The Biggest Lies Society Tells Us About Finances & Becoming Successful

Since you were a child, society has told us to do certain things, for the good and for the bad. You need to go to college to get a good job. You need to work 8-5 and save your money to be successful. You should work hard to climb the corporate ladder and retire once you’re 65. By doing these things, you’re bound to live a life of mediocrity. You’ll be just like everyone else. Sure, you’ll be able to retire on time and live a life with relatively low stress, but the chances are, you’ll never be able to free of financial worries and on your own terms. Keep reading to learn the biggest lies society tells us to become successful and what you can do to achieve your goals.

You need to be extremely smart to become successful

If you’ve dreamed of being an entrepreneur, you have most likely read countless articles about what makes Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet different. These corporate titans certainly are very intelligent, but that’s not the only thing that made them successful. Being smart alone will not make you successful. You need to apply your knowledge through hard work in order to become successful. In some instances, hard work alone can make you successful. There are plenty of people who lack knowledge but their work ethic has propelled them to success. Don’t let your knowledge get in front of your dreams.

You have to have money to make money

You’ve probably heard of the saying that you have to have money to make money. This is simply not true. While it might be easier for those who have more money, it is still possible to make money if you don’t have a well padded savings account. After all, the best substitute for capital is hard work.

By crafting your budget in such a way that allows you to save money, you can invest your leftovers and build long term wealth. It starts with how much you save, not how much you have!

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You shouldn’t spend $5 on coffee each morning

Spending $5 on coffee every morning might seem like a waste, right? And for most people, it is. But there are some circumstances when it makes sense. If you can use that $5 to generate $100 in income, it’s a no brainer. Whether it’s by networking at your local coffee shop to get freelance work or becoming more productive with your time, there are a few ways that make your $5 coffee worth the investment. But if you’re shelling out $5 every day and scrolling through social media, it’s time to ditch your habit.

Work your way up the corporate ladder to gain wealth and retire on time

88% of millionaires are self made. This means that they did not inherit their wealth and instead built it themselves. How? It could from investing their money, starting a business, or climbing the corporate ladder. We are taught from a young age that you must work hard for a company and climb the corporate ladder to build a stable and reliable source of income, but this isn’t always the case. Some of the richest people on the planet went against the trend and took a risk to establish some of the worlds most popular and profitable brands.

If you think the 8-5 life is the only option, think again. The ways to become a millionaire are endless, so there’s no reason to limit yourself to one option. You should aim to use your 8-5 income to invest in your future.

You need to go to college to get a good job

To be quite frank, college is not, and shouldn’t be, for everyone. There are plenty of jobs that do not require a college degree that offer similar pay and can provide many of the same benefits. Today, trades are becoming increasingly in need as college attendance is on the rise. The theory that you need to go to college and receive a diploma to get a good job is not always the case.

In addition, some degrees are worth more than others. Those with a computer science degree oftentimes will make much more than those with a degree in anthropology. When deciding if college is right for you, you should analyze career paths for several different majors and then decide on a major that aligns with your desires.

A college degree does not mean you will automatically make more than someone without a degree. Instead, the expertise and difficulty of your skillset is a better gauge for your earning potential. Mark Zuckerberg. You know, the guy infamous for founding the most popular social media network on the planet, never graduated college.

Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are the best ways to invest your money

When people talk about investing, they typically speak about stocks, mutual funds, ETF’s, and other equity based investments. But those aren’t your only options. You could also consider investing in something like real estate or small businesses to grow your money and diversify your portfolio. You should always consider different types of investments when deciding to invest your money.

You need (or don’t need) a break

There are two categories of people when it comes to mental health, taking breaks, cheat meals, and everything else related to working hard. One side concludes that breaks are necessary to avoid burnout, while the other side advocates that it will only stifle productivity and progress. In reality, you should be the one making this decision for yourself. If you feel as if you need a break from your stresses, take a break. If you have the willpower to keep going, don’t force yourself to take a break because others deem it is a necessity. Know yourself, and make decisions based on your feelings.

Buy a home as soon as you can

For many, purchasing a home is a major life event that is pressed upon us by society. And while many times it can be a good investment, there are some circumstances in which you might be better off waiting to buy a home instead of purchasing one as soon as possible. Between mortgage interest, PMI, home expenses, and property taxes, the costs of owning a home can be a major setback for your finances. Our advice? Only purchase a home if you can afford the costs that come with it. Mortgage interest alone can cost you thousands per year, so it’s wise to create a plan to pay off your mortgage early.


There are many different things society says we “should” do to become successful. The difference is what you consider “successful” to be. If you want to work your way up the corporate ladder and retire at the age of 65, you should follow these societal norms. If you want to live life on your own terms and free of financial worries, do not feel obliged to these norms. Instead, you should craft your own achievements to help you reach your goals.

What are some societal norms that you disagree with? Comment below!

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Forrest is a personal finance, entrepreneurship, and investing enthusiast dedicated to helping others obtain life long wealth. He owns several different blogs and is also passionate about health and fitness.

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