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Money-Making Principles I Know at 36 That I Wish I Knew at 21

by | Feb 6, 2023 | Financial Freedom, Money

At 21, I was dumb idiot with too much cum and not enough brains.

Through dumb luck I managed to build an enormous eCommerce business with 100+ employees. I should have been set for life.

But I didn’t understand the basics of money. I didn’t know what I know now at 36. Learn from my mistakes. These lessons will help you reach financial freedom sooner.

Never trade time for money long term

The role of a job is massively misunderstood.

Start with one, sure. Use a job to learn for free. But don’t stay there and rot your soul for your entire life when there’s other cool sh*t to do.

What I misunderstood as a young buck, after I left the successful business behind and got a job in banking, is a job doesn’t make you wealthy.

A job is just code for “trade time for money.”

And you’ve heard it 55,000 times before that there are only 24 hours in a day. There’s no easy way to manage everything life throws at you and be good at a job that gets you paid a boatload of money.

Sure, a few people become CEOs and make millions. But it’s rare — and these guys and gals never see their beautiful families. And hoping to reach the CEO milestone is like winning the lottery.

Probs won’t happen. So what’s the answer?

  • Passive income (make money while you sleep)
  • Digital leverage (use your wifi that gives you access to billions of people to exert effort once and earn money at a compound rate)

Working hard makes you money. Working smart sets you free — Kieran Drew

Patience makes you wealthy if you can make it past 5 years

I’ve always been an impatient little bastard.

My severe anxiety disorder did it to me. Anxious people’s minds are always stuck in the future. We always think we could be doing more to make more money. It keeps us awake at night.

The other day I read that famous author Ryan Holiday wrote for free on an unknown website between 2013 and 2018. He wrote a few popular books after 2014 but still stayed patient and wrote his free blog.

This breaks all the money rules.

He made $0 and didn’t own his distribution. Yet he kept going because he understood the power of patience.

Now he makes so much money from writing he can literally buy whatever Rolex watch he wants. I tell people the same about my online journey. I’m 9 years in.

If you stick around that long it’s how not to get good and not take home a DD-size paycheck.

The quicker you want something, the easier you are to manipulate
Shane Parrish

Understand the three levels of online income generation

Level 1

Develop skills, work hard, persist, launch an online service/product.

Level 2

Post on social media to unlock digital leverage, turn on automation, and add strategic partners or affiliates.

Level 3

Understand human psychology, upgrade your mindset, and practice spirituality.

This third level is a game I never see 99% of people play. They stay stuck on the first two levels and think they’re king/queen. 7-figure incomes are found on level three though.

The poorest people in the world have money

My wife said to me today “do you have time to play with your daughter?”

I had back-to-back work tasks on my calendar. I canceled them all so I could use her favorite Elmo toy to make her laugh.

Childhoods can’t be bought back with money. Your kids and parents only get to live today once. Don’t waste it chasing paychecks through the wastelands of the money life.

The wealthy have time. Optimize for time.

When you don’t need the money people don’t recognize you

At 21 I had huge desires.

Those desires needed mountains of cash to fund. No amount of money was ever enough — not even tens of millions of dollars.

At 36 I have almost no monetary desires. I really don’t care for most of the consumer garbage people buy. It’s only ever made me miserable and depressed beyond belief.

Now that I don’t need most people’s money they have little control over me. I don’t act out dog and pony shows and perform corporate lap dances for bosses to get a few extra $50 bills.

Most of my friends and colleagues from my 20s don’t recognize me. They think I’m weird and a bit too much of a hermit crab.

They’re out there chasing big careers and pissing their time away on dreams that have many hidden bear traps.

I can’t tell them. I won’t tell them.

What money can teach you has to be learned. It’s why I say losing a lot of my money multiple times in life profoundly affected me.

I’d heard about greed and ego, obviously. Who hasn’t? But I had to become an entitled little prick to get the message.

Aim to live a life one day where money doesn’t control you.

“Sensible people get paid for doing what they enjoy doing”

(Alan Watts)

A crucial financial principle is to make money doing something you love.

It’s cliche AF but there’s a deeper reason. When the way you earn money brings pleasure it flows through to the work itself — and the people who come into contact with it.

Work done for love naturally makes more money because it attracts more people to it. Those people then tell other people. Before you know it, you have yourself a flywheel in motion that compounds exponentially.

Don’t let brokies pollute your brain

Brokies scream about all sorts of random crap.

They claim it’s where they’re born or what some politician did to them. Or the evil nature of capitalism.

What do brokies lack? Personal responsibility.

When it comes to money, nobody is coming to save you. Take responsibility for your financial future, or let it ruin you by living rent-free in your head to drive you insane for the rest of your life.

Careful whose money ideas you let infect your brain. Don’t get into arguments with stupid people about money either. It pays zero dividends. Learn or don’t earn … it’s that simple.

Here’s how the world works in one picture:

Image Credit-Pascal Campion (follow him on twitter)

I hope you looked at this image ten times. I look at it every damn day so I never become a pretentious knob with an ego that makes my head too big to fit through a standard doorway.

The strategy to never play it safe with money again (and profit)

The fear of losing your money is scarier than a Chucky horror film.

There’s a simple way around it, and I only learned it in the last year. Once you know how to make money, and how to get money to make more money, you never fear losing it — because you know you can always make it all back again.

Get a money education and you’ll never fear financial ruin ever again.

The fountain of hidden money knowledge to self-discover

In my banking career, I used to hear colleagues say some version of “it’s time to get an MBA so I can upgrade my skills and make more money.”

Employment and college rarely teach you the real skills to make money. They’re a mirage claiming to.

The knowledge is mostly found online and through unofficial education academies. That’s because the skills needed to win the money game have drastically changed.

In a world that AI is upending, if you slow down and cruise through employment or an MBA as a way to make more money, you’ll likely get left for dead. Speed matters more than ever.

The money you make online should be reinvested into mentors and coaching programs so they can help you make more money — Aaron Will

One of the biggest sources of wasting money

Writer Sean Kernan taught me in my 30s that micro-spending is the real financial epidemic.

Micro-expenses are so predatory because the compound nature of them is lost on us over longer time horizons. You really have to sit down and do the math … and 99% of us are too lazy to.

Or we refuse to because we prefer to lie to ourselves and go “ahh it’s only 5 bucks a month mate, chill out, will ya.”

I call micro-spending the creepy weirdo that creates lifestyle creep and secretly (without permission) fondles you when you’re not watching.

Put that creep back in his box.

You’re a business whether you like it or not

Business, entrepreneurship, side hustles, making money online — it’s all got a little too taboo for my liking.

Some people hate these labels. They’d rather sleep with Big Bird from Sesame Street than sell their soul to the devil and start a business.

They miss the most important money-making principle: you’re a one-person business whether you like it or not.

You have a personal profit and loss statement defined by your income minus your expenses. And if you work a job then you’re just a solo business with one customer. There’s no escaping it.

So get over the labels and realize you’re a business. Once you do, it allows you to explore hidden wonderlands online that’ll make you more money than you could ever dream of, so you can finally be free.

If I’d learned that lesson at 21, I wouldn’t have wasted years of my life being thrown around like a rag doll in the corporate world.

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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