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June 13, 2019

Advice from a wiser meJune 13, 2019

Last year, I made a list as a reminder to myself about some of things I learned at age 28. This past May, I turned 30, so as tradition goes I pieced something similar, but with a bit of explanation.

Things I learned at 29, I wish I knew at 28

How to spend, save, and invest.

Money talk makes me uncomfortable. When you’re only making enough to survive in your late 20s, learning how to save & budget is the last thing you’re worrying about. That was my situation 3 months ago(for about 2 years). Fast forward to today(6/13), my financial situation is thankfully much different.

I woke up one morning nearing the end of my 29th year of life, and decided it was time for me to start being responsible about money. Most importantly, my money.

There's a language you need to learn and understand when it comes to things like finances, savings, and money. I never took the time to learn any of this and I wish I did earlier in life. I purchased my first book on finance.

After a few days of research and reading I will teach you how to be rich, I decided to set up new accounts and developed a system that automates my saving. I feel much better about money now.

How to get people to work better autonomously.

My business is small. There’s just two people running the show. We’re clear communicators and have our best conversations through phone calls. We know how to work together, while not being together. It's great.

Recently, we’ve assembled a micro-team(2-3 people) to support us on heavy projects. The micro-team is essentially the outsource crew we hire for last-mile related tasks.

I’ll be honest, at first we were awful at managing these people. Overtime, we quickly learned the key to getting a person to work autonomously. The trick is to slim down responsibilities and shorter deadlines.

People are naturally lazy. If you give someone more time needed on a task, they will take their merry ol' time. More tasks means more responsibility. A full plate of tasks makes people become careless, picky & choosy, and at worst unable to get anything done. So try giving 2 to 3 tasks that can be done in one day to two days.

Breakdown ambitious tasks into micro-tasks. For example, instead of telling them to build 'big feature'. List directions(since you know your product well). Spend 2-3 hours on Step 1. Another 2 hours on Step 2. And the rest of the day, finalizing last 2 steps. etc.

I recommend this book and this book. They cover how to hire remotely and work autonomously.

Pay for convenience.

Save yourself time, headaches, stress and even costs, by paying someone else to manage something for you. Make sure they're good at what they do.

Gift big.

You should gift big to the people that matter to you.

Sometimes in life, we forget about birthdays, can’t attend a wedding, or miss out on gifting holidays. It’s normal, it’s life. So if you can afford it, why not add another $50 dollars to that gift card.

In the end, you’ll feel good about yourself, it’ll make up for the time you forgot to present a gift, and it will be a pleasant surprise to whoever you’re gifting. Again, if you can afford it, why not spend a little extra on someone important to you? People remember.

Turning off WeChat moments.

I’ve gone over 4 months without WeChat moments. I only discovered this feature on WeChat earlier this year and I wish I had known about it before.

It means I don't have WeChat's moments feed linked to my account. Which also means I don't get red dot notification when someone updates their moments because well, I don't have a feed.

Killed Facebook and Instagram. Back on Twitter

I know longer use Facebook or Instagram, but I did start using Twitter again.

Taking a year off from doing what you love.

We do what we love because it keeps us happy. But have you ever thought about taking an extended break from what you love in order to pursue other goals?

I quit Brazilian Jiu Jitsu just a couple weeks after being promoted to purple belt. I knew that my love for this activity was preventing me from becoming the best business partner and web developer I could possibly be. It was a tough decision to make, but my break from it allowed me to re-examine other things in my life.

Life is flexible now because I quit what I loved doing for an extended time. Now I'm back training, added a couple new activities to a list of things I love doing(running a business, coding, designing products), and there's a newfound appreciation for BJJ. Even more than I did previously.

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Popo(90), Mom(25), and me(30) having lunch together.