This is a summary of everything I know about being the type of father who generates wealth. I’m only 27, so I still have a lot to learn.
I chose the title because I learned all of this as a father. This advice is applicable to anyone, though most references are directed to fathers.
As a father (and a husband), your duty is to protect and provide for your family.
If your family is poor it’s your fault. If your family is sick it’s your fault. If your family is falling apart it’s your fault.
Don’t worry. It’s not all bad news. Because this is all in your control.
You have a means to reverse it. Consider the antithesis:
If your family is wealthy it’s your fault. If your family is healthy it’s your fault. If your family is thriving it’s your fault.
A father sets the tone for the house. Good or bad.
A good father will introduce discipline, healthy habits, and be true to his word. A bad father will instill fear, neglect, be unreliable, and be unfaithful to his word.
The one thing you have control over as a human being is how you respond to any and every situation.
How you operate, how you behave, how you respond reflects in the home.
So, if you are falling apart your home will be falling apart. If you are healthy your home will be healthy. If you are true to your word your home will be truthful and honest.
Everything. Starts. With. You.
Do you see how this works?
I’m telling you this because it is good news. As the head of your household, you hold the key to the future of your family.
You can build wealth that will provide for you and your family. All while having a thriving marriage and children.
Not only can you build wealth, but you can do so in a way that requires little maintenance and upkeep.
This allows you to spend time doing the things that make you thrive. It gives you the flexibility to raise your family the way you want to.
Corporate America, college institutions, modern media outlets, and previous generations have brainwashed us into following traditional paths of income.
Graduate high-school, go to college, get a job, buy a house, save for retirement, spend all your other money.
This path leads you to massive debt. Struggling at it’s worst, and being at the mercy and volatility of an employer at best.
It leaves you powerless to be able to build the lifestyle you want to build for your family.
What if there was another way? What if you, as a father, could change the trajectory of your family? What if you could introduce true wealth and freedom into your family tree?
What if you could have a thriving marriage, well-behaved prosperous children, and more than enough income to support your needs and interests?
Not only can you take care of your family’s needs and expand your financial bandwidth, but you can also build a lifestyle of contributing to other people who have invested in you or that are in need around you.
“Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Living for others is a sure-fire way to grow your income and give you the motivation to capture the potential you have as an income generating father.
Being disciplined about your time allows you to reclaim time you wasted before you had children.
Not only can you spend more time working on the things you love, you can spend more time dedicated to your family.
Anyone can build wealth as a father. But you can’t stay the same person you are now. This is the process to changing levels in your life:
- You have to change your thinking.
- Thinking different changes your actions.
- Acting different changes your results.
This process is ongoing and does not stop until your life ends. There is always a higher level you can achieve. There is always more you can do. There is always more you can learn.
This guide has three main sections. Changing your thinking, changing your actions, and changing your results.
We’ll also discuss how to do this as a father — who has limited time, and several other obligations.
This article is about tapping into the calling on your life as a father. You’re meant to be wealthy. You’re meant be healthy. You’re meant to be thriving. And so is your family.
Lets get started.
Where it all started
“He’s only one. He’s not going to remember not getting any presents for his birthday, right?” I said to my wife, as we looked over our personal finances.
Another month had gone by. Another month of debt increase. Every month 110% of our income flows out before it even came into our bank account. Every month that extra money went on a credit card.
We’re a normal suburban millennial couple. We graduated high school, went to college and got bachelor’s degrees, got married and had a child. I had a job. She stayed home to raise our baby boy.
We had a combined debt of almost $200k. Student loans, a couple of cheap cars and a few credit cards. Every month half of our income kept debt lenders happy. The rest went to groceries and rent.
I had a decent job. I made close to $80k as a software engineer at a large company. That was a good income compared to the cost of living in my area. It would have been plenty for a family that didn’t have so much debt.
It was the debt that broke me. The eternal knowledge that I would never be able to pay it off in my lifetime.
When you’re in that spot, there are only two ways out.
Take it head on and do what it takes, or quit.
Luckily, I decided to get out of the hole I dug for myself. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I didn’t do it the right way. I know better now.
I wasn’t always so obsessed with providing an incredible income for my family. I used to be more normal. Employed. Brainwashed.
Six months before my first child was born something happened in me. There was an urgency.
A sense that things were not right. A sense that I needed to take life serious.
I don’t know where that sense came from. I charge it to the Holy Spirit. I needed to step into my calling as a father. I needed a wake-up call.
Everything in life up to that point was casual. Finances. Marriage. Health. Friendships. I was coasting through life. Ignoring any inclination of things trending in the wrong direction.
That casual approach is what led us into massive amounts of debt, obligation, and regret.
I went crazy. I needed to take action but I didn’t know how. I needed more time but I didn’t know where to find it. I’ve always been in to tech, so I decided then and there that I would be an app developer.
Is being an app developer my calling? No, but it was my ticket out. My one-way out of the hole we created.
At the time, I would get up around 8 AM and head straight to work at my day-job. I’d wake up in a frenzy and get out the door as quick as I could. No good habits or routines in sight.
But then, I was aware that I needed to change that. I started getting up earlier every week by a half-hour. I worked my way all the way to getting up at 5 AM every morning.
I needed time to get in the Bible. I needed time to learn. I needed time to think. I needed time to write.
This was how I made time.
It destroyed me physically and mentally. I was a walking zombie. My productivity levels were at an all-time low.
But I was working. I was doing. I was paving a new path. I was rewiring my brain.
I spent several months each learning web-development, SEO, copywriting, design, writing, and more. I was gaining so much knowledge. Practicing every day. Trying to build businesses on the internet.
My son was born, and he would work along-side me in the mornings. As parents, we had no idea what we were doing back then, so he didn’t sleep too well the first few months. He would sleep next to me in the mornings while I worked and learned.
I cherish those times. My motivation was right next to me.
Times were stressful. We knew money was tight but there was no way to remedy it. I was a salary employee that couldn’t work overtime. Part-time jobs didn’t pay enough to justify spending another 4-hours a day away from family.
Our marriage was on-the-fritz, we had a hard time keeping everything together. All because of (the lack of) money.
Making money became my obsession. I studied everything I needed to know about generating money.
Now, it’s second nature. I don’t ever worry about where my money will come from. I know that I have the God-given ability to generate wealth.
I’ve gone from losing money every month, to generating a six-figure income and only working a few hours a week.
As I am writing this guide, I am currently transitioning out of my full-time job as an engineer. I’m quitting to work on the business I started while I was working full-time.
Starting a business on the side while working full-time is not an easy thing to do, especially as a father.
It takes a lot of discipline to do the tasks you need to do everyday, and still be there for your family and friends.
This process has taken me about 3 years to complete. I started from scratch. I learned everything I needed to know, and executed for the last year-and-a-half on my business.
This guide will show you how to maximize your time, get yourself to a new level of wealth, and show you that it’s all possible to do while having a great balance in your life.
I will show you how I spent my time learning, executing, investing in my family and wife, and growing as a person.
Will you do it the exact same way I was able to do it? No.
I’m here to show you there’s another way to live. You can live an intentional life. You can create success. You can generate wealth. You can do different things to make a different outcome for your family.
I’m excited you’re here. It means you care about your family. It means you care about yourself. You’re going to be successful. It’s going to take some vision, time, education, hard work, and patience.
- You, as a father, are in control of the wealth of your family.
- The traditional path of College → Job → Retirement is not the best way to build wealth.
- You can have a thriving marriage, amazing kids, and an income that provides for you and others around you.
- I was once broke, not the greatest husband, and made excuses about not doing anything about it. If I can do it, so can you.
Later on, I’ll talk about why money isn’t the solution to your problems.
But, money is the solution to your money problems. And money problems impact every area of your life.
Let’s talk about why you should be rich as a father.
The case for increasing wealth as a father
I want to talk about why you should be building wealth.
What is wealth?
Wealth is the accumulation of money, assets, and investments. It’s having an abundance of valuable things. It’s an increase in the level of living for you and your family.
Wealth is new levels of income. It’s your investments, your house, your cars. It’s your wife and kids. All these things, when added to someone’s life, increases their wealth.
There are both practical and spiritual reasons to be wealthy.
And no, a spiritual reason doesn’t mean it’s not practical. It’s rooted in Biblical principles. The secrets of wealth and increase are throughout the whole Bible.
You may or may not be a Christian. If you are not a Bible believing Christian, pay attention. This may explain a lot for you.
Let’s dive into the spiritual, Biblical reasons for wealth as a father.
People are designed to produce
Family, fatherhood, and marriage (and more) are all constructs designed by God. They thrive when they are operating under God’s principles and commands.
As human beings, our primary mission in life is to be fruitful and multiply, and take dominion over the earth. If that sounds like Bible talk, it is. This is the creed God gave to Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:28.
That’s our responsibility as human beings.
It’s a fundamental piece to the argument for increasing wealth as a father. If you don’t get the fundamentals right, then you’re not going to increase at all.
What does fruitful mean?
It means you’re producing something. You’re creating with what you have now. You’re increasing. You’re heading in the right direction.
The Bible says that God has given us the power to obtain wealth, and He blesses the work of our hands.
God expects you to work, He expects you to prosper, and He expects you to be wealthy.
What does multiply mean?
Well, it means to have children and generations of people that stem from you. It means you are building systems (businesses) that increase beyond you.
You’re multiplying your resources and time. Not building linear systems based on the time you have in a day.
As humans, we’re meant to produce. As men, we’re meant to be fathers. We’re meant to innovate. Be creative. We’re meant to be fruitful and multiply.
Now, lets take a look at being rich from a Biblical perspective.
You’re meant to be rich
The Bible says that money is the root of all evil.
Wait… no. No. That’s not right. Let’s look again:
1 Timothy 6:10 - For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
It’s the love of money that is the root of all evil. Money is not evil. Money is a construct. Money indicates value. Money comes and goes no matter who you are.
Money will expose your heart.
If you are corrupt when you are poor, you will be corrupt when you are rich. If you are greedy when you are poor, you will be greedy when you are rich. If you fear money when you are poor, you will fear money when you are rich.
The majority of this guide is correcting your character. Then you’ll be able to handle wealth and not destroy your life. That’s the important stuff.
Once you figure out how to generate income, it’s not hard. Becoming a better person is what’s hard.
If you take a look back at Genesis 1:28, it also says that “God blessed them…” before He gave them that command. All good things come from God. Blessing and increase come from God, whether you like it or not.
The difference between God’s blessing, and secular riches, is that God’s blessing increases you without sorrow.
What does increase with sorrow look like? Think of a very rich drug dealer. Sure, he’s amassed lots of riches, but he has done so at the risk of everything else in his life.
How many millionaires and billionaires have you seen that have a failed marriage, or a neglected home life? Take a look at Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos, or Jefferey Epstein.
Increasing without sorrow means you can become rich without losing good things in your life. Such as family, friends, health, and your sanity.
The Devil, who is the god of this world, has the ability to give and distribute earthly riches.
You can see this in the Bible when the Devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness after 40 days. Satan offered him all of the kingdoms of the world if Jesus bowed down and worshiped him.
By following the principles of God, you can tap into blessed wealth. This wealth increases without sorrow, and is given freely to those who give freely to others.
Given freely to those who give freely to others? How does that work?
You’re meant to help those around you
The Bible says that God will bless those who bless others, and will provide for those who are generous with their money.
In Luke 6:38, it says: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
This is a fundamental Biblical principle. This is why a large part of building wealth is building income streams to help those around you.
Your business should help people. The revenue from your business should help people. Your personal finances should help people.
That verse also states that how you give is how you will get. If you give money you will get money. If you give time, you will get time. So on and so-forth.
The Bible states that we’re meant to be lenders, not borrowers. We’re not meant to have debt. We’re meant to give and be a blessing to other people.
How can you give to other people when you don’t have enough money for yourself? You can’t. That is why the Bible is very blunt about you yourself generating more money.
If you look at the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), you’ll see that he was able to pay for a hotel for the man who was robbed, as well as any expenses he acquired on top of that.
To this, in verse 37, Jesus said “Go and do likewise”.
If that’s what Jesus said, then we’re meant to have enough money to take care of those around us. Not only our families, but other people and their families as well.
Being wealthy from a Biblical perspective doesn’t sound very spiritual.
Money doesn’t fall out of the sky, show up in your bank account like magic, or get handed to you by an angel.
The Bible clearly instructs us, as fathers, to have children, work hard, give to others, and to stand upright with integrity.
It’s that simple. Yet so many people get it wrong.
Let’s take a look at some practical reasons to be wealthy.
Wealth impacts every area of your life
When you generate increasing amounts of wealth, you are able to make changes in every area of your life.
You can invest in great food, great education, and in your wife and family. You can decide how you want to use your time.
There are many things that wealth does not impact, and I will go deep into those topics.
Things like your habits, planning, execution, marriage, parenting, and other areas of your life need to be correct and in place before you become wealthy.
If these things are not correct when you are wealthy, they become weak points and it can lead to your destruction.
However, where wealth applies, it can be a life changer.
Always having enough money means not stressing when a large expense comes up. No more stress about cars breaking down, or house repairs.
It means being able to actually help other people financially when they need it. It means you can live a mostly-stress-free life.
I say mostly, because like I said above, other things in your life need to be in place. It doesn’t matter how much money you have if your wife and kids hate you. It doesn’t matter how much money you have if you’re too unhealthy to move around and enjoy life.
But, having money means you can pay for marriage counseling (or take your wife out on dates to avoid counseling in the first place). Or buy books to help with specific situations.
You can pay for a physical trainer, healthy food, or programs to help get you fit. You can have free time to dedicate to solving the problem areas in your life.
You can throw money at some problems, and it works amazingly well at removing them from your life.
If you have good character, and care deeply about your family, there is no end to the amount of joy that having wealth will bring to your family.
It feels great to pay for someone else’s groceries, or pay off their mortgage. You know, things only truly rich people have the ability to do.
You’re building wealth for the future. Your future self, your kids, and your kid’s kids.
The legacy that you uphold as the matriarch of your family is what will be remembered when you are long gone.
What do you want people to remember you for?
Do you want people to remember you for being stingy, angry, and crippled?
Or do you want people to remember you for being generous, joyous, and thriving?
You have the ability to change the trajectory of your future generations. Through your children, you can make an impact on millions more people than what you could do alone.
When your kids help people, you helped those people. When your kids give away their money, you gave that money. When your future generations change the lives of the people around them, you did that.
You are in control of not only your future, but the future of those who come after you. You can make an impact, and scale your wealth beyond yourself.
Your wealth doesn’t disappear when you die. It carries on and helps others carry out the tasks they’re designed to do.
We’re meant to train up our children to be upright, righteous, and truthful, God fearing people.
Abraham was a man who sought after God. God blessed him mightily, (he was filthy rich), and He blessed Abraham because he commanded his children and his household after him.
We have a duty to ensure our kids are raised properly. It’s our job to make sure they become wealth producing, fruitful, multiplying people.
We are meant to build generational wealth. We are meant to build legacy.
This is why we are called as fathers to be wealthy.
I hope that I have convinced you that it’s a good thing to be wealthy. It’s good for you, and it’s good for your family.
- The Bible is clear about our responsibility to build and maintain wealth (be fruitful and multiply).
- You and your family are meant to live a rich life.
- Helping other people and being generous is the path way to obtaining wealth.
- Increased wealth has a positive impact on every area of your life.
- Your wealth extends beyond you to your future generations.
As a father, building wealth is our calling.
Now, let’s take a look at the world and why most people aren’t wealthy.
Lies we’re told about jobs and income
Growing up, we’re taught about money and the way the world works by our parents and the people who surround us.
You can become accustomed to your circumstances. You don’t question the validity of someone’s situation or advice. You think that’s how the world works.
Then you get to a certain point in your life and things aren’t progressing like you thought they would. Things have changed in the world around us. College is expensive. Housing isn’t an ‘investment’. There are lots of low-wage jobs. People jump from job to job to get promoted.
What then, is the truth about jobs and income? What is the path to true wealth? I don’t have all the answers, but I have some guidance and questions to ask you.
After reading this you’ll start to grasp the concept of the path to real wealth. You’ll know the lies that we’re told to keep us in the working class.
College → Job → Retire
The public education and the government at large has failed our generation.
Teens are able to take out massive, irrevocable, slavery inducing loans to pay for a college ‘education’.
This education does not teach students how to navigate life in the best way. Rather, it teaches them to be employees. It teaches them to be a weekly paycheck addict.
Once people become addicted to their paycheck, it’s almost impossible to break free.
This is why there is a federal income tax. Taxes get taken out before people get to see their paycheck. This is because no person in their right mind would want to pay taxes after getting the money. Since they’re addicted to their paycheck, they get their next hit of money and spend it all as soon as they get it.
That’s pretty smart of the federal government, but not very smart of you to play along if you want to become wealthy.
The single reason why people get hired to work at a company is because employees generate more revenue than what they get paid.
That’s correct. If you work a job, what you do is much, much more valuable than what you get paid to do it. Sometimes up to ten times more valuable.
Think about it. If you cost more to hire than the money you bring in (or save) the company, you’re fired. That’s not good business.
Many skills at a corporation are so specific, they are impossible to transfer. You would get paid more for the same work if you did it for yourself.
Let that sink in.
There is a system out there that has convinced people to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get skills that are only applicable in the system that directly benefits from the fact that they can pay less for valuable skills.
The sad thing is, this system has everyone convinced it’s the only way to a good life.
Parents are still forcing their kids to go to college even if they don’t know what they want to do. So they can get a job they don’t want. To pay for debt they never wanted. To impress their work friends they never should have had in the first place.
The current company system forces you to exchange time for money. They base the system on the fact that you will spend all of your money — whether it be on entertainment, cars, a house, etc.
That’s why corporations have built-in 401Ks. People get brainwashed into spending all their money because it’s the normal thing to do.
If they didn’t do that, people would never retire. They would have to continue to pay you more than a fresh college grad with more relevant skills.
They want you to retire when you become expensive to them, so they can hire someone cheaper and younger.
The cycle goes on.
They want you trapped. They want you spending all your money so you can stay in the system. This contributes to the agenda that keeps working class people in their place.
This pays the federal government’s bills.
And when you retire, your standard of living is the same as what you did your whole life. That means you will work you whole life to maintain the standard of living you are at now.
It’s insane that someone can spend 30 years honing their craft in exchange for a paycheck and retirement.
Employers encourage you to make friends at your workplace. Because if they can make it a fun place to work then people will ignore the passing of time. They’ll ignore the fact that their lives are wasting away.
Some college is great. Don’t get me wrong. You can get a great job, and make a decent living as an employee. But that’s not the norm.
If you’re a father that doesn’t at least have a job, you’re going to have lots of problems. You need an income.
If you have a job, I’m hoping these thoughts get your mind churning. Should you continue to only have a job? Are you paid what you are worth? Are you able to scale your time beyond yourself?
Renting your time
The literal exchange of time for money is the least efficient form of income.
Why is it the least efficient form of income? Because there is no way it can grow beyond yourself.
The only form of growth is an increase in the amount of money you get for the time you spend working. You’re limited by the value you can provide in the amount of hours you work.
If you don’t put in the hours, you don’t get paid.
There are three forms of personal income. A job, a service, or a product.
A job allows the mask of safety in exchange for a consistent income. Low risk, low reward.
A service allows you to systematize processes and perform them in exchange for money. There’s a higher risk (of not making sales), so there’s a higher reward. But, you’re still restricted to the number of hours in a day.
A product requires the most work to develop, plan, and execute without pay. But, it is the most lucrative of all incomes. It has the highest risk, but also has the highest income to time ratio.
Jobs are the worst case scenario
You might get excited about a $50k salary, or maybe $100k, or $200k.
But the thing is, having a job is the worst case scenario when it comes to income potential. There are not enough incentives in place for you to be able to significantly increase your means.
When you’re renting your time, the goal is to spend more hours to make more money.
When you’re scaling your time, the goal is to be the most productive with your time.
As a father your time splits in so many ways. The kids have activities going on. Your wife has things going on, and deserves time from you to nurture your relationship. You’ve got family obligations, holidays, vacations, bed-time routines. The list goes on.
By renting your time, you’re pulling straws from the resource you have the least of — your time.
To build wealth, you need to get your time back. You need to be able to scale beyond your time and multiply what you can get done with your time.
Systematizing and simplifying everyday processes allows you to gain time.
Removing obligations will help you gain time. Cutting out entertainment, and wasted time on social media will help you gain time. Those are all great.
Cutting things from your life can only give you so much time. At a certain point there is a limit. You need to sleep, eat, and do things that keep you healthy.
What you want in the long-term is a way to do a week’s worth of work in a few hours. You need to be able to multiply your time. You need an increase in productivity.
Get rid of distractions, get deep into your work, and do more in a couple of hours than you could in a whole week.
Work long enough in this manner, and you will start reaching your personal yearly goals in months of time.
At a job, you wouldn’t get compensated for that level of efficiency. You will get a pat on the back, and then get handed another project to do.
There’s no end to the work you can do at a job. There’s no end to how much value they will extract out of you to keep giving you a stable weekly check.
When you’re working for yourself, the systems and processes you build compound. When you finish one thing, it opens up new opportunities. Then you can grow and expand beyond the thing you finished.
You reach new levels, and those levels introduce new problems to get solved. Once they get solved, you can move to more important and bigger problems.
The numbers work in your favor
The smallest amount of money you can make is $0. The largest amount of money you can make is infinite (lets say billions of dollars). $50k in a year is much closer to $0 than it is to $1,000,000,000. So is $100k, and even $200k.
There’s an incredible amount of room for growth between those two extremes. When you’re restricted to working a job, you restrict yourself to operate at the low end of the scale.
A great essay on the power of income streams is 1000 True Fans.
The premise is this: you only need 1000 people to pay you $100 in a year to make $100k in a single year.
The numbers can swing both ways. 10000 people to pay you $10, or 100 people to pay you $1000.
It doesn’t take an astronomical amount of customers to be able to generate an income for your family.
The other premise of the essay, is that there’s hidden power in the long-tail of people. People that have interest in the specific thing you offer.
You don’t need to serve a million people, you need to serve 1000’s of people.
And when you think about it, there’s 7 billion people on the planet. Around 5 billion of them have access to the internet.
Even in America alone, there’s 300 million people. 1000 is 0.00033% of the population. It’s an easy pill to swallow.
Every single day trillions of dollars get spent in transactions. It makes the world go-round. You can enter the market and take a larger piece of those transactions.
In a service business, as long as your pricing is high enough, you can make a great income with 1000 customers.
With a well-priced and useful product, the possibilities are endless.
Is there a service that you can offer, or a product you can make, that solves the problem of 1000 people? If you can (if you’re reading this, you can), then you’re well on your way to increasing wealth.
Fear and security
Many people are afraid to quit their job.
They think that it’s more risky to be an entrepreneur than it is to be an employee.
It might look like that on the surface, but it’s far from the truth.
As an entrepreneur, you are in direct control over the amount of effort you put into your work. What you put in is what you get out.
Working for yourself allows you to build up skills to fall back on. You are confident that you can drum up business at any time, in any market.
At a job, no matter how hard you work, you don’t have control over the direction and decisions at the top of the company. Everything could change for you in an instant, without your consent.
When you’re an employee, you don’t have a plan B.
Your plan B is hoping that you can get another job when you get laid off at your current place of employment.
Company loyalty should never be a thing. Your company does not care about you. If the money dries up, you’re gone.
It doesn’t matter who you are. The executives get paid first. How’s that for “job security”?
There is a long list of excuses people make to not quit their jobs (and stay addicted to their weekly paycheck).
Let’s take a look at taxes.
People get concerned about increasing income too much. They might enter a new tax bracket and get taxed more.
How is making more money something you want to avoid? Sure, you’ll get taxed more, but you’ll be making more. It’s not hard to understand.
Let’s look at health insurance.
As an employee (in the USA), if you work full-time your employer offers health insurance at a discount. They generally pay half of the cost of your insurance.
Once again, as you make more money, paying the full amount for health insurance isn’t an issue. Sure, if you make a lot less as an entrepreneur, you’re going to have a hard time.
But if you’re making more than what you did at your job, this is a no-brainer.
I don’t know where I heard this quote, but I often think about it:
“The best insurance is having enough money to pay for it in the first place.”
When you have money, there’s nothing to worry about.
At the end of the day, if all your money dries up as an entrepreneur you can still go back and get a job. It’s the worst-case scenario.
You can be rich now, not just in 30 years
One of the things that frustrated my father the most in life, is that he made so little money when we were children.
It limited our ability to do the things we wanted to do in life. We didn’t get college paid for. We didn’t get a car on our 16th birthday. Money was always tight.
He worked hard to provide for our family, and yet his future was set in stone.
Now, more than 20 years later, he makes more money than he ever has in his life.
Except, now all the kids have moved out of the house and aren’t able to be direct beneficiaries of the increase.
He helps us out whenever we need it, but having that money early on in life would have made different things happen.
It’s not too wise to look at the past and wish things were different. I’m so blessed to have grown up with my family. Every experience in my childhood has led me to the place I am now.
The lesson here is that you don’t have to wait 30 years to save up a million dollars and live off of the dividends of your investment.
You can make and save a million dollars in a single year if you keep your expenses low and increase your income.
Sure, it’s hard to make a million dollars in a year. If it was easy then everyone would do it. Not only that, but it takes time to build up to that level of income.
But it’s possible. If anyone in history has done it, so can you. You can live a rich life in the near-term future. Your kids can enjoy your wealth while they are still at home.
- Wealth is the accumulation of an abundance of assets and other valuable things.
- Being generous with your money is the quickest way to obtaining more money.
- Renting your time (a job) is the lowest quality form of income, and you have very limited time as a father.
- Being able to multiply your time allows you to grow your income faster.
- Solving a problem for 1000 people (out of 7 billion) can pay you enough to build a decent income stream.
Okay, so hopefully I have convinced you that you, as a father, are meant to build wealth and increase for your family.
This was the first part of the first step: Changing your thinking.
Next, we’re going to roll into tactical things you can do to increase your knowledge and become the type of father who builds wealth.
Planning and execution
Content and products
There are many ways to make money working for yourself.
The most reliable way to make sure the thing you do is successful, is to build an audience.
A following of people who will buy the product you make, or pay you to do the thing you’re good at.
Build an audience using content
The best way to build an audience is through content and free products.
High quality content is the gateway to getting people to know about you.
High quality free products are the gateway to getting contact information from people. When people know about you and you have their contact information, you have an audience.
The size of your audience does matter. What matters more is the quality of your audience, and how well aligned it is to the thing that you want to do to make money.
If you do a bunch of giveaways and promotions, you’re going to attract people who want free stuff. It’s not a quality audience.
If you operate at the highest level, give away all your best information, and help other people succeed, you’re going to attract a quality audience that may actually pay you in the future.
You can build your audience a few different ways. You can make a website, and get people on an email list. This allows you to contact them with more great content. You can also let them know when you’ve made something they can buy.
There are other ways too. Any social media platform is capable of building an audience. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
The difference between having your own website and email list, and using social media, is that you own the email list. At any moment a social media platform can shut down your account, or restrict access to the audience you’ve built there.
With an email list, you can contact every single person in your audience as often as you’d like.
My recommendation is to pick one social media channel to focus on. Produce high quality content where your audience hangs out.
Make sure your content points back to your website where you can capture their email address.
The great thing about owning your own audience, is that you can take it anywhere you want to go. If they are a fan of your work, they’ll support what you’re working on.
Building a size-able audience can be a few-year venture. It’s best to keep your head low and expect nothing in return for all your hard work for a long time.
When you’re in that mindset, you can put out good valuable content that helps people. It’s amazing how well that will work for you.
Make money selling products to your audience
Okay, so now you’ve built a quality, size-able audience.
Now it’s time to work. Take the skills you’ve learned and make something that provides value for people. Then, sell it to your audience.
What is a product? I know my definition of product was wrong when I first got started. A product is: “an article or substance that’s manufactured or refined for sale.”
So, it’s anything that you can sell. Someone can buy the thing you sell and own it.
There are two models of payment for products. One-time payments, and subscriptions. Depending on your product, it could be either one.
Products that are informational and educational (books, courses, resources, etc.) are one-time payment products.
Products that are tools or services qualify for subscription revenue. A service could be selling access to your time, access to a restricted audience, or even access to your email list (if the stuff you put out is that valuable).
If you’re a writer, you could write a book, create a course on how to write a book, or even go so far as building a tool that helps other writers write better.
If you’re a developer you can make a SaaS app, a library that helps other developers code faster, or even have paid access to an audience that can help developers get more work done.
From a single skill you can generate several income streams. From a combined set of skills (eg. skills in writing and psychology), you can multiply your income streams.
The advantage of a product over a service, is that it doesn’t take any time from you when a customer pays you money.
When you offer a service, you are still exchanging your time for your money. With a product, 1000 people can buy your product and it’s no sweat off of your back.
You did all the work up-front to make the thing in the first place.
There’s a large difference between physical and digital products.
Physical products have overhead, shipping, and have many more steps to get to the customer. People value physical products more and have no problem paying for them. If it solves their problem, and has the right price, people will buy it.
Digital products are free to distribute, and can be cheap or expensive. They’re easy to get in the hands of the consumer.
The disadvantage is that people don’t value digital products as much. They’re hesitant to whip out their wallet and pay you.
Regardless, they are both product based businesses. They can get going using the audience you created by generating great content.
So, what is the best content that you can generate to build an audience? What’s a product idea you have that can help other people?
What if you don’t even know what you would want to do, or what content you would want to make to build an audience?
Lets keep reading.
I don’t know what I want to do
This is the most common thing I hear from people when I recommend they work for themselves.
Luckily it’s something that’s very solvable.
Here’s the answer: try things.
That’s it. You need to get out and try things.
You know yourself enough to know the 4-6 things you’re interested in. Do you like to cook? Do you enjoy traveling? Are you a coffee snob? Do you like helping kids? Are you into fitness?
Any of those things can turn into a stream of income that you can use to build wealth.
Here’s the caveat, though. You need to try things. Not half-way. You need to get out there and see if this thing is for you.
Not only that, but you need to do it fast. The faster you start doing things, the faster you can decide if you love or hate doing that thing.
The goal is to do something that:
- You can document and use to generate content.
- Helps build and improve your skills and knowledge.
- Helps other people.
Generating content to build an audience is the best way to build an asset. You can use it as an income stream.
Doing something interesting and documenting it is the easiest way to generate content. It’s something that’s valuable to other people, and valuable to you.
You want to spend your time doing things that will help you in the long-term. You can build something, learn something, go through a new process.
Do something so that once you do it, it will help you do it better the next time.
If the thing you are doing doesn’t have the goal of helping other people, it’s not going to be well received.
Not only that, but it won’t be valuable. People won’t pay you to do your thing. They’ll pay you to help them solve their problems.
Use the skills and talents you already have to get started. You know how to do things. You know how to make something. You know things that other people don’t know.
That’s your sign to show you what you should be doing.
Another way to figure out what you want to do, is to emulate the people who do things you want to be doing.
That YouTuber, blogger, podcaster that you listen to and watch all the time. Would you want to do that?
If so, go back into their history and see where they started. It took them years to get to where they are now, but at least you can see how they got started. You can start the same way.
Making the time
I’m not a master of productivity. There are plenty of days that go by where I don’t get the work done that I want to get done.
I’m not going to suggest the best way to get your work done. That’s your job to figure out.
I do know that when there’s no plan, almost nothing gets done.
The best way to plan out what you need to do, is to balance urgent tasks with long-term tasks.
You can’t always be working on what’s ‘most urgent’ because some tasks will always get ignored.
You can’t ignore urgent and pressing tasks. Sometimes things come up that are more urgent than the work you thought you were going to work on. But there should be room allocated for future-oriented tasks.
Tasks should get written somewhere (physically or digitally), and should get referenced often. The best way to generate your tasks is to start from the end-goal in mind and work backwards.
Break up your tasks into half-hour increments if possible. Then, your goal should be to get three to five tasks done per day.
Some days you will get one task done. Some days you’ll get ten tasks done. The goal is to have a plan, and chip away at that plan a little bit everyday.
Consistent work is the best way to build long-term success. It’s the best way to avoid burn-out, and it’s the best way to tackle something that is a huge undertaking.
Consistent work is a habit that will drive long-term success in your life.
As a father, I do have some suggestions for when you should be working.
Work when people sleep.
The house is quiet. You’re not spending time away from your family. Your friends most likely won’t be contacting you. You can get rid of most distractions.
Work when you work best.
This could be early in the morning, or late at night (if you follow the “work when people are sleeping” rule). I used to think I worked best at night until I started working early in the mornings.
When I work in the mornings, I can get a week’s worth of work done in a few hours. It’s magical.
Especially as a father, by the end of the day you are pretty burnt out. The possibility of you being able to produce your best work at night is slim. It’s going to take you twice as long to get the same tasks done because you’re tired.
Good sleep is critical. Going to bed late every night doesn’t set you up for success the next day.
I recommend getting to bed early, getting a full eight hours of sleep, and getting up early while your family is sleeping. Then you can get at least two hours of work-time in the morning.
You’ll get your best work done first thing in the morning. Then, you can focus on your family/day-job/obligations for the rest of the day. You know that you will get another chance to work tomorrow morning.
As I am writing this guide, I’m transitioning from a typical eight hour M-F day-job. I don’t know a single person who can do focused, high-quality work for eight hours in a day.
At best, I can do about four to five hours of ultra-focused work in a single day. This is true for you as well, so don’t plan on needing to work all day on your tasks.
All you need is a few hours in the morning, every morning, to build something that generates massive amounts of income.
Get your finances right
Spend way less than you earn. That’s about it.
The more you can cut back on expenses, the better chance you have to build wealth in the long-term.
With that extra income, you can save, invest, and build more income streams.
Now, I do think you shouldn’t be too frugal. There’s a wisdom to buying valuable things in life. But, you don’t need the best of everything.
Figure out what matters to you and invest your money there. Everything else can get done as cheap as possible.
For me, that’s a high-end laptop to be able to write code, write content, and run my business.
For you it could be traveling, good video gear for producing video content, a better working environment, or a better home for you and your family.
Something that has helped me as a bread-winning father, is the fact that my wife is able to stay home with the kids.
This is not always possible, and sometimes the wife wants to work instead of staying home. Having her there to take care of the kids will cut back on childcare expenses. It will be the best environment to raise your kids.
This will cut back on your short-term expenses (if your wife works currently). And long-term it’s also the best thing for the future of your family.
You will have amazing kids, which is the best thing for your health, and your income. If your kids get messed up, get ready to pay for their mistakes with your time and your savings.
Everyone’s situation is different, and this guide isn’t meant to bash mothers who work. Sometimes that’s exactly what your family needs, and it’s what’s best for everyone.
I’m speaking from my experience. I quite like my experience, and recommend the things that have contributed to it.
The last tip is to hold your breath.
The longer you can put off cashing in on your success and spending your disposable income, the more wealth and options you will have in the future.
Avoid debt for depreciating assets at all costs.
Hold on to things as long as possible. You’ll increase to new levels and be able to afford anything you want in life in 10 years.
Communication and expectations
Talk to your wife.
The more you communicate your plans and aspirations, the more she can back the decisions you’re making.
When you don’t communicate well with your wife, it leads to miscommunication, confusion, strife, and resentment.
Also, stick to your word. Tell her you are going to work on X, and do X. Don’t tell her something and do something else.
Be clear about what you are working on. Make sure she knows what the long-term vision is, and how you plan on getting there.
This will build trust in your relationship, and she will want to stand behind your future decisions for your family.
I have some advice that might be unpopular: don’t talk to other people about your goals and plans.
There are a certain few people who can actually help you create the vision you have for your family. You can tell those people.
Anyone else is not worth telling about your plans. People will try to discourage you from following through on your bold vision. They will try to instill doubt in you.
If you want to tell people about what you’re doing, tell them about what you have already done.
At least then you can’t get discouraged. You already did it. And sometimes you do something cool that’s worth sharing with people who are close to you. Go for it.
As for your future plans, your grand vision, and your long-term plans to build wealth, it’s best to keep it between you and your wife.
Expect things to take longer than you plan.
I said “expect”, because everything you do should have low-expectations. Then, when things happen fast, or they go much better than you ever could have hoped for, it will be a pleasant surprise.
If you expect things to go fast and amazing the first time you try something, and it goes south, you will get discouraged and not want to continue.
It’s best to avoid that by keeping your expectations low.
Plan for the best, and plan for the worst. Your goal isn’t to introduce risk for your family, it’s to get rid of risk.
Plan for the best by taking chances, and working hard on things that can pay off big in the long-term.
Plan for the worst by making sure there are alternative paths to generating wealth. There should be protection from things falling apart.
Balance and sprints
Most times, you need consistent daily work for a few hours.
Sometimes you need to work your face off.
Earlier I talked about working for a few hours a day. That’s the best way to avoid burning out. But, sometimes there’s something burning on the inside of you that needs to get done.
Sometimes I am inspired to work on something, and I get the feeling like I am in genius mode. It’s during those times that I can put in eight hours of focused work in a single day and get a full weeks worth of work done.
Even as I am writing this guide, I currently have been working for two hours and have written 5000 words. I’m in the zone. I’m inspired. It’s my best time to work. I can do this all day.
But, I’m a father and a husband. I’ll be going home to help out with the kids in a couple of hours, and I know that I will be able to get time to work on it tomorrow.
A month from now I may not even care about having written this guide. But, in the moment I am working as fast as I can to get it done, because I care about it and want to share it with everyone I know.
My advice is to leave some room for genius. Sometimes the difference between you being poor and being wealthy is a month of insane work.
As mentioned above, communicating expectations with your wife is important. You might not be able to work as hard as you can on a task. You might be able to. That’s something you both need to agree on.
I can tell you, if you always work like that, you will burn-out. You will put a strain on your relationship with your wife and family.
So, tread with wisdom. Do consistent work, work hard a little bit every day, and work harder and longer when it feels effortless.
Take advantage of opportunities that are right in front of you. You never know what can happen when you are building something that helps people.
You could get a chance to work with someone who is high-profile in your industry. Or, you get a hot moment on social media. Or, you have a breakthrough idea that will revolutionize how you generate income.
Go for it. Do the thing. Put in the work.
And after it’s done, get back to consistent small chunks of daily work.
A last piece of advice about balance: be present with your family when needed.
If there is a massive issue in your marriage, with your kids, and even extended family, take the time to take care of it.
If your family falls apart there’s no point to doing any of this.
If your marriage falls apart then all your hard work gets wasted. You will be miserable and distracted by the negative things that come with divorce.
When things like that happen, it forces you to make short-term decisions. Those decisions are not in your best interest.
It’s best to maintain a thriving marriage and family. This ensures you can focus on your wealth-building work.
Never let your work come before your relationship with your wife, and the welfare of your kids. They are the reason you are doing this.
Make sure they are well taken care of. Then, you can work in peace knowing that you’re working on true long-term wealth.
- Building an audience on the internet using content, and then selling a product to that audience is the surest way to build wealth that scales your time.
- If you don’t know what to do, you need to try things. Get out and get uncomfortable. The faster you do this, the faster you can figure out what you do or don’t want to do.
- Make time to work on wealth-building ventures. Plan everything out.
- Communicate your expectations and vision well with your wife. This will build trust in the long-term.
- Balance working in consistent small chunks and working harder when you’re inspired.
Discipline and habits
Your long-term success is a direct reflection of your discipline and habits. These are the things that help you stay on course.
You have habits in every area of your life, and they can always improve.
It takes discipline to say no to the wrong things in your life. It takes discipline to say yes to the things that hurt now but will be the best thing for your future.
In this section we’ll talk about productivity, habits, discipline, and what it takes to work on something for the long-term.
Health and productivity
You can’t work if you’re sick. You can’t work if your body doesn’t function. You can’t be the best father to your children if you’re not the best version of yourself.
If you can’t work, you can’t build wealth. It’s the end of the line for you.
Sometimes we take our bodies for granted. “Eh, I can skip this workout.” or “It’s okay if I stuff myself today.”
And sure, it’s fine for one day. But people string out that excuse for weeks, months, and even years. That’s how people end up in poor situations with their health.
They don’t have healthy habits, and they don’t have the discipline to keep those habits in place.
Sleep is the absolute most critical factor to productivity.
I don’t care if you think you’re being productive by replacing sleep hours for work hours. Even a week of getting less than six hours of sleep every night and you’re walking around as if you’re drunk.
Get eight hours of quality sleep every night. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself.
Exercise and eating healthy food will give you more energy to be productive. You can do more work in less time when you’re eating well and exercising often.
If your body is in pain, or you are mentally un-fit to work, you’re not going to be productive. If you don’t take care of it, your long-term wealth will suffer.
When it comes to food, there’s so much advice out there.
At the end of the day, the only thing that’s true is that you burn a certain number of calories everyday. If you consume more than those calories in a day your body will store it as fat.
When it comes to exercising, you should try to find time to move everyday. Get your heart pumping for at least 10 minutes. Keep your strength up, and your muscles limber.
That’s all it takes to keep your body in decent shape. You don’t have to be a fitness model or a body builder to be healthy.
Taking simple steps everyday to maintain your health is one of the most productive things you can do. It impacts your long-term wealth and health.
If you get to be old, you want to be able to enjoy your wealth. You want to be able to enjoy your wife and kids. You want to be able to function and be a father.
If you don’t have time to workout or eat healthy, you’ve lost control over your life. It’s essential that you keep your body in shape, so you can continue to build wealth.
My dietary recommendation is intermittent fasting. This restricts you to eating a certain amount of calories every day. It helps keep your calories low, and it helps you be mindful about the things you are eating.
Try to eat unprocessed and fresh meat and vegetables. And a good amount of carbohydrates for energy.
My recommendation for fitness is to do light calisthenics (body exercises like push-ups, and sit-ups). Take regular walks to break up the day. Nothing crazy.
It doesn’t take a lot to maintain your health. It requires a lot of work to regain your health after you have destroyed it with years of neglect.
Put in the hour everyday to make sure you’re eating healthy, exercising, and make sure you get enough sleep.
You’ll be a great husband, father, and wealth producer.
Developing healthy habits
What are the habits that drive long-term success?
As mentioned above, your health is essential to your success. Healthy habits look like the following:
- Go to bed early.
- Get eight hours of sleep.
- Eat less than 2000 calories a day.
- Eat vegetables every day.
- Drink water.
- Walk for 30 minutes.
You can come up with your own healthy habits. These aren’t exactly what you should be doing. Your situation is unique.
The focus of this section is to introduce you to implementing healthy habits in your life.
Around January 1st, people get into all the healthy habits they want to introduce into their life. They go full-force. Cold turkey.
That doesn’t work when introducing new habits. It only works sometimes with eliminating old habits.
When introducing new habits, it’s essential to start small. Do it in a way that’s achievable to do everyday.
Your goal shouldn’t be to walk for an hour every day when you start out. It should be to walk for five minutes everyday this week, and then increasing by five minutes every week.
You’ll reach what was your original goal. But instead of getting burnt-out, you’ll do it in a way that allows you to build a habit. It can get accomplished everyday with ease.
There’s a lot more nuance to developing healthy habits, and I’m not an expert. Luckily, there’s a book out there that can help you Atomic Habits.
The best habits are habits that maintain the most important things in your life. You (physically, emotionally, mentally), your spouse, children, and close relationships, your faith and spirituality, and your productivity.
Habits should be about maintenance. You need to be able to maintain a level of success in every area of your life. It’s up to you to develop the habits that help you do that without thinking too hard about it.
The power of showing up
Time compounds on itself.
When you’re working for a company, the work you do is linear. Perform this task, get paid, perform another task, get paid.
When you’re working for yourself, the things you work on compound and grow. When you solve a problem, it adds value to the thing you’re working on, and you learn more.
The goals of both a poor and rich person are the same, yet one becomes rich and the other never gets anywhere in life. What’s the difference?
The difference is the rich person shows up and does the work. The ability to never quit on your goals is one of the most important tools in your tool-belt.
The person that sticks it out when things get tough, solves the hard problems, and perseveres through everything is the person who becomes successful.
The longer you stick with something, it has a better chance of growing.
This might seem obvious, but it’s a core principle to building wealth. Consistent action and building compounds over time. It creates something that’s better than you could have ever imagined.
Most people quit when things get tough. It’s for that reason that they will never amount to anything in life. Their marriage will fall apart. Their kids will get messed up.
A long-term focus will help you get through the work you don’t want to do.
When you understand the work you are doing right now is serving you well in the future, you understand the way you feel about it right now doesn’t matter.
Your work could be a hard grind, something that’s very unpleasant in the moment. Luckily, you know you’re building something that’s going to be incredible in the future.
Distractions are the biggest enemy to productivity. If you don’t get rid of all (at least most) distractions, you’re never going to be able to do deep meaningful work.
You need to do what it takes to get rid of the things in your life that will keep you from focusing. Turn off your phone while you work. Have clear expectations about when you’re going to be working, and what you’re going to be working on.
The largest distractions that people don’t realize, are stress, worries and anxiety.
When you’re worried about something else, it’s hard to think about the tasks you need to complete.
Do your due diligence to make sure there is no strife in your relationship with your wife. Make sure your kids are well taken care of and are safe. Take care of and mend broken relationships with your family.
The less you have on your mind, the more you’ll be able to get into a deep concentration and work with excellence.
Long term mindset
The ability to delay gratification is one of the best ways to guarantee your success in the long run.
The longer you wait to buy a house, expand to your means, or cash in on your audience, the longer you can build something that grows. It can grow to be huge, and can return a larger pay-day.
Your focus should not be on the next month. It shouldn’t be on the next year. At the very least, the work you are doing now should be serving you in the next five years.
When you have wealth, you can think long-term. If you don’t have money, you have to figure out where your rent money is coming from.
You should be thinking about the person you want to be. Thinking about the work you want to be doing. Thinking about the people you want in your life. Thinking about the milestones you want to achieve in the next 5, 10, 20 years.
This is the north-star of where your focus should be.
If you want to lose 50 pounds, you’re not going to do it in a month. You might not even do it in in a year. If you make it a two year goal, that’s pretty reasonable.
Now, work backwards from the person you will be in two years. Would two years in-the-future you eat that meal? Would they skip workouts? Would they take the elevator instead of the stairs?
You’ll be surprised when you reach your goals in a shorter amount of time than you planned.
When you have a long-term focus you can make proper decisions that have the right perspective.
Short-term decisions usually are greedy, selfish, and based on how you feel. Long-term decisions are based on logic, compound interest, and delayed gratification.
By having money you can focus on long-term projects, and increase the happiness of your family for many years to come. You can invest in your future, and your children’s future.
Having a long-term mindset is about putting in the repetitions. It’s about showing up and doing the work today so you can have a better tomorrow.
- If you’re not healthy, you can’t work. Take care of yourself.
- Develop healthy habits that maintain the most important areas of your life.
- Have the discipline to show up everyday and work on wealth-building tasks.
- Eliminate distractions in your life to ensure you’re able to focus and work effectively.
- Obtain a long-term mindset to help push you through the daily-grind.
Learning and consuming
Your income increases with your productivity. Your productivity increases with your knowledge and experience. The more you learn, the better you can execute.
As with any of the tactics mentioned in this guide, how you use your time is the key differentiation.
If you use it to learn and produce, you’ll be successful. If you use it to relax and entertain yourself, don’t expect your life to increase.
What to consume
Non-fiction, educational, inspiring content.
You want real stuff. Things that will teach you skills, concepts, excellence, and inspire you to do it for yourself.
There are people out there who teach what you need to know.
You need valuable skills to generate more money.
Learning these skills is the best use of your time. You will become competent enough to use them for a source of income.
There are many ways to learn things; books, text books, courses, videos, podcasts, etc. What and how you consume varies based on how your day is structured.
What matters is that you’re surrounding yourself with quality information. That information is going to drive you towards your goals.
Most often, the skills and talents you want to learn don’t need a college degree. It requires you to learn what’s necessary to learn, and practice until you are good at it.
Be careful who you listen to. Do you want to be like them?
The content you consume rewires your brain. It can be good or bad, positive or negative.
If you listen to, read, or watch things that are pessimistic, upsetting, or destructive, you’re going to have a hard time in life.
If you consume content that is uplifting, positive, constructive, and moral, you’re going to increase and progress in life.
Choose the people you allow to speak into your life. This applies to close relationships, as well as people who are distributing content at scale.
It’s okay to listen or watch some content from most people, but the people you consume over and over again will have an effect on you as a person.
By consuming someone’s content, you become more like them.
If you don’t want to be like someone, avoid them. If you want to be like someone, spend time with them.
This works to your advantage — because your environment has a huge impact on your success.
By surrounding yourself with great content, you are putting yourself in an environment that is productive.
You can use great content to escape your current environment. You can use it to grow beyond the people in your life.
This works with your close relationships as well. Spend time with people you want to be like, or that have skills that you want to learn.
Most people are more than happy to share what they know, and appreciate someone who is willing to execute on what they teach.
Balance consumption with execution
Your time is your most valued asset.
The only difference between you and a millionaire the same age as you is how you used your time.
Sure, there are differences in how you started your life, and who you’re surrounded by. But there’s no question that the millionaire did something different than you with their time.
In this section, we’re focusing on consumption. I recommend people produce more than they consume. It’s more of a concept than a strict rule.
If you haven’t created anything today, you shouldn’t be consuming entertainment.
Educational content that helps with specific problems can be consumed excessively.
There are a few different takes on consuming content. Some people believe you can listen to too much and get overwhelmed. Others think it’s always good to learn more everyday.
Listen to educational content that solves the problems you’re facing right now. Or, soon-to-be problems you have with the things you’re producing.
Consume that content daily, and you will be better equipped to tackle the problems right in front of you.
Where some people go astray, is they focus on consuming content that they’re never going to use in their life.
They study and learn about all these different techniques to growing a business. But, they’ve never even attempted to start one.
That’s a waste of time. It feels good because you feel like you are learning things. It’s a trap, and it’s a distraction to keep you from producing things.
Producing something is the quickest and most effective way to learn. The indirect issue is, sometimes you learn how not to do things. That sucks, but it’s so important to have in your tool belt.
Producing will lead you to what you need to consume.
By experimenting, failing and succeeding, you’re figuring out what works and doesn’t work for you. That’s the most important thing.
What works for other people doesn’t always work for you. You need to figure out what makes you tick, what makes you thrive, and do that thing. Consume that content.
Learn to solve specific problems. That’s what will help you move forward, and take you to new levels. It also gets you in the habit of solving problems instead of avoiding them.
The person who solves the problems of others will get paid, and get paid well.
The other advantage to producing is shorter feedback cycles.
The faster you can get feedback that something is working or broken, the faster you can make decisions. Then you can work on things that are only growing and increasing.
By only consuming content, you’re not getting any feedback on the ideas you’re learning. You need to practice what you consume and see if it works for you.
Invest in yourself
If you want to be able to use your time well, you need to invest in your skills, mindset, and productivity.
There are many scams out there when it comes to purchasing educational content. “Buy this course and make a million dollars!”, “Buy my book and lose 20 pounds!”.
You can tell when someone produces great content by looking at what they put out for free.
If the content they put out for free provides value for you, they’re worth investing in.
Be careful, though. This depends on what you consider valuable. What you consider valuable might not be the thing that brings you to new levels of wealth.
That’s why (as noted above) it’s better to consume specific content that helps you solve the problems of the things you are producing.
After you’ve evaluated that the content a person or group produces is valuable to your life, then look into their paid options.
If you have no money to spend, then don’t worry about paying for courses. You can learn everything you need to know about a skill through books and free content on the web. You have to put in the work to find and curate the material.
I put a few courses on a credit card when I had no money. I knew the content would be great, and would make a difference in my life, but it was a pretty stupid thing to do.
Now, as a direct result of those courses, I make more than 10x the cost of the courses every month. Was it worth it? I’m not sure. Do I recommend doing that? No. But if you know yourself and know you can execute with the right material, it might be worth considering.
The general rule is that you need to invest in yourself. Invest time and money. This will lead you to learning valuable skills, and growing as a person.
Spend time learning new skills. Hard skills that will produce an income in the future. Things like, learning how to code, or how to write, or design.
Learn skills that allow you to produce something (content or products) that is high quality. This gives you leverage to be able to use your time in a more productive way.
Books. Most of the time.
Books put you in the environment of the book, and out of the environment you’re in.
They’re the cheapest, most information dense, most accessible version of content to consume.
The downside is, you can’t always read a book. As a father (as most people) it’s hard to be able to sit down and read a book for an extended amount of time.
Consume content based on your situation (podcasts in the car, books in quiet environments, videos when you have the time).
How you consume your content depends on your current situation. It also depends on the quality of content you want to consume.
I recommend books, because they can offer deep insights that come from 30+years of experience. But you need to be paying close attention and be in an environment that allows for peace and quiet.
I recommend listening to audio books if you can’t get your environment quiet. You can read faster than you listen, but at least you can consume great book content.
I recommend listening to podcasts when you are casually working (housework, exercise, commute, etc.). Podcasts have a great depth of content value, and can help you learn skills.
I recommend video content (mostly YouTube), when you have a few minutes and have headphones to block out noise.
Another note on books and most content: if it doesn’t serve you right now, put it down and pick up another book.
So many people don’t read books because they never finished the last book they started. It could be because they got into it and weren’t interested, or it just didn’t sit well with them.
Move on. Don’t let a single book stop you. A book that everyone raves about might not be good for you. A book that no-one recommends might be the ticket to your success.
You’ll never find that valuable content by not reading. Be liberal about putting down a book when you’re not progressing with it. It’s better to keep moving and consume things that are relevant to you.
- Obtaining knowledge and learning new skills will increase your productivity.
- Consume content that helps you solve specific problems that you’re facing.
- Balance consuming new knowledge with execution. Most times, execution is the better path to learning new things.
- Invest time, money, and energy into increasing your knowledge and skills. As you increase, so will the things you work on.
- Books are the best medium for educational content, but it largely depends on your schedule and your ability to consume content most effectively.
Environment and motivation
Your environment can affect you in both positive and negative ways. Most of the time, you don’t even realize it.
Having a drive and motivation to complete your work can help you stay focused and drive you to success in life.
Let’s explore how these things affect you and your ability to build wealth as a father.
Environment matters most
The people, places, and things in your life impact you in ways you don’t usually notice.
The environment you’re in has the ability to amplify your productivity. Or, it can make it impossible to work.
It has the ability to encourage your vision. Or, it can instill doubt and fear that keeps you from progressing on your goals.
There’s not a lot of specific advice on this topic, but rather I want to make you aware of it.
Your environment is the people in your life. It’s the things you’re allowing to fill your mind. It’s your physical location, and your digital landscape.
You want your environment to be pushing you to be the most productive person that you can be. Anything that’s subtracting from that is up for elimination.
You can’t get rid of all distractions, but you can have discussions with people who aren’t on the same page as you. You can set up your physical environment to be one that is peaceful and productive.
One thing you can get rid of, is relationships with people who are bringing you down. They bring negativity and distractions into your life.
Be ruthless about the people who you spend time with. This could be your friends, co-workers, or even your extended family.
The longer you spend with a toxic person, the more you become like them. It’s not good.
There’s a rule in life, that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Who is that in your life? It could be your family, but it could also be the people you listen to who produce the content you consume.
I recommend you don’t work where you eat, sleep, entertain, etc.
When you have a dedicated work environment, it helps you get focused faster. When the only thing that happens there is work, it’s easier to do work.
For instance, the only time I go to Starbucks is to crank out some code for one of the products I make. As soon as I get there I put in my headphones and get to work.
If I used Starbucks as a place to meet with friends, or read a book, or anything else, my environmental cues wouldn’t force me into productivity. It would be confusing what I should be doing with my time.
Environmental cues can spark creativity and motivation. Use this to your advantage. Where do you do your best work? What inspires you to create new things?
One environmental hack that works well for me, is music repetition.
When I am coding, writing, or working at all, I’ll put the same song on repeat. After about 10 times of listening to it, my brain fills it in the background and I am able to focus on my thoughts.
This works best with music that has no lyrics, but it can work for any song you like.
For your digital environment, use your computer for work. Use your phone for communication and entertainment.
If you begin to use your computer for entertainment, then you are confusing yourself. You don’t know what you should be doing when you’re using that device. Keep them separate.
When you’re the most productive, speed is essential. It helps to have fast internet, a fast computer, fast typing, or fast tools that allow you to execute fast.
If your environment is slowing you down, upgrade. If you haven’t maxed out your productivity with the tools you have now, then no need to upgrade. You’ll know when a simple upgrade will make your work better.
Why do this anyways?
This guide is about building wealth. Have you considered why you want to build wealth?
Is it the security of never needing to worry about money? Is it the legacy of being a person that makes an impact on as many people as possible?
When I started my journey to wealth, the largest driver of my motivation was massive amounts of debt.
Our finances were a mess, and I hated it. I needed an escape, fast.
It’s not necessary, but it helps to have a huge purpose and vision. When you have a burning desire to change your current situation it drives you to do the things you need to do.
It helps to have a chip on your shoulder. Something that bothers you. Something that needs changing and won’t happen unless you put in the work.
When you decide to take responsibility for changing your situation, it etches the motivation into you. This keeps you mindful of it everyday.
Don’t do it for the money. Do it to help people. Do it to help your family.
Figure out your “why”, and use it to drive you towards success.
- Your environment has a large impact on your productivity, your success, and who you are in general. Be mindful of it, and work hard to make it work with you towards success.
- When taking on a new venture, it helps to have something to motivate you to work.
- Figure out the thing that you need to change in your life, and take responsibility to be the person who solves that problem.
Fatherhood and children
Building long-term wealth in your life means nothing if there isn’t a generation for you to share it with.
Raising your children to become independent, productive, intelligent, and successful people will bring joy to your life. It will also bring joy to the lives of the people they come in contact with in the future.
If you neglect your children, and don’t teach them to be the best they can be, you are going to have lots of sorrow in your life.
Let’s take a brief look at your relationship with your children, and what you can do to make sure they are a blessing and not a curse.
Raising your children
Consistency is everything.
It matters so much, it almost doesn’t matter what you do. As long as you do it with consistency, your home will perform well and have clear expectations.
Doing things that help your children learn, grow, and improve as human beings is the best thing you can do for them.
Consistency in discipline, instruction, love, routines, and responsibilities will keep your home productive. It will be a constructive environment for your family.
Part of raising successful children is increasing their independence. Allow them to take on tasks, and learn how to deal with hardship. You are increasing their independence.
When your children become more independent, it increases confidence. They can take on anything, knowing full-well that they will be able to be successful.
Let your children solve the problems they need to solve to move forward in life.
When you solve problems for your kids, they don’t know how to face hard tasks. It makes them soft, and they won’t be able to increase in their own life without the help of someone else.
Let your children get hurt. I didn’t say hurt your children, but rather allow them to make decisions that may hurt them.
Allowing them to make these decisions increases their autonomy. It also builds a stronger relationship between their decisions and their impact.
When your children get hurt, they express emotion and have to deal with real life. They learn how to handle when things are hard and not working in their favor.
If you children never experience hardship, they won’t be able to push through hard things in life. They won’t be able to ask for help from others when they need it.
As a father, your job is to raise independent adults, and have fun doing it. One day they will move out and take on the world on their own.
Make sure they’re well prepared to handle life. Teach them to thrive in a world that tends to work against them.
Play is the most important thing in a child’s life. It has the greatest impact on creativity, social skills, physical ability, and their imagination.
Take time to play with your kids. Life isn’t always about learning new knowledge from books.
Sometimes playing a game, pretending, or being as silly as you can is the best way to introduce some of the most important nuances that make us human.
Play time is a great way to build a deep relationship with your children, and it will help build trust in the future.
Your children will love you when they are older, and you’ll want to spend time with them because they are excellent humans.
Instilling wisdom and knowledge
Raise your kids to be smarter than you.
Don’t restrict your children to the things you’ve learned, or to take the paths you’ve traveled.
Restrict your children to follow character building principles that lead to a prosperous and fruitful life.
When it comes to knowledge, success, productivity, and healthy habits, encourage and foster these things.
Teach them to be aware of people who don’t resemble a healthy life. Teach them the difference between what they are doing with their life, and what you are doing with your life.
Teach your children to be leaders, and not followers. Children who are followers are susceptible to picking up lazy and incorrect behavior.
By having your children be leaders, they set their own standard and expect others to do the same.
This all sounds pretty elitist. I understand that. But if you want your children to become successful, they need the type of character that builds success.
Notice I didn’t say they shouldn’t associate with other children. Quite the opposite, they should often be with other children who are learning and growing with them.
The difference is that your child should be going out of their way to help other children. Your kids can help them act in ways that help them become the best version of themselves.
Your child can save other children from a life of heartache and pain. They can live in success and help others do the same.
Teach them to be the best at what they want to do.
It’s okay for your child to be an artist, or an actor, or a sports player, or an engineer, or a doctor, or any other thing.
The thing doesn’t matter too much. What matters is that they are using their talents to help other people. They are doing it to the best of their ability.
I’m not sure if this is controversial or not. But, I recommend not enrolling your child in several different activities at the same time.
Over time, their interests will change, but eventually they will start to figure out who they are and who they want to be.
Once this happens, invest time and money into exploring their options and showing them what success looks like in that area.
Take time to learn with your children.
Naive and uneducated parents are a recipe for disaster for a child. People are unaware of what they are learning, and who they are learning from.
Take time to make sure that you are learning new skills and talents with your child. Grow with them. Show them how to overcome challenges. Take the steps with them.
This puts you in a position to be involved in your child’s life, and it helps instill confidence in them. They have someone to go through things with.
Get your children involved in the home. They should be edging towards independence while they are still under your care.
By the time they are ready to leave, they should be autonomous and fending for themselves. That means financially, emotionally, relationally, and educationally.
If you get your child to that point, congratulations. You did your job. And if you did it well, your children will be a blessing to you for the rest of your life.
The great wealth transfer
The ultimate long-term wealth goal is to leave an inheritance for not only your children, but your children’s children.
People have different interpretations on what an inheritance should and shouldn’t be. It should be enough money to cut off 10’s of years of life that they would have otherwise struggled to survive.
This might be:
- Paying for college.
- Funding their first business(es).
- Investing for their long-term retirement.
- Helping them buy the exact home they want.
It’s your money, it’s your wealth, you can do what you want with it.
I’m going to talk about some things that you want to avoid so your children are successful. You don’t want them living off of your wealth forever.
Cut off financial support to your children early on in life. Say, age 14. Old enough to where they can start to work and be productive to earn money for themselves.
They could even work for you. They can work for your business, or take care of household things that are external to their chores.
This is a way you can use your wealth to ensure they become productive members of society.
What you don’t want to do, is pay for everything they need and want their entire childhood until they are 18. They will be lazy, unproductive, unmotivated, and unprepared to go out on their own into society.
Invest in the future of your child, so they have options to grow and increase their success. You want to help alleviate burdens of ambition.
Don’t pay their rent (which is a burden to them). Pay for education and experiences that help them grow as individuals.
This gives incentive to correct behavior and helps them grow without bounds.
Do not give incentive or pay for things that contribute to ill behavior and produce laziness.
Support their greatest contribution.
No matter what your child decides to be, or decides to do to help other people, be there to support them. Do this with your time, and even your finances.
Be careful not to do things for them. Let them go through the experience of doing hard things. They should be pushing through their own boundaries.
Be the home base they can return to if everything turns on them. Your hope, as a father, is to raise them so that never happens.
But, it might happen and you need to be in a position to be the pillar they can rely on. You don’t want them to go to the world to get what they need in life.
Actions speak louder than words
What you say matters, but what you do matters more.
To teach your children, you need to do the things you’re instructing them to do.
If you want them to help out around the home, you need to help out around the home. If you want them to be clean, or use proper language, or spend time reading, you need to be doing those things.
You need to show your children how to behave in life.
Take time to love your wife, publicly and privately. In the home, and out of the home.
Show your children what a thriving marriage looks like. What good communication looks like. What love looks like. What disagreements look like.
How you handle situations, and model behavior is the way your children will behave in the future.
It’s also up to you to show your children how to grow, how to learn new things, and how to thrive in this world.
It’s not enough to tell them what to do. You need to do it, and show them the way they should go in life.
Then, let them go their way. Watch them and be proud.
- Contributing to the next generation, and the generation after that are a major reason to build wealth.
- Consistency in everything helps build a stable, healthy, happy home.
- Your ultimate goal as a father is to raise independent, productive, and successful children that can make it in this world on their own.
- Teach your children independence by removing support financially, but giving them opportunities to earn an income under your own roof.
- Support your child’s greatest contribution to this world. Help them make a positive impact on other people.
- Show your kids how to behave in this world. Don’t just tell them.