A Grateful Farm Boy From Transylvania
Not many people know this, but I was born in a very small town in Romania (in olden times this was the famed Transylvania) and spent a significant amount of time feeding chicken, herding cows, and working the land.
Fast forward to the present moment, just yesterday my team tallied the number of businesses in my portfolio and we excitingly came to the realisation that we have 8 companies we’re managing. Each one of them selling different products or services and which operate in different parts of the planet.
Looking back, though I was there during the entire trip, I can say even I find it miraculous. How can a poor boy from a developing country (which was communist until his birth) become a millionaire by the time he was 25?
Well, in my case, I attribute it to two main traits that I picked up whilst I was a farm boy, and that have served me ever since.
One, I start working as soon as I get up. No social media, no workout, no 27 step morning routine… No. I just wake up, drink water, and get right to work.
On the farm, there are always things to do. Animals need to be fed. Vegetables or fruits need to be harvested. Food needs to be prepared. (No takeaway in the village… I know… how do people survive?)
And by the way, when I say every day, I mean it. Seven days a week, 365 days of the year, all holidays included. It’s not like chicken care much of human holidays. And it’s not like you’ll tell your chicken “Sorry bud, it’s New Years, I’m not going to feed you today.”
No. Work starts the moment you wake up and doesn’t finish until you go to bed. So whenever someone talks to me about how much they work and how they “shouldn’t be working more than 40hrs/week” I resist telling them how privileged they are to even have such a thought.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people that for example want to work only 20hrs per week, or not at all. Anything you choose is fine my be.
We’re just on the topic of what traits helped me become a millionaire by 25, and super-strong, zero-complaining work ethic I believe is one of them.
The second trait I believe is selfless and never-ending service to others.
Where I grew up, families involve their children in the day to day maintenance of the house or farm from a very early age. You get to learn (many times whether you like it or not) a sense of responsibility towards the parts of the families affairs that you take upon yourself.
If someone’s sick, you not only need (and feel a sense of duty) to care for them, but now you also need to do their share of the day’s work.
If one of your neighbors asks for help because their corn harvest just came in and all the seeds need to be removed from the cones and stored in a dry place so they can be kept over winter, you immediately go lend a helping hand. One, because you genuinely want to help. Two, because you never know when you might need their help.
In short, I get to work on my most important priority first thing in the morning and if at any point one of my colleagues or clients need help, I drop whatever it is I’m doing and I support them as best I can.
Those two traits I’ve acquired since before I can remember and I’m grateful to the bones for all those early morning farm chores and late nights helping my friends.
They’re a big part of who I am.
I hope this gives you some perspective. Work is everywhere. A life well lived is one in which you’ve added as much value to the world as you could, through whatever career you chose for yourself.
So the next time you wake up, remember today, just like every other day, is an opportunity to do more, to learn more, and to become more.
P.S.: If you ever need to talk with someone, have any questions whatsoever, or just want to say hi, please email email@example.com. I’d love to meet you.