March 22, 2023

A Mindset Shift To Change Your Life (DF#89)

This Mindset Shift Changed Our Lives and Can Change Yours Too!

A Mindset Shift To Change Your Life And Career

Today we're gonna be talking about the mindset shift that changed our lives, and we wholeheartedly believe can change your life too!

In this episode, we discuss:

• How to make smart choices to get outsized returns for your career and life
• Why you're not gonna be able to retire early if you just save
• Why it's very easy to compare yourself to everybody else's success
• Putting your efforts in the right place

Ryan and Hannah also talked about how why multitasking isn't a thing.

Enjoy the episode!

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Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha folks, and welcome back to Degree Free where we teach you how to get hired without a college degree.

Ryan: We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama. If you guys haven't already connect with us on LinkedIn, go to LinkedIn and just search for Ryan Maruyama and Hannah Maruyama. We'll put links to everything in the show notes. You can find that degreefree.co/podcast. 

Hannah: And welcome back, welcome back folks to the podcast.

Hannah: Ryan and I are stoked to have you on as always, and thanks for listening. 

Ryan: Absolutely. Let's get into today's episode. Today we're gonna be talking about the mindset shift that changed our lives, or at least my life, and I wholeheartedly believe can change your life too. 

Hannah: Yeah, this is a good one. I'm actually kinda excited about this episode.

Ryan: I would always look at everybody else's success and just see result. I would always look at somebody and see like, how did they get there? And I never thought that I could do it. 

Hannah: Yeah, it's really easy to look at someone's life and just see the results that they have and just be mystified as to how they got there.

Ryan: Yeah, totally. And you would also see it and you would just be like, how is this person getting such huge result compared to myself? 

Hannah: Yeah. What am I doing? 

Ryan: And I've talked about this before in the podcast, where a lot of times I would just look at people and be like, how is that person getting that result? 

Hannah: And I'm not.

Ryan: And I'm, yeah, exactly. Yeah. Right. And compared to me, whether it's like my classmate in college, whether it's my high school classmate or a contemporary, like 

Hannah: a coworker.

Ryan: Exactly. 

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: They would get out of the restaurant, like I was in a restaurant, working restaurant jobs, and I was trying to get out. I saw my friends or acquaintances getting out and getting awesome jobs or at least different jobs.

Hannah: They're becoming realtor realtors or starting to flip houses or starting their own tour companies or whatever. 

Ryan: Yeah, I

Ryan: mean, that's all kind of entrepreneur stuff, but I was just talking about like getting jobs. And I would look at them and be like, what's going on? How are you getting that result?

Ryan: And I'm not getting that result. And I didn't realize that it was all of the effort that they were doing, like outside of their work. I just saw them having fun, but I didn't see them doing any of the hard work. 

Hannah: Yeah, you didn't see the 2:00 AM nights. You didn't see, you didn't see them getting up at four in the morning and doing not fun stuff.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And it's really easy to just kind of take snapshots of people's lives. When you're seeing them have fun or when you're seeing them out and about, but you don't see all the hard work that goes into it and then a lot of times what I would do is when I would ask like, what are you doing? And they would tell me all the hard work.

Ryan: I'd be like, well, nah, I can't do that. I got like a lot going on right now. 

Hannah: I'm too busy, I'm too busy for that right now. 

Ryan: So really the mindset shift that I had was, if you want outsize returns, you have to put in outsize effort but yeah it sounds obvious. You're like, yeah, no, duh. But this was a revelation to me.

Hannah: And I think too, for us, when we put this in per into perspective, once we realized it really put our life and the things we were working on and the way we were working into perspective. A lot of people want things, right? They want big things. They have big dreams, they have big goals, but they're not willing to do the work, or they're not willing to make different choices than everyone else to make those things happen.

Hannah: And a lot of that, all of it really stems from the mindset behind it, which once you realize you have to do different things, you have to do more work in certain areas than other people to get a different life result. It almost makes it. Easier a little bit because at least you, you're expecting to do, to pull a bigger workload, you're expecting to have a different sort of lifestyle than other people when you're trying to work on a big goal or a big dream.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. And that's not to say that you always need to compare yourselves to other people, but having that point of reference is really good for motivation, right? To kind of look at your colleague, contemporaries or peers, and kind of benchmark yourself and just be like, okay, well what are they doing?

Ryan: What does their life look like? Do I want my life to look like that as well? 

Hannah: Because then if you do, you can make the same choices. If you want your life to look different, you're gonna have to make different choices. It's not just gonna randomly occur to you. It's not a lightning bolt that's gonna strike you and you're suddenly gonna have your goals.

Hannah: You have to do things that are not the same as people who are getting the same result. If you want a different thing to happen, and I mean, it's not always about working harder too. Right? It's also about working smarter and it's not like you have to put in longer hours, even though oftentimes putting in longer hours is really is gonna help you get towards your goals but if you're not being effective when you're working, it's not gonna help you actually and so working smarter is a big part of it too.

Ryan: Yeah. Working smarter was one of those things that once I got down the outsize effort, usually or oftentimes equals outsize returns. I then started to think like, okay, how can I work smarter?

Ryan: How can I prioritize different tasks in my life that I can do right now to achieve my goals.

Hannah: Another big thing is what people choose to work on when they are trying to do something like that, when they're trying to make something big happen, they choose critical tasks. Instead of working on multiple things all the time, people that really move the needle, that really get towards their goals and try to, you know, whatever their goals are, it's getting a new job, it's retiring early, it's building their family, whatever it is.

Hannah: Whatever they choose to work on. They choose very specific things, very few things. I find that a lot of people that work on multiple too many things at the same time, aren't actually effective at any one thing. 

Ryan: Yeah, definitely. At least I'd see this in my own life. The way to be productive is to just pick a single task, finish that task, and then move on.

Ryan: For me at least, multitasking. Isn't a thing. I think another point that I've discovered with this thinking is that it kind of started making me question different normalities in our society, I guess. And a lot of those things are like, why do you need to retire at 65 or 67 or 62 and a half is what it is, what it used to be.

Ryan: Right? Like why does high school take four years?

Hannah: Right? Why is the time box, 

Ryan: like, why does college take four years? 

Hannah: Right? 

Hannah: Why isn't it just whenever you finish these things?

Ryan: So when you start to take this mindset and you start to look at it, you realize, okay, maybe conventional timelines and conventional wisdom isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

Ryan: Like, it doesn't have to be that way. Right? So for myself, I definitely don't wanna retire at 65 or 67. I have the goal, and I've had the goal since I was 16 years old to retire by 40. Okay. That's what I'm gonna do because I don't wanna work till 65 or 67. That sounds terrible. 

Hannah: And in order to make that happen, you can't make the same choices as everyone else.

Hannah: Exactly. 

Ryan: Same with high school, right? Like I looked at high school, I said, well, why does high school take four years to graduate? Why does it take four years? And I was like, I hate high school. I mean, I actually had a lot of fun in high school. 

Hannah: I had a lot of fun in high school too, actually.

Ryan: But I hated it so much that I took extra classes for three years straight so that I could graduate a semester early.

Ryan: Right. Like and I didn't like do what you did, which was like go to college and have that be part of high school. No. Like I had completed my entire four years of high school in three and a half years.

Hannah: Yeah. For folks that don't know, Ryan graduated high school early and then went out to college and we did the same thing.

Hannah: We just chose different paths and I dual enrolled, so I was in college my senior year of high school as opposed to starting after graduating. So while all my peers were graduating high school, I had been in college for a year. 

Ryan: And the same thing goes for college, right? I mean, you just have to load your classes up and then you can Graduate in less time or you cannot go at all.

Ryan: So kind of talk about working smarter and talking about like retiring earlier. If you want to retire younger, then you have to become better at saving money. And then that's like, that's the first domino to fall is being good with money and running a surplus every month more in than out and that's the basics of it.

Ryan: And then you realize that, okay, eventually if you're trying to retire at 40 or you're trying to retire at 50, or you're trying to retire at 30, that just saving isn't gonna do it. And then, but once you get that one domino to. Once you're making more than you're spending, then you can focus on, okay, what are other people doing?

Ryan: What are the smarter things that I can be doing and not necessarily working harder? And then you would start looking at increasing your income instead. Once I got this mindset down, it opened up a lot of doors to me. 

Hannah: It makes the choices, your life decisions and your life choices a little bit easier if you have this as a guiding principle, right?

Hannah: So something we did is, if you have the goal to retire early then you might need to move to a lower cost of living. I get that your friends might not be doing that, your family might not be doing that but if you have that goal, you might have to make a different choice so you get a different return.

Hannah: And same thing, like if you're in your career now and everyone around you is going to get master's degrees, cuz that's what they do, but you don't want to go into more debt, then don't make the same decision as them. Instead of doing that, go get an additional side job. Or go start a business or do something that makes you money instead of spending money, if you want a different result from the people around you, if you see them going deeper into debt and you see it's not really helping them, it's not furthering their career, then don't buy just because they're all buying, right?

Hannah: It may be uncomfortable to go against the grain, but when you do, you're not gonna get the same result in the same turnout as everyone else around you. 

Ryan: To kind of put concrete examples on it, like if you're trying to be an entrepreneur, if you're trying to be a business owner, then picking up more shifts at the movie theater is not necessarily gonna help you. 

Hannah: Unless you're trying to own the movie theater.

Ryan: Unless you're trying to own the movie theater, or if you're trying to get out of debt or something like that. 

Hannah: Yeah. That's always a 

Hannah: yeah.

Hannah: Then, okay. Like if there's, unless there's a specific goal. But if you're just like, well, I wanna be an entrepreneur, but there's all these open shifts to the movie theater, but you don't necessarily have to take it, but you do.

Ryan: How is picking up those extra shifts gonna help you become an entrepreneur? 

Hannah: Yeah. Entrepreneurship's a really good example of where you can see this illustrated too. But even if people around you are trying to start a business, I think that's unusual to be surrounded by a group of people that are also trying to start businesses but if the way they're starting their businesses you don't see to be very effective, don't do the same thing that they're doing.

Hannah: Try different things, maybe focus on one thing, like we said, work longer hours. See what you can do. See what things you can change or do differently than people around you that are getting a result you don't necessarily want.

Hannah: And that could be for anything. That could be for your relationships, that can be for your budgeting. This can be for your entrepreneurship. This can be for your job search. This is a universally applicable method that you can use to change and get different results. 

Ryan: Yeah, that was a huge one for me. Every weekend my friends would be partying, like literally Friday, Saturday, every weekend.

Ryan: And I was working because I was a buser at a restaurant in Waki, the tourist area of Oahu and I was making a lot of money for the time and I had goals to hit. right. 

Ryan: And this is kind of the same thing that I realized later is that yes, I had goals to hit and I was making money at the time, at least for a 18 year old, 18, 19, 20 year old, I was making money, but my goals were bigger than the amount that amount of money would've let me end up doing.

Ryan: That's why I didn't stay in that job. Like maybe I was making 60 or $70,000, like mostly cash cuz I didn't claim anything but that amount of money wouldn't have helped me reach my goals but it was so, it was kind of distracting in that sense. But just using the example, I didn't know where else to put my efforts, so I just kept working and kept working and kept working and my friends were partying.

Ryan: Every Friday, Saturday, and they would call me and they would be like, Hey Ryan, like let's party come over and I was just like, no, I'm working. I'm working. I'm working. And so that's just an example of like choosing a different path and choosing different efforts. And how did it work out? Nah, I don't know.

Ryan: I don't keep up with those friends anymore because those, they stop calling. They stop calling eventually. 

Hannah: That is what happens if you don't say yes to people when they call you. That is true, and that's part of the downside of this too but a simpler example, or a more introverted example of this, I think would be if you're trying to, let's say you're trying to start a business selling custom scented candles and you need to learn everything about it.

Hannah: So instead of going home after work and relaxing, instead of going home after work and taking an hour to cook a meal and then watching Netflix for four hours or scrolling TikTok for two hours. 

Hannah: Instead of doing that, if you just start educating yourself, you start reading, you start watching YouTube videos on how to make a successful candle centered business.

Hannah: You learn marketing, you learn package design. You start looking into sourcing materials. If you start doing that, if you swap the habit of Netflix, which a lot of people go home and do, Hey man, we watch a lot of movies, we're big movie people but if you swap out that for something that is gonna help you reach your goal, you're going to get to your goal much faster.

Hannah: And because you're making a different choice, you are going to get different returns. And that's the point we're really trying to drive home here. Yeah, and it does sound like a lot of, I'm sure this episode too just sounds like they're just saying work more, work more, work more, work longer hours, get up at 2:00 AM do the hustle, whatever, whatever but this is not a call to neglect your health in favor of these things. Look at the way you're spending your time right now and swap out things that are not helping you reach your goal if you are able to do so, and you will notice that you start to get different results. 

Ryan: And I'll just use my own story as an example, which was like if I was trying to start a business or if I was trying to make more money and increase my income, which is, you know what you have to do if you want to retire by 40.

Ryan: Like you realize very quickly that just saving money is not gonna do it. , you have to increase your income and I didn't know that at the time. And so I was just trying to focus on saving money. Saving money. Saving money, right? Making $70,000 a year. 

Hannah: And that's not gonna get you there. 

Ryan: It wasn't gonna get me there.

Ryan: And so instead of picking up all those extra shifts or instead of never saying no to picking up those shifts. Maybe I should have said no, and maybe I should have been, trying to get experience in a different career that would've paid me more. Maybe I should have started working on a business sooner so that I could increase my income so that I could be financially independent. 

Hannah: Yep. And I think sometimes this involves making choices that aren't always super fun, you know, like, for you and I, the way that looks right now actually, and just, this is just a glimpse into our personal life and we like to have fun. We like to go out and get a beer every once in a while, but we've been, Sober for a while cuz we're working.

Hannah: We're just working on stuff and swapping that out. If you just look at your habits and you swap out habits that are slowing you down, that aren't helping you focus to actually get what you want, if that's really the thing that you want, it's amazing how that adds time and adds energy to other things and it just pours over into other areas of your life too, and it helps you focus more.

Ryan: Yeah. So I kind of wanted to quickly talk about the downside as well as with everything in life, there's a give and. What I found with this, and what I already alluded to was that during that portion of my life, I lost a lot of friends, right? Like I didn't go out, I didn't party with them cause I was always working and I was making different decisions in my life but those different decisions ended up leading two different outcomes. 

Hannah: Do you think it was worth those friendships or not having those relationships with those specific people that fall off? Because you have very close friends. You have very good, very amazing friendships actually in your life and do you think that maybe not doing those things, the people that kind of fell off during that time, is that something that you regret or do you think that maybe strengthen the people who did stay near you?

Hannah: I think that's actually a good question to ask in this. Cause I think that's interesting. 

Ryan: Yeah, that's a good question and it's pretty timely actually because the main person that I'm thinking about, we actually just recently reconnected and this is almost 10 years later, and I kind of do, and I kind of do regret it.

Hannah: Mm-hmm. 

Ryan: in that I wish I had more friends and I wish that, I was able to be there and have that shared experience with them of like, camaraderie and, they were doing nothing but you know, partying. Yeah. It's college. 

Hannah: It's college, 

Ryan: Right. I mean, you're 19, 20, 21 years old. And so yeah, I definitely think a little part of me regrets that part of it, which is losing the friendships.

Ryan: Alright. But then you gotta look at like, what did I gain on the backend? Alright, I gained a better work ethic. I gained working at that job for longer than I should have or working in that type of work longer than I should have. And I just mean that to say. Like we were just talking about, I should have increased my income much sooner.

Ryan: It would've made the ultimate goal that I want, which is retiring by 40, or at least being financially independent. It would've made it a lot easier. Had I done that earlier.

Hannah: Yes, it probably would've. That's a good answer. That's a good answer. I was curious about that, cuz I know that the way that you live your life, life is pretty short and the way that you live it, there was actually, sorry, this seems like a disjointed thought, but, I, there was a trend on TikTok a while back.

Hannah: I made a couple videos about it because it was almost infuriating to me but it was like a, it was a trend that people would just post videos of them in Italy and just go, the money will come back, but I'll only be 21 in Italy this time. And that's true, right? They are only gonna be 21 in Italy at this time.

Hannah: But a lot of the people that were doing that were spending future, their future money, future money that they don't have, that they don't know they'll have either. And it seemed like a lot of them from, I watched a lot of these videos cuz I made, like I said, I made several different videos just never posted one.

Hannah: But of these people who were clearly college students and clearly spending quite a bit of money they don't have, right? And there's two ways you can live your life. You can live your life in that way, which is, Hey, I'm gonna do this now cuz I might not get the chance to. Or you can choose to defer those things and you can choose to live in a different way from everybody else.

Hannah: Cuz most people, I think, live in that way, which is do it now. Do it now, do it now and you know what, maybe people disagree with me. Maybe they think it's flip flop, but I actually think a lot of people do instant gratification. I'm gonna do this now cuz I want to but it makes it really tough on the tail end when later you wanna do things and you're not able to because you chose to do these things earlier and later.

Hannah: You're gonna have to make difficult choices, but if you choose to make difficult choices earlier on, you're gonna get a different result and ideally, the dream is that these result in more freedom, more money, and a different outcome. 

Ryan: Yeah, definitely and I think that's a perfect place to start to wrap up.

Ryan: So just going back and recapping the mindset shift that really changed my life was, if you want outsized returns, you have to put in outsized effort. Once you start to get that down, it morphs into, if you want a different result, you have to make better or different decisions. 

Hannah: That's a good way to say it.

Ryan: And the reason why. I think it goes in that order is just because at first you don't know how to prioritize those tasks. In an ideal world, you would just be able to make better decisions and prioritize tasks better but in the beginning, you don't really know how to do that, and so you just have to put in more effort.

Hannah: Yes. Until you get better at working and then you can figure out what work matters. 

Ryan: Exactly, and it just, you're gonna throw your effort behind it, and this is, I know that I was focusing on being young in this episode and the decisions that I made 10 years ago. But to this day, you and I still live like this.

Ryan: We do. When we don't understand something, when we don't know what the smart choices are. Even though we're like, we're trying. We throw our effort behind it. Yeah. 

Hannah: You're especially good at that. You are very good at that. 

Ryan: You know, we'll go with sleepless nights, we'll go and wake up at four in the morning and get it done.

Ryan: And it's just like, it's what needs to happen before you realize like, oh my God, I don't know why I was doing it like this. This is so dumb. And then you adjust and then you work Smart . Exactly. Yeah. At first you have to work harder though, or at least in 

Hannah: maybe some people are smart. Ryan and I are idiots then.

Ryan: Yeah, I'm not smart.

Hannah: And so, we have to figure it out by just being work horses until we figure out what the right thing to do is and then we make that choice. 

Ryan: Yeah, totally. 

Hannah: And then it gets easier. 

Ryan: Like I said at the beginning of the episode, if you haven't already connect with us on LinkedIn, I'll put our LinkedIn. In the show notes. 

Hannah: Let us know if you've recently experienced a mindset shift about making difficult life decisions and choices in your life. We'd love to hear about it. 

Ryan: And yeah, leave us any feedback about the episode. When you do connect with us, leave us a little note and let us know that you listen to the podcast. 

Hannah: And, if you wanna get more degree free, because why would you not?

Hannah: Run, don't walk over to degreefree.co/newsletter to get our weekly newsletter that is gonna have job hunting tips, companies that are dropping degree requirements, different degree free news and stuff that Ryan and I think is cool that you need to know. 

Ryan: All right folks. Until next time. Aloha.

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