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Theo Seeds

Theo Seeds

5 months ago

The nine novels that have fundamentally altered the way I view the world

More on Personal Growth

Mia Gradelski

Mia Gradelski

5 months ago

Six Things Best-With-Money People Do Follow

I shouldn't generalize, yet this is true.

Spending is simpler than earning.

Prove me wrong, but with home debt at $145k in 2020 and individual debt at $67k, people don't have their priorities straight.

Where does this loan originate?

Under-50 Americans owed $7.86 trillion in Q4 20T. That's more than the US's 3-trillion-dollar deficit.

Here’s a breakdown:
🏡 Mortgages/Home Equity Loans = $5.28 trillion (67%)
🎓 Student Loans = $1.20 trillion (15%)
🚗 Auto Loans = $0.80 trillion (10%)
💳 Credit Cards = $0.37 trillion (5%)
🏥 Other/Medical = $0.20 trillion (3%)

Images.google.com

At least the Fed and government can explain themselves with their debt balance which includes:

-Providing stimulus packages 2x for Covid relief

-Stabilizing the economy

-Reducing inflation and unemployment

-Providing for the military, education and farmers

No American should have this much debt.

Don’t get me wrong. Debt isn’t all the same. Yes, it’s a negative number but it carries different purposes which may not be all bad.

Good debt: Use those funds in hopes of them appreciating as an investment in the future

-Student loans
-Business loan
-Mortgage, home equity loan
-Experiences

Paying cash for a home is wasteful. Just if the home is exceptionally uncommon, only 1 in a million on the market, and has an incredible bargain with numerous bidders seeking higher prices should you do so.

To impress the vendor, pay cash so they can sell it quickly. Most people can't afford most properties outright. Only 15% of U.S. homebuyers can afford their home. Zillow reports that only 37% of homes are mortgage-free.

People have clearly overreached.

Ignore appearances.

5% down can buy a 10-bedroom mansion.

Not paying in cash isn't necessarily a negative thing given property prices have increased by 30% since 2008, and throughout the epidemic, we've seen work-from-homers resort to the midwest, avoiding pricey coastal cities like NYC and San Francisco.

By no means do I think NYC is dead, nothing will replace this beautiful city that never sleeps, and now is the perfect time to rent or buy when everything is below average value for people who always wanted to come but never could. Once social distance ends, cities will recover. 24/7 sardine-packed subways prove New York isn't designed for isolation.

When buying a home, pay 20% cash and the balance with a mortgage. A mortgage must be incorporated into other costs such as maintenance, brokerage fees, property taxes, etc. If you're stuck on why a home isn't right for you, read here. A mortgage must be paid until the term date. Whether its a 10 year or 30 year fixed mortgage, depending on interest rates, especially now as the 10-year yield is inching towards 1.25%, it's better to refinance in a lower interest rate environment and pay off your debt as well since the Fed will be inching interest rates up following the 10-year eventually to stabilize the economy, but I believe that won't be until after Covid and when businesses like luxury, air travel, and tourism will get bashed.

Bad debt: I guess the contrary must be true. There is no way to profit from the loan in the future, therefore it is just money down the drain.

-Luxury goods
-Credit card debt
-Fancy junk
-Vacations, weddings, parties, etc.

Credit cards and school loans are the two largest risks to the financial security of those under 50 since banks love to compound interest to affect your credit score and make it tougher to take out more loans, not that you should with that much debt anyhow. With a low credit score and heavy debt, banks take advantage of you because you need aid to pay more for their services. Paying back debt is the challenge for most.

Choose Not Chosen

As a financial literacy advocate and blogger, I prefer not to brag, but I will now. I know what to buy and what to avoid. My parents educated me to live a frugal, minimalist stealth wealth lifestyle by choice, not because we had to.

That's the lesson.

The poorest person who shows off with bling is trying to seem rich.

Rich people know garbage is a bad investment. Investing in education is one of the best long-term investments. With information, you can do anything.

Good with money shun some items out of respect and appreciation for what they have.

Less is more.

Instead of copying the Joneses, use what you have. They may look cheerful and stylish in their 20k ft home, yet they may be as broke as OJ Simpson in his 20-bedroom mansion.

Let's look at what appears good to follow and maintain your wealth.

#1: Quality comes before quantity

Being frugal doesn't entail being cheap and cruel. Rich individuals care about relationships and treating others correctly, not impressing them. You don't have to be rich to be good with money, although most are since they don't live the fantasy lifestyle.

Underspending is appreciating what you have.

Many people believe organic food is the same as washing chemical-laden produce. Hopefully. Organic, vegan, fresh vegetables from upstate may be more expensive in the short term, but they will help you live longer and save you money in the long run.

Consider. You'll save thousands a month eating McDonalds 3x a day instead of fresh seafood, veggies, and organic fruit, but your life will be shortened. If you want to save money and die early, go ahead, but I assume we all want to break the world record for longest person living and would rather spend less. Plus, elderly people get tax breaks, medicare, pensions, 401ks, etc. You're living for free, therefore eating fast food forever is a terrible decision.

With a few longer years, you may make hundreds or millions more in the stock market, spend more time with family, and just live.

Folks, health is wealth.

Consider the future benefit, not simply the cash sign. Cheapness is useless.

Same with stuff. Don't stock your closet with fast-fashion you can't wear for years. Buying inexpensive goods that will fail tomorrow is stupid.

Investing isn't only in stocks. You're living. Consume less.

#2: If you cannot afford it twice, you cannot afford it once

I learned this from my dad in 6th grade. I've been lucky to travel, experience things, go to a great university, and conduct many experiments that others without a stable, decent lifestyle can afford.

I didn't live this way because of my parents' paycheck or financial knowledge.

Saving and choosing caused it.

I always bring cash when I shop. I ditch Apple Pay and credit cards since I can spend all I want on even if my account bounces.

Banks are nasty. When you lose it, they profit.

Cash hinders banks' profits. Carrying a big, hefty wallet with cash is lame and annoying, but it's the best method to only spend what you need. Not for vacation, but for tiny daily expenses.

Physical currency lets you know how much you have for lunch or a taxi.

It's physical, thus losing it prevents debt.

If you can't afford it, it will harm more than help.

#3: You really can purchase happiness with money.

If used correctly, yes.

Happiness and satisfaction differ.

It won't bring you fulfillment because you must work hard on your own to help others, but you can travel and meet individuals you wouldn't otherwise meet.

You can meet your future co-worker or strike a deal while waiting an hour in first class for takeoff, or you can meet renowned people at a networking brunch.

Seen a pattern here?

Your time and money are best spent on connections. Not automobiles or firearms. That’s just stuff. It doesn’t make you a better person.

Be different if you've earned less. Instead of trying to win the lotto or become an NFL star for your first big salary, network online for free.

Be resourceful. Sign up for LinkedIn, post regularly, and leave unengaged posts up because that shows power.

Consistency is beneficial.

I did that for a few months and met amazing people who helped me get jobs. Money doesn't create jobs, it creates opportunities.

Resist social media and scammers that peddle false hopes.

Choose wisely.

#4: Avoid gushing over titles and purchasing trash.

As Insider’s Hillary Hoffower reports, “Showing off wealth is no longer the way to signify having wealth. In the US particularly, the top 1% have been spending less on material goods since 2007.”

I checked my closet. No brand comes to mind. I've never worn a brand's logo and rotate 6 white shirts daily. I have my priorities and don't waste money or effort on clothing that won't fit me in a year.

Unless it's your full-time work, clothing shouldn't be part of our mornings.

Lifestyle of stealth wealth. You're so fulfilled that seeming homeless won't hurt your self-esteem.

That's self-assurance.

Extroverts aren't required.

That's irrelevant.

Showing off won't win you friends.

They'll like your personality.

#5: Time is the most valuable commodity.

Being rich doesn't entail working 24/7 M-F.

They work when they are ready to work.

Waking up at 5 a.m. won't make you a millionaire, but it will inculcate diligence and tenacity in you.

You have a busy day yet want to exercise. You can skip the workout or wake up at 4am instead of 6am to do it.

Emotion-driven lazy bums stay in bed.

Those that are accountable keep their promises because they know breaking one will destroy their week.

Since 7th grade, I've worked out at 5am for myself, not to impress others. It gives me greater energy to contribute to others, especially on weekends and holidays.

It's a habit that I have in my life.

Find something that you take seriously and makes you a better person.

As someone who is close to becoming a millionaire and has encountered them throughout my life, I can share with you a few important differences that have shaped who we are as a society based on the weekends:

-Read

-Sleep

-Best time to work with no distractions

-Eat together

-Take walks and be in nature

-Gratitude

-Major family time

-Plan out weeks

-Go grocery shopping because health = wealth

#6. Perspective is Important

Timing the markets will slow down your career. Professors preach scarcity, not abundance. Why should school teach success? They give us bad advice.

If you trust in abundance and luck by attempting and experimenting, growth will come effortlessly. Passion isn't a term that just appears. Mistakes and fresh people help. You can get money. If you don't think it's worth it, you won't.

You don’t have to be wealthy to be good at money, but most are for these reasons.  Rich is a mindset, wealth is power. Prioritize your resources. Invest in yourself, knowing the toughest part is starting.

Thanks for reading!

James White

James White

2 months ago

Three Books That Can Change Your Life in a Day

I've summarized each.

IStockPhoto

Anne Lamott said books are important. Books help us understand ourselves and our behavior. They teach us about community, friendship, and death.

I read. One of my few life-changing habits. 100+ books a year improve my life. I'll list life-changing books you can read in a day. I hope you like them too.

Let's get started!

1) Seneca's Letters from a Stoic

One of my favorite philosophy books. Ryan Holiday, Naval Ravikant, and other prolific readers recommend it.

Seneca wrote 124 letters at the end of his life after working for Nero. Death, friendship, and virtue are discussed.

It's worth rereading. When I'm in trouble, I consult Seneca.

It's brief. The book could be read in one day. However, use it for guidance during difficult times.

Goodreads

My favorite book quotes:

  • Many men find that becoming wealthy only alters their problems rather than solving them.

  • You will never be poor if you live in harmony with nature; you will never be wealthy if you live according to what other people think.

  • We suffer more frequently in our imagination than in reality; there are more things that are likely to frighten us than to crush us.

2) Steven Pressfield's book The War of Art

I’ve read this book twice. I'll likely reread it before 2022 is over.

The War Of Art is the best productivity book. Steven offers procrastination-fighting tips.

Writers, musicians, and creative types will love The War of Art. Workplace procrastinators should also read this book.

Goodreads

My favorite book quotes:

  • The act of creation is what matters most in art. Other than sitting down and making an effort every day, nothing else matters.

  • Working creatively is not a selfish endeavor or an attempt by the actor to gain attention. It serves as a gift for all living things in the world. Don't steal your contribution from us. Give us everything you have.

  • Fear is healthy. Fear is a signal, just like self-doubt. Fear instructs us on what to do. The more terrified we are of a task or calling, the more certain we can be that we must complete it.

3) Darren Hardy's The Compound Effect

The Compound Effect offers practical tips to boost productivity by 10x.

The author believes each choice shapes your future. Pizza may seem harmless. However, daily use increases heart disease risk.

Positive outcomes too. Daily gym visits improve fitness. Reading an hour each night can help you learn. Writing 1,000 words per day would allow you to write a novel in under a year.

Your daily choices affect compound interest and your future. Thus, better habits can improve your life.

Goodreads

My favorite book quotes:

  • Until you alter a daily habit, you cannot change your life. The key to your success can be found in the actions you take each day.

  • The hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things are what distinguish the ordinary from the extraordinary; it is not the big things that add up in the end.

  • Don't worry about willpower. Time to use why-power. Only when you relate your decisions to your aspirations and dreams will they have any real meaning. The decisions that are in line with what you define as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values are the wisest and most inspiring ones. To avoid giving up too easily, you must want something and understand why you want it.

Ian Writes

Ian Writes

4 months ago

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a Giant Steaming Pile of Sh*t by Robert Kiyosaki.

Don't promote it.

Kiyosaki worked with Trump on a number of projects

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.

You might also like

Mike Meyer

Mike Meyer

5 months ago

Reality Distortion

Old power paradigm blocks new planetary paradigm

Photo by Alex Radelich

The difference between our reality and the media's reality is like a tale of two worlds. The greatest and worst of times, really.

Expanding information demands complex skills and understanding to separate important information from ignorance and crap. And that's just the start of determining the source's aim.

Trust who? We see people trust liars in public and then be destroyed by their decisions. Mistakes may be devastating.

Many give up and don't trust anyone. Reality is a choice, though. Same risks.

We must separate our needs and wants from reality. Needs and wants have rules. Greed and selfishness create an unlivable planet.

Culturally, we know this, but we ignore it as foolish. Selfish and greedy people obtain what they want, while others suffer.

We invade, plunder, rape, and burn. We establish civilizations by institutionalizing an exploitable underclass and denying its existence. These cultural lies promote greed and selfishness despite their destructiveness.

Controlling parts of society institutionalize these lies as fact. Many of each age are willing to gamble on greed because they were taught to see greed and selfishness as principles justified by prosperity.

Our cultural understanding recognizes the long-term benefits of collaboration and sharing. This older understanding generates an increasing tension between greedy people and those who see its planetary effects.

Survival requires distinguishing between global and regional realities. Simple, yet many can't do it. This is the first time human greed has had a global impact.

In the past, conflict stories focused on regional winners and losers. Losers lose, winners win, etc. Powerful people see potential decades of nuclear devastation as local, overblown, and not personally dangerous.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) was a human choice that required people to acquiesce to irrational devastation. This prevented nuclear destruction. Most would refuse.

A dangerous “solution” relies on nuclear trigger-pullers not acting irrationally. Since then, we've collected case studies of sane people performing crazy things in experiments. We've been lucky, but the climate apocalypse could be different.

Climate disaster requires only continuing current behavior. These actions already cause global harm, but that's not a threat. These activities must be viewed differently.

Once grasped, denying planetary facts is hard to accept. Deniers can't think beyond regional power. Seeing planet-scale is unusual.

Decades of indoctrination defining any planetary perspective as un-American implies communal planetary assets are for plundering. The old paradigm limits any other view.

In the same way, the new paradigm sees the old regional power paradigm as a threat to planetary civilization and lifeforms. Insane!

While MAD relied on leaders not acting stupidly to trigger a nuclear holocaust, the delayed climatic holocaust needs correcting centuries of lunacy. We must stop allowing craziness in global leadership.

Nothing in our acknowledged past provides a paradigm for such. Only primitive people have failed to reach our level of sophistication.

Before European colonization, certain North American cultures built sophisticated regional nations but abandoned them owing to authoritarian cruelty and destruction. They were overrun by societies that saw no wrong in perpetual exploitation. David Graeber's The Dawn of Everything is an example of historical rediscovery, which is now crucial.

From the new paradigm's perspective, the old paradigm is irrational, yet it's too easy to see those in it as ignorant or malicious, if not both. These people are both, but the collapsing paradigm they promote is older or more ingrained than we think.

We can't shift that paradigm's view of a dead world. We must eliminate this mindset from our nations' leadership. No other way will preserve the earth.

Change is occurring. As always with tremendous transition, younger people are building the new paradigm.

The old paradigm's disintegration is insane. The ability to detect errors and abandon their sources is more important than age. This is gaining recognition.

The breakdown of the previous paradigm is not due to senile leadership, but to systemic problems that the current, conservative leadership cannot recognize.

Stop following the old paradigm.

Jon Brosio

Jon Brosio

4 months ago

You can learn more about marketing from these 8 copywriting frameworks than from a college education.

Email, landing pages, and digital content

Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels

Today's most significant skill:

Copywriting.

Unfortunately, most people don't know how to write successful copy because they weren't taught in school.

I've been obsessed with copywriting for two years. I've read 15 books, completed 3 courses, and studied internet's best digital entrepreneurs.

Here are 8 copywriting frameworks that educate more than a four-year degree.

1. Feature — Advantage — Benefit (F.A.B)

This is the most basic copywriting foundation. Email marketing, landing page copy, and digital video ads can use it.

F.A.B says:

  • How it works (feature)

  • which is helpful (advantage)

  • What's at stake (benefit)

The Hustle uses this framework on their landing page to convince people to sign up:

Courtesy | Thehustle.co

2. P. A. S. T. O. R.

This framework is for longer-form copywriting. PASTOR uses stories to engage with prospects. It explains why people should buy this offer.

PASTOR means:

  • Problem

  • Amplify

  • Story

  • Testimonial

  • Offer

  • Response

Dan Koe's landing page is a great example. It shows PASTOR frame-by-frame.

Courtesy | Dan Koe

3. Before — After — Bridge

Before-after-bridge is a copywriting framework that draws attention and shows value quickly.

This framework highlights:

  • where you are

  • where you want to be

  • how to get there

Works great for: Email threads/landing pages

Zain Kahn utilizes this framework to write viral threads.

Courtesy | Zain Kahn

4. Q.U.E.S.T

QUEST is about empathetic writing. You know their issues, obstacles, and headaches. This allows coverups.

QUEST:

  • Qualifies

  • Understands

  • Educates

  • Stimulates

  • Transitions

Tom Hirst's landing page uses the QUEST framework.

Courtesy | Tom Hirst

5. The 4P’s model

The 4P’s approach pushes your prospect to action. It educates and persuades quickly.

4Ps:

  • The problem the visitor is dealing with

  • The promise that will help them

  • The proof the promise works

  • push towards action

Mark Manson is a bestselling author, digital creator, and pop-philosopher. He's also a great copywriter, and his membership offer uses the 4P’s framework.

Courtesy | Mark Manson

6. Problem — Agitate — Solution (P.A.S)

Up-and-coming marketers should understand problem-agitate-solution copywriting. Once you understand one structure, others are easier. It drives passion and presents a clear solution.

PAS outlines:

  • The issue the visitor is having

  • It then intensifies this issue through emotion.

  • finally offers an answer to that issue (the offer)

The customer's story loops. Nicolas Cole and Dickie Bush use PAS to promote Ship 30 for 30.

Courtesy | ship30for30.com

7. Star — Story — Solution (S.S.S)

PASTOR + PAS = star-solution-story. Like PAS, it employs stories to persuade.

S.S.S. is effective storytelling:

  • Star: (Person had a problem)

  • Story: (until they had a breakthrough)

  • Solution: (That created a transformation)

Ali Abdaal is a YouTuber with a great S.S.S copy.

Courtesy | Ali Abdaal

8. Attention — Interest — Desire — Action

AIDA is another classic. This copywriting framework is great for fast-paced environments (think all digital content on Linkedin, Twitter, Medium, etc.).

It works with:

  • Page landings

  • writing on thread

  • Email

It's a good structure since it's concise, attention-grabbing, and action-oriented.

Shane Martin, Twitter's creator, uses this approach to create viral content.

Courtesy | Shane Martin

TL;DR

8 copywriting frameworks that teach marketing better than a four-year degree

  • Feature-advantage-benefit

  • Before-after-bridge

  • Star-story-solution

  • P.A.S.T.O.R

  • Q.U.E.S.T

  • A.I.D.A

  • P.A.S

  • 4P’s

Adrien Book

Adrien Book

4 months ago

What is Vitalik Buterin's newest concept, the Soulbound NFT?

Decentralizing Web3's soul

Our tech must reflect our non-transactional connections. Web3 arose from a lack of social links. It must strengthen these linkages to get widespread adoption. Soulbound NFTs help.

This NFT creates digital proofs of our social ties. It embodies G. Simmel's idea of identity, in which individuality emerges from social groups, just as social groups evolve from people.

It's multipurpose. First, gather online our distinctive social features. Second, highlight and categorize social relationships between entities and people to create a spiderweb of networks.

1. 🌐 Reducing online manipulation: Only socially rich or respectable crypto wallets can participate in projects, ensuring that no one can create several wallets to influence decentralized project governance.

2. 🤝 Improving social links: Some sectors of society lack social context. Racism, sexism, and homophobia do that. Public wallets can help identify and connect distinct social groupings.

3. 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👨 Increasing pluralism: Soulbound tokens can ensure that socially connected wallets have less voting power online to increase pluralism. We can also overweight a minority of numerous voices.

4. 💰Making more informed decisions: Taking out an insurance policy requires a life review. Why not loans? Character isn't limited by income, and many people need a chance.

5. 🎶 Finding a community: Soulbound tokens are accessible to everyone. This means we can find people who are like us but also different. This is probably rare among your friends and family.

NFTs are dangerous, and I don't like them. Social credit score, privacy, lost wallet. We must stay informed and keep talking to innovators.

E. Glen Weyl, Puja Ohlhaver and Vitalik Buterin get all the credit for these ideas, having written the very accessible white paper “Decentralized Society: Finding Web3’s Soul”.