What I learnt during the Melbourne Cup!

And they’re off! “GALLOP, GALLOP”, “NEIGH, NEIGH”

That’s the sound that stops a nation.

Here in Australia, every first Tuesday of November, we have the world famous Melbourne Cup – a $6.2 million horse race which is watched all around the globe.

The Mario Kart Gold Cup – WAAALUIGI!

It only lasts about 3 minutes, but the amount of money spent betting on this race day amounts to around half a billion.

Strewth! Half a billion!

What’s more is that you hear stories of the wins and success stories of the successful punters STRAIGHT after.

“The big winners were everywhere on Cup day. One lucky punter has come away with $151,255 from a $50 boxed trifecta. Another placed a $33 boxed trifecta for a return of $100,433.”

Damnit – if only I put my money on Rekindling aka Horse 22 – Horse 22 you muppet, with your long nose and funny ears, why didn’t you tell me you were going to win.

In hindsight, how can this horse NOT win?

Lucky I had my Oz Lotto numbers for the $30 million draw when I went home that night to look forward to – who needs $6.2 million when you can have $30 million! Pft, amateurs.

Unfortunately those bastards didn’t tell me their secret sauce and I left that empty-handed as well.

That’s the thing with long shots, they very rarely come off. So why do we gamble?

Because everyone wants something for nothing (my favourite word in the world is “free”), the next best thing? Winning $1m from a $10 bet, anyone can do it! Just like this guy.

We live in an age where the value of hard work has been trivialised because we hear success stories too often. People want to be zero to hero STAT.

Every day we read about so and so, who did this and that and how they are retired at age 25. It appears to be all so effortless.

In the old days you just worked until you dropped dead. So easy, so simpaul.

Ah, the good old days.

These days – who wants to be working until they are 70? Not many. Who wants to be retired at 40? Plenty. So who is willing to work like they will retire at 40? Not many. So who ends up working until they are 70? Plenty.

Funny isn’t it – we say that we want to be financially independent earlier but not many of us are willing to work the work that’s required to actually be financially independent earlier.

Case in point yesterday, whilst the majority of us were readying ourselves in anticipation for the big race, the highest performer in our team was doing her thang like she normally does, talking to clients, punching numbers into the system, typing up emails.

When we all clocked off pretty much straight after the race she was still there hammering away on the keyboard.

“Tap, tap, tap”.

Come bonus time – is it any wonder she usually receives the highest incentive payment?

But wait TheFrugalSamurai – she’s not doing her! She’s doing it wrong!

Nah – you’re missing the point see – she IS doing her. What makes her world tick is talking to clients, punching numbers into the system, typing up emails.

She’s defined what she wants to do, to climb that corporate ladder. If it means 12 hour days and missing the race that stops a nation, well there’s always another race and the other 12 hours left in the day.

Can you imagine if this work ethic was directed towards herself and early financial independence? Scary concept.

So please, next time you hear “Larry retired at 30 so I can too”, understand that Larry probably worked his absolute butt off either on himself or on a concept to turn his dream into a reality.

That’s why the old clique is so true that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

But cheer up! Dad told me to register for something called Lottoland – apparently there’s a $100 million draw coming up, I’ve already got my ticket ready.

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  • Innocent Bystander

    How’s Larry btw Mr. Frugal Samurai? We all know the phrase “happy as Larry” but I wonder just how happy is Larry…

    Anyhow I digress… Of course, success depends on hard work, probably 99.9% of the time. Although I’d argue that hard work alone doesn’t guarantee success, it gives you a better shot at success. You need breaks as well along the way… like a friend’s friend introduced you to a manufacturer who can bring the cost of your products down by a whopping 20%… Perhaps it’s the corporate ladder like you said, you wanna move up and all, but happens to be plateaued at the current workplace. You decided to leave in order to further your career, but 5 months after you left the company, you heard your previous boss quit the job and they promoted one of your ex-colleague to the manager position, that could’ve been you because you know you are ahead on the pecking order should somebody move on.

    That’s impossible to predict so you need a bit of a luck – right place, right time, right circumstances. I think betting or gambling is for the thrill, for the unknown, for the possibility that something exciting can happen. I don’t ever think it’s a get rich quick scheme, the odds are really against it. But sometimes you just have to embrace it and live in the moment. Keyboard bashing, calling clients, number crunching? Save it for another day, unless you work for yourself, otherwise I wouldn’t bother. Enjoy those 10 or 15mins, then get on with it!

    • Phoenix Agedashi

      Leisure Suit Larry…

      Agree with hardwork is absolute key, but in my humble climb from Level 2 SCV to Level 5 Marine (no stimpack), “success” – different for everyone – is achieved this way:

      a) listen to your heart/gut/inner voice – everyone deep down already know what they’re destined to do (whether its music, sport, money, fame, or simply juggling oranges): 5-10% of population does this, if that

      b) a mixture of hardwork, ability/talent and circumstances will slowly but surely propel you forward on this journey. Hardwork being the most important out of the 3 by far: we’re down to about 1-2% of the population who chose A) and got through B)

      c) persevere through the DARKEST hours – to not give up, when you fall into the abyss… and nothing around you resembles success. The key here is find that inner voice that got you started on this journey. If you keep following your heart, you WILL catch a break (often when you least expect it): <0.1%

      Easy as 1-2-3, simpaul as ABC

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