A Magic Pill

by Krantcents · 24 comments

Post image for A Magic Pill

Everyone wants a magic pill!  It is an easy answer for everything.  When you are sick, your doctor tells you to  take a pill and call him/her in the morning.  We are still looking for a pill to lose weight, stop smoking or grow hair.  Are you looking for a quick fix to solve your problems?  Look no further, you found it!  Here are my five (5) secrets to success!


Should you go to college?  Is debt or the expense of college stopping you from going to college?  There are great alternatives if you have the skills, talent and desire to enter these careers.  In Los Angeles, union electricians are looking for high school graduates to become journeyman electricians. Within 5 years, you can earn $65,000 as an electrician. You are paid while you are an apprentice and you do not accumulate debt.

Am I suggesting that everyone skip college and become a union electrician?  I am advocating education or training post secondary school because it is necessary to succeed.  No matter what you want to be, you need more training. Knowledge comes in a variety of ways.  Formal and informal training, experience and what you learn from your mistakes and successes.  What are you doing to accumulate skills to achieve success?


Formal or informal budgeting doesn’t matter!  A budget provides structure to reach your financial goals.  Can you reach goals without budgeting?  Can you change your diet without knowing what you eat.  My diet gurus suggest recording a diet diary.  It is a way of showing you in plain terms what and how much you eat everyday.  A budget puts you through the same process.  When develop a budget, you become aware of all your expenses.  You have to reduce or cut out expenses to reach your goal.  It is a great process to take control of your expenses.


Before you can invest, you need savings.  I saved money all my life.  Most of my working life (more than 40 years), I put it on automatic.  I set up a payroll deduction to either transfer money into my savings account at the credit union or to invest into the stock market.  At first, it was to just accumulate funds for annual expenses such as property taxes and insurance premiums.  Next came putting a down payment on my first rental property.  In the last thirty (30+) years, I dollar cost average into the stock market.  I watch my investments grow over time.  It was not always up, but I kept contributing and have a secure future.


I always had goals!  Things such as doing well in school, losing weight, making a sports team, learning something, traveling, first car or meeting a girl.  These were just a few of the things that come to mind when I think of goals.  Then I established financial goals.  I wanted to increase my earnings or gain the right experience for that next promotion.  Without goals, you will flounder or meander.  Lack of goals mean you have no focus or know where you are going. 


A plan is a road map to help you achieve your goals.  Without that road map, you do not know how to get there.  I also see a plan as a way to monitor your progress.  In order for a plan to be effective, you should monitor it weekly and monthly.  A plan is also a way of providing discipline or structure for your goal.  Every goal requires a plan because a goal without a plan is just a wish!  Plans help us prepare for problems and how to achieve success.  Most worthwhile goals are years away such as retirement or buying a home.  You want a plan to hold you accountable for your goals.

Final Thoughts

These are my five (5) secrets to success.  Are there more things you can do to succeed in life?  Absolutely, you can do a lot of things, but I boiled them down to the most significant ones to show you the way.   What are you going to do?  Previously, I wrote about fifty (50) traits of successful and unsuccessful people and other articles on success.  My journey to success is one example of how I achieved success.  This is my magic pill.

Photo by:  Civilian Scrabble

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Daisy @ Add Vodka May 16, 2012 at 7:16 am

I totally agree with almost all of these points – having a “magic pill” isn’t realistic, but with a whole bunch of determination people can be successful.

Krantcents May 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

Most easy solutions do not work very well or for the long term. I rarely go for the easy way out.

Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals May 16, 2012 at 11:29 am

I completely agree with you, not everyone needs to go to college. My youngest cousin skipped getting his degree because he wanted to train as a car mechanic. A few community college classes later, and he was employable, and soon making as much money I was – and I have a B.A. and an M.S.!

Krantcents May 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

There are auto mechanics that make $200K and they work for dealers. There are lots of professions that do not need college, but that is not the objective. The goal is to find a career that you enjoy, then you will be good at it. If you are good at it, you will be successful.

Dannielle @ Odd Cents May 17, 2012 at 4:34 am

Sometimes life does not have to be complicated. The things that you are listed are easily achievable with the right mindset.

Krantcents May 17, 2012 at 6:31 am

Sometimes it is perception or priorities. Many people view budgets as restrictive and goals as wishes. It is the difference between wanting to do something versus doing or achieving something.

SB @ One Cent At A Time May 17, 2012 at 4:40 am

very carefully thought after list. I do feel these 5 should come at top in every list.

Krantcents May 17, 2012 at 6:33 am

I tried to come up the most important list of steps you can take to achieve success.

Christa May 17, 2012 at 9:10 am

It still amazes me at times that trade schools can be so much more beneficial to people than traditional schools. The trick, I think, is to pursue a trade that interests you and can turn around a great salary.

Krantcents May 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The first step is to have an interest in a particular career, the next is have the talent and skills to succeed and finally the passion to to turn it into a fourishing career or business.

Darwin's Money May 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm

With what my electrician’s charging me, he better be making a hell of a lot more than $65,000 LOL. Many of these skilled trades make a killing. They work as many hours as they want or they eventually run their own businesses with many younger employees under them. Nothing wrong with skipping college and going the trade route – as long as you have a trade!

Krantcents May 18, 2012 at 7:23 am

I advocate finding your passion no matter where it is and pursue it. Why not enjoy your work because you will be more successful.

Katie May 18, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I agree that education doesn’t have to equal college. As long as you are passionate about want you do and have a plan (and goals) you can succeed.

Krantcents May 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Over the years, I have knwn a lot of people in trades who are very happy and successful. Happiness and success does not necessarily mean college.

Thad P @ thadthoughts.com May 19, 2012 at 11:50 am

The most important part to reach success is the consistent application of simple steps. That’s the magic of your pill. Great post.

Krantcents May 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

You’re right! Sticking with it and picking yourself up after you fall or stumble is also important.

Steven May 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Goals!? I’ve got goals! If you ever need a little inspiration to keep on track with yours, I’d love you to come check out my blog. Yes, shameless plug and completely unclassy! But only because I think you’d like it!

I’ve found financial goals to be some of the most difficult to stick with. I made paying off my credit cards #1 on my list, and I did it too, but I found that over time, I started using them more and more frequently (for the rewards) and then I quit paying off the balances in full. D’oh! Just this week I paid off my credit cards entirely, closed a bunch of accounts (we can debate the pros and cons of that one) and put the card for the one account I left open into a locked box in the closet (I should probably delete my stored account information from such places as Amazon and REI.)

I’m leaving for two years to live abroad, so I must be out of debt…a slave to no bank! The next few months before I leave will be a challenge. So much fun stuff to do this summer (climbing mountains, hanging out at Lake Tahoe…oh, and Roger Waters is going to be in town.) Ah, summertime. How you bleed my wallet so!

Krantcents May 20, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Although I appreciate the sentiment, you may get more out of my articles. Yes, a shameless plug! Without being arrogant, I managed to achieve financial freedom at 38 years old.

Steven May 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Well, I’ve got about eight years…I’ll get there. :)

Krantcents May 29, 2012 at 6:34 am

Reaching your goals means monitoring your progress and adjusting your efforts. Good luck.

Financial Advice for Young Professionals May 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Well put. I always tell my friends that saving money should hurt a little bit. You shouldn’t get to do all the things you want to do. I’m all about making small sacrifices now that will benefit me later :)

Krantcents May 22, 2012 at 8:20 pm

There are no easy answers!

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