29 Lessons in 29 Years

After spending two years being 27 years old (hey, it was a good age!), it is now time to turn the page on another year I’ve been looking forward to for a while… Good ‘ol number 29.

Any excuse to reflect and learn is a good thing, so as I look to end my roaring 20’s stronger than ever, I want to share with you 29 of the most important lessons I’ve learned so far:

 1. VISION BECOMES REALITY

The tagline for my small hometown in Ohio is something that I used to laugh at. As I started studying many of the most successful people of all-time, I learned this statement to be true: Vision Becomes Reality.

piqua vision becomes reality

Vision Becomes Reality

Everything you do (or don’t do), every penny you make, every single decision comes down to your mindset, so you know I had to start there. Having a vision for the future, a purpose and destination for the life you want does become a reality with the right steps.

I thought this to be true when I started studying the greats and reading hundreds of books. However, ever since last year when I was overlooking the bay in Phuket, Thailand, I know for a fact this is true.

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

2. THE UNIVERSE GIVES TWO SHITS ABOUT POTENTIAL OR DEGREES

The universe cares about intent, actions and results. It does not care what college you went to or what you “can” do.

When I first started out in the corporate world, I thought I was smarter or better than some of my peers (I was neither). However, it wasn’t until I turned my internal ambitions and thoughts into actions that I started to get the respect I felt I deserved.

It’s important to note, after you get your first paycheck, nobody in the real world cares about your degrees or lack thereof. Results take over. I’ve worked with some of the best and brightest, and countless people from the best colleges in the world. I’ve worked with Ph.D.’s and people who only have a PHD (‘Public High school Diploma’). From my experience, there is no correlation between massive success and the university or degree someone has; the things that matter are simply results.

3. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE

A mentor of mine taught me this early on in my sales career. It’s all about people. It’s all about relationships.

Find great people and connect with them. Solve their problems and help them.

Find a mentor and learn from them. Take a good long look at the people in your life because those people are influencing who you will become.

Once I started to learn this, I started to get outside of my shell and connect with people one on one more. I quickly networked and built relationships with some people I really admired – from bosses to peers to customers to outside networking – and now call more than a dozen people very close mentors of mine. This has given me priceless advice as I’ve been able to learn from those that have gone through and done things I want to do, but it also gave me an extremely strong support team that was there for me helping me see my dreams through – whether that was to be CEO of the company I was working for, or taking the leap into entrepreneurship. People.

Another key reason why it’s all about people is that no matter who you talk to, the common element among reason’s for happiness is relationships. People.

Family, friends, customers, employees, happiness, success… spin it anyway you want… It’s all about people!

4. HEALTH IS WEALTH

Health is Wealth QuoteDon’t kid yourself. With poor health, wealth has no meaning.

When I started my first business, I almost worked myself to death. I had poor health, working 100+ hour week after week while trying to maintain an awesome 25 year-old lifestyle on top of it.

That doesn’t work out too well. I had to call 911 from massive anxiety attacks. I couldn’t sleep or breathe.

After the scares, I started to take my health extremely seriously. I gave up the Costco diet (frozen foods and anything that was quick), began to exercise daily (the game-changing 7-minute workout), and eventually got back to feeling energetic and focused for the first time in years.

Money and career are important, but these pale in comparison to family, health, etc…

And if you need any more motivation for money, it’s 100x easier to build wealth if you have the energy and focus to be able to attack it. Being fit and healthy is one of the secrets of the wealthy. You don’t see many rich slobs for a reason.

5. YOU’RE RICH AS HELL

In the 24-7 access world with media, TV, Instagram, we’re always comparing ourselves to everyone else. By doing so, we lose track of how fortunate we really are.

If you’re reading this, I know one thing to be true regardless of what you say: You’re rich as hell.

You don’t believe me? Check out this tool: GlobalRichList.com

$50,000 per year puts you in the top 0.31% in the world!

That’s a reality check for complaints of your income.

Now, income does matter in my opinion. Hell, the tagline for the site is Make Money, Live Wealthy. My point is that it’s not the be-all, end-all, and any excuses about not having enough money is not valid.

6. YOU ARE YOU (AND BE PROUD OF THAT)

My grandma has lived through some amazing times, so I told her to write a book. Shortly after, she did just that and gave it to our entire family as gifts for Christmas a few years ago.

One of her parting messages in the book was from none other than Popeye the Sailor Man himself: I Yam What I Yam.

I loved this because one of the biggest things I’ve learned is to be yourself. It’s so important to be confident in your own skin. My grandma learned this in her life, and she’s proud of it. And it took me 25+ years before I was able to start really be me 100% through.

And as long as we’re talking about cartoons, then we might as well throw in one of my favorite quotes of all-time:

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss 

The sooner you can be comfortable being yourself (and I know for a fact how hard it can be!), the sooner you can get to your ultimate level of success and happiness.

7. IT’S NOT ABOUT HOW MUCH, IT IS ABOUT HOW FULFILLED

I’ve traveled all over the world – from Europe to Asia to Brazil and back – and what I’ve learned is that money doesn’t equal happiness by any stretch. The happiest countries I’ve been to are often the ones that seem from the external world to have the least.

It’s not about how much you have; it’s about how fulfilled you are with what you do have. Cambodian families average earnings of $2 per day, yet they are the happiest people I’ve ever met. Why? Because they don’t need material possessions; they are well aware that true fulfillment comes from family and freedom, and that’s what they have.

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie

8. IT’S ALL ABOUT BALANCE 

We always want one simple answer to life’s challenging questions. What should we do: x or y? Unfortunately (or many times in a good way), the answer is both. It’s never one extreme or the other.

Should you enjoy your food or eat extremely healthy? It’s about balance.

Try to save $5 or focus only on the big picture? Balance.

Follow your passions or skills? Balance.

“You only live once” (YOLO) or “Work hard now so you never have to work again”? Balance.

The thing about balance is that at any given moment in time, you cannot be balanced. Doing two things at once is the same as doing nothing. However, over an extended period of time you are balanced – and here’s the key – in a proportion that is right for you.

You define balance yourself. There’s no set percentages or formula. But if you’re fulfilled in each of the important areas of your life, then you are balanced.

Last year, it was all about freedom for me. I was out of the corporate world traveling the world, and I was in a completely laid back, ‘retirement’ phase. Chill, relaxed, and not a worry in the world…

Then, at the turn of the year, I went back into hustle mode. 100 Hour workweeks followed one after the next as I started and grew a new business to 6-figures in a flash.

Besides my month-long stay in Brazil, was I balanced to start the year? No way! I was working like a mad man… But am I balanced in my life over the last year that is perfect for what I want to do and achieve in my life? Absolutely!

You need to figure out what matters and strategically plan so you can create the type of balance you want long-term. It’s a very fine line that, if mastered, will make your life a whole lot better.

9. KNOWLEDGE + ACTION = POWER

In addition to real mentors, I also quickly added a team of pseudo-advisors in my life. When I was 24 or 25, I started to read and listen to hundreds of books. These books and authors became my mentors.

One of the first was Napoleon Hill. I read everything he put out over and over again. What he taught me in addition to the importance of the mindset was this:

“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” 

In school and throughout society, we’re taught that brains is intelligence. Remembering some dates for an event or figuring out what X is – that’s intelligence.

In the real world, this is only a small piece to the equation. Plus, smarts doesn’t matter what you know unless you put it into action.

The cool thing is, the best way to get an education is to take action. So, knowledge and action can work together to create this amazing cycle of extraordinary growth. Use it wisely and don’t get fooled that you can use one without the other.

10. START OUT RIGHT & WATCH EVERYTHING CHANGE

One of the ‘Secrets of the Wealthy’ from Make Money, Live Wealthy is that gratitude plays a huge role in your success.

Think about it: If you start with what you’re grateful for, you begin to see the world in a new light. You have more energy, happiness. People like you more. Add all of that up, and you start to have some success… and that then breeds more success.

What you are doing is firing the engines on a positive momentum train, and it starts with the simple practice of expressing what you’re grateful for. It’s about finding the silver lining. It’s amazing, and something that anyone can do.

When starting a new relationship, I try to find something in the person that I really appreciate. When starting a workout, I smile big and have trained my mind to instantly be excited about the workout ahead. If I land in a new city, I exit the plane with a big smile on my face. It’s an odd habit, yes, but like the Bud Light commercial says, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.” It works.

Be grateful. Be optimistic. Start the positive train of momentum, and success will follow.

11. CONFIDENCE IS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT BANK ACCOUNT

Growing up, I never had much confidence. I had internal belief, but no external confidence. It took years to get over some things like speaking to anyone I didn’t know well (especially public speaking in front of a crowd – no way!), being comfortable being myself, saying “no” to things I didn’t want to do, admitting my weaknesses, leaving “security”, etc.

Hell, it took me two years from when I started making a lot of money from investments before I left the corporate world even though I was often making more money by pressing an on and off button than I was by working 50+ hours per week!

The most important bank account you have is your confidence account.

Everything else stems from the belief in yourself and the ability to overcome your fears. You need that belief in your vision and your abilities to be able to trump your fears and get into motion. Once you do, you can become unstoppable.

Here’s how things can build up:

  • Coming out of college, I was afraid to talk to anyone outside of my inner circle unless I was drunk.
  • I started in Toastmasters and moved into the sales role for my company that was to help me break free from my engineer introvert mentality.
  • I went on to become the #1 sales person in the country while also being the youngest and least experienced one, as well.
  • I eventually started my own podcast broadcasted throughout the world with listeners in over 125 countries throughout the world (even though I was embarrassed and afraid as could be).
  • I now do videos all of the time and am in my zone if I am networking, selling, or speaking – all things that would make my heart jump out of my chest just a few years earlier.

Not to say I’m unstoppable, but I will no longer stop myself! Fear is just a four-letter word and nothing else.

Also, there has been a direct correlation between my confidence and my wealth, and I would imagine everyone else is the same. Why? Because confidence leads to actions. It reduces excuses, and gets you in motion (which is the hardest part). Momentum builds slowly but surely, and in a short period of time, extraordinary is expected.

$100,000 no longer is the big dream, but merely a monthly goal.

Fear never leaves, but enough confidence will shut fear up long enough so you can get on doing what you really want – and need – to do.

12.  TIME IS OUR GREATEST ASSET

They say, ‘time is money,’ but also know that ‘money is time.’ The more money you have, the more time you have… and time is the greatest asset in the world.

Early on, money was my core goal. How do I become a millionaire in my 20’s? That was the question that filled my mind so often. Yet, as I started to make good money, things started to shift.

I then realized something greater than money: Freedom.

Freedom was the ability to do whatever the hell I wanted without worry. It was peace of mind, and most importantly, time. If I didn’t want to do anything for a long time, I didn’t have to.

If you get to this point, you have power! That’s why I stress that it’s so important to do all of the things we talk about financially.

Money is extremely important (in my opinion) because it helps provide you with this freedom. However, shifting my thinking from “how do I get money” to “how do I get more time (freedom)” helped me reach my ultimate goal much, much faster.

Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn

 13. FULFILLMENT COMES FROM GROWTH

Progress is the secret to wealth and happiness. It doesn’t matter where you’re at on your journey, as long as you’re moving forward and growing, you’re on your path towards wealth.

When I first started my investing business, I was so excited that I couldn’t (or didn’t want to) sleep much. I wasn’t making any money from it yet, but it was awesome. Why? Because I was growing at such a rapid rate. I was learning more in a week than I would in half a year in school. I was growing.

Everyone is at different spots in their journey. A single mom who finally has a grasp on their debt and a plan for the future can be even more satisfied with their financial situation than a multi-millionaire. Why? She’s taking steps forward and improving her situation.

You can’t focus on the past; the only thing you can control is the future. Focus on one small step of improvement, and fulfillment will come from that.

14. SELF-AWARENESS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRAIT

The first step towards changing anything – no matter if it’s your attitude, a habit or a flat tire – is awareness.

The most successful people I know may not be the smartest or best sales people; but they do have a great awareness about who they are, what their greatness is, and more importantly, where they need to improve.

This honest self-awareness gives them the ability to find people to help them where they’re weak. They hire a coach or an employee to help fill the gap so they can focus their time and effort on what they do best. Delegating and letting go of things that aren’t your core strengths can be hard to do, but it leads to the most success.

I have always tried to be my own strongest evaluator. Yes, this means my own worst critic most of the time (you, too?), but I take it very seriously to try and be 100% aware of my strengths, weaknesses, and how I show up in the world. I try to be very honest with myself, and reflect on a weekly basis to look at what worked, what didn’t, and what I need to do to improve.

This simple practice of reflection helps me get to the heart of reality, and come one step closer mastering this critical trait. It’s not easy to admit your flaws to yourself, but once you come to grips with reality you can move past it. Plus, it’s a freeing feeling to let go of things that don’t lie in your zone of genius.

No matter what it is, start with awareness. If you want to change your financial situation, learn about your current finances inside and out. From there you can identify the leaks and opportunities for improvement.

Some peers I see that struggle the most are often ones that lack this total awareness of who they are and how they show up in the world. Again, I know I’m far from perfect and it is always easier to see someone else’s situation much more clearly than our own, but a little honest reflection can go a long way. These peers may have a lot of money, connections and talent, but the pieces aren’t falling into place because they’re missing the big awareness piece that will allow them to fulfill their weaker areas.

You can’t fix what you don’t know, so do as Michael Jackson says and start with “the man in the mirror.”

15. YOUR ARE THE CEO AND CFO

Nobody cares more about you or your career more than you do. As a result, you have to take control of your life.

Whether or not you’re an entrepreneur, you have to become the CEO of your life and career.

Even if you do not have financial acumen or care about investing, you have to become the CFO (chief financial officer) or your life and make the decisions that are going to set you up well. Sometimes that means hiring the right adviser. Nobody else is going to do it for you, and nobody else is going to be to blame when something doesn’t work out. Take control yourself.

If you have listened to the podcast, you know what the tagline is:

Take control. Make money. Live wealthy.

16. NOT TAKING A RISK IS THE RISKIEST THING YOU CAN DO

Risk is something that is all relative. When you break it down, most of the times what seems risky to the common person is in fact the least risky thing you can do.

When I left the corporate world, my boss’ boss said I was taking a risk. My parents thought I was crazy to leave such a secure and promising future. Yet, less than a year later my goals were to make in a single month what used to take me a year.

Now, was it a risk to leave? Obviously the risky thing would be to stay in the corporate world.

The worst thing you can do of all is to not make a decision. If you wait and let the ambition fade, then 12 months later, 12 years later, nothing changes. You’re still in the same place as you were before!

Actually, the only thing that does change is that it is now even harder to do something (or at least you have more excuses why you can’t). Then, it’s “too late.” And again, nothing changes. Ever.

See the risk in not making a decision? I’m not saying to quit a job. I’m saying to evaluate things in the right way, make calculated decisions and find ways to reduce your risk. Do so and you’ll get to a point where you’re ready to take a “risk” that you know is not so.

17. YOU CAN ALWAYS CHANGE

Things change. Life happens. People come and go. Your ambitions and circumstances change. Your confidence and knowledge changes…

Don’t worry. This is all good!

Let change happen. Don’t be afraid to adjust. What made sense 5 years ago may not make sense now or in your future. And that’s just fine. It’s called life. Pivot and move forward.

Of course there is a balance between persevering and pivoting, but being open to change is a mentality that will give you something that is priceless: peace of mind.

One of the inspiring lessons I learned interviewing over 100 top business men and women now is how interesting their journeys have been. More often than not, they end up in something completely different than what they started out in. They’ve evolved with the times and their own motivations. They don’t let the past define them, yet always create the future that they want. Remember that fulfillment comes from progress.

Knowing what you know now, if you wouldn’t start tomorrow what you’re doing today then maybe it’s time to change.

As a late teen, I was dead set on my future. I had it mapped out, step-by-step. I was going to get my engineering degree, be hired by a top Fortune 500 company, add some sales experience, work for 3 years and then go back to get my MBA at a top 10 school… and eventually become CEO.

That was the formula. It was certainly (in my mind) going to take me to the top.

A few years into the plan, guess what. Things changed. I learned there was a bigger and better world out there. So, I chased it. Much against what my close network thought was the safest decision, I followed my new vision. You should also follow your new vision, whatever that is.

The point is that you don’t have to know all of the answers to your life today. You can figure things out as you go. For everyone, the target changes over time and those that are willing to adjust and move forward (so I’ve found) seem to be the happiest and most successful.

Don’t let the past define you; focus on creating the future of your dreams.

18. NOTHING REPLACES HARD WORK

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

Hustle. Sacrifice. These are words that you want to come to know and enjoy if you want to see your dreams become a reality.

The fact of the matter is that we all want big things for our life, but few are willing to prove how much they want it.

Will Smith Hard Work QuoteI’ve never thought of myself as smarter than most. But I will try to outwork anyone.

How do you retire at 27 without a road map? Simple. Work your ass off. I almost worked myself to death (don’t over-do it like I did), and had to call 911.

The truth of it all is that if you want to live like few can, you have to work like few will. Everything you want to do, you can learn how to do it. Commit and be ready for the grind, and you’ll be set for the rest of your life.

 19. IF YOU’RE NOT A FAILER, YOU’RE A FAILURE

We’re taught to be perfect. We’re taught that standing out of the crowd is a bad idea. We’re taught that having the wrong answer means embarrassment and shame.

What they don’t teach in school, however, is that success happens outside your comfort zone. It occurs when you push yourself beyond what is considered ‘safe’ and yes, into failure.

The thing that I’ve learned interviewing so many great entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders is that there is a great correlation between the number of failures someone has, and the success they ultimately have.

Why is that? The ones that have failures are pushing the envelope. They’re trying new things, they’re putting themselves out there and that is where growth comes from. As long as you learn from mistakes and fail forward, you can use failures as the stepping stones to huge victories.

20. THE TWO WORDS THAT WILL DETERMINE YOUR FATE: YES AND NO

At the beginning, say yes… to everything.

Then, when you have some leverage and direction, say no to everything.

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” – Warren Buffett

You already know that time is the most valuable resource you have, so limit your focus, be selfish with your energy, and you will be able to say yes to more of what you want later on.

21. YOUR ABILITY TO DELAY GRATIFICATION WILL DICTATE YOUR SUCCESS

It’s hard to be patient… but it pays amazing rewards if done right.

One of my favorite studies of all time is the marshmallow test from Stanford professor, Walter Mischel.

He tested hundreds of kids ages 4-5 to see which one they’d choose: one treat now, or two treats after 15 minutes. You could imagine those kids thoughts and playing with the marshmallow.

The interesting thing, however, occurred long after the study…

In follow up evaluations, researchers found that those that could hold off for the two treats had drastically better real-world results later on. They had higher SAT’s, lower levels of substance abuse, better social skills, lower likelihood of obesity, higher income, etc.

The results were clear:

Your ability to delay gratification or not will make a major impact on your success in life.

When thinking about money, nothing is more true than this statement. Getting rich doesn’t happen overnight. You have to put in a ton of effort before the results start to roll in. I put in over 1,000 hours of work before I made my first dime as a “professional” investor.

With Make Money, Live Wealthy, I started writing it in March of 2014 and didn’t make a penny on that until the very end of the year. However, by believing in the vision and putting in the work on each of these ventures, they eventually turned into large residual income streams.

Push hard, persevere, and put in the work now (without expecting instant results) so you never have to work again.

22. THE SECRET TO SUCCESS IS TO HAVE SUCCESS

Success does two things:

  1. It gets you to believe in you, but…
  2. It also gets others to believe in you.

Picture a world where these two things exist. What do you see? It’s a beautiful recipe for big things!

Success breeds success, as it opens up opportunities. The more you have, the more opportunities open up. When we talk about building unstoppable momentum, this is the law you want to put into place.

Before I launched my book it was rare to get an interview, guest post, or impossible to have a good JV (joint venture) opportunity. Within a few days after the launch once we became a 27-time #1 bestseller, the opportunities flooded in. Yahoo! Finance, BusinessInsider, AOL.com, Huffington Post, etc. I had people that wanted to charge me $25,000 for a program just a few weeks before all of a sudden want to do a joint venture. I was hanging out next to Obama on the front page of some of the most trafficked sites in the world.

Doing something well opens up one door. Open up that door, and you get 5 more doors open to you. This cycle continues, and it’s all another reason why momentum is everything. Make headway on that first victory and you won’t look back.

23. FEAR NEVER LEAVES

It doesn’t matter who you are. Tom Brady, Beyonce, or anyone else, fear is still there. Every person that seems fearless to me, I’ve asked them about it. They tell me candidly, “No way!” They have the same fears and doubts that everyone else does; they just know how to control the fears instead of the other way around.

Having fear is ingrained in us from millions of years of evolution. There’s no way around it. The only thing you can do is push through it. Once you realize this, you can then learn to control it and fight it.

The method I’ve used for a long time is a method I learned in my favorite book of all-time, How to Win Friends & Influence People: Identify, what is the worst-case scenario? What’s the worst that could happen? Think of that (and you’ll realize it’s not really that bad after all), then think how you can improve upon it from there.

By being clear about the repercussions of things, you can accept and address them… and then move forward right through it.

24. THE NUMBERS DON’T LIE

We’re humans, so that means we make decisions based on emotions. But the one thing that never lies are the numbers.

As an engineer, this is easy for me to say. It’s logical thinking for an illogical world. However, if you can have the discipline to measure and listen to the numbers, you will put yourself much further ahead.

When I first started making money after college, my best friend was heavy into the stock market. He watched CNBC all of the time and told me about his winnings. I didn’t want to miss out on the earnings he was seeing, so I gave him my money to manage. Those winnings? They never came in for me. After months during the booming return of the stock market in 2009, my account balance was down. The numbers weren’t there. I love you bud, but give me back my money! I can do better than that, I thought, and that spurred me to get into investing big time. This, of course, eventually changed my career path forever and it wouldn’t have done so if I didn’t listen to the numbers.

Last year around the time of the book launch, I wanted to launch another round of my training with the book. It was a no-brainer offer for a cheap $497… yet less than 20% of the sales I had expected came in. Not good!

As tough as it was to do, I had to again listen to the numbers. That story/message/program wasn’t what people wanted. It was time to pivot. I cancelled the program, refunded everyone’s money, and went on to find out what they really want (not just what they need). Over the next couple of months, I had exponentially higher results.

If I hadn’t listened to the numbers and made the hard decision to alter course, I wouldn’t have had the time or effort to go onto the MUCH bigger and better things.

25. LESS IS MORE

Simplification is peace. It’s the ultimate sophistication. The older you get, the more you realize that less is more. I live out of two bags and own almost nothing material compared to the majority of Americans. I am happy.

A handful of extremely strong relationships is better than 100 mediocre ones.

Multitasking has been scientifically proven to be a myth. One major task for the day is better than the 50 we usually challenge ourselves with.

Pareto’s Principle is simple: 80% of your results will come from 20% of the efforts.

If you can find out what that 20% is that matters and makes the difference and focus on that, you can take the shortest path to amazing success.

26. GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT

You’re only as good as the environment around you allows you to be. Continuously put negative news (television) and drama in your life and it’s going to be hard to succeed.

On the other hand, if you put great information in your head, surround yourself with a positive environment of winners that are going to the places you want to go, it is nearly impossible to not succeed.

Your environment – what you eat, who you hang out with, what information you hear – creates who you are. If it’s good quality, the result will likely be the same. Put the odds in your favor and create the surroundings that will take you to the top.

 27. YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE DETERMINES YOUR FATE

What’s your philosophy? What’s your motto?

 Mine, as you may know, is simple: One-

One focus. One step. One way. One day at a time. One life. One pursuit. Be number one; be the best.

It’s a simple philosophy that helps me bring it day in and day out with 100% effort. It’s what leads to my decisions and ultimately determines my fate.

Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out.” – Jim Rohn

Most people don’t have a personal philosophy mapped out, but I would suggest that you do. If not for life, it’s at least great to have ONE word that defines your mission at the moment.

28. FREEDOM IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL

When I learned that freedom was the ultimate goal, it was a major “aha” moment. It was a revelation… and then I was pissed.

Why did it take me 24 years to figure that out? Now I preach this every single day so that somebody out in the world also has this “aha” moment themselves any later than they should.

The sooner you can realize what true wealth is to you, the sooner and easier you can obtain it.

Freedom, in my opinion, is what matters. Freedom to do the things we want to do, when we want, with whom we want. Freedom from stress and worry, and our own internal demons. Freedom is true wealth, and it is worth so much more than any amount of money.

29. YOU’RE GOING TO DIE

While kayaking in Alaska, I fell in the water. My kayak capsized and I had to kick out. Swimming next to glaciers in ice water (literally) is not a good idea for anyone. Desperately, I climbed onto my kayak, carefully balanced myself and tried to pump water out, but the ripples continuously filled it back up.

After being drenched from head to toe with half of my body in the water for minutes with nobody in sight, I knew I was getting close to some very dangerous times. I remember vividly thinking, “I’m not ready to die yet.

Then, out of nowhere, a pure miracle occurred. A large canoe full of tourists appeared turning around the corner 100 yards away. Screaming at the top of my lungs, I caught the attention of one tourist. Just before the boat disappeared behind a huge glacier, the guide saw I was in distress and slowly turned the boat my way. They saved the day, and potentially my life.

By the time they arrived, the lower half of my body was completely useless as I had no feeling at all. My 155-pound frame was seconds away from hypothermia in the middle of an extremely deep glacier lake. It was scary and surreal.

Thanks to the efforts of the tourists, their guide and most importantly my sister, I survived that crazy experience.

The thing I took away though was this:

Someday, someway, I’m going to die. So are you.

This is obvious, but think about it. It’s going to happen.

29 Lessons in 29 YearsWhen we’re young, we have plenty of time (or so we think), so we take it for granted. I’m here to tell you that if you do, you will have the most costly thing on this universe: regret.

I hate to end this talking about death, but it’s important.

You’ve got one shot at this thing. Do what you want, and don’t delay. The time is now. You are in control of your life. Create the life you dream of, and make it happen.

Take control. Make money. And always, live wealthy…

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