RR Journal No. 3

Feeling stuck? In a rut? Forgot the password to your Amazon Prime account and feel like throwing it all away?

Call 1-800-RLY-RICH for help NOW!

Or just wait a few days.

At least that's what research is now telling us.

Damn, I'm tired sometimes. But you'll never see it. I even feel guilty putting it into type. It's a dark secret in the hustle community.

"Suck it up, Bozo, it's time to grind!", I can hear my Rich Guy character crying out from inside the confines of my skull.

Sure, the majority of days, I wake up looking to grab ze bull by ze horns, yet on many others it takes an incredible amount of willpower just to disconnect my head from my king-size, side-sleeper, feather pillow and get to the gym for some Bulgarian Split Squats.

As it turns out, our motivation and drive ebbs and flows like oceanic tides depending on where we are in our mission, heavily influenced by diet, sleep, exercise, etc.

And, of course, there's a chemical component to it all - dopamine.

While I recommend you let Dr. Andrew Huberman walk you through this concept on his brilliant podcast, instead of me (I majored in Applied Economics, not Neurobiology, sorry ladies), please allow me to put my own spin on it.

As it turns out, there's a big catch to motivation. It's a drip coffee machine, not the Hoover Dam.

Motivation juice is not circulating through our bloodstream at a fixed level on the daily. Sometimes, we've used it up. And we're not just being lazy-asses. We need to wait until we've replenished these chemicals in our brains to feel the drive return to our endeavors.

Dopamine gives us that extra "umph" to hit our goals.

Huberman explains, "Experience of life and motivation or drive is relative to how much dopamine you have at any given moment."

However, after we hit a goal, it could be big, it could be small, we can take a dopamine dip.

Depletion could be from a 14-day work sprint to a 12-hour doomscroll on social media. As we struggle and strive to achieve something, we feel a motivational boost. Oddly, as we achieve it, we peak, crest, and sometimes go below our dopamine baseline - feeling low.

Ever hear of a dopamine fast? Yea, people are trying to reset their baseline levels albeit in somewhat ridiculous ways.

But the good news is - your levels eventually do reset. It just takes time. There's light at the end of the tunnel.

So what does science prescribe?

Celebrate the climb, not the summit.

According to Huberman, after an achievement, you're going to feel a bit down. The best advice, take a few days to downshift and relax. Don't continue to overwhelm yourself.

Then, get back up and climb the next mountain. The effort is where the pleasure comes from.

Over time, you'll start to develop the sensitivity to know when it's time to modulate your behavior accordingly and it will become a tool for a far more effective life.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm headed to the beach after writing this paragraph.

This week, I'm taking meetings in Miami, FL.


 

Global Markets


There's a battle going on in payments technology and we should be paying attention.

Elliott (the activist hedge fund) scooped up a stake in PayPal after the stock spent most of this year getting demolished.

Many think it's incredible news to piggyback on the giants that can come in and start rearranging the furniture, so to speak, by selling off divisions, firing executives, etc. And that very well might happen on a micro level. Meaning just at PayPal and for a fixed period of time.

However, in general, there are more players in the payments game this year (as approximated by funding rounds) than ever before when you include crypto.

I own several businesses powered by international contractors and let me tell you, payments across continents continue to be one of the most costly and irritating areas of running my business. I just want to pay people and get back to work.

PayPal, amongst contractors, is candidly known as the devil for its high fees and slow processing times.

While we may get a higher stock price for PayPal over Elliott's investment horizon, the days of monopoly payments giants are over.

And once entrepreneurs small and large find a cheaper, faster, bug-free way to pay people internationally, it's really over.

Holdings: Cash ($USD), S&P500 (small), REITs

Bullish: Residential real estate, collectibles, vintage American sports cars, and crude oil

Neutral: US Equities

Bearish: UST Bonds, Euro Equities

 

Entrepreneurship: Test it First


Did you know that I'm running my own little version of Shark Tank over here?

I'm sure you could have guessed it from the way I sprinkle business tips throughout my skits.

Here's how it works. It's actually pretty simple.

I have meetings with both new and seasoned founders to determine if I can help their businesses grow via strategic partnership or marketing. Sometimes, I invest capital and take equity (ownership) for an advisory role in the business.

Most of these conversations are awesome.

However, some break my heart.

The single craziest thing I hear time and time again is...

Here's my IDEA, that would be practically free to mock-up and test out, but I want to raise hundreds of thousands of risk capital first to build something I have no clue if people actually want.

How do you know someone will want to buy your product before you build it?

Spoiler alert: you don't!

And when you inevitably pivot and have to rebuild your prototype on the fly, who pays for that?

Spoiler alert: not me!

Unless you're Steve Jobs, I'm going to discount your visionary abilities just a touch and require some real-world data to back up claims that your water bottle is going to change the world.

What do I mean when I say: test it first?

Build a landing page, but not the product. Write a blog about it and check the comments, don't hire a software engineer you can't afford.

Reality is complex and we are mere mortals grasping in the dark.

Test cheaply. Prove concept. Then, I'll (and probably everyone else too) will write the dang check.

Suggestion: Test until you're confident you have something that will either make money or provide longterm value.


 


Reading & Listening


Everyone here should have read Think and Grow Rich. If you haven't, I hope I've made you feel guilty enough to drag yourself over to your phone (you're already on it), order it, and take the whopping four or five hours it will take to read in order to change your entire life.

So, I won't spend too much time on this classic - you're actually picking it up via osmosis from watching my content.

Anyway...

Hill boiled down success to a formula but was still infamously plagued with failure in his personal life. It haunted him so much that he began to ponder if there was something missing from his original masterwork.

So he asked The Devil for help.

Yes, The Devil.

Hill claims to have spoken with The Devil as an imaginary counsel and cracked the code on why people fail.

And the dialog was captured in Outwitting the Devil. And it's brilliant.

The manuscript was so troubling to his heirs that they refused to have it published as it attacks mainstream education and the establishment of the Christian church.

This book is a sleeper hit. I've never heard anyone mention it, but I have a feeling it's being read by some smart folks.

It will leave you reeling, especially once you identify how you're "drifting" in your own life.

Book: Outwitting the Devil


 

Mindset: Throwing Sh*t Away


If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty throwing away a cereal box with one flake of cereal left in it. I'm pretty sure I have a pair of sneakers with 30,000 miles logged on them in my closet.

Nothing goes to waste! - I yell alone in my modern apartment like a yuppie Native American shaman, harvesting every part of a deer to please the Earth God.

But what about my time? Should I be so careless about wasting that?

When I was a kid, I'd hear, “Finish your peas, there are starving children in X Country.”

I’ve been told that this was never a phrase in Argentina, as they've had such a surplus of high-quality food, that finishing your entire plate at a restaurant is actually considered incredibly bad manners.

When I lived in Buenos Aires, I reluctantly left a little piece of steak behind so I didn't look even more like a gringo than I already did.

Anyway...

I have a sense of guilt around throwing things away without attempting to donate it, recycle it, or turn it into a homemade paperweight.

However, this behavior is becoming increasingly hard to justify.

Nike sent me the wrong size shorts the other day and I threw them in the garbage.

Why the heck would I do that?

Because it would cost me more in time than the price of the shorts to remedy.

When my hours are valued in the thousands, spending 30 minutes trying to return, mail back, whatever, a pair of $65 dollar shorts is sheer madness.

Not to mention the energy expended in the process.

Oh, sorry I didn't call back that strategic partner today who has $100K of marketing budget to spend on me because I got stuck in line at UPS.

No, no, no. That's not going to be me, folks.

Even if your hours aren't valued in the thousands yet, consider setting an aspirational goal of them valued in the hundreds. So, you should have thrown away the damn shorts too.

While there are atrocities in this world and plenty (if not millions) of people who have less than they need - keeping something that’s a burden to you out of guilt is idiotic and not helping anyone.

Your time is too precious and should be spent on the most high-value activities. In other words, do stuff you want to do or that will at least make you more money.

But, remember, if you choose to throw away the shorts you're currently wearing, please wait until you're in the privacy of your own home to do so.

Suggestion: Decide how much your time is worth, and stick to it.

About this newsletter.

This weekly email is written by me, Nicholas Crown. Meaning: this email is not professionally edited (yet), so please reach out with any suggestions or errors by replying. This is not investment advice.

If you want to meet me 1:1 you can always book a time here.

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