I sold out and got a Patreon

Voted World’s Okayest Blogger 2022.

(Here’s a short and fun video on the term “sellout.”)

What I’ve done

I don’t actually think I’ve sold out. But I’ve just done something I thought I’d never do: I created a Patreon.

For those who don’t know, Patreon is a service where people can support creators they enjoy—YouTubers, artists, bloggers, etc. Oftentimes, those creators offer bonuses and exclusive content for those who help at different degrees.

This seemed silly to me for the longest time. But then I started interviewing creators for my book.

James and Anthony Deveney took me through their journey of quitting their full-time jobs to run their podcast, Raiders of the Lost Podcast. (If you like movies and television, I highly recommend their show.) They were able to do so because of the level of support their patrons provided.

Eric Rosen, my favorite YouTuber, broke down all of his revenue streams when we spoke. Merch, ad revenue, Twitch subscribers. But in the early days, he said it was mostly from people donating on his streams.

It’s never been easier for one person to reach (dare I say…influence?) a large number of people. Steph Smith made a great point. She said, “Britney Spears was a content creator. She wrote songs and shared them with millions of people. Today, some bro can film himself in his apartment and have a million followers on TikTok.”

I’m not some bro and I don’t have a TikTok. But it’s been wild to type my thoughts out and have a bunch of friends, family, and strangers read them.

And with the popularity of things like podcasts and YouTube, free content has never been more prevalent. It’s expected, actually. Anyone else get triggered when they click on a NY Times article and get asked to pay for a subscription?

I do every time. But then I think, There’s a team behind this…It’s someone’s job to produce this.

Why I did it

To be clear, this blog will always be free.

The site has a simple system:

  1. I live my life
  2. I reflect on all my insights, mistakes, and fears
  3. I write about them here
  4. You either enjoy them or go, “meh.” 🤷🏼‍♂️
  5. Repeat

I don’t see that ever having a price tag. Making a subscription service like Substack doesn’t interest me.

But there is a dream life I’m working toward. It’s pretty simple.

I want to be a full-time writer and coach. I’ve got the coaching thing down. But in the future, I’d like to be publishing a new book every 2-5 years, write 2 or 3 blogs on here each week, and have 5-10 coaching clients. In between would be plenty of time to travel, work on other projects or programs, and do all the non-work things I love (chess, friends/family time, jiujitsu).

With all that said…if any of you get value out of these posts and want to support the blog, you now have an avenue to do so. Only if you really want to. If not, you’re dead to me.

Whoops. I mean, *if not, that’s totally fine! Nothing will change on here.

But for those who do, you’ll get some bonus stuff. Extra blogs, video updates from me, access to a Q&A, monthly Zoom calls, the running draft of my book Do The Thing, and polls for what you’d like me to write about next. I’m even working on setting up an advice column.

Whether they’ve chipped in financially or not, I’m forever indebted to anyone who has taken two minutes to read anything I’ve written. I wasn’t even planning on having ten readers. Now this blog has hundreds. Onward!

If you’d like to become a patron, you can do so here.

Thanks, thanks, and ever thanks. 😎

About New York…

Dillan Taylor and Tomas Virgadula walking the streets on New York City

My friends and readers of this blog know that I’ve been preparing to move to Brooklyn later this year. Mostly because I won’t shut up about it.

I did a two-week trial run in the city to see if I would actually enjoy the hustle and bustle of New York. Turns out, I love it.

Coming home from that, I felt elated, motivated, and driven to get myself ready for the transition. I was dead set.

Last week, I decided not to move. Let me explain.

Wait, but why?

Bowling in New York City
My favorite bar in NYC—The Gutter. (Subtly crushing my friends in bowling.)

For people who’ve been following this saga, I’m sure this seems anticlimactic. I mean, I’ve been writing about this since November of last year. The first blog I wrote about wanting to make the trek is still my most viewed piece, with 1000+ unique readers.

So what happened? Did I chicken out? Was I using people’s love for adventure as click bate? Am I a sleazy fraud?

Well, yes and no.

I can break it down into two main reasons for not packing up and moving my life to New York this October. There’s a logical reason and a more emotional one. Let’s hit them in order.

Logical reason:

As soon as I got back from my NYC beta test, I felt it was finally time to stop procrastinating and crunch the numbers.

I put everything I could think of into a Google Sheet. All the purchases and fees. All the housing payments. Loads of furniture I’d have to buy. The U-Haul. I did my best to estimate what the first three months would look like for my bank account.

My God.

It’s been so easy to joke about the cost of living in New York, but seeing it all laid out in front of you is a completely different beast.

For what I want, rent would be $2.5k-$4k per month (not including utilities). Moving in would require the first and last month’s payment. Depending on the quality of furniture I got—couch, desk, chairs—it would all cost somewhere between $2k-$5k.

Sitting in this seat and looking at all the numbers quickly adding up, I got anxious. I know enough about myself and my business to know that I could continue to create income that would allow me to do this. I could figure it out.

But not comfortably.

When I told one of my buddies, he put it well.

“It sounds like you’d be in survival mode the first few months.”

He was exactly right. I doubt I’d become homeless. But during the first three to six months in Brooklyn, my main goal would be to figure out how to pay my bills.

For obvious reasons, I don’t want to do that. I want to go somewhere new and live my life. I want to go out and have fun. I’m looking to adventure. Counting every dollar doesn’t appeal to me.

After filling out the sheet, the thought occurred to me: What if I didn’t move this year? With that came a rush of relief.

Then I thought, Damn…my readers are going to roll their eyes.

Emotional reason:

I went to a best friend’s wedding a few weekends ago. The week prior, another best friend moved back to the area after living in Rwanda for years.

She brought back her husband, who she met there, and will be going to grad school in the fall. That week preceding the wedding, they came over and I met her husband for the first time.

Just a couple’a cool dudes.

I liked him immediately.

What I expected to be a quick hello turned into hours of sitting at my dining table and talking. My friend even used my office to take a call with her soon-to-be fellow students. Meanwhile, I sat and chatted with her husband and picked his brain on what he thought about the states. It was his first time leaving the continent of Africa.

Hugging them goodbye brought joy to my heart. There’s a huge difference between, “When will you be in town next,” and, “See you next weekend?” And that difference means the world to me.

My deepest-held value is spending quality time with those I care about.

I often think of the ‘hospital room’ scenario. If I got into a horrible car accident today, who would be in that hospital room with me when I woke up? It sounds dark but it’s a useful mental model for measuring how strong our relationships are at any given time.

Anyway, not only did this friend just move back here after years of adventure across the ocean. But another one of my best friends will be returning to the area at the end of the summer.

That means that in a one hour radius, I’ll have 14 close friends, my mom and sister, aunts and uncles, and my jiujitsu team.

I told my buddy all this on the phone the other day. What he said reassured me.

“You know, man,” he said. “There’s that statistic. 80% of people die within 100 miles from where they were born. I used to think that was depressing. But now as I get older, I realize…it’s really fucking hard to leave your friends and family.”

Ain’t that the truth.

Call me a chicken, but I’m finding it hard to justify leaving all of my favorite people on the planet. I’m under no illusion that we’ll spend the rest of our lives living 10 minutes away from one another. But at the very least, I feel the need to take advantage of this opportunity while I have it.


NYC is expensive and I love my friends and family. Maybe next year.

Solving vs. Managing

A solved Rubik's Cube

What’s the solution to overwhelm, poor health, and money problems?

I have no clue.

There are thousands of possible steps one could take to become more productive, more fit, and more financially stable. But these actions would depend on the person and their unique situation. What’s more, that person’s answers would change over time.

That’s because these challenges are infinite. They’re not problems to solve but instead areas to manage. They’re not games to win but instead fields to play on.

No workout would make us fit for the rest of our lives. No incredible conversation keeps a relationship strong forever. These things take upkeep.

I used to think if my business made over $10,000 in a month that I’d be set. I’ve had several $10k+ months over the past year and I’m still constantly money anxious. The stress hasn’t dissipated, it’s only leveled up as my bank account has. The fear used to be: Will I be able to afford rent next month? Now it’s: How long will I be able to keep this going before it all comes crashing down?

Making $10k was a problem to solve. It was finite. I either did it or I didn’t. The solution was to create enough value in my business that enough people paid me money in 30 days or less.

But the ambiguous feeling of “financial stability” is a battle that goes on forever. If I have a great month, I still have to show up to my sessions and I still have to type words on my keyboard. Then I do it all over again the next month.

We never arrive. But we often feel like we only need to check off a few more boxes in order to do so.

Even if we clean our room, we’ll either need to clean it again in the future or manage it in a way that it stays tidy.

In my coaching practice, I see a ton of people trying to find solutions to problems that actually need to be managed. Things like: finding a balance between work and personal life, practicing healthy habits, and making more money.

These things evolve as we evolve. What solves the problem now could get in our way in the future.

So when struggling with something, it can be helpful to ask: Is this a solving problem or a managing problem?

Money will solve your problems

A man counting his money

This video changed the way I think about money.

In it, Casey Neistat responds to the question: Can money solve your problems?

In short, he sums up his position with: “For most people who are broke, money will literally solve your problems…It’s hard to worry about how fulfilled you are when you can’t pay your rent or buy food.”

For years, I saw the pursuit of wealth as a greedy and icky game. I was living a contradiction—obsessing over personal finance books and YouTubers, while telling myself that more money wouldn’t make me happier.

It sounds stupidly simple, but this video showed me that it’s okay to want more money. It just depends on why we want it.

Increasing our income in the hopes of status or happiness is surely a dead end. Money doesn’t make us more fulfilled. But with good financial habits, it can allow us to do more things that fulfill us.

Since getting my business to a stable and profitable place, money has allowed me to:

  1. Pay off debt—loans, programs, credit card.
  2. Not stress about paying bills for months.
  3. Buy food without counting every dollar.
  4. Upgrade tech and essentials.
  5. Hire people (my personal favorite).

In the past few months, I’ve hired a new life coach, a chess tutor, a designer for my book, and I plan to hire an editor and producer for the podcast I’m doing with one of my besties (stay tuned).

All that’s to say, more revenue has definitely made me happier. Not the money itself…but what it has allowed me to do.

So let me ask you: Do you want more money? Why? What would you do with it?

As always, I’d love to hear your answers.

Buying nice things

A black pair of over the ear headphones

I don’t really buy nice things. Except when I do.

Aside from some necessary outdoorsy items in Vancouver Island, I haven’t purchased any new clothes since 2019. I shop at Goodwill and the Dollar Store.

Here’s where my money tends to go:

  • Food
  • Books
  • Events—shows, trips
  • Airbnbs
  • Tech (which are usually business expenses)

I’d love a Tesla as much as the next American. But if I had $1m to get a new car, I’d still probably get a used 2016 Honda Civic. Paid in full.

In short, I don’t care about “living luxuriously.” I don’t have an Instagram. Humbly bragging about my income on this blog is all the dopamine I need.


There’s a piece of advice from Tim Ferriss that’s stayed with me over the years:

For things you use on a daily basis, bite the bullet and pay for high quality.

I don’t count a car in this category, because a new car payment can simply bleed us of money. But this week, I bought a new mattress and a new pair of headphones.

I figured a week of Covid isolation was the perfect time to invest in these things. My mid-grade mattress was super firm and I was waking up several times a month with neck and back pain. My old wired earbuds were itchy and didn’t keep the noise out.

Were these purchases absolutely 100% necessary? No.

But my God am I happy with them.

I melt into this new mattress. I’m wearing these headphones right now. I can’t even hear my fingers type on the keyboard. They keep the world away and I’ve never felt more focused.

The best thing? Both these items will hopefully last me several years. I don’t have to think about them for a while.

The next plan is to buy a new desk and desk chair when I move to NYC. Stay tuned.

It’s that time of the year

I wrote a blog yesterday about being financially transparent.

One friend commented: “When we talk about money more casually, we can share insights into career moves, upward mobility, investing, debt, etc!! It’s just so helpful to be transparent with others you want to succeed. ❤️

To continue that train, I want to share what I’ve been doing the past two days: my taxes.

I’m having a blast. Here’s why.

Not listed: The $14m I spent on DoorDash.

This is my first time doing taxes as a business owner. So I hired an accountant. He gave me a to-do list.

Auditing and investigating my 2021 has been wildly insightful and fun. I texted that to my friend and he responded, “Only you would enjoy doing taxes…”

What I love is that it’s a story that’s told through my spending and earning. Going through my account statements and going, Oh yeah, I can’t believe I used to pay for that service!

The income chart makes me laugh. I can remember earning my first $500 in April and feeling like I made it. I remember not sleeping and shaking at my desk in June from anxiety. And I remember the euphoria and peace in September when I finally started making more than my monthly expenses.

I can’t believe how much I spent on bills, coaching, and food. We always know it’s a lot but it’s wild to see it all added up.

I’m pleased with my story. And I’m excited to see how 2022’s unfolds.

Should we be able to talk about money?

A man counting money in the form of cash in his hands

Money can be a sticky thing.

There’s this age-old taboo that says we shouldn’t talk about money or ask people about theirs. I think we should step away from that.

But first, why does money make us so uncomfortable?

The number one reason is that it’s an enormous source of comparison. I’ve fallen victim many times to what I call “travel glamor shame.”

That’s when we see our friends—or enemies—in some beautiful foreign country and then we immediately hate ourselves.

How much money a person makes can be hard to dismiss. I say I treat every single human being with the same humor and respect as the next. But the difference between someone making $25,000/year and $250,000/year doesn’t go unnoticed.

And that’s the thing. I don’t think it should go unnoticed. I just think we shouldn’t care.

We can have both. We can talk about the discrepancy of a person’s income without treating them any differently.

I’ve been talking about money frequently with other coaches in my community. How to value our services. How to make more of it. Why it’s not this evil thing.

2021 was the year of building my business. By September, I had gotten it to be highly profitable and sustainable. But the months before that were riddled with uncertainty, doubt, and anxiety.

All that to say: I’ve learned so many lessons about making money that I want to share. But I usually feel bad talking about them because I don’t want to come off as arrogant or like I’m gloating.

What’s funny is, whenever I do share about my finances with other coaches, they tend to find it inspiring. “It makes it seem more real and possible,” one coach told me.

That’s the point.

When I talk about my money, the vibe isn’t, “Look at how cool I am.” It’s, “Hey, I’m an idiot. And if I can do this, you can too if you want!”

I know people who make six figures who either love talking about money or despise it. I know people who make less than $30k who either love talking about money or despise it.

This blog was a tad rambly but I’ll end with this statement.

If we treat money like Voldemort, like this unspeakable thing, I think it just causes more stress and pressure around it.

It’s never enough

Pizza crusts on a plate

Yesterday, my best buddy and I won $1,000…each.

It was a raffle for subscribing to The Hustle, an extraordinary newsletter on the worlds of tech and business. I’m a sucker for those things…

“For each person you refer, you both could win a billion free socks!” Or something like that. My friends often roll their eyes. But look who’s laughing now.

The $1K comes in the form of an Airbnb gift card. This is phenomenal because it feels like I’ve won free experiences, as opposed to the less-sexy prize of $1K in my savings account.

I’d be grateful either way. And this blog is about that ‘g’ word.


Lol jk. It’s about being grateful.

Something happened five minutes after I saw we won. Something I’m embarrassed to share.

I started thinking about all the trips I have planned in 2022 and about how nice it would be to have my lodging paid for. Brooklyn in February, road trip to Florida in April, NYC again in May, European road trip in July…

Then I thought, Ah man…There’s no way $1K is going to cover all of that. If only it were $5K…

I actually thought that. It took five minutes for me to feel like a free $1K wasn’t enough! Am I insane??

I immediately laughed at myself. “Yeah Dill, some people really have it awful. What ever are you going to do?” Silliness.

Unless I’m a sociopath, the point of sharing that is to highlight the human tendency to always want more. That’s why conditional happiness (or the hedonic treadmill) is a dead end.

Conditional happiness: “I will be happy/fulfilled/satisfied once I have or do this thing.”

Then we get whatever that thing is and we are happy…for five minutes. Then we go right back to our default state.

One of my clients got his dream job, his dream car, and is financially set for life. He told me that none of that brings him sustainable fulfillment. Robin Williams was loved by the world, made millions of dollars, and pursued his dreams successfully. And he hung himself. I got free God damn money and got upset it wasn’t more.

It’s up to us to build a default state of gratitude and appreciation.

I’ve decided to forgive The Hustle for only sending me $1K. Please send your condolences directly to my email.

Another trip to Brooklyn

A man standing on the Brooklyn Bridge looking over Manhattan

I’m moving to NYC in October 2022.

That decision came from a fairly nutty weekend spent there in September. I visited my coaching buddy and met him for the first time in real life.

We got very little sleep in those three days.

In a few hours, I’m heading up north for another round.

Here’s my plan before I move house:

1) Every two months or so, I’ll go up and stay with my friend for a weekend.

I want as much exposure as I can before moving my life there. It’s a three-and-a-half-hour trek, which is roughly two solid phone calls with friends.

The point here is to eat the food, meet some peeps, and desensitize myself from the fast-paced culture. Shockingly, things move a lot slower in the suburbs of Maryland than they do in New York City.

Finally, the main goal is to spend time around neighborhoods I might want to move to. So far, I’m thinking Williamsburg—which I hear is the yuppy and trendy area of Brooklyn. I’ve never tried elitism, but I’m down for anything.

This move is very much a business investment. I want to be surrounded by young folks who are pursuing fun and interesting lives and who have money to pay for someone like me to help them do just that.

I told that to my two friends in Brooklyn and they both said, “Yeah, you want Williamsburg. You’ll have to yup it up.”

2) In the spring, I’ll get an AirBnB for a week or two in the neighborhood I’m thinking.

I’ll take a few days off, but this won’t be a vacation. It’ll be a beta test.

I’ll have normal workdays. I’ll get a trial gym membership. I’ll go grocery shopping.

For two weeks, it’ll be as though I truly live there.

3) Prep for the move.

This means getting my finances ready to pay $2500 a month for rent and utilities. As well as moving with as few physical items to my name as humanly possible.

I’m basically a minimalist. But when I moved last year, I realized I still owned a shit-ton of stuff. I can’t imagine what non-minimalists (muggles?) go through when they move.

For budgeting, I’ve been using this stupid simple sheet from Female in Finance. A friend turned me on to her and it has helped tremendously.

As for the move, I plan on selling or donating 80% of my stuff so I don’t have to transport it. Books, furniture, my soul.

I’m excited, to say the least. And nervous.

Which is why this is the right choice. If I’m not doing things that scare me, I’m not growing…I’m not leveling up.

This weekend will be much more productive than the last.

So the journey begins.

The very simple truth about Black Friday

A clock with Black Friday signs around it

It took me about 25 years to realize this.

If we ever buy anything simply because it’s on sale, we did not save any money.


I don’t need a new desk lamp. Mine works just fine and I never think about replacing it.

If I see a sale online where a super fancy $300 desk lamp is now $100, that’s an incredible deal.

But I was never going to purchase that on any other day. My plan was to spend $0 on it because I had no demand for it.

If I bought it, I didn’t save $200. I spent $100.

The only way we save money from a sale is if no matter what, we were going to buy it anyway.

Want to make more money?

In the world of business, there are naturally people who do sketchy shit to acquire wealth.

But the majority of folks do so by following the golden rule of making money.

To make more money, bring more value to more people.

I have more positive feelings toward my local used book store than I do Amazon. But Amazon has received much more of my money because I must place more value in fast shipping, eBooks, and streaming services.

In a restaurant, a server tends to make more than a dishwasher because they have more impact on whether customers enjoy their dinner and whether they want to return or not.

Want to make more money? Bring more value to more people.

The E-Myth

I just finished The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber.

It was a super helpful, albeit cheesy book on running a business.

Here are my two biggest takeaways:

1) Being a Technician—i.e. being skilled at your craft/service—does not qualify you to be a business owner.

Great bakers, coaches, or carpenters don’t necessarily make folks who are great at running bakeries, practices, or home remodeling companies. Running the back end of a business is a completely different ball game.

In short, there’s a huge difference between working in your business and working on your business.

2) Your business is not your life; it should fuel your life.

I needed to hear this.

For the past year, I’ve been growing my first ever business and have become more and more passionate about it as it grows each month. Thinking about my business—creating clients, scheduling calls, inviting people to coaching sessions….I would be focusing on this stuff almost 24/7.

I wore that like a badge of honor, but I had to be reminded that that wasn’t my life. My life is my friends, my family, my health. My life is the freedom I enjoy with the people I love. I want my work to give me more freedom, not chip away at it.

If anyone owns any kind of business, or is at least considering it (no matter how big or small), I would consider this book mandatory reading.

If I had a million dollars

A pile of hundred dollar bills

If you won $1,000,000 tax-free…and had to spend it on things for yourself (meaning: no buying things for others, investing, or saving), what would you purchase?

In other words: If you were forced to splurge on yourself, how would you do it?

Here’s mine. I would…

• Pay off all my debt—student loans, credit card, car payments.

• Buy a team—accountant, travel agent, nutritionist, personal trainer, chess tutor, editor.

• Start a YouTube production company.

• Buy a retreat for coaching.

• Update all my tech gear—camera, microphone, computer.

• And of course…buy plane tickets to go on trips with my friends and family around the world.

What would you do?

Two simple questions

A few weeks ago, my coach asked me these two simple questions and my life hasn’t been the same since:

1) What do you want to create?

I went into my dream life:

• $10K months minimum
• Traveling two months out of the year
• Having only five one-on-one clients, referrals only
• Being completely off social media
• Teaching jiujitsu and chess

I talked about money dreams for the first time ever. It’s usually a sensitive topic for me. I told him I’m sick of cutting it close. I’m ready for a prosperous life where I can pay off my debt, invest, do what I love, and donate to charities I care about.

Once we painted this beautiful picture together, he asked me…

2) So what’s in the way?

I went into all these stories:

• “I don’t know how to make a ton of money.”
• “I’ve never done it before.”
• “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

Once we dove into each story one by one, I came to the realization that none of them were true. What was actually happening was I was waiting for permission to live a truly prosperous life.

This may sound simple or dramatic, but this utterly shattered my previous way of thinking. I got off that call and immediately began building my coaching program. Since then, I’ve invited tons of new coaches and have gotten a ridiculous amount of positive feedback.

We get so caught up in believing the stories we tell ourselves. They’re almost certainly nonsense.

What do you tell yourself to keep yourself from taking action? Or better yet, ask yourself…

What do I want to create? So what’s in the way?

The story in all of us

Woman reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

My coach said something revolutionary yesterday on our weekly group call.

Whether it’s in coaching or just in our day to day lives, the vast majority of us create stories in our minds that stop us from taking action. We construct these requirements we must meet before we do what we want to do—often times they’re requirements that are impossible to meet.

“I just need to be more confident.”
“I need to be fearless.”
“I’m not ready yet.”

All to which he likes to ask:

“How confident have you decided you need to be?”
“How does you being afraid have anything to do with you doing it?”
“What’s the exact date when all your requirements will be met to make you ready?”

The conclusion for me was that when we challenge our stories, when we put them up for scrutiny, we eventually see that they’re all a load of bullshit.

These have been my most powerful stories:

• I’m not a businessman—I could never run a successful business.
• I’ve been single for most of my adult life—I don’t have what it takes to be loved by another.
• I’ve never not lived “paycheck to paycheck”—I don’t know how to make money.

What lovely stories. Let’s put them to the test.

What does not having business savvy have to do with me trying to help as many people as I can? That’s all I’ve been doing for the last year and I’ve been able to quit my full-time job and pay my bills with this thing I’ve created entirely on my own. People have actually come to me for advice on how they can grow their coaching businesses.

Check. Bullshit.

What does being single have to do with people loving me? I have been loved—by women, by friends, by my family…Being single has been a super fun way to live in my 20s. Of course it’s nice to have someone, but I’ve enjoyed the freedom to work on myself and make decisions entirely based on my own wants and needs. I’m not waiting to be right for someone; I’m waiting for someone to be right for me.

Check check. Bullshit.

Okay, but this last one has to be true. I’ve always sucked with money.

What does me never having a ton of money have to do with my ability to increase my income? By simply following my process of having as many fun and powerful conversations as possible, May of 2021 has become the first month I’ve ever made over $10,000. I didn’t do anything different that I didn’t do in April. If I didn’t know how to make money, how the fuck would that be possible?

Dammit. Bullshit…

So I’m curious. What are the stories you tell yourself that keep you from taking action? What requirements have you decided you must meet before you do what you really want to do?

I’d love to hear about them.

Picasso’s napkin

Beautiful mural of a colorful cat

There’s a popular anecdote in the personal development world that accounts one woman’s encounter with Pablo Picasso.

Much of it has been lost in translation but it goes something like:

A woman saw Picasso at a cafe. He was sketching something on a napkin. She went up to him and asked to buy his doodle.

He agreed and asked her for a million dollars.

Baffled, she said, “But that only took you five minutes!”

He calmly replied, “No madam. It took me my whole life.”

The moral of this story is to never undervalue what you do. But I didn’t truly understand it until recently.

After running my own business for several months now, I finally have something to relate that little anecdote to.

At some point in my life, I’ll charge someone $100,000 a year for my coaching. Is that because I’ll be spending 80+ hours a week with them?


They won’t just be paying for sessions with me. They’ll be paying for everything it took to get me to that point.

• All the thousands of dollars I spent on coaching and programs for myself.

• The countless hours of being on the brink of tears from doubt, uncertainty, and fear.

• The hundreds and hundreds of conversations I’ve had with people—powerful and awkward alike.

• The journey of my life: From attempting suicide to getting my shit together (and wanting to help others get their “shit” together).

So…when I get to that point, when someone asks me why it costs $100,000 for one year of coaching, I’ll simply tell them that they’re not paying for one year.

They’re paying for my entire life.

Nothing’s wrong

Yesterday, I was being coached by my partner in my coaching program.

He and I were diving into the stress and anxiety I feel over money and growing my business.

I thought we were heading in the direction of:

“I’m doing great. I don’t need to feel this anxious.”

But then things took a turn and I had a simple but unexpected insight:

You’re very new at this whole ‘running a business’ thing. It’s perfectly natural to be stressed out.


I’ve been coaching for nine months. Did I think I would be making six figures at this point?

I have 12 regular paying clients. I’m serving others. I’m helping people take action toward the things that matter most to them.

I’ve been thinking that something’s wrong because I’m not totally financially set yet.

But nothing’s wrong.

Everything is as it should be, including the stress.

Realizing that anxiety is perfectly normal makes me less anxious.

The only option for me is to continue doing the work and stay on this trajectory.

A year from now, I’m excited to look back and smile at this blog post.

What are you willing to invest in?

Yesterday, I signed up for my first coaching certification program.

It entails joining a community of coaches for weekly calls and trainings, intense practice, and accountability.

If the goal is to be able to pay for my life, why would I add this hefty monthly fee to my budget?

Simple: It’s an investment.

Life is not about saving money. It’s about putting that money toward things that will bring you massive returns.

The goal here is to become an extraordinary coach and business owner, making it easy to pay this program off.

On a smaller scale, I pay for a haircut once each month (and I’m thinking about bumping that up to once every two weeks). I could limit the amount of haircuts I get or even teach myself how to cut my own hair. But I love the way I look after I meet with my haircutter. We always have a lovely conversation, laugh our asses off, and I look fresh as hell leaving that place.

The fun experience and level of confidence I feel are well worth the cost to me, so I invest it happily.

What are you willing to invest in? What are you willing to pay money for that other people would scoff at?

The one proven way to get wealthy

Is to simply bring more value to others than anyone else.

High levels of wealth can surely carry corruption and greed…

But Jeff Bezos isn’t wealthy because he found the perfect way to fuck people over.

He’s rich because Amazon brings millions of people value.

People love buying things at a reasonable price. They love getting those things delivered to them quickly, even more so.

It’s easier said than done, but if you’re unhappy with your income, ask:

How much value do I provide?

Remember Your Training

You’ve been training your entire life for today.

Every single decision you’ve ever made has led you to where you are right now.

Your bank account is the grand total of all the times you’ve earned money and purchased something.

Your body is the grand total of all the times you did (or didn’t) work out or eat well.

Your relationships are the grand total of all the conversations and experiences you’ve had with others.

Remember your training.

Good Investments, Bad Investments

“The best investment: investing in yourself.”

Cheesy. Self-helpy. But true.

Outside of the stock market, I have made–and continue to make–a number of investments which make my life easier, more enjoyable, and more fulfilling.

I have also made investments which have proved to have terrible ROI.

Here they are:

1. Good Investments

• My new apartment–$1100/mo

My mom let me live with her for free while I got my shit together. For that, I am eternally grateful; but having this new place to pay for has given me two things: the freedom to live an adult life, and the hunger to work well and increase my income.

• Supplements (Athletic Greens and LMNT Electrolytes)–$122/mo

Supplements are tricky. It’s hard to accurately pinpoint their benefits. It’s not as if I feel awful when I don’t take my nutrient shake. But even if it’s just a placebo, I feel mentally and physically strong knowing that I have all the essential nutrients and vitamins in my system at all times.

• My own studio–$140/mo

Moving into this new apartment, my roommate and I arranged that I would take the den and turn it into my own space for work and productivity. Separating this from my room has done wonders for my ability to focus and pursue deep work.

• Gym memberships–$110/mo

With the combination of my weightlifting gym and martial arts gym, I make sure to get consistent and well-rounded exercise. Aside from the physical benefits, practicing Brazilian jiujitsu has thoroughly changed my life. Increased confidence, a sense of family, an ability to defend myself…these are all priceless.

2. Bad Investments

• College–$60,000

Although I have a massive amount of debt for a degree I do not have, I do not regret going to college. What I regret–and lament–is making $20,000 decisions at the age of 18. I was a child, and I went to college because that’s what you do. Not because I had a goal or a plan. Just go and see what happens. Well, what happened was it didn’t work (for me). And now I am indebted to the young fool that I was.

• Friends who don’t share my values–Mental and emotional exhaustion

This has been one of the toughest realizations for me. Not all of our friends are helping us cultivate a happy and healthy life. This is incredibly sad, but totally natural. Identifying those who don’t make your forcefield stronger is one of the best things you can do for your wellbeing. I’ve spent an unfortunate amount of hours caring for and mending relationships with people when I should’ve just cut the cord.

What investments are you making that give you a great ROI?

What investments are you making that give you diminishing returns?

Don’t Chase

By no means am I a financial or business guru. My brain has never allowed me to be a numbers guy naturally.

But I can attest to the best financial/business advice I’ve ever been given:

Don’t chase money. Chase ways to help others.

If you are consistently finding solutions to people’s problems and ways to bring value to others, the money will inevitably come.

Last week, I got my first paying client as a life coach. This didn’t happen because I finally found the perfect way to market myself or because I chose the best pictures to put on my coaching page.

I just started giving free sessions to my client and after about three weeks, he came to me and offered to pay for sessions because they brought him a ton of value.

Whether it’s your business, your writing, or your art, people need evidence that what you have is worth their time, money, and attention.

Give them great evidence, and the money will come.

Day 16: Under $100

16/30 – What is a purchase under $100 that has changed your life recently?

Bulletproof Coffee: It has totally enhanced the quality of my mornings. I’m sharper, more motivated, and I can finally drink an entire cup of coffee without dying.

A subscription to Chess.com. I have begun to love chess over the quarantine and this app/site is a fantastic way to learn, play, and have a fun time while doing so.

Day 14: Top Tips

14/30 – Give your top 5 pieces of life advice:

  1. Take time to learn all the boring fundamentals of personal finance. It will probably suck, but you’ll experience much more long-term freedom and much less stress.
  2. Find something you enjoy doing that’s difficult, do it all the time time, and get better at it. If you don’t have this thing, try stuff out. A year from now, you’ll be glad you started today. (I can’t recommend martial arts enough).
  3. Talk to and spend as much time with your family and friends as you can. When you’re on your deathbed, the connections you’ve made in life will be all that you have.
  4. Give a shit about your health. You don’t have to become an Olympian or a vegan…But exercise at least 3 times a week and eat mostly clean.
  5. Spend intentional time thinking about and planning what you want out of life and out of yourself. Write down your goals, what you want your life to look like, what value you want to provide others…The more time you spend in a clear state of mind, the more likely you are to affect change toward those values.

Is ‘Do What You Love’ Good Advice?

In short: yes and no.

Much of what I write about, talk about, make videos about, etc…has a common theme of creating the life you want to live. This often suggests you pour your heart and soul into what you love or what you want to do.

I’ve received a decent amount of push-back on this mentality so I’d like to address a few caveats; namely with the statement, “do what you love.”

Firstly, I do believe a good chunk of one’s life should be dedicated to something that person is passionate about; be it a hobby, a side-hustle, or a weekend activity. Learning new skills, educating oneself…this shouldn’t stop once one graduates. It’s constant.

Having said that, doing what you love–no matter how much you love it–provides no guarantee that you will be able to support yourself financially doing it.

It doesn’t matter how interested you are in art history, theatre, making videos, writing, fitness, music…In terms of money, people don’t give a shit about how passionate you are; people only care about whether or not you can provide them value.

Therefore, if you rely on doing what you love to support yourself, you must:

  1. Provide a ton of value.
  2. Be incredibly good at what you do.
  3. Supplement that thing with one or two other useful skills.

For example, being really knowledgeable about art history is super cool and interesting, but people won’t be lining up outside your door to give you money to learn about the significance of Manet’s Olympia (thank you Google).

People would be much more intrigued however if you supplemented that skill with something like animation or filmmaking. Then you could make entertaining and educational clips or films articulating and illustrating what Manet’s works meant and felt like at the time.

That may be a silly example. The point is, people pay for value, they don’t pay for how much you love what you do.

Another problem with doing what you love is that it can often tarnish your love for that thing.

I have several friends who are artists, musicians, and craftsmen. They have said multiple times that they want to keep their craft a hobby for fear of hating it if they turned it into a business. I know cooks who hate the sight of food at the end of the day.

This all can sound incredibly harsh. I’m not trying in the slightest to discourage anyone from pursuing things they love. Quite the opposite actually. I think if you’re going to do it (and you should), you have to be smart about it to ensure that you don’t end up hating it or become unable to pay your bills.

I absolutely love making YouTube videos. It’s something I want to do more and get much, much better at. But the amount of passion I have for making videos doesn’t bring in viewers; the amount of value my videos provide people will bring in more viewers.

Passion = your drive to keep going

Value = people’s drive to consume your stuff

This is a crucial difference.

Do what you love. Don’t just put a bookmark in it and keep it on the shelf until you die. Water it. Feed it. Let it grow and develop.

But unless you’re insanely good at it–like, Cristiano Ronaldo good–and unless your thing brings a shit ton of value to people, don’t rely on it to pay your bills (yet).

3 Money Rules

Here are 3 of the most important facts about finance which have impacted me the most (each of which I never learned in school):

  1. The amount of money you have (or don’t have) is a direct reflection on the amount of perceived value you have provided (or have not provided). You can either wish that people viewed you as more valuable, or you can improve your skills or create a system in which you genuinely do bring more value to more people.
  2. If something was originally $1,000, and is now on sale for $250, you did not save $750; you spent $250.
  3. People don’t become wealthy by avoiding lattes and Chipotle. “If you took all the money you spent on Chipotle in the past year and invested it, in 40 years you’d have $144,750…” Who the fuck has ever done that? No one. The absolute best way to acquire wealth is not to save $25 a week, but to increase your income without increasing your time spent working.

Compound Interest

Aspects of life begin to open up once we realize that everything runs on compound interest.

Typically, the phenomenon is used to describe the goal of investing money. You put $1000 into the stock market. With a 10% return, you get a $100 back after a year. Next year, if you did nothing, you’d be earning interest on $1100. You get a return of $110 that year. As this continues, you’re earning interest on a higher and higher base value.

This can sound incredibly dull. But this is everything we do.

Aside from investing money, compound interest is prevalent:

In great friendships. The longer we stay friends with someone, the more solidified and stronger that relationship becomes.

In our passions. As we develop our craft–whatever it may be–over the years, we shed light on our love for it and learn what we don’t know along the way. We become masters.

In our health. If you’ve been fit and active for 20 years, you don’t wake up one day and suddenly say fuck it, and become a couch potato (haven’t used that term in years).

This is all best-case scenario, obviously. Many of us will plateau and halt our improvement and settle for good enough. Thinking about things in terms of compound interest however can really push us to stick at something. If we do, the results will be astonishing.

Process > Events

“Process makes millionaires, and the events you see and hear are the results of that process.”

MJ DeMarco

It took me years to step out of my victim mentality in terms of all the things which weren’t going well for me in life. Everything changed when I realized:

• I’m not out of shape; I just have a poor fitness and eating system.

• I’m not lazy; I just have a poor productivity and management system.

• I’m not poor; I just have a poor money system.

There are certainly people with deeply-rooted issues which better habits won’t fix, but for the vast majority of us, our lives are a result of the strength of our processes.

From James Clear:

You don’t need to clean your room. You need good cleanliness habits so your room will always be clean.

You don’t need more money. You need better money habits so you’ll always have plenty in your bank account.

You don’t need to ‘get in shape.’ You need better health habits so you are constantly fit.

Your bank account, your body, your life…how it looks right now is simply the result of each and every decision you’ve ever made.

Solving Problems

Is the best way to make money.

People hate problems. They’re uncomfortable, nagging, and people are willing to pay someone to make them go away.

The more strain a problem puts on someone, the more they’re willing to pay someone to solve it.

Needing a hip replacement is a problem. Needing clean plates is a problem.

Neither one is necessarily better or worse than the other; they’re just different problems…but I’d rather pay someone to replace my hip and wash my own damn dishes.

Simple Money

All of the best pieces of financial advice I’ve heard are the most simple to implement:

• Live below your means
• Buy assets, not liabilities
• Spend after you save, not vise-versa