This post is not another millionaire love song.
Or humble flex. It’s about so much more than that. I technically retired last year at 35 years old.
- I’m not that smart
- I’m not instagram-sexy
- I don’t have a fancy-ass degree
- I don’t come from a rich family
My only trick is I took what society says is normal and broke every single rule. I did the opposite of the trite advice you see handed out on platforms like LinkedIn. I stopped getting conned by dinosaur institutions.
Life is too short to work for a dictator and jam into public transport like sardines for the rest of your life.
Here are the rules I broke if you want to do the same & buy your time back.
Rule #1 — Invest in smart index funds
Do this if you want to make decent money when you’re 75.
Otherwise, mostly ignore this trite investing advice. You can invest money in the S&P 500 or S&Me (hat-tilt Alex Hormozi).
The latter involves you investing money in a business or to upgrade your career skills. Both will make you more money. Both will produce dividends much larger than any stock can ever produce.
When I learned how to sell in my 20s, I went from earning $40,000 a year to over $100,000 in less than 12 months.
No index fund could ever produce that magic.
The only reason old institutions want you to put money into index funds is so they can use it as their investment fund to get rich.
Rule #2 — Admire business leaders
Almost a year ago, I ordered a new Toyota for my wife to drive our little ball of poop (kid) around in.
Not once did I get an update or even a receipt for the deposit. Yesterday I called to see how the car’s going.
“Yep, so there’s a parts shortage and you gotta pay $2500 more.”
The salesman tried to tell me it comes with satellite navigation so I should be happy. And that new Toyotas (like the one I ordered) now have a 2.5-year wait time.
I told him, that’s like adding a fax machine to a laptop order. We all use google maps for free on our phones. And every car, including the one I ordered, has Apple Carplay for free.
I lost my mind and canceled the order. Instead, I will buy a Tesla next year.
- No engine
- No servicing
- No high-ass gas prices
- No car salespeople or commissions
- No 1-year wait times (only 3 months)
- Plus the Aussie government gives EV owners a $3000 rebate
The old school business leaders at Toyota are the smart people who thought this was a good business model. Sell some dumb Aussie (me) an outdated car that has rising gas prices to fill it up and a ridiculous wait time.
Most of the business leaders that run the world aren’t to be admired at all. They’re what is blocking change and innovation from happening.
Admire innovation, not leaders.
Invest your money in future technologies like electric cars.
Rule #3 — Don’t post online (it could harm your reputation)
The future is all about distribution.
As much as I hate the phrase “personal brand,” that’s what people buy now. It’s even what employers buy too.
If you don’t post on social media you’re invisible.
You’re untrustworthy, unproven, and lack proof-of-work.
Harsh but true. Your online reputation will only harm you if you worship crazy conspiracies or talk about politics. If not, social media won’t break you. No. It will make you.
Stop snoozing on social media out of fake fear.
Rule #4 — “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail”
Too many people overplan. Just stop it. You’re probably planning yourself into a grave full of regrets. All those contingencies and hypotheticals probably won’t happen in the way you predict. You’re not a fortuneteller.
Just do. Start today. When would now be a good time?
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth — Mike Tyson
Rule #5 — Network like crazy
Society tells you “your network equals your net worth.”
This terrible quote causes people to run around like headless chickens trying to “network” with everyone. It’s what causes you to get all those junk LinkedIn messages and spam emails.
It’s what created the most obscure question in history that I get regularly:
“How may I add value to you, sir?” ™
The problem with network-like-crazy is it creates transactional behavior. Everyone in your proximity becomes a one-night stand.
Don’t network. No.
Build a handful of strong relationships with a small few. Posting on social media will do the rest for you.
Rule #6 — Do the work until it’s your turn
I spent most of my career working in banking with a bunch of people waiting in a never-ending line to nowhere (except the grave).
They thought the promotion or pay rise would come when it was their turn.
- When someone moves on.
- Or when the recession passes.
- Or when the company’s profits return to normal.
They kept getting lied to.
There was always another excuse as to why they had to keep waiting. Screw waiting in line. You could be dead tomorrow, as a 2015 near-miss with cancer taught me.
Skip the line. Become a queue jumper. Find the third door
(Read this book on it)
Rule #7 — Find a mentor
This one can easily become procrastination in disguise.
Sure, YOLO Elon could become your mentor. But he’s 20 million steps ahead of you. What he has to teach probably won’t apply to your life.
And he’s not gonna be your free mentor. Neither is Sara Blakely from Spandex. Neither is Richard Branson. Brutal but true.
Mentors = free
Free = exploitation
I insist to learn from normies who charge me a coaching fee to hijack their brain and learn a very specific skill they have that I need. It’s faster, cheaper, and produces million-dollar results.
Rule #8 — Work hard to get ahead
Anyone can work hard but there are only so many hours in the day. It doesn’t take much for this to become a loser strategy, fast.
I’ve seen many people in my career work hard — but work hard on the wrong thing or in the wrong way. You can work hard selling Nokia flip phones but the demand is close to zero.
Or you can work hard emptying the trash for neighbors until your arms can’t move and you need sleep.
To get ahead you have to work smart. (You already knew that.)
But to work smart you need to think deeply about what you’re doing and take your time. The only way to do that is to prioritize rest and relaxation so you can unlock your natural born creativity.
Your creativity makes you rich, not how hard you work.
Rule #9 — Read books to be successful
Harsh truth: Many book readers are serial procrastinators.
Books don’t make you wealthy. Execution does. Most of us don’t need another idea or strategy.
We need to overcome what Steven Pressfield in his book “The War of Art” calls the resistance and do the work attached to our goals. When we do the work it moves us forward and automatically tells us what to do next.
Rule #10 — Find your passion to get rich
Passion is fine for hobbies you do for free.
To make money and buy back your time you need more than passion. You need evidence that what you’re doing actually has value. That’s why I make small bets and do mini-experiments.
The execution is nice, but the money is found in the data.
Every move I make has data points attached to it. The data tells me if I’m on the right track or high on ego crack.
Stop guessing. Start following the facts data and feedback offers.
Rule #11 — Ask for permission to join
The old foundation of society is built on permission.
- You ask parents permission at school to go on an excursion.
- You ask your parents’ permission to date a sexy mofo.
- You ask colleges via an application form if they’ll “choose you.”
- You ask an employer if they’ll hire you.
- You ask strangers if they’ll mentor you.
- You ask the bank if they’ll loan you money to buy a home.
This is the “permission economy.”
We’re now in the “permissionless economy.” You can just choose your own adventure and do what you want. The internet has removed all the Berlin walls. It’s why build in public has become a catchphrase.
If you have to ask for permission, it probably won’t make you wealthy. Wealth is generated by breaking society’s conventional rules and writing your own damn permission slip.
Own or be owned? That is the question to ask yourself.