“People don’t want to be millionaires — they want to experience what they believe only millions can buy… The question is then, How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?” – Tim Ferriss.
It was literally insane. I was 24 years old, and I felt like I was rich. I could go anywhere, at any time, and had no one to answer to. At a moment’s notice, I could book a trip to Brazil, Spain, South Africa, or France. What’s more… I’d make money while I was traveling.
The catch was, I wasn’t rich. Nowhere close. Don’t get me wrong, I was making good money. I was living in New York City. I could afford to party, eat out, and even save money. But, my time wasn’t tied to my money. I was making money in my sleep, and not even trying.
Sounds like the story behind some kind of scam, right? I thought so too.
I thought they were scammy marketers trying to sell poor saps the dream of getting rich quickly. Real results take decades to achieve and only come at the price of ignoring fun with your friends, family, and lover, right?
Why then was I the exception? Why was it that I was thriving when many of the people I went to school with were struggling to get by in a competitive job marketplace?
When I talked about my job with relatives and family members, they’d raise their eyebrows in surprise. They’d look at me doubtfully and say, “And you can make money at that?”
Of course I could! After all, so many people online were making a killing. In fact, one of the friends that I grew up with was making lots of money with a website that ranked Minecraft servers. This site was getting millions of views a month and here’s the catch… he was younger than me.
What I was doing online seemed completely obvious. Anyone could do it. But, when I explained it, I would always get blank stares.
People couldn’t comprehend the fact that I was able to set up an online business so easily and rake in cash, even when I was sleeping. I had to be lying or doing something illegal. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it!
After several years, I came to fully understand why my existence was so foreign to them. I finally got why it didn’t make sense and never would make sense. I’ll sum it up for you in one simple formula.
Mainstream beliefs + Mainstream actions = Mainstream results.
If you want to succeed in a way that other people aren’t, you have to go outside of the mainstream. You gotta get outside your comfort zone.
It might seem weird at first, but you must be willing to explore different ways of thinking about the world. You have to take actions that the “mainstream” considers risky.
In life, you can either develop a plan for your own life, or have other people develop a plan for you. You’ll quickly become a pillar building their dream, rather than your own.
Just think, how are you spending your time each day?
Are you managing other people, and organizing them towards your goals? Or, are you the one being managed?
Our social conditioning in this society is focused on two things.
- Making us great consumers.
- Making us great employees.
Don’t believe me? You better listen up.
Every single emotion that you feel on a daily basis guides your purchasing behaviors. Marketers, like myself, are very aware of this. It’s one reason that we promote stories, values, and lifestyles that are meant to stir up emotions that will eventually lead to a purchasing decision.
What do young girls do when they realize the “importance” of beauty, popularity, and boys?
They go out and buy makeup. They buy expensive clothes and jewelry. They attempt to look desirable to the opposite sex and they seek approval from the same sex.
The majority of women out there are not comfortable with their looks. Why do you think eating disorders are so prevalent? These negative emotions are riled up by marketers and our own social conditioning.
As young men, we’re sold stories like the Wolf of Wall Street and The Social Network that make us want to earn a lot of money. With money, we can win the attention of girls and gain respect from our peers. We’ll be able to party it up, because that’s what you do in your 20s, and of course, that’s what you need to do to get laid.
This fuels the consumption of alcohol, expensive goods, and oddly enough, it creates hard working employees. I’m not saying that this is all a conspiracy. I’m just saying that this is how our society operates.
Kind of funny how all the popular rap songs and mainstream music talk about going out, hitting up chicks or chasing boys, and getting drunk in the club. Just look at the lyrics for Time of Our Lives by Pitbull.
“I knew my rent was gon’ be later ’bout a week ago
I work my ass off
But I still can’t pay it though
But I got just enough
To get up in this club
Have me a good time, before my time is up
Hey, let’s get it now.”
Haha! If I owned a club, I’d play that all the time. Young guys who barely have enough money to pay rent will spend their cash trying to buy a hot girl a drink and a shot for themselves, because they gotta party it up!!
This is just one example of how our culture promotes consumption. There are countless others. Marketers prey on negative emotions, promote stories, and sell lifestyles that will result in a thriving consumer base.
Our social conditioning also trains us to be great employees. From a very young age, we are taught in school to be good at key skills that have little real practicality when it comes to actual business or financial management.
When is the last time that you used geometry, trigonometry, calculus, or applied your knowledge about ancient Victorian literature? Chances are, it’s been a while.
I’m not saying that these topics don’t have value. I actually love literature and stories. I’m just saying that the education system is set up to churn out employees, not business owners.
Think about it… what do schools and colleges prize?
They brag about standardized test scores, ivy league acceptances, employment rates, kids who got into their first choice college, and of course, they emphasize getting as much education as possible.
Don’t worry about student loans. Go and get that graduate degree in ancient Chinese philosophy.
Want to set up a business? Go and get an MBA!
Need to make more money? Get a PhD!
We’re taught that higher education equates to more money. When we get that money, we can then go out and buy happiness with that big flat screen TV with “same as cash” financing that only requires a low monthly payment.
All the while, you’re making expensive private colleges money, you’re making the TV business rich, and you’re making bankers wealthy with your “low” monthly payments. Who’s really getting the best deal out of this situation?
College tuition is at a record high. We’re paying more for college degrees than ever before in history. Couple that fact with easy student loan financing and it’s a recipe for a bubble. The funny thing is that this entire system is justified by the fact that you’re going to get a high paying job after college. Good joke, right?
When you imagine all of the forces conspiring to keep you living a plain life as a thoughtless consumer and obedient employee, it can seem hopeless. It’s like this massive tidal wave that you’re powerless to stop. Soon, you’ll surrender to its power and be carried down into the depths of the cold, heartless ocean.
I’m happy to tell you that that doesn’t have to happen. You can break free from this system and I can show you exactly how to do it.
It’s not going to be easy. You’re going to have to read every word of my next few posts, take massive action, and adopt a completely new mindset. But, if you do, you’ll finally gain that sense of financial and emotional freedom that I too have always craved.