Very few things beat hard work, but being hardworking does not mean you will always find success.
No matter how hard or how many hours some people work, some barriers could keep them from succeeding.
These barriers often come down to a few core issues:
Does it seem like you’re working harder than anyone else, but you still don’t consider yourself “successful?”
Maybe you feel you’re just spinning your tires without actually getting anywhere.
Well, you are not alone.
Millions of hardworking Americans just aren’t successful.
Here are a few reasons people don’t reach the level of success they desire.
Why Hardworking People Aren’t Always Successful
1. Not budgeting
Okay, you’re working 40 hours (or a lot more) of work every week.
You know where your money is coming from, but do you know where it’s going?
Most hardworking Americans don’t have a budget and do not know how their money is being spent.
Not having a budget or tracking your expenses is a good way to keep spinning your tires and never getting to that success you dream of.
Sure, making a budget doesn’t sound fun, but it probably isn’t as hard as it sounds.
Websites and apps like Personal Capital and Mint can make creating a budget a breeze.
Both apps will sync with your banking accounts and show all your money in one place.
They also automatically categorize your spending into the appropriate sections, like transportation or eating out.
This makes it extremely easy to see areas you might spend too much.
In fact, the apps can alert you when you’ve reached a pre-determined limit on certain categories.
Thousands of Americans don’t know where their money is going, and it surprises them to see how much money they waste on different categories.
Some of the most common areas of overspending are eating out and entertainment.
Both are easy to cut, but creating a budget and following it takes discipline.
2. Not Investing
You’re hardworking, so why not make your money work for you?
Investing is the perfect way to become both a successful and hardworking individual.
If you’ve never invested before, you might be nervous about starting your investment portfolio, but it’s simpler than you think.
You might think that you have to have $20,000 to invest.
But you don’t.
You can start investing with the money left over at the end of the month, and you don’t have to be an investment expert to make smart investment choices.
Motif and Betterment are some of the best ways to begin your investing journey because they will do all the hard work for you.
Betterment is one of the most popular investing sites because of its successful “robo-advisors” that can decide what investments to make for you and reinvest the interest and dividends accumulated through the investments.
You must create an account and fill out a short set of easy questions to determine what investments are best for you.
The algorithm does the rest.
Conversely, Motif takes a different approach to investing, but it’s still incredibly easy.
Motif makes it easy to create a diversified portfolio in only a few clicks.
Instead of having to pick every single investment, you invest into groupings of investments that revolve around industries on Motif.
Each Motif group has 30 different stocks inside of it that are all related to the same thing.
Don’t let fear of the unknown or learning something new stop you from making your money work as hard as you are.
3. Not planning for emergencies
Every time we’re about to get ahead, an emergency pops up that sets us back again.
One reason that many hardworking people aren’t successful is that they don’t plan for these emergencies.
Obviously, we never know what’s going to happen to tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan for the unexpected.
One of the best ways to plan for an emergency is to have an “emergency fund,” a separate account with money designated for an emergency only.
Things like your car breaking down or paying for hospital bills are considered emergencies; needing a new phone isn’t.
Starting an emergency fund is easy.
Put a portion of your paycheck into a separate savings account every month.
Easy as that.
The next time your water heater needs replacing or your car needs to be repaired, you can use this money without turning to debt to fix or replace whatever broke.
If there is an emergency that would be too expensive to pay for out of savings, then you need insurance.
They designed insurance to give us financial backing if something happens that we could not afford to handle financially.
Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy, so you need health insurance.
Most people cannot afford to replace an automobile, so you need auto insurance (and it’s mandatory).
And most families could not survive the death of the primary or secondary breadwinner, so you need life insurance.
Whatever it is, if you cannot handle it financially with an emergency fund, you need insurance for that emergency.
Saving and planning like this also takes discipline, but these tips will help set you up for success.
4. Wasting time
Just because you work a lot doesn’t make you hardworking.
Many “hardworking” individuals waste much time at work and at home.
One of the best things you can do to become successful is to learn to manage your time efficiently and use it effectively.
This could be something as simple as not getting on Facebook as much or learning to go to only one store to buy everything on your grocery list.
Thanks to our smartphones and computers, wasting time has never been easier, but these things keep us from being successful.
Most people who get sucked into wasting time do it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
In fact, a recent report showed that Americans spend 1 in every 5 minutes online on social media.
The best way to cut down your time waste is to limit your time on these sites.
Only allow yourself 5 minutes of “tech time” every hour (or even less than that).
If you’re having problems limiting yourself, or you still fiddle with social media without even realizing it, there are apps to help!
Apps like “SelfControl” can eliminate the ability to waste your time.
You could download it for free, and you’ll be surprised how much extra time you have!
You must be self-aware and honest with yourself that you have a problem with wasting time, so you can work on fixing it.
5. Doing what everyone else is doing
Just because someone else is successful by doing something doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Everybody is different.
Therefore, everybody will have a different definition of “success,” and everybody will take a different route to get there.
Before you can understand why you aren’t successful despite all your long hours working, identify what you see as “success.”
Before establishing how to get there, you must identify where you’re going.
You can’t start a trip without a map.
Don’t get stuck in the rut of “it worked for other people, so why not me?”
Find your way to success.
Maybe that’s finding a new job or taking a second job.
Maybe that’s looking at investing differently than everyone else.
It could be turning your hobby into a money-making adventure.
Without taking any smart risks, you’re going to struggle to find success.
We don’t mean investing all your money into a new company, but taking the “safe route” will make it harder to reach your success point.
Being a Hardworking Person but Not Being Successful
Putting in 40 hours of hard work at your job will not guarantee success.
There are a lot of things that you could do that are holding you back.
You could see a drastic change in your life and your success with just a few simple changes.
Don’t let a few simple mistakes keep you from reaching your desired level of success.
Are you a hardworking person?
Do you think you’ve reached the level of success you desire?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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