Starting a Thousand Mile Journey With a Single Step

thousand mile journey

Can you believe it’s already December?! I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There’s just one thing I need. I need to know how I’ve done this year! It’s the season for celebrating with family, drinking a little eggnog, and for going over how I did financially. I’ve been working at my job for 5 months now, longer than any employer I’ve ever worked for (full-time, at least). With the 40 hours a week that I invest in my employer, I want to see some returns and have something to show for it. I want it to contribute to the thousand mile journey of becoming a millionaire. .

One of my favorite 5 minute past times is logging into my Personal Capital account and visualizing exactly what my net worth is. I like seeing a steady increase month after month, especially for my 401k. I reached my first meaningful milestone: the first $10,000 in my 401k.

thousand mile journey
Here it is!

Small Wins Matter

Small wins are important. I would even go far as to say that small wins are even more important than big wins in the long run. Celebrating small wins give you confidence, it gives you the push to know that you can do this. That is why I am very proud of the fact that I just took the first step to achieving millionaire status and to show you, my readers, that if I can make the first step, you can too. 

Becoming a millionaire is no easy feat. The steps it takes to get there isn’t rocket science, but it still takes time and discipline. There’s many steps that are needed but having a good start doesn’t hurt and helps tremendously. I have the belief that I can get there without a doubt. There could be unforeseen life events that could prevent me from reaching that goal but I have a good shot at reaching them. I just hope that this step is the first of money $10,000 steps.

The second milestone would be to reach my first $100,000 balance in my 401k. That goal will take me longer than 5 months. Going at the same pace would allow me to reach that goal in 50 months (or, in 4 years and 2 months), without the help of compound interest. I would like to reach it sooner but if I keep up at the same pace without external forces at play, the LATEST I will reach it will be in 4 years 2 months. That is completely fine with me.

First Step Still Takes Work

I remember being back in college. Two weeks before it started, I was obsessed about money and I began detailing ways of making money. I thought of selling Hershey’s chocolate to classmates. Heck, I did that when I was 6 years old in kindergarten, so how hard could it be? Reflecting back, I probably lost money when I did it. The joys of youthful exuberance. However, this time it’s different. This wasn’t when I was 5 years old, this was when I was 17 years old, I could do this!

I thought about how If I could just sell about 10 a day for a profit of $1 a day by buying in bulk, that’s an extra $3,650 a year! Add that with working 15 hours a week for $8.25 an hour for 52 weeks, then that’s an additional $6,435, which adds an extra $10,000 to my net worth. Exactly how much it could cost my tuition for a year. My tuition was paid for by scholarships. If it wasn’t, I would be on the hook for paying that and so I worked jobs as if I didn’t have any scholarships backing me up.

As fool-proof (sarcasm) as my plan was to add an extra $10,000 to my net worth, it failed miserably. I didn’t know anything about sales, communication, or anything else business. So I went the old-fashioned way and got 2 jobs working 20 – 25 hours a week on top of my classes to add the $10,000 in net worth I wanted to add. It still took quite a bit of work to get there.

Visualization Leads to Reality

For the next 2 years, I am completely focused on building wealth. It isn’t the only nor is it the most important thing that’s on my mind but I am determined to increase my net worth. I completed the first step. Now the next step is to reach the $100,000 milestone. It may be easy or it may be hard, but what’s important is that I recognize the milestone steps to know that I’m heading in the right direction.

I may not be going 100 miles per hour to reach my goals (I’ve been reading stories of Googlers who live in their cars for 2 years to save up to buy a house and I can’t go that extreme to reach my dream) but I do know what direction I’m going and that’s what matters.

Maybe you’re trying to get out of debt, go for the second million, or just starting to save and build wealth. Whatever your goals are, there’s multiple steps to every huge goal that’s out there. It’s only fitting to celebrate whenever you reach a new step. Then you can look back and realize how far you’ve been walking!

Readers, how has your first steps been? How was your first milestone achieved and if you haven’t achieved it what are you doing to try to get there? Let me know in the comments below!

Finance Solver

I grew my net worth to $40,000 as a college student through hard work, discipline, and a little bit of luck. I graduated college in 2016 and will be starting to plan for my retirement once I start working.I am planning on reaching financial independence by my early 30's and I will document my moments of inspiration all the way to desperation here.

My goal is to enable your success in personal finance so that you can realize the American dream. The first step is starting today!

Read more about me here.

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21 thoughts on “Starting a Thousand Mile Journey With a Single Step

  1. Nice job FS, that’s a great achievement. The first million is the most difficult, the first 100k, the first 10k, you did it! Good job 🙂

    Here’s to the next 10k. We’re soon going to be hitting milestones like that too, in various places which we’ll publish on our blog soon!


    • Finance Solver says:

      Yeah! The journey does seem a little long.. (I guess my millennial instinct to want things now is kicking in, have to learn to suppress those as time passes on. I haven’t been blogging as much because of a lack of internet but can’t wait to read all of your progress! 🙂

    • Finance Solver says:

      It sure does! I couldn’t imagine getting a $10k net worth this fast when I didn’t have a high income back in college but I’m glad that is changed.

  2. Congratulations on reaching the first major milestone!

    As you say its important to recognise the small wins as well and to keep you focused, but its just as important to allow yourself the time to step back and see how things have improved over a longer time period.

    I look at my monthly tracking and its never moving as fast as I would like, but take a step back and look at the years performance and wow – it blows you away and gives you the strength to keep going on the long journey.

    Keep up the good work, here’s to the next 10k, then 100k and then the magical 1,000,000!
    FIREin’ London

    • Finance Solver says:

      That’s a good plan! I always think it’s taking too long.. I don’t mind getting rich slowly but sometimes I wonder if there’s a faster way of getting there without taking on more risk.. Ah I probably won’t figure it out so getting rich slowly, I will choose!

  3. A $10k a year increase would require 100 years to get to millionaire status. Obviously not practical, but the good news is that your young, medicine is getting better by the day and more importantly you have the drive and focus to save more than $10k year as you move throughout your career. Just stay focused. Best of luck!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you! I’m glad it’s only $10k for 6 months of working so it should only require me 50 years to get to millionaire status 😉 add in compound interest and I’m hoping to accelerate it!

  4. Hi FS,

    I have been following this blog for a while and Congrats. I would like to say that the first step is always the hardest part but once you grasp the technique and experience then nobody can stop you except yourself. There is no gap between you and your imagination; you will definitely earn the figures which you expected but failing is part of success as well, so I have learned that I will not give up until I achieve my goal FS.

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you for following along, I appreciate it a lot!! I know that I will fail and make a lot of mistakes throughout my journey but I have no doubt in my mind that I will get there. It’s not who’s going to let me but who’s going to stop me! I might fall flat on my face but the good news is, my readers will know all about it if I do so they know what not to do 🙂

  5. The first step is always the hardest so congrats on achieving it!

    I’m still on my first step of setting up my side hustle and I found that the beginning is always the hardest as you have to set up everything from scratch. But once it’s all set up, it gets easier and grows faster every time you do it!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you! I need to look up side hustles because I’ve been looking to increase income. If I play my cards right, I can have a six figure year but that’s to be determined.

      Automating everything also helps tremendously!

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you! I keep looking at my personal capital account and checking my balance quite periodically.. It’s almost become a disease I know that I need to stop it soon.

  6. I agree with your point that Small Wins are very important and you should be very happy when you get wins. It is being said all around that a group of small things/wins will create a giant thing/win. Life is all about the work you do and the way you do it, just focus and work your ass off, success will come to you automatically. Start your journey road to success now or as early as possible, else your ‘late’ might become ‘never’

    • Finance Solver says:

      I’ve been having trouble celebrating small wins well. I’m a person who always look towards the future and what the next course of action to take is, which can sometimes backfire and make me live in the past and not the present. I’ve made a conscious effort to celebrate my wins though after reading personal finance blogs!

  7. You are an inspiration to every budding individual of this generation who will step into corporate life. Congratulations on taking your first step. You are right, it is, of course, the small steps that count, the small steps that taken together comprises the entire journey. Keep updating us about your journey, as we want you to be an example we all can follow. May you have an amazing year ahead and complete many more steps towards the success you deserve.

    • Finance Solver says:

      Thank you! I’m so looking forward to 2017. There’s a lot that I want to achieve and I feel that I can get there with the right amount of planning and action. My wins and fails will be detailed in this blog, however, which is great for transparency purposes!

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