Here is what I’ve learned from my hubby, my father-in-law, Ben Franklin, and a local construction worker about work—and its payoff. Studying the work habits of these four industrious individuals was more valuable than anything I learned about work or finances in any college.
But first, a word about the opposite of work: rest. Because God himself had infinite possibilities to continue working past his first six days, He made Himself stop. Think of His personal dilemma of where to stop. He could have generated/ignited no end of "home"-based businesses for Himself. With all "matter" in the palm of His hand, He could have created other earths endlessly. His chosen people have the same problem. Knowing that they would walk off with the largest percentages of Nobel Peace prizes in the world, the greatest number of world class musicians and authors, the biggest percentages of entrepreneurial scientists (overrunning Israeli's Technion Institute), and the highest per capita percentage of venture-capital-start-up companies in the world, the Almighty had to put the skids on His chosen people before He wound them up and let them go! No work on the Sabbath! These people comprise 2% of the world's population but currently own 20% of the world's wealth. These guys know how to work. They are so bright and industrious it's a prescription for workaholicism. But they took God seriously, put the lid on themselves, and have, since the beginning of time, shut down on the seventh day. What about the other days of the week? They view those days as "work-bonanzas"—a "free-for-all"—they go for it, baby.
But now back to thoughts about work, and its consequential financial savvy, our primary topic:
Here are general principles I learned from the four men mentioned above. The same principles were found in all of them.
-They view every hour of the day as a potential economic unit that they will never see again—it is a diminishing capital in terms of building financial stability for the future. They have their eye on gaining some secure, relaxed time when their bodies wear out in old age. They begin with the end in view. They develop a hefty respect for the lowly hour.
-As a consequence, they will work for any amount of money at any time—even for a dollar, a yen, or a shilling—even with an extension cord and a lamp outside after dark. They aren't picky about what or when or how much money there will be or won't be as a reward.
-They have multiple income streams coming in at all times—like spinning seven plates on seven sticks—no matter how small their trickles.
-They work for other people, who will give them sure money for an hour, first, even at the drop of a hat, before working their own entrepreneurial endeavors.
-They steadily and relentlessly moonlight their own additional money-makers/projects, working evenings and every stray hour for their big picture life advancement. They build for the long haul—like a squirrel that is habitually, steadily, quietly, and deliberately packing away a stash of nuts.
-They focus their "around the edges" activities. They know what they want to achieve and know how to get it. They avoid splintering or scattering their energies. They have clear targeted goals for those pursuits.
-They don't use high energy massively productive regular day work hours for mental jobs of their own. They save all their own mental pursuits for when their bodies have crashed, physically—for their "off" hours.
-They have also learned to "limp when wounded." They keep going on some level, even during migraine headaches, fevers, the flu, colds, heartbreaks, injuries and delays. They are not dissuaded by clouds in the sky, cold weather, or a lion in the street.
-They look for alternative ways to buy or have everything, re-investing their own limited money in ways to make more money. They are planting their corn instead of eating their corn (they understand that someone else always has a plan for your money).
-They double and triple whammy any needed errands. This translates into more free time at home to work, to make progress.
-Their primary recreation is not sports, news/weather, or Hollywood movies, but changing their type of work. The work of their hands gets established in every direction, in multiple areas. Everywhere you look you see the trail of their industry. They find refreshment in simply changing occupations for an hour or two.
-Several of them like to work with children, creating a little companion job for a child right next to them as they work. This grows a massive work ethic in the child, where "can-do" attitudes are caught, and it also provides companionship for the man himself, and consequently exalts the meaning of the man's work to include role-modeling.
-They will work even for no money—using all of their man-hours to actually work—knowing that conquering countless domestic chores/ projects/ housing and land-advances frees them up for when outside work does arrive—giving them the fruit of their hands of a yet more and more solid, well-ordered and progressively stable home life. An industrious man is proud of both domains showing order and progress. .
-They work as they go. They don't spend time "getting ready for work"—they plunge first and think about whether they wanted to or not later.
Specifics regarding the four men?
My hubby? He was the one with the extension cord and lamp after dark. He has even been known to mow in the dark minus the extension cord and lamp. His paper route money collected on his bike during adolescence ended up paying for most of four years of college and buying a bedroom or two in our first house—20 years later.
My father-in-law? He pleasantly hums while he works—works often with grandchildren—sees all jobs as invigorating challenges. I think he'll still be rubbing his hands, with that "let me at it" attitude, when he rises from the grave, too! There isn't a job he won't tackle with relish—from fixing door handles, to wheels on the bottoms of chairs, to felling giant trees, to devising a better way to run the airport electronic luggage system—while he waits in line through security. He is very aware of role-playing before little eager audiences.
Ben Franklin? No competition, even across the street "in his face" businesses, or old blue blood money dissuaded him from doing what he could do to build his own wealth. He didn't bother looking at the other guy. He was financially established at age 24, independently wealthy at (just flip those numbers) age 42.
The construction worker? He works for others at the drop of a hat—but then comes home to steadily conquer every square inch of his original shack and brambles. Their home now appears estate-like, cultivated, tamed, storybook beautiful both inside and out. He makes a dime squeal, and works for any amount of pay from others. He is flexible with time, but rigid with purpose.
Conclusion: Proverbs 14:23
"All hard work leads to a profit," even work at no pay on one's own lot. There is no work beneath an industrious man. No empire outside his grasp.
Suggestion: share this with the teenager(s) in your home, and also the eBook of How Not to Waste Your Youth.