Counterintuitive Ideas on Making Money from a Millionaire Before 30 — Part 1: My Story
a short autobiography and why I started Actualization Hub
This was initially going to be “5 Counter Intuitive Ideas…” and be one article, but the first one got really long (surprise) so now I am breaking it up.
As of this writing I have:
Part 1: My Story and Intro (this article)
Part 2: Idea #1: Pareto Distributions and Why Hard Work is a Trap
Part 3: Applying Pareto <<In progress>>
Part 4: Idea #2: Spend Based On Your Trajectory, Not Your Income.
Part 5: Idea #3: Focusing On Money Is How You’ll Never Make Any.
Part 6: Idea #4 Your Smartest Play Will Be The One Everyone Else Thinks Is The Dumbest.
Part 7: Idea #5 Time Preference And Borrowing From Your Future
Here’s part one.
I am very ambivalent about discussing my wealth.
Partly because I don’t really care that much about money or social signaling (ex: I have been driving the same used civic since I learned to drive); partly because I am particularly aware just how much external factors we can’t control play in to it; and partly because I still feel I have a long way to go before I am at a point where anyone should really care what I have to say because of it (ten million would be better).
However, given that at least part of my motivation for becoming wealthy in the first place was to exploit it for credibility so people would care what I have to say: I might as well try it out to see how it feels.
Some pertinent background:
Ever since I was fifteen I’ve wanted “to save the world”.
I didn’t realize until years later that “the world” meant “my world”, and “save” meant “eliminate the suffering of others in”.
I didn’t want to “save” me. Sure, I suffered from depression, anxiety, drug abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempts, broken relationships and family, poor health, meaninglessness and purposelessness, etc. But I knew I hated myself so focused exclusively trying to help my friends and family, many if not most of whom suffered from these ailments as well.
I used to think this was noble of me. But in retrospect it was far more selfish than I’m happy to admit.
As far back as I can remember I’ve had this curse of feeling the (negative) feelings of everyone around me more strongly and more deeply than they themselves often felt them. And I was completely incapable of turning this off. As a result, I spent most of my early life perpetually overwhelmed by the blaring alarms of other people’s misery anytime I wasn’t alone. So at least half of my so called “noble goal” was was actually just wishing everyone else’s feelings would shut the hell up and leave me to my own misery in peace.
One of my early strategies to try and resolve this (after I realized suicide and total isolation were non-viable) was to study psychology so I could “fix” all the “broken” people around me.
But, to my interminable annoyance, they kept resisting my very noble and well-intentioned attempts at “curing” them. And if I ever did manage to corner them with my logic traps and finger wagging long enough to get a “you’re right. I should work on that” they for some crazy reason never actually followed through with their commitment!
It took much longer than I’m proud of to realize that this is because people only take advice from those who have results they seek—or at least who treat them with respect. And being a depressed asshole kid who was just as dysfunctional as they were that goes around trying to coldly and derisively “fix” other people is certainly not high on anyone’s list of life goals.
So after realizing this—motivated half by this vision of “I have no choice but to ‘leave the people I care in this wasteland so I can go and get help’, and hopefully I can come back later to help them” and half by the resentment of “fine, assholes, I’ll go achieve all the things normal people are motivated by and then you’ll have to listen to me!”—I stopped reading books for other people, stopped giving unsolicited advice, and set off to go become the change I wanted to see in the world.
Ten years later, I guess you could say it worked.
My motivations became less petty and dysfunctional along the way (resentment is not a great long-term motivator). And I did have to sort out my “curse”. It took years of learning and practice but now I can modulate the dial of feeling other people’s emotions rather well.
I put myself through fice years of therapy, read a hundred books on psychology, business, and self-improvement; journaled a million words; rose up to a decent salary and position in a field I could tolerate, and then quit to go start my own thing, all while living like a student so I could save and invest most of my income.
Fast forward to today and I am twenty nine and functionally retired, able to live (frugally) off my investments; have amazing relationships of mutual respect, commitment, and growth, and the healthiest marriage I’ve ever even observed; with great physical and mental health, all while working every day toward my mission.
And now that I’ve gotten here—minus the occasional self congratulatory “I told you so. Your turn!”, and a lot of hard earned wisdom about how you can “lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink”—part of my life mission is to distill and communicate all the crap I spent ten thousand hours and fifty thousand dollars learning so that if anyone cares to get the results I did, they can do it with one tenth the time, energy, and money it took me.
So that’s why Actualization Hub exists, why I write these articles, and why I might have an opinion worth considering on these topics.
Final note before I get into the tips:
One, If you are literally living in poverty I am not sure how helpful these will be. Despite all the dysfunction in my early life, I did grow up in the middle class where problems like wondering if I’m eating food today or whether we are going to get evicted from our house, etc. were not things I had to worry about.
And given that I can only speak to my experience and the things I learned along my way, this series will operate from the frame of: you’re at least in the game, and struggling to win it (rather than you’re outside the game, trying to get in).
Two, These tips will probably be long (the first one certainly is) because they are more of mental models and ways of thinking that you can carry around for the rest of your life and to many other aspects of your life, rather than lists of actual to do’s.
Further, If you’re looking for the common “millionaire money tips” this is not the right place. I will be writing only about counterintuitive and under explored concepts related to it.
If all that sounds good with you, then I suspect this series will be worth your time.
That’s all for now. Catch ya next time.