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129R | Focused Work Ethic

Jonathan and Brad talk about focusing on your work ethic and make an announcement.

Travel Rewards Course Announcement

As you likely know, travel rewards are a popular topic in our community. As a way to help everyone achieve their travel rewards goals, we’ve created the Ultimate Guide to Credit Card Travel Rewards series.

Hundreds, probably thousands of hours of travel ‘nerdery’…[Ed has] distilled it down into 18 super concise easy to read lessons… It’s not just about credit cards and some simple travel redemptions. It’s about the actionable stuff. Saving money on car rentals, minimizing wait times at the airport, getting free food and drinks at airport lounges, budget alternatives to hotels.

The material is easy to digest and implement in your own life immediately. It’s free, so take a look and see if it answers your questions. Where will you go next with this course to help you along the way?

Ultimate Guide to Credit Card Travel Rewards

Focusing Your Work Ethic

Earlier this week, Liz from Chief Mom Officer explained how she leveraged her work ethic and will to succeed into a successful six-figure career.

Doing a good job is a baseline for career growth but it is not sufficient by itself. It needs to be directionally accurate.

Liz took full advantage of the opportunities that came her way. Starting in the call center, she did a good job but did not stop there. She earned her college degree through a tuition assistance program. She volunteered for new opportunities that taught her new skills. Along the way, Liz successfully moved out of her original lane into the career path she wanted to be on.

Take a chance and find a way to get out of your lane. Make steps in the direction that you want to go in. Do not feel trapped in your current position because you always have the option to leverage these skills into a new position.

To reach six-figures for most of us it is going to take a lot of work, a lot of time, some level of luck, and being positioned in order to take advantage of those lucky breaks we are going to get.

What skills are you building that will take you where you want to go? In order to make your dream job or income a reality, you need to start building your talent stack now.

Find your inspirational story to follow and build your own path to success. With the advent of the internet, it is easy to find stories that you want to emulate. At ChooseFI, we are dedicated to continuing to find people that have leveraged their skills into amazing opportunities.

If we can continue to find people that have done it in different ways, I think as you put it all together, it is going to bring so much value to our community.

We hope to continue to find inspirational stories like Liz’s to help accelerate your journey to FI.

Listen to the full episode with Liz here.


John is one of those inspirational stories that we want to share. At 24, he is already making over $100,000 per year. He has an amazingly detailed article that outlines how he achieved this on How To Fire.

Five years ago, John was making less than $20,000 a year as a 19-year-old working a retail job. He was working and going to school full-time.

Early in his college career, John and his fiance found Dave Ramsey and then the FIRE movement. These communities fueled their drive to break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle. Along the way, this led to them working a huge amount of hours but slowly increasing their income. At one point, John worked two jobs at over 50 hours a week!

As a senior in college, John was making around $40,000 per year but working extremely long weeks in a drop shipping/ online retail business. Graduation was just around the corner when John landed a job in a software engineering position. Although on paper the software job made less than his drop shipping job, he knew that the career growth potential was much higher in the software engineering position. Plus, the benefits such as healthcare, a 401k match, paid time off, and a regular schedule of 40 hours a week enhanced the value of the compensation package.

Since starting the software engineering position, he has successfully landed two separate raises that have pushed his total compensation toward $130,000 per year!

Advice From John

Obviously, a strong work ethic helped John to reach this point in his career. However, it is not just the work ethic that led John to this point. It was a focused work ethic towards his long-term goals with careful consideration of choices along the way.

As a fan of Doc G’s “front-load the sacrifice” mentality, John has never been opposed to putting in the long hours. The hope is that these long days will pay off in the long run.

If you want to improve your current career path, then consider your options.

Start by looking at your current situation. Are you maximizing your job growth potential? And if you are not, is there somewhere that you could be applying to get a higher paying job?

If you do not have the opportunity to land a better job, then consider picking up overtime, finding a second job, or getting a side hustle. Take the time to research opportunities that are out there. Talk to your coworkers and get on Glassdoor to see what you should be paid. Take the initiative and put yourself in a position to ask for more.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise.

Back up your request with evidence of the value that you bring to the company. You can push your salary higher, just make sure to take all of the small steps along the way that will lead you to that point. Nothing happens overnight, just keep working towards your goal with a focused work ethic.

How To Connect With John

If you are interested in learning more about John’s story, then feel free to reach out! He has been mentoring interns for years, so he is happy to help. Plus, he is the admin of the Philadelphia ChooseFI local group.

You can reach him on his website: or on any social media channel @howtofire.

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Choose FI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Choose FI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a ChooseFI advertiser. Disclosures.
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