These 9 financial philosophies helped me care a lot less about the corporate world

A fourth meeting for the day. I didn’t say a word at all in any of them.

Tired? Yes. Over it? Absolutely.

Imagine a business process that exists which no one can explain. I didn’t know what I wanted. I just knew my patience was coming to an end.

I thought I wanted to be one of those red tie wearing guys with a mustache.

Boy, how I was wrong.

It wasn’t a quit-your-9–5-kind-of-vibe. It was less triumphant. I didn’t have a 16-year-old Instagrammer on my back telling me to take a photo with a Lambo to get rich, while trading stocks by the jacuzzi with a latte in hand.

The day I had the epiphany was normal.

What set me off was the idea people could insert stuff into my calendar without my permission. Then they could force me against my will to comply, using the devil of mortgage motivation and the threat of job loss to spark the joy inside of me again to attend their meeting.

“I want to choose how I spend my time,” was the thought.

This is different from quit a normal job and never go to an office cubicle again.

I was gloriously happy to attend the cubicle each day. I just wanted to use cubicle time to work differently, without being told by an all too familiar amateur in a suit how to think and manage a calendar.

There’s a happy ending to this predicament. I silently worked away, to the point where a normal job was an option, not a must. A job became an entree, not the main menu when it came to my income.

Going to work and thinking “I don’t care what happens” is a feeling you’ll never know you want to have… until you have it.

These are the financial philosophies that got me there, and can take you to that magical place.

Philosophy #1: Focus on treating others well and you’ll make money.

Don’t get into 90s rap battles.

You need people to help you make money you can use to secure your financial future. The corporate world teaches you it’s every person for themselves. The financial world teaches you the power of a combined effort.

Treating others well is simple. Think before you speak. Assume honesty until proven otherwise, then forgive if required. Don’t backstab. Don’t use people as sounding boards for your blaming and complaining.

Be an energy maker, not energy taker. Energy equals money.

Philosophy #2: Meet a homeless person and judge them.

The start of my so-called bulletproof financial philosophy came from a homeless man. He showed up at my startup office back in the day looking for a job. The sales team leader and I called him a bum.

He wore farmer boots, a chequered shirt, navy blue cargo pants from the 90s, and smelt like the floor of a rundown strip club. Oh, and he smoked a ciggie right before coming in for the interview. The receptionist was ready to tear his dreams apart with her stare.

We were desperate. He got the job. I thought he’d be fired in weeks.

At the four week mark he’d sold nothing. The sales team leader told me to go and get him after lunch for a good old fashion Friday firing. I went down at the agreed time. “Here boy, where are you? Come out wherever you are?”

“Max, where is he?”

“He went home as his wife was sick.”

The following Monday the sales team leader and I entered the snake pit (sales office out the back of the warehouse).

On the whiteboard was more sales than the entire sales team had ever done in one month. I asked him what happened.

“What took you so long?” I said.

“Just getting all my ducks in a row before I showed you what I can do.”

He’d shown us all up. We had all judged him far too quickly.

It got worse.

As we got to know him we learned about his story. He’d lost everything. He was living in his car with his wife and kids. His last job was working for a charity asking for donations.

Everybody had told him he was a useless bankrupt. They’d judged him the same way we had.

All he wanted?

A fucking second chance.

And the previous Friday we were about to light his second chance on fire.

The more I got to know him, the more I learned about myself. He was the best example you will ever find of an underdog.

His life had been taken to the cleaners. But he wasn’t giving up. He had something to prove to everyone, including himself.

Those next few months he got more people to spend $5000+ over the phone than anybody I’ve ever heard about. He tracked all his sales with post-it notes.

One day he took us aside. He showed how one farmer in Queensland started his winning streak in life again.

“All I did was offer to go round to his place and throw a few sausages on the barbie while downing a couple of cans of frothy.”

That Queenslander introduced him to a network of referrals like nothing imaginable. The connections between each person were complex, and stunningly beautiful.

The visual post-it note demonstration was an example of what humans do when they unite around an idea from a strange person everybody else judged far too soon.

Lesson: Being smashed in the face by life will change your financial future. You’ll find hunger and motivation you didn’t know you had, or didn’t think was humanly possible.

Philosophy #3 — Can I clone myself, but with different skills?

You don’t need a team of 50 people to become a millionaire.

You can make a lot of money with one other person. You need one other person with completely different skills to you. I can write, use social media, and manage a basic email list. I’m a basic bitch.

What I have no idea about is Amazon publishing, eLearning platforms, copywriting, automation, A/B testing, and launching digital products. Then I met Todd. Todd is my clone. I am his clone. We finish each other’s sentences. We have similar interests. But our skills are completely the opposite.

When you take your list of skills and combine it with one other persons, you create glorious alchemy. You can’t do everything. Your learning appetite is limited. Why burn yourself out trying to learn how to master the ridiculous skill of SEO needed to get google traffic to a website?

If you hate it, outsource it to your clone. In return, be their clone.

Cloning yourself with an opposite set of skills is how you make enough money to not be too bothered by the corporate world anymore.

Philosophy #4 — Get money while you sleep.

I used to only make money while I was awake.

Then I experienced the feeling of making money while I sleep. Imagine waking up to an email inbox of PayPal transactions? That’s what digital products can do for you. That’s the power of becoming a content creator.

Turn your day job into a how-to eBook if you’re stuck for ideas. Then promote your eBook with audio, video, blog posts, or images.

To care less about the corporate world, you’re going to need to go on a date with the devil that wears prada: passive income.

$20 deposited into your account overnight will change how you think about work for the rest of your life.

It’s not the dollar value, but the act of getting money while sleeping. Do it.

Philosophy #5 — Make money work for you.

“Put those dollars to work,” they say.

If all you do is make money, you’ll never step off the treadmill. You’ll always have to keep kissing ass so you can make more cash to feed the fam.

How do you make money work for you? Invest your money in assets — property, real estate, stocks, digital currencies, gold. Or invest your money into a business. Businesses take your money and make more of it, if you spend the time to research and choose the right one.

Most of the money I make now is the result of dollars I put to work years ago. The dollars I had in 2016 have multiplied and had dollar babies.

Money works for you when it helps create more value, rather than money you spray out of a firehose aimed at the local shopping mall.

Philosophy #6 — Look like a dumb ass for a while.

It takes guts to look like a dumb ass.

You’ll be critiqued, laughed at, metaphorically spat on, made fun of behind your back, or even ridiculed in public in the comments section of social media.

What others view as you looking like a dumb ass is really just them being fearful of creating something themselves and putting it out into the world to see what happens.

Looking like a dumbass is the mindset of experimenting, learning, and failing at whatever you try your hand at.

Everyone starts out looking like a dumb ass. Eventually those amateur skills help you reach mastery and the illusion of overnight success.

You won’t start out making a million dollars with a brand new skill. That’s how it’s supposed to be. One day you will if you put in the effort and if it really is your goal.

Let the corporate world mock you if they dare.

When you make enough money from your work to live a humble life, you won’t be too fussed by it all. Because you will know you can quit at any time and do your thing.

Philosophy #7 — A financial education from google will pay you more than any job that requires a university degree or years of experience.

Google can give you a financial education.

There are some of the smartest financial experts on the internet — like ex-investment banker Raoul Pal — all available through your favorite search engine.

Financial education doesn’t require money. It requires a habit and your time.

Philosophy #8 — Your close network of contacts are where the money hides.

Ask your close network what they do to make money. It’s an underrated way to add more income sources. Let’s use my network as an example.

  • Tom Kuegler showed me how to build online courses on Teachable.
  • Michael Thompson showed me how to write for major publications for a fee.
  • Shaunta Grimes taught me how to make money from Kindle Unlimited.
  • Joel Brown taught me how to make money from mastermind groups.
  • Danny Forest taught me how to make money from freelancing.
  • Todd Brison taught me how to make money from Amazon Publishing.
  • Nathan Chan taught me how to make money from a magazine.
  • Niklas Goke taught me how to make money from a Substack Newsletter.

The group chats and communities you’re a part of are goldmines for ideas that will help you detach yourself from the care factor of the corporate world.

Philosophy #9 — Buy real assets, not depreciating “stuff.”

When you buy new it means “depreciation is to come.”

A brand new apartment has about a 30% developer margin built into the cost. The real value of that new apartment is 30% less than when you buy it. An older apartment has shaken off most of that developer profit margin.

A car is an asset (technically) that loses value as soon as you drive it home. A new iPhone 12 Pro is a product that loses money from the day you open it. People always want the new version, making the old version depreciate fast.

Real assets should go up in value over time — a business, stocks, property, gold, some digital currencies.

Obviously you can’t avoid buying stuff that goes down in value, entirely. You’re not Bear Grills living in the Amazon jungle off of blueberries.

The trick to this old school philosophy is to change the balance. Funnel a larger portion of your money into assets that go up over time, rather than into assets that act as boat anchors, like cars.

These philosophies helped me make a little more money over time so that I didn’t have to take the corporate world and its bullshit driven by overinflated egos so seriously. Like I said, you don’t have to quit any corporate job.

You can work in the corporate world with a proper financial safety blanket wrapped around you so that you don’t have to care so much about all the small stuff in humanity like KPIs, egos, revenue, spreadsheets, and meetings.

You play the corporate game by your rules when you take the time to build your financial resilience. Don’t let the desperation to earn money force you to be obliged to play the corporate game.

You can care a lot less when you’re self-made through a financial set of philosophies that support you.

This article first appeared on Medium.