Category : Money


The Non Hustlers’ Guide to Financial Freedom

Guide to Financial Freedom

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Hustlers screwed up financial freedom.

They made us think it was about Lambos and working until 3 am. It’s not. I’ve lived that life. You’ll burnout. Guaranteed.

Financial freedom is having the time to do the real work you want to do. It doesn’t mean living a no-work life. That’s an unrealistic fantasy that will leave you by the jacuzzi, scratching your head, bored out of your brain.

Here’s a practical set of steps you can follow to reach financial freedom.

Start ASAP

If you agree this is the path for you then you need to start right now. Today. Get out your favorite note-taking app and sketch out a series of actions you can take. Each idea is a seed, not a finished plan.

I wish I got on the path to financial freedom sooner. Instead, I wanked away my life with BMWs and designer clothes to impress people that won’t even return my phone calls anymore because I’m not famous. Hollywood and Instagram got it wrong.

Fame destroys privacy. Luxury destroys wealth.

The path back to owning your time is the opposite of what society does. Time to become an outcast.

Be extremely careful of becoming one of the institutionalized sheep

I left work early one afternoon to attend a meeting. All was calm on the office floor. 30 minutes later I got a message.

“The entire level has been shut down. Don’t come back.”

The dude that sat next to my desk had a heart attack. I was sad. This guy always helped me. He had 40 years of experience in his job. He could answer the toughest questions I could throw at him. He made me look smart in front of customers with his fountain of knowledge.

I went to China the next day for a holiday. I texted for updates.

“How’s he doing?”

“Not good.”

Two weeks later he recovered. Phewww. I returned from China.

“So is he finally going to retire now? He’s well past the retirement age. Surely this is a wake-up call to finish work and hang out with the grandkids.”

He told us that the doctors said his obesity and diet were to blame for the heart attack. So to resolve the issue he got a personal trainer. Within a few months he was in the best shape of his life.

The weight disappeared …

Then it slowly began to come back. He returned to the Coca-Colas and the daily greasy hamburgers for lunch. I asked my wise boss about it.

“He’s institutionalized. He can’t see that he’s trapped in this job and way of life. It’s been like this for so long that everything else looks too scary. It’s all he knows.”

The word institutionalized became popular amongst my team of four colleagues. I vowed on that day never to become trapped in the job matrix.

A job is useful. A job you stay in forever is useless.

We’re designed to try new things. A salary you don’t control, from a job that doesn’t keep up with inflation, will eventually make you struggle.

You’ll constantly have to make lifestyle sacrifices if you reject the path of financial freedom forever.

Build your portfolio of skills

You need skills to reach financial freedom. Chances are you can recycle a few skills from your day job or past employment.

What do people say you are good at? Start there. People tell me I can write and teach. So I built my skill stack around these two pillars. The most valuable skills you can get are the ones that work online. Why? Online skills allow you to access leverage.

Same amount of work over time, for the same amount of effort.

The great news is almost any skill can be useful online. All you need is a little creativity and a content strategy.

Gif Credit: Giphy

Learn the language of the internet

The internet has a unique language. It’s based around time. We don’t have enough time because of all the modern-day demands. The language of the internet is, getting to the freaking point.

That’s why I recommend studying Twitter. Tweets and tweet threads are the ultimate form of online communication. They force you to format and make your thoughts gorgeously simple.

Simple saves time. Simple sells.

When you can sell ideas online you can eventually make money online. This leads to passive income. Passive income fuels financial freedom if it’s able to do its work while you sleep (for a few years).

Simple communication goes further. You get better at coffee catch-ups. You write killer emails that cut through all the bullsh*t. You are able to make TikTok style videos, effortlessly. Simple content becomes a magnet for opportunity. Those opportunities create financial upside, eventually.

Takeaway: Learn to get to the point.

Make the subscription economy go bankrupt

If more money comes out of your bank account than enters it, you’ll never reach financial freedom. I take the Rich Dad Poor Dad approach and pay myself first. The money leftover goes to expenses and gelato ice cream. Subscriptions are the worst.

Most of us have a low utilization rate on our subscriptions.

Businesses know that, and they love it. The only ones I keep are ROI subscriptions — the ones that make me actual money.

One strategy I use is to turn recurring expenses into one-off pleasures. I pay once which is more expensive, but I get the pleasure from the investment less frequently. This reduces the dopamine addiction many subscriptions give us.

Cut financial fat ruthlessly.

Tell your banker to F off

I am an ex-banker. We want to do one thing: sell you debt.

Debt isn’t easy to access. Thanks to monetary policy, banks can lend far more money than they actually have on their books.

When times get tough the government will allow banks to lend even more money without anything backing it. In fact, every loan a bank gives creates new money from nothing that enters the global financial system.

That’s right — bank loans are a form of money printing (learn more here).

The more debt you have the longer it will take to access financial freedom. Debt has another huge problem. It causes enormous stress. You can’t effectively reach financial freedom with your skill stack if you’re stressed out of your mind every day. It’s too hard. I choose zero debt.

For most, sustainable debt is the answer.

Put your money to work

Money in the bank is dead. Inflation and the devaluing of currencies by governments turns dollars into roadkill.

Money has to be put to work. We’re now all forced to invest in financial assets — gold/silver, stocks, bonds, real estate, bitcoin/ethereum, etc.

Good quality assets over time become more valuable. Some assets even pay you money at the same time. Financial freedom is heavily dependant on how you invest money.

It all comes down to asset allocation. How much money (as a percentage) are you going to invest in each asset type above?

My desired end game for asset allocation looks like this (roughly): 40% crypto, 5% gold/silver, 25% real estate, 30% stocks.

Invest as early as you can. Money invested in the markets beats timing the right time to enter the financial markets.

Learn the future of tech to capitalize on it

Web 3.0 has changed financial freedom.

With enough research it’s possible to get there sooner. The blockchain Web 3.0 future is much like the early 2000s when Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon changed everything. And made investors, who could see where things were going, a lot of money.

Learning Web 3.0 now won’t only give your skill stack a huge advantage. But it can be a tremendous investing opportunity. It’s still so early, yet it’s clear that the future of tech will be decentralized.

I recommend studying bitcoin and ethereum at a minimum. Learn what they do and why they’ve become a trillion-dollar asset class in a short space of time.

An open Web 3.0 mind will allow you to own your time sooner.

Invest in the highest yield asset on the planet

We are the biggest limiter of financial freedom. How we think determines whether financial freedom will become possible.

It’s easy to say it’s impossible or only for special people. There are millions of dumbasses on the internet to talk you out of anything. Ignore them.

Learn to think for yourself by investing in yourself.

Courses, books, virtual summits, and live events are great places to start. Build your knowledge. Expand your understanding of the world.

Dare to dream of a phase in life where you own your time and can do a type of work you enjoy, that doesn’t feel like work.

Work you define as hard is work you hate. Work you love is work you define as effortless. The subtle difference is what financial freedom unlocks and it will change your life.

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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Five Habits of Financially Smart People

Money Lessons 2022

Photo by Daniele Colucci on Unsplash

A 15-year-old got lured into sexual acts by an older man.

She had a dream of being a singer. The illegal acts were the price she paid. Later she left the pop star life behind.

She transformed. She stopped giving a fudge. The music got angry.

She sang about going down on guys in theatres.

Her voice was edgy. It was alternative. It was grunge. It was slightly rock. There wasn’t a genre for this level of music badassery. As a punk 90s kid I fell in love with a few of her songs. Her name is Alanis Morissette. Recently I watched the documentary about her life called “Jagged.”

At the end of the film she’s in a bathtub after making millions of dollars and releasing the second most purchased album in history.

This line punched me in my big nose.

“I can create what I want because I don’t have to worry about putting food on my plate.”

The first thing financially smart people do is buy back their time, so they can explore their creativity without boundaries.

They don’t get stuck in ant mode

Youtuber Ali Abdaal is petrified of getting stuck in ant mode.

The old tale of the ant and the grasshopper goes like this. The ant works in the summer instead of Netflix and chill so they can store food for the winter. The grasshopper parties like it’s 1999.

The takeaway from the story is to work hard and save up your money for tough times. It’s good ol’ fashion factory worker p*rn. The ant says to rely on the government, too, to provide for you and make life a joy.

Ali quotes Bill Perkins’ book “Die with Zero.”

Bill thinks we should work towards basic financial security and a simple life. Once we get there he believes we should switch our focus from building our bank account to working on our quality of life.

Experiences lead to a quality life.

The challenge is many of us keep going beyond the threshold of money we need to get access to experiences.

What’s kept me in ant mode for far too long is a false sense that I need more financial safety. Also, working hard for money feels like the right thing to do. Ali shares this kickass formula.

Life Energy → Work → Money → Access to Fulfilling Experiences

Spend less time in ant mode. You’re overcompensating for how much money you actually need.

They see money as a game of karma

Act like an a-hole and become broke.

That’s a bitter pill to swallow. I let ego run my financial goals in my 20s. I accumulated plenty of cashola, and left a trail of dead bodies behind me.

I thought casualties were all part of the money game — until those casualties began to be reborn as zombies that wanted my head on the end of a spear. (The classic “money is war and I’m a General” lie.)

You can’t make money without other people. Read that again.

The fastest way to attract other people is to generate good karma. Say thank you. Be nice to people. Like the flogger today on Twitter who replied to my tweet about writing online with “it’s because you’re an asshole.”

What a gentleman.

I click his profile. No audience. Angry. Screaming about algorithms.

The temptation is to throw a pie in someone’s face. Don’t. Smile and move on. Your reputation behind closed doors brings you money opportunities later. You just can’t see it. People don’t say, “I spent money with you because you’re a good human being.” Nope.

They just purchase, partner, and refer in silence. All that silence builds tiny online empires.

Invest in karma. It pays higher returns than stocks.

They question the stock market frequently

Thanks to high inflation that causes prices to rise a lot, we’re all forced to invest our money.

Financially smart people question stocks. The global stock market is mainly run by Wall Street.

2008 showed us they’re not the most honest bunch of humans in pinstripe suits. Still, I like stocks. Last night tech CEO Michael Saylor said on mainstream news the following:

If you put your money in the S&P 500 Index fund, all the CEOs print more stock and dilute your money.

Many people know money can get created out of thin air by governments — it’s also known as money printing.

What most people don’t know about is stock printing. It’s where stocks can also get created out of thin air.

The false illusion average investors have is that stocks are ownership in a company. Theoretically yes. In a 2008-style event or major recession, not necessarily. (I wrote about stock printing in depth here.)

It pays not to join the flock of sheep.

If you take all investing advice on face value you can run into trouble. It may take decades for the lie to expose itself.

Puzzle: if more money gets created out of thin air, and stocks go up in price, and real estate goes up too — is it the value of assets that went up, or the number of dollars in the system?

Markets are complex by design. Question everything about money.

Don’t get sucked in by money cliches like “owning real estate is the safest investment in the world.” Nothing in finance is black and white.

Their idea of time opens a door to another world

I’d much rather have a lifestyle business that makes $10k/month and lets me live my life on my own terms vs a startup that makes $100k/month and requires all of my attention — Andrea Bosoni

Employees drain your attention. Buying a Lambo drains your time stored in money. A job in a big city that requires your butt in your employer’s office chair requires hours every day to commute back and forth to.

Money is time.

The younger you are the richer you are.

Warren Buffet is financially smart and a billionaire. But he’s really bankrupt because he’s an 80-something-year-old that eats McDonald’s, drinks coke, and doesn’t have much life left to live.

Being financially smart is about prioritizing time over money above all else.

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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The Average Person Will Never Make Money Online. Don’t Let That Person Be You.

Money Lessons

Photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash

The internet is a goldmine. It contains infinite amounts of money.

Harsh truth: The average person will never make a dollar online. That’s okay. We’re not here to shame people or talk down to anyone. My goal is to make sure you open your mind to the idea it’s possible.

Why me? I’m in my 8th year of doing it. I walk the talk. I do this daily to put tacos on my family’s table.

Here’s what prevents most people from making money online.

They treat networking like the lottery

You have to network (make friends) to make money online. Period.

If you spend your day reaching out to Oprah, Bezos, and Elon Musk you’re not going to make it online. That’s lottery networking. You’re relying on blind luck or kindness to get a reply/freebie. Try this rule of thumb.

  • 80% of your networking should be with people who have similar results to you.
  • 15% of your networking should be with people who have slightly higher results than you.
  • 5% of your time should be spent networking with superstars.

They fail before they start (accidentally)

Dan Koe is obsessed with showing people how they can become self-reliant and self-paid. This message chain he posted explains the problem.

Image Credit: Dan Koe via Twitter

If all you do is focus on the problem, you become your own problem.

Everything has a failure rate. Everything worth doing online starts out as a long shot. What I do is focus on what can work. Many times it doesn’t. But in the process I find a path that does work.

They don’t write adult direct messages

If you can’t write a DM you’re screwed.

I get “Hi” and “Yo” daily. I get stupid requests, template messages, stuff that makes no sense and is full of spelling errors — the list is endless.

99% of DMs get ignored.

It’s a must-learn skill though.

The online world happens behind the scenes. It’s what you can’t see that allows creators to make money online.

My entire online business is built off the back of DMs. In 2014 I became obsessed. I A/B tested stupid numbers of DMs. I found a few templates and ways of engaging that work.

The templates became so effective that I was getting invites to go to Richard Branson’s island or meet Tony Robbins (not to brag). My boss at the bank I worked at couldn’t believe it. She made me run a workshop for all the bankers in our state to show them how I did it.

Here’s a DM I sent yesterday as an example.

Screenshot via my LinkedIn account

The DM works because it:

  • Shows research
  • It fits her niche
  • It’s deeply personal
  • I mention someone she knows
  • Even if she hates my message she can use it as content on LinkedIn

The one problem with this DM is it’s too long. Not every DM you send will be perfect. Aim for execution not procrastination.

Here’s another recent DM. (We’re both friends now and talk every day.)

Screenshot via my Twitter account

This DM works because it:

  • Respects their time
  • Mentions one similarity
  • Assumes they can’t reply
  • Demonstrates proof of work online
  • Offers to promote their work for free without kissing their butt

(Note the flame emoji below my original message.)

He replied back and said he gets lots of DMs and would love to chat. He has 100X the results on Twitter that I do.

Learn how to write a DM.

They get infected by the deadly skepticism virus

I’ve never met a millionaire skeptic. They’re all broke, spewing vomit on Twitter about politics and god knows what else.

The skepticism is valid from a distance. The average human is programmed to expect results quickly.

They want everything now! now! now!

Amazon shopping trained them. Netflix made it worse. UberEats turned us into weekend slobs. Unfortunately this programming is at the root of the problem. Hear me loud and clear.

  • Bad news: It takes more than one year to make money online.
  • Good news: If you can do it for 5+ years you’ll never work a job again.

There’s a healthy middle ground too. Making money online can be a monetized side hustle in the short term, until your skills level up.

Just because there’s an entry fee (time), doesn’t mean making money online is an impossible scam.

Open minds become successful. Closed minds stay unsuccessful. Your choice.

They listen to morons

There are loads of trolls online disguised as gurus. Their main gig is to produce satire content and gaslight you for ‘likes’ and money. Be careful who you follow.

Follow morons become a moron. Follow average stay average.

They feel dirty, sleazy even

Making money online can feel sleazy.

People who are jealous of what you want to do will label you a sellout. They say this because they don’t have the courage, knowledge, or discipline to do it themselves.

What helps me is this mantra?

“Part of the money I earn will go to help charitable causes.”

Now you have zero reasons to be guilty, and a powerful why. You don’t feel sleazy getting paid from a job. Making money online is no different.

They forget “no learn, no earn”

There’s a learning curve to make wifi money. I’ve spent years doing online courses to learn the business. My motto is this:

No learn, no earn.

When you spend money on courses and your own self-improvement, you’re improving. There’s a much more important outcome though.

Spending money on learning creates accountability.

If you get wisdom for free it doesn’t hit your brain the same as it does when you have to spend your hard-earned money to get it.

Most people will spend money on Netflix, the latest dumb phone, or designer t-shirts — but won’t pay for learning or networking opportunities.

Invest in yourself to outgrow your former self from one year ago.

Killer example

Earlier this year I bought a course. Over 1000 students had completed the course. It had 5-star ratings.

By the end of the course I wanted to kill someone.

The course was far too long, badly edited, and unclear in many parts. The worst bit of all?

The teacher kept slurping and making noises with their mouth every 60-seconds. It drove me nuts.

I requested a refund. The money came back within seconds. The teacher wanted to jump on a Zoom call to talk about my experience. They gave me some of the best information I’ve ever got.

A few months later they redid the entire course. They gave me a 100% off coupon to buy it again. The course was amazing.

I bought all of their upsells and an annual subscription to their community. The teacher and I are now friends. People often laugh when I tell them I do courses every month. “Don’t you have enough results already?”

Me: “A human mind dies when it stops learning.”

I view each course with this lens: Did I learn one new thing?

If yes, then the money is worth it.

They have zero discipline

Discipline is a survival skill.

Without discipline you wouldn’t eat, go to work, or use the toilet. You’d soon become a corpse in your own home.

Making money online happens every day. It’s a habit. It’s something you practice, like a rock band that rehearses before a big show (even when they play to 10,000 fans).

You can’t be a lazy ass and then expect that the billions of people you’re competing with online won’t outdo you. There’s no need to become a navy seal though.

Discipline is easy to visualize. Are the tasks needed to make money online in your Gmail calendar right now? If not, you know what to do.

They’re not willing to tell their story

Without content there is no money to be made online.

Content is a central pillar that makes everything else happen. The problem is you can’t see that reality up front. It’s hidden.

Hiding is what average people do to avoid personal responsibility for what they put out on the internet.

Anonymous culture online has had many harsh effects. Any monkey can create a fake username that makes them sound like Superman and then jump on a soapbox and post dumb stuff.

Storytelling is the way money gets made online. The best stories are real, not written by fake bots. Author James Altucher taught me that the best stories are vulnerable. You want to feel a little uncomfortable when you post stuff (some of the time).

The average person isn’t willing to put themselves on the line and talk about their defects, failures, or bad behavior.

Takeaway: you must be yourself online.

It all boils down to this

It takes courage to make money online. It takes courage to quit your job. It takes courage to show up every day. It takes courage to get smashed down and get back up. It takes courage to back yourself.

You need courage.

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Build a Tiny Side Hustle Empire from Home. Work on It for 12 Months. Change Your Life.

Tiny Side Hustle Empire

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

What you do in your bedroom after hours is underrated.

A side hustle is a bedroom activity you can work on from home. It lets you off the hook. It doesn’t require you to be fancy. In fact, side hustles are for us unprofessionals who have no idea what we’re doing, which is secretly everyone if we go deep enough.

If it weren’t for side hustles, I’d be stuck in a call center on minimum wage, hating life. They changed my life.

The 3-step formula you can copy — start, work on it for 12 months, change your life. I am going to guide you through it with help from some of the most successful creators on the internet. Here we go.

1. Start a sneaky side hustle

The side hustle economy changed the model of the world forever

Overachiever 10 years ago: got into Harvard at 17 and works at Goldman Sachs.

Overachiever now: skipped college to make millions off of a YouTube account, writes a substack and owns real estate across the country.

Oh, and they’re only 17 — Austin Rief

The internet allowed remote work. Coroni-macaroni allowed permanent work from home. I haven’t shared this before, but during 2020 I used the global health crisis to cheat on my boss.

I worked on my side hustle during my 9–5 job hours. There’s now no excuse not to have at least one potential side hustle. There are three ways to become financially free:

  1. Invest heavily in financial assets.
  2. Get a high-paying job and become a Chief Nobody Officer.
  3. Start a side hustle.

The first option can help speed up the process. But most of us don’t have the financial education and can’t stomach the risk to go all-in on investing and build financial freedom in a short amount of time.

Option two is the dream sold to us by HR puppets and corporate marketing departments.

You’ll have to grind hard after hours and on the weekend to have any chance of getting one of those high-paying jobs that allows you to get the golden handshake in a year or two and walk away with F-You money. So for most of us it makes sense to start with a side hustle.

A side hustle is just a tiny one-person business in the making. Let’s not get romantic about it and attach a complex label that scares the pants off us.

“My skills don’t have value”

Why don’t we start a side hustle? We think our skills suck. You’re wrong.

Your skills have value. Your skills have value. Your skills have value.

If you think you have no skills then fine. I’ll make it dead simple for you. Use the same skills from your 9-5 job to create a side hustle from. Boom.

“Everything that you think is obvious is worth money to someone else”

Online creator Justin Welsh said this. It’s so damn true.

We think our skills suck or we can’t build a side hustle from home because our experiences seem obvious to us.

Can’t everybody do this?

Technically, yes. In reality, no.

We’re in the distraction age. We waste our time so easily. We’re drowning in information so the obvious side hustles are buried under mountains of crap.

Yes, people could learn what you know. But they don’t know where to start. They don’t have the time to sift through decades of useless content that fills billions of websites.

Your side hustle is a shortcut for someone else. That’s worth money.

Begin a side hustle you like to do

Money likes people who like what they do — Ayodeji Awosika

I see it with the side hustle of writing all the time. People become content creators and write online. They do it for all the wrong reasons. Deep down they hate writing. So what happens?

Their content sucks. It puts people to sleep. So, they follow the sheep. The sheep say it’s too hard. They run around in circles and drive themselves insane. It’s nobody’s fault. They just don’t love writing. Fine.

Be smart. Choose a side hustle you’re happy to do for free after hours.

It doesn’t need money to start

– Social media is free
– Sending an email is free
– Putting in the work is free

You don’t need a lot of money to make a lot of money. 

— Josh George

Side hustles are the one thing that don’t require money to start.

It’s free.

What’s not free is the effort. Effort spends the currency of your life: time.

The “hustle” part of side hustle is often misunderstood. It doesn’t mean work until you burnout. Hustle means you have to take a free strategy — social media, email, work effort — and put it into action.

It’s the ability to take something from nothing, that’s free, and transform it into a new creation.

A side hustle is a disguise for another superpower

Best way to build a startup: Build a side project  — Tibo

A side hustle is something you like doing online that can later help you earn money. We’re called builders or creators when we do it.

It’s not that different to entrepreneurship. It’s just less serious, and more unprofessional — and therefore, more reachable for normal people like us.

If you’ve read lots of investing books like I have you’ll no one common truth.

The best investment isn’t in stocks, bonds, crypto, gold, or real estate. It’s in yourself. A side hustle is an investment in yourself.

The second best investment you’ll hear about in finance books is a business. They call it cashflow or cash money. That’s what a side hustle can become. A side hustle is a baby startup.

The difference with a startup is it usually ends up having employees. A side hustle has no employees. It’s designed to be a one-person pursuit. The design of a side hustle can change though. Many side hustles do become startups. That’s up to you.

For me, I’m not interested in owning a startup again. It takes too much time to manage humans. I’d rather have zero drama and maximum time to goof off and do whatever I want. You do you.

2. Work on it for 12 months

“All those questions you have about entrepreneurship get answered when you just start”

Another killer bit of advice from Justin Welsh.

As you work on your side hustle the path will form. Experience is the great educator when it comes to side hustles. We all work on our after hours passion and have no clue where it will lead. That’s part of the brilliance.

Not knowing where the journey will take you sparks your curiosity and lights a fire under your imagination. Embrace it.

Don’t overthink it

Image Credit: Janis Ozolins via Twitter

As you go your progress may stop. It’s often overthinking. How many ideas have you had with your side hustle? How many did you start and follow through on?

Finish ideas you start.

Be willing to fail as you go. People respect it.

Image Credit: Mark Leuchter via Twitter

Mark Leuchter went viral with this side hustle attempt. I freaking love it. He demonstrates the spirit of a side hustle beautifully. By sharing his failed experiment he earned the respect of millions. At least he had a go.

It’s better to be in the game than on the sidelines with the critics. Critics pay their bills by telling you to quit your dreams. It’s a harsh business, far worse than an innocent side hustle.

And being a critic is technically a side hustle. LOL.

Nobody is laughing at Mark’s side hustle now. They won’t laugh at yours either if you keep going.

Fail in public as you go. Those who respect you will open hidden doors full of opportunities for you.

“Discipline sounds painful when it’s the complete opposite”

Pain happens with side hustles when you think short term. Creator Dan Koe says, “Discipline is the conscious decision to avoid long term pain.”

Discipline is how you keep going with your side hustle.

Once a side hustle becomes a habit the results become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you put in the work you’ll get the outcome. You’ll find a way. If you stop then we’ll never know your potential.

The hidden power of a $0 strategy

Giving away your work for free is like compressing a spring that releases when you finally put something up for sale.

The longer you do it, the more energy is released. Steve and I compressed the Refactoring UI spring for over two years. It made $1,000,000 in the first month — Adam Wathan

I love me some good success p*rn. Adam’s story describes how to think about money as you progress with your side hustle. The longer you don’t charge money for your side hustle the more stored energy you build up.

When you finally do launch a paid model of your side hustle, the people who’ve been part of the journey won’t be able to support you, financially, fast enough.

My side hustle of writing is a good example. I wrote for years for free. Eventually I had so many people asking me to make an online course that I finally did it. When I launched the course it became an overwhelming success. This is no accident.

The longer you can starve the more money you can make from your side hustle later on (if money is a goal for you).

Chase proof of work to the edges of greatness

The point of working on a side hustle for 12 months is it creates proof of work. When you want to pitch for opportunities, your pitches will get ignored by everybody if you’ve got no results to show.

People who can open doors for your side hustle want to see effort. They want to see some skill. They want to see that you’re not asking for something you haven’t earned.

Too many people with side hustles waste time on meetings. You can get serendipitous with meetings. But you’re better off chipping away at “proof of work.” In other words, build instead of doing meetings.

What you build in the first year will win you opportunities in the second year.

Get happy-go-lucky

Entrepreneur Naval Ravikant destroys the romantic model of luck.

  • Type one luck: blind luck
  • Type two luck: hustle luck
  • Type three luck: your reputation from proof of work gets you opportunities.

Proof of work leads to a reputation (not an inflated ego a.k.a personal brand). A reputation is what adds to the proof of work. People get used to you doing a certain thing. You can point to it.

“Here it is. It’s over here in this corner of the internet. Want to take a look?”

Let your reputation from proof of work make you seem lucky.

Being pleasant and having a good attitude is a simple way to become luckier.

Opportunities come through people, and people are more likely to bring opportunities to people they like.

— James Clear, (OG of side hustles)

The painful alternative to side hustles

Retirement age is 65.

Life expectancy is 78.

Work 50 years to enjoy life for a few years?

We have to shift this mindset ASAP.

— Brennan Schlagbaum

Side hustles are an internet endeavor. The internet gives your side hustle leverage. When you start to monetize, over time, the leverage will increase the amount of money you can make. This leads you to buy back your time sooner, instead of waiting until 65 years old to finally enjoy life.

Side hustles can enable multiple mini-retirements throughout your life — instead of one big retirement at the end before you cark it and end up in a wooden box under a tree in a lifeless cemetery.

3. Change your life

It’s not what you build online. It’s who you become in the process.

That’s how a side hustle can change your life. Except you won’t know what you’re starting or where it will lead. You just have to trust the process.

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Seven Unpopular Views About Investing Your Money That Aren’t Obvious

Unpopular Views About Investing

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Investing is an art.

The best investors are learners, not money gurus. The information that provides an investing advantage is mostly about psychology.

When you lose a boatload of money, what are you going to do? That’s a question I’ve spent my entire life thinking about.

Your memory is a terrible liar

Every 5–7 years people forget that recessions occur every 5–7 years — themotleyfool

There’s recently been mad speculation in financial markets. People are acting as though recessions are outlawed, because the US government has created trillions of dollars out of thin air.

While excess money can help paper over the cracks, nothing can stop recessions forever according to history. Another 2008 financial crisis will happen. It will be bigger. It will hurt people who are unprepared.

What can you do? Don’t panic. Expect chaos and diversify your risk so you don’t lose the lot betting on YOLO Elon Musk.

Good investing is more tempting than buying stuff

Once you truly understand investing, it’ll become the most addicting thing you can do with your money.

All the things you could buy lose their luster quickly when you see your money grow $100, $500, $1000, $3000+ in a day, and you didn’t have to lift a pinky to get those gains. — @thewealthdad

They say consumerism is an addictive drug. Wait until you make a 500% gain on Bitcoin or Tesla stocks. That’s when going to the shopping mall and buying a shopping trolley full of broken dreams will lose its shine.

Your psychology changes when investing works in your favor. The other side of the coin is, it can become an addiction if you’re not careful.

Money buys time. And having limitless amounts of time to do whatever you want is a secret drug more powerful than coke.

Invest. Make money. Watch it change your purchase history.

You can fight your way out of inflation

Money will get you assets. Assets will get you freedom.

— @FSFmoney

The problem of rising prices caused by inflation and the devaluation of US dollars can only be defeated by the following:

  1. A brand new monetary system. (Ain’t going to happen.)
  2. Investing in assets that outpace inflation.

For the second option to work you need to add in growth investments like tech stocks or crypto. Otherwise, the less than 0.5% interest your bank gives you or the 1.4% you get from owning bonds will quickly erode your hard-earned money, thanks to 6.2% inflation.

Freedom comes from investing

Investing is buying a piece of your freedom one day at a time — KennyAccentInvesting

Investing isn’t about getting rich. That’s a myth.

We want to make money from investing so we can buy back our time. Most of us are seeking calendar freedom, not a candy pink Lambo.

The process of reaching this level of freedom doesn’t happen overnight either. Investing works in the long term, and can be devastating if you only do it short term, a.k.a day trading.

If done for long enough, investing gets you to a point where the income of a job isn’t as important anymore. At that point you can work less hours or slowly transition over to your own business. Or maybe you just want more time to be with family.

Time is designed to be spent however you want. Then it runs out and the party is over, which is why you shouldn’t waste a single minute.

Volatility is how you beat inflation

When you have a long enough time horizon, volatility is an opportunity, not a risk — themotleyfool

Time in the game beats sitting on the sidelines and waiting for prices to drop, or a recession to hit. The trouble is we’re impatient. We want investment gains yesterday, so we do dumb stuff that prevents it from happening.

Professionals have been critical of Bitcoin’s volatility. They have short memories and tiny brains.

Amazon stocks went down 90% at one point. This is the front page of the newspaper that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos posted on Twitter to remind us.

Image Credit: Jeff Bezos via Twitter

The newspaper was wrong.

Critics’ opinions are often proven incorrect and become nothing more than clickbait designed to sell ads of the companies they criticize. Over the short term any company looks wild and crazy at some point.

Crazy is often innovation in disguise — that’s what’s missed.

What I’ve learned is, it comes down to how disciplined your investing psychology is when you get punched in the face by price drops (and you will).

So much of investing is “what’s your time horizon + how much volatility can you stomach?” — Morgan Housel

Don’t build your resume. Build your assets.

If I was in my early 20s right now I’d go learn investments.

I’d start apprenticing & investing…

I’d worry less about accolades for my resume & more about assets for my portfolio.

Cashflow > Credentials

— Codie Sanchez

A resume has lost a lot of its value the same way the US dollar has.

A resume is a summary of experience and KPIs. What has real value is a portfolio of work with live examples that show execution, intelligence, problem-solving, and strong psychology so you can deal with bullsh*t.

When you have cash flow from your investments and side hustles, you don’t care as much about factory worker designed productivity anymore. You still might have a normal job, but you care less about office politics or your employer.

Oh, and with only one source of income from a job, your salary doesn’t even keep up with inflation (6.2%).

There’s a new race


Big Short investing legend Michael Burry explains the problem.

Image Credit: Michael Burry via Twitter

Let’s be honest: we get some of our investment advice from social media. Anybody who says they don’t is lying. Our minds are all influenced to some degree by social media.

If you look through a lot of tweets, for example, they’re posted by bots. Large influencers on social media call themselves Generals.

The bots are their online slaves. If they want an idea to go mainstream, or collect donations for a new Squid Games pump and dump crypto investment, they simply send their army of bots out to artificially inflate the number of comments and shares on the post.

It goes even further. I have two friends that run “bot businesses.” The bots post pre-scheduled content on a daily basis and then send users to automated email funnels that make the General rich.

Bottom line: don’t fall for investment hype. Do your own research.

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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Inflation Isn’t Temporary, It’s Permanent Theft

Money Lessons

Photo by Joshua Rondeau on Unsplash

Inflation is the one money principle you need for survival.

The topic is hotly debated right now as the US hits 6.2% inflation. If you use the pre-2020 inflation formula then you’ll get a number over 10%.

Inflation matters because it causes prices to rise. The illusion that’s happening is far deeper. Inflation is really the devaluing of a country’s currency. When you think of it like that it’s a lot more harmful than many people make out.

The devaluation of your dollars makes you get poorer.

The title of this article, which comes from money guru Steve Burns, calls it theft. I agree. You pay tax, then you pay for inflation. The rate is different for everybody and the rich can easily avoid inflation.

Inflation, the value of money, the amount of currency, what things are worth — all of it isn’t transparent. You have to be a financial expert or dig through a lot of information.

Even when you do you’ll get left confused and with more questions. Let’s dig deeper so you can better understand inflation and overcome it.

The greatest lie of the stock market

Stocks are worth $100.

Print a lot of money, stocks are now worth $200.

Tax the unrealized gain of $100 Rinse, repeat.

— Matt Huang, Sequoia Captial

Many of you are aware of the phrase “money printing. It’s where governments create money out of thin air to pay for problems, like a global health crisis. Thanks to 2020 most of you are now experts.

What Matt Huang points out in this tweet is something I’ve read at least 100 times. When trillions of dollars are created out of nowhere, it ends up in stocks. Why?

The rich know they need to outrun inflation.

Stocks going up are how they stay ahead in the race, although even that technique is being questioned now. When stocks go up and you make a gain as an investor, you pay tax. So inflating the money supply, to force people into stocks, so they end up paying capital gains tax is an interesting chain of events when you analyze it.

There is a bill in America to introduce a tax on unrealized gains. All this means is that instead of paying tax after you sell your stocks, you’ll pay tax before you’ve realized the gain.

The legislation will never get through and many believe it’s a joke. But it illustrates how bizarre the stock market many of us invest in is.

Why stocks are soaring

There’s euphoria in the streets.

The stock market is soaring and investors are roaring.

Iconic investor Paul Tudor Jones, notable client of self-help celebrity Tony Robbins, says the demand side of the US economy is $3.5 trillion greater than it would normally be because of all the money created out of thin air.

This may seem innocent. It’s not.

Jones goes on to say those trillions of dollars are “just sitting in liquid deposits that can go into stocks or crypto or real estate or can be consumed…It’s waiting to be utilized, which is why inflation will not be temporary.”

Shrinkflation equals consumer theft

Many of the consumables we buy hide inflation. Check out these examples.

Image Credit: Jessie Walczyk via Quora

The packaging changes over time to reduce how much product we get. None of us bats an eyelid. We just accept it. Again, this may seem silly. Let me join the dots for you.

The calculation used for inflation doesn’t factor shrinkflation in. So the theft from inflation looks smaller than it is.

The million-dollar question that keeps us awake at night

What’s my inflation rate, mate?

That’s what we secretly should want to know. The idea we all have the same inflation rate is stupid. Only sheep people fall for this nonsense.

A lot of why inflation sparks heated debates is because everyone spends their money differently so there’s no single inflation rate.

Your inflation may be very different than someone else’s, then people get angry that others don’t see what they see. — Morgan Housel

American Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and his team are responsible for the monetary policy that speeds up or slows down US dollar inflation, the currency most of the world’s goods are denominated in.

In a recent video it became clear that Jerome used a different inflation metric to help make inflation seem less than it is. Instead of looking at the last twelve months, he focused on the last eighteen months’ consumer prices to minimize the effect of the 2020 coroni-macaroni.

Well-known investor and star of the movie “Big Short” Michael Burry got extremely pissed off with Uncle Jerome when he found this out. He went on a rant about it on Twitter.

Inflation is often thought of as a measurement of the cost of a basket of goods. The truth is it’s way more complicated. These factors are forgotten:

  • What time horizon are we using to measure prices?
  • Who’s inflation index are we using?
  • How old are you?
  • Where do you live?
  • Do you own a home?
  • Do you have financial assets?
  • Do you drive and how much gas does your car consume?

Mind-bender: inflation is deeply personal. Calculate your own inflation rate.

Inflation can make us do dumb stuff

Once you know your inflation rate it can be a blessing or a curse. I calculated my inflation rate for the last twelve months and it’s well over 20%.

When the truth about inflation is in front of your eyes, you get angry. That’s where the problem can start. To beat the rate of inflation the only solution is to invest your money.

Investing = Risk

In the old days your savings account paid a nice amount of interest and the risk of the bank rolling up your $100 bills and smoking them was low. Now the bank can’t save you from inflation.

When you’re on your own and have to invest, it’s easy to make dumb decisions or become too arrogant.

I’m guilty of this.

Inflation can easily become the trigger for us to make a series of dumb decisions that will hold us back for years, and even destroy our families.

Inflation turns owning a home on its head

Paying off your mortgage used to be a badge of honor.

Now it’s a sign that you don’t understand how money printing and asset price inflation works — Mike Alfred

When the way we value money changes, everything else changes with it. Paying off your home used to seem smart. When you calculate the benefit of doing so using inflation, things can quickly change. Getting debt for a home allows you to access leverage. Once you pay off the home you no longer have that leverage.

You may still want to pay off your home though despite inflation.

Daniel Vassallo on Twitter said it better than I can:I paid off my mortgage because I don’t need to worry about how money printing and price inflation works.”

Don’t forget: No Debt = Less Stress.

Still, money created out of thin air fogs up the price of everything, including your home. So when you think your home has gone up, it probably hasn’t — due to inflation and money printing.

The forgotten salary theft

Inflation often doesn’t lead to any increase in salary. Businesses know that the friction and discomfort to leave your job is too much, so you’ll likely stay and continue to accept a salary that isn’t adjusted for inflation.

Even if you get the typical 5% increase, with inflation at 6.2% in America, it’s useless.

You still lose.

Then if you don’t invest that money you go even further behind.

Inflation won’t ruin the US dollar

Hyperinflation is going to change everything. It’s happening — Jack Dorsey, Twitter Co-Founder

With all of this inflation talk it’s easy to get carried away. As much as I love the visionary Jack Dorsey, I completely disagree that the high inflation we’re seeing will lead the US — and other major economies that have copied them — into a world where hyperinflation takes over.

Instead, investor Willem Middelkoop calls this normal than high inflation Super Inflation. It’s more logical that we won’t see the end of the US dollar any time soon or complete mayhem in the streets, so rest easy.

Don’t let inflation talk ruin the 2020s.

All the inflation talk boils down to this

You can only fix the inflation problem when you take life into your own hands and buy financial assets. There’s now no choice.

Confident investing (like this) beats inflation

  • Know what you’re invested in. Don’t give your money to some investment firm and hope for the best. Know the assets you own. Know exactly how much.
  • Diversify. Don’t YOLO every dollar into Dogecoin or some other popular trend. Spread your money around various assets in case you’re wrong or a random event occurs that you could never predict (like 2008 or 2020).
  • Make investing a habit. Invest money every month. That way if the markets are down or up, it doesn’t matter so much. Some months you’ll get bargains, other months you’ll overpay. Nice.
  • Have an emergency fund. Don’t put all of your money into any investment. Assume an emergency will happen and have at least six months of money to pay for it.
  • Lower your expenses. Take the savings and invest them.
  • Have multiple sources of income. Risk management is key. Assume you’re going to lose your job. Start a side hustle. Make money from more than one place. Focus on increasing the number of income sources you have as you get older. It’s never too late to start.

Even if you invest your money it’s still not enough.

Your personal inflation rate is likely quite high, and stocks or bonds aren’t enough to outpace the rising prices.

The only solution is to add some volatility to your investment portfolio. The simplest way I’ve found is to add in a tiny amount of Bitcoin and Ethereum. This will increase your overall investment returns and help lower the effects of inflation further.

Bottom line: Go from relying on luck to beat inflation — to a rock-solid plan.

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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