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Invest in Yourself

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Dear friend,

A practical idea for you: don’t invest in stocks, bitcoin, property, houses, and finances: invest in yourself!

Let’s say you have $1000 saved up. Some people might give you the advice to use that money to invest towards your 401k, retirement, stock market, cryptocurrency, etc. But my suggestion is to use that money to invest in yourself!

What does it mean to invest in yourself?

The purpose isn’t to invest money for the sake of making more money. No: the purpose of money is that money is a tool that will allow you to get what you want.

So, what is it that you really want?

Trade your money for more time/freedom!

Of course the answer is going to vary for everyone. But for myself, I saw money as a means to freedom. Freedom over my time, freedom over my attention, freedom over my schedule; the freedom to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and according to my own terms.

A lot of people are chasing “financial independence”: the point where you have enough money to not have to work/labor to pay your rent, food, and bills. But I would actually push against this notion. My thought is this:

What if you could pursue what you really want/desire in life, without having “financial independence”?


What do you really want from life?

For example, do you desire to travel? Print your own photography book? Do you want start a new hobby, or learn something new?

What if you took your money and invested it directly into yourself, to augment your knowledge, skills, talents, and interests?

I think one of the best ways to invest in yourself is to invest in your own mind, your own education, and your own empowerment. This can mean attending classes (online or in-person), attending workshops or seminars, buying books (philosophy books, literature, nonfiction, fiction, history, etc), or by using that money for traveling (the time you can use to meditate and reflect on your life, you can diary, journal, write, and figure out what you want to do in your life).

An option: Become a digital nomad

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For me ultimately, the best use of money is to buy your own freedom. To have money to take time off your 9-5 job. To perhaps save up your money, and take a year off working, and use that money to pay your living expenses perhaps living in Saigon, Hanoi, or Bangkok. My old apartment in Hanoi, Cindy and I only paid $380 a month in rent for a brand new studio apartment, I’m sure you can find similar prices. And to be honest we lived quite lavishly, and we spent only a total of $1,000 USD a month (this includes rent, eating out every meal, transportation, hipster coffee places, buying clothes), for both of us. Imagine for only $6,000 you can spend an entire half a year not having to work at your office, and using that time to pursue your own artistic work instead. Learn more: How to Become a Digital Nomad

Of course you don’t need to quit your job. Perhaps you can use the money to travel to a neighboring city or somewhere closeby for a weekend, or for a week or so. Or use the money to buy a bunch of books and information/knowledge which can empower you!


You are the most important person to invest in!

Essentially the purpose of this essay is to encourage you: Never feel guilty investing in yourself. Never feel an ounce of guilt buying a book for yourself, spending money on your travels, spending money on education, or spending money on experiences that will augment you, your strengths, and inspire/motivate you to live a more fulfilling and epic life!

Never stop learning,
ERIC

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