I started and now run a business that generates millions of dollars in sales annually with my clients. I get to keep a small percentage of that money. This stipend affords my extravagant lifestyle. This post is not about money.
Growing up, everything I learned about wealth came from either rappers or billionaires. The latter group probably had better advice, but it wasn’t as exciting. I learned a lot from my parents and community as well. But I mostly from them learned how to be poor and fine with that. I forgot that at a young age.
The day I graduated high school I became a full time “get money” guy. Married to the game, til death do us part. Money over everything. This part I learned from the rappers.
That didn’t really work. I "failed". Then I kept trying, and I kept "failing". I figured that because I genuinely wanted money and was doing something, it’d start showing up.
It didn’t. Then my heat got shut off, in December, in Michigan because I couldn’t pay the bill. The lights went off a few times. Then I had bad credit.
Then I got depressed. So I ate a lot of junk food, drank a lot of alcohol, and smoked a lot of cigarettes. That helped. But still, why did it all suck so bad? The world and everything I had expected of it betrayed me. 1,000 days in and I hadn’t really made any dent in making my millions. I was broke. Why?
The answer to that question only became apparent years later. The problem was that I was playing by rules that I made up (or learned from rap), for a game that didn’t actually exist, to get something that I didn’t really want. I resisted accepting that reality for as long as I could. Then one evening in June of 2011, lying in a pool of my own blood, almost dead, something changed.
Now I play by the real rules. These are still kind of the rules I made up. But I reached them through feedback from reality. They’re the rules that reality gave me when I was willing to listen without my own preconceptions forcing me to ignore the obvious.
These are the rules that worked.
I am not trying to solve all the world’s problems or tell you how to live your life. My goal is to find useful, actionable, workable rules that I can use for myself. I want to take an abstract concept (wealth) and make it tangible.
I’m sharing them with you now, not to dictate or to preach, but to learn more about them for myself. I’ve spent months writing this, 100s of hours, and I’m still insecure about posting it. I want your feedback. I want you to prove me wrong where I’m wrong. I want you to bring better ideas to the table. I basically want you to edit it for me for free, so that I can then turn it into a book, self publish, and sell 100,000,000 copies.
Then I can take some of that cash out of the bank and take a bath in it.
Wealth (n): The inevitable consequence of a positive value event.
And now. The 100 Rules Of Wealth. Or Guidelines. Or Casual Suggestions. Whatever You Want To Call Them.
1. Anywhere, anytime, that anyone takes a positive value action, wealth is instantly created.
This primary rule is about redundancy. Yet it inspires confidence. When you know that the outcome of wealth is inevitable the challenge is then simply to find positive value actions that you can do. That is the entire thesis of this post.
2. Wealth is always an abstraction.
Don't mistake the trappings of wealth (money, cars, houses, babes) for the actual wealth. Let wealth exist in it's own dimension, somewhere less than tangible.
3. Always choose the action that has the highest expectation of positive value.
The ideal to strive for is Max +EV. The route that provides the highest positive value. You can only take your best guess. But when you're sure that Route B has a higher +EV than route A, take Route B no matter how scary it is.
4. Avoid Creating Anti-Wealth. Ruthlessly despise all negative value actions.
Anti-Wealth (n): The inevitable consequence of a negative value event.
The opposition force to wealth. Every unit of anti-wealth you have cancels out a unit of wealth. Anti-wealth is the only force that can actually destroy wealth. Be vigilant about destroying sources of anti-wealth in your life and avoid at all costs creating any yourself.
5. Wealth is not a zero sum game.
There is an infinite amount of potential wealth and anti-wealth. You creating wealth never comes at the expense of someone else's wealth. The creation of wealth is always universally additive. So create a lot of it.
6. Understand that time is a finite, straight line depreciating asset.
Time is the great equalizer with wealth. No matter who you are you get 24 hours in a day. Every minute contains 60 seconds, which pass at a rate of 1 second per second. Every hour contains 60 minutes, which pass at a rate of 1 minute per minute. Every day contains 24 hours, which pass at a rate of 1 hour per hour.
Eventually, we all run out.
No one can escape that reality. The finite quantity of time means that you should exercise extreme caution in dealing with matters of time. Almost everything else is renewable.
7. Authority = Responsibility. Take charge of your life.
No one could reasonable be expected to take responsibility for a situation in which they have zero authority. How could they? They would be powerless. Whoever has the authority has the responsibility, they are equal.
When you become 18 (in the USA) you're imposed authority for yourself and the responsibility for management becomes yours. If you misuse your authority and "break laws" the state will exert authority over you by placing you in state custody and you will become their responsibility. Avoid letting this happen.
Since we're stuck with this authority and responsibility of self, whether we like it or not, we would be wise to exercise this authority and accept the role of ourselves as the sole executive of our life.
You own your actions. You own the consequences. The buck stops with you.
The positive side of that is the immense freedom it provides. You can literally do anything. Recognize that if another individual or institution attempts to limit those abilities (taking away your authority) without subsuming the responsibility attached, they are scamming you.
8. Wealth is non-transferrable.
You own whatever wealth you create. You can't leave it to anyone in a will. You can transfer the byproducts to other people, but the wealth is still yours.
If you spend a lot of time working in your community to build up social wealth and you succeed at it. You can't just give that to someone else. If a new person came into the group you could introduce them to all of your friends, and they could gain a lot of wealth also. But it wouldn't be you giving them your wealth, it would be you facilitating the creation of even more.
It's like using a candle to light another candle.
9. Only positive value actions can create wealth.
I have to cover these fundamental rules first. This one is just to point out that there are no other paths to wealth. The gritty truth is that you have to do the actions. There is no way to hide from it. Deal.
10. Wealth is immortal.
Wealth, left alone, exists forever. When wealth meets anti-wealth they cancel each other. The wealth we're enjoying in 2015 as a planetary community comes on the shoulders of generations of wealth created by our ancestors.
The universe might be neutral. Allowing expanding amounts of wealth and anti-wealth to be created. Or it might be random. Or it might be something else. For now, we have the ability to create wealth, eventually we'll be stardust again. It's a virtuous cycle.
11. Wealth cannot exist in a vacuum.
Wealth is inherently social. If you existed suspended in deep space, so far from everything that nothing would ever get to you, your capacity to create wealth would be virtually zero.
We create wealth relative to other people. The easiest ways to create wealth, as you're about to see, always involve other people.
12. Inactivity is a negative value action.
Inactivity creates anti-wealth. BOOM. I went there.
This does not mean that rest, sleep, relaxation, meditation, slacking off, etc are anti-wealth. This rule is completely relative.
If the goal is to create wealth in Aspect A, and there is a list of 10 potential positive value actions you could take. But for whatever reason you're not taking any action. This is anti-wealth relative to A (more on relative wealth later).
During inactivity your limited time resource continues to deplete with a 0% return.
Do anything and you win.
13. Enabling other people to create wealth leads to exponential wealth creation. Do it.
This is the first tactical rule. If you can teach someone else how to create wealth themselves then more wealth starts to exist. This is a hugely positive value action. And it's the sole purpose of this article.
14. Submit to Reality.
Intense realism is a prerequisite. In order to take actual positive value actions, you need to know the situation you're in. If you are acting on bad information, you will make blunders (careless mistakes). Careless because, more care in knowing the reality would have prevented these types of mistakes.
You must know what's there if you want to manipulate it to create wealth.
15. Discount all riches that were not earned through wealth creation.
You have to earn it. When things fall in your lap, it sucks. It really sucks. That's why lottery winners end up broke. Why trust fund kids commit suicide.
When you earn it. You know it. You feel it. And everyone that interacts with you senses it too.
The key word is to discount. DO NOT COUNT. That doesn't mean to hate or resent them. If the events of the universe happen to unfold in a way that is abnormally favorable to you, accept it, submit to that reality, and get back to creating wealth.
16. Acquire the habit of wealth.
Take a look at how you spend every day. If you've never analyzed this you probably think it will be really tough because you're unpredictable, you're different. Well, you're not. Whatever your day happens to consist of, if you're a human, it's likely virtually the same most days.
So, pick the easy things that you do everyday and ask yourself if their is a more positive value way that you could do them.
5 morning micro-behaviors that will build wealth.
A. Make your bed. Seriously, try it for a week. It is life changing. B. Brush your teeth. Actually brush your entire mouth and floss (I use a Waterpik) and mouthwash (I use Tom's). C. Consume a healthy breakfast. I drink a "protein shake" that's full of fat (via hemp milk, MCT oil, and peanut butter) and either whey or egg white protein powder. D. Drink 32oz water. I have a 32oz Nalgene water bottle that I fill up before bed and consume around the same time as I consume my protein shake. If I was capable I would space these two items out by about 30 minutes as all the liquid at once gives me 10-15 minutes of really full stomach feeling. E. Meditate (I spend about 10 minutes doing these breathing exercises)
I've found that the morning ritual is the highest leverage point. It's sort of the pace car for the rest of the day. My morning ritual often happens in the afternoon as I'm traveling often and regularly on an eratic sleep schedule. If you're not already waking up at a regular time, let the morning ritual happen naturally whenever you do wake up. I'd avoid trying to change wake up time and morning ritual simultaneously as they are two very different skills.
17. Wealth is contagious.
You'll notice if you start consciously creating a lot of wealth that it will affect the people around you in a positive way. This is one of the coolest traits of wealth.
You've heard the sayings:
"You're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."
"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."
From a wealth lens these make defensible sense. If you are surrounded by anti-wealth creators (negative nancy, do-no-gooders) you will get infected by their anti-wealth. If you are surrounded by badass wealth creators, their wealth will rub off on you.
It might make you feel bad for a moment, but if someone in your life is a serious source of anti-wealth and you don't think there is a remedy, you should drop them, full stop, no negotiation.
18. Be willing to go further.
A lot more wealth exists on the margins. Push things a bit further than other people are willing to and you'll unlock bonus wealth.
19. Wealth is amoral
Amoral simply means that wealth has no opinion on the moral vs immoral scale. It's not in that realm. And this discussion of wealth is not advising any right or wrong activity in terms of any morality. It simply analyzes value of actions.
There seems to be in our society a strong correlation between moral activity and wealth creation and immoral activity and anti-wealth creation.
At the deepest roots of wealth it is amoral. It is simply the inevitable outcome of a positive value action.
20. Cultivate Your Creative Imagination.
Your creativity and your ability to create wealth are intrinsically linked. A well heeled creative imagination will reveal opportunities for wealth that you would have missed.
Imagination is the ultimate creative force. It's the fuel in the wealth creation engine.
21. Deconstruct systems to find hidden opportunities for wealth. (+/- begin)
Look at the parts. Everything can be broken down. Your day is not "a day" it's hundreds of different moments occurring sequentially during an instance of a recurring state of you being awake.
Looking at every minute might be tedious. But look at the trends. What do you spend 50% of your day doing? Any opportunities there. The answer is always yes, but what are they?
22. Accept “Good Enough” points sometimes.
This is the anti-over-optimization rule. In order to take the maximum positive value actions, you have to not take an awful lot of other actions.
Don't work on things permanently. Do tests and experiments, incorporate the new data, and then just live.
Constantly worrying about optimizing every aspect of life (diet, sleep, hygiene, home organization, email) is a mistake. Find what is good enough for you and then be totally satisfied with it.
Eventually, as your wants/needs shift what's good enough may no longer be good enough, adjust it at that point. That's cool. But before all that you need to know what good enough looks like and then put in a plan that gets you there as quickly as possible.
This accepting allows you the freedom to take the maximum positive value actions that will come up.
It's the whole saying no to good so that you can say yes to great ideology that Warren Buffet has mentioned.
23. Don't be boring.
The most egregious offense in life is to be boring. If you're boring, people won't want to create wealth with you. They won't want to listen to you or read what you write. They won't want to be your friend. This inhibits every avenue of wealth creation.
If you're super boring and you know it, don't clap your hands. Buy a plane ticket and go to live in a foreign country for 6 months and write down 10 ideas every day while you're there.
24. Tell the truth.
When you lie, you give false information to someone. This hinders their ability to practice intense realism and seeing things as they are. This increases the likelihood that they will accidentally create anti-wealth. And it will be a consequence of your negative value action (lying). Meaning you're guilty of creating anti-wealth yourself.
Just tell the truth. Sometimes it's scary. Be scared and do it anyway. This doesn't mean that you have to tell the whole truth. You don't have to walk around blurting out your deepest secrets and all the weird sex stuff you fantasized about when you were 12. Tact is appropriate.
It just means that when you determine it's appropriate to speak, you speak truth.
25. Know yourself.
If Socrates, Shakespeare, and Drake all said it it might be true.
When you know yourself, I mean really know yourself. You see things as they are internally. This clarity gives you the ability to determine wealth creation strategies that work for you.
We all have contradictions, self defeating behaviors, flaws, bad pieces. It's what makes us human. Figuring out who you are and where gives the your consciousness power.
26. Be yourself.
Secret: It is completely impossible to be anyone other than exactly who you are.
So don't even try. Don't pretend. Whoever you find out that you are, be that.
People can intuitively tell if you're pretending to be something other than who you are. You feel like a phony. And nobody wants to be friends with a fucking phony dude!
So just be yourself.
Try to be the most you that you can be. You'll beat everyone else.
There is this peculiar thing about humans. We all tend to think we ought to be different than exactly who we are. That who we are is somehow not good enough.
Where does this come from? I don't know. Maybe it was maybelline commercials. Or religion telling us that we're all sinners.
I suggest a different view. What if we're not all sinners? What if we just are. What if whoever we happen to be is totally fine? I think it is. I invite you to join me.
27. Love yourself.
Read another way, "accept yourself." Once you can manage to figure out who you are and accept that, self love seems to follow. You can have a really intimate and fun relationship with yourself if you'll stop viewing yourself as damaged goods.
You'll start to see all of the good parts that you used to ignore. You'll stop labeling parts as good and bad and just instead call them parts.
Self love is immensely attractive. It's common sense. And by recognizing it and practicing it you'll effortlessly unlock all sorts of wealth.
28. Be Completely Intolerant.
Tolerance is judgment. Tolerance is saying, "I don't approve of this thing. But I'll put up with it because X."
Tolerance is rude. Tolerance is condescending. Be completely intolerant.
Instead practice non-judgmental acceptance. Fully accept whatever it is that you find out to be true (submit to reality) and that's it.
As a matter of personal standards you can choose what you want to have in your life. If your willing to fully accept a person for what they are, and recognize that they are not someone you want in your life, you can let them go.
By tolerating them you are basically emotionally blackmailing them. Always holding some resentment over their head about a way they are (whether either of you are aware of it or not). You are reinforcing to them that they should not be exactly how they are and making it less likely that they'll be creating wealth at full capacity.
Zero tolerance. 100% acceptance of reality. No judgements, only preferences.
29. Be A Great Leader.
A great leader requires followers. The combination of a great leader and loyal followers can, and regularly do, change the world forever. Sometimes with wealth. Sometimes with anti-wealth.
Be a great leader and create wealth, please.
5 Ways To Be A Great Leader.
A. Telling the truth. B. Knowing yourself. C. Leading from the front (show the way, don't tell the way). D. Working on developing your followers. E. Deciding where you're going, and then going there.
On the journey of massive wealth creation you are inevitably going to have to lead at some points. To get the maximum positive value, take the time to learn and practice being really good at leading.
30. Be A Great Follower.
Don't underestimate the value of following. Followers enable leaders to be powerful. And everyone has to be a follower in some ways.
If you read any real argument by groups of people online (facebook comments, reddit, etc) you typically see the followers of Side A ridiculing and condescending the followers of Side B (usually for being stupid followers of Side B) and vice versa.
Whether someone is a hero or a terrorist depends entirely upon your politics.
That being said, when it suits you to follow, be awesome at it. Try to understand the goals of the leader in the context and try to help them reach their goals.
Which brings us to our next rule.
31. Help people get what they want.
Helping people reach their goals is a serious wealth creation activity. If you're further down the path in some important area, take some time out to talk with the people that aren't as far down that path and try to help them keep moving.
Help people make new friends. Help people get laid. Help people find jobs. Help people move.
You need some consent to help people, you can't just do it all willy nilly. Luckily in order to find out what people want (not what you think they need) you have to talk to them. Get to the core of their wants and then offer your help. When people feel understood, they'll take your help.
And then... wealth.
32. Help people to be better than you are.
Get comfortable with people passing you. A lot of people feel important by talking down to people they perceive as beneath them and giving them "advice". EWWWWWW.
Don't be that person. The concept of one individual being better or worse than another individual is not for anyone living to decide. When it matters, it's obvious and doesn't need stating. When it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter.
So, we're all just at some stage of being alive currently. Accept that. If you're making a middle class income and you're help causes someone to found a billion dollar business, be super happy for them. Don't sue them.
33. Don’t worry about who owns the wealth.
As long as you are spending your time taking positive value actions, you're going to have plenty. Wealth is abundance.
Seneca wrote, "What is the limit to a mans wealth? First, having what is essential. Second, having what is enough."
Enough is, as much as you can use. Attaining enough, in terms of all of your needs isn't too difficult. Keep taking positive value actions and you'll get there.
34. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do.
If you do something that you think is bad, you're going to create anti-wealth. You'll feel dirty, maybe guilty. This mood is an anti-wealth mood. Just don't do things that you wouldn't do.
35. Leave people as soon as you know you have to.
This rule is a prelude to the next rule. Every moment spent with someone that you know you can't be with anymore is a moment of anti-wealth creation. Walk out the door.
36. Don’t try to change people.
Trying to change other people is a bad idea. Anyone that makes their living trying to change other people would likely disagree.
There can be value in coaching relationships, mentoring, instructors, etc. Wealth can be created there. There can also be a lot of wasted time (massive anti-wealth) chasing non existent rabbits.
Rule 36 applies to your personal relationships. You should not try to coach, mentor, or instruct your friends/lovers/parents. You should be an adult. They should be an adult.
What follows it that they have absolute authority and responsibility for themselves. And you for you. You trying to change them is an attempt at coopting their authority to suit your own preference. Read: Asshole.
Since you cannot accept any of the responsibility it is inappropriate, and anti-wealth, to try to change them.
This is referencing non-consensual change. Where you'd prefer someone be different than they are, while they are fine with their behavior.
If a matter is consensual, and they want the change themselves (without you forcing it upon them) then providing assistance is good and noble. But that doesn't mean you should coach them. You shouldn't coach them. This task is important to outsource.
37. Love Unconditionally.
Don't say, "I love you because X." That makes it conditional. Just say, "I love you." If asked for explanation create an infinite loop, "I love you because I love you."
If someone wants an explanation they are feeling insecure. Giving them an answer, however nice sounding, will only make them feel more insecure.
"I love you because you're sweet, kind, funny, charming, beautiful, and amazing in every way." There is a high likelihood that their own self image does not consistently hold that opinion. So they'll recognize that what you believe to be true about them, and what is actually true about them are in conflict. This creates fear of being exposed. All this punishment because you complemented your wife.
Just love. It's it's own reward. It doesn't need to be quantified or explained, that it exists is awesome, enjoy every second of it that you can.
38. Admire Wealth
Don't be jealous of other people's wealth. Don't measure yours as compared to theirs. When you see people winning wealth, be happy for them, cheer them on, encourage them to keep going. And then keep creating wealth.
Drop the language of the 99% vs the 1% or the haves vs the have nots. Those are all commentaries on economic disparity of a first world economy. They are so irrelevant to wealth.
Plenty of financially rich people earned their fortunes through wealth creation. These individuals deserve admiration and emulation. Not condemnation.
Wealth is good. The more of it there is, the more that can be created.
39. The Survival Rule. Don't die.
When dead your ability to influence additional wealth creation ends. You may have some legacy which creates it's own wealth in your absence but you as the captain of the ship will end. Which will mean a permanent limitation on your wealth creation.
For this reason and more, avoid dying. Don't commit suicide on purpose or by accident. Try to stay alive and healthy for as many years as you can, and create wealth the entire time.
40. Practice Proper Expectation Management.
Most conflict in relationships is the result of improper expectation management. Avoid conflict; create wealth.
The 3 Sides Of Expectation Management:
A. Your expectations of yourself. B. Your expectations of others. C. Others expectations of you.
Align all 3 centers with reality. Know yourself and cultivate realistic expectations of yourself and accept them, that way you aren't letting yourself down. Pay attention to the reality of other people and recognize what you can and cannot expect from others, that way you're not feeling let down by others. And make it painfully obvious what others can expect from you, so that there is no confusion.
This sort of alignment promotes a delicious harmony in human to human relationships. That harmony in and of itself creates wealth, and people within it have an expanded capacity to create more wealth.
41. Use consent to build wealth.
All you really need is consent.
Don't help other people without consent, as discussed earlier. But also recognize what consent is.
An informed person saying yes. It's always temporary and clearly defined. The less temporary and the less clearly defined the higher the likelihood of conflict.
I'm a fan of micro-consent. Using consent in everyday conversations to get what I want. It's just asking for permission.
"Hey, is now a good time to talk? Can we chat for 5 minutes?"
The response tells me everything I need to know. If they respond yes, it means that I'm very likely going to have 5 minutes of their primary attention (I wouldn't dare say undivided). Which is immensely valuable. If they say no, I can wait until another time.
Consider the other option, "hey"
wait for response of generic hey
"how are you?"
wait for response of generic fine
5 minutes goes by without a conversation actually beginning. Don't suck at communicating. Ask for what you want and get the consent of the person you want it from. If you don't you will either annoy or rape people, and both are terrible things to do.
42. Wealth is leverage. Use it accordingly.
You can't straight up sell it. But you can sort of sell your wealth indirectly, using byproducts.
It's a universal lever. With enough creative imagination you can usually leverage one area of wealth into another area.
If you have knowledge wealth you can write a book and get financial wealth for it. If you have social wealth you can open a social business like a bar and get financial wealth for it.
Using this leverage is a good thing. It increases the wealth you already have and creates new wealth in a new area. Win win.
43. Any transaction must be agreed upon in advance by all parties.
This is good business. And good wealth creation.
A transaction is an exchange. It is essential that both parties know exactly what exchange is taking place and what they are agreeing and committing to. Don't leave anything to chance.
Any vagueness in the transaction leads to at least one, usually both sides feeling as if they were somehow cheated or misled.
Make things clear. And don't overstep the arrangement of any transaction.
44. Always require compensation when performing a service.
Don't work for nothing. Getting taken advantage of is anti-wealth. It's your job to make sure it's not happening.
You don't have to be paid in money. Although it's good to be paid in money.
Appreciation can be an acceptable form of compensation, if you feel good about it. But make sure the person is aware they are paying and that they deliver.
45. You can’t sell someone something if they don’t realize it exists.
This is the "marketing rule." Broadcast what's for sale as clearly and loudly and inoffensively as you can. Get the word out.
Then let people make a decision. But first, offer them the choice.
This goes for selling products, selling yourself, selling an idea, selling out, whatever. Exposure wins.
46. Don’t take unfair advantage of people.
Don't allow 10 units of anti-wealth to be created by someone else in order for you to get 5 units of wealth. It's a net 5 anti-wealth move and that's on you.
Pay people what their worth. Pay what products are worth. Try to create win win situation. Don't screw people over to get ahead. We all know the type of people that do this and nobody likes them. As a result they don't create too much wealth.
Sometimes there are zero sum scenario's in which things are win lose. If you've both entered into the scenario consensually, then you are in a competition and it's OK to be ruthless.
47. If you want to have great sex, build sexual wealth.
If more people, had more consensual sex, the world would be a better place. Do your fucking part.
Learn everything you can about sex. Read up on it. Learn how to give massages. Learn how to get yourself off. Learn how to get yourself off using someone else's body. Learn how to help other people get off. Help other people get off.
Talk to potential sex partners about sex. Give them lots of time to warm up (days, weeks, months, years, forever). It's a very personal topic and people have different views about it. But from my experience, if a person is comfortable with me they are usually up for an open, honest discussion about sex. If a person is uncomfortable with me, fix that first.
Let the people that you would like to try sex with know that you would like to try sex with them.
Take sexual pressure off of people. Don't "try to fuck people." It turns everyone off. Your sexual activity should consist of satisfying the demands of current sex partners primarily, with a brief amount of time spent on planting seeds for new sex partners.
Letting someone that you think is hot know that you're open to sex with them is not "trying to fuck them." It's a bounce pass of bang potential, and in my view it's incredibly polite.
Trying to fuck them is different. It's an attempt at subtlety. It's indirect asking of boring questions when all you really want is sex. Just get to the point and you're already a step ahead. Don't give ultimatums though, that'd be lame.
This topic could and someday may occupy it's own book. But another time perhaps.
Seriously though, if you're not having sex. How many people in the last month have you talked openly with about sex and asked for sex?
48. Destroy Distractions
Distractions are mini anti-wealth creators. They hurt your creative imagination capacity and your overall productivity suffers.
Create Distraction Free Zones for when focus is necessary. Turning off phones, disconnecting the internet, locking doors, etc. These are all appropriate options when necessary.
When focus isn't necessary then distractions aren't distractions, they are opportunities.
49. Be Proactive
Proactive action is action that you decided to do, of your own accord. These actions are capable of being well thought out, reasoned, understood, and highly positive. They are your best guesses and you should trust them.
Reactive action is action that you do as a result of external circumstances. Emails, phone calls, all other manner of correspondence from other people. There are times when reactive behavior is essential. Those times are spontaneous environmental situations. Braking in traffic to avoid an accident.
Habitual reactive behavior is limiting to wealth creation. You're actions are always being decided by someone other than yourself. And it's often by someone who isn't aware that they are making such an important decision on your behalf. The ship is captained by a blind man.
Potential bad news bears. Instead trust yourself. Setup systems for dealing with routine things. You can't entirely escape reactive behavior, but you can schedule and limit it so that it's potentially negative effects are limited.
50. Learn how to tell stories. Then tell your story.
You have this awesome, unique, colorful story for your life. You just haven't realized it yet. Because you don't know how to.
So learn how to tell stories.
A good story grabs the listeners attention and engages their imagination by being relevant. Dramatics, outrageousness, sex, and swearing grab people's attention. Also kittens and celebrity gossip.
Don't worry too much about facts, or the weather, or time unless any of them are somehow essential to the story.
Read up on story telling. 30 minutes of research will make you better than most people. Then practice. Then tell your story.
If you don't know your story, you won't be able to connect to it, and people won't be able to connect to you.
51. Build wealth through subtraction.
You can begin by strategically subtracting as much anti-wealth from your life as you can. And rudely halting any of your anti-wealth creating behaviors.
But there is more.
"Perfection is not when there is nothing left to add, it's when there is nothing left to subtract." - Antoine de Saint Exupéry
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction."
It's easy to focus all of our attention on the external, on the achievements from outside, on the getting things done. It's all additive and that makes sense.
Much more difficult is to focus on subtraction. Throwing things away that aren't of use (declutter). Cutting out things you like/want/need but that are bad for you. Letting go of grudges, hurts, shame, guilt, or any other negative vibe from perceived past transgressions.
Cutting out 190 other rules of wealth because they "didn't have it".
52. Listen to people.
Really listen. Just listen. Just shut up, hold your tongue and listen. The brilliant thought that you just have to get in before you forget isn't that brilliant and it will still be there in a few seconds or minutes if it really matters. Let people ramble.
My own method is to simply meditate, with my eyes open (looking at the speakers eyes) while listening. I actually do the meditative process that I do alone in the dark, only in a well lit room with someone.
The effect is to create a very intimate and primal connection between myself and the speaker. My eye contact feels from them as if I'm staring into their soul. My silence creates dead air that they keep filling with more words. They feel great because someone is genuinely interested and listening and hearing them.
I actually hear a lot more of what someone is saying. The mediation causes me to silence a lot of the "other thoughts" that would have been running through my head, which creates a lot of space for the words of the speaker to fill. I recall full sentences and paragraphs of what people are saying to me in real time when I am simply listening and hearing.
They will let you know when they want you to talk. But sometimes they just want to be heard. Help people get what they want.
53. Develop Strategic Partnerships. A lot of them.
Finding people to collaborate with is smart. So long as they are solid Joe's and the collaborative scope is defined.
Know yourself and find someone that could benefit from your talents who has some talents that you want and make a transaction.
I could not possibly act on all of the ideas I come up with. If I tried to, I would get nothing done. But I can take an idea that I really believe in, spend a weekend on it, with a partner, and give it to them to run.
I am always, ALWAYS cultivating partnerships. I try to figure out where people are talented and make a note (an archived, searchable note in Evernote) of that. Then if I find myself in need of that talent, I can reach out to them and setup a partnership.
Or, as is much more often the case. If I find someone else in need of that talent I can introduce the two and get a lot of credit for very little work.
My network is still relatively small. As I've only been consciously practicing this for a few months. But it's growing, and that's fun.
54. Make it as easy as possible for people to say yes to you.
When asking people something where you want a yes. Try to get them to the yes before you ask. Give them all of the information they need. Answer all of their challenges before they ask them. Make them a confident yes before you pop the question.
If you ask for something, and they say yes instantly, you done good kid.
If analysis is required, find out what they are analyzing and recognize that you overlooked that (or didn't answer it satisfactorily) in advance.
In many situations this effort doesn't take place over one conversation. It takes place over days, weeks, months, or years.
The best approach I've found is to make the "post yes" automatic for them.
People fear commitment and unknown. So if saying yes means that they will likely be expected to do something (that they might not be good at or comfortable with especially) or that they would be agreeing to further activity that they might not want to do, they will default to no. Even if they really want to do the thing. They will think themselves out of it.
So I've found that when chatting with potential sex partners.
Option A: Hey dude, wanna bone sometime? is measurably less effective than. Option B: Consider this. I'd like to take you, bend you over something soft, pull your pants down to your knees, and fuck you. If you ever want to, just use the password, "INSERT YOUR PASSWORD HERE" and I'll take care of the rest. I often use 'fuck me' as the password.
This creates a situation where the other party can simply close their eyes, nervousness and all, say two words, and get the experience that they want. No psychoanalysis needed. No thought necessary.
55. Transparency. Don’t hide your wealth.
Wealth is social. It's nothing to be ashamed of. And there is absolutely no downside to people knowing that you have it. It gives other people the chance to admire wealth. If someone seeks you out and resents your wealth, they're just an anti-wealther and can be discarded.
This isn't an encouragement of gaudiness. Or any type of monetary weather creation at strip clubs. Taste is a matter of taste.
But it does more good than harm being publicly available for reference. It can then be the topic of discussion and research.
56. Choose your followers carefully.
The first followers you get are incredibly important. They end up training a lot of your subsequent followers behavior. For that reason, it's important to get to know your first followers. Talk to them. Have standards for what you'd like them to be. Convey those standards. Do a lot for them. And don't ever get too big for them.
57. Always analyze value without emotion.
Value is a logic question. What is the expected positive value of this action? Or is this action likely to create positive or negative value? This is logic. Not emotion. Don't let emotion cloud your logical reasoning.
58. Be Prolific
Whatever you do, do that more than other people are doing that. Be prolific. You win that way.
Not everything will be great. Some of it will suck. But after 500 at bats you'll have done some individually valuable things and the sum total will be greater than the parts.
59. You can only do what you can do. Make the best decision you can.
When making a logical decision about value (which is the realm in which value exists) do not let emotions influence you (which are not logical). Don't make decision when angry, hungry, tired, etc that matter.
What is reality? Determine the answer and make the best decision that you can. Train yourself to recognize when your making emotional decisions by asking yourself if you are making an emotional decision before making decisions.
59.5. You could only have done what you did. You made the best decision you could. Don't waste another second feeling regret, remorse, guilt, shame, etc.
Whatever you did in the past, you were the type of person that would do that thing at that time. There is no escaping that. The past is fixed. That's OK. Shake it off and move forward with creating wealth. Letting a past mistake eat you up just makes you an anti-wealth machine. And you are capable right now of deciding to create wealth instead.
60. Hindsight is not 20/20.
Hindsight means that you are recalling something from memory. Memory is not close to 20/20. It is snapshots that pop into your head for a few microseconds that represent a distorted and altered view of one single perspective of a past event.
Memory is not what it appears.
61. Know how to get money from people.
When appropriate, ask people to give you money. If you're selling something, or doing a transaction, get the money ASAP.
Don't forget to get the money.
Never forget to get the money.
62. Don’t give people discounts. Don’t take discounts from people.
Discounts are shady. If a store tells me that these $100 jeans are 50% off, this is what I hear.
Hey dummy. We have these jeans that are worth an absolute maximum of $50. We spent a lot of time trying to find some sucker to pay $100 for them, oh boy that would have been great, but no one bit. So, clearly your shrewd and if you want to take advantage of this special offer, we'll let them go to you for $50.
Even if these are some amazing jeans that cost $70 manufacture, that is the conversation that happens in my head.
Just tell me how much money you want for it, and I'll say yes or no. How about that?
On the issue of giving people discounts, the same effect happens. If you are a $50/hr graphic designer. But you do some work for a friend for $25/hr, as a favor. You're not really a $50/hr graphic designer, you're a $25/hr graphic designer.
Definitely in your friends eyes (since they are willing to pay you that). Logically in your own eyes (since you are willing to accept that). And as a result if you were open and honest that would be the case with future employers.
Charge what you are worth. If someone can't afford you, they can't afford you. That's no one's fault. You don't have to solve all the worlds problems.
The last piece. When you take a discount from someone (suppose you're the one giving $25/hr instead of $50/hr) you're increasing the likelihood that you will get shitty work done and eventually have a higher total cost than if you'd just paid $50/hr. You are also arranging things so that your relationship with this paid help begins on a note of resentment and bitterness. That's just crazy.
If someone is asking for $50/hr and is actually worth $25/hr then don't consider them for the position. Find someone that knows their worth and demands it, and pay it to them. You'll get a relationship that creates a lot more wealth for all parties involved.
63. Always ask for discounts.
This rule is a deliciously clear contradiction to the previous rule. But it stays, nonetheless.
If you don't ask for discounts you will end up overpaying. That's just the rule. Since the business model of a lot of businesses involves inflated retail prices. Asking for discounts can unlock access to a whole new (lower) price level.
It also conveys adequate value of yourself as a customer, which is appropriate. You are giving your money to people in exchange for something. You should value your money a lot and make sure that what you're getting is worth it.
Most people don't ask for discounts.
The other side of this is to help overcome any "poverty mindset" thinking when it comes to money. For this reason, the cheaper the product is, the better.
Ask for a discount on a cup of coffee. Or a toll.
The poor person says, "Why would I ask for a discount on something so small?" Meaning that getting proper value is only necessary on large interactions.
It's a misconception behind the reason of a discount. A poor person might ask for a discount because they actually do not have enough money to purchase the product. That's 1 reason (and if you ever find yourself in that situation you should be asking for discounts on the tiniest of things).
But the rationale behind us asking here is to get the price to reflect the actual value of the product. And also, to train ourselves to ask for things that we would like and not be attached to the outcome.
64. Avoid “worst case scenario” reasoning.
"At least it's not that." Insert anything.
Worst case scenario reasoning looks at the ultimate bad and expresses relief at having avoided it. It's most often elicited as a defense mechanism.
I heard it most recently from a friend that was trying to quit smoking and kept falling back into it. "At least I'm not completely addicted to cocaine and doing it every single day. I could be."
This is unfortunately sound logic. But it points all of our navigation systems in the wrong direction. Rather than being proactive and moving towards a desired imagined outcome. We are stuck being completely reactive, simply hoping to avoid complete damnation, side stepping around a pile of shit.
Look for the best case scenario, and devise the best strategy for getting there. Worst case scenario reasoning should be used only when you are crippled by fear related to a specific action. In this case, you can analyze the worst case scenario of taking the specific action. This often bolsters confidence towards taking the action (as the downside in reality wasn't as bad as imagined).
65. Become an expert at making purchase decisions.
This way, you don't waste money. Which creates wealth. It's not that the pennies or dollars you saves turns into a billion dollars. Simply that frugality is a trait that wealthy people practice. It is the opposite of careless, blind action.
Learn the best places to shop for the best quality/price. Understand the difference between price and value. Find the right balance for your pocketbook.
66. Don’t every buy vacation property.
Just please... Don't do it... Anywhere that you want to vacation already has a ton of prebuilt vacation property that they let you rent, without any notice, upon arrival for as long as you want. They are called hotels.
Spending $15-30,000 to buy a 1/52 ownership interest in a condominium worth a maximum of $60,000 is not a wise investment.
Also, don't be swayed by any of the, "we're not a timeshare" vacation ownership, vacation club, or any other revamped language of this legal but very suspect industry.
Rent all vacation items on an at will, as needed basis. Then, when you leave your vacation, all of the headaches and costs are someone else's concern.
67. Ownership is over rated.
Ownership of anything is over rated. There are some things you really need to own depending on where you live. It's usually impractical to rent a car long term. So if you need one and aren't in a city where Uber or Zipcar is an economic or available solution.
But for most things, ownership is over rated.
From Bill Bur, "You don't want to be the guy with the yacht. You want to be the guy that's friends with the guy with the yacht. You show up with a six pack of beer and you're a fucking hero."
As we move more and more into the sharing economy, owning will become less and less fashionable.
68. Only buy 3 things.
A. The Essentials - Food, Clothes, Shelter, Water, Soap, Transportation, Etc.
B. Your Obsessions - The things you're obsessed with, spend liberally on them (provided you've covered the essentials).
C. Wealth Creation Vehicles. Buy as many wealth creation vehicles as you can. These are investments. Stocks: Go for passive ownership of the S&P500 via Vanguard's VOO fund. Avoid all mutual funds. Anything non-market, buy things where the price at which you can buy them and the actual value has a discrepancy.
69. Fish where the fish are.
Whatever aspect it is that you're trying to take positive value actions in, find out where the people that mesh with that are at, and then just go there.
Don't waste your time trying to herd unsuspecting fish to your pond (website, business, etc) this is high effort, low reward. Instead, go to the fish, swim with them, let them get used to you. And then start pulling fish for your pond (but don't startle the other fish). If you're really good at broadcasting yourself you won't ever have to directly pull fish, they'll just find out on their own and chase you down.
70. Talk really well.
It's simple. But most of us have trouble with it. Talk really well. Talk to people really well. Talk in front of people really well. Be good at talking well.
Speak clearly, so that you're heard. Say what you mean. Have some rehearsed, default material that works to steer conversations into if you want. Pay every attention to your audience while speaking and adjust to their feelings.
71. Leave the door open.
If you have to break things off with someone (permanently or temporarily). Or if someone has to break things off with you. Leave the door open.
Meaning, say something that invites future connection or reconciliation. On your terms...
This is useful even when things end on good terms. Let people know that they are always welcome around you (unless they aren't, then let them know that they aren't and why).
72. Never rely on convention. Always seek truth.
Conventional wisdom is riddled with bad ideas. It goes from generation to generation casually, it's all of the things that we just know.
Consider that the origin dates of some of this conventional wisdom came from people that supported owning other humans as property, so maybe they weren't right about everything?
Convention is extremely resilient, until it is broken, and then within a generation we look back on what used to be conventional wisdom as barbaric.
If you follow conventional wisdom you can only be as smart as everyone else at the time. Which means that historically you won't be special.
73. Eschew education in favor of learning.
Education is a system by which curated knowledge is delivered to groups.
Learning is what happens when you learn. Conventional wisdom says that education is the system by which we learn.
Find out how you learn. Then just learn. Whether it's inside the classroom or out. Take authority for your own learning and start to direct your course. It's never too early or too late to start.
74. There is always low hanging fruit to be picked. Pick it!
"If only I'd had the idea for Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Instagram, iPhones, or something else back in the day."
There is this pervasive idea that all of the low hanging fruit of our generation has been picked and now those companies will just be cashing in.
Every year we hear this. Then next year something unthinkable comes along and changes it all. At which point we complain that the last low hanging fruit was just picked. Then the next year comes along, repeat.
The landscape of the world 10 years from now is going to contain ubiquitous products that no one has imagined yet. And once they exist, they will be completely obvious.
This is the cycle of innovation and it keeps getting shorter. The amount of time between us being wowed by a new product and us taking it for granted halves every 18 months. This is called Laubaugh's Law.
75. Avoid trends. Everybody doesn’t need to do the same thing.
Spotting trends means that you have an insight that something is going to be a trend before it's trending. That's valuable.
Jumping onto what's trending while it's trending, much less cool. This isn't about the constantly changing trending section on Twitter. It's about wealth.
Buying X stock because everyone else is buying X stock = recipe for disaster.
The majority is always wrong.
Instead work on your own things. Wherever they happen to be. And do them in the highest positive value way that you can figure out. Let people know about it as you do.
76. Cast a wide net of learning, but attack your vocation with conviction and ferocity.
Don't be a jack of all trades, master of none.
Instead, go for jack of a lot of trades, master of one, maybe two, rarely more than that.
Try on lots of hats. Learn casually and constantly. This is sharpening your mental sword. Have a diverse set of knowledge, skills, and contacts. That's all great.
But when it comes to your primary vocation, your calling, your thing, your obsession. Attack, hold nothing back. Ruthlessly dominate it and destroy anything that gets in the way. Do this with your eyes open, smiling.
If you don't have this vocation yet, that's fine. Slack off. Keep learning a lot about a lot of different things. Keep creating wealth. Over time this vocation will reveal itself to you, and you'll know when you know. You won't have to ask. Once you know, don't turn back.
77. Avoid the trap of competition. Be a capitalist.
In business competition is for losers. The more competitive a market, the less profit. That means less innovation. Instead create an entirely new market to replace the old market, wherein you have zero competition. Then you'll create lots of wealth (exponential) and accumulate capital.
78. Don’t wait.
Avoid allotting things to times in the future where it's convenient. Someday never comes.
Force it now, even when it hurts. What is "it"? Whatever you have to do to create wealth. Anything you discover that's a limitation, write it down and analyze it. Is it really an impossible, permanent situation?
If the answer is yes, then it is no problem it's simply a condition. Research how a person with condition X would be able to do Y, ask experts.
If the answer is no, then beat it down and get to work.
Not tomorrow, not next week, not next semester, not next season, not after college, not after the kids move out, not after retirement, not at some point before you die. Go do it now.
Waiting is for losers. It's inaction. It's anti-wealth. Go do you.
79. Be relentlessly resilient.
Resilience is getting back up when you fall down over and over again. Blood, sweat, tears and all. It doesn't take being superhuman. It just takes accepting that you're going to get back up, no matter what.
The relentless aspect of this gives it insurance. Don't just get back up, get back up aggressively. When you crash and then jump out smiling ready for the next gig you disarm everyone. People rally behind that. No one rallies behind the whining loser laying on the ground.
You are going to get slapped in the face by reality. You are going to find yourself scared, terrified. You are going to run down the wrong path for a while and then have to repeat boring things. It won't be pretty and neat and linear. And all of that is OK. Just get in the game, and start getting results, then adjust and adapt.
80. Break ALL The Rules. Except not dying
Rules are made to be broken? Maybe. But try to recognize what this writing experiment is for. Taking a practical view on wealth and creatively coming up with ways to create wealth.
Don't treat the writer like a guru, he's not. Don't treat these words like scripture, they aren't.
They are simply the best attempt. Version 1.0. They may be ugly, poorly written, and *gasp* wrong! But some of them are right. Find the right, correct the wrong via comments, and we might just find ourselves with an evolving, good enough imperfect document to make life a little more awesome.
timestamp: 10:44am Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Written from Grand Rapids, Michigan.