Billionaire Ray Dalio: The 2 things you have to do to get 'the money you need and the job you want'

Raymond Dalio, co-chairman and co-chief investment officer, Bridgewater Associates, speaks at the 2019 Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, May 1, 2019.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters

The dream, for most people, is to have a truly fulfilling career that is also financially lucrative.

Of course, that can seem easier said than done.

But hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio believes the dream is achievable, so long as you can master two skills: creativity and flexibility.

"To have both the money you need and the job you want, you have to be creative and flexible," Dalio wrote in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday.

Dalio is the founder of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, which manages roughly $160 billion in assets. He has written previously in his book on leadership and success, "Principles," about his advice to "make your passion and your work the same thing."

So why those traits?

If it isn't immediately clear to you how to turn your passions into a job that comes with a reasonable paycheck, Dalio says you have to get creative and flexible in rethinking how your passions can translate.

"Start by thinking hard about if there's anything that you're passionate about that pays well," Dalio writes. "Don't be too narrow in thinking about what brings you passion and what brings you money; be clever and make some compromises. The more clever you are, the fewer compromises you will have to make."

As an example, Dalio mentions a friend of his who loves painting, but who hasn't been able to sell his paintings for enough money to support himself and his family. The compromise? Dalio's friend has a career as a commercial artist, which pays well enough to offer financial stability while also allowing him to translate his passion into an "artistically creative career," Dalio writes. The friend also has the freedom to paint for himself in his free time.

"I have found that most people can find careers that provide both good job satisfaction and good money in order to have a good life if they're clever enough and not overly particular," Dalio writes.

American billionaire Ray Dalio on the legacy he wants to leave behind
American billionaire Ray Dalio on the legacy he wants to leave behind

And, of course, when it comes to finding the best path, you can also always seek out help and advice from the people in your life who you trust to be honest.

"Solving this puzzle, like solving all puzzles in life, is best done by 1) seeking the best advice one can get from the most believable people one can get to provide it, and 2) through trial and error and a lot of determination," according to Dalio.

Dalio often shares his principles for life and work on social media, including LinkedIn, and the billionaire recently wrote on Facebook about the importance of "being hyperrealistic" when choosing your dreams and working towards them.

"People who create great things aren't idle dreamers: They are totally grounded in reality," Dalio says.

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