Very few things beat hard work. But being a hardworking person doesn’t always equal success. No matter how hard or how many hours some people work, there could be some barriers that are going to keep them from succeeding.
Does it seem like you’re working harder than anyone else, but you still don’t consider yourself “successful”? Maybe you feel like you’re just spinning your tires without actually getting anywhere.
Well, it isn’t just you. Millions of hardworking Americans just aren’t successful. It could be for several different reasons, but there are a few reasons that keep people from reaching the level of success that 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?
The majority of hardworking Americans don’t have a budget and have no idea 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 of these apps will sync with all of your banking accounts and show all of 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 that you might be spending 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 they are surprised to see how much money they waste on different categories. Some of the most common areas of overspending are eating out and entertainment. Both of these are easy to cut.
2. Not Investing
You’re a hardworking person, 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 starting your investment portfolio, but it’s simpler than you think. You might think that you have to have $20,000 to start investing. But you don’t. You can start investing with the money leftover 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 can reinvest the interest and dividends that are accumulated through the investments.
All you have to do is 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.
Motif, on the other hand, 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, on Motif, you invest into groupings of investment that revolve around industries. Each Motif group has 30 different stocks inside of it that are all related to the same thing.
3. Not planning for emergencies
It seems like every time we’re about to get ahead, an emergency pops up that sets us back once again. One of the reasons that many hardworking people aren’t successful is because 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,” which is a separate account that has 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 aside every month into a separate savings account. Easy as that. The next time your water heater needs replacing, or your car needs to be repaired, you can use this money without having to turn 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 to have insurance for that emergency. Insurance was designed to give us a financial backing in the event that 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 bread winner, so you need life insurance. Whatever it is, if you cannot handle it financially with an emergency fund, you need insurance for that emergency.
4. Wasting time
Just because you work a lot, doesn’t make you hardworking. A lot of “hardworking” individuals are just wasting a lot of 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 are what keep us from being successful. The majority of people that get sucked into wasting time are doing it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.
In fact, a recent report showed that Americans are spending 1 in every 5 minutes online on social media. The best ways to cut down your time wasting 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 find yourself fiddling 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!
5. Doing what everyone else is doing
Just because someone else is successful by doing something, doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Everybody is different, which means that everybody is going to have a different definition of “success” and everybody is going to take a different route to get there.
Before you can figure out why you aren’t successful despite all your long hours working, you should figure out what you see as “success.” Before you can figure out how to get there, you must figure out 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?” You have to find your own 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” is going to 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 isn’t going to guarantee success. There are a lot of things that you could be doing that are holding you back.
With just a few simple changes, you could see a drastic change in your life and your success. Don’t let a few simple mistakes keep you from reaching the level of success that you want.
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.