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22 Unintuitive Lessons I Learned in 2022

by | Dec 19, 2022 | Life

2022 wasn’t the sh*t storm people said it would be.

The world didn’t collapse. The economy didn’t get worse than in 2008. The bat virus didn’t kill off the human species. And nobody pushed the big red nuke button.

It’s strange how life is always better than social media makes it feel. That’s the first lesson from 2022.

Here are 21 more unintuitive lessons I learned in 2022.

2. The American dream of buying a home is changing

I tried to buy a house in 2022.

It’s dawned on me that home ownership is dying in many countries because it’s become a business and hugely unaffordable. In the future I predict your shelter will become a tech company subscription.

Let’s hope governments intervene and disincentivize businesses to get into residential property. I’m not holding my breath.

3. Not working a job is better than you expect

This is the first full year I’ve been without a job.

The time has gone fast and it’s revealed a lot about my character. I tend to operate as a hyper-anxious millennial. I’m overly cautious about how I run a business as a result.

Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone but I do think the rise of solopreneurship will gain traction in the coming years as more people get sick of being told what to do by bosses who seek to climb the corporate ladder to nowhere.

4. Babies are freaking hard work

My daughter came into this world and changed my life.

When she is sick I give up everything to be with her. When businesses, doctors, or government say she can’t have something or it’s not possible, I find a way. I’m relentless.

Right now she won’t sleep at all. I miss sleep. Yet I wouldn’t trade her for anything. At the end of the work day I go to hold her and it makes all the struggles worth it.

5. Tech companies aren’t invincible

Tech bros tried to fool us.

They pretended to be saints from heaven, here to change the world. 2022 showed this all to be a lie. Turns out tech companies are just as selfish and human as the rest of us.

It all came out this year.

Now tech companies are doing it tough. Their stock prices have plummeted and they’ve realized you have to make profit to stay in business. Good.

We could all do with more humility. Especially tech bros (includes me).

6. Crypto doesn’t always go up

The crypto market crashed.

No asset is immune from a recession. Still, overall the trend of blockchain and decentralization is here to stay. Soz. Markets will recover in 1–2 years. In the meantime, I’m sticking with Bitcoin and Ethereum and buying more.

7. Virtue signalling is a trap

It’s all over LinkedIn. Lots of talk and nice words. Zero action.

Effective altruism became a con job, too, after FTX crypto founder Sam Bankman-Fried robbed millions of people of billions of dollars. All in the name of do-gooding. Turns out he was a criminal who stole money.

My friend lost $1M in the scam. It’ll take years for his family to rebuild their life. That’s what fake kindness can do. Don’t trust. Verify.

8. Comparing accountants is hard because no one knows what the hell they do

I tried to hire an account this year. Bloody hard work.

They all talk a good game but it’s not obvious what they do. Most of accounting is now done by AI, machine learning, and SaaS software. All I need is a signature that says all the data is okay.

Accountants primarily provide advice but it’s hard to try before you buy. Trust then verify. Be prepared to churn through a few.

9. Figuring out tax efficiency is a game-changer

Following on from the last one, many of us don’t understand tax efficiency. When you do, you unlock a substantial sum of money you can invest in financial markets and pay the tax on much later.

I overpaid on taxes because of my own stupidity. Learn your country’s tax system to build generational wealth, legally.

10. Family doesn’t live forever

Obvious, right?

The challenge is we forget a reality of life is real until it happens to us.

Two family members nearly died this year. One from blood cancer and the other from a brain hemorrhage. I told both of them “ahhh you’re overthinking your symptoms. Take it easy mate.”

Never again. If something feels off then seek medical advice. Always.

11. Investing is all psychology

This year caused blood to flow down Wall Street.

It should be a time when we buy assets on discount and are thankful for prices falling. It’s always easier than it sounds.

Investing is a psychological game and even the strongest minds can’t think long-term when everything goes to hell.

12. Going back to the gym after a long break is hard

I took time off in 2022 to care for my newborn daughter.

I paused my gym membership and it hurt like hell. I felt guilty every day and noticed my body deteriorated fast. If I had my time again I would have kept my gym habit and just gone fewer times for shorter workouts.

13. Writing is hard work

I spent most of this year writing online.

It’s bloody hard work and takes everything you’ve got. Despite the challenge it’s extremely rewarding. Now I have a bigger library of content.

Even better, my personal website has begun to take off with 75,000 new visitors a month. This has reduced my reliance on outside influences to provide a steady stream of new readers.

14. LinkedIn nailed it this year

They invested heavily in features creators were looking for.

The most surprising thing is they got all the Twitter influencers to migrate over and have LinkedIn as a second platform. That’s not easy.

I added more than 100,000 followers on LinkedIn and it became my favorite place to share career advice. No reason all of you reading this can’t use it as a place to attract new career opportunities.

15. Working from home has huge downsides

Living and working from the same space hasn’t been easy.

I no longer have to commute, yes, but it feels lonely. Can’t do another year of this. Now I’m out in the market searching for a co-working space.

Where you work has a huge impact on your mental health.

16. The friends you keep are what make life worth it

It’s easy to go through life and collect people. I did it for years.

This year I’ve stopped keeping in touch with everyone and focused my time on a smaller circle of people. Unless a relationship scratches below the surface it never really brings joy.

I’m going to ditch the popular networking advice. Spare time will be spent with a few best friends, and primarily, with my daughter.

Kids are only young once, right?

17. Online business is all about following the data

Business gurus make out it’s hard.

The entire existence of corporations and consultants is designed to make you think it’s complex. It’s not really and this year showed me. Biggest insight…

Too many businesses think they’re smarter than their users.

All I do is follow the data. I survey my customers often and try to surprise them with cool stuff, the way I would a new lover on a second date. Even if you suck at business, like I do, you can build an empire with this approach.

18. Vulnerability causes other people to open up with their struggles

It’s a gift many of us can give.

What holds us back is the fear of judgment. We think we’ll look weak, but actually, vulnerability makes you look strong.

19. Elon is a complex individual I’ll never understand

This has been the year of Elon. He has dominated mainstream media.

I try to see him in a different light on different days. Some days his contribution to humanity is great. Other days it feels like his ego is out of control and he just wants attention.

My advice is never write someone off completely. Everyone has value. Especially those you disagree with.

20. A smart note-taking system relieves your brain to do other things

Much of life is capturing ideas, thoughts, and experiences.

I used to do this randomly with a flawed system. This year I’ve refined my note-taking process with Apple Notes and Roam Research. Now when I need to resurface a piece of information it’s ten times easier.

This makes me look smarter even though I’m an average Joe.

The cool part is it takes a load off your brain and frees it up to be creative and do deep thinking. Because memorization and storage are low value and can now be done by smart note apps. Soz universities and schools.

21. Let software upgrade your productivity

This year I added Zapier to my tech stack. It helps automate basic tasks and connect my various apps. This means I do less donkey work as a result.

I also added Google Workspace and deleted Microsoft Office. It’s had a huge effect on me. Between using the cloud and unlocking the power of automation that Gmail provides, I feel like I don’t need Bill Gates anymore.

When your productivity gets better you have more time. More time is worth 10x more than a few new tools. Invest in you.

22. The ultimate form of fulfillment

You’ll appreciate what you did get done more than what you dreamt of.

This article is for informational purposes only, it should not be considered financial, tax or legal advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.

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