I was asked the other day about how to become rich and successful. These are two very different things, but here are some ramblings about enjoying life and becoming successful. So if you want to be rich and successful, there are several key ways to achieve wealth.

1.       Rob or steal

2.       Win a lottery

3.       Marry someone rich

4.       Work for someone (a company) and save, invest, grow your investment

5.       Work for yourself (start a company) and save, invest, grow your investment

 The first option is not recommended. The second has super low odds. The third will probably not create happiness. Remember, money does not bring happiness. Money helps you not have to worry about many things, but does not make life more enriched. 

Number four is good but not the way to achieve high wealth – unless you become a CEO of a company. And you might not be allowed to do what you want working for someone else. Number five is probably the best way to achieve wealth and do what you want. But number five is probably the hardest, but most fulfilling.

So really, it’s either #4 or #5 you need to think about. But to get rich and/or achieve success (they are not the same), you have to focus on an area and become an expert and work very hard (to become an expert and keep moving forward). Though if you really like what you are doing, the work does not feel like work. It is true, I have been there. But if you just take a job for the money, you will not be happy, I have been there, too.

Don’t worry about choosing something to focus on and then later change your mind. You have to try different things to figure out what you like, are good at, etc. Life is really a journey. Think in terms of chapters in a book. But it takes work and lots of it (sorry, kid). Nobody gets ahead with sitting around wishing. Look at the top athletes, movie stars, singers, business people, writers, inventors, comics, etc., they all work their asses off. This is why they became successful. The people who whine and complain about other people’s success or think life is unfair, are just not working hard enough and being lazy. Excuses make people feel good, but do nothing to change the situation. This is all backed up by research, and there are many examples of people who have been amazingly successful but started from the bottom.

Sure, a lot of people get jobs and figure out a way to succeed with working the least. It usually seems like the idiots who become senior executives fit into this category. They game the system and succeed. But that is not really satisfying and they are not usually nice people. Or people just sit around for 30 years in a cube so they can have health insurance when they retire. There are better ways.

You only live once. Yup, it’s a big cliché, but is true. And our lives are short, so make the most of it. For example, if you like kids, then open a school or camp that is the best damn one there is and parents will pay for it. Innovate what a camp should be and what kids (and parents) really want. If you decide to go in this direction (finding something you like and creating something to become successful and happy) you will do something you like that is creative, and you will make a great living and enjoy work and life. The hard part is figuring what that thing is, while trying to block out all the other bullshit and distractions. Put the phone down!

Be patient and don’t rush – this stuff takes time to formulate. But you have to purposely and deliberately think about what you want to do (or try) and be the best at it. And most importantly write it out – doodle, brainstorm, etc. – writing is the best way to make your mind connect things to figure stuff out. Just thinking only works somewhat, you need to get the ideas onto paper to help your brain form solutions. Struggle, pain, failure, discomfort, is the only way to achieve success. Adversity and struggle makes life complete. The best things in life are not easy and really should not be.