4 books that changed my relationship with money

"$1,000,000 in the bank isn't the fantasy. The fantasy is the life of complete freedom it supposedly allows. The question is then, How can one achieve the millionaire lifestyle of complete freedom without first having $1,000,000?"

As a millennial, I’m not saving for retirement

  Photo by  Andreas Wagner  on  Unsplash

When I said “no” to traditional retirement

In high school, my mom and dad were actively involved with a successful multi-level marketing company.

Because my parents are awesome, they involved my brothers and me by introducing us to the product, explaining the financial model and even bringing us to one of their team meetings.

I’ll never forget that meeting.

It was led by two local Team Leaders, a healthy and good-looking married couple in their late 30s / early 40s with several children.

I’ll always remember the woman telling us about what she did that day: sleeping in until 9am, working out with a personal trainer, playing outside with her kids for several hours, responding to some emails in the afternoon, and then coming to this meeting. She kept talking about the incredible freedom she had because of the income from this product.

Some of you might be rolling your eyes at multi-level marketing or her story, but a lightbulb went off for me. I was hooked.

You didn’t have to wait until retirement for this kind of lifestyle?

What drew me in wasn’t the fact that she didn’t work much that day. It was this idea that she didn’t have to. She had freedom beyond the 9-5 world. That made too much sense to me.

Even though that company wasn’t the platform for me personally (who knew I couldn’t get teenagers to invest $143 per month?), that experience forever changed my perspective on the traditional retirement model.

Why I’m not saving for retirement

Four years later, I read Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek, and this time it wasn’t a lightbulb. The mothership was calling me home.

I love his three reasons why retirement as a goal or final redemption is flawed:

  1. “It is predicated on the assumption that you dislike what you are doing during the most physically capable years of your life.”

  2. “Most people will never be able to retire and maintain even a hotdogs-for-dinner standard of living. Even $1 million is chump change in a world where traditional retirement could span 30 years and inflation lowers your purchasing power 2-4% per year. The math doesn't work.”

  3. “If the math does work, it means that you are one ambitious, hardworking machine. If that's the case, guess what? One week into retirement, you'll be so damn bored you'll want to stick bicycle spokes in your eyes. You'll probably opt to look for a new job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting, doesn't it?”

Some other reasons I’ve decided retirement is not for me:

  • Social Security. I think we can all agree the future is very uncertain, and I’m not sure I’d want to rely on it anyway.

  • According to an Axios article, a child born today in the USA has a 50:50 chance of reaching 104, and the first person that will live to 150 years old has already been born. The retirement age was set when the life expectancy was only a few years beyond it. But as people started living longer, instead of changing the target age, we’ve built a culture that prioritizes making and saving as much money as you can (even if it means being miserable in a soul-crushing career), hoping it’s enough to support a habit of doing nothing for 30-85 years.

What I’m doing instead

1. Doing work I love

  Photo by  Ian Schneider  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you’re like me: maybe it has to be in the right context, but you love working hard, producing something meaningful and helping people.

Why stop for retirement?

I started out on the traditional path: graduate high school, go to college, start a safe career and start saving for retirement.

But I knew the longer I waited to do what I really wanted, the more addicting and necessary the stable salary and promotions would become, making it harder and harder to leave.

So after a failed promotion attempt and three years at the company, I left Corporate America to do what I hope to be doing some version of for the rest of my life.

This will support my family and me well beyond 65.

And if I’m not lucky enough to get to 65, then at least I spent my time doing what I love.

2. Living for Now

In addition to doing what I love, I’m more interested in living well right now than postponing my life for some future date.

When I was working, I could have put more away in my 401(k), but I only contributed up to my company’s match percentage because I knew there were more important things I didn’t want to wait for (starting a company, investing in real estate, paying down student loans).

I could have been more Mark Cuban-like (frugal) during my first few years as an entrepreneur, but I didn’t want to completely give up doing other stuff I loved (traveling, concerts, Chicago restaurants), which made the tougher days (which there have been plenty of) much easier to bear.

Zach Conway, a millennial financial advisor, wrote a great article for Forbes about the alternative outlets where our generation is putting their money instead of maxing out retirement savings.

3. Skilling up

Last month we attended a conference in Boston called Work+EDU about the future of work and education.

The main takeaway: disruption from innovation/automation is coming fast, even to industries that might seem “immune.”

This means the rate of new jobs being created and old jobs becoming obsolete is going to continue accelerating, making our 12-16 year education more and more irrelevant.

As a result, we need to realize our learning days didn’t stop when we graduated.

  Photo by  Josh Sobel  on  Unsplash

Photo by Josh Sobel on Unsplash

We have to consistently develop new skills through formal or informal education, so we can continue providing value in the workforce well into our 70s and 80s (and soon, 90s and 100s).

One the best things about being an entrepreneur has been having to develop a wide range of valuable skills (sales, email marketing, presentation and public speaking, copywriting, website development). It’s also forced me to learn and think about how innovations like blockchain, AI and machine learning will impact the future of our company.

Becoming a lifelong learner will be more important than ever to support ourselves and our families long after the minimum retirement age.

Call to Action

The traditional model of retirement devalues time, the most important resource in the world, by postponing our ideal life.

Whether it’s through Tim Ferriss-style mini-retirements or creating a life you never want to retire from, there’s no better time than right now to do work you love, live to the fullest and expand your skill set.

Disrupt the Cycle

If work and life feel separate, if you get substantially more excited for life after work or on the weekends, it’s time to make a change.

Try our free 7-day email challenge on how to overcome the 7 most challenging obstacles holding you back from the life you really want.

Sign up here.

A simple budgeting exercise helped me save $90K in three years

Not only could I accurately predict my expenses, I could also spend money guilt-free on my favorite things like eating out, drinks with friends, sports and concert tickets and vacations. Knowing it was all in the budget gave me incredible peace of mind.

The 1 skill you need to be a top performer

I know this because in addition to my 12+ years of research, experience has taught me that in situations when I confronted my fears and took action, the outcome was extremely positive. Whether it was in school, networking, entrepreneurship or asking a girl out, even if the result was a "failure," that led to knowledge or experience that made me successful later on.

Can you think of some your defining moments? Most likely, you had to overcome fear to take action.

Why I stopped saying "someday"

If I didn't have my wake up call in December 2014 when I didn't get promoted, someday might still be someday. After I didn't get promoted, I knew it was time to turn someday into a deadline. In August 2015, I made the jump to do what I love full time.

How to eat better without sacrificing the foods you love

Fortunately, this is a resolution I don't have to worry about anymore.

I'll tell you how I eat pizza, burgers, and chicken sandwiches, drink 2-3 nights per week, and still get made fun of for how good of shape I'm in by my family and friends.But first, why do so many people fail to eat better?

They feel restricted.

How Vikings WR Adam Thielen got his Dream Job

Thielen was only recruited from high school to play football by one college: Minnesota State- Mankato. A Division II school that landed him on exactly nobody's radar for the NFL when he graduated.

The stats for Division II players in the NFL draft? In 2016, 3 out of 256 (~1%) were Division II.

So of the 1.5% that make it to the NFL, roughly 1% of those are Division II players.

Which loosely means there was a 99.99% chance that Adam wouldn't make it to the NFL, where the average lifespan is 3 years.

Let alone start and become an elite receiver, now playing in his 5th year.

How to break into a new industry, regardless of experience

We were featured on Breaking Into Startups FB Live Interview Series to talk about how to break into new industries, leaving before you're ready and how to overcome the obstacles we face as young professionals.

Click on the image above to watch the video.

Breaking Into Startups helps professionals break into the tech industry regardless of their current skillset or previous experience. These guys are on a mission to help aspiring professionals meet the high demand of lucrative and fulfilling jobs in the tech industry.

Really enjoyed this interview!

Disrupt the Cycle

If work and life feel separate, if you get substantially more excited for life outside of work, it's time to make a change.

Click here to sign up for our free 7-Day Email Challenge. 7 barriers holding you back from your ultimate life, 7 emails on how to overcome each one.

Sign up here.

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The Power of a Flexible Schedule

How often does one of your projects take way longer than it should? Have you ever told yourself, "if I just had x amount of uninterrupted time, I could get this done in no time!"

I've been there. When I was in the corporate world, my time was constantly compressed by meetings, client visits, quick deadlines and surprise projects. Now, my flexible schedule is one of my favorite things about being an entrepreneur.

Not only is it amazing because you can work and not work when you want (I've taken 26 trips in the last 2 years), it's also unbelievable for productivity

What an incredible opportunity we have in 2017

If I told you that you have 61 days to dramatically improve your life, what could you accomplish? A new job? A new hobby? Huge progress in your side business? A new relationship? If you want 2018 to be a different year, give yourself a running start by taking advantage of the next 61 days.

And yes, you can still relax and enjoy the fruits of the season.

Why set goals if we're just going to die anyway?

Right before we were about to dive into the next exercise, one of the girls raised their hands. In a very somber tone, she asked, "Why should we set goals if we're all just going to die anyway?"

I imagine how we felt was similar to how a standup comedian feels after getting heckled on-stage...

Is Entrepreneurship Is Worth It? Our Thoughts After 2 Years

  Photo by  Drew Coffman  on  Unsplash

Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it." -Henry Ford

This month, we passed the two-year mark since we left our jobs to become full-time entrepreneurs.

What a journey.

There have been a lot of unexpected challenges and obstacles. A lot.

Countless failures. Financial instability. Emotional stress. Just to name a few.

At times, we've questioned whether or not we made the right decision. Because in terms of volume, there have been way more challenges and obstacles than successes.

But sprinkled in throughout the journey, we get reminded of the four reasons we wanted to become entrepreneurs in the first place.

They make us more sure than ever that we're doing what we were meant to do.

That it's all worth it.

1. Impact

When you get emails like this...

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2. Flexibility

When your office looked like this last week, you worked 2-3 hours per day, then spent the rest of your time relaxing with family...

3. Passion

When you:

  • Wake up with the same excitement 7 days per week
  • Experience no Sunday Scaries, or let down coming back from vacation
  • Have fully integrated work and life

4. Upside

When you just re-sign two of your largest clients, get rewarded accordingly, and have built an engine for unlimited financial upside and impact on the lives of others...

...it becomes hard to question your decision.

Conclusion

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." -Arthur Ashe

This is our ultimate life. Are you living yours?

If not, why not?

Life is short. Don't wait anymore.

Take one step towards your ultimate life today.

Disrupt The Cycle

If work and life feel separate, if you get substantially more excited for life outside of work, it's time to make a change.

Click here to sign up for our free 7-Day Email Challenge. 7 barriers holding you back from your ultimate life, 7 emails on how to overcome each one.

Sign up here.

Our Journey from Finance To Freedom, How to Start Your Side Hustle, and Why You Should Fully Integrate Work and Life

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"If there is something that's not right about your career or your life, think hard about the cost of inaction and how much it's costing you to leave the status quo unchanged."

We were recently featured on the Zero To CEO Podcast with Austin Belcak (click on the play button above to listen) to talk about our journey into entrepreneurship, how to start your side hustle, and the why your work and life should be fully integrated. The intro from Austin is below:

Today on the ZTC podcast, I've got Matthew & Joseph Moheban from Live220.

Matthew & Joseph started out their professional lives following the "traditional script." Go to college, major in business, get a job in finance, and climb the ladder.

After three grueling years in the finance world, they decided it was time to re-write their script and live life on their own terms. Now they help coach students and young professionals on how to follow their passions and live their ultimate life.


Austin is the founder of Cultivated Culture, a company that helps young professionals accelerate their career by increasing their salaries, gaining unique experience to jump the corporate ladder, or finding and landing their dream job.

Austin's content is unique, practical, and easy to implement. I've taken a lot away from his regular emails and posts, and highly recommend checking out his site and resources.

For example, his comprehensive guide on crafting a resume is the best I've seen because it's about more than just making it look and sound good. It's designed to help your resume stand out from the masses, demonstrate your unique value to your dream company, and develop strong relationships in a short amount of time with your interviewers.

Disrupt The Cycle

If work and life feel separate, if you get substantially more excited for life outside of work, it's time to make a change.

Click here to sign up for our free 7-Day Email Challenge. 7 barriers holding you back from your ultimate life, 7 emails on how to overcome each one.

Sign up here.

Preview: The 7 Obstacles Keeping You From Your Ultimate Life

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos uses a decision-making framework called Regret Minimization, which forces you to make decisions based on which option, when you’re sitting in your rocking chair at 80 years old and look back, will cause you the least amount of regret.

Interview with Great Minds on Entrepreneurship, Leaving Corporate America, and Claiming Your Ultimate Life

We recently had the opportunity to be featured on Great Minds' Set The Tone Sunday interview series. We focused on our journey from the corporate world into entrepreneurship, the obstacles we faced, and our advice to others who are thinking about making a big change in their life.

3 Life-Changing Lessons from Jordan Spieth's Open Championship Win

When Jordan Spieth began his final round on Sunday, he did not expect to play poorly. But that's exactly what happened.

He could have panicked. He could have started blaming something or someone else. He could have stayed really down on himself. Most of us would have.

Instead of telling himself a story of sorrow and disappointment, Spieth told himself a story of opportunity and resilience.

And it worked.

The Mentality That Could Solve Every Problem In The World

"You shouldn't give circumstances the power to rouse anger, for they don't care at all." -Marcus Aurelius

Alternatively, in these situations you can ask yourself:

What would a lion do?

I'll tell you what they don't to: they don't blame external circumstances for their problems. They do something about it.

  • If a lion outside the pride challenges the pride leader, he either fights them off or he's removed from his pride.
  • If three lions challenge him in the same week, he doesn't complain about his luck or the sun being in his eyes. He fights off three lions.
  • When it's time to eat, lions have to go find food, so they hunt.
  • What if they can't find food? They keep looking.

But most young professionals don't think like a lion.

Seize Your Ultimate Life By Asking These 5 Questions

4. What can I do today to move closer to my ultimate life?

Ask yourself this question today. Then do that one thing.

Then, ask yourself the same question tomorrow, and do that one thing.

Then do it the next day. Then every day after that.

Consistent small wins lead to powerful results. If we can build a 6-figure business in a year by taking daily action, so can you.

"Don't let perfectionism become an excuse for never getting started." Marilu Henner