixed expenses. Fortunately my parents never charged for rent or groceries. And I didn’t have any debt because this was before I took on any student loan.
However, I was beginning to develop an alarmingly bad habit of racking up credit card debt.
Although my limit was low, I spent money drinking and going out to clubs at least 3 nights per week. Even more worrisome was the fact that I was racking up credit card debt to make frequent purchases of new clothes.
My weekends were spent road tripping to visit friends in University, and my summers were spent partying locally in larger groups.
Admittedly, it was a hell of a time. But I could’ve easily enjoyed the same experiences while continuing to make progress towards financial independence.
Firstly, I’d save 50% of my net income if it was possible to reverse time.
In fact, if I had known about dividend investing and financial independence earlier, I would’ve started investing the moment I was legally old enough to open an account.
It wasn’t until I was 25 that I became informed about dividend investing, though.
I had always been interested in business and money, but I never knew what to save for.
I was taught to save for school, new vehicles, and real estate. But none of those things really appealed to me.
If it was possible to reverse time, I’d ensure that 50% of my net income was saved without fail. I’d invest it all into dividend stocks with the goal of retiring by 35.
Even on the more modest end of the spectrum, saving 50% of my income would’ve resulted in $78,000 invested over 10 years. That’s without factoring in any raises or job changes. And that’s also without considering the investment growth during the recent bull market.
Don’t start the wrong business.
Rather than aspire to obtain wealth through a clothing company, I should’ve targeted financial independence early on.
I attempted to start a clothing company during my early 20’s but never ended up producing any clothes.
Instead, we launched a blog to create awareness, held two successful art shows, and we created bottle openers and rocks glasses.
More recently, I was reading one of the posts from that blog, The Dapper Style of Mad Men Season Four.
I was fortunate enough to have that post featured by WordPress, and I should’ve recognized that as a sign to focus more on blogging.
If I could reverse time, I would put more effort into creating a personal blog. I would’ve been more cognizant of my strengths and weaknesses as a contributor to that company. And I would’ve been approaching nearly 10 years of blogging by now.
In case you’re wondering, Reverse The Crush is coming up on its two year blogoversary!🎉
Continue working instead of going to College.
Although this choice may seem controversial, I would choose to forgo my college education to continue working instead.
If I did require education to advance my career, I would still have the option to take online courses and certificates.
Frankly, I’ve probably advanced my career further through certificates than by studying business marketing anyways.
I had a hard time obtaining a decent job after graduating school. For a while it seemed like I wasn’t even going to land a retail sales job again like I once possessed. However, I eventually landed a similar role.
But the largest increase in annual income I’ve received has come from completing certificates, particularly the Canadian Securities Course. It helped me advance from an outbound salesman to a mutual fund salesman. Shortly after that promotion, it helped me obtain a job working for an investment brokerage.
Be that as it may, I wouldn’t have even pursued those careers if I could reverse time. In fact, I would’ve maintained my position at the electronics retailer.
Candidly, I had an opportunity to become an assistant manager, but I chose school because I didn’t want to get stuck.
It doesn’t sound overly ambitious, I know. But hear me out—I could’ve saved myself from roughly $25,000 worth of Student loan debt.
Although it hurts to dismiss college memories, the consistent savings would’ve put me in a better financial position. And I wouldn’t have been studying to obtain a career anyways. I would have been absolutely focussed on becoming a blogger and dividend investor.
Moreover, experience is often a more important teacher than education.
College has left me feeling under-educated anyways. I mean, I’ve hardly ever worked with someone that doesn’t already have a better education than I have. Everyone has a University degree nowadays.
In addition, I could have replaced studying textbooks with reading books about personal finance and investing.
In short, forgoing school ultimately would’ve given me a better shot at FI.
F—K ever owning a Truck or Car
It’s almost hard to fathom that I’ve owned two vehicles in my lifetime now.
Between the age of 19 to 21, I owned a 1996 white GMC Sonoma. And from 2012 to 2016, I owned a 2006 white Chevrolet Impala.
Both vehicles were purchased used and were paid for with cash, but I wouldn’t have bought either if I could reverse time.
To be honest, they both served their purpose, and I did enjoy the freedom provided by having a car.
On the other hand, I don’t take kindly to insurance or maintenance costs. And there are so many other expenses in between such as license plate renewals.
Although I might consider owning a vehicle someday again when it becomes burdensome to walk, life has become more simple without the added stress of owning a vehicle.Changes I'd Make If I Could Reverse Time By 10 Years Click To Tweet
In reality, there’s not much that I’d actually change because my experiences are what made me who I am. But I wanted to write this post as a thought experiment.
In addition to some of the changes mentioned above, I would’ve attempted to never pay rent.
Instead, I would’ve attempted to live with my parents as long as possible to save money until I could afford to buy a place of my own.
Moreover, I would have wasted less time chasing inconsequential things.
With that said, I can only learn from my mistakes and move forward.
Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future. – Walt Disney
But as a blogger, I have the opportunity to draw conclusions from the past to inspire action for the future.
Questions for the Readers: What changes would you make if you could reverse time by 10 years? Is it a bad idea to focus on the past?
Thanks for reading!🌞