My uncle was a Christmas tree farmer.
He planted Frasier and Douglas firs on the farm in his twenties and thirties. One season my family and I helped him with the trees. We trimmed branches, cut trees, and wrapped them for customers.
I won’t build a roadside stand to cut and sell my own Christmas Trees in my forties. Not that I have anything against the holiday tree. It’s just that I didn’t plant any trees a decade ago.
No matter how much fertilizer I use, how many branches I trim, how many billboards I rent, if the trees weren’t planted in 2008, I cannot harvest and sell trees in 2018.
Personal finance works this way too. Someone who saves for retirement only between the ages of 20-26 will have more than another who saves from ages 27-65 due to compound interest.
Don’t make the Christmas tree mistake with your personal and professional life. If you wait until you want to sell trees to plant seedlings, it’s too late. If you wait for a promotion opportunity to turn up your performance, it’s late. If you wait until you need a friend to build and strengthen the relationship, it’s also too late.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb