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Work Daze: Happy New You

What’s the one thing keeping you from being the free-spending, high-living, totally obnoxious rich person you were meant to be?

Simple! You don’t have any money.

Well, you do have some money, but even if you were to cash in your “English Patient” action figures, it’s still not enough to put you in the 1 percent.

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It’s truly unfair. The personality that is so grating to the hoi polloi with whom you are forced to socialize is perfect for hanging with J-Law, J-Lo and Jay-Z. (They asked about you at our last get-together, by the way. I said you were in Alaska, shopping for a Sasquatch with R-Patz and Scar-Jo.)

Will another year go by without the funds you need to buy yourself the happiness you deserve? I don’t think so and neither does Kathleen Elkins.

Elkins is the author of “8 Lifestyle Changes to Make If You Want to Get Rich in 2019,” a recent post on cnbc.com.

The article reveals that the secret to getting rich is not what you do, but what you think. As millionaire author Steve Siebold, puts it, “To get rich I had to learn to think like a rich person. Once I changed my thinking, the money started to flow.”

Siebold says, “The richest people focus on earning, and typically they aren’t content with one source of revenue.” I’m not sure your current salary can be called an income stream; it’s more like an income swamp. Still, instead of the think-poor approach of changing jobs, rich-thinkers focus on adding jobs.

The income from your second job can come from your first job. Just think rich. For example, your desk drawer is full of paperclips you don’t need. Why not turn them into handsome necklaces? Add pilfered spring clips as matching earrings. Call the entire collection “office chic,” and sell it for megabucks on QVC. Believe me, they’ve sold worse.

Another big-time, part-time money generator is real estate. Even if you don’t work in one of America’s super-expensive cities, you’ll find people who can’t afford to rent an apartment. Why not rent out your cubicle as a luxury studio when you’re not in it, which is most of the time. Your tenant can come in at 3 p.m., when you’re sneaking out the back door. As long as they leave by the time you roll in at 11 a.m., you’ll be fine.

Another resolution that will help you get rich in 2019 is to “build relationships with successful people.” This is a two-step proposition. First, you have to get rid of the hapless nobodies you call your dearest friends. Second, you have to find a group of “highly motivated people” to be your new friends.

“Winners are attracted to winners,” Siebold says. That is definitely a problem for losers like thee and me. One way to make the transition is to curate the friends you already have. Ask each one to write an essay on why they think they qualify to be your friend. 500 words should do it, and spelling does count. Pick the three essays that most accurately describe how wonderful you are. Those are your besties for 2019. In 2020, you can dump them and upgrade.

“Get used to doing uncomfortable things” is another lifestyle change that could make you rich. Aggressively negotiating a salary increase is one way to jump out of your comfort zone, but let’s be honest — even you can’t make a case for getting paid more for doing so little. What you can do is aggressively negotiate for a salary decrease. Argue that working for your manager is such an honor that a salary isn’t necessary. You really should pay the company for the privilege.

This kind of salary jujitsu is sure to result in a big increase as management realizes the value of having at least one crazy employee on their side.

“Don’t show off — show up” is a piece of good advice that could accelerate your plan to think yourself to a seven-figure income. Be like Warren Buffett who “eats at McDonalds and never spends more than $3.17 on a breakfast sandwich.”

Want to spend even less? Turn Warren Buffet into a spendthrift by paying $1.19 on a sausage biscuit. Then turn your low-cost breaky into a Triple Breakfast Stacks SuperMuffin Fantasia Deluxe ($26, including tip and a mimosa) by adding the bacon and melted cheese you carry in your pocket.

Bring some bacon and cheese for Warren, too. I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

           

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com.

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