Do Work You’re Proud Of

Yesterday at work I got to do some awesome work. When you do similar things every day, work can start to feel monotonous. However, yesterday I got a message from a co-worker asking for help on a project and I jumped at the opportunity.

We put together a “guest post” or “sponsored post” for a popular tech site. I was involved from start to finish and I felt like I had really contributed to my company’s goal of promoting its product. I studied the other sponsored posts on the site and emulated what I saw as the good parts of them. I wrote a 500 word article that 1.) would provide value to the site’s readers and 2.) promote our product in a way that would make people want to buy it.

I also did some graphic design work for the article, because the post includes a header image and a in-article graphic. I really enjoyed this process because it allowed me to showcase a range of my skills while also collaborating with a few other team members.

I’m excited for the post to go live and I’m optimistic that it will deliver good results for my company. (Stay tuned for my post about how the article went viral and I got a huge bonus 😜🤞)


I really enjoyed writing this post. Typically I’m writing informative articles for the sole purpose of attracting organic search traffic from Google. When writing for SEO, I feel like my writing is kind of formulaic and boring. I’m not focused on telling a story to readers, I’m interested in showing Google that I’m an expert on a given topic. I plan on writing more posts like this one over the next month or so. Thanks for reading.

Pros and Cons of Daily Blog Posts

I set a goal to post on my personal blog every day in January. So far I’ve been able to do this. I didn’t set any boundaries or rules for what I had to write, how long it had to be, etc. All I have to do is write something that I’m willing to post and share it…every day for a month.

When I complete this month of blogging I will have doubled the number of posts on this site. Even though I’ve had this blog for a few years, I didn’t post regularly. Now that I’m a couple weeks in to this “challenge” I just wanted to share a few of the pros and cons that I’ve come across.

Pros of Blogging Every Day

  • Writing Gets Easier: As writing has become a daily habit, I’m able to put my thoughts into words much faster. This has translated well to my blogging for work as well. The more I write, the better I get at the actually process of writing. I am improving my productivity and my actual content.
  • Better Connections with Readers: I don’t get a ton of traffic to this site, but posting often gives people a reason to come back to my blog. As I dive into more topics I’m able to relate to readers and start conversations more easily.
  • New Blog Post Ideas: Just because I know I’m going to have to write a blog post tomorrow, I’m constantly coming up with new things to write about. I have a long list in my Notes app of potential blog posts titles and topics.
  • Allows for Trying New Topics: When I post “every so often” (which usually ends up being one every six months) I tend to stick to the same topic over and over again. When I blog every day I’m able to discuss a range of topics, so I haven’t gotten bored of writing yet.
  • More Visitors To My Site: It’s pretty common for websites and social media accounts to get a spike in views/traffic right when they post. When I post every day I get to see the small bump in views every day. I’m already on track to have the best month ever as far as views go on this site. I’m excited to see how much I can grow just from posting every day.

Cons of Blogging Every Day

  • Run Out of “Good” Ideas: When I first started writing every day, I already had a few posts in mind. However, now that I’ve posted those blogs I sometimes feel like now my ideas are second-rate. I think this feeling can be helpful, because it forces me to come up with new “good” ideas. However, I still sometimes feel like I’ve already covered the topics that I want to write about. The truth is, I just need to keep writing.
  • Quality May Suffer: When I’m posting daily I get the sense that today’s post isn’t that important because tomorrow will bring a new post. I’ve justified lowering my standards because I’m prioritizing posting every day, but if I want to run a successful blog I need to focus on delivering quality content. I want people to find value in the words I’m sharing, so I need to make sure I’m following through with that promise.
  • Less Time for Long (1500+ word) Posts: I’ve written some longer blog posts in a single day, and I’ll likely include some longer posts on this site later this month. Writing a fully developed and researched blog post that is over 1500 words can easily take a few hours. I’m writing here after a full day of writing for work, so I don’t have a ton of time to devote to this blog right now. Daily posting is a good habit, but it shouldn’t get in the way of creating amazing content.

Thank you all for reading my blog. If you have any writing tips for me, send them my way on Twitter.

I Suck at Closing New Clients…

I’ve worked on building a freelance marketing business or marketing agency for awhile now. Unfortunately the most I’ve ever gotten paid for a freelance gig was around $200 for a single project. Not only is this much less than I would like, it’s a result of one thing: I’m terrible at selling my services and closing the sales.

This is probably fairly common amongst many marketing professionals, who enjoy promoting products but don’t enjoy “sales”. I know that selling is a valuable skill to have, and once it’s established it can continue to pay-off for an entire career.

How Do I Find Clients Who Are Looking for My Skills?

My skills are mainly SEO, content writing, and graphic design. I often come across businesses and their websites or social media account and think “I could really help this person.” I reach out to these businesses quite often, but haven’t been able to close clients consistently. I’ll have a conversation about how I can help and the person, and in many cases they are interested.

This is where I drop the ball. The client will say they’re interested and I will confirm that I will do the work. Then I find myself unable to get another response or they simply lose interest.

I need to optimize my sales “funnel” to move people from interested prospects to paying customers. I think my sales process kind of loses a “professional” feel once it reaches the time to lock clients in and collect money. I’ll get this worked out in the coming months and hopefully will check back in with a couple new agency clients.

If you have any tips for a “young” marketing freelancer/agency feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.

My Experience with VPN Affiliate Programs

Affiliate marketing, if done well can be a very lucrative pursuit. It hasn’t paid me a ton, but it has taught me a lot about what it takes to encourage people to buy products based on recommendations they read online.

I signed up for my first VPN affiliate programs in 2018, and over the past couple years VPNS have paid me over $2000 for sales I’ve made. If you’re looking to get into the VPN affiliate marketing space, here’s what I’ve learned.

Which VPN Affiliate Programs Did I Use?

  • NordVPN: This is the first program I signed up for, and has had the highest conversion rate of any of the affiliate programs I’ve used. Commissions are high and the affiliate dashboard is super easy to navigate.
  • ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is the second affiliate program I signed up for. I started seeing sales pretty quickly with this one, although just not as often as NordVPN. The affiliate program setup was smooth and it’s generally easy to use.
  • Perfect Privacy: I signed up for Perfect Privacy’s affiliate program so I could navigate into reviews and content about other VPNs besides NordVPN and ExpressVPN. I had some success early with Perfect Privacy, but didn’t push it like I did with Nord and ExpressVPN.
  • Private Internet Access: Private Internet Access (PIA) was another great affiliate program that I’m glad I signed up for. Again, I saw some early success here, but it quickly fizzed out. PIA has recently shut down my affiliate account for inactivity, so if you want to maintain an account keep in mind that you will need to make some sales.

My First Affiliate Sale

I remember it didn’t take long for me to get my first sale. It was within a few hours after publishing my first post and the commission was $36! I was so excited, because that felt like so much money to earn from something I posted online. I quickly realized the beauty of affiliate marketing – your earnings are unlimited and completely based on your performance. I saw the roadmap to making thousands of dollars a month, or a week, or even in a day.

My VPN Affiliate Earnings

I’ve been promoting VPNs in blog posts since mid-2018. I’ve made over $2000 in those two years. One thing that makes this type of marketing so appealing is that I haven’t created any content about VPNs in over a year, but I still see a few conversions per month.

NordVPN Affiliate Program Earnings

NordVPN Affiliate Stats

NordVPN was my best performing affiliate offer. My personal opinion is that NordVPN has the best landing pages, and they have a number of offers for users in different locations.

Organic Search Traffic Is Incredibly Valuable

When it comes to an e-commerce store or a blog post that is selling affiliate product, organic search traffic is a gold mine. It is so valuable because it is free and continuous. Any sales you get from organic search traffic are 100% profit, because you don’t have to pay for these users to come to your site via ads.

I think if you want to be really successful in the affiliate marketing space, you probably have to use ads. Otherwise, it’s going to be really difficult to rank for competitive, high-value keywords.

My Tips for Anyone Looking to Get Into Affiliate Marketing

  • You don’t need your own website. I got affiliate sales from a number of websites that I didn’t own. The majority of my sales came from posts (like this one) on Medium. Having your own website does give you more control, but if you have a large following on social media or other online platforms you can be successful.
  • Provide valuable content. My early articles were like “NordVPN is the best.” It was easy to see that I was just promoting a product, and as a result these articles didn’t perform well. I quickly adjusted to trying to help people in certain situations that may lead them to purchase a VPN. I started writing resource and how-to posts, and I started to see my sales tick up.
  • Build authority first, then try to sell. I’ve written other posts about this, but I think people will be better off if they try to build a following before trying to dive into affiliate marketing. If you can grow a following of people that trust you, when you finally do promote a product they will be more willing to believe your recommendations.

My Favorite (and Least Favorite) CrossFit Movements

I’ve been writing about my CrossFit journey recently, and I just wanted to share a bit more about the specific movements that are common in CrossFit workouts. There are a few skill-based workouts like muscle-ups and pistol squats that frustrate me right now, but once I nail the movements I may like them. These are the movements I love to see in a workout, followed by the movements I dread.

My Favorite CrossFit Movements

My favorite movements are either those that I excel at, or that I just enjoy doing (even if I’m not great at them).

Rowing: Rowing is a pretty simple movement, but coming into CrossFit I had a few issues with my form. After a couple classes, I fixed my form and instantly loved any workout with rowing in it. I’m pretty strong in most cardio movements, like rowing, running, and biking.

Toes-To-Bar: Toes to bar sucked for awhile, when I just couldn’t seem to string reps together. After a coach at the gym gave me a cue to “shoot my legs down and back” I was able to maintain momentum for multiple reps. Now I can string together 10 kipping reps consistently, and I actually enjoy the movement.

Double Unders: Double under were another movement I struggled with for quite awhile. Whenever double under were prescribed in a workout, I would substitute single unders. Now I’m pretty comfortable with them and I enjoy doing them in workouts and on their own.

Clean and Jerk: I took a weightlifting class in high school and we learned how to clean and jerk. I remember the kid who demonstrated the movement did a perfect clean and split jerk. He caught the bar at the bottom of a deep squat and I was so impressed. Working on my clean and jerk this past year has been fun. I recently got a PR of 195 pounds — although I’m still working towards my goal of 225.

Deadlifts: Deadlifts are simple: pick up a loaded bar and set it down. I’ve been deadlifting for years, but I had hit a plateau. I was stuck at 300 pounds and couldn’t get past it. However this past year at CrossFit I was able to improve my one rep max to 350 pounds.

My Least Favorite CrossFit Movements

My least favorite movements are movements that I haven’t nailed yet, or that I find incredibly difficult.

Box Jump Overs: Box jump overs suck because they are hard (as if other CrossFit movements aren’t). If you make these burpee box jump overs, they are WAY worse. These just tend to be in the middle of workouts that are already hard, and then these proceed to keep my heart rate through the roof.

Snatch: I’m not terrible at the snatch, but I just need to work on this movement a lot more to really nail it. I just haven’t found consistency in the snatch positions yet. I can get the bar up through the first couple pulls, but struggle to catch the bar in a balanced, comfortable position. I don’t like metcons that include snatch, because of the technical nature of the movement (and the potential for injury).

Devil’s Press: Devil’s press is BRUTAL! It’s basically a burpee with dumbbells followed by a dumbbell snatch. Workouts with devil’s press are always hard. Even if it’s just 6-8 reps per round of devil’s press they consistently kick my ass.

Strict Press: Maybe I just struggle with pressing movements in general (bench press, shoulder press, etc.), but strict press is a tough one for me. I feel like over the past year I’ve made very little progress in improving my strength in the strict press. I can do 3-5 reps of 125 pounds for example, but as soon as I jump up in weight I struggle to even get the bar off of my shoulders. According to these strength standards, most of my lifts fall into the “Intermediate” category, but my strict press falls closer to the “novice”. One of my goals for this year will be to improve my strict press.

Pistol Squats: Last, but certainly not my least hated workout: pistols. I struggle with single leg movements like pistols, box step ups and lunges. My right leg is weaker than my left and these movements really punish me for that. This really just means I need to do more of these movements — and I’m going to work on these going forward. We did a workout with pistol squats last week and I did them with a box, so I didn’t have to sit all the way down. As I fatigued, I could hardly complete a single rep with my right leg.


Do you have any tips for me on improving my least favorite movements? Which movements are your favorite and least favorite? Let me know on Twitter.

Why Are There So Many Overweight Kids in The U.S. and What Can We Do About It?

According to the CDC, obesity affected about 13.7 million children and adolescents in the United States in 2016. Unfortunately, the majority of these kids will grow up to be obese adults. These obese adults will then require more healthcare and economic resources than healthy individuals.

Source: https://www.vox.com/2016/8/31/12368246/obesity-america-2018-charts

The Problem is Not Just A Lack of Physical Activity

It can be easy to point to the prevalence of childhood obesity today and say that it’s obviously because of less physical activity. Kids today spend more time playing video games and browsing the internet than they did two decades ago.

Weight gain, and ultimately obesity, is caused by one thing – caloric surplus. Physical activity and exercise is obviously one way to burn calories, but it exercise a smaller role in weight loss than eating less. The “food” comprising the “typical American diet” is not conducive to weight loss whatsoever.

The Typical American Diet Is To Blame

Over the last 30-40 years, the American diet has transformed to include more processed foods, more sugar, and more low-quality calories. Regardless of what Americans are eating, we are just eating too much. As out diet becomes more and more processed, it becomes easier to consume too many calories.

The U.S. Subsidizes The Production of Unhealthy Foods

The federal government spends over $20 billion per year on subsidizing agriculture and farm businesses. According the the Environmental Working Group, the majority of this money goes to the largest producers of corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and rice.

The foods created from these agricultural commodities are some of the least healthy and lowest in nutrients. As the production of these foods continues to be propped up by government funding, small farms growing healthier, organic vegetables and organic, grass-fed meats struggle to compete with the mass production of other food products.

Correlation Between Poverty and Obesity

It is well known that poorer Americans are more likely to be obese or suffer from diabetes; there is a strong negative correlation between household income and both obesity and diabetes.

Source: Science Daily

Sadly, and oddly, in the United States, it is not rich people who are most vulnerable to obesity but poor people. Because of government subsidies of corn and soy, processed foods with these ingredients are cheap and accessible to low-income communities. High consumption of processed food is associated with weight gain and other health problems like diabetes.

Highly processed foods basically hijack our brain’s rewards center, which leads to people overeating these foods. Whole foods, like meats, fruits and vegetables, don’t do this and as a result are less likely to be over-consumed. Whole foods are associated with higher costs, but there are a number of healthy, whole foods that are affordable and can be purchased at any grocery store.

What Are The Incentives To Improve Health?

Agriculture, tech, and food are big industries. If we want to improve the health of Americans, these industries need to adjust to produce better health outcomes. Unfortunately, shifting these massive industries is going to be a slow, gradual change.

Under the current system, there is very little incentive to improve health at the societal level. If people consume less food, require less healthcare, and become more active, the industries that serve these needs will lose out on potential profits.

At the individual level though, the incentives to maintain a healthy lifestyle are countless. You will spend less on healthcare in your lifetime. You will be capable of doing more physical activity. And finally, you will likely live longer.

What I Would Do To Solve Childhood (and Adult) Obesity

I have a few ideas that I would implement, if I were put in charge of a task force to solve the obesity crisis in the United States. I was overweight for the majority of my childhood and I found that it held me back in a number of ways. Today I am fit and healthy and I want to help kids embrace healthy living from a young age to avoid the health and social issues connected with being “a fat kid”.

Step 1: Improve Health & Wellness Education

I was lucky to go to some of the best schools in my state. Although my education was fantastic, I still feel that my knowledge of health and wellness topics was incredibly lacking coming out of high school. The education materials around health and wellness felt outdated and vague.

If we truly want to get rid of childhood obesity, we need to give young people the knowledge they need to get healthy on their own. Although there are plenty of outside factors that influence a person’s health, empowering kids to make their own decisions is essential for making longterm progress.

Step 2: Spread Awareness About Fitness and Performance

There is a very clear connection between health and performance in most cases. If someone is playing a sport, they are going to be more capable and perform better if they are healthy. By getting kids involved in sports, even if they are overweight or not the best on their team, we can help promote healthy habits from a young age.

I’m a strong believer that once you see some progress in something like running, cycling, weightlifting or another sport you will be more likely to stick with it and work to achieve more and more. This worked for me when I found cycling in my teenage years. I overhauled my entire life to help me work towards my cycling goals. The passion I found in cycling allowed me to remain dedicated and even now that I don’t ride my bike that much, I have shifted to other area of fitness.

I hear a lot of people discussing their long-term goals for fitness and performance. I’ve heard people say that they are training for longevity, and I think that is certainly a worthy goal. However, I think dedicating yourself to performing at a high level has more ability to influence people to adopt healthy habits.

Read More: My Journey from Fat Kid to Fitness Freak

Step 3: Build a Network of Fitness/Healthy Lifestyle Mentors

I remember how terrible it was being the fat kid in gym class. But I also know how amazing it felt to finally feel like I was “in shape” and know that I was healthier than I’d ever been. I want to help kids who are struggling with their weight get in shape and learn healthy habits. I think Big Brothers Big Sisters is an amazing organization that helps at-risk youth build relationships with role models in their communities. My goal is to build something like this that focuses on promoting fitness, healthy eating, and good habits in low-income or generally overweight communities.

I’m lucky enough to have encountered a good role model as a child, who helped me see what it looked like to focus on health and fitness. But I know that if I didn’t meet this person, my life may look a lot different. I may have fallen into a life without healthy habits like exercising and eating a healthy diet. One mentor can make a huge difference in a child’s life and I want to spread healthy lifestyles to as many kids as possible.


Have you gone through a lifestyle transformation for the better? If so, what led you to make the changes necessary to improve your health and lifestyle?

How To Get a Marketing Job With No Experience

So you’re interested in marketing? If you love creating content and trying to gain followers on Instagram or TikTok, then marketing is probably a great field for you to go into. While you can probably get an internship without experience, getting a full-time position is more difficult without some experience. However, it is still possible and here are a few things that can give you a better chance of landing a marketing job with no experience.

Get Certifications (Google Analytics, AdWords, Etc.)

If you have no experience, certifications can show potential employers that you have some knowledge and skills to help their business.

Most Valuable Certifications for Marketers

  • Google Ads Certification: Google’s ad network is the largest in the world. If you can successfully set up and manage ad campaigns on Google, you can bring a ton of value to a company. This certificate is an accreditation that Google offers to individuals who are proficient in basic and advanced aspects of Google ads.
  • Google Analytics IQ Certification: Google Analytics is one of the most valuable tools for decision making for marketers. If you’re able to understand where you’re losing potential sales, you can change your website or your sales funnel to keep people around longer. A Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) certification can show potential employers that you’re capable of combing through the data in Google’s Analytics platform.
  • HubSpot Content Marketing Certification: An impressive portfolio of content can replace a certification like this one, but either way this certification from HubSpot is a good place to start. HubSpot’s Content Marketing course will prepare you for any position that requires content marketing skills.
  • Hootsuite Social Marketing Certification: This course from Hootsuite will teach you the fundamentals of social media marketing and how to grow followers, engagement and business results. Hootsuite is a well-known name in the marketing industry and employers will be happy to see this certification on your resume.
  • Facebook BluePrint Certification: Facebook’s BluePrint Certification is for individuals who want to demonstrate advanced-level proficiency in digital marketing and advertising with Facebook’s products. Google and Facebook are the two most-used platforms for digital advertisers.

Put Together a Writing Portfolio

The best marketing requires strong writing skills. If you can at least have a couple examples of your writing, employers will be more willing to take a chance on you despite your lack of experience. I recommend having a few solid examples of blog posts, ad copy, or social media posts that you’ve written.

If you don’t have a personal website or an existing blog to post on, I recommend using Medium as your portfolio site. It is an easy-to-use blogging site that allows anyone to post and it presents your stories in a clean and professional package.

Show That You Can Deliver Results

The great thing about marketing is that you can create your own experience, even if you aren’t getting paid for it. Here are a few steps you can take to illustrate your effectiveness.

Grow an Instagram Account

One strategy that I took to show my social media skills was starting a couple “niche” Instagram accounts and building them to over 10k followers. The accounts didn’t make me any money or anything, but I figure the best way to show that you are versed in social media growth strategies is to grow social media accounts.

Create a Personal Blog or Website

Many of the job listings I looked at after college would have a list of skills that applicants should have. I noticed that many of them also said “knowledge of HTML/CSS is a plus.” The best way I’ve found to develop these skills is to create a website of your own. You can make tweaks and adjustments without worrying about breaking your company’s website.

A website can be a great place to show off any portfolio you may have, as well as showcasing your web design skills.

Do Some Freelance Work

If you don’t have experience, you can still find some ways to get a portfolio together and gain valuable experience quickly. One thing I recommend to young marketers is to do some freelance work, even if you have to work for free.

I did a bit of this when I was in college and after I graduated. I would find friends and family with businesses and see if I could do some social media, web development, or branding work for them. The work wasn’t lucrative, but it gave me a portfolio of work to present on my website.


If you’re looking for a career in marketing, connect with me on LinkedIn and I’d love to connect you with someone in the industry.

Marketing Genius of Spotify Wrapped

At the end of each year, Spotify releases your “Year in Review”. Spotify Wrapped gives you a few statistics about how much you listened to Spotify, your top songs, artists, and genres. This may seem like just a cool feature, but it’s actually a really smart marketing tool.

I recently wrote a post about my personal Spotify Wrapped, and in the midst of writing that I realized the marketing genius behind Spotify’s biggest marketing strategy.

Spotify Interest Spikes at Year End

Below is the Google Trends chart for the search term “Spotify”. Each spike in searches for Spotify comes during the first part of December when Spotify Wrapped is released. As you can see over the past four years, Spotify has seen a bump in interest and searches around the release of their Year in Review content.

Google Trends – Interest in Spotify

I think this chart is a perfect indicator that this end of year marketing strategy is working. And as the Wrapped content has been optimized from year to year, the interest and hype surrounding the content has grown.

Apple Music released a similar feature in 2020 to Spotify Wrapped. Apple’s version is called Replay. Replay resulted in a similar spike in interest to Spotify’s in December 2020.

Spotify Makes Wrapped Content Specifically For Sharing

Spotify embraces psychology to encourage people to share their Wrapped music to their social media. I know that people were posting their Spotify Wrapped in my Instagram feed, and I’m sure you saw at least a couple posts about your friends’ Spotify Year in Review. Wrapped is specifically formatted for mobile devices and allows users to share directly from the app.

Why Spotify Wrapped is So Sharable

  • Surprising Statistics: The statistics for how many minutes you listened to Spotify can be surprising. If you’re a music lover, you may love to share the fact that you listened to music for twice as much as your friends.
  • People Love Their Favorite Music: Spotify has created content that allows people to share their favorite artists and “brag” about their taste in music. This also stimulates conversations around music and Spotify.
  • FOMO (Fear of Missing Out): As people see others sharing their Year in Review posts, they too want to get in on the posting. Someone who isn’t using Spotify may even try the app because they want to have their own Wrapped content to post.
  • Hyper-Targeted, Personal Content: People love seeing content and statistics that apply to them. Spotify does this very well with Wrapped. It gives people playlists to listen to, graphics to share, and statistics about their use of Spotify.

How Wrapped Also Works with Influencers

Spotify Wrapped is not just for listeners. Spotify also creates content for bands and artists who share their music on Spotify. When bands get new statistics about how many people listened to their music, and how long they spent listening, the bands (who likely have large followings of music lovers on social media) can share that content with their fans.

This is influencer marketing, but Spotify doesn’t have to pay the influencers (the bands) the share the Spotify branded content.

Examples of Spotify Wrapped – Top Songs & Artists

Spotify Wrapped Top Artist
Spotify Wrapped Top Artist
Spotify Wrapped Top Songs
Spotify Wrapped Top Songs
Spotify 2020 Wrapped
Spotify 2020 Wrapped

Which marketing tactics have stood out to you recently? Let me know on Twitter.

My Spotify 2020 Wrapped

At the end of every year Spotify gives users “Wrapped”, which summarizes the music and podcasts you listened to that year. I think Spotify Wrapped is a really smart marketing tactic, as it gives users sharable content which helps promote Spotify on social media (and now on my blog).

How To Find Your Spotify Wrapped 2020

If you’re looking for your Spotify Wrapped for 2020, this video explains how to find your top artists, songs, and podcasts of the year.

Continue reading “My Spotify 2020 Wrapped”

Best Finance Books for Young People Who Want to Be Rich

If you’re young and you’ve recently started your first “real job” you might be going through a scenario that I went through a few years ago. I wanted to know how to grow the money I was earning from my job. I had very little knowledge other than a few quick things I’d read online.

I made a few stupid investments, trying to chase big returns and “get rich” quickly. Then I decided it was time to educate myself and make smart money decisions. These are a few of the books that really made a difference in how I make decisions about money.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich Cover

I first came across Ramit Sethi on The Tim Ferris Show podcast. He discussed his main principles for generating wealth, managing money, and investing intelligently. Sethi’s book I Will Teach You To Be Rich is a step by step guide to achieving financial freedom.

The finance industry is littered with gurus who claim to have the best method for quick gains in the stock market, or which cryptocurrency is the next one to explode in price. Sethi is a welcome voice of reason when it comes to investing for the long-term, prioritizing certain financial goals, and optimizing your career.

Ramit Sethi’s Key Points

  1. Establish a Good Credit History
  2. Manage Your Debt
  3. Establish Emergency Savings Fund
  4. Start Investing As Soon as Possible
  5. Track your spending. Spend Consciously.
  6. Automate Your Saving and Investing
  7. Invest Intelligently
  8. Maximize Your Income
  9. Save Money on Major Purchases

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

Rich Dad Poor Dad Cover

I’ve listened to quite a few Robert Kiyosaki podcasts and I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of the financial advice he gives. He takes a very conservative approach to investing, like recommending investing in gold and real estate. However, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is full of great money advice and really focuses on “rich” and “poor” ways of thinking about money.

Kiyosaki discusses how his father had a very “poor” mindset about money. His father treated money like a limited resource that he had to hold onto and protect as much as possible. His friend’s father (referred to as “rich dad”) had a completely opposite way of thinking about money. He approached money as an infinite resource that could be acquired easily, and as a tool for building and creating new ways to make money.

I realized that I was holding onto some assumptions that I had about money that weren’t optimal for maximizing the money I already had as well as my future earnings.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek is less about investing money and more about rethinking the way that we earn money. Ferriss explains how charging people for your time is incredibly limiting. There are only so many workable hours in the day, so you will eventually reach a limit of how much money you earn if you are charging by the hour.

The 4-Hour Workweek talks about how outsourcing certain tasks, starting online businesses, and working towards passive income can drastically increase your wealth and your happiness.

Bonus: The Very, Very Rich and How They Got That Way by Max Gunther

I read this book about a year ago and found it really useful for framing the way that MASSIVE wealth is created. This book details the journeys of some of the most notorious multi-millionaires in history. It shares stories of how Conrad Hilton, Howard Hughes, and others took rather straightforward ideas and pursued them with enough commitment and passion to turn them into multi-million dollar businesses.

This book is less useful for learning personal finance principles, but I still enjoyed these business magnates’ stories.