When you’re young, you often fail to realize the amazing things your family teaches you. You don’t appreciate the quality time you spend with them as much and you really don’t understand or dive deep enough into the stories you hear.
Growing up, I’ve always been taught that hard work gets you somewhere in life. That doesn’t mean that money is the end all and be all, but that if you want to get something done you need to put the effort in. That goes from school projects, to making the team or getting that job you want.
When I was a kid, my parents never forced us to work like they had done when they were our age. I was involved in an endless amount of extra curricular activities to keep me busy on top of my school work. They wanted me to have the opportunity to be a kid for as long as I could and enjoy it. Once I got my first job and the taste of money, I loved that feeling. It was great knowing you were building your empire and had money of your own to spend when you go out with friends.
One job suddenly wasn’t enough for me and within about 6 months I found myself working three jobs; one full time and two part times. Some people would look at me like I was insane because of how I could hop from one place to another, but that’s what I always wanted to do.
Hearing stories about the way my dad grew up really inspired me. My grandparents came to Canada, rented out a room, not a house, every month while my grandfather worked to save money. He eventually bought that house and raised his family in it for nearly 45 years.
But my grandfather was forced to work multiple jobs to keep his family afloat. He had three sons at home and a disabled wife who took care of the home-life. He was the sole financial provider and needed to work hard to give his family the best he could. My father would watch him and started working odd jobs as early as twelve years old.
My dad, uncles and grandfather worked multiple jobs for many, many years to help make money and be able to save it. My dad eventually became the sole financial provider for our family as well, while my mom raised the three kids of their own. And although my siblings and I are all grown, my dad still chooses to work multiple jobs simply because he can, not because we need to. My mom is now doing the same.
We aren’t struggling by any means financially, we knew what it was like to be paycheck to paycheck and how hard it was to calculate our finances so we didn’t slide out of our budget. That extra bit of cash helps us do things we normally wouldn’t, like go on vacation.
The way I look at the busy lifestyle I choose to live is that it’s important to work hard now while I don’t have other commitments, so that I don’t have to when I have a family of my own one day. I want to buy a house, travel the world and have the experiences I have always wanted to. Without hard work, I won’t get there.
It’s exhausting working thirteen hour days and working seven days a week sometimes. But it is so rewarding to see my account rise and hear my dad say how proud he is of me to see that I’ve learned something from him and his family. I often picture my grandfather smiling at me from heaven with pride. That’s my motivation when I’m struggling to get out of bed because my feet are throbbing from the late night at work I had before.
My financial independence is important to me mainly for my own sense of security. I’m well aware that I shouldn’t have to rely on someone else entirely to support me. So I’m building my empire while I can and don’t have other responsibilities. I’ve since shrunken down to only two jobs so I could still have time for a social life, but the responsibility and time management it’s taught me is priceless. Call me an overachiever. But I like to call myself determined, driven, independent and a true Christopoulos.
That’s how I’ve been raised to be.