How To Create A Rich Life

The strength of Ramit Sethi’s book can be gauged from the fact that Lewis Howes used it to get out of debt. Although he had cash, but the book helped him to get structured about his finances.

The result is that the stress goes away and a new beautiful problem comes on how to grow more money or manage it.

Money As A Tool

When you see money as a tool, you open up to the possibility that it can change your life.

If you want to buy your parents a fancy vacation, you can. Or you want to buy that jacket, you can. You start to realise it’s not holding you up. Instead, it’s amplifying your life.

High Earners Problem

Once you take the advice and implement it and if you are out of debt and making a decent, growing money then you have a new problem. What should you do with all the money?

And it isn’t easy to talk about it because most of the advice doesn’t apply to you. Also, it seems like you are showing off by stating this problem.

Being Curious

If you see high earners spending thousands of dollars on business class, it is easy to dismiss it thinking they are stupid for wasting the money.

Instead, try to be curious – she is earning a lot of money, has a successful business. So what does she knows that you don’t? When you shift this perspective, you learn a lot. Maybe you don’t agree with their reasons, but now you know why they do such spendings.

Money Dial

You have a money dial like Lewis and Ramit. These are areas of your life where you spend money on extravagantly.

For example, for Lewis, his money dial is relationship, so he picks up the tab on food every time. For Ramit, it is a convenience, so he doesn’t mind spending time making sure everything is taken care of without his presence.

Once you identify your money dial, that’s an opportunity to cut money on other money dials where you don’t care. And put most of the money in money dial you care the most about. For example, if travel is your money dial where you find the most joy, tune it up. Go to vacation more times,  lead a team of travelers – the opportunity is endless.

What Do High Earners Do

If you are earning a lot, then you will max out on all the tax break investment opportunities. Next, you need to buy non-tax break investment fund for the long term.

The market may go up or down – doesn’t matter, you need to keep investing because, in the long term, the market gives a healthy return. And chances are you will start earning more money from your investment than from your income.

At this point, you can have fun with 10 percent of your money. So if you want to invest in someone’s bar or cryptocurrency then do that. If you lose that’s nothing but don’t go all-in.

Half Million Dollar

If you have half a million dollar or more lying around every year and you have done everything, then what’s next.

Below are some things which you must have covered, if not then do them:

  • Maxed out all tax break investment
  • Save for your parent’s old age
  • Arrangement for your wedding
  • A plan for kids education

Things which are bound to happen like buying a house and other things which are important to you

Once you have done all of this, then you can choose to live a better life. You have won the basic game; now you get to benefit from it.

The Handshake Effect

Ramit rents on purpose for the past ten years. When someone comes to his house, they ask if he owns the place while doing handshake.

And once he says he rents it, then they get all confused. The thing is they are looking for approval of buying the house is the right decision from a stranger; the propaganda in buying the house is strong.

All you have to do is run the numbers and then make a conscious decision. If you find value in buying then go for it, else rent it. But make no mistake it’s no investment better than the stock market.

Of course, if you are a real estate agent who plays on the bigger ground, then that’s a different game. Else take the matter in your hands and take a decision.

Ramit’s Spreadsheet

When Ramit started he did everything by himself, and all of the things are in the book – what to do when you have 5000 dollars in your bank account.

But when you get more sophisticated, you don’t do things better but change your perspective. Ramit hires a bookkeeper, and now he has his CFO. Also, he did this because his money dial is convenience. So you need to revamp the things once you climb high on money ladder.

How To Talk About Money

If you are high earner, then hang out with other high earners. Often you can share your spendings and value at that level. This information won’t be available in other formats.

If you are embarrassed about talking money because there is value and worth attached in society, then do a book reading session. And then discuss the book, and suddenly it is an experiment. Now you can explore and learn new things.

Tips For Low Earners

If you are not a high earner and you have some money in your bank account then you need to systematically put money in below things till you can achieve all o them:

  • Your companies matching pension account
  • Clear off debt and have a date when your debt will be over, be aware of it
  • Put more money in a pension account, max it out
  • Have emergencies fund
  • Invest in compounding fund

If you don’t have money in your bank account, then you don’t need to cut your current friends.

Instead, you need to allow new people to come in your life. This isn’t a Disney’s movie and no ones coming to save you.

Get out and find those people, do the work, and climb up the ladder. You deserve this, and you have to do it yourself.

Who Is Banksy?

Three people, two approaches. Shepherd Fairey and Banksy risked Jail time to create art. While Jeff Jones risked bankruptcy to create complicated works of art. But one of them is anonymous – who is Banksy?

Truth is Truth

Isaac Newton spent most of the times predicting end and some of the weird things which can be classified as foolish. But that doesn’t change the fact that Newton’s law of gravity is true.

Kepler worked for Tycho who had a pet moose and he made a gold nose for her real nose replacement. Once he gave the pet moose Danish beer such that she felt and died. But that didn’t change the fact that the Keplers explanation of supernova is true and breakthrough.

Or consider Einstein who wasn’t convinced about Quantum Physics for about a decade. But that didn’t matter because as long they discovered the truth isn’t related to their other weird ideas or things.

Your Culture

When Stephen King wrote a novel under Richard, the books didn’t sell well. But once the real author was known the sales spiked. In our culture, it is important from whom the creation is coming from.

Consider this – is it okay to listen to Michael Jackson song or laugh at Woody Allen joke?

In 1910, there was not much opportunity for females. One of female created a readymade – which is buying something industrial made and calling it art. But pulling it off was difficult in those times.

Duchamp entered it under his name while blurring the origin of art. That fountain art changed the course of modern art. And it only happened because Duchamp put his name on it. Slowly he kept on taking credit. The origin of work matters in culture – it wouldn’t matter if she had written some science paper.

Secret Identity

Batman’s secret identity is billionaire Bruce Wayne And Wayne’s secret identity is Batman. And Batman needs the secret identity because that makes sure that the idea lives on- so if Bruce dies then someone can take his place.

Superman’s secret identity is Clark Kent but Clark Kent doesn’t have any secret identity because of Superman cane first. But Superman needs Clark because Clark is insecure and Superman has to be an ideal hero so that people can dream

Who Is Banksy

Robins secret identity is Banksy And has been making art for so long. Only now he is charging astronomical price.

Knowing Banksy real name doesn’t change anything about art but his art sells because there is a secret identity. You change your perception about art based on where the art comes from.

Hilma Af Klint painted more than 10000 paintings. But in her will, she instructed to keep her painting secret for at least 20 years. In her case, her secret was that she was a painter. It would be awesome instead she had chosen Banksy route and have a secret identity instead.

The New Culture

Now there are less and fewer gatekeepers. The culture is shifting from where it came from to what it can do for you.

Which allows an extraordinary talent can rise to the top.

You have a chance to create something and contribute to culture – especially when people are looking for Newtonian truth.

Norms and Rules

In a boxing match, there are certain areas where you can’t hit. And there are other areas where you can hit with a single penalty and remaining areas to hit as you please.

So you need to win without breaking the rules. Also, there are certain norms like not hitting when someone is down.

Nothing illegal, but if you win this way, you won’t be applauded.

The New Norm

Earlier film critic used to give away the ending just like that. But now the norm is to say, ‘spoiler alert’ to give away any critical information.

Ninety years ago, Agatha Christie wrote a novel in which the illustrator hires a detective to find the murderer inside the mansion. And at the end, ‘spoiler alert,’ the illustrator is the murderer.

At that time, it wasn’t the norm that the illustrator would be the killer. She saw the norm and choose to change it.

Seth’s Observation

In one of his modern blog posts, he noticed either both motorcycle couples wore helmets or none did in Provincetown.

Later he found that the choice was given to the couple. The first person who spoke become the norm.

The shop owner had the option to change the norm by saying that everyone wears a helmet and so it’s recommended.

Rules Vs. Norms

Rules are usually enforced, and norms are acceptable behavior.

For example, consider measles disease. More than a million people have died earlier. Now you have vaccines but now the norm today isn’t to be vaccinated for measles. But the measles disease doesn’t care about the norms; they care about spreading as their rule.

Another example, stopping at the four way is a law. But in some cultures, it is an acceptable norm to go ahead despite the red sign if no vehicle exists. In this case, the governing body just doesn’t enforce the law because the norms are different.

So if people from this culture move to a different city, then they will get the ticket because the rules are enforceable because the norms are different.

The Wrong and Right Usage

Many people in authority aren’t working hard to make sure the rule becomes the norm. So that there wouldn’t need to be any more rule.

For example, speeding is against the rules, but not all are punished, so it becomes the norm to speed despite the law.

Smoking was considered cool because of the marketing, so it became the norm. One way to change this was to have a rule that puts teenagers in jail and enforce it, but that would be devastating.

What they did was made a rule to have huge taxes on cigarettes and thus made smoking not cool a new norm. And you can see the change happening.

The Confusion

When you were in school, the norms were never told to you. And when you go to high school, the norms shifted, and thus it’s no wonder that you are confused about it.

Some kids grow up thinking norms are rules and thus don’t break them. While some kids grow up, thinking rules are norms and thus break them all the time.

Norms are usually – people like us do things like this. So if you can generously break the norm to help others, it is lauded in an open culture and not appreciated in static culture.

Rules are made when the norms are violating others. For example, there is a rule of spitting because the norm of not spitting couldn’t be set. But there can’t be too many rules because then norms can’t be shifted.

The Problem and Solution

When the health department makes a rule not to serve raw things that sit for a long time, then it is a good idea. But they shouldn’t be allowed to make norms on how to eat the food in combination.

Rules exist to serve the norms or when you can’t make a better decision.

Wikipedia has a problem because there are fewer rules but so many norms that you might consider off-putting to edit the articles.

But the change of norm happens this way. Sometimes with powerful and productive people at the center like how to format the article. Or sometimes from the outliers like what to wear now – edgy fashion choices.

Hence you will find people trying to break the norm so that the culture changes.

Sometimes the norm is slapped down, or it is embraced.

Society can’t make rules for everything. And it is the norm that makes the forward momentum. There is always room for innovation. You are in a culture where changing the norm is the norm, and that’s for the better.

Questions

  • As a filmmaker, I released my first movie in Amazon prime. But since the payment is negated, I am considering Patreon. What do you think?

You can bypass the middlemen and connect with the audience. And the best part is you are making things for the people who already support you.

This is artist dream come true. But because the alternative is to deal with trying to sell your thing and it can be frustrating.

Here is a myth; people won’t come and start paying you if you make a Patreon page.

It’s not that you can skip the line to get paying patrons. It can work only if you have earned enough fans, then the Patreon is an extension to make your life easier.

Someone might get viral. But you probably won’t get there. The work is to make sure you have permission-based fans one by one. Once you have 1000 people on your list, then you can start making money on Patreon. But let’s be clear it is the last step.

The Hype Cycle

If you play a game of darts and let everyone play then you will get many darts closer to center, few around the edges and few far away from the board. That is called a normal distribution.

And this exists in many places. For example, take random 100 books. About 80 percent of them will have similar page length and 20 percent will be scattered around the edges.

The distribution of who likes new idea is similar to normal distribution. Eighty percent of the population likes thing when it has been proven. 10 percent tries new things, and the remaining 10 percent doesn’t want change.

The 80 percent market drives value for technology, corporation, and culture.

Consider this- media is written for people who are early adopters. And because of this the percent of early adopters have increased and also partly because of status.

What Does Early Adopter Want

You won’t be an early adopter in everything – you might be one in meme or shoes or type of music but probably not in all of them.

Often an early adopter want something to share with others so her status will get increases, something to make an impact or simply get happy because of owning something new.

What Do Masses Want

They want something that works. That’s it.

Technology companies bring the new thing to early adopter hoping that they talk about it so the masses wants it too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

iPhone was bought initially because it was new. And the early adopters shared their experience and slowly the masses bought it too because it worked.

Another example, memento movie was for early adopters because it wasn’t what masses were looking for. Hence, the initial response was less in terms of viewership. Slowly when the masses adapted to it, the movie became a classic hit.

The Hype Cycle

There are four stages of the cycle. Let’s consider bitcoin as an example. First is the technology trigger when something new comes. Then media companies starts to write about it and makes it the next big thing.

And more and more people are buying into this. Then there comes inflated expectation because of many new companies trying to make the next big thing. All of this speculation but still early adopters get enrolled.

In the case of bitcoin, it’s value kept on increasing. If you are lucky to see the hype cycle before, you might cash in.

The hype cycle will continue until it hits it peak value. And there is drop coming – almost always.

And then people start to go away and only about 5 percent of people remain. At this moment, if you don’t know about the hype cycle, then you will see it as a disaster and done deal.

But at this time, you can start making things, work hard and quietly because there are no media. The next and final stage is coming, and that is a plateau. And then because of their work, the middle of the normal distribution gets to enroll and adapt to it.

Authors Journey

Let’s understand the hype cycle in the journey of getting your book out.

  • Writing book and putting it in public
  • Hyping about book
  • And mostly walking away
  • But other times, you are still hyping and working your body of work slowly – and slowly it becomes part of the culture

The Dip is the part where most people quit when no one is paying attention.

Another way is to anticipate the dip and then work hard. So if you want to change the culture, you need to focus on the slope of enlightenment and not on the hype.

Questions

  • How to approach the difficult issue like climate studies?

People have a strong belief and are eager to argue. It doesn’t matter if your idea aligns with the scientific method, they will be difficult to change because of their belief.

Personal experience is one way to get the message out. Encourage people to experience ground reality.

People don’t like to be proven wrong. So you can approach with new data then the chances of them being triggered is less.

Sometimes people are choosing to fit in. When the culture changes, people like us do things like this. And thus there are new things which people do, so their belief shifts too.

Aravind: Management can change the world

If Mcdonalds can sell billions of burgers and Pepsi can sell billions of cola, then why can’t Aravind sell millions of sight restoration operations? That’s the Dr. Venkataswamy speaking when he opened up the hospital at the age of 58.

And no wonder Aravind, a change of eye hospital in India has performed more than 30 million operations.

There was a challenge because many people were losing the eyesight in India, which could be avoided. So Dr. Venkataswamy decided to do something about it. And built management around his vision and practically changed the world.

Similarly like Ray decided to franchise the McDonald’s, but the managers made McDonald’s the way it is now. Having good management and choices shapes the way.

The Impossible

Aravind performs millions of operations based on their hospital and eye care clinics and camps for different areas.

How is this even possible, and the bigger question is why they do it?

The secret is they do so many eye surgeries that every training doctor in eye works in here so they can excel faster.

Another thing Dr. Venkataswamy decided was to reduce the cost so that the operation can be faster. He did this by making sure the patient was ready once the current operation was done by a doctor. And he achieved this with only 4 in 1000 infection which is less than the accepted standard.

The Management Role

Dr. Venkataswamy is no more. But the management persists. You can either focus on getting more dollars for the CEO or do the work because it matters for your goal of making change happen.At Aravind, their goal is to make eye care accessible to everyone.

Hence when you go for cataract surgery, you can either pay a nominal fee or get it for free. And still, they make a profit.

Principles and Management

Aravind focuses on continued improvement. For example, they recently announced that the screening number of people went down. But it was because their screening methods improved.

Another thing is they do everything centric in the patient. Also, they came up with better drug and machines so they can be cheap and then shared with others.

Also, they focused on the staff because most of the work is voluntary. The major focus is to be frugal – spending money wisely to achieve the larger goal.

This was they were focusing on better. Hence in recent 50 years, they have gone from 1 man to performing millions of surgeries, thus making life better.

In contrast, Pepsi focused on increasing appetite of yours to drink more colas.

It boils down to management – what are you focusing on. And once you do it for a long time, then it becomes more efficient, cheaper and better.

Having great management focusing on things they care about and measuring the right things accelerates their growth.

The Cycle

In social media, the game is to get your attention, make you stick longer on the site. So for that, they introduced followers metric and how many people clicked. Thus you end up spending more time because of that metric.

Another example is people keeping track of quarterly reports of public CEO. And if people are reacting, then the companies would focus on somehow increasing the numbers.

But Aravind never focused on quarterly profit reports because if he did, then he couldn’t have changed the world in such a positive manner.

Leadership

When you go to work, you are measuring something. You have been trained always to ask what will be on the test or how to do the job. You rely on the rules set by management.

But if you see yourself not finding value in your work, then you need to decide. You can either take a shortcut and get a quick job or dig deep and find the place where you can see and be seen.

Money is easy to measure. As such, you should focus on making change happen. Because Pepsi, who is focusing on money, is leaving behind a legacy of obesity.

So you need to decide the direction where you want to go.

Being managed by good management is great, but it depends on the leadership by making quality principle.

So the opportunity you have is to become a leader by taking in focus on things you measure for yourself.

Short term or long term – you decide. What is a good day for you? So put the right things you want to measure. You have a choice to make about which story you will tell yourself to your coworkers and for what impact.

Questions

  • What is the difference between being supple and chasing the next shiny object?

When you commit to the people who seek to change –  so you might change the tactic, but the goal is the same. Supple means being open to different ways to reach the goal, which was the change you want to make happen.

It means sticking when something because it matters even when the paths change by adopting them.

  • I am a freelancer, and my living depends on it. But my passion is on being an entrepreneur. What to do?

One of the reasons for your dilemma might be because you enjoy the quest more than the destination.

Another reason is that you aren’t fulfilling your job. So you are hesitating because your success isn’t making you happy, but you have worked hard for it.

It is up to you to accept the gift from your past self who worked hard.

But you can use your reputation and leverage then work on the next project, which matters to you.

One way to do your project is to focus on clients that are related to your passion. And ignore the clients who aren’t on your journey.

It’s scary to walk away from success. But if next thing matters, you have to get going.

But if you aren’t going to leap then stop that narrative and enjoy the moment you have. Make the contribution and enjoy the status you have worked hard for.