The day I will become a millionaire

You’ve likely already found or at least seen the very best things (whether you know it or not). Make them count.

I’ve always wondered about the use of this information. DHH is not the first nor the last, as he himself says, to somehow disseminate this information “through clever or modest-profound” ways. Why do rich people feel the need to inform us the rest that there is no holy grail on the other side of “the curtain”?

If one is poor, as DHH says too, basic needs will trump any idea of buying a Lamborghini. These advice are for us, the well fed, properly clothed, educated, essentially “not rich” people, who apparently already have all the good things in life, but are keen on ignoring them.

But, in my opinion, we, the not rich people, know the best things in life are free. I can hardly find a more touted truism: money can’t buy happiness. Everybody knows that. Its like a huge confusion here: most people on planet Earth are sane, good, nice folk. Sane, good, nice folk do not expect money to define them. Sociopaths, assholes, “those who might contemplate giving up all manners of integrity, dignity, or even humanity to” get rich, are a humble small minority, and most definitely they will not read such information nor be impressed by rich people explaining their self away.

I wonder, is it some form of justification that not everyone is Elon Musk? Is this advice a way of justifying not living up to the opportunity wealth really provides? Otherwise, why would one, an otherwise nice person, who has what so many people want, feel like doing a good thing by taking the magic out of it, with well crafted, modest, assertions? I feel it is like having two good arms and going to someone who only has one and explaining, as good as you can, that having two arms is not as great as they think. And all while being modest about it: describing how it is actually really great, but just not as great as the one armed person thinks it is. Does that help?

Money buys time, time equals freedom, therefore money buys freedom.

This. For a human being, a primate that has no way of explaining why it exists, but who is constantly conscious of its temporary brief and absurd experience, there is not one single more precious thing than freedom. Freedom comes from owning your time. That is why our social punishment is called “doing time”, not so much doing “deprivation of freedom”. As humans, we have intelligence and we have some awareness. These two can take us about anywhere. But we lack time. Because we lack time, freedom is the ability to enjoy every hour of our time, no matter how little, in personal and meaningful ways.

Again, this is what money buys: the ability to enjoy every hour of your time,no matter how little, in personal and meaningful ways. Money buys your hours from life itself, or from society, or sometimes even from your biology.

Privilege doesn’t replace wealth.

Then there is this form of guilt or pride, depends on the individual, that equates privilege with wealth. They are not the same thing, at all.

Privilege does not beget freedom. Privilege begets benefits. Benefits are nice. That is why it is hard to acknowledge privilege, because the privileged does not feel any more free than the underprivileged. But look at benefits and then it becomes clear!

Wealth does beget freedom. If we’d be eternal beings wealth would not matter. But as limited in time as we are, we should seriously consider getting rich. Getting rich is a good and worthwhile life goal. Just like all other worthwhile life goals, not better, but definitely not worse.

Yet, denying wealth’s power to beget freedom appears as part of a human behavior. Happily married people tell sad single valentines that marriage is not all milk and honey, and that they should enjoy their lonely Christmases more. All while basking in their blessed coupledom, feeling safe in death because their offspring make them feel like the future is ahead. From top CEOs explanations pour down the organization chart of how success is not the pinnacle of personal achievement. All while blushing at the embarrassing disparity between their world recognition and the iron anonymity of the folk doing the actual work.

This is crazy, but still better that trying to wipe off the light around wealth. Even religion had to cope with it, from Rockefeller’s famous “God gave me money”, to the Protestant work ethic which, more or less, reflects accumulation into salvation.

Money do not define yourself. You define yourself. Money do not create happiness, you create happiness. But money do help carving out diverse self defining experiences. Money do help in the endless fine tuning that happiness requests. It is that simple: non particular happiness is enlightenment, non experimental self actualization is transcendence. Enlightenment and transcendence have very little to do with money, but all the same they have very little to do with the social normative imprinted on you, and expected from you.

The day I will become a millionaire I will encourage everyone to become one too. I will explain, first hand, about the opportunity to live life to the fullest for real, not the lobotomized advertising idea of it. I will tell my fellow humans about the true direct visceral experience of being free to reach your beautiful human potential.

The day I will become a millionaire I will not shy away to inform that you’re likely not to have found, nor seen, the very best things (things you know about) and wealth does definitely help in making your life count.

I didn’t learn how to apply

“Stop learning. Start applying”, wow, lovely article. I so want to apply the advice to apply. But i didn’t learn how to apply. In all seriousness, i do not know how to apply what i learn.

Currently life is all focused on knowing, knowing from learning. I am a receptacle of information from dawn till dusk. I am so busy taking information in that i cant get any time to put some action out.

How? Well, Alanis said it best:

You live, you learn.

I am working. I am writing. I am exercising. I am creating. I am loving. I am organizing. I am planning. I am growing. I am living. I do all these things, but none of them seem to be like really applying what I learn. They are simply more learning.

At work I learn everyday what works and what doesn’t. While writing i learn constantly what gets read and what doesn’t. Exercising, I learn everyday how much i can commit physically. You live you learn. It is not, you live you apply.

I came to believe that in order to apply you need a Timeout!

In sports, a time-out is a halt in the play. This allows the coaches of either team to communicate with the team, e.g., to determine strategy or inspire morale, as well as to stop the game clock., Wikipedia

If you want to apply, you must first stop. Stop. Stop learning. Stop working, stop planning, stop loving, stop living, stop growing.

OMFG! What do you mean stop loving? Or, stop living, are you nuts??

Yes. I mean just stop moving forward like a full speed formula one car and get a pit stop. Looking in history, all great achievements follow some route change, some grand reassessment, some life changing break, while today you have sabbaticals, career changes you name it.

Only if you stop generally will learning stop. That is how we’re evolved because the environment was a constant source of novelty and we had to constantly learn about it.

Yet all that we call civilization was created by applying. Applied religion, applied strategy, applied philosophy, applied politics. Yet it all involved stagnation as a means of random timeouts in humanity’s evolution.

I don’t know if it is a good advice

I am not able to eat my own dog food currently. So it might be bad advice. In reality stopping is very, very costly. We are a society focused on growth and that trickles down to each member of the society: we must keep the wheel spinning for our life to not descend into utter chaos.

Were you able to stop?

Thank you and here is some gratitude

I confess, my expectations kicked me in the butt again: i thought I’d see a shower of thank you’s in the responses. Instead naysayers.

So here is a big thank you and a tap on the shoulder saying

“you tried to solve a really hard problem, not bad”

First, only these types of experiences can crystallize such good advice. Someone will pick up and carry on. Eventually technology will help people achieve their dreams. Your work will be invisible by that time but rest assured it will also be ingrained in the new assumptions.

Second, in reality there is never a “singleton like” problem that kills a good business. There are always an army of small critters chipping away at the foundation or into the core of the business.

These postmortems are essential oil for business critter killing spray.

Some parts of a postmortem should be printed and framed. Every novice startup baker out there could in this way be reminded that a good idea and an excellent execution will not shield you from failure: rats live very well in the most exquisite mansion, termites will feast on your Napoleon furniture just as well. The army of critters will be chipping away.

Your investors saw the problem you were solving and trusted you can solve it.

People feel like an investment, angel, series or whatever, is like someone gives you randomly a pile of cash. But it isn’t. It is a bet that smart people make on your ability to solve a problem. No one should feel bad about “wasting investors money” unless they’ve spent it buying caviar for their dog. Otherwise, all the money is well spent, especially if at least takeaway nuggets of wisdom for the next attempt are produced. Zero ROI is not bad investment, necessarily. It can be, but not by default.

There are startups that currently still have leeway and are making the same mistakes you’ve outlined. There are people eager to go for it, who glance over their future and don’t have a clue about what is really like.

You live you learn, thanks for sharing what you’ve learned 🙂

All success is overnight, because it is random

Why don’t people admit that when it comes to success it is luck first and then everything else: acumen, work, grit, intelligence anything comes right after luck.

There are so many people who make it and then spread this idea that through hard work anything is possible. That everyone smart, determined and hard working enough will make it. But it is a plain lie: put in the work and most likely you will fail.

Why don’t you use your clout to tell that it randomly happened to you, and that, yes one should put in the work, sacrifice all the free time in the world, cut all procrastination and go for it, but in the end there is no guarantee that anything will happen.

Put in the work but do it knowing that statistically, realistically and economically all odds are that you will not make it.

The fact that you, Gary Vaynerchuk, at your young age (you are six years older than me) can actually “explain” how luck has nothing to do with your success wipes out reality and that bothers me, some random Joe of the Internets.

Why don’t people feel good that they are lucky? Because they feel like randomness wipes out their value. But they forget that their very spawning into life was a “very” random event. Randomness moves value up or down and in some cases it moves it drastically up: this is success. Success is always based on luck because luck is an acronym for random concurring things that happen to produce added value.

Why write an article about “putting in the work” from the seat of a one in a zillion success story? Because you defend your tower. You were lucky! Just go along with that and don’t make everyone feel like an underachiever or, even worse, a slacker. Show some responsibility in using your power. You have the zeroes to prove your worth and I’m just a salaryman, i know that, but take it like a poor man’s wise words.

You were lucky because your childhood was in the US, with parents that not only had the opportunity and courage to leave the communist block but had the awesomeness to make something of themselves in the US. You were lucky because you had a very good fit of extrovert personality, economic ease and social momentum right when you started your life as an adult.

Indeed you are better than all the others who competed with you and failed. You are better than all the others who had similar opportunities like you and did not exploit them as efficient as you did. You are better than any wine show host who could not provide well enough for an internet enabled audience. But you are not better than all people in general because you’ve put in the work. A hell of a lot of people put in a hell of a lot more work than you did and don’t make it. A very, very, very small number of the people who work hard for their goals achieve their goals. That is simply how the distribution scale of life looks in human societies.

You are lucky and you should stop for a moment and acknowledge it.

Just do it, it will make you a better person. Even if it will only stop you from equating Netflix time and video game time with investments in success. All the time in the world thrown at something does not guarantee success. If time by itself does increase the probability of success it will be a marginal increase. Money is more valuable than time. “Time is money” is a saying that means your time is measured in money. That means that having lots of time and no money yields a lot worse than having a lot of money and little time. Simple as that.

At least you did reckon serendipity which of course has nothing to do with luck. Semantically. Privilege has nothing to do with luck either. Semantically. We have no means actually to define luck because we are eager to strip it of any meaning so that we’re shielded against its one, deep trait: randomness.

“15 years of work” does not mean anything. It is simply just how long it took for you to luck out, for a number of reasons, out of which the most important one was your youth. If you use time from puberty to success as a scale where does Mark Zuckerberg fit? 15 years, counting work from 15 to 20 in your father’s business, as a white male, within a good family, being, i just guess, CIS gender and heterosexual, 15 years working as a full time extrovert, which you are, in an extrovert only job. Why do you even bring up this number? 15 does sound good, but it surely means nothing, neither does 45 or 32. Some writers luck out at 47 or 64 right before retirement. Some luck out at 22.

You see, luck is invisible. Success does not happen when you reach one million, a hundred million or a billion. Success is a random event that fine tunes the trajectory to wealth and sometimes freedom. Hard work is useful in staying on that trajectory.

Being cool is heavy

Actually being cool is not light is heavy. You have to do stuff over and over again and with every new addition to the list you are cooler.

You might have an unbearable lightness of being spiritually evolved, in a new age sense, which is also a variant of cool. In this option the less you repeat the better you will be regarded, you’ll be “cooler” and seen as evolving.

You might have the unbearable lightness of being a working nomad. Did you see those to “can work anywhere” and have “visited 7892364 countries in one ear”? Each experience is a new experience and it only happens once. From this comes lightness.

But if you are stuck in your beloved city trying to compete on the coolness show then Nietzsche did hit the nail on its head: everything you do adds an unbearable heaviness to your future by your varying coolness factor.

What do you mean you have spent a whole weekend doing nothing?