Stop Stalling and Take Action

The number one attribute that separates successful entrepreneurs from day dreamers is a bias for action—the people who get up and decide to do something are the ones who reap the benefits. In his recently released Masterclass, Sir Richard Branson encourages viewers to “go for it” and to “be bold”—he explains his own life mantra (and the title of one of his books) as “Screw It, Let’s Do it.”


This attitude is exactly what has led to his enormous success.


When we consider the topic of personal finance, we could learn a lot from Branson and other entrepreneurs who encourage taking action. The number one frustration encountered when learning about the time value of money (and the power of compound interest) is that we didn’t take advantage of it early enough. How often do we lament the fact that if we had saved even just $100 a month starting when we were 15 years old, how different our lives would be?


But here’s the rub: lamenting the past and taking action in the present are two very different things. We can sit around all day and complain that our finances are not where we want them to be. But those who get up and do something about it are the ones who will effect change. It is often said that the best time to start saving is today—so let’s go do it. We don’t need to develop a 20-year plan first, or read through financial statements to determine key investments—we just have to start saving now.


Now is the time to go online and set up automatic transfers to your Roth IRA (or set up your Roth IRA in the first place). Now is the time to increase your 401(k) or HSA (Health Savings Account) withholdings on your next paycheck. Now is the time to make the decision to save.


It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 years old, 25 years old, 35 years old, or 45 years old—starting today is what makes the difference. Let’s borrow this ideology from Sir Richard Branson and instead of wishing we had more money invested, just say “Screw it, let’s do it.”


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