Looking back, I was the happiest when I made $100,000 for the first time. For the first time in my life, I had more money than I knew what to do with. My expenses were super low, and I was killing it. I started making more money, but I did not have opportunities that are at our disposal today. Unlimited potential is available, and if I had that chance, I would currently be at a different point in my success journey. I’m going to go over a few lessons that I wish I knew before I made a million dollars.
Lessons I learned in my financial journey
- Don’t let your ego guide your financial decisions — I’ve made so many stupid decisions based on my ego and feeling like I needed to prove something to everyone else. The only person you have to prove anything to is yourself. It doesn’t matter if you drive an older car or live below your means. It’s actually the opposite. It’s important that you don’t get into the trap of feeding your ego or your expenses are going to arise faster than your income. And just because you have the ability to buy that stuff doesn’t mean you should. It’s kind of like a drug. You buy something and you’re like, “Wow, this feels great!” We get a little dopamine and adrenaline going. But, then it goes away and you’re instantly in search of a little more. It’s a constant cycle of trying to chase that feeling, but it’s feudal. Instead, I started focusing on making more money, growing my business, and developing myself.
- Success and ambition can be a curse — Most of your friends aren’t going to understand. Your family might not understand. It’s lonely because you may not have people around you that get it. It’s absolutely incredible and important to surround yourself with people that are in your tribe (people who are like you) and of the same mindset.
- Have multiple income streams and invest — you need multiple income streams because one job or one idea is not enough, and you need to invest extra cash as early as possible. Take that extra money and invest it in a platform like Wealthfront (investing in globally diversified portfolio of low cost index funds).
- Taxes suck but they really suck when you make a lot of money — a lot of people get in trouble because when they make it, they think, “Wow, look at all of this money!” But 50% of it goes back to the government, so it isn’t your money.
- People are weird about money — when you start making it, people may try to treat you differently and take advantage of you. You may find some ‘friends’ aren’t really your friends. You’ll lose people, and it’s okay. And you will change. It’s okay to grow and outgrow people. This was something that was a little hard for me because I’m the ride or die type of dude.
- Don’t get cocky because not everything will turn to gold — you may figure one thing out but don’t get so arrogant to think that you have it all figured out. Just when you get comfortable, that’s when life will punch you in the nuts. It could all go in a blink of an eye. Everyone is one or two bad decisions away from being broke, homeless, or in jail.
- Surround yourself with people that don’t blow smoke up your ass — you have to have great friends that don’t just tell you what you want to hear. Surround yourself with people that will tell you the truth.
- Money doesn’t buy happiness — I think a lot of people think that if you make a certain amount of money that everything will be super amazing and happy. What will make you happy is being able to take care of yourself and your family. Money does give you the ability to solve some problems easier, but there are a lot of problems that come with the money. You have to stay safe, protect yourself, and think about insurance.