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I took me 6 fucking years to learn how to make money…

Update [April 6, 2016]: I’ve proven that I’m right about this. I will never need to worry about basic income needs (<$3500 USD/month) again. 10 days ago, I unexpectedly lost all sources of income & did not have any plans to make more. As of today, I have a $2500/month contract with one startup, and a $4000/month contract with another (though it’s being paid 100% in equity for the first month). It took me 10 days to secure $6500 doing things I deeply enjoy. Life goal = achieved. 

Man that feels good.

——–
A month ago, I was flat broke.

I had borrowed money from my mother, grandmother, father in law, friends. And despite that, Asha & I were back to counting cents so tightly that we couldn’t take a ride on the subway without worrying about it.

And this wasn’t a new state of affairs for me. I’ve been having money problems since I first begin playing around with entrepreneurship when I was 16. There have been periods where I wasn’t worried, but most of the time I was painfully low on funds.

Today, I have $2500 USD in my bank accounts. I have another $1750 coming in every month, $500 coming in this week, and I’m meeting to close a deal for $2000/month on Friday. Also included in these deals are profit shares & startup equity. Plus, I deeply enjoy both the work I’m doing and the projects I’m working on.

If anything falls through, I’m not worried; I’ve got about 3-5 clients I’ve had to turn down because I don’t have the time for them right now. My cold-pitch email response rate from potential clients is 75.68%.

Growth Hacking Cold Email Response Rate

You know what changed? You know what it took me 6 fucking years to learn?

Thanks in large part to my friend Stepan & my wife Asha, I learned one core set of lessons that took me from broke to pretty well paid and without financial worry in a few months of work:

  1. Don’t stop pitching clients until you’re over-booked.
  2. Only pitch clients you’d enjoy working for & who you know you can make a big impact on.
  3. Never ask for an amount of money that doesn’t scare you to ask for (aka price high), never accept a deal for an amount of money that makes you resent the client (aka don’t accept low).

There are a few key auxiliary lessons as well, like always quantify your results, work very hard, master the art of focusing on your work when you’re doing it.

But, really, those are all tactics.

In the words of Sun Tzu, which I think I have lived quite a case study for these last 6 years:

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

See, six years to figure out the basics of making money in an enjoyable way is fucking ridiculous. I have friends in my age range who are hacking at Facebook, solving the world’s clean water problem, and making five digits a month automated. At just two years older than me, Elon Musk was worth around $22 million USD.

I have plans that I can safely say are as ambitious as his: I want to be immune from aging, and I want to completely overhaul the way humans govern ourselves. The next major step in my plan to make those two things a reality is to launch a self-sustaining >500 person seastead in international waters with a new form of meritocratic fluid democracy by 2023. Semi-realistically (erring on the side of Elon Musk-esque ambition), this will take at least 3 years to research & build and at least $7 billion USD.

But, at this rate of learning, that won’t happen. Ever. I won’t change the world, I won’t deeply enjoy my life, and I will die.

But there is one lesson that, if I were to have actually learned it, would be worth the 6 years spent. One lesson which might allow me to catch up to Elon Musk and change the world in ways I see fit.

That lesson is: To always be engaged in either high level creation, high level enjoyment, high level learning, or high level rest.

That means no procrastination, no slumps, no giving into fears. Literally none at all.

It means that I truly seek to go to bed mentally and physically exhausted every single day.

Is this unrealistic? Maybe. But, if I am able to achieve this for 70% of my days, I will be more than satisfied. If I am able to, for 6 days a week, value my time so highly that I refuse to spend it in any way that is not hugely enjoyable and beneficial, I cannot imagine I will fail to drastically improve my life and, by proxy, the life of the human race.

9 Comments +

  1. I really enjoyed this piece, I am kind of living the situation you described in the present moment and this piece gives me the clarity I needed to keep hustling to the highest level. At the end hardwork always pays off. I connected with you through the Under 30 facebook group. Great work

  2. Wow I really fucking love your blogs Eddy! Don’t give up! Change the world, reach your potential. There is no reason to squander the rare chance to live on the mediocre.

  3. Yo Eddy! Thanks SOO much for writing this article!! Learned quite a bit from it that I’m going to apply in my entrepreneurial life. My friend shared it with me and I thought it was soo good that I shared it on facebook and twitter, keep up the good work and I’m looking forward to more posts like this. I like your over arching goal and I would love to hear more about it. I was wondering if you have already written a piece about it or whether you are planning to because it would be awesome to hear another great’s mind talk about their perspective that they are working towards making the world a better place. Have a fantastic day and Keep the Power Moves going

    1. Hey man,

      I actually wasn’t sure about posting this. I’ve always made it a rule that this blog is primarily an open diary kinda thing, and that I try not to publish anything here that isn’t for me. So, when I wrote this, I thought it was a bit useless and unstructured… but I wanted to have it up for me. I’m glad you found so much value in it :)

      I have written a piece about creating the seastead & experimenting with new ways of governing humans. You can check that out here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1C8ho9tQLeqlsmKpOCS80F5Hu2m5BcAvSqMdK9AJy0So/edit?usp=drive_web

      1. That’s interesting because I have also been working on a new way to govern humans and replace democracy, I have been working on this idea for about 3 years, since my junior year in high school. I wrote a blog post about it a while ago, I’ll share it with you but I’ll have to let you know that it isn’t my best work and that the idea has matured and taken a different form. But I’d love to get some feedback from you which would help shape this idea into something that can be useful. http://powermovesdev.com/polyblog/what-is-after-democracy/

        I’ll definetly check out your other blog post and give you feedback on that one too

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