How small decisions can change your future in a big way

How small decisions can change your future in a big wayOn October 31, 2015, I celebrated my 35th birthday. That was also the year I became a father for the first time. Needless to say, it was a year full of milestones and things to reflect on. That evening, after having taking my 6 month old son to visit relatives for his first trick-or-treating, I was driving back home from an errand and literally parked my car for a brief moment and thought to myself: I just turned 35, what do I have to show for it? While I meant this in terms of personal development in general, it was more specifically from a financial prospective. While I had been pretty good with my money, I thought I could do more. For example, while myself and my wife had personal savings and something we always did, I thought I needed something on my own. Something that allowed me to try somewhat riskier investments than I would otherwise be able to do with family savings.

An idea flashed into my head, the result of having read a lot about investing, stock trading, and dividend income the last few years. The idea was that I would start saving small chunks of money and within 10 years (by age 45) I would hopefully have enough money to generate $12K in annual side income from dividends alone! That is $1K in monthly dividend income.

There you have it. A decision literally made from thin air, all while driving and having decided to park to review my personal development after making it to my mid 30s. That one small decision – now some 7.5 years later – has proven to be a massive one for my financial future. In fact, I am so dedicated to this goal I took on my 35th birthday, that I have made it a personal goal and never deviated from it since October 2015.

There is even a book that talks about this idea, called ‘Big Things Have Small Beginnings’ by Wes Berry, where the premise is simply yet powerful: Ignoring and not paying attention to small things can be the difference between failure and success. So if you think saving $50 from every paycheck starting at 21, deciding to start investing at a young age, or start financial education at an early age, are not worthy or won’t make a difference, you are totally wrong.