SMS 167 – The Problem with Abundance

The Problem with Abundance

The opposite of abundance is scarcity – you think we want abundance but we actually are seeking scarcity.

  • One of kind, hand made
  • Collections edition
  • Antique, retro, vintage
  • Latest edition, just released

The problem with scarcity – the biggest problem with scarcity is worry for the future, fear and anxiety, and all or nothing mindset

The problem with abundance – there is not off switch, no ceiling, no limitations, no fear or concern for the future, “it will always be there” mindset.

Email is the best example of the destructive power of abundance

Are we are living in a world where too much is becoming a problem? Too many choice can cause us to become careless and directionless.

Is scarcity better than abundance? If you had to choose one over the other scarcity has the benefit of fewer self-inflicting consequences.

Why I never sign up for open ended offers or opportunities –  there is no opportunity for resourcefulness or optimization. white paper The problems of abundance

Example: Back in the pre-internet era, It used to be there was nothing to watch on TV at a given moment in time. Two benefits of this were you watched less TV and when you did watch TV you were fully engaged and entertained.

More humans, in the history of the human race, have died from too much nutrition than not enough. The human body was designed to survive periods of scarcity, we do not do so well with abundance.

Revolutionary promises:

The Agricultural revolution was supposed to solve hunger and make our lives better

The Industrial revolution was supposed to make our lives physically easier

The Technology revolution was supposed to make our lives more efficient

The Artificial Intelligence revolution is promising to…… Society Doesn’t Know How To Deal With Abundance – if you look at all of human history, probably 99.999999% of it has been about dealing with the issues of scarcity. In fact, our entire original economic philosophy (which is really just two and a half centuries old) was based on “resource allocation in the presence of scarcity.” Historically, abundance just hasn’t been an issue that we’ve had to deal with very much. And the problem is that people try to apply the mental rules of scarcity to abundance and they basically kick out an error message. It’s a “divide by zero” sort of problem. You get infinity as a result, and you think it’s wrong. So the response is almost always the same. Rather than actually trying to deal with what abundance enables, people try to force abundance back into a feeling of scarcity — which they’re comfortable with. That is, they try to apply artificial rules and restrictions to make the abundance feel like it’s scarce, so that they can understand it again.

Examples of abundance:

  • Technology – the internet, tele commuting, TV & music streaming
  • Communication – email
  • Global Markets – Amazon
  • Consumption – low cost consumer goods, single use plastics
  • Food – weight gain

The problem with abundance:

  1. No opportunity for resourcefulness
  2. Instant gratification
  3. Requires artificial restraint
  4. The paradox of choice
  5. Without a limit the answer is always more

How to solve the abundance problem:

  1. Self-imposed limitation – minimalism
  2. Narrow focus – ten feet deep instead of ten feet wide
  3. Value System – pre-made decisions
  4. View abundance as an opportunity to share

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey writes:

The abundance mentality…is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.

SMS 166 – Is Being Too Busy a Problem?

Is Being Too Busy a Problem?

We often over estimate what we can accomplish is a day and under estimate what we can accomplish in a year.

Money is the lubricant of life, not enough and life is a grind, too much and your life has no direction. Too much disposable money can be a cause of being too busy.

Many people view those that are not busy as being lazy or self-absorbed when really they are just trying to enjoy life on their own terms.

Is there a problem…

The problem with being too busy is it could jeopardize our goals in life and we often think we have a great reason or at least we think we do, when really we are just consumed with busy work rather than important work.

How does being too busy relate to people in your life?

We often say we are too busy for a particular activity or action, what we really mean is that something is not important enough for me to consider it a priority.

Ask about the law of diminishing returns

The law of diminishing returns – a point at which the level of profits or benefits gained is less than the amount of money or energy invested

Hiring a service to do your home chores. Such as house cleaning or year work, might be a sign that you are too busy.

15 Signs You Are Too Busy And Should Stop –

There are 3 thing at play here:

  1. Having too many required actions for a given day that exceed 24 hours
  2. Allowing your required tasks to completely fill a 24 hour period
  3. Wanting the image or illusion of have required actions that exceed 24 hours

Causes of being busy:

  1. Procrastination
  2. Poor planning
  3. Poorly designed life

Reason to not want to be busy:

  1. When your busy your judgement is comprised
  2. When your busy you don’t have time to collect your thoughts
  3. When your busy you put your health at risk
  4. When you’re busy, you make busy excuses for actual problems
  5. When you’re busy, you unconsciously sacrifice consistency

How to Slow down:

  1. Plan to do less – if you are a parent then that is your job, hobby, sport, and general interest
  2. Work life balance – this does not exist with a high paying career, you have to make a choice
  3. Prioritize – will this matter in one year, five years, ten years, on my death bed
  4. Enjoy the simple things in life – don’t just do them learn to enjoy them

SMS 165 – You Need A Process

You need a process to achieve your goals

You can’t be motivated solely by your goals, you have to love the process to succeed.


Problem: over-weight,

Goal: wanting to be thin

Better Goal: wanting to weigh 110 pounds

The goal has no instructions or process on how to achieve this goal. The best approach would be to love being a vegetarian, or a vegan, or a gluten free sugar free vegan. Go ten feet deep on being a vegan and love the journey of learning about what it means and finding communities of like-minded people who share the same passion.  That is fun and exciting and you will never lose motivation and guess what you will lose weight and probably exceed your goal along the way.

Problem: high blood pressure

Goal: wanting to reduce blood pressure

Better Goal: wanting to reduce blood pressure to 120 over 70

The goad has no instructions or process on how to achieve this goal. A better approach would be to adopt a sport, for winter and summer. If you do not excel sports than become a “gym rat”. Go ten feet deep on weight training and love the journey of learning about what it means and finding communities of like-minded people who share the same passion.That is fun and exciting and you will never lose motivation and guess what you will lose weight and probably exceed your goal along the way.

Early Financial Independence

  1. Good Income – Modest lifestyle
  2. Modest Income – Frugal Lifestyle
  3. Good Income – Frugal Lifestyle

Good Income – You need to have never ending thirst for knowledge

  • Always wanting to upgrade your skills
  • Always have a side hustle
  • Love being the go-to person

Modest Lifestyle – You need to become resourceful, stretching the useful life of everything you own.

  • Learn how to do some of the smaller home repairs
  • Learn how to maintain your lawn mower
  • Learn how to change your snow tires
  • See the world for everything that could be optimized

Frugal Lifestyle – All you see in the world is excess

  • You get excited about thrifting (you can’t drive past a year sale)
  • You are disappointed when you have to buy new instead of used

SMS 164 – Celebration


Celebration is a funny thing we tend to celebrate our past, I would like to introduce the concept of celebrating our future.

I used to think hope was this fleeting emotion that would come and go, but I recently read a book by Mark Manson – Everything is F**ked that has changed about hope.

Do not chase happiness, the pursuit of hope will be far more rewarding. In the pursuit of happiness would suggest you are currently not happy. The more you pursue happiness the more unhappy you will become. The pursuit of hope is more of a journey and less of a destination which will bring a positive mindset.

Hope is not something that happens to you, hope is something you embrace, hope is something you believe in.

Hope is the intersection of three things

  1. Control – show up in our lives as choice
  2. Cause – you have to believe in it beyond your contribution
  3. Community – like-minded people coming together to support each other for a shared cause

People come in and out of our lives in three ways:

  1. Reason
  2. Season
  3. Lifetime

Developing and celebrating hope in different aspects of your life:

  • Job/Work
  • Personal Finance
  • Family and Friends
  • Random events

SMS 163 – Diet vs Lifestyle

Dieting vs. Lifestyle

We get out of debt and then get back into debt or reach our goal and then digress, why? We’re in a diet mentality.

A diet is a systematized, temporary lifestyle change whereas changing one’s lifestyle is an attempt to keep up similar habits for a prolonged period of time.

Why diets don’t work:
Diets Are Restrictive — all diets follow some method of restriction. While different programs use different methods of restriction, the concept is still the same: you remove or limit something from your spending patterns.

Diets Aren’t Successful in the Long Term — if financial dieting worked we’d pay off all our consumer debt, pay off our mortgage and never accumulate debt ever again.

Diets Take a Cookie Cutter Approach — diets give us rules to follow, and our unique circumstances, personal history, and individuality are rarely considered.

Depletes Your Vitamin T — trust – trust in yourself, that is. Diets require you to place an incredible amount trust in their product or program.

Is there a season when dieting is okay?
Debt repayment with gazelle like intensity?

How do we stay in that lifestyle mentality long after we’ve reached our goal (debt repayment etc.)?

How to maintain lifestyle changes:
Pick one list you like best!!!

BONUS: Have a really big why

SMS 162 – Saving money on groceries

Saving money on groceries

Why you should want to get good at grocery shopping:

  1. You get an opportunity to get this right or wrong every week
  2. It should be your third highest expense
  3. These are life lessons for your children
  4. This is an evolution – what worked when you were single won’t with a family

How to save money on groceries:

  1. Set a realistic budget
  2. Shop from a list and a menu – marketing can be powerful
  3. Separate groceries from other expenses
  4. Shop at least once a week – this can’t be a side project, it requires effort
  5. Never shop while hungry or tired – you decision making will be altered in a compromised state
  6. Avoid value added products – whole foods are healthier and less expensive
  7. Beware of volume discounts – it could change your consumption habits
  8. Beware of chasing sales items (it could be a trap) most stores price match
  9. Buy in season – you need to alter your consumption with the seasons
  10. Consider adopting a plant based diet

SMS 161 – Understanding Risk

Understanding Risk

Risk should be assumed as a means to solving a life problem. You should only assume financial risk to improve your financial situation

Is personality driven, people fall into one of two groups in all aspects of their personal finance lives, risk of doing something or the risk of not doing something.

Risk is relative to you and only you – someone else’s moderate risk could be your extreme risk. Some factors that would influence your specific risk level are:

  • Level of income
  • Debt level
  • Net worth
  • Age


Action: Buying a house comes with the added risk of assuming the largest debt you will ever have and the risk that you lose your ability to earn income to repay that debt.

In-action: The risk of not buying the incredible wealth building tool that a house is, is that the housing market will continue to inflate and you won’t be able to qualify for the largest debt you will ever have.

When faced with important financial decisions, ask yourself the following (Forbes):

  1. What is the worst-case scenario?
  2. How will my life change and who is impacted by the wrong decision?
  3. What potential remedies are available?
  4. What would have to happen to bring me to a difference decision? In other words, to recognize that the risk is too great for the potential reward.
  5. Who can provide me with more information before I make my decision?
  6. Can I live with the regret regardless of my decision?

Managing risk is really about managing emotion – you are really trying to manage your reaction to possible outcomes:

  1. Perform arisk assessment when faced with a decision
  2. Risk should be calculated and absent of emotion whenever possible.
  3. Risk should be offset with potential rewards
  4. Risk is minimized by not being married to very specific outcomes

Risks you should take:

  1. Getting an education – student debt vs increase in income
  2. Relocating to a city – higher cost of living vs more opportunities
  3. Buying a house – risk of not being able to repay your mortgage as well, the housing market
  4. Investing – risk of losing money vs building wealth

SMS 160 – What is Financial Sacrifice?

What is Financial Sacrifice?

Sacrifices are choices we make not circumstances that are imposed on us.

There is a difference between being in a bad situation from a series of unforeseen and unfortunate events and being in a bad situation from a series of bad decisions and poor planning.

Noun – destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else

Verb – to suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief, or end

What is financial sacrifice?

  1. Give up or forego something you want – not need something you need
  2. Doing something you choose to do – not something you have to do
  3. Short-term discomfort for long-term gain – it should be hard and uncomfortable
  4. Necessity is the mother of invention – they are not obvious and have many layers
  5. Sacrifice is not something you do when things goes wrong (that is called crisis management)it’s something you do to insure things in the future will go right.

Why you should make financial sacrifices:

  1. You believe tomorrow will be better than today
  2. If you have lived too much for today and not enough for tomorrow
  3. You want something nobody else has so you have to do something nobody else does
  4. You want more control in your life – independence requires being independent

Three Sacrifices We Must Embrace to Achieve Financial Freedom –


Sacrifice #1 – Spending

The first sacrifice we have to do is to limit ourselves to a budget and avoid spending all our income. There is no way around it. If your spending habits cannot be controlled, then forget how much you earn. You are going to spend it all anyway.


Sacrifice #2 – Income

Financial freedom will for most us come out of 3 vectors: income, savings, and investments. If we want a raise, we will likely have to do a harder job or work more hours.

Sacrifice #3 – Risk

This next sacrifice comes from getting out of a comfort zone. Most of us are happy with the 1% rate on a savings account because we feel the money is safe and will never reduce in value. In other words, we have to take more risks and embrace volatility as part of the journey.

SMS 159 – Plan on a Career Change

Plan for a Career Change

  • We all need work that is out contribution to society. At points in our lives we also need jobs, this is how most of us support our lifestyles.
  •  Victory lap retirement – is a book that everybody should read regardless of your age.
  • Some people are fortunate enough to have their job be their work
  • Financial independence is when you can transition from a full time job to full time work

Job – A job is a regular and official activity that you do, and receive money (a salary) for your activity. It is also called a profession or an occupation. You can have a full-time job (40 hours per week) or a part-time job (around 25 hours per week).

Career – Your career is the total progression of your professional life. It can include many different jobs over the years.

Work – The word work is more general than “job” – whereas “job” is a specific occupation/profession, “work” refers to general efforts and activities done to accomplish a goal. “Work” can be done both inside an official job and outside a job!

Plan for five careers in a lifetime – Financial Times

Why A Career Change at 30 and Beyond Is So Hard – Monday Views

  The career lifecycle

  1. Getting that first opportunity – convince an employer you will be a good employee and that you are knowledgeable in your field
  2. Developing a reputation – become someone who adds real value to an organization, an expert
  3. The cross roads – either burned out or stopped caring, you have had enough
  4. Working  for the money – when you are only in it for the money, this is the beginning of the end

Plan for five careers in a lifetime – Financial Times

Why A Career Change at 30 and Beyond Is So Hard – Monday Views

Challenges of career change

  1. Uncharted territory – lots of risk and struggles, it’s uncomfortable
  2. Education or Training – this will require time & money (a good reason to live below your means)
  3. Compensation – you will definitely earn less money when you start a new career
  4. When the perceived pain of continuing is greater than the perceived pain of changing
  5. Courage to try something different – the longer you wait the hard it will be to overcome

Reasons to change careers

  1. This shit will get old – you won’t be able to do it for 30 years
  2. You create a backup plan – if your second career does not work out
  3. You build a social network – if your second career crosses paths with your first
  4. You choose your first career when you were 17 – what are the chances you were right
  5. Life is not a straight line

Words of wisdom:

When your father and I decided to have kids, we felt it very important to educate each of you with the hopes of NOT putting you on a specific path in life but to give you options, lay a foundation to give you the ability, courage and confidence to explore, to discover who you are and to find your own passion. Don’t let the title of your degree (something you choose when still a teen) keep you in a box or trap you in a mindset of where you “should be”. View it as the appetizer of life, with the main feature to yet to come.

SMS 158 – Your House is not an Investment

Your House is not an Investment

Just because your house appreciates in value does not mean it meets all of the criteria of an investment.

I am not saying real-estate is a bad investment, real-estate that you are not emotionally invested in can be a good investment. The house you live in, by its very nature, is an emotional investment.


What Is an Investment? An investment is an asset or item acquired with the goal of generating income or appreciation. In an economic sense, an investment is the purchase of goods that are not consumed today but are used in the future to create wealth. In finance, an investment is a monetary asset purchased with the idea that the asset will provide income in the future or will later be sold at a higher price for a profit.

Why your house is not a true investment:

  1. You are too emotionally invested  – can’t make rational investment decisions
  2. No cash flow mechanism  – an investment that never pays out is not much of an investment, HELOC creates debt
  3. High carrying costs – far too high to be considered a good investment (interest, insurance, taxes, maintenance)
  4. Highly leverages – this incorporates too much risk
  5. Transactions costs  – lower cost options exist, too many hands in the purse
  6. The opportunity costs – lack of diversification, there are better returns on investments

What your house does represent:

  1. A place to live – you can’t live in an index fund
  2. Provides stable living environment for raising a family
  3. A great wealth building tool through forced savings
  4. An opportunity to leverage a purchase that will usually increase in value

Home Repair vs Home Improvement

Home Repair – if it’s broken fix it

Home Improvement – Everyone likes to refer to their home as an investment. If you investment additional money into your house “investment” you should expect and have some reasonable expectation of the return on that additional investment.

JL Collins – Why your house is a terrible investment