n 1993, a bank in Abbotsford, Canada, hired a twenty-three-year-old stockbroker named Trent Dyrsmid. Abbotsford was a little known town.
The young stock brocker immediately got to work. He got two empty jars. In one jar he put 120 paper clips. Every morning from 8.00am he would start making sales calls. Once a call was finished he would move one paper clip from the full jar to the empty one. He would repeat this process throughout the day until all paper clips had been moved to the other jar. The next morning he would start all over again.
Within eighteen months, Dyrsmid was bringing in $5 million to the firm and his salary rapidly grew and he landed a big promotion.
In this story we see how we can achieve anything we want in life by building and reinforcing the right daily habits.
First Trent Dyrsmid had a clear goal which he broke down into daily tasks. He found the most critical task for his success which was simply making daily calls.
He then set up a system to provide visual feedback on his daily performance. In this case he chose two jars and 120 paper clips.
He then simply started making calls. It didn’t matter if he was feeling good or not. It didn’t matter what was on the news. He didn’t matter if he was rejected on each call. He just made 120 calls daily.
This paper clip strategy can be applied to our personal finances as well. There are a handful of daily tasks you can do to make a huge difference in your finances. Simple things like saving 10% of all income you ever receive; recording your daily expenditure; budgeting; spending less than you earn; reducing your debts; becoming better at what you do; becoming financially literate; prudent investing; etc.
Gaining financial freedom is not magic. It is simply a matter of building good daily money habits.
“Adopted from Atomic habits by James Clear”