More on Personal Growth
1 year ago
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a Giant Steaming Pile of Sh*t by Robert Kiyosaki.
Don't promote it.
I rarely read a post on how Rich Dad, Poor Dad motivated someone to grow rich or change their investing/finance attitude. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a sham, though. This book isn't worth anyone's attention.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of this garbage, doesn't deserve recognition or attention. This first finance guru wanted to build his own wealth at your expense. These charlatans only care about themselves.
The reason why Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a huge steaming piece of trash
The book's ideas are superficial, apparent, and unsurprising to entrepreneurs and investors. The book's themes may seem profound to first-time readers.
Apparently, starting a business will make you rich.
The book supports founding or buying a business, making it self-sufficient, and being rich through it. Starting a business is time-consuming, tough, and expensive. Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. Rarely do enterprises succeed.
Robert says we should think like his mentor, a rich parent. Robert never said who or if this guy existed. He was apparently his own father. Robert proposes investing someone else's money in several enterprises and properties. The book proposes investing in:
“have returns of 100 percent to infinity. Investments that for $5,000 are soon turned into $1 million or more.”
In rare cases, a business may provide 200x returns, but 65% of US businesses fail within 10 years. Australia's first-year business failure rate is 60%. A business that lasts 10 years doesn't mean its owner is rich. These statistics only include businesses that survive and pay their owners.
Employees are depressed and broke.
The novel portrays employees as broke and sad. The author degrades workers.
I've owned and worked for a business. I was broke and miserable as a business owner, working 80 hours a week for absolutely little salary. I work 50 hours a week and make over $200,000 a year. My work is hard, intriguing, and I'm surrounded by educated individuals. Self-employed or employee?
Don't listen to a charlatan's tax advice.
From a bad advise perspective, Robert's tax methods were funny. Robert suggests forming a corporation to write off holidays as board meetings or health club costs as business expenses. These actions can land you in serious tax trouble.
Robert dismisses college and traditional schooling. Rich individuals learn by doing or living, while educated people are agitated and destitute, says Robert.
Rich dad says:
“All too often business schools train employees to become sophisticated bean-counters. Heaven forbid a bean counter takes over a business. All they do is look at the numbers, fire people, and kill the business.”
And then says:
“Accounting is possibly the most confusing, boring subject in the world, but if you want to be rich long-term, it could be the most important subject.”
Get rich by avoiding paying your debts to others.
While this book has plenty of bad advice, I'll end with this: Robert advocates paying yourself first. This man's work with Trump isn't surprising.
Rich Dad's book says:
“So you see, after paying myself, the pressure to pay my taxes and the other creditors is so great that it forces me to seek other forms of income. The pressure to pay becomes my motivation. I’ve worked extra jobs, started other companies, traded in the stock market, anything just to make sure those guys don’t start yelling at me […] If I had paid myself last, I would have felt no pressure, but I’d be broke.“
Paying yourself first shouldn't mean ignoring debt, damaging your credit score and reputation, or paying unneeded fees and interest. Good business owners pay employees, creditors, and other costs first. You can pay yourself after everyone else.
If you follow Robert Kiyosaki's financial and business advice, you might as well follow Donald Trump's, the most notoriously ineffective businessman and swindle artist.
This book's popularity is unfortunate. Robert utilized the book's fame to promote paid seminars. At these seminars, he sold more expensive seminars to the gullible. This strategy was utilized by several conmen and Trump University.
It's reasonable that many believed him. It sounded appealing because he was pushing to get rich by thinking like a rich person. Anyway. At a time when most persons addressing wealth development advised early sacrifices (such as eschewing luxury or buying expensive properties), Robert told people to act affluent now and utilize other people's money to construct their fantasy lifestyle. It's exciting and fast.
I often voice my skepticism and scorn for internet gurus now that social media and platforms like Medium make it easier to promote them. Robert Kiyosaki was a guru. Many people still preach his stuff because he was so good at pushing it.
1 year ago
I read three of Elon Musk's suggested books (And His Taste Is Incredible)
A reading list for successful people
Elon Musk reads and talks. So, one learns. Many brilliant individuals & amazing literature.
This article recommends 3 Elon Musk novels. All of them helped me succeed. Hope they'll help you.
Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Page Count: 193
Rating on Goodreads: 4.23
Arthur Dent is pulled off Earth by a buddy seconds before it's razed for a cosmic motorway. The trio hitchhikes through space and gets into problems.
I initially read Hitchhiker's as a child. To evade my mum, I'd read with a flashlight under the covers. She'd scold at me for not sleeping on school nights when she found out. Oops.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is lighthearted science fiction.
My favorite book quotes are:
“Space is big. You won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
“On planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars, and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.”
the Sun Tzu book The Art Of War
Page Count: 273
Rating on Goodreads: 3.97
It's a classic. You may apply The Art of War's ideas to (nearly) every facet of life. Ex:
Pick your fights.
Keep in mind that timing is crucial.
Create a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
Obstacles provide us a chance to adapt and change.
This book was my first. Since then, I'm a more strategic entrepreneur. Excellent book. And read it ASAP!
My favorite book quotes are:
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”
“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate.”
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Peter Thiel's book Zero to One
Page Count: 195
Rating on Goodreads: 4.18
Peter argues the best money-making strategies are typically unproven. Entrepreneurship should never have a defined path to success. Whoever says differently is lying.
Zero to One explores technology and society. Peter is a philosophy major and law school graduate, which informs the work.
Peters' ideas, depth, and intellect stood out in Zero to One. It's a top business book.
My favorite book quotes are:
“The most valuable businesses of coming decades will be built by entrepreneurs who seek to empower people rather than try to make them obsolete.”
“The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. If you are copying these guys, you aren’t learning from them.”
“If your goal is to never make a mistake in your life, you shouldn’t look for secrets. The prospect of being lonely but right — dedicating your life to something that no one else believes in — is already hard. The prospect of being lonely and wrong can be unbearable.”
1 year ago
10 Alternatives to Smartphone Scrolling
"Don't let technology control you; manage your phone."
"Don't become a slave to technology," said Richard Branson. "Manage your phone, don't let it manage you."
Unfortunately, most people are addicted to smartphones.
Worrying smartphone statistics:
46% of smartphone users spend 5–6 hours daily on their device.
The average adult spends 3 hours 54 minutes per day on mobile devices.
We check our phones 150–344 times per day (every 4 minutes).
During the pandemic, children's daily smartphone use doubled.
Having a list of productive, healthy, and fulfilling replacement activities is an effective way to reduce smartphone use.
The more you practice these smartphone replacements, the less time you'll waste.
Most people say they 'don't have time' to learn new skills or read more. Lazy justification. The issue isn't time, but time management. Distractions and low-quality entertainment waste hours every day.
The majority of time is spent in low-quality ways, according to Richard Koch, author of The 80/20 Principle.
What if you swapped daily phone scrolling for skill-building?
There are dozens of skills to learn, from high-value skills to make more money to new languages and party tricks.
Learning a new skill will last for years, if not a lifetime, compared to scrolling through your phone.
Love documentaries. It's educational and relaxing. A good documentary helps you understand the world, broadens your mind, and inspires you to change.
Recent documentaries I liked include:
14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible
The Social Dilemma
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
Make money online
If you've ever complained about not earning enough money, put away your phone and get to work.
Instead of passively consuming mobile content, start creating it. Create something worthwhile. Freelance.
Internet makes starting a business or earning extra money easier than ever.
(Grand)parents didn't have this. Someone made them work 40+ hours. Few alternatives existed.
Today, all you need is internet and a monetizable skill. Use the internet instead of letting it distract you. Profit from it.
Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup For The Soul, said, "Everyone spends 2–3 hours a day watching TV." If you read that much, you'll be in the top 1% of your field."
Few people have more than two hours per day to read.
If you read 15 pages daily, you'd finish 27 books a year (as the average non-fiction book is about 200 pages).
Jack Canfield's quote remains relevant even though 15 pages can be read in 20–30 minutes per day. Most spend this time watching TV or on their phones.
What if you swapped 20 minutes of mindless scrolling for reading? You'd gain knowledge and skills.
Favorite books include:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen R. Covey
The War of Art — Steven Pressfield
The Psychology of Money — Morgan Housel
A New Earth — Eckart Tolle
All that screen time could've been spent organizing. It could have been used to clean, cook, or plan your week.
If you're always 'behind,' spend 15 minutes less on your phone to get organized.
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend the first four sharpening the ax," said Abraham Lincoln. Getting organized is like sharpening an ax, making each day more efficient.
Why not be creative instead of consuming others'? Do something creative, like:
Creative projects boost happiness, cognitive functioning, and reduce stress and anxiety. Creative pursuits induce a flow state, a powerful mental state.
This contrasts with smartphones' effects. Heavy smartphone use correlates with stress, depression, and anxiety.
People spend 90% of their time indoors, according to research. This generation is the 'Indoor Generation'
We lack an active lifestyle, fresh air, and vitamin D3 due to our indoor lifestyle (generated through direct sunlight exposure). Mental and physical health issues result.
Put away your phone and get outside. Go on nature walks. Explore your city on foot (or by bike, as we do in Amsterdam) if you live in a city. Move around! Outdoors!
You can't spend your whole life staring at screens.
Okay, a smartphone is needed to listen to podcasts. When you use your phone to get smarter, you're more productive than 95% of people.
The Pomp Podcast (about cryptocurrencies)
The Joe Rogan Experience
Kwik Brain (by Jim Kwik)
Podcasts can be enjoyed while walking, cleaning, or doing laundry. Win-win.
I find journaling helpful for mental clarity. Writing helps organize thoughts.
Instead of reading internet opinions, comments, and discussions, look inward. Instead of Twitter or TikTok, look inward.
“It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.” — Marcus Aurelius
Give your mind free reign with pen and paper. It will highlight important thoughts, emotions, or ideas.
Never write for another person. You want unfiltered writing. So you get the best ideas.
Find your best hobbies
List your best hobbies. I guarantee 95% of people won't list smartphone scrolling.
It's often low-quality entertainment. The dopamine spike is short-lived, and it leaves us feeling emotionally 'empty'
High-quality leisure sparks happiness. They make us happy and alive. Everyone has different interests, so these activities vary.
My favorite quality hobbies are:
Nature walks (especially the mountains)
Video game party
Watching a film with my girlfriend
Complexity learning (such as the blockchain and the universe)
This brings me joy. They make me feel more fulfilled and 'rich' than social media scrolling.
Make a list of your best hobbies to refer to when you're spending too much time on your phone.
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10 months ago
Is Venture Capital a Good Fit for Your Startup?
5 VC investment criteria
I reviewed 200 startup business concepts last week. Brainache.
The enterprises sold various goods and services. The concepts were achingly similar: give us money, we'll produce a product, then get more to expand. No different from daily plans and pitches.
Most of those 200 plans sounded plausible. But 10% looked venture-worthy. 90% of startups need alternatives to venture finance.
With the success of VC-backed businesses and the growth of venture funds, a common misperception is that investors would fund any decent company idea. Finding investors that believe in the firm and founders is the key to funding.
Incorrect. Venture capital needs investing in certain enterprises. If your startup doesn't match the model, as most early-stage startups don't, you can revise your business plan or locate another source of capital.
Before spending six months pitching angels and VCs, make sure your startup fits these criteria.
Likely to generate $100 million in sales
First, I check the income predictions in a pitch deck. If it doesn't display $100M, don't bother.
The math doesn't work for venture financing in smaller businesses.
Say a fund invests $1 million in a startup valued at $5 million that is later acquired for $20 million. That's a win everyone should celebrate. Most VCs don't care.
Consider a $100M fund. The fund must reach $360M in 7 years with a 20% return. Only 20-30 investments are possible. 90% of the investments will fail, hence the 23 winners must return $100M-$200M apiece. $15M isn't worth the work.
Angel investors and tiny funds use the same ideas as venture funds, but their smaller scale affects the calculations. If a company can support its growth through exit on less than $2M in angel financing, it must have $25M in revenues before large companies will consider acquiring it.
Aiming for Hypergrowth
A startup's size isn't enough. It must expand fast.
Developing a great business takes time. Complex technology must be constructed and tested, a nationwide expansion must be built, or production procedures must go from lab to pilot to factories. These can be enormous, world-changing corporations, but venture investment is difficult.
The normal 10-year venture fund life. Investments are made during first 3–4 years.. 610 years pass between investment and fund dissolution. Funds need their investments to exit within 5 years, 7 at the most, therefore add a safety margin.
Longer exit times reduce ROI. A 2-fold return in a year is excellent. Loss at 2x in 7 years.
Lastly, VCs must prove success to raise their next capital. The 2nd fund is raised from 1st fund portfolio increases. Third fund is raised using 1st fund's cash return. Fund managers must raise new money quickly to keep their jobs.
Branding or technology that is protected
No big firm will buy a startup at a high price if they can produce a competing product for less. Their development teams, consumer base, and sales and marketing channels are large. Who needs you?
Patents, specialist knowledge, or brand name are the only answers. The acquirer buys this, not the thing.
I've heard of several promising startups. It's not a decent investment if there's no exit strategy.
A company that installs EV charging stations in apartments and shopping areas is an example. It's profitable, repeatable, and big. A terrific company. Not a startup.
This building company's operations aren't secret. No technology to protect, no special information competitors can't figure out, no go-to brand name. Despite the immense possibilities, a large construction company would be better off starting their own.
Most venture businesses build products, not services. Services can be profitable but hard to safeguard.
Probable purchase at high multiple
Once a software business proves its value, acquiring it is easy. Pharma and medtech firms have given up on their own research and instead acquire startups after regulatory permission. Many startups, especially in specialized areas, have this weakness.
That doesn't mean any lucrative $25M-plus business won't be acquired. In many businesses, the venture model requires a high exit premium.
A startup invents a new glue. 3M, BASF, Henkel, and others may buy them. Adding more adhesive to their catalogs won't boost commerce. They won't compete to buy the business. They'll only buy a startup at a profitable price. The acquisition price represents a moderate EBITDA multiple.
The company's $100M revenue presumably yields $10m in profits (assuming they’ve reached profitability at all). A $30M-$50M transaction is likely. Not terrible, but not what venture investors want after investing $25M to create a plant and develop the business.
Private equity buys profitable companies for a moderate profit multiple. It's a good exit for entrepreneurs, but not for investors seeking 10x or more what PE firms pay. If a startup offers private equity as an exit, the conversation is over.
Constructed for purchase
The startup wants a high-multiple exit. Unless the company targets $1B in revenue and does an IPO, exit means acquisition.
If they're constructing the business for acquisition or themselves, founders must decide.
If you want an indefinitely-running business, I applaud you. We need more long-term founders. Most successful organizations are founded around consumer demands, not venture capital's urge to grow fast and exit. Not venture funding.
if you don't match the venture model, what to do
VC funds moonshots. The 10% that succeed are extraordinary. Not every firm is a rocketship, and launching the wrong startup into space, even with money, will explode.
But just because your startup won't make $100M in 5 years doesn't mean it's a bad business. Most successful companies don't follow this model. It's not venture capital-friendly.
Although venture capital gets the most attention due to a few spectacular triumphs (and disasters), it's not the only or even most typical option to fund a firm.
Other ways to support your startup:
Personal and family resources, such as credit cards, second mortgages, and lines of credit
bootstrapping off of sales
government funding and honors
Private equity & project financing
collaborating with a big business
Including a business partner
Before pitching angels and VCs, be sure your startup qualifies. If so, include them in your pitch.
10 months ago
Four Shocking Dark Web Incidents that Should Make You Avoid It
Dark Web activity? Is it as horrible as they say?
We peruse our phones for hours. Internet has improved our worldview.
However, the world's harshest realities remain buried on the internet and unattainable by everyone.
Browsers cannot access the Dark Web. Browse it with high-security authentication and exclusive access. There are compelling reasons to avoid the dark web at all costs.
1. The Dark Web and I
Darius wrote My Dark Web Story on reddit two years ago. The user claimed to have shared his dark web experience. DaRealEddyYT wanted to surf the dark web after hearing several stories.
He curiously downloaded Tor Browser, which provides anonymity and security.
In the Dark Room, bound
As Darius logged in, a text popped up: “Want a surprise? Click on this link.”
The link opened to a room with a chair. Only one light source illuminated the room. The chair held a female tied.
As the screen read "Let the game begin," a man entered the room and was paid in bitcoins to torment the girl.
The man dragged and tortured the woman.
A danger to safety
Leaving so soon, Darius, disgusted Darius tried to leave the stream. The anonymous user then sent Darius his personal information, including his address, which frightened him because he didn't know Tor was insecure.
After deleting the app, his phone camera was compromised.
He also stated that he left his residence and returned to find it unlocked and a letter saying, Thought we wouldn't find you? Reddit never updated the story.
The story may have been a fake, but a much scarier true story about the dark side of the internet exists.
2. The Silk Road Market
The dark web is restricted for a reason. The dark web has everything illicit imaginable. It's awful central.
The dark web has everything, from organ sales to drug trafficking to money laundering to human trafficking. Illegal drugs, pirated software, credit card, bank, and personal information can be found in seconds.
The dark web has reserved websites like Google. The Silk Road Website, which operated from 2011 to 2013, was a leading digital black market.
The FBI grew obsessed with site founder and processor Ross William Ulbricht.
The site became a criminal organization as money laundering and black enterprises increased. Bitcoin was utilized for credit card payment.
The FBI was close to arresting the site's administrator. Ross was detained after the agency closed Silk Road in 2013.
Two years later, in 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms and forty years. He appealed in 2016 but was denied, thus he is currently serving time.
The hefty sentence was for more than running a black marketing site. He was also convicted of murder-for-hire, earning about $730,000 in a short time.
3. Person-buying auctions
Bidding on individuals is another weird internet activity. After a Milan photo shoot, 20-year-old British model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped.
An ad agency in Milan made a bogus offer to shoot with the mother of a two-year-old boy. Four men gave her anesthetic and put her in a duffel bag when she arrived.
She was held captive for several days, and her images and $300,000 price were posted on the dark web. Black Death Trafficking Group kidnapped her to sell her for sex.
She was told two black death foot warriors abducted her. The captors released her when they found she was a mother because mothers were less desirable to sex slave buyers.
In July 2018, Lukasz Pawel Herba was arrested and sentenced to 16 years and nine months in prison. Being a young mother saved Chloe from creepy bidding.
However, it exceeds expectations of how many more would be in such danger daily without their knowledge.
4. Organ sales
Many are unaware of dark web organ sales. Patients who cannot acquire organs often turn to dark web brokers.
Brokers handle all transactions between donors and customers.
Bitcoins are used for dark web transactions, and the Tor server permits personal data on the web.
The WHO reports approximately 10,000 unlawful organ transplants annually. The black web sells kidneys, hearts, even eyes.
To protect our lives and privacy, we should manage our curiosity and never look up dangerous stuff.
While it's fascinating and appealing to know what's going on in the world we don't know about, it's best to prioritize our well-being because one never knows how bad it might get.
Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi
1 year ago
The Only Paid Resources I Turn to as a Solopreneur
4 Pricey Tools That Are Valuable
I pay based on ROI (return on investment).
If a $20/month tool or $500 online course doubles my return, I'm in.
Investing helps me build wealth.
I initially refused to pay.
My course content needed updating a few months ago. My Google Docs text looked cleaner and more professional in Canva.
I've used it to:
product cover pages
Product page infographics
See my Google Sheets vs. Canva product page graph.
Google Sheets vs Canva
Yesterday, I used it to make a LinkedIn video thumbnail. It took less than 5 minutes and improved my video.
In 30 hours, the video had 39,000 views.
It builds my brand as I sleep. What else?
Because I'm traveling this weekend, I planned tweets for 10 days. It took me 80 minutes.
So while I travel or am absent, my content mill keeps producing.
Also I like:
I can reach hundreds of people thanks to auto-DMs. I utilize it to advertise freebies; for instance, leave an emoji remark to receive my checklist. And they automatically receive a message in their DM.
Scheduled Retweets: By appearing in a different time zone, they give my tweet a second chance.
It helps me save time and expand my following, so that's my favorite part.
It’s also super neat:
My course involves weekly and monthly calls for alumni.
Google Meet isn't great for group calls. The interface isn't great.
Zoom Pro is expensive, and the monthly payments suck, but it's necessary.
It gives my students a smooth experience.
Previously, we'd do 40-minute meetings and then reconvene.
Zoom's free edition limits group calls to 40 minutes.
This wouldn't be a good online course if I paid hundreds of dollars.
So I felt obligated to help.
My laptop has an ad blocker.
I bought an iPad recently.
When you're self-employed and work from home, the line between the two blurs. My bed is only 5 steps away!
When I read or watched videos on my laptop, I'd slide into work mode. Only option was to view on phone, which is awkward.
YouTube premium handles it. No more advertisements and I can listen on the move.
3 Expensive Tools That Aren't Valuable
Marketing strategies are sometimes aimed to make you feel you need 38474 cool features when you don’t.
Certain tools are useless.
I found it useless.
Depending on your needs. As a writer and creator, I get no return.
They could for other jobs.
It tracks LinkedIn stats, like:
trend chart for impressions
Engagement, views, and comment stats for posts
and much more.
Middle-tier creator costs $12/month.
I got a 25% off coupon but canceled my free trial before writing this. It's not worth the discount.
LinkedIn provides free analytics. See:
Not thorough and won't show top posts.
I don't need to see my top posts because I love experimenting with writing.
Slack was my classroom. Slack provided me a premium trial during the prior cohort.
I skipped it.
Sure, voice notes are better than a big paragraph. I didn't require pro features.
Marketing methods sometimes make you think you need 38474 amazing features. Don’t fall for it.
This may be worth it if you get many calls.
I avoid calls. During my 9-5, I had too many pointless calls.
I don't need:
ability to schedule calls for 15, 30, or 60 minutes: I just distribute each link separately.
I have a Gumroad consultation page with a payment option.
follow-up emails: I hardly ever make calls, so
I just use one calendar, therefore I link to various calendars.
I'll admit, the integrations are cool. Not for me.
If you're a coach or consultant, the features may be helpful. Or book meetings.
Investing is spending to make money.
Use my technique — put money in tools that help you make money. This separates it from being an investment instead of an expense.
Try free versions of these tools before buying them since everyone else is.