- Why is the average retirement age 67 yet the average life expectancy is only 11 years more (78)?
- Why do we consistently think something is a good idea, but don’t act on it?
- Why do our brains primarily only think of 2 things: the past and the future, but rarely the present?
- Why are we all in such a hurry? Where are we going?
- Why do we get so caught up in making a living and forget to make a life?
- Why do we focus on what we may lose instead of what we may gain?
- Why do we keep so many doors open in our lives when we know when we shut one door another one opens?
- Why do we overvalue numbers and undervalue anything difficult to quantify?
- Why do we focus so much on income vs net worth?
- Why do we consistently fall victim to consumerism?
- Why do rules always begin with “Never” or “Don’t”?
- Why do we tell children “No” 40x more than “Yes”?
- Why do we have such trouble admitting when we are wrong?
- Why do we wait to tell people how we feel?
- Why do we often forget we have one life to live?
In December of 2020, I was honored to be asked to be a guest on The Ivy Podcast, hosted by Jahn Karsybaev.
We discussed everything from Artificial Intelligence to how to be fully prepared for an interview. Enjoy!
When thinking about financial freedom and retirement, we often forget why we want to free up our time.
One of the best exercises is to create your ideal day and see how much it costs.
- 06:30 AM: Wake Up
- 06:45 AM: Meditate
- 07:15 AM: Read/Write
- 08:00 AM: Take kids to school
- 08:30 AM: Play golf
- 12:15 PM: Workout with a friend
- 01:30 PM: Picnic lunch with wife
- 02:15 PM: Pickleball with wife/friends
- 03:30 PM: Pick up kids from school
- 03:45 PM: Snack/Homework Help
- 04:30 PM: Play
- 07:00 PM: Family Dinner
- 07:45 PM: Build a Fire
- 08:00 PM: Family Dessert (s’mores)
- 10:00 PM: Fall asleep reading
determine how much it costs to have your ideal day
For me, 11 of the 15 parts of the day are free. The remaining is $49:
- Play golf: $35
- Lunch: $5 (groceries)
- Dinner: $8 (groceries)
- Dessert: $1 (groceries)
For me, a years worth of ideal days costs me $17,885 ($49×365).
Add your annual ideal day cost to your:
- Annual Living Expenses (mortgage, insurance, car payments, gas, taxes, etc.)
- Annual Travel Budget (for the really ideal days)
- Annual Savings (college fund, etc.)
Now you will have a good idea of how much you need per year in order to retire.
Now, multiple your yearly number by (100 – retirement age goal). This gives you the TOTAL amount needed, assuming you live until 100.
Now it Gets PErsonal
Congrats! You have your total amount needed in order to retire: the magic number!
This is where it becomes very circumstantial on when you can actually retire. It depends on your age, your health, passive income level, investment portfolio, risk tolerance, debt, among other factors.
Two people of the same age, who both have $6M as their magic number may be a decade (or more) apart on their ability to retire.
Don’t forget about your ideal day
It’s easy to get lost in the magic number. To get lost in spreadsheets and what-if’s.
Don’t forget your why. Don’t forget about your ideal day!
We’ve all been there. Minutes before a job interview we are suddenly intimately aware of our body. We can feel the thump of our racing heart. The sweat glands opening up on our hands. The nervous energy making our toes tap rapidly in our shoes.
Since it means something to you, then we should make sure you do the best you can to crush the interview (in a good way).
Let’s break this down into 4 sequential steps.
- Send a pre-interview video
- Plan to talk less than the other person
- Trial close
- Follow-up and seek feedback
Note: Preparation is at the core of each step. Your preparation will provide confidence, which will exude throughout the interview.
1. Send a pre-interview video
This will differentiate you amongst the other prospects. No one else is sending a video of themselves. It will showcase that you’re comfortable in front of a camera in a world full of virtual meetings.
An additional benefit is you’ll fast forward the conversation within the interview such that more time can be spent on the meat of the conversation vs. introducing yourself.
Use your phone or your computer and record a 2 minute overview that includes who you are, what you can bring to the role and why you’re interested in the company. Share this with the interviewer 48 hours prior to your interview.
2. Plan to talk less than the other person
We humans love to talk. We love to hear ourselves talk. We walk away feeling positive from most conversations where we have talked a majority of the time.
An interview is no different. We should ignore the preconceived notion that the interviewee should be talking a majority of the time.
If the interviewer is talking the most, 2 things happen. (1) You (the interviewee) gets to know more about the role and the company and (2) the interviewer is more likely to walk away from the conversation feeling positive about the interview.
Ask more open ended questions
3. Trial Close
Because why not? You’re there to land the job, right? You came in not having the job. The worst case scenario is you leave without having the job (a.k.a. the same spot you were in). So, go ask for the job! The worst case scenario is they say you’re not the right fit and you leave the same way you came in.
Prepare your close by writing down the question(s) you plan to ask. Practice your close in front of a mirror.
A great close could be the following open (part 1) / closed (part 2) combo:
Part 1: “What hesitations do you have about me being successful in this role?”
Possible Answer: “We don’t have any hesitations at this time. We like your experience and you seem to be a good culture fit.”
Part 2: “Great. Do you have any hesitations moving me to the next step in the process?”
Possible Answer: “No, we look forward to moving you to the next phase. We will reach out to you by the end of the week.”
4. Follow-up and seek feedback
We follow-up because people are busy. Your interview was not their only priority of the day. This is your opportunity to recap the conversation and put you top of mind.
It’s important to also use the follow-up as an opportunity to seek feedback as this is the most direct way to improve and learn. Seeking feedback will also signal to the interviewer that you have a growth mindset – something highly valued by any organization.
- Immediately (same day) send a hand written letter (yes, ink and paper) thanking them for their time and mention something positive about the interview.
- Immediately (same day) send an email thanking them and asking for feedback. “What constructive feedback do you have for me?”
- Every 24-48 hours, send a follow-up email, text or call until you have a next step.
There you have it. Execute these 4 steps and let me know how it goes!
Now, go crush it!
The largest inhibitor to success is not starting.
We spend hours upon hours learning, planning and strategizing.
Then doubt creeps in.
What if I mess up? What if I fail?
Then 98% of us stop.
All that planning was for not.
I think I need to learn more before I start.
Sure, pick up a book or listen to a podcast or take an online course. But then act.
But I don’t know everything yet. What if I mess up?
No one was fully qualified when they started. But they started. They learned on the job.
When you mess up – you will learn something the book didn’t teach you.
You will get back up again, adjust and eventually find success.
I really have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve read some things and talked to a few people, but everyone is way more experienced than me.
They have experience because the started. They learned. They immersed themselves. They found success.
It’s really intimidating. I’m not sure I can do it.
That fear? Those butterflies? They are a good thing.
It means this means something to you.
There are a few big questions we ask or get asked in our lives.
- “Will you marry me?”
- “Do you want another kid?”
- “Do you accept this job offer?”
The one that often gets overlooked is
Business Partners are great. You double the ideas. You share the risk and the reward. You split whatever comes your way right down the middle.
Whether you are beginning a side hustle or a creating a start-up venture, the partner you select will set you on a trajectory for success or failure.
It is natural to look at a friend or family member and say, “Yeah, let’s go into business together! You like me. I like you. Let’s do this!”
It’s not that simple.
A business partnership is founded on 3 bedrocks.
Bedrock #1: Integrity
Going into business together means you’re going to be relying on one another to make sound financial decisions and operate within the law. You are representing them. They are representing you.
It seems so simple, but if you can’t trust your partner to act with high integrity 100% of the time, you will not succeed together.
Bedrock #2: The Why
There’s a reason why you want to start a new venture. That’s your why.
What’s your partners why?
It is imperative that your why and your partner’s why are in the same zip code.
If you’re in this to earn money right away, but your business partner wants to earn a big paycheck at the end – your why’s are not in the same zip code.
In that scenario, you will want to make decisions that are better for the short-term, while your partner will want to make decisions that are better for the long-term. Conflict will arise. Trust will erode. The venture will not prosper.
Bedrock #3: Equity Equality
There are 2 types of equity you and your partner will put into a new venture: Sweat Equity and Financial Equity.
Sweat Equity is the number of hours you spend on the venture.
Financial Equity is the number of dollars you spend on the venture.
It’s important that both of these are equal. It shows that you’re both in this together – fully committed.
An unequal balance will be OK at the beginning. The newness and excitement of the venture will overshadow the inequality. With time, the newness will wear off and the inequality will come to the forefront. This can lead to frustration, conflict and dissent.
Perhaps the business partner you have in mind checks these 3 boxes. If so, go for it! If not, proceed with caution.
A business partnership will never be perfect. You don’t have to align on everything. In fact, if you do agree on everything, that’s a red flag. You need different styles of thinking and you need to challenge one another at the right time.
Starting a new venture is bold, courageous and fun. It can completely transform your life. Go find the right business partner and conquer the world!
We’ve all been there.
You’re in line at the fast food drive thru, waiting to order. You pull forward and out of the microphone comes, “What would you like?”.
This tiny moment of decision happens often for many.
In that moment, here’s a small thing we can try: Skip the drink.
But let’s not just say it. Let’s make this easy! How? Put a reusable water bottle in your cup holder.
There are 2 types of people in the drive thru:
- Those who have a reusable water bottle in their cup holder
- Those who have an empty cup holder
Person #1 has made their decision easy: skip the drink.
Person #2 is getting a soda.
What’s the big deal?
Let’s say they get takeout 3x a week. Here’s how this adds up over a year for Person #1.
- Eliminated 31,200 calories
- Eliminated 8,580g of sugar
- Eliminated 8,580g of carbs
- Consumed 49 gallons of water
- Saved $312/year
Little things can make a big impact. Putting the water bottle in your cup holder is a little thing.
You won’t notice a difference after a week. You perhaps won’t after a month. But after a year – you will feel and be healthier and you have $312 to use how you want!
Currency is a figment of our collective imagination. The US Dollar – it’s just coins and pieces of paper that billions of people believe have value. The actual metal of the coin nor the paper of the bill have much, if any, value.
If currency is a figment of our collective imagination, why can’t a new currency take hold in our imagination?
Well, it’s already happening.
The top banks, leading investment firms and wealthy individuals across the world are starting to believe. The banks and firms are offering ways for their customers to invest and they, along with prominent individuals are investing in cryptocurrency themselves.
The next generation of wealth (Gen Z: birth between 1997-2015) are believers. They are the adults of tomorrow. The bank VPs. The creators of wealth. The transactors of currency.
If the banks believe. If the prominent individuals believe. If the future generation believes. What say you?
What is Cryptocurrency?
In its simplest form, it is internet money. No person, country, bank or entity owns it. Any person with an internet connection can acquire it.
Is there just one Currency?
There are over 5,000 different cryptocurrencies in the world. The most well-known is Bitcoin.
Where do I buy it?
There are 100’s of online “exchanges”, but the most notable are Coinbase, Bittrex, Binance and Gemini. Not every exchange has every coin, but they all have the most widely known coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.).
Why do people believe in Bitcoin?
Believers of Bitcoin typically focus on 3 key attributes: Decentralization, Efficiency, Trackability.
This is the biggest difference between fiat currency (like US Dollar) and Bitcoin. It means the banks don’t control it. A country doesn’t control it. The collective people do.
There’s a fixed supply. No one can print more Bitcoin.
The value of bitcoin is the same in South Africa as it is in the United States. No currency conversions needed. No boundaries to be concerned with. No middlemen doing the transaction. The coins can be transferred immediately over the internet with immediate audit-ability through the blockchain (the technology backing Bitcoin).
All transactions made with bitcoin are recorded on a public ledger (blockchain). This ledger is constantly updated and is immutable. No one can “fake” the money because the ledger would deny its existence. Anyone who cares to know can find out how many bitcoin are in “circulation” at any given time.
How Risky is Cryptocurrency?
Every investment has risks. Cryptocurrency is a healthy risk.
If your portfolio only consists of some combination of index funds, cash and your house: you’re not risking enough.
If you’re under 40, you’re really not risking enough.
The younger you are, the more time you have to bounce back from a risk gone wrong. Opportunistically, the more time you have to enjoy a risk gone right.
The collective imagination of cryptocurrency is building.
What say you?
Look at your to-do list. What’s the oldest item?
- 6 months?
- 1 year?
- 3 years?
If you haven’t done it by now – why is it still there?
Reign it in with The Ivy Method. Aptly named after Ivy Lee, a 20th century productivity consultant.
Here’s how you do it
- At the end of the day, write down the most important items you need to do the next day. You may write down up to 6 – no more.
- Order them in terms of their true importance, not their perceived importance.
- When starting your next day, look at the list. Begin working on #1. Do not move to #2 until you’ve completed #1.
- Upon completion of the day, move any uncompleted items to the next day’s list.
- Repeat each day.
The most important step is #2: Determine a task’s true importance. The picture here is a simple guide.
It’s also important to ask yourself. Is this task important to me or to someone else?
We all have tasks that are requested by others. We cannot escape them all. However, we can prioritize accordingly.
Why does the Ivy Method work?
It is simple.
It forces you to do the most important thing first (true importance).
It forces you to focus (single task vs multi-task).
For more than a century, The Ivy Method has been successfully implemented by some of the world’s most successful people, so why not give it a try?
Kids make you realign your priorities really quickly. You thought you had no time before kids? Just wait.
A quick lunch with my wife became a logistical nightmare.
“Who is going to pick our oldest up from school?”
“Who is going to watch our youngest?”
“If they take the youngest to pick the oldest up, we need to make sure they switch the car seat.”
“What will they eat for lunch? Does the babysitter know their nap-time routine?”
“WHAT IF THEY CHOKE ON SOMETHING? WHAT IF THE HOUSE BURNS DOWN?!”
This doesn’t even include the classic decision paralysis of: “Where should we go to lunch?”
Very quickly, the grand idea of lunch becomes too much of a hassle. “Maybe another day.”
Before you know it, “maybe another day” becomes commonplace.
Don’t let it.
Find that day. Find the time to spend with your significant other.
Kids are wonderful. Kids suck up your time. And. It. Is. Glorious. They love you unconditionally. They want to spend every moment with you.
But don’t forget about your significant other. Don’t wait for another day.