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‘Everyone needs to define what brings them comfort, peace, and freedom’

September 14, 2020 by  
Filed under Feature


‘Everyone needs to define what brings them comfort, peace, and freedom’

Author Ken Rusk

Author Ken Rusk (“Blue-Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life”) was a recent guest on Kimberly Bailey Tureaud’s Enterprising People radio show, which airs weekly on KCEP 88.1 FM.

In the book, the Ohio-based millionaire entrepreneur declares that making a good living in a blue-collar trade takes getting on the right path. Bypassing college and starting out digging ditches, Rusk worked his way up to buy the business and achieve the American Dream. He succeeded with an approach that’s been taught to hundreds of young people and now shared in this book: “visualize a future beyond the paycheck. And get there by setting goals, budgeting with discipline, and carefully planning finances.”

What inspired you to write the book “Blue-Collar Cash”?

Well, I think what happened back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, back in high school, friends decided to take shop class and replace it with computers — that was fine because we all needed computers because it was the up-and-coming thing. But I don’t think it was a binary choice where you do one or the other. It kind of eliminated a whole generation of young people from discovering carpentry, plumbing, welding, home economic, and electrician trades. This started to create a real imbalance in our current workforce. So I wanted to write a book that could celebrate career opportunities that are out there — lucrative ones — in the blue collar fields.

The belief by many is that if you didn’t go to college and create relationships with the “bigwigs in high places,” you really can’t reach the status of millionaire. What are your thoughts on this?

Nothing could be further from the truth. The best kept secret is that if everyone moves in one direction — let’s say the college path — that leaves huge gaps in the trade occupations. And what that does is create a huge imbalance as far as supply and demand goes. Many realize that when supply is low and demand is high that creates a very lucrative opportunity. So, typically that is where money is made.

Yes, but we have to address our present environment right now. Especially here in Las Vegas where so many people are out of work because of COVID-19 — and people are trying to look for ways to make money. The unemployment checks are not coming as they normally should come. How should people stay above water given the present circumstances?

So, I think now is a good time to try to rediscover ourselves. And say, “You know what — since there is a demand in certain trades, maybe I should try my hand in doing something I really like to do.” It might be something really rewarding to work with my hands, and at the same time a trade career could be really be lucrative now and meet that demand. It is time to reconsider what your future is going to be and what it will look like. Maybe people should sit down and write what the next three to five years will look like for your life. And see if you can make a blue collar career match.

You are a successful millionaire and so many people have dreams of becoming a millionaire. Where are they doing wrong?

The first thing people need to do is rework their priorities and how they are currently spending their money. There is a very simple process where if you have a job paying you $40,000 a year — you should say to yourself you make $37,000 a year. You really need to forget about the first $3,000 that comes into your financial life. And if someone takes $60 a week of that money and puts it into a 401K program — and does this between the ages of 25 years old and 35 years old — in ten years of saving you can literally stop saving and when you retire you will have a million dollars.

What do you say to people who desire to start a business?

If you get into business that not a lot of people are doing and you can command a good salary — I can tell you from personal experience there has never been a better time to start your own company, and then replicate your efforts. You might have yourself and the demand for your goods or services grow. So you might need to have several people to help you grow. And pretty soon you will have your own company and you will be creating wealth like you never imagined.

Do you think everyone must have a business on the side?

To get back to your earlier point: if you are in the business of managing people this statement needs to come out of your mouth as often as possible and it is what I say to my 200 employees, “I can’t get what I want, nor can this company get what it wants until all of you get what you want first.” If I’m going to build a company that is going to grow, I am going to need a lot of people on my team that maybe can build the career and life they want. This might eliminate the need for employees to go out on their own if they can do it with and for your company.

Is our happiness tied to financial success?

There are three concepts in my book that are very important. When I was writing this book I kept saying to myself, “What’s the end game? And what’s the message?” Everyone needs to define what brings them comfort, peace, and freedom. These are three words that inter-depend on each other. That’s the roadmap to true happiness in my mind. If I can clearly define what I want my life to look like by asking questions such as: “Am I a house person, a condo person, or an apartment person? Am I a car person, electric scooter person or transit person? Am I a dog or a cat person?” They clearly define who you are, and what makes your life whole, and write those things on a piece of paper because you will really see a clear picture of what you want your life to look like — that is true happiness. Then you can go out and work hard enough to gain those individual things you enjoy. Remember: I know a lot of people who are millionaires who are miserable because they didn’t define what their happiness was. So everyone has their own level of happiness.

How do we get your book?

Amazon books or you can go to Apple Books and Barnes & Noble and anywhere books are sold.

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