Things I Learned Hanging Out With Young People

Me and friends at CPFC16 – Kanwal, Me, Lesley-Anne and Judith (L to R)

I spent the past weekend at the Canadian Personal Finance Conference (CPFC) here in Toronto and had a blast. CPFC is a two-day conference aimed at personal finance bloggers, writers and anyone with a passion for learning more about finance. Some of the speakers included Rob Carrick (The Globe and Mail), Romana King (MoneySense magazine) and Michael Katchen CEO of Wealthsimple.

Jonathan and I spent the weekend connecting with people and handing out copies of our new book, Victory Lap Retirement.  We made many new friends and we will be working with many of them in the days ahead.

At some point, I noticed that most of the attendees were much younger than we were (For the record, Jonathan is older than me. Not by much, but enough) and this made me think that no matter the age difference, all of us at the conference  were still learning and growing. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Bottom line, you are never too old to learn and learning new things will keep you thinking young.

Young people give you perspective:

Networking with young people that are just starting out made me appreciate the Findependence (financial independence) that I earned after many years of struggle and what I have been able to accomplish over the years.

I realized that, in my own Victory Lap, I was just like the young people at the event. I was starting over again, trying new things and taking some risks, but unlike them I had the added benefit of my past experiences and financial stability.

Achieving Findependence was a game changer for me and my Victory Lap is now delivering on everything that I always wanted out of life. No more bosses, no more commute and no set hours. Life is sure sweet now!

What happened to my ego?

I’m happy to say that I no longer need to compete with others or be recognized for my accomplishments. This was a trap that I fell into while in my banking career, I was quite the competitor, and it was having a negative effect on my health. Now I just need to figure out how to get rid of all those trinkets that I won over the years, which are taking up lots of space in the house.

I’ve found my Ikigai again.

Ikigai is a Japanese word which roughly translated means ‘the reason you wake up in the morning.” I remember early in my career when I would jump out of bed looking forward to going to work. For many reasons, things changed over the years and as a result, I lost this feeling of excitement and anticipation as to what the day would bring. I’m happy to say that old feeling is back in my Victory Lap and to be honest, I kind of feel like Scrooge on Christmas morning – if you know what I mean.

I’ve decided that my personal mission from this point forward is threefold:

  • To help people figure out this retirement thing and take the fear out of it.
  • To convince investment advisors and financial planners to expand their value proposition to include lifestyle planning for their clients.
  • To help young people get off to a strong start upon entering the workforce. Life is tough and they need all the help they can get.

Help Show Others The Way

I realized that I’ve already done what most of the people at that conference were struggling to do, to achieve some degree of Findependence.

The well known motivational speaker, who is one of my role models, Zig Ziglar was fond of saying “You can get everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Young people need the benefit of mentors that can give them valuable life lessons so they can save time and avoid costly mistakes.

I intend to give others the gift of advice, life, career or financial so they can get a leg up. In return, I l will learn from them about this different world that we now live in. Doing this and hanging out with interesting young people will improve my odds of living a longer and healthier life. Young people push me to be more open and honest and less judgemental and less grumpy about the world, which is a good thing. Young people help you see the possibilities and challenge you to be more creative and think outside the box. It’s difficult to not get caught up in their excitement and energy about what is possible in today’s world.

By the end of the event I was convinced that a person can do anything if they want it bad enough and are willing to put the effort in. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Who cares if you fail, you really have nothing to lose, but look at the upside if you succeed. I bet that you will if you only try. Stop wasting time dreaming and start acting. You know what you need to do. Start now!

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4 thoughts on “Things I Learned Hanging Out With Young People

    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Yes it was nice to finally meet the person behind the blog and you have a good one! Remember join Toastmasters now, we have lots of work to do!

  1. Kanwal Sarai Reply

    Hi Mike,

    It was great meeting you at the conference! Thank you for sharing your ideas with me. I’m half-way thru your book, and I have to say it is incredible! This material should be taught to everyone, the earlier the better. I’ll be posting a book review in the coming weeks.


    • Mike Drak Post authorReply

      Thanks for the kind comments Kanwal. I plan on writing an article about my personal investment philosophy in January and it would be great if you could follow it up with a guest blog and tell us a little about what you do. People love to know about the options available to them and you have a good story to tell.


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