Living in a Closet For Five Years Made me a Millionaire
How Extreme Dedication And Frugality Can Pay Off
Hey, Mike Andes here, the founder of Augusta Lawn Care. We have 70-plus locations around North America and today, I'm writing about the importance of staying frugal in order to grow your wealth.
I Lived in a Closet
Over the past four years, I have lived in the office closet of a studio. It's supposed to be the utility closet. It's six feet by six feet. Just barely big enough for me to put a single mattress on the floor. It's worked great for the past four years... but I have finally moved out. I moved out of the closet. I'm actually living in one of the single units from the apartment complex that I recently bought.
What Was The Motivation For Finally Leaving?
The reason was because the gym that I own is right next door to the studio that I was in. That's why sometimes you might hear weights banging in the background of my videos, it's because the weight room is on the other side of the wall. And so that's all fine and good because I really enjoy being close to all my businesses. I love the fact that I can record here and at the different sets in the room right next to where I fall asleep at night. It leads to a lot of late night recording and can be very efficient.
However, the problem was that because the gym was right next door, there were times when I would be trying to go to sleep or would have just fallen asleep at maybe 1:00, 2:00 in the morning and then be woken up by someone banging weights around because the weight racks are all of six inches away from the wall. And when those weights land, they crash. It was quite a wake-me-up. I had fans, I had earplugs, the whole nine yards. The noise still occasionally woke me up to the day I left.
Of course, those people were there working out, so I could count on the fact that they'd be at it for the next 20 to 30 minutes. And that means that I'm waking up four or five times. By that time, your body's like, “Forget it. I'm not trying to fall asleep anymore.” You basically ruin a whole night of sleep and therefore, you ruin a day or two of productivity. So, I had to grow up and move out of the closet.
I'm going to move one of my recording studios into the apartment complex so I can still record late, but when I look back at the past four years of living in that little closet... I didn't have a stove. I didn't have a shower. I had to go over to the gym and shower there. That said, I'm not going to look back and wish I could still be in the closet. Probably never going to happen. It's not the most fun lifestyle. I'll probably laugh at myself one day.
Sacrifice Today For The Long Term Benefit
However, I think the extreme lifestyle choice in the interest of frugality represents the values that Augusta stands for, as well as just me personally in terms of building your wealth. I'd rather sacrifice today for the long term benefit and future ability for me to grow wealth.
The Power of a Dollar
If I can save a dollar, then you look at the time-value of money, not just because of inflation, not because of compound interest, but also the fact that if I can save a dollar each day, the dollars accrue. It's not just the dollar today, it's the $5 that it's going to be down the road and the $10 that it could become beyond that. The compounding effect of saving money inherently leads to more money and eventually, massive wealth.
Dedication to The Craft
When I first moved into the closet, there was no franchise, just one location, and 2000 subscribers on YouTube. The ability to take 5 to 10 years of someone's life and just dedicate themselves to the craft, dedicate themselves their business, dedicate themselves to learning, educating, growing their personal wealth... it can be a powerful thing. Simply having the education around how to invest 5 to 10 years can completely change someone's life. It will. It'll change their family's life and their family's generational wealth and the ability to pass that money down.
Lock It In
I truly believe that if most of us could lock in for 5 to 10 ten years and really dedicate ourselves to learning about money, learning about investing, and forgo some of the simple pleasures of life like a stove and a shower, then we could make great things happen.
It wasn't fun. It's wasn't enjoyable. I will not look back with fond memories and want to live in the utility close ever again. But I think the moral of the story is this: If you can make a decided effort to lock away 5 to 10 years and live frugally, you can make great things happen for yourself. Wealth is a ratio, Alex Hormozi said this. I love it. “Wealth is a ratio and it's simply a matter of, are your expenses greater than what you are generating in terms of income?”
As long as you're getting more income than you are expenses, you're wealthy. You're net positive. So, if you can reduce your expenses, take that money, throw it into something that's appreciating an asset into a business that's going to return money back to you and a greater, greater percentage.
Change Your Life
It's not 1 year. It's not 2 years, not even 3 years. You hope you'll get your business up and going by then, but then you really start educating, growing that money, figuring out more systems, and hiring your team to take things over. Dedicate that kind of time to your wealth, to your future, to investing, and educating yourself. It will absolutely change your life.