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if you are someone who’s homeless or can’t buy enough food or the simple basics of life, this post isn’t for you.  if you can buy enough food, have a roof and the other basics, read on…

don’t you ever get sick of your own self, your friends, your family?  here’s what you sound like:

i need to make more money, my friend are making more than me, i am running out of money, i don’t want to ask family for money, i don’t want to lose the money i have, i put a million dollars on my vision board five years ago when the secret came out so where’s my money?he’s a jackass why does he make more money than me, oh shit look at the size of that rock on her ring, that bitch she married him for his money, i need to make more than him/them, why did i make that STUPID investment and lost so much money, i hate my ex- for taking my money, they have so much money why don’t we have it, i wish i had more money, i just need more money,  i just want to buy a house and then i’ll be happy, i just want to get rid of this house that’s such a moneypit and then i’ll be happy, why don’t i have more money, if i had more money then i’d be happy, if i had more money then i’d travel more, once i make enough money then i’ll be respected, if i had enough money i’d quit this stupid job, if i had enough money i’d start my own business, once i have enough money i’d sell this business, my friend sold his business for more than i sold mine, once i have enough money then i can get married, once i have enough money then i can have kids, i’d be a better parent if i had more money and could buy them private tutoring, crap i need a lot more money for private school those bills are killer, i want enough money to travel first class because coach isn’t good enough, i wish i had enough money for a nanny so they could help me care for my kids, i need money to travel to see my kids since they don’t call me, why don’t my kids have enough money, i’m worried about my kids’ money, my kids are making stupid money decisions, why are my kids worried so much about money?  money, money, money, money, money, money, money…

now repeat that ten thousand times.

hasn’t that been going on for years?  well it’s not helping you make more money, and it’s for sure making your life more negative.

the irony in your life is that no matter how much you have made, you have RARELY been happy about money (yours or others’)…maybe for a few weeks or months or couple of years after a big raise, windfall or selling a company.  but then the anxiety grows back slowly, like a dandelion you can’t kill.  

so here are some steps and ideas for you, in three categories: 1) structural changes, 2) money education and 3) retraining your attitude (especially important if you’re already wealthy).

you can make structural changes, such as:

  1. lighten the load and downsize your life & expenses – do you really need to pay that much rent, go out that much, live in that expensive area, pay for private school, etc?  or are you just keeping up with the jonses?  move to a smaller apartment, buy a cheap used car, move to an area with great public schools (friends say colorado, for example) – wouldn’t kids rather and go to public school and have relaxed and loving parents, rather than stressed out parents in an expensive area?
  2. drop some expensive activities – your kids are not going to fail in life if they don’t know piano, calculus and french!  stop being stage parents rushing your kids to activity after activity, pushing them like that horrible tiger mom woman (yes, HORRIBLE, i said it); you are just trying to live your own dreams through them with an excuse of ‘i want them to succeed.’  in other words, you are driving them to make you feel happy and successful, not to make them happy or successful in life.  when you push them that hard, you’re setting them up for a life of low self-esteem, because they never feel good enough to you, no matter how much they accomplish/money they make/prestige they get.
  3. start a fulfilling business 
  4. just get a job  (if you’ve struggled finding a job in guangzhhou, here’s a great post by my friend Rich Walker on Why It Seems There Are No Jobs Out There)
  5. zen habits on how to save money
educate yourself about money:
  2. read helpful money blog, like Get Rich Slowly or ramit sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
  3. 200+ years ago, benjamin franklin had fantastic advice, such as “Questioner: won’t these heavy taxes quite ruin the country? How shall we be ever able to pay them? What would you advise us to?”  “Benjamin Franklin: These taxes are very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly…” (so true!)

ever heard the phrase, “wherever you go, that’s where you are”?  unless you retrain your brain and attitude, it won’t matter how much money you make, you will still have a lot of anxiety.  ways to change/retrain your attitude:

  1. shift your mind to the good stuff!  make lists of all the best things in your life when fears come up.
  2. clear out money fears by writing out lists of as many fears around money as you can, like “i’m afraid…”.  this brings hidden fears and anxieties out from ‘under the bed’ – like monsters into the light where you can see they aren’t so bad.  do this consistently when your money fears come up and i promise they’ll relax.  i discovered most or all of my hidden money fears were based around a lack of self-confidence, aka versions of ‘i’m not sure if i can do “it”‘.  when i discovered that, i saw ‘oh, that’s not true – i know i can do “it”‘ and helped dissapate ’em.
  3. make a list of all your assets and resources (you have more than you realize), and family does count
  4. make a list of all the ways you can make money, with your experiences, consulting, products, anything.
  5. listen to this brian johnson  interview (back to basics – meditation, health, family, + keep a 10 year vision)
  6. listen to marc allen interview (affirmations, patience, success through laziness)
  7. remember life isn’t supposed to be easy, and the value of your life is not determined by your job, looks, or financial worth, but by the memories, lessons in love and growth as a person.
list-making advice: some people say make a gratitude list every night.  i think that’s great to get in the habit, but if you make sure you do it every day, it becomes a chore rather than helpful. i’d suggest that whenever you feel anxiety or fears or jealousy come up, that’s when you make the lists or practice shifting your attiude and letting go of fears.

questions, comments?  what are you sick of?  what else works for you?

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with all the media, blogging and positive psychology study around happiness, i’ve noticed now that people have a hidden belief or assumption that you’re supposed to be happy all. the. time.  hell no!  that’s inhuman, unnatural, and not the purpose of your life.  you are supposed to feel the whole range of emotions, including ones like anger and sadness – just in moderation 🙂

and, with the 4-hour workweek movement, the idea is spreading that life can and should be easy all. the. time.  and if it’s not, or you’re – god forbid – angry, sad or frustrated…then something is wrong, and you’re falling behind.   it’s as much a guilt-creation as freedom-creation movement.

the value of life is not determined by your job, looks, or financial worth, but by the memories, lessons in love and growth as a person.  somewhere/how in our society, we lost sight of this.. perhaps because its easier to turn away from the hard challenges of life (in work, love, parenting, health, etc) rather than face them and grow through them.   life isn’t supposed to be easy – that’s not where most of your growth comes from.  haven’t you grown as a person the most from the hardest parts of your life?

So – happy Thanksgiving!  a perfect time to reflect on what is truly valuable and meaningful in your life.

a longer version of the video (take 1)…which my wife Jessica preferred!

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i’m curious – 

If you watched them both, which video do you prefer?  Longer, or shorter?

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did you leave a stable job or income to start a business?

myth: you need to work full-time on a new business.

myth: you need to raise money or spend a lot of money to start a company.  (for example, both PebbleStorm and Predictable Revenue are profitable businesses built with less than $100 out-of-pocket)

myth: jobs are bad (well, jobs aren’t bad, but your boss can be)

if it’s taking longer than you thought to get your business off the ground, and you’re stressed about money because your savings are almost out, why not get a job (or do more consulting) to fund your dreams and business?   especially if you have a family!

HELLO…you don’t need to work on a new business full-time.  and if you have a struggling business, there might be ways to cut it back and shrink it so that you can put it on part-time “simmer” while you work full or part-time.

here’s a quick video about it and the value of a job…

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I’d love to hear from you in the comments…


PS: picked up the Predictable Revenue book yet?

PPS: need help getting a job?  my friend Rich Walker (a coach/author/speaker & CEO of Efficient Technology Inc.) loves helping people redo their resumes and get great jobs.  it’s a side things for him he’s passionate about, and he’s amazing at it.  check out his post Why It Seems There Are No Jobs Out There, and find out more about him at


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my wife and friend Onna said this is their favorite thing I’ve ever written!

it’s a fun complimentary ebook for parents and kids (esp sons and dads).  i put it together as a hardcover book surprise for my son’s 7th birthday coming up, but you can enjoy it too 🙂

download Sons Love Drawing Mutant Robot Battles With Dads

feel free to pass it on to any parents who want a new fun & bonding activity with their kids…

i’m sure the principles would work for moms, daughters or whoever, just switch the robots for ponies and explosions for…well, you tell me!!

have fun,


Updated: you can now get the physical book on Amazon, check it out here.