If you look at social media, a lot of unsuccessful people have one thing in common: they long for the past. They use arguments such as “I did not evolve to live in a home, we’re supposed to live in the wild look for berries, hunt and chill the rest of the day”. This type of attitude doesn’t work since the clock on your phone will continue to move forward. Humans do not live below a bunch of trees/shrubs since we were smart enough to solve that problem and are currently solving bigger and bigger problems every single year. Therefore we can outline several “evolutionary” problems that are no longer useful in the 2020s.
Tribalism: Tribalism has slowly died. While there is something to be said about being loyal to your own country, the idea of needing peer acceptance is laughable at best. Unless you were born with a silver spoon, the chances are higher that the surrounding people should be ignored. Take any middle class area and you’ll find that they are generally behind the times when it comes to technology, medical advances and even social interactions (the way kids socialize has changed dramatically over the last 20 years)
As usual, there are always exceptions. If you are somehow surrounded by winners, then tribalism can help you. We’d wager the chances are extremely low for anyone below the age of 25 reading this website right now.
A good balance is having your current peer group consider you “weird/different”. You’ve gone too far if you’re a hermit with zero friends and no ability to interact with the average American. Over time, you’ll eventually develop a peer group that is similar in beliefs and moving in the same trajectory. In addition, we’re moving to more and more autonomy over the coming decades. Recommended book on this topic is “The Sovereign Individual”
Avoiding Zero Sum Beliefs: This is another one that has been engrained over many years. The belief is that someone else’s success somehow negatively impacts your life. This simply isn’t true. If your friend ends up making $100K or $500K or $10M it does not impact you in a negative way. Not in the slightest.
Back 100 years ago, competition was a life or death affair. Nowadays, someone can get rich selling pastries, software, shoes, computer parts etc. and it will not impact your ability to succeed. Zero sum mentality is only the right view if you’re watching a direct competitor in your line of work/business. So. Remember that the success of anyone else in a different industry is a good thing (you are friends/acquaintances).
In fact, we could make an argument that zero sum beliefs hurt your ability to become successful. Why? Well every successful person notices who is happy vs. unhappy to see them succeed. Since 90%+ are unhappy to see them succeed they will remember the ones who were thrilled. They stand out like sore thumbs. Recommended book on this topic is “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
Increasing Status By Dragging Down: Status games are still alive and well. We would estimate that less than 1% of the population is completely immune to status games. That said, remember that dragging a person down to increase your own status usually leads to long-term reputational damage. So don’t go out of your way to drag someone down. You’re better off improving your own position and worth vs. creating new long-term enemies. As usual there is one exception. You’re already getting screwed by someone. In that case you go down kicking, screaming and fighting until the bitter end. You just don’t look to *create* those situations.
Creating status is *relatively* easy, the problem is that the solution isn’t fun “work extremely hard for a long period of time”. No one likes that answer so when we say “easy” we mean “easy” for someone who realizes how life works/operates.
As a note, individuals will eventually be able to tell that you have made it in life. Do not do anything to burst their ego and appear to be “lower” than them at all times. This isn’t a game worth playing in social situations. If you lower their status, their ego bursts and they will go out of their way to waste your time. Recommended book on this topic is “48 Laws of Power” the section on not outshining the master. If you surpass… you must cut off all contact immediately and move onto the next stage of life. As a general rule, you want to lower your status if you’re around a group of men that you’ve never heard of (chances they are lower status) and if you’re around women raise it as high as possible without using your words to prove it (dress well, pay with cash, have zero worries/tension).
The Digital Economy: This is clear as day from where we are sitting. The newer generation spends more time in front of a screen (computer, phone, tablet) relative to being outdoors. For anyone over 35-40 or so reading this blog, it seems insane. Anyone over 40 remembers life without the internet and a large amount of being a kid consisted of outdoor activities. This is changing.
With this in mind, you should be able to understand the following on a basic level: 1) build an email distribution list, 2) ways to monetize social media platforms, 3) how to operate a server, 4) how to build a basic website, 5) how to use both a Mac and Windows computer – set up a Mac to have both, 6) how to use digital currencies and basic smart contracts, 7) the evolution of video games and what kids are using as their main forms of entertainment, 8) products used by e-celebs to improve their photos, 9) how to use VMware/Citrix and 10) basic changes to taxes across countries as part of your income will likely come from the digital economy in 10-20 years (the last one appears to come out of the blue, but is important if you earn money remotely).
The big and final one is caused by the recent pandemic. Now… You can hire anyone in the world. So middle management layers will be under attack from every single angle. Why build a middle layer when you can have a full organization do an entire task without the overhead AND the ability to fire them and switch within milliseconds. We don’t have a great single source for the Digital Economy, instead we would read up on the following: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Bitcoin and Other Crypto Currencies.
Robotics Removes Many Manual Tasks: This won’t really take off in the next few years as timelines are always aggressive. That said, things like building homes and other manual tasks will be done by robots in the future while drones will also help deliver items (think amazon delivery by robots).
While this doesn’t appear to be relevant, it is. Back 50 years ago being strong and fast was an extremely important attribute (as it related to being a male). Even now, you don’t need to be strong or fast to be successful, you need to have high amounts of processing power/speed. If you want to be rich in the 2020s/2030s having high processing power and intelligence is significantly more valuable than being a body builder (yes we still recommend you stay in shape, but the point should be clear, intelligence is more valuable going forward).
Therefore? You want to put yourself in a position where you’re telling the robots what to do. The last thing you want to do is compete directly with the robots, since you’ll lose. Robots work 24/7/365 don’t get tired and do not complain at all. This is not a fair competition for you. Instead, you want to be the person on the other side of the screen, telling/training/helping the robot make sure it is operating correctly.
Assets Become More Valuable: This is more theoretical. While we have high confidence in the prior paragraphs, if there is a transition to robotics assets should do extremely well. Imagine making billions of bottles of coca-cola with zero operating costs! Sure it won’t be zero (CAPEX spend needs to be there for the robots) but when all variable overhead (humans) goes away, this improves results. Besides, a human is 1,000x more likely to steal from you compared to a trained and monitored robot trapped inside a facility.
What does this mean for you? It means this is the right time to focus on asset accumulation. It doesn’t matter what it is (we already gave our big three tech/healthcare/crypto). All that matters if you focus on being an “accumulator” of assets for the next few years. Ownership in anything that uses robotics/high tech should do well as it reduces costs dramatically.
On a final note, this is actually good timing for you as well. If you’re making good money, we wouldn’t recommend showing it at this time. The socio-economic divide has escalated rapidly. In fact, Luxury home sales are up 42%… That is an insane figure. So you can see that the divide between the rich and poor got a lot bigger this year. So? Adapt to the situation. Accumulate assets, wait for the economy to normalize and socio-economic stability to return. At that point you can go back to flexing on the gram if you feel like it.
Follow the Trend: What is the major trend? Well we can all agree that remote work to some extent will stay. Look at home prices in San Francisco, they are falling along with rents. Technology companies: Twitter, DropBox, Google and more are allowing their employees to work remote.
This simply emphasizes the need for a Digital Economy. If people need to be at home during “work hours” cooler talk will be replaced by video game breaks. Office gossip will be replaced by VR meetings. Homes will become a lot more advanced with new amenities we couldn’t even imagine 10-years ago. For fun, if we could find a popular video game where each “match” lasted 10 minutes or less and was highly addictive we’d invest tons of money into it. Why? It fills the water cooler break perfectly.
While remote work is the obvious trend we’ll go ahead and list a few other ones that we expect to be big outside the ones mentioned above: 1) rare-earth minerals and electric vehicles as mentioned in prior posts, 2) space travel/exploration/space vacations, 3) technology used to improve the physical environment from cleaning water to air pollution, 4) privacy as individuals will want to regain control against an overly invasive corporation/big brother entity, 5) life extension technology and ways to incorporate technology into our physical bodies and 6) popularization of digital scarcity – after all the digital economy needs a way to “flex” so a rare digital item will be seen as “cool” just like a Patek in the physical world.
Conclusion – Forget the Past: Generally speaking, you want to forget the past. You can remember the lessons, but, hoping the hands of time will go backward is simply foolish. Instead, you want to live with a balance of both the present and future. Enjoy your life today and prepare for tomorrow. Yesterday was just a bad dream. It should be a bad dream because your life is better today and will be better 10 years from now as well.
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