$1 Million, 10 Years, Zero Excuses

We’ve gotten some mail regarding our requirement for posting here. Which is a $1M+ net worth and at least 5 years of front office experience. For some, this seems “impossible”. But. The math simply doesn’t lie. If you’re 27 years old and you’ve made Vice President in a revenue generating role, you’re already making ~$500K per year (yes we’re back to 2006 compensation levels already). In less than 3 years you’d have at least $600K assuming you saved $0 during the years you made ~$200-300K per year. Enough of that. We’re going to outline a step by step process for *anyone* to generate $1M in net worth even if you *don’t* want to work on Wall Street. Will it be easy? No. Nothing worth doing ever is.

1) Job, Career and Business

2) Building Transferable Skills

3) The Quick and Dirty $1M Math

4) Targeting and Selling to the Right Market

5) The Only Sale That Matters is the One that Converts

6) Cruise Control and Real Work Life Balance

JOB, CAREER AND BUSINESS

If you found this blog you’re in luck. You can easily tell the difference between a Job, Career and a business as follows: 1) Job: Trading time for money (Hourly wage or fixed Salary), 2) Career: trading performance for money (Income is primarily from performance. Delivering results.), 3) Business: You have created an establishment that will make money while you sleep (product sales, outsourced work flow)

That summarizes every single position in the world. 80%+ of people will not understand the paragraph above (luckily our blog is targeted to the 20%) and they will continue to trade their time for money. This makes it impossible to become rich and around 33-35 years old they become bitter/jaded as they did not hit their goals.

Job: A job is only acceptable as a temporary position. You can take a job only under the condition that it is 1) not minimum wage and 2) you can transfer the skills to your future career or business. No exceptions to this rule.

People who are willing to work for free are *begging for help*. In addition? The only person willing to hire free labor does not have the power to afford *quality* paid for labor. How are you going to learn from someone who can’t even afford to pay you $15-20 an hour? You’re a human being and deserve to cover your bills even if you are learning for the most part. Besides. If he’s willing to pay you? He’s thinking of ways to leverage your skills long-term as he finds what type of intelligence you have.

To drive the point home. If you’re even thinking about taking an unpaid position, we’re going to assume you’re lazy. Why? If you’re actually willing to work hard (60-80 hours a week when you’re young)… Then? You would have put in the time to find a position you *would* be paid for! Doesn’t get much simpler than that. The only person who is willing to work for free is simply a fool.

Perhaps there is an exception to this rule? We haven’t seen it. Maybe if you get to work with Warren Buffet you can go ahead and work for free. But. Working for any large company for free (or even worse a small one) is simply a bad move. Your time is worth at least $15 an hour.

Career: A career is a performance based position. Do not be fooled by high salaries or high hourly wages. Even if you’re making $100 an hour that is only $200K per year. The Company will do everything in its power to prevent you from making more money than that.

The deadliest company trick in the book is paying someone *more than they are worth* in the early years (22-27 years old). Then… proceed to pay them *less than they are worth* as they remain at the Company. This is a classic move done in high salaried positions such as consulting. Dangle the carrot of making partner, burn them in their early thirties. One out of ~40 make the partner jump and get that equity. You see this trick time and time again in many industries.

Reiteration: A career is a performance based position.

Many careers (pure sales in particular) provide extremely *low* salaries with large performance upside. Think 30/70 split where 30% of your compensation comes from salary and 70% comes from performance fees on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. Absorb the pain. The beauty of a sales role is that the skills are transferable into *any* industry! If you are good at sales you will always have income. If you can convince someone to fork over $50K for an enterprise B2B product, you’re going to have no problem selling cars if you hit a rough patch in your life.

The second variation of performance is *equity*. This is where the engineers come into play, not the ones who work solely for a capped salary. Equity is just a cute word for ownership. You are in a performance based position because your net worth is directly tied to the valuation of the Company you work for. If you can expand the Net Income line by $100K… and it obtains a 10x earnings multiple… That’s a million bucks. Just make sure you’re able to negotiate a fair slug of equity so you get more than $2 of that $1M valuation increase.

Business: In this situation you leverage all of your skills. Every single talent you have is poured into your business. A business is something that makes money even as you do nothing. Of course if you do nothing for multiple years it will likely die. But. You’ve created a system that makes money in your sleep.

Etch this quote into your brain: “You are hardworking or you’re smart. You cannot be both.”

When you have no skills, you’re forced to become hardworking. You’re killing yourself day in and day out to learn valuable transferable skills. Eventually, you have learned enough. You jump from working hard to leveraging all of your talents into scaling an actual company/business. At this point, once you’re generating meaningful revenue, you’re looking to *hire* hardworking people who don’t have the skills to start a company *yet*.

This is a huge jump. The building phase takes a lot of effort and once you’re generating a meaningful amount of money… you need to be able to *spot* talent. If you can do this, they will help you build a meaningful business.

After they learn the ropes? They will probably leave to start their own venture. Long-term, you both win.

In Short: If you’re young, you may need to take a job to build small skill sets to get into the career you are longing for. Once you hit age 22 you should not work in a job ever again. Business or career only. In our opinion, it is best to learn the ropes in a career for at least 3-4 years before starting a business. If you’re already running a scalable business, then this entire section could be skipped!

BUILDING TRANSFERABLE SKILLS

Now that you’ve got the framework… It is time to define what a “transferable skill” is. In short, a transferable skill is an *intangible skill*.

Funny. Many people think that tangible skills are the best but those can be outsourced. We talk about this a lot on the blog. Anyone can learn how to build a financial model. Anyone can learn how to read a graph. Anyone can copy and paste numbers from an SEC filing. Anyone can do basic arithmetic. In short, if it can be learned in less than a month it’s *not* a transferable skill.

Transferable skills are any skills that are unique to you. A simple person to person example? A fast twitched athlete would be unique to you. This would directly oppose a slow twitch endurance athlete. Neither is good nor bad. They are simply unique to you and your development of them will determine how good your talents are.

On a more important note, lets focus on transferable skills for money making:

Sales: You already knew this one was coming. If you’re good at sales you will always make $200K+. Emphasis on good. You sell to people with money (primarily older women worried about their fading looks) or you sell extremely expensive items to wealthy men. That’s generally how the market is split up. If you are good at sales you are not selling to your typical middle class man. Why? He is usually a weird frugal guy who refuses to buy anything. You sell to either women or you sell to wealthy men who are willing to pay a premium for high quality products/services.

Networking: This is somewhat similar to sales. The only difference is that you don’t need to transfer a feeling. It is a lot easier than sales. Become a trusted source of good information. Then? Link two people who will *mutually* benefit. You will collect a commission for doing this. Why? It has a lot of value. If you’re able to realize that Person A needs Person B’s skills… And you’re the person who figures it out? That skill cannot be taught. It is valuable and not replicable by a sweatshop in India.

Production Improvement: This is *largely* overlooked. Many people say “I can’t think of a new idea or product”. So what? It doesn’t matter. What about improving the actual efficiency of the product or business. This is either on the cost side or on the revenue side of the equation! If you tell a company that you can reduce its costs (Total Cost of Ownership = TCO) by 25% at a cost of just 5%? They are going to hand you money. On the other side… If you can improve their sales funnel that results in a revenue increase of 5-10%? They will pay you a few hundred basis points for that product. You don’t need to recreate the wheel. Make the wheel run smoother.

Basic Maintenance: The most obvious example would be property management. Creating a quick stream of income in a niche neighborhood and managing properties for wealthy individuals. Once you gain the trust of a few wealthy men? They will refer you to other wealthy individuals looking for some monthly income. Once you’ve gotten the tasks down (insurance, good tenant screening, solid marketing of each rental property) it becomes a easy monthly paycheck. Notably, you can do this for many other industries as well. Just look at TaskRabbit as an example of outsourced services for menial needs.

Continuity: Ah yes, the holy grail. You affiliate marketers who keep visiting the site from StackThatMoney are all nodding in agreement. You’re able to private label your product and you’ve set up a monthly rebill. All your income comes from the re-bill and gaining the customer is the real headache. The manufacturing of the product is meaningless since anyone can set up the infrastructure in China (even an imbecile can do this!). The real skill is getting the quality up, getting the sale up and making sure other people don’t try to steal all of your market share.

The best example is one everyone knows of… NetFlix. Probably the best re-bill on the planet.

In Short: We don’t know what you’re good at. Maybe you’re better at creating the product. Maybe you’re better at selling. Maybe you’re better at improving efficiency. We simply don’t know. What we do know however, is that you need to find your niche skills and begin leveraging them. Time is not on your side and if you waste it trying to target meaningless niches you’re going to go belly up in a hurry.

THE QUICK AND DIRTY $1M MATH

Many people skipped the first two sections and jumped here. A million bucks in 10 years is not that difficult. We would wager that you’ll clear this figure in 7-8 years instead of 10.

Can’t be too upset as I’ve made it many times over already based on your benchmark of 1 mil by 30, but had to stop for a moment to think about how much more could have been achieved if I had read this post 10 years ago – Stealthy1Percenter

Before we simply brush off this number as easily obtainable we’re going to outline the requirements here. Assuming you start at $0.

1) Give up three years and you will be free; 2) You will not work less than 70 hours a week for the *first* 3 years; 3) You will have two forms of income by year 5-6 at minimum; 4) You will not waste your time fixing weaknesses and will focus on your strengths; 5) You will not try to regurgitate another product unless it is *the only* product and you will take second place (Pepsi vs Coke as an example)

If you break one of these rules you’re unlikely going to succeed. We’re not too worried about your spending habits or your current skills because it is incredibly easy to make $100K a year if you work 70 hours a week for three years. After year three you will be efficient and you won’t crack more than 50-60 hours a week unless you made bad decisions. Besides. To make $100K a year you only need to make ~$27 an hour. A typical career will pay you north of $100K out the gate if you’re in a major city. If not? Well follow the path below anyway:

Year 1: As stated above. Your first three years are going to be dreadful. You will encounter many battles with self doubt. You will fail many times over and over and over again. You will work hard. By the end of year one you will realize that the only people who watch motivational videos are losers. You will fade into the abyss as you are forced to drop contact with many people due to your rigorous work schedule. In year one here is your goal. Find your talent. Only in year one are you allowed to work a “job”. You will likely work *two* jobs if you haven’t found a career yet. You work in one that is focused on Intent (sales, people connection) and you will work in another focused on Synthesis (networking, efficiency). Once you find out which one you’re good at, you jump into that career. Net Income: $80-100K. Net Worth ~$40K.

***Note: Numerics is left off. If you are good at numerics you don’t need to find where your talents lie***

Year 2: You are now in a performance based position. It does not matter which type of performance you choose. You are simply leveraging *your* talents. Do not listen to what other people are “telling you to do” you’re following *your* talents. Why? The masses don’t know anything anyway! By year 2 you must have a career at *minimum*. If you’re extremely talented go ahead and jump into business. But. Generally, you’re going to spend a couple years in the career zone. You work on your business ideas on the side. Finally, if you’re only working 50 hours a week, find a side job for another 20 hours. Don’t settle and break the rules. Expected Income: $120-140K. Net Worth ~ $80-100K.

Year 3: The last two years have been awful. You feel like you haven’t accomplished much but in reality you have. Your skill set is currently being honed and you’ve got some money in the bank to show for it (likely near $100K). For some, you’re going to spend more time on a side business (section 2 on using your transferable skills) while others still need a bit more time in their career. This is typically a dark and boring year but you’re much more efficient. 70 hours are clipped and you’re only up about 10%. Expected Income: $135-155K. Net Worth ~$150K.

Year 4: By now you know what you’re doing. You have at least one idea for a business that is based on your transferable skills: Sales, Networking, Production Improvement, Basic Maintenance and Continuity. In an ideal world everyone hits the continuity button! That said, you’re now going to focus about 45 hours into your career and that remaining time is going to be spent on your side business idea. You’re going to see a minimal increase in earnings for the year and build up a brand/reputation. Expected Income: 150-170K. Net worth ~$225K.

Year 5: This is typically a banner year for those in a serious career. Around year 5 you’re finally generating real revenue for a firm. You are also hitting your stride in efficiency. If you’re still working 60+ hours a week then you’re either a poor employee or you are not well positioned politically within the firm. When you make the leap on Wall Street this usually means a 50% move in compensation. If not? Well you’re still in the low 2s range. Since we don’t know a person’s specific career path we’ll assume another 10-15% move as you’re still spending a good 20 hours or so on your side business. Expected Income: $170-200K. Net Worth $310K.

Year 6 – 8: Now we’re into the good years. You should be hitting your stride and getting ready to pull the event button soon. If your side business has been growing for about 3 years, this is usually where the traction starts to show up. If you wasted your time trying to copy products or you wasted your time targeting niche fields with no money… You’re going to be in pain. Since you’re reading this post we assume you didn’t make that foolish mistake and you’ve got traction. Either A) it’s now generating a decent amount of money for you ~$50K or B) you’re realizing the growth is outpacing your career income growth! You either quit or gather a team so you can have two forms of income (we suggest gathering a team, but if you’re real greedy… quit and go it alone). Your income should continue to go up by about 10% but we’ll flat line you at $200K + $50K from the side… You’re saving $125K easily. Expected Income: $250K. Net Worth: $685K as of year 8.

Year 9 and 10: Well you’ve made it already. By giving up three years of your life (pretty meaningless since your early 20s are the most energetic years) you’re now a millionaire. You’re about 31 years old and you put away another $250K + market returns on all of your investments. We can squabble all day about how much you will actually have at 30. But. In reality, $1M by thirty is easily attainable with this game plan. In fact we’d go ahead and say you’ll *exceed* this number over the course of a decade. Using Wall Street as an Example by 27 years old you should be at the $350-500K marker and that alone will push you over the next 3 years. The real smart ones simply build that second form of business income and throw it into the bank. $50K a year is an easy sum to achieve even if you are lazy and decide to write copy on the side. Expected Income: $250K. Net Worth: $1M+… Call option with an *event* sale of the company.

In Short: Now you realize why it is important to put the big blocks up first. If you’re trying to catch someone who is already in year 5 of the described plan you will be hurting. Year 1 effort is always significantly harder than year 5 effort from an energy standpoint. In addition, this is a clear step by step year by year outline of how to leverage your skills to make money. Don’t bother listening to other people who claim it is not possible because they are not willing to put in the work.

Find that career. Find that side income. Scale. The side income will *more likely than not* be neck and neck with the career income by year 8 on the time-line. Will happily bet money on that one.

TARGETING AND SELLING TO THE RIGHT MARKET

Now that you’ve got the 10 year *blueprint* lets make sure you don’t throw up a huge mistake on the side income piece of the equation. The career debate is already dead as you simply look for performance based income. Anyone arguing for hourly wage non-sense is simply drinking far too much kool-aid.

How Do You Find the Right Market?

1) The Right Market is Willing to Spend Money: The word choice here is critical. This is also why we laugh when people try to target middle class men for money. Middle class men are generally cheap guys who are having their money spent by their wives (hint right there). The “right market” is the market that is going to spend the money. Not necessarily the one that is making the money. If your buddy is making $100K a year but he’s the same guy haggling for a $10 discount for his broken iPhone screen… He’s a tough guy to sell to. If your friend is hitting 28 and she’s single looking to find her man by maximizing her looks… She’ll be easily sold to (okay enough with the hints you already get it)

2) The Right Market is the Masses or the 1%: Those are the two segments. Rich men are willing to *pay up* for quality and status. This is why Ferrarri’s exist and this is why the largest companies in the world cater to the high end or they cater to your regular Joe Blow (80% of the population).

Generally speaking, a rich guy knows that he gets what he pays for. But. He is also smart. He will research your product and prod with intelligent questions.

Average Joe is the reverse. He is driven by emotion and will buy based on how he feels. If you can make him “Feel good” or make him think something will “easily solve his problems” without doing work… He’ll buy. This is exactly why products sold to the masses come with ridiculously idiotic statements like “guru’s hate him” “this one weird trick” “research science approved” (typically unrelated) so on and so forth. Joe average is going to buy based on feeling. This is why he likes motivational junk, quick fixes, and of course pain.

3) The Right Market is Sold in the Right Way: As long as your product is legitimate should you care about the sales technique? No. So long as you’re not doing anything illegal it does not matter “how it is sold” the only thing that matters is *if it converts!*. Remember this when you’re starting to sell your product.

Rich People (top 20%): If you’re targeting smarter and richer people (this blog) you’re not going to use phrases like “one trick!”, “approved by Kim Kardashian” so on and so forth. You’re going to have to spend a lot of time building a brand before even mentioning products you use. Even then? Simply disclose you make a few bucks off the recommendation.

Average People (bottom 80%): Now… If you want to make money faster… You’re targeting Jane regular. Yes we’ve switched to Jane regular for a reason. The number one complaint about women is as follows: “women are emotional”. This is a wet dream. This means they are easy to sell to! If a person’s mood is easily influenced… It means that they are easily convinced to buy!

Take it to the extreme. If you’re trying to sell to a Monk or a girl who is scared of losing her looks… Who’s easier to sell to? The answer is easy. The emotional one. The girl.

Reiteration. So long as your product works and does as advertised, it does not matter how you sold it. An emotional person is *not* going to respond to logic and reason so don’t use it! Type in 8th grade level English and make the sale. There is no value in using “verbose” language. Funny. Even with the word “verbose” in quotes it looks like a junk sentence.

In Short:  You’re really looking for three things. You’re looking for people who will actually spend money. You’re looking to target a lucrative market. You’re looking to sell “correctly” and the correct sale is an emotional one. This is the topic of the next section.

THE ONLY SALE THAT MATTERS IS THE ONE THAT CONVERTS

The best part about this section is we *can* give you “one quick trick”. Stop trying to sell with logic. Start selling with emotion. This is the most mind boggling concept for people who focus primarily on numeric based skill sets. Engineers and Quants in particular attempt to apply logic to humans and it simply doesn’t work. People make their purchasing decisions based on emotion and feelings. This applies to wealthier people as well. The only difference is that the wealthy person *does research* and makes sure he clears enough “utility” from the purchase.

“A person is in Pain or they are seeking Pleasure. Provide a solution to get rid of the pain or provide a solution to obtain pleasure. That is how you sell” – Wall Street Playboys

Generally speaking, pain sells more. Everyone knows this. This is why men who seek money will shell out thousands of dollars for get rich schemes and women who seek beauty will pay top dollar for any physical improvement. That really boils down the two sexes in a single sentence. Men want money to elevate their worth. Women want looks to elevate their worth.

Now that we’ve given you the “trick” to selling… It is 100% easier said than done. You must communicate at a much lower level to sell to the masses. Do not bother with insane vocabulary. Do not bother with logic. Do not bother with statistics.

The typical phrase is “Keep it Simple Stupid” or (KISS). You can go ahead and remove the first S in that equation when targeting the masses. Keep It Stupid (KIS). If your sales page or advertisement cannot be understood by a 12 year old… It is not a good advertisement. Lets look at some examples:

Infomercials: Infomercials are not there for fun. They are spending money on the airtime. Notice… What products are being sold? Primarily: 1) lazy products, 2) depression/insomnia products and 3) alcoholic recovery products.

Lazy Products: This makes complete sense. The type of person watching lame infomercials is likely a stay at home mom or a lazy person. They see a “cool gadget” that will save them 5 seconds on dicing tomatoes… This gives them an extra 5 seconds to watch more television! Hooray!

Depression/Insomnia Products: This also makes sense. A lot of *late night* infomercials are targeting people with sleeping issues. Someone is up watching TV all night at 2 in the morning. Typically, before these commercials come on, at around 10pm or so they have “dating products” because if you’re at home watching TV on a Friday/Saturday night you’re likely lonely.

So sign up for eHarmony! Then when the viewer has not taken action and feels depressed at around 1am… Boom! Here are some depression/insomnia medication products!

Alcoholic Recovery Products: The last subset is the alcoholic recovery section. A lot of people come back from another depressing night out trying to score at the bar and stumble onto their couch to watch TV. Many of these people have serious alcohol issues and the infomercial is right there to “save them”.

Pleasure Commercials: This is obvious and you don’t even need to read this section. Go watch the commercials for any major sporting event and you’ll primarily find beverage and insurance commercials. Alcoholic commercials are clear as day. You’re watching a fun event. You want to be entertained. Nothing better than a “cold one” to increase your pleasure.

Alternatively, there is the insurance side. You think this has nothing to do with pleasure? It does. In fact it’s *both* pain and pleasure. The other main audience (besides younger people watching for fun) are middle aged people with families. They constantly think of their kids (they probably play the sport as well) so here’s a great way to take a hold of your family. Get solid insurance in case anything happens (fear of loss, family combined with pleasure, feeling responsible).

Now if these examples were “obvious” then you’re in great shape. It’s time to create your own ads! Learn how to write good copy and see how good you are. Be warned. This is easier said than done.

If you’ve watched ads and wondered “why in the world is that a popular ad” you’re going to “un-learn” those thoughts! Chances are… if the ad is on prime time television… it is Return on Investment (ROI) positive.

We’re not kidding when we say Keep It Stupid instead of Keep It Simple Stupid.

In Short:  The primary lesson here is the same. It does not matter “how you sell” so long as the product is legitimate. If the best advertising technique was to show overweight people mud wrestling on television… You should do it (note: never works!). The only good advertisement is the one that *converts*.

CRUISE CONTROL AND REAL WORK LIFE BALANCE

Now that you’ve read this post and everyone who sees this is a millionaire (joke) it’s time for a more serious matter. Real work life balance.

If you’ve followed this path and find yourself with a solid 7 figure net worth and multi-six figure income streams you’re allowed to find balance. For the vast majority of people, they have not earned this right (yet). They should align their ducks and get to work.

Once you feel comfortable, you should now focus on your health and the power of 1%.

Health: No lies. During your first 3 years, your health will likely suffer a bit. You’re going to work so hard you will *actually break* at least once. Once you reach this limit you’ll know when you’ve gone too far. After a good 5-6 years of nearing the line but never crossing it… You should now shift your focus to *maximizing* your health. Again and again. While money is immensely important, the reason why you have it is to keep your health! By being rich you’re able to eat healthy, get some sun, live without stress and help people who have helped you in the past. The point of getting money is not to buy a Tesla (you can if you’d like) it is to eliminate every negative aspect of your life.

If you hit your first million in your late twenties this may mean working 40 hours a week still. If you hit it when you’re in your mid 30s it may mean 25 hours of work per week. We don’t know. Just make sure you’re maximizing your health because that was the entire point. If you’re rich and stressed out/unhealthy you’re doing something terribly wrong.

Make Small Adjustments: Begin fiddling with your business and your career. Can you give up some of your income stream in exchange for time? How much time will you save? How much will it cost you?

Many people attempt to do everything in a small group of 3-5 people. This works… until? You cross a certain net income level. At that point you have to expand. Do your best to maintain your equity and simply offer a higher salary to the person looking for a job.

The power of 1% is certainly real. Do this five times. 5% of a full week is 8.4 hours. That is a lot of time! That is literally a full day of work you just avoided. In other words you could spend 8.4 hours at the gym, eating healthy, reading a book and taking your dog for a walk. It really is up to you. But. 8.4 hours is a long period of time to have freed up!

In Short: If you’ve followed the path outlined here, your goal is to avoid money addiction. We really need to do a post on this but most wealthy people are *not* addicted to getting the money. They are addicted to making the money! It is simply a game they are playing and it is the hardest game in the world (picking up girls gets easy after about 3-4 years). But. Once you’re free, you’re allowed to strike a balance. Consider your health. Consider your social life and don’t fall victim to the money *making* addiction.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

We’ve reached the end of the post. It truly is possible for anyone to obtain $1M in 10 years. Maybe we have too much faith in our readership but who knows. Below are the bullets:

– A job is a time for money exchange only done to *temporarily* build skills for a future career or business

– Never work for free or for minimum wage

– A career is a performance based income stream and a business makes money while you sleep

– Find transferable skills: Sales, Networking, Efficiency, Maintenance, Continuity

– Simplistically, if you can average ~$200K+ a year over a decade starting at $100K and scaling to $300K+ you will easily become a millionaire if you want. You won’t have time to blow through all the money anyway.

– Again and again, frugality is a joke. If you’re busy earning? The saving part takes care of itself. You don’t get rich if you don’t invest in your skills. Example: “research ways to save $5” vs. “spend same amount of time making $25”. Option one leads to $5… Option 2 leads to $30 with the same time spent!

– Target the right market. Either emotional people in the 80% or wealthy people in the top 1-20%.

– Sell with emotion not logic. Logic does not work.

– Pain sells much better than pleasure. Particularly if you can target an insecurity.

– If your product is legitimate, how you sell it is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is if it *converts*

– Creating good ads/copy is *NOT* easy. Particularly if you’re a logical person. You’re going to have to dumb down your writing and intellect to an 8th grade level at *maximum*

– You didn’t get rich to be an unhealthy fat person. Your health is number one. Your money can also help your friends and family who were there for you when you needed them during the dreadful “down” years.

– Reiteration. Give up three and you will be free. You’ll be hard pressed to find a broke person who really gave it their all for roughly 3 years. It gets significantly *easier* to make money after 3 years of pain. No need to crank out 70-80 hour work weeks anymore.

– Now that you got your money… Don’t let it turn you into a monster…

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Updated for 2017

 

Comments

  1. David says

    This is hands down the best post you guys have ever written, forget all the excuses! I have to admit I always think advertisements are stupid and really need to make the mental leap and say “they are not paying for ad space for nothing”. It makes a lot of sense once you realize how much the ad space costs.

    I will be sure to KIS when I take my first stab at writing some copy!

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Be sure to communicate like an 8th grader. You will be “shocked at the results” (double entendre and true!)

      Good luck and if you understood the post we’ll bet you hit a stick in seven.

      After that everything gets easy (unless you have severe social issues – aspergers)

  2. m says

    How do you guys account for lost time? IE you partied a bit too much/and or transferred schools and you lost time. Suck it up and feel the pain so you never do it again?

    (Minor drug use and binge drinking in my early college years…)

    On my way to 1m at about 32 or 33 (35 latest…) because of this, but still looks good.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Honestly you are one of the lucky ones.

        If you fail early in life and recognize the lost time (ie: 22-23 in your case) then you won! Why? You learned and recovered early enough to fix your issues. This is significantly harder if you wasted time from 21-30… Much harder to recover.

        You can’t do anything about your past. You shouldn’t think about it at all because *you cannot control it*.

        Overall, you’re wasting your own time thinking about it! Yeah it sucks but you learned and you’re in a better place. You can do a good deed and pass along the same message to younger generations. You won.

        Hope this helps. Just remmeber, you are not your past! You learned from it.

      • m says

        I guess you’re right. Better to happen now then later. Onto making lots of money.

        Funny you guys mention money addiction on this blog. Was it felix dennis that said “It’s like a drug, not the money itself, but the making of it” (Or something like that…)?

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Yes. Money is the biggest drug addiction in the world. It has nothing to do with the “getting” of the money. The *making* of the money is the addicting part.

        Know far too many people with weird social issues (and health issues!) that are unable to shake the addiction.

        Be warned when it starts to pour in.

      • m says

        It’s hard to imagine that happening (Now at least, in 10 years I might think differently), but when it happens. I guess I’ll be ready.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        It usually happens once you go from negative to positive.

        IE: you lose $2K a month for 6 months then suddenly you’re making $5-10K a month and you say

        “where was all this money hiding”

        Your first dopamine rush is always the highest. You chase more money to try and match the high. It never comes!

      • m says

        My copywriting mentors are doing around that. Should be hitting a few k/month soon-ish. Side hustle (50-100k/yr) + six figure job leaves you sitting pretty well.

      • m says

        This part really stuck with me. (And it probably the case with most of my friends).

        “Stick with me, young brother or sister. You are suffering from nothing
        more than excusable confusion and a lack of experience, conditions that will
        pass with time, and whose passing can be expedited by fierce determination
        and application.”

  3. Hector L says

    Hello WSP, I just wanted to thank you not only for this post but for the entire blog. This has been the father figure that I never had, really thanks

    I´m a young musician/ songwriter (23) from Mexico, just starting to get some momentum going in my career. I was feeling very depressed because the bands that I created failed for various reasons, and the feeling of being the “loser artist” when some of your friends are getting promotions had a deep effect on me.

    After reading the blog and working on myself this has gone and now it has been replaced with certain clarity, the bad news is I was lazy and didn´t put my entire effort for various years ( Focused on women and nonsense ) the good news is that as Kid (12 -17) I dedicated a lot of time to my skills

    By luck and connections I just started working on a music project here in Mexico with a famous and successful producer ( Guy in his 50s) a couple of months ago.

    Harsh but very liberating truths were given to me.

    – Women are the market. Stop whining, complaining or preaching in your lyrics, nobody cares what you feel, our job is to create music that makes that consumer feel/ look good.

    – Cater to them, get in the gym, get on social media, develop your voice more it needs to be way better than the rest.

    – A variation on Winner takes all dynamics. ( Most people in the business are losers)

    – The songs are not for you to express yourself they are for your audience

    – ” This advice is assuming you want to be successful. If you want to play in shitty bars, live in a shitty apartment and be the loser of your family when you are older then do whatever music you want and cater to whoever you like. Maybe you´ll get lucky ”

    Sorry if the post was too long or it was badly written ( English isn´t my native language)

    This is year 1 for me although I built real skills for a solid 4 – 5 years. Really excited about going through ” hell “.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Yep! The best market is the emotional market.

      Feminism is the greatest thing ever created for an intelligent entreprenuer.

      Finally, it really is dreadful (the first ~3 years) but if you put out 100% effort most people don’t fail.

      • David says

        It sounds to me as though writing for the female market (I’m an amateur writer/aspiring novelist with a great deal of talent) for the first 3 years or so of my career would be the wisest thing, bearing this simple truth in mind, even if it isn’t “the dream”. Appeal to the emotional women (look at Twilight and 50 Shades) to earn the capital to spend the time and energy needed to write the “great American novel” after reaching financial independence.

        I’ll gladly give up 3 years of my writing career to buy myself the freedom to write whatever I want and be successful in doing so.

  4. JM says

    Re: working for free

    One point I want to make though is that an unpaid internship is okay. I worked two unpaid internships (and a third one for very little pay) in order to ultimately land my FT banking offer.

    Those internships allowed me to build my skills, network, and make my resume more presentable to keep moving on up until I got into banking (accounting -> corporate banking -> boutique internship -> FT offer at better bank).

  5. stm says

    Reading your post on “Balanced Life” actually led me to STM… and now the only real sites I read are the forum (case studies, actionable guides, etc.), and this website.

    One problem I have is pulling the trigger and taking action (probably out of fear of losing money), with all of the amazing information on that website. However, as this site preaches, I don’t have time to procrastinate on that… better get moving.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      It sounds like you are afraid to fail.

      Failure is good. Try to fail every single day. Just wait until you lose your first $5K and you’ll really hate failing!

      Then… When you turn it around? Well nothing can ever ever ever match that feeling. Going from a $5K mistake to a windfall of profit cannot possibly be matched on the dopamine scale.

      Hence, making money is a drug.

      Good luck!

  6. John says

    Thank you. I love the part where you guys mention that you are not your past. You guys had such an excellent tweet on some one’s past. I don’t know why you took it off however that tweet changed my perspective on mine. Keep up the great work. Best blog online right now.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      As long as you are learning from your mistakes (failures) you’re doing things right.

      If you’re learning nothing and living in the past (something you can’t control) then you’re simply wasting *more* valuable time.

  7. Occam's Chainsaw says

    When I started reading this blog, I was a recent college graduate, stuck in a 40 hr a week, $40000 pa military job that I can’t quit for 4 years. You woke me up. I got to work, developed a plan and have been in the process of executing it since. Sure, I’m working over double the hours but in doing so an extra $5000 cleared this month – since it seems like it’s not going to fall, that’s an extra $60000 a year. Granted, I won’t see the progress that investing all the hours into that one stream of revenue would yield but you’ve helped me get to the position of a reasonable chance of a 6 digit figure income in no time at all. Thank you. Now all I have to do is try to scale it up in the time I can dedicate to it.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      That’s how it is done!

      *When* you approach $150K or so on your side business you’ll need a team or you will be forced to outsource.

      Congrats!

      Now you know why we are so harsh over here. *Anyone* can get 6 figures if they stop BS’ing around and put their heart and soul into generating revenue.

      If someone fails to clear 6 figures, tell them you will spend a month with them to monitor their day to day use of time.

      They turn into sea shells. Clam up.

      • Money says

        There are affiliate marketers who clear way over 150K with no team – however, they are likely doing this full time.

        You don’t think this is manageable as a “side hustle” while doing banking?

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        You can try.

        Generally, when you push up on $150-200K a year you’re better off outsourcing and/or working with a team especially if you are still on the Street. If you don’t have a second career then you can try to do it all on your own.

        Up to you though. If you can do both, nothing but respect!

      • m says

        What’s the best route for that? A mentor?

        I tried it when I was younger (18-19) and crashed and burned horribly.

  8. E&P Associate Analyst Houston says

    Holy shit. This content (as always) was golden. I can’t fathom how this information is still available to the public for free and how not everyone is not stacking paper based upon this stuff!

    Anyway, I will be hitting the benchmarks you have mentioned above in terms of income over the course of my career for the next 10yr and I am not worried about that at all. I like how you even offered guidlines with respect to how much should be in the bank (or in VOO and total market ETFs in my case) in a given year, excellent depth there and avoided some annoying questions about saving I would imagine!

    However, I was wondering if you could provide some baseline assumptions into how the money that we ARE spending and not saving should be allocated on a percentage basis. I still have a hard time allocating the money I have not put away in proper ratios for things like rent expense, food, entertainment, car lease, and misc items (repairs, etc. etc.)

    Sorry for the long winded message, but that is one issue that has been nagging me and there’s not much info out there about how $$$ should be allocated

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      1) people are lazy even with a hand holding way to make money they will quit after year 2 or so.
      2) for a budget (we hate frugality saving non-sense) the real key is keeping *rent down*. Live with roomates until 25 and never spend more than 15% of your gross income on rent.
      3) get used to shopping at grocery stores it is healthier for you long-term. Don’t eat out every meal. 1x a day is more than enough.

      That alone should be fine.

      If you have a one bedroom (girls won’t care at all if you’re in shape + have some decent game) and if you follow those three guidelines it’s a smooth sail to $1M assuming you put in 3 years worth of pain.

      Once you are worth $X million, feel free to do whatever you like. Just don’t go cash flow negative!

      Poverty, as you know, is a choice.

      • E&P Associate Analyst Houston says

        Noted. Thanks!

        Also, I have made the decision to work at a trading desk for one of the large oil companies (think BP, Chevron, Shell) in their Natural Gas Liquids group. Will be moving over later this summer. Made the choice to switch out of equity research because the income acceleration is far greater in physical commodities. Stay tuned for a username switch soon! ha!

  9. JackB says

    I can truly associate with the *money addiction* issue and would love to see a post on it.

    I’m an affiliate marketer.. worked my ass off for the past 5 years and now have a net worth of nearly $3 million in the bank – 32 years old.

    Even though I am comfortable financially I’ve neglected my health and relationships to a high degree and constantly chase more money – basing my emotions on having good or bad months.

    Surely it must be time for me to ease off on the daily grind of AM and spend some time in the gym / other interests?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      You need to ease off immediately. This is a serious issue and people who are broke will not understand your pain.

      You are clearly addicted to *making* money if it 1) damages your health or 2) damages your social skills.

      You are doing both!

      We may do a full post on this. But. For now take off 5% as noted in this post. Delete 8 hours of slack that was spent on work/unhealthy activities. Replace it with a healthy diet and exercise/socializing time. Report back in a month.

      You will feel 100x better and you will still be making roughly the same amount of $ anyway. Maybe even more if you’re good at delegating!

      Start delegating and rearranging your life *NOW*!

  10. Stealthy1Percenter says

    Thanks for the shoutout.

    Another piece of required reading for the youth (late teens and early 20s). Should still work for those in their 20s and even 30s as well. Hell, it could even work for someone even older, but they’ll most likely come up with a list of excuses about how “hard” it is to responsibly manage their career while paying off their car loans/mortage and clipping coupons. They will instead chug another tall boy on the train commute while eating a big box of popcorn to drown in their depression.

    For the 20% referred to: take what is rightfully yours from the remaining 80%.

    Random awesome quote overheard today from mediocre wage slave #10284272015: “You can’t make money and get rich by spending it.” Only by spending it on the wrong things. People like this make it all too easy to get ahead.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Literally “laugh out loud” funny.

      The 80% get what they deserve. Lazy, want hand holding and think they can get rich by being frugal and not spending.

      Never works. Gotta spend money to make money.

    • Anon1 says

      >Should still work for those in their 20s and even 30s as well.

      Thanks for saying this as well.

      This post hit me like a ton of bricks.

      The immediate (visceral) reaction was to regret the decisions of my entire 20-26 year old life.

      I was always the guy to do the absolute minimum necessary to get the best possible result. Conciously or unconsciously i did this. Last possible minute, maximum possible results.

      But its not enough to have a high very high strike but not enough balls to make something of it.

      Best article i’ve yet seen. I need to get work.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        This can apply to anyone. There is so much money out there it is ridiculous!

        Just walk one block in any major city and look at the buildings, you walked past well over $200M in assets!

        No excuses. Find a market or complain about what society wants.

        We suggest servicing their wants.

  11. Ian says

    “The point of getting money… is to eliminate every negative aspect of your life.”

    That statement is intuitive but I’ve never heard it spelled out quite like that. Well said.

  12. NS says

    Stellar post! I have been reading you guys for 6 months and this is my first comment.

    My first job out of college was software consulting and I was very driven but I had a “worker bee” mindset. Slowly through hard work and moving my way from engineering to sales (by networking with important people) I realized that a “career” would artificially limit me.

    After 6 years learning the business, I started my own company in Feb. Only 3 months in and we have so much pipeline that we’re now looking to hire. You are spot on: find people who are driven but aren’t yet able to start their own business (like I used to be). Give them opportunities, grow them, and be happy when they’re finally ready to leave because both of you have won.

    I am working harder than I ever have in my life and I absolutely love it. I want to think I should have made this move earlier, but my past experience is what’s built up my skills to get me to this point.

    Also interesting is the comment about selling to women. On the side I also am starting a dog treat company and we are targeting women ~22-40. Women without children funnel their mother-like tendencies into their dogs and spend loads of money on them.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Well done.

      Yes you shouldn’t “hate on” your career years. More likely than not they gave you the necessary *building blocks* to start off on your own.

      When your hires end up leaving, it is okay. You both won.

      If they are extremely good, you may want to offer them equity to stay

  13. Cost and revenue examples says

    Are your percentage examples indicative of real life scenarios or are you simply providing a high level view of how to think?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Ha! Yes they are high level *examples*.

      The point is the same:
      1) reduce their costs with *no impact* to revenue
      2) increase their revenue with *limited* impact to costs
      3) ideally find a solution that does both.

      No need to create the next phone if you can make the phone company more efficient (in sales or costs).

  14. East Coast Month 10 says

    Not going to lie, this is where, as an older reader, I run into a bit of trouble. Running the math, it’s either all in one way or the other. As you know, I’m currentely burning through college, and won’t have a career until this is finished, therefore, Im looking at years -1,2,3 before getting to Year 1.

    Is it truly reasonable to figure that I can get into a career (wall street) this late in the game?

    I’m accepted at UC Berkeley. The loans are one thing, but “wasting” more valuable time on is another.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      What is preventing you from making money in your dorm room.

      All ad copy is online.

      We already broke down how Wall Street recruiting works on this blog. Is it going to be easier if you’re older? Absolutely not.

      This is why you want two forms of income at all times.

      As stated this strategy works even if you don’t work on the street. Just look at the comments on this post! Only a few of them are on the street.

      Finally, the stone cold reality is that it is *harder* to get a second income while working on the street. Getting a 3.5+ in college takes less than 25 hours a week if you are efficient.

      • East Coast Month 10 says

        So, why am I not working on that second income?

        Right. This. Second.

        Good looking out.

  15. says

    Brilliant and 100% correct. I royally messed up in my 20’s and am paying dearly for it in my 30’s. Im 35 and working my a** off making up for lost time. I dont have a girlfriend, wife or any kids, so I didn’t mess up that badly. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I should have my 1st 250k by next Spring and will be approaching 1 million by the Spring 2017. After that its clear sailing. Just don’t put off the work until you “turn 30” That’s asinine. Don’t be me. (Disclosure: I own my own business)

  16. East Coast Month 10 says

    “Let’s just call self doubt what it is.

    Another lame excuse to avoid failing.”

    Absolutely true. What I needed to read.

  17. Sales says

    I understand you can learn sales in any job/situation, however how does one obtain a high paying sales “career” like the ones mentioned above, where you have a base salary and large performance percent? Any advice for an interested college student?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Easy. Go to your career center.

      Say you want to work in “business to business enterprise sales”

      Say you’re willing to sell software, hardware, machinery, anything that is business to business.

      Now you’ll have a shorter list to deal with. There are tons of positions like this all over the usa. Most are unwilling to take the low base salary.

      • Sales says

        Thank you, scheduled a meeting for tomorrow.

        On a side note, as someone with mostly science experience, should I market myself primarily to the pharma/bio field for internships? Background: sophomore former premed, 3.9 GPA, no econ classes yet (getting a minor), multiple prestigious (in science) biology internships.

        I know you have covered getting into I-banking, but for someone making a 180 (just glad I’m still in college), how do I leverage what I have to get a finance internship?

      • Sales says

        Thanks will do. Reread “Managing Your College Career” and started to play serious catch-up starting yesterday. Just curious, do any of the writers come from science backgrounds and have specific tips for switching from science to banking?

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Already covered:

        If you’re in a science “tech” background engineering CSS etc. You steer towards technology investment banking

        If you’re a bio or chemical student you steer towards medical investment banking

        Petroleum engineering = oil and gas investment banking.

        So on and so forth. Nothing special it is just part of your spin, need to take the necessary finance courses.

  18. Nate says

    Another Great Post!
    My question is: After reading this plan, how does a college junior tackle this differently when time is on my side?

    About myself: 21 years old with bulge IB internship this coming summer. Top of class at a non-target who clicks with every post on here. Spent a summer doing cold-calls at a brokerage “firm”

    Will I have any freetime during my analyst years to develop a product/business? And one that others take seriously if not another app boy genius?

    Being so young, I cannot confidently say what my best skills are to leverage yet.

    -Much appreciated

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Your question does not make sense? This blog is entirely run by Wall Street people with side businesses so the clear answer is yes it can be done. Is it easy? No. 99% will fail or give up after year two.

      Yes learn online advertising and copy while you are at school or at work.

      This 10 year plan can be done *at any time* after college.

      We don’t know what you’re good at so that is the hard part and up to you.

      As stated: “we can give you the blueprint, we cannot execute for you”.

      Most people are lazy so just ignore them and learn sales skills now.

  19. Jay says

    “for a budget (we hate frugality saving non-sense) the real key is keeping *rent down*. Live with roomates until 25 and never spend more than 15% of your gross income on rent.”- easier said than done. Explain to me how in the world can I do that living in a city like NYC. Rent is ridiculously expensive, food prices too. It’s almost impossible unless you live in the projects in the bad neighborhoods.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Live with roomates for three years.

      $150K is your first year pay so you got about $1,875 to spend on rent. It is doable.

      Scratch that. Not just doable it is *easy*.

      By your third year you make $200K so you may even move out.

  20. RE Guy says

    I like how you guys put in “Basic Maintenance” with property management.

    This is exactly what I did when I got started, managing other people’s properties while investing in my own. That way I got to fail a bunch with theirs and refine my business model to apply it to my investments as well as getting an additional source of income.

    I appreciate what you guys are doing here, as a former boring successful type A I resonate with the message you are putting out. Because of this I’m willing to give a run down on the “basics” (insurance, good tenant screening, solid marketing of each rental property) along with how to get started to a young ambitious guy who is serious about starting in property management / real estate.

    I’ll Skype with him for 30mins – hour totally free, if there is interest. You choose the guy. You have permission to forward my email to whomever you choose.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Ha! Awesome transition from former type A to normal type B.

      Getting rich is generally *huge* for a type A person. They can finally relax and stop worrying about every mundane detail in their life.

      Glad you turned it around and no we are not going to give your email away. If we find something mutually beneficial for you + someone else we will ping you.

      No free hand outs!

      • RE Guy says

        I was inspired by the quality information you give away for free as well as your past resume reviews. That’s why I was willing to give some of my time away for free when you mentioned something I am very knowledgeable of.

        Either way thanks for looking out.

  21. Chicity says

    This post is digital gold. It is outrageous how much knowledge y’all give away for free.

    I’m in this situation now. Career is ok at best but it is floating me while I build my product and get it ready for launch. Product is geared towards the fitness market and currently is at the prototyping stage. Confident I can handle the copy, branding, friend will do logo, and retired manufacturing exec will help me with supply chain but am uncertain of E-comm approach.

    I’ve narrowed platforms to Squarespace, Jimdo, & Weebly. Have any of the authors had a more favorable experience with any of the aforementioned platforms?

    Thx for all the postings. Wish there was a way to send ya’ll products when its ready as I recall most of you are athletes. Between this blog n Mike’s it kicked my ass from wasting to my 20’s to looking forward to working on the weekends.

    Keep up the good work.

  22. Freddy says

    Best post yet. Your articles are invaluable to someone of my age. However I would say there can be exceptions to working for free, but I am UK based. I’m 19 and asked for work experience at a wealth management partner for a FTSE 100 company. I worked for free for 4 weeks before they decided to pay me, so I believe it can be an excellent way to get a foot in the door.

  23. Rob says

    Wow great post! I was thinking lately during transit about the two types of business: invent a new product or improve a current one. Not everything can be invented in a new way, but every business can be improved even if that means just switching target groups.

    For ex smartphones:
    Inventing a new thing that destroys the smartphone market.
    *or*
    Improve the smartphone model to a new format: cheaper version (masses), more unique / collector version (richer folks)

  24. Matt X says

    Just read the following from the book Scientific Advertising:

    “The uninformed would be staggered to know the amount of work involved in a single
    ad. Weeks of work sometimes. The ad seems so simple, and it must be simple to appeal to simple people. But back of that ad may lie reams of data, volumes of information, months of research. So this is no lazy mans field.”

    “The ad seems so simple, and it must be simple to appeal to simple people.”

    Ha!

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Yep!

      People are quick to insult “dumb” ads.

      But those dumb ads make millions *and* the person insulting the ad could not create a good one with 6 months of effort.

      So… It’s significantly harder than it looks.

      Now if you’re killing it more than those advertisers, feel free to say as you will! You earned the right to. Yet. They are making millions.

  25. Ben says

    On your point about commercials/infomercials appealing to the emotions, ie. laziness..same thing is happening in other aspects of media.

    News articles, even from respected publications, with increasing use of pathetic clickbait titles (“You won’t believe…”), people on social media publicly declaring some type of inspirational epiphany (seemingly every other week), etc. It shows people are dumb, bored, gullible and lonely.

    Blogs such as yours give me some hope that there is still useful knowledge to be utilized on the web. Where everyone else are focused on mere content delivery (“clicks”), you are focused on content creation. Doesn’t bode well for future of media but people need to learn to filter out the garbage.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Yep. Dumb them down. Make them believe there is a “quick fix”.

      Same story different day…

      This is also why we heavily monitor comments. Most people (90%) are easily overtaken by emotion. Even by words on a computer screen.

  26. Anonymous says

    Best post I have read to date! Have applied for numerous part-time sales roles I can fit around my upcoming job (only for 1 year!) in order to build those transferable skills.

    • Anonymous says

      Would you mind noting what you applied for in terms of a “part-time” sales role that you can do with a full-time role?

  27. Ryan says

    Great post! This is by far the best post I’ve read from you guys and this benefits me greatly.

    I’m in first year of university and you say you should be working at least 70+ hours per week and I wanted to know does that include university work, or should I should I fact into the other 98 hours I have during my week?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      1) do the minimum to get a 3.7+ GPA first
      2) look for internships, after mid-terms when you see how hard you have to try. Won’t be more than 20 hours a week (college is easy)
      3) once you have an internship keep networking and try to start a basic online business

      Done. 60+ hours easy by end of semester.

      We already have a guideline to college on this blog.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      If we are talking real money ($500K+)

      Spend 5% for fun and stick the entire $475K in a certificate of deposit for 1 full year.

      Why? You want to reduce your dopamine levels to avoid “feeling rich” and going right back to broke like athletes and lottery winners.

      Come back after that.

  28. Smk says

    Great post. Your entire blog is very inspiring. I might be in danger of asking a stupid question, but I hope you’ll clear this one up for me.

    You write that in year 1 you will work two jobs focusing on intent and synthesis:
    “You work in one that is focused on Intent (sales, people connection) and you will work in another focused on Synthesis (networking, efficiency).”
    … and then in year 2 you make the one were your talent lies your career path.

    I know that my talent lies in engineering (Mainly synthesis, a small part numerics). And I just finished my Bachelors degree in Maritime Engineering and is now going sailing as an engineer. This job pays a reasonable salary, however it is not a career according to your definition.

    How do you make a career out of your synthesis/engineering skills? I mean which careers is there besides having an “equity-based” position in a company? (I assume synthesis is not sales).

    The reason I ask is because I believe it very unlikely to get an “equity-based” position in a company after your first year working as an engineer, unless you start your own business – which is not the goal until year 5-8 (unless you have mad skills, which i do not – yet).

    I could “easily” take up a business/marketing/sales degree on the side, since I’m good at studying+its free in Denmark. However I hope to avoid it since I generally dislike being around most people and due to the fact that my strengths lie in engineering (I’m introverted and think all the time – I don’t *feel a lot*).

    PS.
    I am practicing copywriting (and english grammar, since its not my first language) on the side as you suggested and plan on going into internet marketing.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Your track may be slightly different.

      Usually for engineers it is usually more like

      1-3 years work for a major firm (Google/facebook etc.)

      Build massive skill set.

      In the mean time work on some low end online income.

      Year 3 after a good bump due to a promote you jump into the equity side by switching firms and taking on risk.

      Everyone has their own path. This one is more geared towards synthesis and intent personalities.

  29. Gary says

    Yes…5 million to be exact. Im thinking about quitting my career as a system analyst that pays me $90 grand a year with no debt. Should I throw more $ into the voo also which I have been doing? Thank you…

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Wow. Life really is strange that is incredibly good timing.

      We will be adding a page to this website shortly (within a week or 2) that will answer your question. (No we won’t manage the money! Ha.)

      Sit tight and open a very low cost brokerage firm account!

      We assume you already have the money in hand. Also make sure you put away a full 2 years of spending in a basic savings account because you never know

      From your job question. Don’t quit immediately take a moment to let the dopamine levels settle. Act normal at work. Try to brainstorm a *new* position you would *like* to do regardless of the money since it is a non-issue now.


      Also forget blowing 5% of it, that’s far too much.

      Step 1 = figure out where you want to live. That should buy you time this week.

      Congrats! Again DO NOT put it all into equities. At your level you must diversify!

      If you have questions *after* the new page drops don’t hesitate to email (no we will not take money from you).

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Wrong. Show up + a few hours of studying should get you a 3.5+.

      You may be a bit too young for this post. We are no longer posting on college related items as we have covered all of those questions in older posts.

    • m says

      If you’re engineering its more like 70 hours a week.

      Debatable if the 3.8 is worth it vs networking + a low 3.

  30. Anonrichkid says

    Pure Gold as always. I’ll be honest I have coasted a bit as my father is worth over $100 mill and I never pushed myself. But for the first time I have gone it alone and am working the 70 hour weeks. I’ve completely left all my old spoilt rich friends who just post on instagram all day and pretend they do million dollar deals.

    I work in real estate and sell properties on a commission basis and am well and truly starting from the bottom. From someone who comes from wealth, spending money never actually makes you happy, I’ve found much more happiness in actually trying to make it.

    I’ll follow your plan WSP and hopefully build up a pot of money soon and maybe go into development. P.S to anyone selling to the rich, they tend to have large egos. So sometimes a good strategy is to feed it.

  31. BorP says

    Here’s a question: how do you know if you’ve actually “broken” by pushing your limits? (Serious).

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      There will be millions of errors in your work. Your body will actually shut down. Usually this is when you lose control of your eyes (ie: you cannot keep them straight)

      Then you are usually broken. Never let it happen again. You pushed to a point where any work is actually unproductive.

      In short you are discombobulated and start doing crazy things like accidentally putting items that should be in the fridge in the freezer. You simply cannot think anymore.

      • says

        I would do things like boiling the kettle to make a cup of tea, waiting for it to boil, then not pouring and taking an empty cup to my desk with me. Or opening my toothpaste tube, and just leaving it with the lid off and walking away instead of brushing my teeth. Total zombie fog.

        Stuff I wrote would be missing words, or just totally nonsensical.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Ha! Extremely accurate!

        That’s when you skated *past* the line. Skate close to the line but never *over* the line.

        It is odd, all the times you’re broke it has a lot to do with basic needs (food/drinks etc). Putting ketchup in coffee… Yeah time to sleep instead.


        Side note: for sports it usually means injury.

  32. scrub says

    Really interesting post. I never considered starting a business, creating a product. I’m a medical doctor. It seems as a doctor I’m in the “career track”, I treat patients based on my qualifications, but my physical presence is required. Working at the hospital is very intense and stressful, albeit gratifying. Now I’m wondering how to progress from the career track to business, as a doctor. Is that even possible, aside from a very few guys like Dr Oz?

  33. XxXx says

    Is it necessarily a bad thing to simply:

    a) Freelance part-time to earn a subsistence level salary.
    b) Reinvest your remaining time and money entirely in developing, validating and scaling product ideas.

    If I hit at this plan 70-100 hours a week, the ends should be similar (potentially greater), but I guess the means will just be a little riskier… Thanks.

  34. Jun says

    Hey WSPlayboys,

    This may seem like a post from a shitter but I’m hoping I can get some advice. About me: Bachelors in Biology (stupid I know) almost done, only staying now to take some business courses on the side, network, and join a fraternity.

    I work a job that is my only cash stream but I’m not sure whether to quit because I work only 4-hour shifts which isn’t too bad for time. Low on money but I live with my parents. I’m thinking about starting an e-commerce and building a blog about buddhism with lifestyle tips (something I know that may be a niche). Also got singed for an agency because they believe I got the right look.

    Based on this post I’m at a stand-still. I’m not sure which path I can take that would get me money, develop skills, and find my niche. All I know is that I fucking hate working for someone else but I do need money.

    I know this post may seem immature from a naive 20-year old so don’t waste your time if you don’t feel like it.

  35. Biz Partners says

    Hi, you knocked on this issue a little, and in a recent tweet you also said the #2 most difficult thing to deal with is business partners (#1 was business!)

    Perhaps in another post you could do a short segment on choosing and managing business partners; bad signs; what to avoid; qualities to pursue; etc. Just a suggestion! Thanks.

  36. copy says

    What’s the best medium to determine if you have a skillset in copy (conversions) without delving into paid traffic?

  37. Michael says

    Awesome post and great blog for those smart and curious enough to read it.

    I was hoping you could provide some insight:

    I’m 26 years old, work in a shit audit job that’s easy as f*ck and get paid crap. Roughly 70k/year. Definitely a job and not a career. I’m not building any skills that are going to help me (probably bothers me more than the crap salary). I royally screwed this up all on my own (partying, booze, etc.), but trying to dig myself out.

    I devised a 5-year plan and includes MBA (UCLA) and possibly banking or management consulting to gain some real business acumen and skills. My undergrad gpa is lacking so I think UCLA is the highest I can get, but luckily someone will foot the bill. I’ll like just have to take a loan (maybe 50k) for personal living expenses for 2 years, but tuition should be covered. While in school and working i’ll figure out the side-business based on the tools form this article and blog.

    I’ll be 30 when I’m out, and if I go to banking i’ll come in as an associate working 80 hours a week making 200k. Does this route even make sense if I don’t plan to stay in banking? Seems like the consulting route would make more sense, as I’ll have more time for the business (main goal).I know you have several posts about MBA, but I feel the only way I can escape this shit job is to go back to school and re-group.

    I also thankfully got around 300k in a brokerage account and zero debt. What are you thoughts of this 5-year plan?

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Looks good. Would say your assumed hours of an associate are greatly exaggerated. If you’re smart (politically and work wise) you shouldn’t work more than ~60 hrs a week. Finally, why are you going to take on debt when you have cash already? Just live cheap for b-school and get a fun part time job after you get your internship offer.

      In reality the long hours are for analysts which are closer to 75/80. You will work long hours as a summer associate but if you’re good you shouldn’t be doing that for long.

      As always, you’re hard working or you’re smart. You can’t be both.

      • Michael says

        Thanks for the reply!

        I’m getting about 30-45k returns on the money trading options and stocks. Didn’t want to erode capital by taking money out. But perhaps you’re right about not taking on the debt, probably a no brainer. I’ll dig deeper into the interest rates I would have to pay.

        From your experience is it common for mba associates to break into pe/hf after a couple years, or is that more standard for the analyst coming out their 2 year program?

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        High performance and good group. Yes. Bad group, no chance.

        It is not possible to research all banks that job is yours and depends on where you get interviews/offers.

  38. Copy says

    By “waste time copying products” what exactly do you mean?

    Through research and talking to successful entrepreneurs many of them say to *almost* copy what is already working and slightly tweak it to add a bit more value to the target market.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      You answered your own question better than we could answer it.

      If there is actual differentiation it isn’t a copy.

      Trying to use the same exact thing is going to fail every single time.

  39. Schafur says

    I’m 26, newly married with a job (salaried). I wish I came across an article like this earlier. I’m fairly set an happy with my job and wife, so I can’t (or won’t I guess) follow your formulaic approach here. However, this was one of the most enlightening articles I have ever read to date. I may not follow your advice exactly, but it has inspired me to spend the a significant amount of my time going over and above my duties at my current job to showcase what I can do, to earn more in the future ( I work in insurance, which is rather specific). I absolutely love the articles here. Thanks for all your work.

    Random question, maybe not appropriate here: Where do you all stand on philanthropy? Making (high) 6 figures a year, you’re definitely in a position to give.

  40. Marc says

    I really don’t get where you got your numbers. I live in Europe so maybe that’s why I don’t understand them.

    Here, an engineer makes 30k€/year. After 20 or 30 years he may make 50k€.

    But 100k/year? Or even 250K?!

  41. HypotheticalTim says

    Wall Street Playboys,

    I have read a lot of your articles and I just want to get your opinion on this matter since so many people make this claim about college GPAs. Going to be hypothetical here and list the worst case scenario, someone who graduated college with a horrible GPA (as in something like a 2.0 since that is the bare minimum most colleges require to graduate).

    So many people claim that your GPA does not matter after your first job but the way I see it, I am starting to think that college GPA is pretty much one of the main requirements in order to be successful in life financially. I mean think about it:

    1. Wall Street/IB/Consulting – you will NEVER get a job with a GPA below a 3.0 and if it is something as horrible as a 2.0 or 2.1, I do not eve see how you can ever recover from that even years down the road. No decent MBA program will ever take a chance on you.

    2. Med school/Professional school – Okay you guys say that medicine is not a lucrative profession but low college GPA = never getting in.

    I am kinda young but am I right to think that a horrible college GPA is something you can never come back from if you want to be rich and successful in life?

  42. Glorified CS Rep says

    I should have have taken you way more seriously when you said “How are you going to learn from someone who can’t even afford to pay you $15-20 an hour?”

    This post inspired me to take my first sales gig, yet the one that landed in my lap paid <$15 wages, and no training. A year later, I'm over my call reluctance, but no better at sales, getting weighed down by recent expenses, and hating life in general.

    I shouldn't have taken the advice so lightly, it cost me more than was worth the hassle.

  43. pijj arevalo says

    Interesting writing – I loved the details , Does anyone know where my business might obtain a blank Return to Work Certificate document to fill in ?

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