The only ways to earn more money

Here’s a quick overview of the only four ways to increase your income:

1) Employee – Trade 8 hours of time to the highest bidder

2) Self-employed – Trade your time for (possibly more) money with better control over who you work for/with

3) Business Owner – Own and manage a system

4) Investor – Your money works to earn more money


It’s difficult to build real wealth in the first two categories alone.  How fortunate we are in America to be able to dabble in multiple categories simultaneously.



Bad day?

Are you really having a bad day? The whole day?  Perhaps a couple bad things happened among the hundreds of good things (or bad things that didn’t) for which you surely owe gratitude.

Every day is the first day of the rest of your life, but don’t wait for a new day.  The same applies to each hour and minute.  The day was never in charge anyways, you are.

Move forward.  You’re creating the next 24 hour-day right now.  Take back control.  You got this.

Focus on quality

Social media “likes” are not business outcomes.  Hours at the gym is not a useful metric.  Number of friends and acquaintances doesn’t say anything meaningful about you.

Are you getting quality sleep?  How fulfilling are your connections?  How do you feel about your career?  How do you look and feel to yourself?  How quickly can you release anger?  Answers to these questions reflect the quality of your health, wealth and relationships.  Focus on quality metrics.

The brilliant Naval Ravikant says this of people who obsess over social media likes and other meaningless metrics: “Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”


Using knowledge

A 358 page book advocating a specific diet needs only seven bullet-points to summarize how to actually follow the diet.  A 450-page book on mindfulness meditation contains four bullet-points outlining how to perform the meditation.

99% of self-help “knowledge” is comprised of arguing the case for “why”.  Less than 1% is dedicated to the directives (the “how”).

The challenge for those of us who are intellectually curious and always consuming, is to ensure we convert learning to action by answering “how will I use this for myself or others?”

Knowledge is NOT power, applying it is.

Building the new

How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?  Just one, but the light bulb has to really want to change. (G’nite everybody!!!!!)

Once we commit to change, it’s helpful to understand our personal triggers, weaknesses, and past mistakes.  But we get more leverage focusing energy on building our new lives than obsessing over old identities.

History does not dictate destiny.

Grading yourself

Whether or not we’re aware, we attempt to live up to our own expectations based on how we grade ourselves.  Some grade themselves by how much wealth they accumulate.  Others feel accomplished by transforming their bodies, building a business, or raising well-adjusted children.

I grade myself on how useful I can be (hopefully this blog is an example). This is my own internal measure, so there’s no right answer, reward or penalty.

It pays to be deliberate about what we choose to value.  And fortunately, once we’re out of school, we get to decide how we’re graded.

Important but not urgent

There is a useful matrix showing “important” on one axis, and “urgent” on the other.   Even without fancy charts we intuitively know that we should focus energy on items of long-term significance, and not on unimportant emergencies.

One way to deploy this is to be vigilant about managing phone notifications, email subscriptions, and everything else in your environment that forces you to pay immediate attention to things that are not critical.  Urgent does not equal important.

The purpose is to create space for intentional living, and to stop reacting to every bit of noise.  The first task is to remove as many stimuli as possible.