When I was 18-24 years old, I sold books. An incredible experience I wouldn’t change for the world. There were many things we all learned in that business bootcamp. That a positive mental attitude can make or break you. Things like, “your schedule is your lifeline.” And one mantra that was taught to us is “Success is never owned. It’s rented. And the rent is due every day.” One of their former employees and founders of one of their sister companies even wrote a New York Times Best Seller that made that quote, and their business, more famous and well-known. And while I highly respect both the book company, the man who wrote that, and people who love that quote, I no longer have any interest in living that life.
A month or so ago my coach and I were talking about this mentality. I kept telling her its about equity you build in your business and paying mortgages and not rent that makes you successful. I’ve been collecting my thoughts about this for the past several weeks, and even posted about it last week a little bit. So I want to go into more detail about this and help anyone who feels like they have to pay their dues every day…because you don’t.
Paychecks used to be directly correlated to the amount of work you put in…specifically the HOURS to put in. If you didn’t work all day in the field, your family didn’t eat. And for some people, they still feel that way. They exchange their time for a paycheck. And other people build a business and life that pays them not on their actual work input, but on the value they provide to the greater world. Renting vs owning.
If your goal in life is world domination, or you are aspiring to be famous and the bar is set high, then yes, rent is due every day. Perfection and being the best in your industry requires that you pay your rent and do something every day to stay on top. It’s almost a socially acceptable form of addiction…the need to do something every day or the feeling that someone will come and eat your lunch.
For the average person, I think too much time is being wasted. Too many ineffective hours worked. I’m not saying to stop working – I’m saying be intentional with why you do what you do, and attach it to the bigger picture. That’s what people who own their life do – they live strategically and intentionally to someday own it all. They don’t start over every day and pay rent.
Don’t get me wrong. My coaching philosophy is that it’s the little things you do every day consistently that makes sustainable success attainable. But if you are paying the same amount of rent you did when you were 20, you are giving someone else control over your life. Landlords and people who want to control your actions want you to pay rent. But how many successful people do you see who still pay a rent check?
Paying a mortgage is different than paying your rent. Paying down something and building equity feels very different than renting. I said above that I have no interest in that life anymore. No interest in working 80 hours a week, traveling, being away from my kids, and just the feeling of grinding. And there is no other feeling when you are paying rent like the grind. (I still work. Still put in time and energy. But I do it like a boss and it’s connected to a long-term strategic plan.)
So here are three areas that you build equity in your business and life when you own your success and stop paying rent:
- Sweat equity. There is no way around becoming great at what you do. Gaining top skills requires work. And the more you work on improving your skills, the more equity you have in that area. This is where you are saving for your down-payment to success. You do not need to see as many people as you used to or work as many hours because you are better than when you were when you had little experience. The problem for many is that they start and stop so often that they keep having to acquire new skills and start from the beginning. Pivot if you must, but pick a plan and stay with that. Build some sweat equity!
- Experience equity. We all know that human brains don’t fully develop until around age 21-25. After that point, you learn a lot about human behavior, how to be in relationships, and get the advantage of gaining experience. This is why a conversation with an elderly family member is usually so enlightening. Or taking time to talk to a successful person can save you months or years of doing work the wrong way. And why it’s hard to take advice from someone who is starting out.
- Connection equity. Your network grows as you do. If you pay rent and live for the short-term, those relationships might not be that strong. We have all burnt bridges with someone, but as you build your connection equity, you know that its a small world and you can use your network to provide value and also gain something in return. “It’s who you know” is so true…and building equity and consistently showing up has huge rewards.
Here is a breakdown of what it’s like to rent:
- Keep paying same amount forever
- Feeling of scarcity because you literally have nothing when you start every day
- Person you pay rent to is in control
- short-term mindset
- only thing you have to make money is your output. When you own you have other options to make money because you have a wealth of equity to draw from
This is what it feels like when you have an ownership mindset:
- Long-term mindset
- Strategic investment for the long-term
- And end to payments
- Once you’ve “paid your dues” of your mortgage, you still pay for maintenance, but it feels good to pay for it because you are in control
- The number of mortgage payments are based off of your terms (years), interest rate, and down payment. You can control all of those.
- You are able to sell and cash out when it no longer serves you. Have something to show for all the work you did.
Does this resonate with you? What are your thoughts on the matter?