Photo and Story by Beth Jennings Photography.
I’m very proud to be Bushy because that’s the name Dad went by. My Dad worked his arse off seven days a week because he wanted to be a millionaire. He sacrificed everything. He worked, he just worked, and he said when he could afford to retire, that’s when he was going to start living. He had all these plans.
He never got there. His health packed up, he had repeated strokes and spent the last 10 years in a wheelchair dribbling out the side of his mouth. Mum was his carer. After his third stroke he looked in my eye and said ‘don’t spend all your time working for money, get your money to work for you so you can take the time to enjoy each and every day.
This was 20 years ago. I was an architect then, working 7 days a week. I’d lost my marriage and a beautiful son. It was a big wake up. I took to heart what he said and gave architecture away. I had nothing – my car and cassettes – that tells you how long ago it was! I was lucky to meet Sonya a couple of years after that.
We sat down and said ‘how do we want to live”?’ and it went from there.
Dad took the scales off my eyes to see the model of life I was living was not going to give the fruit.
Fifteen years later, Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and because we’d invested in property I could take a year off and spend that precious time with her. I was able to help her to die with dignity at home in her own bed surrounded by everything that she loved.
As an architect you tend to ‘plan your world’ which is about visualizing what you want the environment to be. I’ve come to realise that very few people do that. They become a victim to circumstance rather than creator of their own future.
The people I meet in their mid-50’s have what I call the ‘oh shit’ moment. ‘Oh shit I can’t afford to stop work’. This is where most Australians are heading for catastrophe cliff. The stats scare the shit out of me: over 70% of retirees survive on $15,300 a year, right now. Only 10% have an income over $40,000 a year.
The first thing I do when I help people to realise their dream, is I ask them about how do they want to live? And I get crickets. They say, ‘what do you mean?’. They often don’t think about how they want to live, life happens to them.
Some people say ‘I believe in this…’ like, I believe in supporting elders, a world without poverty…I hear politicians say it all the time. ‘I believe’ is powerful, but it’s only belief. Whereas I prefer to say ‘I know’. I know that people can live life on their own terms providing they get clear on what that is.
In his book The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson says ‘life is a curved construction, time is the builder, choice is the master architect’. I love that saying. In this world now there are so many day to day urgencies and distractions that take people away from thinking about what’s important. Then life passes them by before they’ve had a chance to figure that out.
If I come to you with my hands outstretched and say, ‘I’m going to give you two choices and you need to make a decision now, don’t think about it too long…I’m either going to offer you a million dollars right here right now, or, I’m going to give you 1 cent today, 2 cents tomorrow, 4 cents on the third day and doubling every day for the next 31 days’.
Which one do you think they’ll say? Most people will take the million bucks.
If your outlook is that time and growth are the greatest facilitators of success, then guess how much you’d have if you took option 2… any idea?
$10,700,000 dollars, after 31 days.
There are two laws of nature that govern success:
- Plant, cultivate, harvest – most people plant today and expect a harvest tomorrow. If you plant a seed today, how many years before you see a tree? 20 years. People treat time as their enemy. If they always want it now they will fail to recognise that allowing time for something to work is the greatest driver of their results.
- Albert Einstein coined the eighth wonder of the world, which is the law of compounding returns. Success is the happy habits and daily disciplines that are invisible in terms of their impact. If every day is slightly better than the last you are three times better at the end of the year than at the start.
There’s this great story that sums up people’s attitudes that revolve around this:
I started learning piano in April last year. I said right, by the end of the year I will do a live performance and if I keep doing this every day I’ll get better and better. At the end people were amazed that I played in a concert. I was shocked, actually, because they said ‘how can you be that good’? I said ‘there’s only one difference between me and you, and that’s time, because I spent half an hour every day, rain, hail or shine on the piano’.
Success is about compounding results, it’s exponential, that’s what I mean by life is a curved construction. If we are just doing little things every day, it’s almost invisible impact. Because then they are easy to do, but also not to do, they don’t see it stick, so they don’t do it.
‘She’ll be right mate’ – when they hit the magic age of 65 for the pension, guess what happens to their lifestyle? It falls off the cliff. They didn’t start investing early enough. I’m passionate about property because it will give you the best outcome – I also invest in shares, cash, super. It could be kebabs. If kebabs gave me the result, I’d invest in kebabs. Plus I’m an architect so I love property. They are money boxes in the shape of a house, that’s all a house is really.
Property is the sleeping giant. If it’s structured properly, it costs you next to nothing to hold onto a property, it doubles in value every 15 years and you only need to use a very small amount of your own money to secure a property. And you know what the really good news is? If you can secure them and hold them for up to 20 years, then you can sustain your lifestyle forever.
It’s not rocket science, it’s not hard to do. In fact it’s pretty simple for most people providing they start early enough.
The reason they don’t is they see time as the enemy, not as their friend. #timeisyourfriend #hib
Bushy Martin helps time poor professionals that don’t know who to trust or where to start to replace their income through property www.khgroup.com.au
This story was originally published here.