I’m not a huge believer in resolutions because they tend to come and go with little awareness for their sincerity. I like Sam’s idea of writing goals and then crossing them off but 30 is too many if you are only completing 13. I’m going to use this space to write about a few life thoughts that struck me throughout the year.
Money – The great motivator. Many people use money as a standing. I see it as a flexibility for freedom. The more money you have, the less you have to worry about when you spend it. There are many ways to make it and then there are many ways to save it. I remember in a book I read a while ago that company’s going out of business are more concerned with cost cutting than money making. Money comes and goes and as long as you’re not recklessly losing it in the stock market, to the casino, or a costly addiction, you should be ok. I keep 100% of my current assets in the bank and invest about 50% of my retirement. The adviser will say, you’re young, be aggressive. Point taken, but I’ve seen the market completely tank and it can take years to recover. I’ll happily invest slowly if it starts tanking, but after a decade of growth, I’m happy on the sidelines. I’ll conclude that money is a main reason I work as hard as I do which i’ll touch on later.
Gambling – I’ll write this for you Sam as I can give you some “bad guidance.” When I was in my early 20’s, my dad paid me 80k the first year I worked for the company. I was probably worth 40k. As I lived at home, I compiled a lot of money that I didn’t even realize was a lot of money. I would go to the casino and blow a k once a month. What did it matter? I was making a fortune with 0 expenses. As you age, you develop expenses. Not to mention I got CRUSHED in the market and then all of a sudden when I was 30 and putting a down payment on a house, it was like, “uhh, where’s all my money?” It’s hard to make money and even harder to save money. I wish I was smarter earlier. If you read my blog, you know I still gamble pretty religiously. I have relatively tight limits that don’t exceed more than I make obviously. If I lose more than that on whatever I’m doing, then I’m being irresponsible. It still does happen, but that feeling in the morning isn’t worth it. If you took all my sports betting, casino, Draftkings, and poker for the year, if I was down $3,000, I’d say it was a lot. That would be a number that I would be comfortable losing for the entire year.
Work – I’ve been self-employed for 13 years now and I learned a lot from JC in the early years about work ethic. Then I learned a lot about not getting wasted on weekdays. Next in my early 30’s it started changing for me. I knew I had an opportunity that most people don’t and that’s running their own business. I started learning more about people which is my #1 recommendation if you want to sell and be successful. You need to get in the consumer’s head and know EXACTLY what they are looking for. I started to get better on the phone with a sales effort and targeting who the customer was. Combined with fortunate luck, more hard work, and the ability to relentlessly push forward has gotten the company to where we are today (which after reviewing the year end is a far cry from where we were when I wasn’t taken it as seriously).
Alcoholism – I’m a functional alcoholic. Our family has an addictive personality and the genes are there for this to develop. That goes hand in hand with actually having everything you need in life and it’s a position that doesn’t fade unless you cut it out completely. It’s hard to explain to someone who either doesn’t drink or will nurse the occasional hangover. This is hardly bragging, but if I had to guess how many alcoholic drinks I consumed starting on Thursday until NYE, i’d guess 75. I wouldn’t say during this bender I ever completely blacked out or did anything incredibly stupid, and this is because I don’t really drink hard liquor anymore (which is much different than slamming double rum and cokes like I did in my 20’s which got me in bad spots on many occasions), but it sets up for a rough Monday (I’m also certainly not saying I won’t slam a shot). After 4 straight day’s of drinking, and I don’t regret any of it, you can’t think quick. You can’t sleep properly and wake up about every hour. You’re dehydrated. You get the night sweats. It’s not fun. Then it passes. Then you get back to normal which is where I think severe problem drinkers don’t ever spend time sober. It’s an extremely tough balance that makes me want to say “I’m going cold turkey.”
Exercise – This is not a hard one for me to control. I took the last 4 days off from the gym and I’m sure there are many people who’ve taken 4 months. I have to stay in shape. You not only compete in life better when you are in shape, but you feel better. The exercise is a counteraction to the alcohol. You can’t exercise when you’re drinking which is another huge plus. I think people who don’t take exercise (or their health) seriously are underestimating its importance because once you’re dead, that’s it.
Friends – It’s odd to me that I don’t have a lack of social events to attend with the lack of a significant other. I don’t mind being alone. I stay out of trouble when I’m by myself. When I start going out and socializing is where I hit some bumps. I don’t have any issues making friends though. I have more friends than I want to. I feel bad that I can’t even keep up with the people who were once in my life. However, when people start having families, they don’t (and I don’t) want to be around children. I’m at that point now where I’d say 25% of my friends have children, another 50% have either been with a person for a long time or are married, and the rest are still figuring it out. My instinct is telling me that even though there are still plenty of people looking to socialize in their 30’s, this number will start flattening out. Last time I checked, it’s not a race, but time sure does go fast.
Why Did I Write This? – This world is a you-first world. That’s not “you” by the way. It’s the other person. You make moves in life by understanding the concept that “you” (actually you), aren’t as important as the person you either talking to or working for. Your job is to be a sponge and coordinate your life by moving your chess pieces where they need to go. When I pick up the phone on a sales call I’m not asking, “how do I sell this guy more product?” I’m asking, “how do I make his job better?” When you try to benefit yourself (unless you’re playing the house), you’ll lose in life. You benefit once your contribution starts paying off. How big your payoff is depends on how much effort you are putting into it. It’ll will take years. Maybe decades. Maybe it never ends.
When I was young, I didn’t consider the other side as often. Now it’s a thought behind virtually everything I do. Except this post. I don’t give a shit that you’re reading it. I’m writing it for me. What do you think about that? Doesn’t come off well, right? There’s understanding this concept, there’s practicing it, then there’s mastering it. You don’t ever really master it to be honest. What happens is that you start to sense the connection you can make with people and you try not to lose why it happens like that.
I’m not sure if people read through 1,300 words. It’s not a post I’ll write often but it sometimes makes me feel better and puts my life into perspective. I also think I can look back at it in 5 years and say, “wow, what a goon.” Final thought, Sam, go to the fucking dentist.