For seven years now, I’ve been known as probably the Laziest Man on the Internet. There are a multitude of reasons why I embraced that moniker with the negative connotation.
I think sometimes it gets misconstrued. The idea behind Lazy Man and Money is that you don’t have to work very hard to make your money work for you. You simply have to make smart choices with your money. It’s following these fast financial fixes and other similar tips. For example, my favorite tip is buying your own cable modem, so you don’t have to rent it from cable company. For me, it paid for itself in 10 months. Yet some people will give their cable company and extra $300 over a few years. It’s being smart enough to know that $40 bottles of juice add up to $5000 a year for a family of four… and that’s just simply not making a smart choice for your money unless you are making a half million a year.
When your money works for you, it frees you up to do other things you love. For example, many people are paying big expenses on their mutual fund investments. Over a few decades that’s a lot of money that could have remained in your pocket by simply understanding a few simple things about investing. The tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars can make the difference between retiring early or being forced to work a few more years.
How many times have you meant to do something with money, but “You got lazy”? I think most everyone can answer dozens of times right? You put off creating another bank and automatically siphoning part of your paycheck there so that you don’t save without seeing it. Maybe you put off rolling over a 401K plan with funds that have big expenses to an IRA where you can pick funds with small expenses.
By being lazy with these very easy money decisions that can make a big impact, you are setting yourself for a lot more work down the line.
However, today I wanted to touch on the subject of being a hard worker. Seven years ago, and perhaps even further than that, I subscribed to the notion that by simply working smarter than most people, I could avoid working harder. Seeing how hard movers worked during our recent relocation make be believe that I wasn’t all wrong with that thought. However, over time, I’ve come to realize that if you don’t work hard, there will someone who is willing to work smart and hard, leaving you at a competitive disadvantage… whether that be for a new job, a promotion, starting a business. Also, there are some people who are such hard workers, that they can win business simply on that sweat alone. Finally, luck plays a factor. While we know that luck is the residue of good design, we shouldn’t overlook that, like fingerprints, no two people have the same luck.
To put this greater context, I think back to my youth when I used to play basketball with my friends. I’m not the most athletic person, but for some reason the kids in my neighborhood were very athletic, most of them making the high school varsity team. Make no mistake, the team that had me had a liability in any 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 games. However, I would scrape for every loose ball.
It’s like this quote by Will Smith, “The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right?”
I follow the New England Patriots religiously and there are quite a few players on the team who weren’t even drafted. You look at their leader, Tom Brady, and he was a scraggly 6th round draft pick. I’ve article after article about how when he was drafted he’d bribe the security crew to open up the facility early and even let him stay there overnight. You won’t outwork Tom Brady and you probably won’t outsmart him either. He’s going to have his bad days just like everyone, but they won’t happen very often. He’s still the guy who competes for the MVP every year and hopes to make the team.
So when mention that being a lazy is a good thing, take it as conserving resources for things that really matter. When you’ve taken the steps to secure your financial future (live frugally, make your money work for you), it gives you the freedom to be the Will Smith of acting or Tom Brady of athletes… even if your passion doesn’t quite pay as well as theirs’ do.