I originally wrote this post in a brown leather traveler’s notebook which doubles as my wallet and business card holder. I used a Mont Blanc fountain pen and a custom blue-black mixture of ink that I extract from a little glass jar on my desk after every 10 pages or so. My reason for writing was nothing more than an excuse not to do the work that I had already tasked myself with. I found that I was looking at my watch every few minutes, and not just because it is a flawless vintage Omega Speedmaster that has an almost mesmerizing movement, but because I couldn’t seem to stay focused on the simple, yet time consuming tasks on my list. Looking at the gorgeous automatic timepiece that I recently purchased did, however, help to remind me of a realization that I recently came to; which also happens to be the answer to one of my internal questions; “Why am I spending so much time working for other people?”
The secret to making a lot of money is to spend a lot money.
This idea sounds backwards on the surface; however, it came to me as I was listening to the unabridged version of the Wolf of Wall Street audiobook. Jordan Belfort was attempting to justify to his father why he spent so much money on what seemed like trivial things. He explained that he was building an environment that encouraged excessive spending because the more things that people wanted, the more money they needed to make to get them. When I heard this part of the audiobook, I immediately associated that concept with my life. If I spend all of my money on something that I want, at the end of the month I’m not just going to become a bum and live on the streets. On the contrary, I’m going to go find a way to make more money so that I can pay rent. Furthermore, in that extreme scenario, if my purchase was a good one, then I’ll have acquired something more valuable than the money that was spent. For instance, I went to a concert recently that had a huge impact on my life musically and creatively. Another meaningful purchase was of the very vintage watch that is currently on my arm. I picked it up for $600 cash and if I needed to sell it tomorrow, I could easily get $1,000. A good purchase indeed.
Wanting things is the key to staying motivated. I believe that most people pretend that they don’t want nice things because they believe that they can’t realistically get them, or worse, because they don’t deserve them. This truly is a travesty. When we were younger, everyone looked up to entrepreneurs as role models. We celebrated the fact that we lived in America, and thus, were able to achieve great things. I’m not sure what sparked the change, but now it seems that the prevailing ideology is that successful people are somehow a bad thing for society. Instead, the trendy thing to do is to become a victim of some sort and use the excuse that some group of people, or some unidentified force, is keeping you from moving up in the world. I see this is as nothing more than an excuse to justify inaction.
In the third episode of the second season of the AMC original, Halt and Catch Fire, Joe MacMillan is in the office of his soon to be stepfather who is also the owner of the billion dollar company that he works for. He starts in on a grand pitch for a new idea when he is cut off by the billionaire. Joe is told that he can move forward with his idea and that he doesn’t need to continue the pitch. The stepfather/CEO is surprised that it took so long for Joe to pitch an idea and as Joe is leaving, he dropped a bit of wisdom that stuck with me.
“A seat opens up on a crowded train. It’s ok to hesitate, maybe you’re the next stop. Maybe you’re a good samaritan, or maybe you think you don’t deserve it.”
What a shame that so many people think that they don’t deserve to have nice things or that they can’t accomplish goals for whatever reason. One final quote that comes to mind on this topic is another one from the Wolf of Wall Street. “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.”
I’m done with the bullshit stories. There are a great many things that I want in life, and I intend on getting them, regardless of the costs.
-Stan Collins Boyd