I haven’t watched TV in years but at least a decade or two ago, it was the case that negotiating the landscape of cholesterol choices and management was presented as being difficult, confusing, and necessitating special butters and muffins. I was already veg and didn’t give a shit about dietary cholesterol, but I just absorbed this fraught reality along with everyone else. I mean, I didn’t know what it was or where it came from. I knew there was “good” and “bad” cholesterol, somehow. Every time I got my cholesterol checked it was fine but I KNEW, from TV, it was always creeping up on people, always needed to be scrutinized by someone holding a clipboard, always having to be “managed”.
Then, in the course of my deeper dive into vegan nutrition, I realized animals (including humans) produce cholesterol, and plants don’t. I forget if photosynthesis is their equivalent process? Anyway, it’s just not a deal. The whole minefield of special butters and muffins can fuck off. Just be vegan, or more to the point — just eat veggies, fruits, legumes, and grains, and go about your life. Even if you eat some eggs, it’s fine. I eat eggs during fire season, so I can physically survive, and my cholesterol is exquisite, as are all my vitals.
I only mention all that to say: I’m reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and it is absolutely blowing my mind. I’ve been doing money wrong. Like, exactly wrong. And it’s the same kind of revelatory simplicity, too, as this cholesterol scam. You just get sucked into a whole mindset and you never question it because everyone around you is doing it too.
I still have a long ways to go in the book but here are some ideas I’ve gleaned so far: my income should go to building assets, and my assets should pay for my expenses, rather than my income paying for my expenses directly. Once I’m at the point where my assets can cover my monthly expenses with or without my paycheck, I’ve achieved a very important thing, and I want to build on that momentum — and I have an entire monthly paycheck with which to do it.
Assets are anything that puts money in my pocket (aside from the actual time I trade for a paycheck at a job): royalties and intellectual rights, properties, businesses I own but don’t personally work at, stocks, bonds, physical goods that appreciate, etc.
Liabilities, on the other hand, are anything that takes money out of my pocket. A home with a mortgage, commonly considered an asset, is actually a liability. An emotionally important one lol but a liability nonetheless.
I’m a little confused on the differences between expenses and liabilities. Like, are taxes an expense or a liability? I think that a liability is a thing I own that’s costing me more money than it generates, whereas an expense is a something that costs me money that I don’t own, per se. I could see there being some overlap between the two, and I mean obviously there’s a huge relationship there.
This guy who wrote the book shows, in a barebones way, how a profit & loss statement (comparing income to expense) interacts with a balance sheet (comparing assets to liabilities), and how the flow and movement between the two looks for the average rat race person vs the average wealthy person, etc. I mean, it’s like a respiratory schematic or something — I only say that because I studied cardiopulmonary medicine — I mean, it’s not hard to understand at all, once you just concentrate on it for a couple minutes.
So, the financial hits you take by paying for your expenses with your income are pretty enormous. The biggest one of all is the cost of missed opportunity. If you’re paycheck to paycheck and your expenses track upwards with your income — as is the case for almost all of us — you *have to* “play it safe” with investments, 401k’s, savings. You can’t afford to spontaneously throw a bunch of money into a right-time/right-place thing that comes along. You can’t afford to lose any money on speculation gone wrong. So you’re financially castrated. That’s the biggest hit we take, but then the other hits are: losing the time we would have had for our assets to mature, had we started them young; losing more of our incomes to expenses as we go along, due to not having assets to offset those expenses; and of course losing more of our incomes to taxes, because the more we earn, the more we’re taxed, without benefit of the tax shelters utilized by the rich.
I’m just like, check, check, check. The author kind of gives these scenarios of people doing the rat race “right”, the way we’re taught — get a good education, a secure job with upward mobility in a stable organization, climb your way up, get a mortgage, start a family, maybe a bigger better mortgage when things go well at work — that kind of thing. He holds this up as an example of not doing money the right way, you know?
I just mention that to emphasize, I’m not even remotely in the neighborhood of these people unfortunately doing the rat race “right” lmaoooooo. I’m, like…off somewhere beyond financial Thunderdome, in a Tina Turner post-apocalypse music video from the 80’s. Which is actually not a bad place to be, psychologically, for gaining — for probably the first organized time in my life — some actual financial literacy. I’m really hungry for it, and like I’ve blogged before, the move to Hawaii is reframing a lot of things for me, because I’m feeling not personally antagonized by that environment in all these ways that are really specific to me, my instincts, and my opportunities.
The thing that’s really fucked me up in life, per the idealized rat race model anyway, is how much I value my free time, and how little desire I have to plug into a profession and a career to the extent it’s just gonna soak up all that free time. I resent it deeply; always have. I want to use my free time to do silly shit like this — write blogs, songs, play my guitar, mess around with trucks, exercise. But in this new context, that’s been basically the only reason I’ve Forrest Gump’d (Tom Hanks is a pedo, probably dead, it’s been 5 months since he posted anything on social media following this much-touted Greece emigration) myself into some forms of passive income, royalties, intellectual property rights, etc. So the prospect of just living my life while having asset-projects in some kind of incubator is entirely comfortable for me, despite having had very little idea how to do it.
I only mention that because I already suspected a lot of people freak out in the absence of some kind of work/career structure, and the lockdown confirmed that for me. So that’s a major factor in my favor, despite my several other major handicaps — most significantly the handicap of having had no organized financial guidance in my life, despite having a strong appetite for expenses, as probably most of us do. I’ve generally considered my free time to represent my “real” life, and my various forms of financial prostitution (I’m sorry but that’s what it is) as not my real life. That’s one reason I’ve gravitated to trucking, despite my demographic not lending itself to the profession — at least I experience a high degree of freedom and autonomy, in trucking.
So this brings me to this guy’s other great point, about “minding your own business”. So he’ll meet people and ask what they do, and they’ll say, “I’m a banker” or whatever, and — somewhat facetiously — he’ll ask them, “Oh, do you own your own bank?” And they’ll say, “No, dude, I work at a bank.” I don’t know if he’s actually this obnoxious in person but the point he’s making is, don’t confuse your profession with your business. If you’re a banker, a doctor, a lawyer, that means you work AT a bank, a hospital or clinic, a law firm. That’s your profession, not your business. So ‘mind your own business’ means, leverage your skills and abilities to your own advantage, whatever those are. Even a good job, the best job, is still a negotiation with another entity that controls your opportunities. You want a raise? You have to ask for it and earn it. You want more paid vacation? They have to award you that.
And that’s interesting, because that’s exactly what I’ve been talking about recently. I’ve seen numerous CDL students go on to ‘mind their own business’ in trucking, to great success; meanwhile I’ve always worked for a paycheck. BECAUSE, first of all I’ve been entirely lacking the vision to do otherwise, even though I can recognize its beauty in others’ lives; but a close second is because I’ve been uncommitted to my environment. Owning trucks and routes and brokering freight and all that implies a very geographically committed stance, and I’ve been like one hand on the doorknob for years now, just not knowing where to go.
So the good thing is I have, in a totally ignorant and backasswards fashion, aligned myself with some passive income, simply through feeling hungry for any income that allows me to be less rooted here. By here, I mean Northern Arizona, and more recently, New Mexico as well. I’ve always fantasized about going somewhere warm and beautiful, and any income I could generate that I could, essentially, take with me, sounded like the right thing to do. So I have audiobook narration royalties that have “matured” over the last five years, and I have established at least some commercial relationships and in-roads with licensing original music, although those have not paid off yet.
In other words, I have taken the fruits of my free-time, creative, intellectual labors, and attempted to monetize them to at least some degree. I’ve been really clear, within my own mind, about what I’m doing for money versus what I’m doing for enjoyment, and have attempted to marry the two when I can.
What I have not been clear about is identifying a clear distinction between incomes and assets, and using the former to build up the latter. Even despite that lack of clarity, though, I’ve still done it! I have one album out, another languishing and almost done for a long time now, and I paid for all the tracking, musicians, mixing and mastering on those songs with my CDL. I used my transactional income to build an asset. The asset of those original song tracks is not currently making me any money — actually, I should check Spotify, I did pull like $100 out of that about a year ago, I mean it’s tiny but it is accruing. Obviously I don’t market at all — did you even know I have an album? Probably not. I need to get my shit together.
But anyway, those assets are not realistically making me any money, but they’re not costing me any money either, so they are, still, assets. And regarding licensing and promotion, this Rich Dad, Poor Dad book is reaffirming for me that, when I can, I really need to go ahead with the Nashville demo production relationship I discovered and actually have some demos produced there, with that quintessential sound, in order to have a better shot at song plugging in Nashville. I’ll call that guy soon.
See, from a pure income vs expenses perspective, I’ve been really on the fence about the song shopping. I mean, it’s like flushing $300 a month down the toilet. And maybe it is. But I think I shouldn’t abandon the entire idea if there’s a way to get an advantage, and there is. My demos were produced elsewhere, and they’re very good, but they weren’t specialized for that market.
Bitcoin represents another asset, silver another, audiobook narration royalties of course (excited to really build that pipeline back up in Hawaii if the author hasn’t given up on my sorry ass), but I think getting some property would be really next-level. Also my brother wants to open another Kati and we can use the proceeds of our house sale for that, of which a small portion are mine, relative to who’s paid what over the years. Also some kind of engagement with passive income through trucking, whether via federal contracting or training or who knows.
Oh, and I totally need to publish my book, and hopefully more books. That keeps getting backburner’d, but I think the bullet is still in the chamber for a good outcome there. Especially with this different mindset about what it represents and why. I had to get away from my own liberal arts education indoctrination that a book representing some ineffable emanation of my soul’s true song that will probably never be good enough and will simultaneously establish me as an artistic have and have-not at the same time, because you have to do it but no matter what you do it won’t be good enough for the literati. To be honest, thinking about a book as a sheer asset establishment scheme feels…relaxing. I mean, I love to write, I have things to say, so all those parts are already there.
So, okay sorry I got sucked into that rabbit hole of specificity, but the main idea is, I have a much clearer flow chart for how this is supposed to work, now. So the next big point he makes is that a corporation isn’t necessarily this storefront with employees and a sign; it’s a piece of paper that lives in someone’s desk drawer. Corporations receive income, pay expenses, AND THEN pay taxes. Whereas individuals receive income, pay taxes, and then pay expenses. I didn’t know that. So, the idea of building some assets is first. Leverage the income to build the assets, and then reinvest the assets in more assets, continue investing income in the assets, keep expenses low enough that all this can simply occur, and then pay for expenses out of assets, repeat.
Believe it or not, I’m already close to my assets paying for my monthly expenses, thanks to audiobook narrating, so I’m not starting from absolute scratch. And that’s a good thing because, I don’t have an “income” in Hawaii yet, per se. I have a CDL so I’m not worried about it, but as usual I value my free time and ain’t tryna have fire season round two in paradise, or not yet.
I think Nick is a really good co-creator here, and my brother is for sure, and my dad has his head in the right place regarding wealth and the apocalypse, if not wealth and stuff that’s more every-day.
I’ve been cuing into these metaphysical, law of attraction, and channelled books and media now for a while that represent a very refreshing take on finances, vs an old school religion mindset. They’re like, you deserve abundance! And honestly, experiencing abundance, along many lines, is not that big of a deal! It really makes you recognize and acknowledge the broken beliefs you have around money and wealth and effort. I mean, resentment is a very spiritually toxic emotion, serving to cut you off from the thing you’re feeling jealous of, vibrationally. So resentment of wealth and wealthy people is a good thing to practice yourself back out of, if you’ve practiced yourself into it, and almost all of us have.
So yeah, in addition to the Hawaii move itself, I’m going to definitely work on changing my mindset around wealth — which is already in a fairly good place, I think? — and increasing my financial literacy, and not along rat race lines either. I know that’s not the place for me; I’ve known it for a while. I think, if anything, I’ve had some broken beliefs around entrepreneurship that haven’t served me at all. It’s been the experience of the Straw Man logical fallacy; I’ve held up, in my own mind, an example of entrepreneurship that I know I don’t resonate with — being in charge of a lot of stressful, exhausting stuff that bores me — and then I’ve rejected it based on that false premise. So having “entrepreneurship” re-framed for me as “building assets”, which can be really anything that I’m into and nothing that I’m not into — just stuff that puts money in my pocket any old way that’s reasonably passive — feels a lot better to me. That is something I can work with.
So yeah, I’ve been doing it wrong! And that’s okay — I’m at where I’m at, and at least I’m thinking more clearly about it now. I’m probably only halfway through the book? And I definitely have a lot to learn about protecting my assets from the government and taxes and kind of going on the offense instead of the philosophically nihilistic defense. But he’s right: we go through all these years of school and we’re taught nothing but how to be worker bees, how to think like worker bees, how to live like worker bees. I’m just lucky it’s been such a poor fit for me, and I’m excited to just exit the paradigm completely. Not that I won’t still work and be a good employee in a strategic fashion if that’s what I need to do. That’s super valuable, and if it’s done for the right reasons, can be a real win/win.
Okay, that’s all for now. It snowed (and hailed) last night. Feeling ready to exit that rat race too. Awww. Buffy toddled up in her pink gingham pajamas to say good morning to me. They have little lace patch pockets on her (big) butt, totally useless of course. That little dog. She is just the ultimate. Her fur is growing back in slowly, after that extreme sports clip I gave her at the hot California fire. She’s looking less like a Chihuahua and more like a Maltese every day. And here’s Milo saying hi! He doesn’t toddle, he bustles, really full of himself in an adorable way. I told Nick, he’s got the right kind of demeanor for, like, the committee chair of an HOA or something. Little dog HOA.
Okay, have a good day, everyone!