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RR Journal No. 8

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

The whole world smelled like burning tires the day John Henry died.

- The Drive By Truckers

I collect good habits like some people collect rare stamps and baseball cards. I keep them labeled and laminated to protect from the slightest atmospheric interference. They’re hidden in a vault that no one can touch.

Throughout the year, I amass a fresh collection of habits - everything from morning visualization (a good one), to getting sunlight immediately upon waking either naturally or by LED, reading for 15 minutes every day, etc.

In spirit, this is a commendable trait. But at the end of the year (or every quarter, let’s be honest), I may as well be wearing a nautical anchor as a necklace with all of the habitual weight I’ve piled on.

At some point, I become all habit and no actual living. A habit zombie, if you will.

Habits, like any attachment, need to be consistently appraised for their value. If they’re not moving the needle as much as they once were, dump them off the side of the boat and move on.

In other words, some habits depreciate.

I think of my habit of, um, collecting habits, like the three-part, Italian cocktail the negroni. They’re amassed for three equal reasons: progress, control, and voodoo.

So, I’m careful now. The idea is to collect as many habits that drive value and ensure you’re not doing something for good luck’s sake.

This kind of habit-fetishization is rightfully-so getting trashed on social media right now. I’ve seen a few of my favorite podcasters throw verbal daggers at the entrepreneur, who before sitting down to work, needs cryotherapy, an ice bath, thirty minutes of sound meditation, vinyasa yoga, sauna, and a plunge in the Mediterranean.

Just go to work, you clown.

And it’s only funny because I see myself in this absurd behavior.

Now, at the core of these various rituals that we fill out life with slowly over time, I believe there is a Pareto or power-law principle at play. I feel like everything goes back to old Pareto and his magical peas.

Simply, most of our habits do very little to advance our goals. There are probably one or two that are really doing all the work, while the remaining 8 or 9 (intermittent fasting? Gratitude notebooks?) add very little to the overall gains.

Now according to Pareto, the power law is 80/20 - meaning 80% of your progress will come from 20% of your effort or actions. This can be seen in body builders who seemingly train less than others and still win the competition.

I’ve recently cut a few habits. And at first I felt guilty. Like a romantic break up. Sure, we had a nice time together in Spain, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m changing the Netflix password.

Now, I feel like I have more free time.

To make this concept come alive, I’ll give you an example of the 20% of what I do that likely brings about 80% of the growth in my life right now after careful analysis. Number one, exercise. Number two, making one thoughtful or funny social media post a day. That’s it.

I could do nothing else and likely still wind up in a better place than I was last year with these two actions. The social media posts drive a massive chain reaction that supports my existing businesses and builds upon a growing advertising revenue stream.

This phenomenon is also referred to as The One Thing by Gary Keller. Yes, I know I just listed two things.

Here’s where it gets interesting. As I’m sure you can imagine, that’s only 30% of my overall workday (eerily close to Pareto, no?) - exercise and making one post. I have a myriad of other tasks and teams supporting ideas and gambles, where perhaps, I’d be better off just focusing on my two Pareto points and taking longer lunches. That’s called getting out of your own way.

Here’s my challenge to you.

You have these clear Pareto points in your life. It’s important to discover what they are. They may be things you’re avoiding.

And don’t forget to kill the old ones if you’re a habit fetishist like me.

Without the old habit, you’ll have room to grow and explore new territory, like Istanbul.

This week, I’m taking meetings from Istanbul, Turkiye.


Global Markets: The Hail Mary Percentage

I dedicate a small portion of my portfolio (2% - 5%) to Hail Mary Passes, or investment longshots. They’re Hail Mary’s because there is significant headwind, competition, or global adoption to contend with. If they work out, it will be a massive return on investment. If not, I don’t need to pawn my GMT the next day.

It’s not a pure gamble. You need to have a logical reason why you chose it. After all, wide receivers do catch the Hail Mary on occasion.

For me, my Mary’s are in emerging EV manufacturers. The economies of scale are insane in vehicle manufacturing - it’s extremely difficult to survive in the marketplace with razor thin margins and slow adoption. However, I’m a believer that another entrant will win big alongside Tesla for various niche offerings, such as luxury, towing capacity, or distance.

It hurts when you don’t even throw the ball. I entirely missed the Hail Mary in crypto. I should have had a few thousand bucks at risk.

My problem with crypto is that there are little to no fundamentals for many coins, leveraged correlation to the stock market, and massive regulatory uncertainty. Not so with EVs (except the correlation part, of course). We’re going to be driving EVs whether you like it or not eventually. And governments in the developed world are going to ensure it happens faster than you think. I may dedicate an entire newsletter to “why” in the coming weeks.

Everyone should have a Hail Mary in their back pocket for one of the three things entering our society that they strongly believe in: crypto, EV, and Web3.

Suggestion: Consider what two or three things survive a 10 year horizon - hint: it’s probably less than 20% of the existing coins, manufacturers, or startups and add a small percentage to your portfolio.

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

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

Neutral: US Equities

Bearish: UST Bonds, Euro Equities, PayPal

* This isn't financial advice and is for educational purposes only.


Mindset: Getting Rich is Easy

Only if you think it is.

Many psychological studies show the human brain functioning like a guided missile. A missle receives end coordinates and makes course corrections along the way. It starts with the end. In other words, it doesn't start with Google Maps and take a left turn at the roundabout. Course correction is backfilled as a result of focusing on the end coordinates.

Let’s play a game.

Picture yourself in 5 years in the perfect moment of your choice.

Perhaps you’re laughing with family in a castle in Scotland. Maybe you’re swimming in the magical waters of Bacalar. Or you’re tinkering with your 50th invention in your lab?

The end state that you’ve just created has automatically eliminated millions of paths to achieve that state. How?

If you’re in a castle in Scotland chilling with family without a care in the world, you’re NOT a stressed investment banker who can’t leave the office. Maybe you’re an entertainer. Or entrepreneur who automated a handful of his business.

So, if you’re doing the thing that negates you arrive at your end state you must CHANGE.

Now, if this idea of setting a mental direction, or psycho-cybernetics (mental steering), can be colored with more detail, such as “here’s where I want to go and I want it to be easy” shouldn’t the marvelous human brain devise a path that delivers exactly such?

In my experience, yes.

Ask different questions and get different answers. Because there are infinite ways to be successful, why would you choose the hard path?

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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