First basic idea:

The best way to measure ‘success’ as an entrepreneur is on pure survival.

Survival over riches

bears

What is the point of being a millionaire for a few years, if you’re going to go broke in a decade?

What is the point of being a successful musician, if you’re gonna become irrelevant in a decade?

What is the point of having a profitable and successful business, only to lose your passion?

Why is survival underrated?

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Everyone wants to get rich, but nobody cares about “survival”. Why? Perhaps because in modern life, survival is the default. You’re not going to die in modern life. At worst you’ll go bankrupt and become disgraced. But there aren’t really any more ‘life or death’ situations in everyday modern life.

To get rich, don’t spend much money

coffee bubbles macro

Warren Buffet has a quote like:

The really really successful people are the ones who say “NO” to almost all opportunities.

Similarly, inspired by Nassim Taleb:

To become successful, don’t go bust.

Before we desire other forms of success, survival seems to be our #1 priority.

Extreme frugality as freedom

Bone marrow crockpot
Bone marrow crockpot

It seems that most entrepreneurs don’t truly desire to become billionaires. Most entrepeneurs seem to want more meaning, purpose, and personal freedom in their lives.

My belief:

Money is good to buy meat, eggs, coffee, and pay your rent. Beyond this, money don’t get you much.

So it seems our first priority is to reduce our expenses to the ‘minimum viable expenses‘. No phone plan. No car. No debt. No subscription services. No Amazon prime, no Netflix, etc. Cooking all our meals at home (Crockpot and cheap cuts of meat). Making coffee at home.

Sharing a room with someone. No need for any fancy superfluities.

Once you cut your expenses to the absolute bare minimum, then making enough money (self-employment) ain’t that hard. To make a billion dollars is very hard. But to make enough to sustain yourself is quite easy.

You can control your expenses, not your income

architecture

Another thing I learned:

You have close to 100% control on how to control your expenses. You might only have around 50% control of your income.

For example, the harder you work, the more you will generally increase your income. But to a certain limit.

But with expenses, you have the power and control to dictate what to spend money on, and what NOT to spend money on.

The lesson:

Easier to reduce your expenses than to INCREASE your income.

What do you do after survival?

Once you have survival secured, then the next step: THRIVIVAL.

ERIC

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