Wow, it’s already 2018.
We were busy over the holidays. Our small charity had delivered food baskets to another 300 families.
In 2017 alone, this small charity that we started had delivered to more than 900 families across Southern Ontario. ?
We delivered with Santa and Batman this year. They were a sensational hit on the street. Everyone waved at them. Together with the snow (if you remember the snow storm on December 23), they provided some magical moments to the less fortunate families.
In one delivery, the mom who received our basket and gifts were particularly grateful. She didn’t have much to give to her three kids.
Like all other families, we ate a lot over the holidays. We spent a lot of time with our families and friends. We even got to meet up with some long-distance friends from other countries to catch up!
One of them made a comment about how unhappy some of his coworkers were, but they were all too money constrained to chase their dreams.
They would rather be unhappy at their jobs working from 9 to 7 everyday (it is in Hong Kong, working hours are slightly different from Canada) keeping their financial security, sacrificing their family time than taking on the risk, failing and falling, improving on their errors and chasing their dreams.
My friend and his coworkers are clearly not happy in their current situation. Sadly, very few of them take responsibility for their own lives and make a difference.
The saddest part is, we are not just killing our own dreams, we are also unconsciously killing our next generation’s dreams.
This award-winning video called “Alike” summed it up well.
Ray Dallio, in his new book “Principles” talks about taking responsibility for your own life.
And yes, there’s risk and there will be failures, guaranteed. But if you don’t fail, you don’t learn. That’s just life.
Get up and keep going! Learn from your mistakes and other’s mistakes. In Ray Dallio’s principles, he learns from others’ success and builds on other’s success instead. ?
Simon Sinek talks about finding your why in his books and his Ted Talk video. It inspired me to find my why and I have been pondering on this topic for a while.
I have a general idea of what it is but this conversation with my friend really helps defining my why.
My WHY is “to inspire people to be the best they can be“.
It’s such a profound moment for me that it deserves some highlight and underline. Haha. ?
People wonder why and how I have the motivation to do what I am doing in life. This “WHY” really explains it well. I want to be the best I can be. I know there are ways to become better and so I am on a quest to search for it.
This can be as simple as reading a book to learn from the successful people.
It can be finding more about your family with the help of a resource like Geneology Bank (https://www.genealogybank.com/explore/obituaries/all/usa/florida/orlando/orlando-sentinel) and maybe discovering a side to your family that helps everything fall into place for you.
It can be hiring a coach to improve your business or your health.
It can also be deciding to take responsibility for your life, including not being stuck at a job that you hate for financial security, in exchange for happiness.
It can also be as difficult as getting out of a marriage, going through tough conversations about settlement and getting a new job all at the same time. That’s what happened to a close friend of mine in the latter part of 2017.
These all take some courage and commitment and a leap of faith to welcome the unknown.
I grew up in a family relying on government subsidized housing. We stole electricity from our neighbors (thanks to my dad who was an electrical apprentice at the time). My grandparents were farmers in the communist China, but my parents have a few properties today and they don’t need to worry about their retirement.
I had my #MeToo moments that I mentioned in my other blog post. I fell for relationships that I shouldn’t have as a result. I had low self-confidence and self-worth. Today, I have a happy family with two beautiful children.
A university classmate once told me that by working in a small Chinese accounting firm in my first co-op work term, I would never be hired in the Big Four accounting firms. One of my roommates called me a fob (fresh of the boat – which I took negatively). I went on to work for Deloitte and got onto the honour roll (top 10 in Ontario in our CA final exam and top 20 in Canada) with English being my second language.
I didn’t like audit or financial reporting. Naturally, I didn’t like most of the accounting jobs that I had even though they all paid well. I spent 1/3 of my time surfing the net looking for properties, I spent 1/3 of the time having coffee with my coworkers, and 1/3 of the time really doing the real work.
Now I have a small accounting firm, it does not pay as well as working for someone else but I work from home, go to the gym 3x a week and occasionally get to put my kids down for their naps.
I still work extremely hard in my business. I know there are other ways. 2018 will be the year I am making all these changes to make it better, add more value to my clients and serve them better and to become a better me. I may hire a professional forensic accountant auditor in the future to help with the workload, but for the time being, I am doing fine. Because having an auditor in my firm might allow me to expand my business to serve law firms and attorneys. Let’s see if everything goes according to plan.
For those of you who are in a rut, remember you are in control. You can make a difference in your own life!
For those of you who are already successful and taking responsibility, you can always be better! ?
Good luck being the best you can be in 2018.
Until next time, happy Canadian Real Estate Investing.
Cherry Chan, CPA, CA
Your Real Estate Accountant