Paying Your Dues

There are no free passes on your journey to success; if your goal is to succeed you have to be willing to pay your dues to achieve the desired outcome.   You have to make the commitment to achieve your goals.  Paying your dues is having the courage to work through your obstacles and mistakes without taking your eye off your goals.  

You have to start somewhere.

Many people expect to jump into their dream job right out of school or college. But the reality for the majority of people is that they have to start on the “bottom” in their first few jobs. “Entry-level” work often consists of the boring, tedious tasks that managers and veterans just won’t do anymore.  Don’t take this menial work as a bruise to your ego. Your boss and your coworkers most likely had to do the same thing when they started out. There will always be some less-than-enjoyable parts to any job. Don’t feel like bosses and co-workers are picking on you personally; mostly EVERYONE has to go through this process. Don’t worry though, if you learn the tasks quickly, soon you will move up and another new person will be hired you won’t be the “noob/newb” anymore.

Success comes from years of hard work.

Another mistake many young people make is that they expect to immediately live the same lifestyle they had when they left their childhood homes. They want nice clothes, comfy furniture, a car, and a nice house the moment they set out in the “big wide world”. This is a very unrealistic expectation and if you try to have all of that at once, you will wind up with a lot of credit card debt!  It is important to remember that your parents/guardians had to earn what they have over a period of time - no one just handed things to them when they got out of school. They worked hard, saved for all the things they have. You will need to do the same.

Recognize tradeoffs exist when you live by your values.  

Some people have a desire to work less and have more free time. Some people desire to make lots of money.  If you value having free time, expect to generally earn less. If you value wealth and money, be prepared to put in a lot of hours at work. The key is to figure out what you value and accept the tradeoffs. There are very few careers that meet all three of those criteria, so knowing which values are important to you will help you to make good career choices. You may have to make a trade-off: have less free time and money now, for more of it later. In other words, you will “pay your dues.”

Be willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term goals.

A common trait among successful people is that they are willing to make short-term sacrifices for long-term goals.

  • If you want to have your own car, you may have to use SEPTA for transportation and sacrifice some luxury items like movies and video games until you can save enough money for the car and insurance.

  • If you want to start your own business, you might have to take a “job” that pays the bills while you save money to start your own business in your CAREER.

  • If you want to get out of debt quickly, you may need to take on a second job delivering pizzas or working as a cashier. The sooner you pay the debt, the less you will have to pay in interest charges.

An important thing to remember is that most situations are not permanent. If you have a goal, be willing to make sacrifices for it because in the end, the reward will be worth the sacrifice!

“No matter what we want of life we have to give up something in order to get it.”

 ~Raymond Holliwell