How to escape the Rat Race & start winning at life

Do you see anyone smiling in the picture above? These people have one thing in common. They are all stuck in the rat race. The only problem is, they don’t know how to get out of it.

Are you tired of working 9 to 5 to make somebody else rich?

Are you sick of working your ass off and being underpaid?

Are you fed up with only getting a small raise once a year if you’re lucky?

Then you, my fellow-man, are stuck in the rat race. So keep reading and get yourself motivated to turn things around!

What is the rat race?

The term ‘rat race’ is used to describe the common frustrating financial situation that most people are stuck in. They are stuck at the same job for years. They are putting in all their time and effort, but barely making ends meet. They are sacrificing time and freedom for money, only to live from paycheck to paycheck as a frustrating result.

Life is getting very expensive and people are saddling theirselves up with very high expenses like a mortgage, rent, loans, different liabilities, children, …

People who are stuck in this situation are getting demotivated and frustrated. They are sick of barely being able to pay the bills. They are tired of working way too hard and only getting these very poor results. They are tired of sitting at their office deck, being under-utilized and under-appreciated.

They know that they are not living up to their capabilities and are not using their full potential. They know there should be more to life than this. The daily commute has sucked the life out of them.

They feel hopeless because they don’t see a way out. They think the only solutions are in the following trend:

Winning the lottery

Inheriting a lot of money

Marrying somebody rich

Working more hours, only to lose more time and freedom and losing all of the extra money to taxes

Some people love their job and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. If your job makes you happy, than there’s nothing wrong with that. The definition of happiness is different for everybody. By all means, keep doing what you’re doing. As long as you follow your passion. But this article will probably be of little interest to you

Don’t quit your day job too early

It would be a very bad idea to just quit your day job. For the time being, you need your job. Your bills need to get paid. So don’t be stupid and give up your security just like that.

It can be frustrating. When you want to work on your passion, you don’t want to spend 40 hours a week at your job. But at the moment, it’s best that you suck it up and do it. Your job provides you with resources. Recourses that you can invest in your side business. The best investment you can make, is in yourself!

Having a steady job will give you time. You want to be able to build your business thoughtfully instead of cutting corners. There’s no need to burn the bridges too soon. That would create an overwhelming pressure. With a little financial security, you don’t need an immediate cashflow coming in. It’s best to quit your day job when you have a very positive cashflow, preferably multiple streams of income.

Put in the hours & the work

What you need to do if you want to escape the rat race, is work more hours. But don’t go working extra hours on the job you already have. You will never get rich that way. Plus, half of the money you’ll make will go to taxes anyway.

The harder you’ll work, the more wealthy somebody else becomes. In the meantime, your salary remains the same. Plus, working more hours at your job, means you’ll have less time to work on your own project and build your own business. And that’s exactly what you should be doing.

If you’re working 8 hours a day, that means there’s 16 hours left everyday. Minus 8 hours of sleep, you’ll have 8 hours to do your own thing! And that’s not even counting the weekends. Make that time count. Don’t just work 9 to 5 and not work on your dreams afterwards. Don’t let time just pass by, doing meaningless stuff. Time is your friend. You’ve got to use it!

But what do most people do when they get home from work? They have dinner, bingewatch Netflix for a few hours and go to bed. The next day, they’ll do it all over again. They’re not using their potential and wonder why they are feeling depressed! If you’re serious about escaping the rat race, you’ve got to get your lazy ass of the couch. Work on your project.

Set goals and use your time to achieve them. Start analyzing your activities and make priorities. Ask yourself this question, the next time you want to play video games all evening:

Is what I’m doing bringing me closer to my goals and my freedom?

Yes, there should be time to relax and have fun. But you know the saying: work hard, play hard. You’ve got to deserve your down time. Above that, there’s a big distinction to be made when it comes to having fun. Having fun is not the same as wasting time. Spending time with your kids for example, is not wasting time and should be one of your top priorities. Or you can spend your time on a meaningful hobby, instead of wasting your time in front of your television.

And who says ‘work’ can’t be fun? Let’s say you absolutely love photography. Get busy and gain extra knowledge every evening. Improve your photography skills. Then you’ve made very good use of your time. It could even be a way to grow your own business and start to make money outside of work! So put in the hours and make it happen! Nobody’s going to do it for you!

Believe that there’s another way

Rich people don’t work for a paycheck. They work for cash flow. They work for money, but they do not trade their time for it. They spend their time working FOR a business (theirs), not IN a business.

For many of us, the rat race seems like the only way to live. It’s what we were taught and what we’ve always seen. We go to school and get a degree. So that afterwards we can get a solid job to provide for the family. Getting a job seems like the only way to make money. But this simply isn’t true.

People are like sheep. We follow the masses and we do what we see everyone else do. But most of the time, following the masses isn’t a great idea. It’s usually the wrong decision. It’s time to become a wolf. If you want success, you’ll have to act differently than the rest. You’ll have to be more unconventional in your ways.

“Working IN a business is the only way to make money.” “That’s just the ways it is.” For somebody who’s been a sheep all of his life, this is the only truth. It’s hard to grasp that there are other ways to make money. He thinks freedom and money are only for the lucky, or that you should be born rich. So, first, it’s important to change your belief.

The first time you make real money outside of your job is an eye-opener. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small (usually small), it will wake you up. It will not be enough to survive on, but for the first time you’ll believe their’s an exit to the rat race.

Creating Passive Income

Basically, there are 4 ways to make money:

Being an employee: having a job

Being self-employed: owning a job, but still working IN your business

Being a business owner: working FOR your Business, creating passive income

Being an investor: owning investments

In the rat race, the worst position to be in, is being an employee. He’s got no freedom at all. Plus, most employees have a continuous shortage of money. And if he’s got no shortage, he will always be at risk. He’s trading his time and effort for a monthly paycheck. By doing so, he’s being used as an asset by a business owner to create income for somebody else. He’s giving up on his own dreams to create someone else’s.

The situation of someone who’s self-employed is a little bit better. He’s got more freedom, because he doesn’t work for the man. He can make his own decisions. Sadly, he’s still trading his time for money, because he’s still working IN the business. He’s an employee in his own business. Financially, he’s not always better off than the employee. Often, he still struggles to make ends meet.

On top of the ladder is the investor and the business owner. They are creating passive income, often multiple streams of income. The key is to create a system that runs on autopilot and delivers passive income every month. They invest time and energy (and/or money ) in something one time, which keeps creating income.

For example, if somebody creates a product and makes an online shop to sell the product. He invests his time and effort into this once. Afterwards, anytime someone buys his product, it creates new cashflow for the owner. He doesn’t solely get paid for the hours he puts in everyday. He doesn’t exchange time and effort for money to work IN the business. He puts his energy in working FOR the business to make it grow further (new products, promotion,…) He can also hire employees to make everything work on autopilot for him. Instead of investing time, he’s buying time.

When he’s making enough money, he can invest his money (Stocks, Real estate,…) That way he can make his money work for him.

If you’ve got a job, the key is to start earning passive income in your free time. Invest all of your energy into making this happen, until your passive income is exceeding your paycheck!

Apply the 10X rule for massive action

Escaping the rat race will not fall into your lap. If you really want to do this, you will have to 10X your actions. Even if you’re following your passion, it will take a serious effort and commitment to pull it off. You might feel very motivated at the start. But motivation will only get you so far.

You will have to create the right habits and discipline to actually achieve your goals. If you’re only working on your side hustle when you’re motivated, you will fail. Discipline, habits and taking action will make you achieve your goal.

What does it really mean to apply the 10x rule?

To escape the rat race, you’ll have to set a goal and take the right actions towards that goal. Applying the 10x rule, you’ll take your original goal and multiply it by 10. To be successful, you’ll need to set targets that are 10 times bigger than what you believe you can achieve.

Now take the actions and effort that you would take to achieve your goal. Now multiply those actions by 10. To have success, you’ll have to take actions that are 10 times bigger than what you believe will be necessary. Taking massive action is the only way to fulfill your true potential.

Although it may seem as wishful thinking, applying the 10x rule is very practical. Anybody that you can think of who’s been successful in any area, has used the 10x principles in one way or another. There’s no such thing as an overnight success.

These are some of the ideas behind it:

Small goals are uninspiring. Yes, they look easier to accomplish. But that’s only how it looks. Because they look easier to attain, it’s also easier to lack the motivation and discipline that’s needed. Because they will provide you with less satisfaction than bigger goals, it will be easier to quit and give up.

People almost always underestimate the amount of action and effort it will take to accomplish something. 10x might seem like too much at first, but it’s better to reach your goal too early than to come up short. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Never reduce your target. Instead, always increase your actions. Usually the first thing people do when things are not going as planned, is to lower the goal. This is the wrong way to approach success. Just increase your effort and take more action. Be honest with yourself and you’ll see that you could be doing more.

So start applying the 10x rule now. I can vow for it myself that it’s an eye-opener: Operating at activity levels that are far beyond the normal, will get you very far.

Follow a strict schedule

You should plan how you will efficiently use your time outside of your ‘normal work hours’. Don’t ever look at it as just a hobby or a project. Call it a business and act that way. That means you’ll have to make a plan.

Decide how many hours a day you can work on your escape. Write down all the steps it will take and when you’ll execute them. Writing everything down will make it easier to follow through afterwards. Too much flexibility will allow too many excuses to get in the way of your dreams. So your schedule should be as non-negotiable as possible. See what works and what doesn’t work. Adjust accordingly.

Action is your default mode

In order to build something, action should be your go-to behaviour. Yes, planning and thinking things through is still important. But it’s very easy to go overboard and get caught up in your head. Overthinking can be very counterproductive. You will fail, if you spend too much time thinking instead of doing. It’s time to adopt a ”I’ll figure it out later” attitude. You don’t have to have everything planned out exactly to get started. Don’t let your thoughts keep you from taking action. If you keep planning, you might not even get started!

I sincerely hope this article was helpful to you and will get you on your way to plan your perfect escape! If you want to become a wolf after being a sheep all of your life, I wish you the best of luck! And remember: never ever reduce your target

Original article:

Originally published at manlymenblog.com on November 30, 2018.