Ramit Sethi — Automating Finances, Negotiating Prenups, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Ramit Sethi — Automating Finances, Negotiating Prenups, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show".


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Intro (00:00)

Well hello boys and girls, this is Tim Ferriss, welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferriss Show, where does my job to interview and dissect world-class performers and all around funny people. Like my guest today, and I'm gonna butcher his name even though I've known him for a thousand years, Ramit Saiti, that's R-A-M-I-T-S-E-T-H-I, author of the New York Times bestseller, "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" has become a financial guru to millions of readers in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Gotta make sure I don't disqualify myself soon. He started his website, I will teach you to be rich.com as a Stanford undergrad in 2004, and he now hosts more than a million readers per month on his blog, newsletter and social media. Ramit and his team of dozens of employees build premium digital products about personal finance, entrepreneurship, psychology, careers and personal development for top performers. The IWT community includes 1 million monthly readers, 400,000 plus newsletter subscribers and 35,000 premium customers.

Ramit'S Journey And Perspectives On Wealth

Ramit and his work (01:02)

He has written about personal finance for the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and has been interviewed on dozens of media outlets including NPR, ABC News, CNBC and the Tim Ferriss Show. Welcome back to the show, Ramit. Thanks a lot, it's great to be here. And you can find Ramit if you want to say hello, ask a question or yell at him on Twitter @Ramit, R-A-M-I-T and Instagram @Ramit. So I thought we could start with the floor mats. Maybe you could tell me about your dad and the floor mats. You wanna start there? Yeah, all right. So you know how you grow up and you discover that your parents did things a little differently and you just thought it was normal? I thought it was normal to take 5 days to buy a car. Because that's what my dad would do. My mom would stay home, my dad would take us, he would take a couple of the kids in my family, including me, and we would go to the dealer. It was always Honda or Toyota, you know that. And we would start looking around and my dad would play very innocent. Like he didn't know anything about cars. My dad knew everything. He knew how much the dealer was paying, how much the holdback was, everything. So we'd go, we'd test drive it, he wouldn't be sure, "Dada da." And then we'd stay there for 4 or 5 hours and he'd say, "Okay, I'm gonna think about it." The car dealer spent like 5 hours with my dad. He goes, "No thanks, this price isn't good. I'm gonna go." They're like, "What?" So we literally left. Then we go back the next day. Like we're basically having breakfast at the dealership. And I remember one time we were buying a car for our family and it was like the fourth day. Okay, again, I thought that this was normal. And we're down to the last bit. We're the part where the dealer's drawing the numbers, you know, and telling you like, "Well, it's actually a really good deal." And my dad, you know, he knows the math. He's an engineer, of course. And finally, we've closed the deal and my dad goes, "You're gonna throw in free floor mats, right?" These are 50 bucks. And the guy's like, "Sir, we're losing money on this car. How can we throw these floor mats?" And my dad says, "I'm out of here." And we just walked up and left. And I was like a Vietnam vet. I'm just shell-shocked walking out. My eyes are just glazed over. And I'm like, "We just spent a week buying this car." And we walked out of here over 50 dollar floor mats. So that's where I learned to negotiate in the most elite negotiation of all. Now, where are your parents from? They're from India. And are they first generation? They immigrated to the US. Yep, they came here in the 70s. My dad came here actually to study.

Parents immigrated to the US (03:49)

He went back to India. And it was known that he was coming back. He was a bachelor. And they sort of arranged things so that he meets people when he comes back. And it passed around the community that this bachelor's coming back. And he ended up meeting my mom. They met by both families coming together in a living room and talking. And they met each other. The families decided it was a good thing. Seven days later, they were married. My mom got on a plane and flew to the US for the first time. And they've been married for about 40 years now. Amazing. We have so much to talk about and so much to catch up on. And so many questions that I want to ask. But I thought we could start and certainly we'll bounce all over the place. But you said before we started recording, because you have a new edition of your book, "I Will Teach You to Be Rich." Noticeably lacking a photograph of you barefoot on the cover. And you have some incredible quotes and testimonials I should say, including from Burton Malkiel, author of "Ran and Walk Down Wall Street." But you said to me, because I haven't read the introduction, that you either should have started it or you did start it with, "I was right." Could you explain? Please explain.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich (05:08)

Okay. So this book, "I Will Teach You to Be Rich" originally came out in March 2009. And let's just dispense with the idea, the name sounds like a scam. We both know we write books that sound like scams, but they're not. I mean, it's like a running, and I've just learned to embrace it. Guys, it's the weird sounding book, but it's actually good advice. And in the first edition, I talked about long-term investing, low-cost investing, thinking about really automating your money and using psychology against yourself for positive results. Now, if you had followed that advice, it turns out that when the book came out in March 2009, that was the absolute bottom of the recession. Crazy enough. Now, I don't believe in market timing, but if you had used the advice in the book, this $10 book, you would be set for life. So I started book off by saying, "Well, I was right. Let me tell you all the things that would have happened if you'd used this book." I did get a couple of things wrong. I had to change. One of them, man, the biggest mistake of my life was putting in interest rates in the book. Like, no. Okay. Do you remember what was-- Sounds like me putting doing market testing with magazines in the world.

Saving money (06:14)

Oh, my God. Okay. So I put in-- back then, savings rates were 5%. Remember, these banks were paying 5%. So I was like, "Guys, 5%, here's the math." And then the minute the book came out, they dropped to 4, 3, 2, and then 0.5%. Now, the point of it is you don't make money on your savings account anyway.

You pay to not be irritated by people Criticizing Your Investing Strategy (06:36)

We're talking about $21 a year or a month versus $4. It's irrelevant. It's tiny details. Every day for the last decade, I've gotten 10 emails a day that are like, "Fuck you! Where's the 5% you talked about you liar?" And so I'm like, "Never again. I'm never putting interest rates in this book again." So I took them out. I clarified it. I corrected a couple of things that I wanted to update, and I added like 80 new pages of material. So things have changed a bit, but good advice really shouldn't change that much. Now, I've had a chance to observe you as sort of an animal in the wild for 10 plus years, and part of the reason I enjoy having our conversations, but also sharing your tactics and scripts and so on, is that I've seen you use them and walk the walk, which is more than I can say for a lot of financial pundits or commentators out there in the world. And I wanted to perhaps just mention a, not really an upsell, maybe a sidesell, which is if somebody wants to be either greatly informed on the arts of negotiating, or if you're just looking for outrage porn to get really angry, if that's your current sport of choice. You can find a guest post that you put on my blog quite a few years ago called "How to Negotiate like an Indian." Which I can only imagine the response to that title if I were to publish it now, but it's staying the way it is, folks. So there you have it. If you want to Google that on Tim.blog, you can find it. But let's talk about some of the perhaps counterintuitive things that you do, because we talk about all sorts of aspects of finance and investing in life in general on the phone, just the two of us. But I'm looking at a number of different bullets that I was hoping to explore. And one is, you've mentioned that you've lived in the same apartment for 10 years. Why do you still rent? Yeah, I get this question a lot because in America, real estate is religion. And if you're successful, then you're supposed to buy, right? And the old tax deduction, and they're not making any more land, and all these things that we say that we don't really understand. I rent intentionally. I could go buy a place in Manhattan tomorrow with cash. But I don't want to. It doesn't make sense for me financially. And also, I enjoy the flexibility. Just to give you an example, I love that the building that I live in has awesome services. I love that anything that goes wrong when I make a phone call. It started raining last winter, and water started coming through my windowsill. So I made a phone call, and they came up, and they took a look, and they were like, "We actually have to replace this part of the roof because it connects, and we have to send someone to the outside of the building." I said, "Sounds good to me. It doesn't matter to me. I'm going to be out of town for the next few days, so have a blast." I would estimate that that repair probably cost in Manhattan on a weekend, probably $25,000, maybe $35,000. I didn't pay it, right? So that's financial. Also, a flexibility issue, which is, I don't know where I'm going to be five years from now. And if you're going to buy and you run the numbers, it makes sense to plan on being there at least seven to 10 years minimum, so that you can sort of eat the cost of the transaction fees. I think the biggest thing that really surprises people is that in America, we have been told so many times, real estate is the best investment. And in my opinion, that's just not true a lot of the time. Now, I don't think it's a bad investment always, but I always say you should run the numbers. And when I run the numbers in Manhattan, it just makes no sense. I would rather take that money and I would put it in the stock market. And I know consistently what that outcome is going to be over the long term. I don't have to do any repairs. And as we may talk about, I really hate anything that affects my convenience. So I think for a lot of people, I just want people to think like, hey, is it really true that real estate is the best investment? For me, it's not. It's a cost. And I'm happy to pay the cost just like I'm happy to pay the cost of, you know, a basket of strawberries that I'm going to eat. I don't think I'm throwing money away on strawberries. I don't think I'm throwing money away on rent. So you said real estate is religion or it can be. And I think this is worth digging into for a second because there are a lot of statements that in certain circumstances can be conditionally true, right? Like real estate is the best investment, asterisk, fine print, if. Yes. A, B, C, D, E, right? And there are then there are things that are just patently, I think, untrue, right? Like you need money to make money. False. It's who you know, not what you know. Yep. False dichotomy, not mutually exclusive. Investing is only for the rich. Right. Ironically, the way you get rich is by investing. And there are a lot of different ways to invest, right? So one, perhaps undertone or portion of context that I think is worth talking about because I've been thinking a lot about this myself in the last 10 years is that there are investments that you make to optimize for financial ROI. And then there are investments that you make which are decisions about allocating resources for optimizing other things, right? So I'll give just a perfectly seemingly opposite example, which is I have bought real estate.

Going it alone v renting & Paying Off Your Mortgage (12:15)

I've also had my ass handed to me a year and a half before your book count. In fact, hello adjustable rate mortgage first home buyer. Oh, yeah, that was that was ugly. But I have bought real estate. Typically, I have used mortgages of various types. And I had a friend of mine, a different Indian who was also first generation. Who is this guy? We all know each other. Naveen Takaram. Okay. So thank you, Naveen, for this advice, by the way, who I've known for ages. Also an engineer, brilliant guy. And we were looking through different financial decisions because, and I want to talk about kind of what got you here, won't get you where you want to go type changes, right? Because I imagine you do things very differently from your parents. Totally. Even though their behavior makes perfect sense based on their conditioning and their experience. What he said to me, looking at my balance sheet, there's a small amount of principal left to pay on a mortgage. And he said, just for your peace of mind, for this primary residence, it doesn't make financial sense. You should pay this off so that you feel as though no matter what, you have that. And it's almost like a homestead, right? You have something that on many levels cannot be taken away. That's how you feel. And I did that.

Nuance (13:46)

Not saying this is the advice that everybody should take, by the way. But for me in that moment, there was so much uncertainty in my life to make a decision that seemingly did not let the numbers line up was in fact the right thing to do. I completely agree. I'm so glad we're talking about the nuance because I believe there's a few underlying beliefs when it comes to money. And I believe that number one, most people are mostly the same. And that's profoundly different than a lot of people who believe that we're all individual and we have different situations. No, I believe that most of us are mostly the same. And if we can optimize, if we can basically just follow good advice for 90, 95% of the way, then we earn the right to take advantage of our individual specialties and differences. So for most people, that means saving a certain percentage, investing a certain percentage, et cetera. But I do think once you do the basics, then you earn the right to say, hey, what are the nuances here? Where do the rules not necessarily apply to me? So for you, yeah, you have the principle, maybe financially it didn't make sense, but it just felt good or it provided safety in an uncertain world at that moment.

Experiences (14:50)

I've got examples in my own life where I pay for stuff that makes no rational sense. I hired a personal trainer for the last many years. That doesn't make any sense. I could theoretically find the same workouts on YouTube. You know, they're all printed out or I could just stop going with my trainer. Why? He's giving me all the workouts. But there's something more that I get out of it. And when I was starting out, when I was like 22, I wish I could go back and shake myself, because I was very utilitarian and really judgmental about how other people spent their money. And I would scoff. I would say, you know, flying business class is so stupid. We're all getting to the same place. I'm just paying 20% of what that person's paying. And what I really should have done is say, why do they do that? Like, if we're listening to you right now saying, you paid off a principle where you really didn't have to, you could have just dripped it out. You're not paying much in interest. Why? And for you, that safety was meaningful. For me, I like the flexibility and convenience. So I'm not saying, don't ever buy a real estate and you're not saying buy it or pay it off tomorrow. But what are the circumstances in which people who are otherwise probably pretty thoughtful make certain decisions? And the mistake that I've in retrospect made a lot when I was younger, and I think that's also in part because I grew up with, by necessity, very, very frugal parents, is sounds like much like yourself. I would scoff at and sort of look down upon a lot of behaviors that had I actually looked closer and said, what am I missing? Right? All right. A bunch of wealthy people are doing acts. Yeah. Well, they must know something. Now, I'm like, holy shit, I can't believe I missed it for like 20 or 30 years. Like it actually makes a whole lot of sense. Okay. So let's talk about what are some examples. Yeah. What are some things that you scoffed at in your early, let's say teens or 20s, that now you're like, oh, I get it. Well, and I don't want this to sound obnoxious to folks because we're going to start to, we've gone through many kind of checkpoints, right? Like we've, you and I have been very fortunate and we've made some good decisions, had a healthy dose of luck. But I'll give you an example because you just mentioned business class. All right. Like my assistant I have today, my primary full-time assistant, still remembers when Tim, this is not that long ago, would get a middle seat economy class ticket, right? Right. Because I remember when I first had people reach out to me about paid speaking engagements, which seemed completely absurd at the time. Number one, I said yes to everything. So I was like, what people are going to pay me to speak? Yeah, sure. Yes. To everything. All the above. And one of the options that I realized was available at one point was they could buy the tickets for me, which was if negotiated by speaking Asian or something, usually business or first class or they could give me the cash expected for first class ticket. And then I could just pocket it via middle class economy, see, which I did once to Australia. For a speaking gig, that was an exciting, I mean, at the time, kind of my high watermark, right? Yeah. Like it was a very important gig. It was critical that I do well at the speaking engagement. And I sat like, you know, my hinged 90 degrees at the hip in a middle seat with like my arms thrust in front of me like a cadaver, like a Dracula for whatever, right? Like 18 hours and got there and I was just pounded hamburger meat for like three days. And I said, okay, that was very penny wise and extremely pound foolish. So that would be one example. And I think that's the broader category of protecting the physical asset. Yeah.

Partying like a millionaire (18:50)

What I like about these examples, like I don't find them shallow to discuss. I think that each of us, no matter what level of your success has gone from a certain place in life when you're in your early twenties to a different place, right? I used to read PC mag and think about what parts to build my own computer. Now I just go buy a Mac. Like it's as simple as that. And, you know, I haven't kept up and it's just not a good use of my time. I just want someone else to make the decision for me. And it doesn't matter whether you're buying first class tickets internationally or you're going to a restaurant instead of cooking food for yourself one night, you know, one night a week or a month. We all intuitively know that as you change in life, you're going to your spending is going to change. So I actually don't think anyone should listen to your example of a middle, middle seat and say, like, oh my God, like must be nice to be Tim or for me, you know, I have an assistant as well, must be nice. It is nice. But you might have money and you don't choose to spend it like that. You choose to spend it on something else. I have a student of mine in this book who used the book. He told me he retired at 35 and his wife retired.

Frugality lens (19:58)

They're 35 and 36 and they drive around in an RV. That's their rich life. That is not my rich life. But to him, that's his rich life. So when I was back in my 20s, what I wish I would have done was to look at people who had succeeded in the ways that I could conceive myself succeeding. Like I would have never seen myself in an RV. So maybe I didn't have something to learn from that person. But if I was really introspective and if I were really curious, I would have said to him, like, how'd you do it? What'd you do? And why did you choose of all the things to live to travel in an RV? If I had done that, I would have put myself aside and all these things that we love to define ourselves are, which by the way is interesting. People love to define themselves by what they're not as opposed to what they want. So you see it on dating profiles everywhere. Don't message me if. Or people say, I would never do that if I had a million dollars. Well, you don't have to worry about having a million dollars because when you define yourself by what you're not, you won't get there. When you choose what you would want to do, now it becomes, okay, cool. Like, I want this. I want that. How can I work to get it? So I wish I would have reframed the way that I thought about money and psychology earlier on. How do the frameworks or rules, guidelines, anything that you use for financial decisions? Differ from those you absorbed from your parents or other people when you were younger. There are a number of different ways to approach that, right? We could look at the approaches you used to, you mentioned a million bucks, to get to your first million versus what you used after that point. Because if it's anything like my experience, very different. Totally. But I'll let you tackle that any way you like because I think what's, if people could take one thing from this conversation, it would be test your assumptions and try to be aware. And it takes a lot of effort and practice of what rules you're following or biases you have that you arrived at through logic and reasoning versus having simply absorbed over the course of like bouncing around like a pinball and a pinball machine in this thing we call life for the last 20, 30, 40 years. Because those are not your rules. There's somebody else's. Yeah. I call them invisible scripts. These are the scripts that run our lives and they're so deeply embedded in us that they are invisible to us. And you see it, one invisible script that I grew up with was education is always good. And I believe that. I believe that's a positive invisible script. I think that's a really good one. I'm all for education, self-development. That's what I do for my business and in my life. I also grew up with things like you shouldn't pay for that. We could do it ourselves. Yeah, me too. All right. Yeah. And so, and it really trickles down in lots of peculiar ways. So there are some ways that I really love. When we used to take vacations, our vacation was mostly driving from where we lived in Northern California to LA. We would visit family. My mom would pack lunches and we would stop on the way and eat. And what I love about that is like we didn't need any fancy food. Like we were a family. We spent time together. That was vacation for us. I didn't know what it was like to stay at a fancy hotel. In fact, I never ordered room service until I was like 20 years old on an interviewing trip for Microsoft. So I like that. I like knowing that I grew up a little hungry. Not physically, but just knowing like, oh cool, like we're happy, we're good. There's another level. You know, we can't quite do it right now, but we're happy. But I think I also grew up with some beliefs that I've shed or changed. Some of them would be like being really conservative with my job. Like if I had followed all the paths in life, I'd be sitting here wearing like a very oversized Cisco engineer t-shirt and just, you know, I'd be telling you about my sales engineering stuff. Like it's a conservative go get a good job, etc. And as I got older and I started making different choices, my parents were supportive, but they were a little surprised. I think on the financial side, I didn't really understand why people would pay more. Why pay more when you can pay less? But there's a famous quote from Dan Kennedy. He says, why pay less when you can pay more? Total flip of the equation. So whether that applies. Who's Dan Kennedy? Dan Kennedy is a famous marketing consultant and he has a great book out about marketing to the affluent, which if you read it, it can be a bit abrasive, but it's also like a very eye-opening, shocking book because what he points out, see, most people go through life with a lens, I call it a money lens. They put a pair of glasses on and they look at the world through a frugality lens. How can I save money? And you see this in lots of ways. If you say, oh, that's a really nice jacket, where'd you get it? They'll tell you and they'll say, I got it on sale or I got it for 50% off. That's interesting.

What elements prevent people from reaching their financial goals? (24:52)

But if you talk to somebody who bought like an absolute, like a something they love, this, they went to Italy and got this perfect jacket that was handcrafted, they would never say, I got it for 50% off. They have a different lens, maybe craftsmanship. I grew up with the frugality lens. Everything was about cost. Growing up now, it's also about value. So as Dan Kennedy says, why pay less when you can pay more? If you're going to have an amazing anniversary dinner, perhaps that's the place you don't need to save 50%. Perhaps you actually want to spend more to create a memory you will never forget. Dan Kennedy, interesting guy. I've never met him, but one of his books, some blank on the name, we'll put it in the show notes at Tim.blog/podcast. But it's something like million dollar ideas or how to make the most or find your own million dollar ideas. And it was, as I recall it, a collection of different business ideas and examples, which was really useful for also removing the financial lens that I would have had on at the time, which was you make money doing A, B, or C, which happened to be whatever three things I had seen, maybe around me, and to show just how flexible the approaches can be. And I'd love to hear a bit since you have such a great sample set of students. What are some of the psychological blind spots or rules that most prevent people from reaching their financial goals? And I want to touch on, so think about that, I want to touch on one thing you said, which was frugality. And having grown up with a definite frugality lens, I think this is worth commenting on. That is, frugality has its place. You don't want to just be flying blind because, you know, what is it, a fool and his money are soon separated? I mean, it's like, no matter how much money you have, you can spend it all. And I've seen this a lot. It's not hard. So you have to have a means of assessing what is worth spending money on and what is not. However, if you make, let's just say, 20, 30, 40, $50,000 a year, fill in the number, but let's just say $50,000 a year. If you want to reach all of your financial goals by cutting costs, the maximum amount that you can cut is $50,000. At which point you've got a t-shirt and you're a wandering aesthetic begging for food and so on. So there is, by definition, a limit to the delta you can create between the money you spend and the money you have. Whereas if you have an equal focus on income generation, or even disproportionate focus on income generation, sky's the limit in a sense. So that would be one where I was trained to cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut. But if you're not simultaneously looking at income generation or increasing income, it can be really problematic. 100%. That's why most of America and most of the world has the frugality lens on. There's a limit to how much you can cut, but no limit to how much you can earn. And if you think about the typical financial advice, it's a very pointed question to ask, why don't any of the so-called financial experts in the newspapers talk about how to earn more money? And the answer is they don't know how. That's not their job. They're writers. So to be able to understand that you do need to manage your costs, for example, there are a lot of things I do in my life that are highly frugal, highly, especially for the income that I have. And I just, it's not of interest to me. But I also-- Like what? Like my wife makes fun of me because I run my entire business on a MacBook Air. And I put my feet up on the table. I got my thing on my lap. And she's like, why don't you get a new computer? Like that fan is so loud. And I had to-- How long have you had it? So that's what I wanted to find out. I went to the Apple thing in the top left corner, and it shows you when you bought it. It's seven years old. But like, it still works. So I don't want another one. And also when I grew up, this comes from my childhood, we didn't buy a new computer unless the other one did not turn on. So I've kept that with me. And I like having little places in my life where I intentionally imposed scarcity. I think it's healthy. I think it's healthy to have restraint. I think it's healthy to build that discipline. If you just go out and buy everything you can, I think you're on a quick path to a bad place. You're also aware that you're doing it. Yeah. Right. Yes. Exactly. So exactly. Another example is I hardly ever eat out at all.

Where should people cut back and focus extravagently on certain things? (29:52)

And that's a big change from 10 years-- Well, I was single. And I was seamless. Like my seamless receipts are just like through the roof. Seamless is an online delivery service in New York. Everybody there uses it. And now for health reasons, and also just for cost reasons as well, we like to cut back on that. Yeah. But I spend more on things. So I always like to spend extravagantly on the things I love, but cut costs mercilessly on the things I don't, mercilessly. So I like that. I actually would-- I think a lot of people kind of try to cut back a little bit here and a little bit there, and they just end up generally unhappy about it. I would actually encourage people to pick the area-- I call it a money dial-- pick the area of your life that you truly love spending money on. Like, let's do a quick exercise. What's the area of life that you love? It gives you joy to spend money on. Travel? Travel and food, per se. Whether I cook at home or I go out, I would say. And now you had a Veracruz breakfast taco this morning, which was amazing. Not expensive. No, I loved it. But delicious. At the same time, I could go to, say, San Francisco to like, Seisson. There you go. And enjoy that as an experience. So those would be two areas-- travel and food. Perfect. So let's do this now. A lot of people say travel. It's one of the most common ones. Mine is convenience. I like my life to be super convenient. So I've spent a lot of money and time engineering that. Now, let's take your money dial, travel, and like a stereo dial, let's turn it up. Let's say, just for easy math, that you spend $100 a month on travel. Again, easy math. What if you 10x that? Or let's say you 100x that. What would travel look like for you different than what you do now? Let's see. Well, it would probably mean that I have-- which quite honestly I've thought about, because I've had some-- given some of the gnarly, crazy places I go, I've had some catastrophes and near catastrophes. I would probably have a fixer on the ground each place I went.

Spending Money And The Concept Of Convenience Vs Sacrifice

Something you spend money on but dont really care about (32:00)

I would have somebody who is on call and available to effectively fix any problem or tackle any challenge or want that came up. I love that. Anything else? That's the one that comes to mind. That's the one that comes to mind. All right. Now, what's something in your life that you spend money on, but you don't really care. It doesn't make that much of a meaningful difference to you. Clothing. Perfect. Okay. So this is-- you'll find this-- My fans have given me unending gray form. You know my wife is a personal stylist. Oh, man. All right. She won't like my budget. We're talking about this. Okay. So I love this exercise. There are about 10 money dials that I've identified. Travel is a big one. Convenience is very rare. There's health and fitness. There's relationships. There's a few more. What I like to see people doing is actually spending more on the thing they love. Health and fitness is the one where I would ratchet it up. Okay.

What if you could 10 times your current money dial? (33:02)

That's where I would turn the dial on the heart. What would you do? I would actually get a trainer, which I do not have currently. I have different trainers for different things, but it's all alicart. Nothing has been prepaid or pre-scheduled, which is an issue. Right? I suspect that part of the reason-- tell me if I'm wrong-- that you like having a trainer is the accountability and the regularity. 100%. And I would like to do that. Okay. I love this. By the way, whenever you ask someone about their money dial, you can just see their face light up. Yeah. Right? Because they love it. I love-- I love-- I'm obsessed talking about how I have built my life around convenience. I'll take you through every last detail. You can see the joy in my eyes. So what I love to do is for people to dream big. If it's travel, it's not just like adding an extra 10%. It's like 10xing it. What would that look like? And then in order to get there, whether it's 2X5X10X, what would you be willing to cut back on? And suddenly, people start to realize that money actually should be bifurcated. It should be highly bifurcated. It's spending very little on the things you don't like and going extravagant on the things you do. And when you start to think this way, now your rich life becomes way more specific and meaningful to you as opposed to me. I don't need a fixer because I don't travel at those kind of places and I don't do the kind of traveling you do. But for me, I want even more convenience. And now, I want a different type of travel now that I'm married. So these are things that I want everyone to think about. What's your money dial and what if you could 10x it? And this is valuable also just for people who may be listening and going, "Ugh, waste of time. I don't have the money to spend 10x on it." Whatever the pushback might be is a thought exercise. This is very valuable. In the same way that when I wrote my last book, I asked myself if I only had a month, actually for the last two books. If I only had a month to write this book, how would I do it? Oh, really? What would it look like? And 90% of the ideas were terrible. But then there were 10 that made the process I was planning on already. Two, three, four, five times more efficient. So the question itself might seem absurd, but many of the ideas end up being extremely practical. Let's talk about convenience. So what are some of the things that you do or have found disproportionately rewarding, gratifying from a convenience standpoint? Okay, I'll tell you, but it's going to sound weird because to me, this is truly joyful and to other people, I'm going to sound like a lunatic. But this is my rich life, so I'm going to break it down. I wake up in the morning and by the time I wake up early, we started waking up at six after we went on our honeymoon. We were waking up early for safari and then we both kind of looked at each other and were like, "Do you want to keep doing this?" And so we do. We sleep around 9.30, 10, wake up at six, and by the time I get start working, I just open up my calendar and I double click on whatever's in the morning. It's usually writing in the morning and everything is like perfectly organized.

Convenience vs. Sacrifice (36:05)

The link is there. I click the link. The document is ready to go with exactly the right information. It's all organized. Like there's nothing left to chance.

Musum + for workouts (36:19)

There's no documents over here. There's no files over there. It's all in its place. You've prepared this in advance? My assistant has. And my team has. So that has all been engineered. And I do believe that the best morning routine is decided the day before, the week before, even the year before. So by the time I get there, it's just ready to go. It's like a chef walking in. Musum plus. Exactly. And everything's in its place. So I love that.

Scheduling with Jill (36:43)

Then on a day-to-day basis, things like scheduling, my assistant Jill handles it. She's fantastic. And even when I was coming here, I walked outside to get it. Uber or taxi. And I didn't even know what airport I was going to. I just knew that when I double-click my calendar, it would tell me. So it's all taken care of. Finally, a couple other examples. When I travel, especially for an extended period of time, we have something called the travel protocol.

The Travel Protocol (37:10)

And Jill activates the travel protocol. That means my plants get watered if they need to be. That means that she handles email in a different way. That means that all these details that I normally attend to when I'm in the office are now attended to by somebody else. Let's get super boring. Not for me, not for you, but maybe for some people. Is this a checklist that lives in a Google document? Where does that protocol, once you click on go-go gadget travel, where do the instructions live?

Travel And Vip Experiences

People might say whoville is risky (37:43)

Because let's say Jill is sick. And somebody needs to fill in. We don't have to get into that complexity if necessary. But the instructions. Yeah, they're in a Google Doc. There's a Google Doc that's roughly 25 or so pages of preferences. Like when I travel, if I'm traveling over five hours, I want to sit in this type of seat. It's all lives there and it's updated. So it's a live living document. One recent thing that I updated was, when I travel for a longer period of time, I want to have food delivered to my hotel.

When I travel (38:15)

So I can try to stay generally on diet. So I'll get to the hotel and they'll have a Whole Foods bag there delivered with food that I know that I can kind of eat on the go. And it's got a spoon too. Because the first time we did it, there was no spoon. And there are no spoons in a hotel room, which I had to learn myself. So it's like a lot of iteration. But to me, I don't find it annoying. I actually love it because I'm like cracking the code of what it takes for me to be really efficient. So it lives in a Google Doc. If my assistant were sick for some reason, she would transition it to someone else. And so it's accessible to anyone at the company and we just go from there.

Travel experience upgrades at no additional cost. (38:50)

I want to mention something because I'm extremely particular about preferences for travel. So hotel room, not near an ice machine, not near the elevators. I have very particular thoughts on if it's a hip, cool hotel with a really loud lobby, certain max heights, but take into account fire escapes. And so I mean, I have a whole set of preferences. I love this. But when you let's just say that somebody listening as a thought exercise had dialed up their travel, money dial, what you realize is that in some cases, the things you would expect to be expensive or problems you would expect to be expensive to fix are not expensive. Like the whole foods example. It's so cheap. So you could do whole foods made, do its own delivery. If not, perhaps insta cart, if not, in a place like Austin, you could use favor. There are really inexpensive ways to do this. To give you an example, so I still do ice baths. And I didn't have what I have now, which is this somewhat risky MacGyver cold plunge that I've engineered, which you have to make sure you've unplugged before you get in. But before that, when I was living in San Francisco, I had ice delivered. Or I would have ice picked up. I would usually stop at a gas station after the gym and pack my trunk full of ice. Which was a huge pain in the ass. And then I realized, wait a second, at the time, insta cart will deliver like 60 pounds of ice for five bucks. And I was like, I am that asshole. I'm the guy who's like, can I order kettlebells on Amazon Prime? I get them shipped for free. So I don't have to pay like twice the cost. Yeah. And lo and behold, I was able to do it. So the solutions, even if you brainstorm them in a wealth exercise, do not always end up being expensive. 100%. That's why I'm so glad you said a few minutes ago, don't scoff at the mental exercise. Like, oh, I don't have enough money. Like dream big dream the dream of what your money dial is at 10x. But the solutions are often so simple. Every time I travel, I will post a video on Instagram of the food that was delivered. And it's like classic stuff. It's like yogurt. It's stuff that we all eat. It's yogurt. It's some almonds, maybe a peanut butter thing. And people are like, what service did you use? That's the question. What service? And I'm like, the service doesn't matter. You could find somebody on Craigslist. This is like a $20 purchase, $20 that can change your life. And in order to get there, you just have to start with the dream. It's the money is like really the last of it. So this $20, this is my, I have a very good assistant. And it's taken quite a bit of time. And it's not something you necessarily get right off the bat. And you don't need an assistant for this. But she said to me at one point, she's like, Tim, I don't know when this was. It was not that long ago. She's like, Tim, just travel with a role of 20s. And you can solve almost any problem. And I was like, that's a good idea. And I'll give you another example of a lifestyle upgrade that does not cost a lot of money. If you go out to restaurants, choose a restaurant. You think you're really going to like go to that restaurant not on the weekend. So say between Monday and Thursday, go either early, preferably like right when they start for dinner service, sit by yourself.

Restaurant experiences that can become VIP status at no additional cost. (42:21)

And again, this is kind of a one time investment. Go there for a week. This is also stuff I picked up when I was riding the four hour chef. Because I would go in with a little notebook and I would order a bunch of stuff. And I would take little notes and they're like, who the fuck is this guy? Right? Number one, but they, the chef typically at that point is not going to be as loaded, not on booze, although that happens too. But on like 52 menus open at once, that's not going to happen at five or five 30. So they might take an interest and the matriety might take an interest in you. Order all sorts of stuff to try. And then tip like 40%. And do that three days in a row and you are forever VIP at that restaurant. Oh wow. So I like that little insight, the 40% is not that surprising, but the three days in a row, do it a couple of days in a row. So people get to know you, you get to know them. Wow. And like you're VIP for life. Okay. And sit at the pass if you can. So if there's a chef's table or a counter where you can see the kitchen, sit there because most people will never ask for that. I love this. Okay. I love how to take a mundane experience like a restaurant and turn it into something special. So thank you for sharing that. Let me share a couple of my own. I had two experiences, one where we, I think we got something magical in the second where we didn't do it, but we got an idea. We were on our honeymoon and we were just having the most amazing time. We went to four different countries and we started in Italy, then Kenya, India, and then Thailand. And the hospitality was just like on another level, right? We're on a different planet. And I said to my wife, if there's anything you think of or you want, just ask. Because at these hotels, they really, really, really want to say yes. And we were at one hotel in Thailand and my wife loved the spring rolls. And so the, the manager comes out and he said, hello, you know, how's your meal? Da da da. And she said, you know, I was wondering, she's kind of nervous. I was wondering if we could have the recipe for these spring rolls, because he's the best I've ever tasted. He goes, you know what? Give me just a minute. He goes to the back. He comes out with the chef, chef in his hat. And the chef says, I heard that you're interested in the recipe. And he goes, I would actually love to arrange a cooking class for you. Amazing. What time are you available tomorrow? She's like, she's like, I can come anytime. So she goes to this cooking class, private, in the back, in the kitchen. Not only did they make four different dishes, they even said, okay, you know, your stove doesn't have as much flame as ours. So you want to adjust the recipe, etc. So she sends me these photos. I'm just sitting in the room. I was doing some writing. And she sends me these photos of four full dishes. And then they were like, here you go, compliments of the, of the kitchen. Like she will never forget that. Never. And it was just about asking, how do you do this? She didn't even ask for the class. So I, I, I learned from that. And I thought that was magical.

Eventful food tasting. (45:26)

The second experience is a new thing that I've added to my playbook, which is my buddy Nick took me, he's like, Hey, do you want to go to a tea tasting in New York? I was like, yeah, let's go green tea. I thought it would be a typical tea tasting. You know, you go some typical tea tasting. I don't know. Just one. Like just another tea tasting. People in New York who like tea, they do it. We go there. Okay. There's like six people from Japan. There's a translator and there's a photographer. We're like, what is going on right now? We're like, just something happening, but we don't understand what's going on. So we're sitting there. And then this, this person comes and starts speaking and the translator is translating. And they basically say this is the best tea in Japan. And it's being brought to the US for the first time. And we're like, okay, like, how good can good be its tea? You know, like we didn't understand quality at this level. Okay.

When My Friend Saw Occidental Oolong @ Lyanysagri (46:18)

So the way that we truly understood it, they told us, you know, they only grow it on a certain part of the mountain and they use these types of things. And we were like, okay, okay. The way that we truly understood it was when they put the tea leaves in and they said, okay, steep it for a second. And they said, drink one drop, one drop. And we're like, what? And so we drink one drop. It was amazing. It was really good. I've never tasted anything like it. And then there was a little thing that said the prices. We looked at each other, my friend Nick and I, and we said, ounce for ounce. This is the most expensive thing we've ever had to drink if we were to buy it. It was like $70 per sip. I mean, I'm not this like crazy, right? And we didn't pay that much for the tasting. But what we learned from that was number one, sometimes quality, you can only tell it by certain attributes. Two, I wasn't at the level of being able to appreciate it. And three, and this was the real key. What we should have done and what I'm going to do from now on is whenever I go to a cool, whether it's a tea tasting or any kind of interesting restaurant, I have a little playbook now, I asked my assistant Jill to put it together. We're going to make the reservation. Of course, I'm going to pay. I'm not asking for anything free. But she's going to send a note ahead of time that says, you know, hey, Ramit's coming in. He would love to be able to take a kitchen tour. I was just going to say this. If you have 15 minutes ahead of time, he would love to be able to take it. And if possible, he'd love to post it on Instagram or whatever. Again, not asking for anything free. But like, what I've learned is people who are the best love to share it. So I, there's this phrase, you know, those who can't do teach, that's totally incorrect. Never believe that. The very best love to teach. Those who can't, wait, those who can do those who can't teach. Or they say, those who can't do comedy. I got it. Got it. Yeah. And like, that's a total misnomer. The very best people like, here you are, you're the best in the world at what you do. And you love to teach everyone who's the best, whether it's a chef or a tea master, they love it. So I'm going to try to do that when I go to these places. And I'm just like, every one of us can do that. So anyway, that was my exciting experience. So you said, you said that one, oh, that's the one that gave you the idea. Yeah, I didn't execute that yet. And the, the, well, there are many things that one could take from what you just said. One I want to underscore is the importance of asking. And I think that what I would hope for myself, because I'm still developing my thinking and priorities will change and worldviews will change as it relates to money, right? Money is an interesting thing. We could talk about like what the fuck money is to begin with. But that's a separate thing. Part of the reason why I have a $100 trillion note from Zimbabwe framed that I put up on a wall, because it's important to remember just how conceptual a lot of this is. But my thinking will change, but to stress test your own assumptions, it's very valuable to not just do thought exercises, but certain real life exercises. So one could be asking for a kitchen tour. And don't, by the way, don't do it unless you're interested. So and if you're not interested, go watch Chef's Table, like Francis Malman or one of those. Get excited about it and have some basic vocabulary so you can appreciate what the hell is being shown to you if you're going to do it. Don't do it just to do it. But that is a question, right? And we know someone who lives here in Austin also, Noah Kagan, who has his coffee challenge, right? So walk into a coffee shop, ask for 10% off. And you can't tell them you're doing an experiment. You can't tell them that someone so told you to do it. It doesn't matter what they say. So it could be a Starbucks, it could be an indie, doesn't matter. And if they're like, what if I don't like coffee?

Financial Management And Adulting

Coffee, negotiate, and how to lower your effective tax rate. (50:11)

It's like, I don't care. Get a water. Get a, you know, order a Pellegrino order a tea, but ask for 10% off. Cultivating the muscle used for asking for things is so incredible. And I, you're talking about, you know, those who, those who can't teach and how they're these, these common sayings that are, that are taken as true. I do, there is one that I like, which I do think is generally true. And that is in life, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. I agree. And sometimes negotiating is just asking for what you want, right? So are there any exercises that you would suggest or practices, phone calls, questions to people who are listening that might help them kind of stress test some of the things they have accepted? Yes. I love this. So I'm going to give you a small one, and I'm going to give you a big one. The small one is if you have any sort of late fee, you should just use the scripts in my book, or you can Google for them, and you should call up your financial institution. Usually it's a credit card and negotiate the late fee. What should they Google specifically? If you don't, if you don't, well, get the book. But if you don't get the book, you can just Google "remete sati negotiation scripts." Okay. And you're going to see there, this is how it's going to go. You call up the credit card and you say, "Hi, I just wanted to confirm that I've been a member for the last four years, and they're going to say, 'Yes, I see that 2000 whatever year.' Okay, great. I noticed that there's a late fee here of $37 from last month. I'd like to get that waived to please. And they're going to, by the way, notice my tonality. I'd like to get that waived please. Why, sir? Well, I made a mistake, but I sent the payment in the next day, and I'd like to confirm that it can be removed, and it won't affect my credit. 80% of the time right there you're going to get it removed. And there's a reason I put that in chapter one of my book, as well as with bank fees, overdrafts, etc. It's that most people have never proactively taking control of their money. They just accept the world the way it is. 'Ah, the credit card screwed me again.' No, you can get that back. And once you get that late fee back, you're like, 'Oh my God, I can actually have control over this. These companies work for me.' So that's the first thing I would say. The second exercise is a little bigger, and it's more conceptual. Right now I'm doing a small coaching program with like 150 people. I'm walking them through my book, and it's like this private group, and I'm just walking them through every chapter. And I asked them a thought exercise a couple of days ago. I said, 'If I gave you $10,000 tomorrow, or if you just found it, no obligation, no strings, what would you do with it?' Okay, Tim, what do you think they said they would do with this $10,000? $10,000. This is just like right off the cuff. Pay down mortgage or invest in index fund, but I'm guessing closer to the former than the latter. I don't know. Okay, you pretty close. So it turns out that according to these answers that they're all saints, we have a bunch of Mother Teresa's in the group. They're like, 'I would pay off my debt, I would give 10% to charity, I would do this in that.' I'm like, 'You got $25,000 a credit card debt. You're telling me that you would magically take this money and just pay it off? What they were doing was they were having a very optimistic sense of their future selves. I would rather they say, 'I actually don't know what I would do with this money. Based on my past behavior, I'd probably just spend a lot of it.' Or, 'I have no system or way of thinking about what to do with my money.' That would have been more honest. Instead, when faced with what we're going to do in the future, we're really optimistic, 'I'd work out four times a week, I'd pay this off, I'd pay for my parents' retirement. What I would really like to see people is go through this exercise, start with your optimistic self and then try your realistic self. If you say you're going to pay off all your debt, why are you even in debt in the first place? Clearly you didn't have a system that would keep you out of it. I think for people, whether it's $100, $1,000, $10,000, whether it's, you could even go as big as somebody just gives you a house, 'What are you going to do with it?' I haven't even done that myself, but you could play with the concept. Then remember, if you don't have a system, like for me the answer is, I would put it straight into my system, put it into a checking account and money would be withdrawn to certain places. 20% would go here, 10% would go there, some money would be spit out for guilt free spending, and I'd probably go buy a beautiful sweater.

Tim Ferrisss Theory of Adulting, Decision Trees, His Column (54:44)

That's where it always ends up. That's where it always ends up. I know I love it.

Investing. (54:55)

Where do those funds go if you're comfortable talking about some of the places? Sure. You get 10 grand, you put it into the checking account and then it gets put into this process. It's a process map basically like an email inbox and it gets filtered and shunted where it needs to go. Day to day, my spending is very consistent except for two areas. Rent is the same, food is basically the same. Everything is pretty stable. My target is, I start by saying, I want to save and invest at least 20 to 30%. I think that's a good healthy number. If you're doing that, the rest of your life is generally in control. 20 to 30% and because we don't have kids right now, my wife and I have been talking about our numbers, we want that number to be towards a higher end. 20 to 30% just technical question, is this pre-tax or is this taking into account taxes? It's a great question. It can be either. I always like to be more conservative, always. Post-tax is really good if you can do that because you're going to be putting more in, but really for any of these numbers, if it's post or pre, you're generally in a good place anyway. Then that money is getting saved and invested. Investing is like, I try to go more aggressive on investing because we're young. I put that into things like a target date fund. I love Vanguard and I recommend them. I don't have any deals with them but I think they're the best. That's where I put, what is a target date fund? Target date. I understand all the separate words but I don't actually know what that is. Very quickly, everybody thinks investing is about picking stocks and sitting here and looking at this screen that looks like Minority Report, that's not investing. Investing is very simple low-cost funds and these cost you almost nothing these days. We're talking a 0.1% expense ratio. It's very, very low cost. What you do is something like a target date fund is you pick a target date that you're going to retire. If you're 30 and you're going to you're going to presumably retire at 65, that's 35 years from now. There's a target date fund called Vanguard 2016 fund. What that does is it's like a pie chart. It's pretty aggressive in your 30s because you're young and as you get older, it gets a little more conservative.

Prenups for everyone (57:17)

Basically, what it means for you is that you don't need to do anything except put money into it automatically every month. I love this as a great, simple, low-cost way to invest. The bulk of my portfolio is either in target date funds or individual index funds. That money would go in there. I have some money in sub-savings accounts. I've got some targets like I saved up for my wedding before I even met my wife, saved up for an engagement ring. I like to plan ahead. I have those numbers, same for a down payment on a house, which eventually I will buy even though it doesn't make sense for me right now, but I still plan for it. Also, vacation. Mid-term goals you're talking about roughly one to five or so years. How do you keep these things separate or are they only separate in a spreadsheet where you're keeping track? How do you not commingle? Yeah, I like keeping them separate because I think it's like a separate- Separate meaning separate bank accounts? Well, you can have sub-savings accounts. Oh, I see subsidence. Capital One, 360. It's kind of like an authorized employee on a credit card account or something like that. Exactly. Just for tracking purposes. I also think it's nice. If you have one big old commingled account, you don't really know what's for what, but what I would encourage everyone to do is think about what do you want to save for between one to five years. For one year, there are things like Christmas gifts. You know that's a known irregular expense or it's a known regular expense. It's coming every December. If it's 500 bucks, you might as well start saving now. Then there are things like an anniversary dinner. There's also mistakes. I used to have a stupid mistakes account because I used to get a lot of parking tickets. I don't do that anymore. Thank God. So I don't need to plan for that. But then there are things like a down payment, maybe getting married, things like that. Above and beyond five or so seven years, I just put it in the market because I don't need it and it just grows. Then you're putting it in the market with a target date fund. Target date fund. Yep. And those over the long term, over history have returned about 8%. So if you do the math and you go to one of these calculators like a bank rate or something, you can plug in the numbers and you'll see that your money doubles roughly every, it's the rule of 72, 72 divided by 10. It'll double about every seven years. That's why compounding is so powerful. If you start now and you put even 100 bucks a month in, that number gets very large, very fast. So that's the power of investing. The rest of the money pays my fixed expenses like rent, things like that. And finally, out pops out guilt-free spending. This is my favorite part. The sweater account. The sweater account. That's basically, so that brings me to my two things that are variable. Travel, I tend to overspend on travel a bit and clothing. And I've set up this system because now I've sort of advanced my financial system where a lot of it is automated. I have a meeting once a month. I have a personal CFO and we kind of look at it. And I basically told them, I want my document prepared in this way. I want an executive summary. I want the expenses categorized as such. And I only want you to flag the following ones because these are the ones I'm variable on. Like, I don't really care if I spend 20 bucks more on deodorant. That doesn't move the needle. But like, too much on travel, I got to know about it so I can kind of correct over time. That's how I think about the spending. Okay, so to next topics, I thought we would discuss prenups. So this is a topic that is shied away from a lot. It seems to be an important topic, at least in the US. And it's something that came up in conversation recently and you joked that you might be willing to talk about it on the podcast. This is one of those subject areas that is, I think, neglected. And I've seen a lot of difficulty and angst and pain and discomfort faced as a result of, I think, an unwillingness to make it more of an open conversation. So where should we start with prenups? I'm an open book, man. I'll tell you anything. All right. This is one of those things that when I walked into it, I didn't know anything. And I only knew what I had heard on TV, that prenups are bad or they're for people who have generational wealth that's been inherited. Like, I didn't know anything. And then I discovered, when I talked to friends, there was so many people who have thought about this or gone through it, but none of it is online. It's all behind closed doors. So prenup, prenuptial agreement, what is what is a prenup? What's the purpose of a prenup? Prenup sets the terms of what you are coming into a marriage with? And it is a acknowledgement that certain people might have certain assets or interests, like a business or cash or investments, whatever the case may be. And it also sets the terms for if the marriage ends for whatever reason, what is to be done with those assets, specifically the premarital assets. That's what a prenup is about. Okay, so how did you think about this? Because I've heard some disaster stories of this process being handled poorly or terms not being perhaps reviewed as carefully. And I should point out also that this is not a male/female thing. I've seen this in same-sex couples. I've seen this in cases where the woman is coming in with significantly greater assets than the husband to be. So how did you think about this? And what's one of the smarter ways to go about thinking about this? Well, I'll tell you what I did, and I'll tell you some mistakes I made too. And the reason I want to talk about this is that I want to shine the light on money topics that people don't talk about. And I want people to be informed. You can make your own decision, but I walked into thinking about getting married with a lot of preconceived notions about what a prenup was, who it was for. And just to give you a sense, nobody around me ever signed a prenup growing up. It just was not a part of my culture. So I started thinking about getting engaged a few years ago. And my girlfriend at the time, we were discussing it and discussing what? Oh, the engagement. Yeah, that possible engagement. What's going to happen eventually and we're together for the long-term, things like that. And I started looking into it. And if you Google how to sign a prenup, you're going to find a lot of really generic and borderline bad advice.

Mike__2017 Prenup Research / Discussion Start (01:04:05)

It's from disgruntled Redditors. And it's from like, ask men or these just magazines where they have these things, this advice, like, you should blame it on your lawyer, or you should blame it on your parents, or how do you get away with not making your fiance mad? And I just thought, this is not the way I want to start this relationship and this financial relationship as well. Because that's what marriage is. It's legal, it's financial, it's also love, it's, it's your team in every way. So I sat down, I did a lot of research, I talked to a lot of my friends. And the thing that shocked me was when I started bringing it up with friends, so many of them, especially entrepreneurs, had lots to say, lots. So I'll fast forward to what happened when we had my girlfriend at the time, we sat down, we had a really serious meeting, like we actually had a Google agenda, we came with our bullet points, and we had a very adult meeting where we talked about just the two of you, just the two of us legal counsel, anything like that. No, no, no, we were just the two of us, we talked about, you know, when would we like to be engaged and married, where would we live? Do we want to have kids? So just to be clear, this is a life logistics meeting, not a pre-nup meeting, that may be part of it, but it's a broader conversation. I hadn't even brought the pre-nup up. Yeah. Okay. So we go through, you know, kids and, and I told her, you know, I even mentioned to my wife, I said, you know, let's talk about the names of our kids, because I never saw myself having some kid named Mike, I don't want Mike running around in my house. And she's like, what the hell, where's this coming from? I'm like, I just feel particular about this. So then, so then, so then, so then at the end of that conversation, I said, you know, there's something else that's important. You know, it's really important to me that we discuss a pre-nup. And she was surprised, kind of taken aback. She's like, okay, what do you mean? And I said, look, you and I grew up very similar. We both grew up in California. Our parents have similar jobs. And I said, because of certain decisions I've made, because of my business, and because of a lot of luck, I've been put in this fortunate position, where I have a business and I've accumulated a certain amount of assets. I said, it's really important for me that we talk about what that means before we get married, and that we sign an agreement in the worst case of something bad happened. And this was really, I was nervous, very nervous, because like, what, what is someone's reaction going to be? I have no idea, but I thought if anything, it's going to be bad. But I felt very, I was nervous, but I also felt confident because it was something that I knew that I wanted to do. Like it was really important to me. So to her credit, she said, you know what? I'm surprised. I didn't expect it, but I'm open to it. Let me get educated about it and we can talk. Okay, great. So that was as good of a response as I could have hoped. She goes off and she does her own research. She talks to her friends, and we start discussing more and more, right? We've got about four or five months until I propose to her. We start talking. The next step is to get lawyers. Now, interestingly, you have to retain counsel. Each side has to retain counsel. And oftentimes, what happened is the person who has more assets will actually pay for the other person's lawyer, which I did. These lawyers are very expensive, right? So I said, you know what? I'll take care of that. I'm happy to do it. So she found her own lawyer and we start to go through hammering these basic terms out. Now, the basic structure of a prenup is most people don't need a prenup, because most people are coming into a marriage with relatively similar assets. The places where it starts to make sense are if you have some major amount of assets, whether it be a house, whether it be an inheritance, a business, those kinds of things, it starts to make sense to think about. I had to get intellectual property. Yeah, absolutely. I had to get comfortable with the idea that this wasn't a bad thing. I wasn't planning for us to fail. And that's the most common objection people have to prenups, which is you're planning for it to go wrong. I'm not planning for it to go wrong. I intend to be married forever. I want to. I always emphasize that with my wife. And I made it clear that we're a team. But I also mentioned that I've, for whatever reasons, I've accumulated these things. And it's really important for me to plan for what might happen. As we talked more and more about it, it became even more and more clear that in every other part of life, top performers plan. They plan ahead. They plan for good. They plan for bad. They plan. But it's like just in this one situation of life that society has told everyone, no, that's wrong. You shouldn't plan at all. You should go into it like a dough with these dough eyes. And you shouldn't really think even for a moment about what would happen if something goes wrong. Yeah, I mean, you get on an airplane, they give you a safety briefing. It's not because they expect the plan to crash into the water. That's a great example. It's also a place just to jump in where, because I've thought a good amount about this, just relationships and marriage in general is that when you get married in official capacity, you are involving the state in your affairs. You are signing up for certain contractual agreements. And so in any well planned agreement, you're going to have contingencies for what happens if things do not work out. There's going to be a termination clause. You're going to have that in a publishing agreement. You're going to have that in any number of dozens or hundreds of other contracts you will sign will always have a separation clause. The reason why this go, this is such a heated topic for people. I think there's two reasons. One, there's just a general ignorance of prenups because it is inherently a private affair. Inherently, when you have assets being discussed, it happens behind closed doors, specifically lawyers closed doors. It's not public. There are no good guides or no ebooks on how to do a prenup. There's nothing. There's not even any sample prenups out there. They're very, very poor quality. The second thing is it attacks our belief that in America, a marriage is purely about love. And I believe a marriage is absolutely about love, but go look at any parents or any couple that has, let's say, kids. Go look at them and look at their day to day. Yes, there's love, but there's also teamwork. There's this person's doing dinner. This person's taking the trash out. This person's changing the diapers. It's an arrangement. It's a team. And on any team, you have to have a set of rules. And so I got comfortable with that saying, you know what, this is a love marriage. We found each other. We met each other. We love each other. But it's also we want to make sure that this is a team and we're setting expectations. So we went through the process and we talked to our lawyers and the lawyers are hammering it out. And this is where it started to get really tough. Everything was going great. But then once you, everything's great in concept, and then you talk about real numbers. What are the, if I may, like, what's, what are the basic terms that you're agreeing upon in a pre-note? The first thing is you're laying out all the assets that each person has. Those could be assets, liabilities, you kind of put those out on the table. By the way, that was a good conversation that we had. I forgot to take my own advice about when to talk about money with your partner. So my wife had asked me years ago to help her with some 401k thing. And I was like, yeah, I'll help you but first read my book. So she reads my book. And then she's like, okay, I still have this one question. So we went through it. And I got to understand her pay and all that stuff. And it was great. Like we worked through it. Like a year or two later, she said, you know, I feel a little unbalanced because you know everything about my finances, but I don't know anything about yours. And that was when I realized like I had made a huge mistake. I, by not telling her, I had put myself in a very unbound, she had been placed in an unbalanced position. It's just not fair. So that afternoon, we talked about it. And we talked about my net worth. We talked about what it means for us.

And how it was for us (01:13:16)

And that was, I would say one of my most pleasant conversations, most pleasant. Yeah. Because we talked about what does it mean for us? Like our rich life now, what does it mean? And it means that when we travel, we can take our parents with us. And we can spend extra for them to stretch their legs out. We can travel to places or we can make certain investments or take risks that we might not normally be able to do. Again, as a team. So that was actually one of my favorite memories of talking about money in the early days. Now, we had listed out all our assets and liabilities. And now the basic structure of a prenup is what happens in the case of the marriage ending? And there are so many ways to cut it. No two prenups are alike. What happens if the marriage ends in three months at an extreme? In many cases, a check is written. Can you believe that? If a marriage ends in three months, somebody might write a check to the other person. Why? Just like pure goodwill. Severance pay. You could call it that. And then both partners might still have a job, etc. But what happens if the marriage now ends 30 years later? Let's say there's two or three kids. Let's say that one partner has stopped their job so that he or she can take care of the kids. Well, it's kind of fair that that person should be compensated in some way because it would be unfair for somebody to walk out of the marriage with just this large amount of relative assets and the other person left with nothing. That's just not fair. It's not fair in my eyes, personally. And it's not fair in the states either. In each of these cases or in most prenups, is it a lump one-time payment or is it an ongoing annuity that gets paid each year? That's a great question. What does it look like? It can be decided, however you like, but each lawyer is going to argue for their side. So the person who would be receiving the payments is going to want it all upfront. And so there are also other questions about what if you're living in a house with kids and the marriage ends? Who leaves? How soon that has to be dictated. And then there are other questions about what is there a cap on how much can be paid out? And that's important too. Understand though a couple of things. The money that I'm going to speak generally now, the money that is earned when you are together is generally community property. So when you are married, generally the money that is earned is together, it's yours. There are certain exceptions, like if you have a business, there's this and that, and you can kind of carve those out ahead of time. But in general, we're talking about money that was accumulated before the marriage. That's really important to understand. Kids are definitely a complicating factor, but you are not really dictating the terms of child, what's it called? custody. Custody and also payments. The state will determine that. So that's really important to know as well. You can't come up with a rule right now that says, if we have three kids in this marriage ends, I'm going to write you a check for $1 or $1 million a month. That can't work. The state will decide based on lifestyle. I have to ask you a question just from my perspective. Yeah. Why get married at all? What is the reason? Because I really dislike, and this is something that I talk about usually in the first few dates. I have a great girlfriend right now, but once we've covered what do you want for your main course, pretty quickly, the subject comes up. It's like, yeah, marriage not keen on having some bureaucracy involved in my relationship. It's a great question. And also, it's like if you're coming into a relationship where the current trajectory of earnings is vastly disproportionate, the idea of having a bureaucracy involved and having sort of everything past a certain day become community property doesn't have a whole lot of appeal to me. So were your reasons for getting married? Your desire, your partner's desire, your family's, multiple families, expectations, or are there other reasons? It's a great question. And I think only in this day and age can this question really be asked? Because as recently as 25 years ago, this question would have never been asked. It would be like, of course, you're going to get married. And now you and I both know plenty of people who are either single or in cohabitating relationships or casual, whatever the case may be, and they're perfectly happy not being married. I think for me, the answer is probably all the above. It was a desire on my part, a desire on my wife's part, and also our families. Yeah. And this might be an invisible script from my childhood that I always saw myself as married. So there's a lot there. The way I thought about it was, I love my wife. I love when we're together. She makes me a better person, and I think I do the same. And together as a team, we are like amazing. Like I love laughing with her. I love how she challenges me. And I want to deepen that relationship. The financial part of it for me was a part that I wanted to address, but I also felt confident knowing that we could solve it.

Marriage, Divorce, And Prenuptial Agreements

Opera make her an offer (01:18:54)

Like we could come to an agreement. And I didn't see it as adversarial, at least until the middle part, which I want to tell you about. But I approached it like very much like can do. It's like hiring someone. Like I'm going to make him an offer. I want to make him a great offer. And I expect that we're going to have some back and forth. But overall, it's about coming to an agreement that we can both work in a capacity together. Now, I know that sounds a bit unromantic for marriage, but I'm talking about the financial part of a marriage. There's a whole, there's so many different layers. And we in America only talk about love. What I'm trying to share is like there are lots of other parts like be aware of it. Don't put your head in the same. Well, you're also talking about you're not talking about marriage as a concept. You're talking about the contract of marriage. And if you get married, whether you go down to the whatever might be and blanking on the term, but like some office downtown to get rubber stamped, like you're entering into a contract with multiple parties. So you can enter into a very nebulous contract or you can enter into a very clear contract. I always say for every major purchase in your life, every major purchase in every major decision, spend the time. Most of us should spend less time on most decisions. And we should spend a lot more time on a few key decisions.

Taking your spouse-to-be to therapy: a sign of love? (01:20:16)

Like, I want to take this seriously so did my wife. So we did we spent months, right? So now here we are, the lawyers are going back and forth. And it's starting to get a bit slow, like they're arguing. And now we're talking about it. And it became stressful. And at some points, like pretty heated. Okay. And I was like, I mean, there are so many things that happened during this time. One, we would just stop talking about it for like weeks at a time, because it was just too stressful. And we had never had these kind of conversations before about money. And like my perspective was, like, I've thought about money for 15 or 20 years every day. Like this is my business. And I'm really proud of what I've accomplished financially. And I've made and I always love to come. And like, I made a very fair, very fair offer bending over backwards. That was my perspective. My wife's perspective was very different. And I think that I didn't listen as much as I should. I was like, I, I, I came out, I did this, I made this offer. And she would say something. And I would say like, look at the spreadsheet, like, look at the numbers. And she was like, yeah, but, and she was talking about something else in a completely different language.

Divorce, prenuptial agreements, and the importance of protecting your money. (01:21:34)

And I was so preoccupied with like Mr. spreadsheet guy. So finally, she said, you know, we got to go talk to somebody about this. We should go see a therapist. And I was like, yeah, we really should. I totally agreed with her. So you might wonder like, where do you go to find a therapist? And for us, the answer was Yelp. We literally opened up Yelp and typed like therapist. And we found one, two blocks away. So that's how it's done guys. And we walked over there. And we sat down in this room. And we had a conversation like we've never had before. This therapist was very good. She asked us about how we grew up with money, what it meant. And it turns out it meant totally different things to us. Like for me, it meant being proud of what I've accomplished. It meant all the work. And for anyone who's built anything, you know the sacrifices it took to build that you look back. You can remember Friday nights where you didn't go out or you can remember x or y or risks you took. And I was seeing that. And what my wife was seeing was something different. Money meant something different to her. And this therapist helped us kind of bring that up. And we find ourselves, you know, we went one, two, three sessions, we find ourselves talking about our childhood. And I, it's kind of like a caricature, like a joke of what you talk about in therapy session. But we walked out at each of those sessions like, wow, that was, that was pretty good. That was pretty helpful. So we still were having the lawyers go back and forth. But now we were connecting more with each other financially. And we, we were reminded by this therapist, like we're a team, this is just an agreement we need to come to. But remember why you are together, remember why you're getting married. We finally came to an agreement and we signed it. And it's funny because one of my buddies, he held an event called, like, should you sign a prenup? And he invited like 20 or 25 people, right? And one of his friends who was married and had done a prenup sent him a note and said, I'd rather be dead than come to this event. And he was like, whoa, whoa, why? And he's like, dude, that was the worst six months of my life. Imagine you have someone you love and you're arguing about money with lawyers for six months. And I didn't get that until I'd gone through it. I would say that in retrospect, I learned a couple of things. Number one, I should have talked about money with my wife way earlier, like way earlier. I violated my own advice. And that was horrible. I should have talked about it earlier. Two, I should have stopped being Mr. Spreadsheet dude and actually listened and said like, let's put the numbers aside and talk about what money means. For me, like I told you, I'm proud of it. My wife wanted to feel safe. She wanted to know that if anything went wrong, that she would be taken care of. And that, and I didn't really internalize what that meant to her. Like, what does that mean? I should have listened. I should have gone to see a therapist earlier. And we should have not let it stretch out for as long as it did. That was really torturous for both of us.

Start talking about meaning instead of numbers (01:24:42)

How would you have expedited it? Wow. Therapy earlier? Well, I mean, that's why I'm here. I want to share with people. Don't just hope that it will kind of work itself out over time. It's everybody involved in the process wants it to stretch out. The lawyers, they're not trying to just bill you more, but their incentive is to get you the best deal and the other lawyers to get the other one. You have to take control and manage the process. But both of you have to be aligned on that. I would have definitely talked with therapists ahead of time with my wife. We would have gone there together faster. And we kind of would have, I would have started off not talking about money, but rather about meaning. And that's something that I'm hoping to be able to talk more about. But I hope from people listening to this, if you go in and you've got a spreadsheet that you want to discuss, you've taken a wrong turn. That's what I did. I should have talked about meaning and fears and hopes about money as opposed to like, let's go through the numbers. The numbers are like the last part of the... I was going to say it's not either or, right? It's sequencing. Both end. You got to talk about the numbers. But once you get meaning aligned, the numbers work themselves out. So when we've chatted about this, sort of been passing in the past, because I wanted to make sure we did on the podcast, a couple of stories have come up that I'm not sure how to grapple with. No, I'm at a point also where I haven't had conversations with attorneys about this type of thing. Although, I mean, it makes sense to think about estate planning. Whether your estate is small, medium or large. It makes a lot of sense to think about that. And things can be really messy. Speaking as someone who had grandparents who didn't think about anything and were not rolling, doing backstroke in a pool full of coins like Scrooge McDuck, but nonetheless, when emotions are heated, kids can fight over anything, even if it's just table scraps. And that was a mess. I don't want that to ever affect, if I have kids, to affect my kids. So, you should think about it earlier. But the point I was going to make is I haven't gone through the actual drafting of, say, a prenup. But I've seen marriages implode. And the numbers, if you just try to coldly objectively look at the numbers in the US, they're not that hot. So, it makes sense to plan whether it's driving with a seatbelt in your car.

Negotiating with a prenup (01:27:15)

Like, you're not planning on getting an accident, but you want to be covered if you do. I've heard horrible stories. So, I've heard stories of a friend who had a prenup, went through all of the same process. And then, I think it was a week after he got married, or just before he got married, his wife to be your wife said, "I signed up the prenup under duress." Oh my god. I don't feel good about it. And it was back to the table. Now, under duress for people who don't know is, and this is not a legal definition, but under extreme stress, therefore, the position of the person who's claiming duress is that the contract is invalid because they were pressured into it. And this can apply to quite a few contracts. It turns out. And he was in a position where he had to go back, and it was renegotiated. And the numbers changed. So, like, the payments and so on were changed. And so, that's fear inducing. That's scary. That you could have an agreement and then end up in a situation like that, right? And the point number one, whether it's legally forced upon you, or just practically day to day, you're like, "Well, where the fuck do we go from here?" And have to then step back into like negotiation mode. And I've also heard of approaches. I'm not saying maybe this is getting too much into like the dark arts or something, but where friends have thought, like, all right, if I'm going to, if I'm trying to defend against a worst case scenario, would it make sense for me to go engage X number of very high caliber divorce attorneys so that they're conflicted out if we end up having a divorce later? Like, that's a little Voldemort, but I can also see the practicality of it. So, like, how do you think about what landmines you might need to avoid? If there are any, right? Like, yeah, that's a big question, but it's like this shit gets messy. You know, I would say that I've spoken to a lot of different attorneys both in getting married, but also as a CEO. And one of them told me something really interesting. They said that the people with the lawyers with the most interesting stories are criminal lawyers, of course. The second most interesting lawyer stories are workplace attorneys. I would be willing to bet that the third is divorce attorneys because the stories are just like out of this world. I didn't really approach it like that to tell you the truth. I didn't plan on the marriage ending. I simply wanted to account for what might happen financially. So, let me put it this way. If at the point where you're sort of already thinking about like, let me engage all these divorce attorneys, which I don't even know if that works or not. I've heard it's a rumor, but like, I feel like there's a larger problem going on there, a much larger problem. These lawyers are not stupid. They're all very good. They've seen it all. And the thing is to negotiate in good faith. You have to remember, you're not trying to get one over on your partner. You're, if you were just trying to get one over like a car dealer, you're trying to maximize it because it's a one time transaction. This is the partner you're going to be with for the rest of your life. So, that actually necessitates a different way of negotiating. Like when I was discussing with my attorney and that attorney was negotiating with my wife's attorney, I had to compromise on things that I normally would not compromise on. Yeah. And that, just to put it bluntly, like I haven't had to compromise financially in the last 25 years. Right. At all. Yeah. So, suddenly I'm like, what? What is this taste in my mouth? I haven't tasted this taste of compromising. It's a bile. Yeah. But, but that's why I think it's really important. A couple of principles came up for me. One is, go slow to go fast. I should have done a better job of this of like, let's talk about the meaning, the meaning, right? Go slow to go fast. And the second one was always remember the North Star. The North Star here is not getting an extra dollar or protecting the extra $2. We're going to be married day to day for the rest of our lives. That's the North Star. And like putting that in perspective, like as the lawyer saying this or that, I had to constantly remind myself, so did my wife. And by the way, I just want to say, she was excited for me to come here and talk about this. She actually encouraged me, because I wrote about it in my book. I wrote some more details. And I asked her, I said, are you okay if I share this? And we talked about it. We both realized going through this, that both of us were pretty alone. No one was talking about this publicly. And we're both big fans. You know, she's a stylist. I do what I do. We love shining the light on things that people are not really talking about publicly, because we're both very curious and we both want to get better. So if she had said no, I would have never written this stuff. I would have never come on here and talked about this. But she actually said, yes, go on there and tell them our experience because other people should know this. Whether you do it or not, you should know. All right, I have questions. So this is going to be a super awkward one made for me to ask more than for you to answer because you're being put on the spot. But I'm the one who has the option of asking whatever I want. So this is something I've seen so many people struggle with when I'm about to bring up. And I want to hear if it affected you and if so, how you used mental jujitsu or contortionism to get through it. And that is, if you're coming into a negotiation, say for a prenup and you are the person who's bringing in disproportionately the assets and income. And that could be not necessarily a 51/49 split. I mean, this could be like a 90/10 split, 99/1 split. And it very often is. I mean, it can very often be. When you're looking at the settlement and the amount, so it's very hard for someone, let's just say, who's made $10,000 a year to ever imagine what it really means and what it takes to make $100,000. Ditto if someone's making like 50 grand a year, what does it mean in terms of sacrifice and planning and like Friday's missed and weekends worked and holiday skipped to make a million dollars. And so all of a sudden then, you're going through a negotiation where someone who has perhaps not made a decade or two decades of sacrifice is asking for an amount that is more than you made in the first 30 years of your life. How do you navigate that? Because there's like viscerally, I know a lot of people. And I'm one of them who's just like, that makes no sense. And it also brings up like, well, wait a second, if that's the amount that gets paid out, I would start questioning the sort of motives of the other person.

Decade long cash gives medical sell startling deal (01:34:15)

It's like, okay, well, they were able to kind of do whatever they want for expert time.

Life Lessons And Routines

how we handle our wedding budgets. (01:34:26)

But now if we get divorced three years from now, they're set for life. If they don't screw it up, how do you, I would, that would make me feel very uncomfortable. Me too. I mean, I think, remember when I said that, like, I was proud of what I had accomplished, and you go through so many emotions in this process. And the funny thing is, when it comes to money, I'm not emotional at all. Like day to day, I'm super, I call it hot to cool. I think most people, or some people, particularly those in debt, money is like a phantom or a gremlin. It's a beast that they're fighting, right? They need to break the shackles of this debt. I've overcome those things. To me, it's a tool. And I use it for convenience, things like that. So to find myself going from nervousness and bringing this up to pride that I wanted to talk about the numbers, and I was very proud of what I had accomplished and what it meant for us, and then resentment. I definitely felt resentful because, you know, to me, I'm like, look at the spreadsheet. Like, I have gone above and beyond. And like, how can you not acknowledge that? I found myself, like, experiencing these emotions I hadn't honestly ever felt about money. And I think that's where a therapist helped me, but I should have done it sooner because it really was not healthy to just sort of soak in them for literally months. And remember, we're like seeing each other day to day. And so that definitely affects you as you're planning or wedding with your partner. It's like the worst opportunity in time. If you could sequence it out, you're like, don't do that. You know, I think that it's a question that I don't have a good answer to. I think that the basic, there are certain things in life that are just not fair. Okay. And one of them might be this, but really, that's not the point. The point is not for me to win. That's what I learned along the way. At least this is my lesson. Some people might think differently. My point in retrospect was not to win this negotiation. It was to win our marriage, meaning both of us get there together as a team. And if I have to compromise a few things, which in business, I would never have made a couple of the compromises I made. But this is more important than my business, right? This is the person that I'm going to spend my last days with. So that actually really put things in perspective for me. It's like, Oh, shit. Sometimes you learn about yourself just by observing what you yourself do. And I was like, did I really just agree to that? That one term we've been discussing for a month? Yes, I did. Wow. Like my wife is that important to me. And I realized like, yes, she is. So I don't know. I don't have a good answer for you on that. But I'll tell you, I really swung emotions. I felt resentful. And I hate feeling resentful. It's one of the most toxic emotions. But I think there's something larger than like being right in this. Maybe that's just what I tell myself. No, I mean, that's I think cutting off your nose to spite your face to be right doesn't make sense. Yeah. I also think that it's possible to play not to lose or set yourself up for blind spots while not at all costs trying to win. 100%. 100%. 100%. Right. 100%. Right. 100%. Like don't be an asshole and like make a bunch of insistent demands based on principle that don't practically make sense is fair. But walking into something blind and just offering yourself as a pinata doesn't make sense either. Okay, you know what's crazy about this whole thing now. So once you sign it, like it's done. In fact, at least in our case, we're like, all right, thank God, we don't want to look at this now, like file it away. Good. The real challenge actually since we got married just about a year ago has been like day to day spending. And that now using the tools we learned from this therapist and also going slow to go fast, like my dream, okay, my fantasy was to have this just beautiful financial model. Okay, that's what I wanted. Like this model that we look at and everything's like going from side to side, we've built that. It's taken like eight or nine months. What what I realize now is emotions first. What does it mean? Who's cooking dinner? Who's taking the trash out? Let's get all that stuff done. The model part is like the last part of it. And because we had these tough conversations earlier on, now we're like, okay, let's let's start with the emotions. We have buffer. So if we overspend a little bit on eating out right now, that's okay. We'll dial in the numbers later. Like what I've realized is the numbers really come last. And so we are both really thankful we went through the process. Although I wish we could have been, I wish we could have had some guidance, really. But funny enough though, once you sign it, it's not like you're reviewing it every single day. It's gone. Yeah, it's the day to day now. It's literally the littlest things like who's picking up X at the store? Yeah. That's where day to day financial stuff comes in. And that's another area where I think you use the I will teach you to be rich stuff, the systems, the idea that you don't really want to be spending your valuable cognition on like who's buying deodorant or rice, like have a system, automate it. Boom. We were talking about what's been a lot of time on it, but you're relative who you thought was 65, you and your wife thought was 65. So like ended up being 87. Yeah. And how regimented. Regiment is the wrong word. How much of his life is is routinized, right? It wakes up at the same time. And we are just grabbing coffee earlier. And I said, I wonder how much of his longevity is that lifetime accumulation of avoiding decision fatigue on shit that just shouldn't consume your brain every day at all. So I believe just like you have a playbook, I believe in a playbook for life. Here's a couple playbook rules that I have. One, I call it remeats book buying rule. If you ever see a book, you're even remotely interested in buy it, don't debate it, don't ask if it's the second best, just buy it.

Life lessons, such as having a minimalist approach to life. (01:40:35)

It's $10 is the best money you ever spent. Have a year of cash, have it available, liquid. And if you don't have it, build up to it. Save up for big expenses, engagement ring, wedding, honeymoon, all that stuff. House sub accounts sub accounts, boom. When I eat at a restaurant now, my joy is if I see anything that looks good, I just order it. And I also tell the people eating with me do the same. Don't even think about it. And so like my coworkers love eating with me because I'm like, just order it all. Like I got the bill. Just a quick side note for anyone who has not seen it. It came out not long ago from the time of this recording, but there's an incredible ESPN article on Coach Greg Popovich and the dinners and the wine for the Spurs. It is phenomenal. People can look that up there. Have a couple of areas in your life where you have absolutely no budget. Doesn't matter how much you spend, you just love it. Unlimited. Unlimited. There's no, if you love strawberries, like when I grew up, I loved strawberries, but we had a big family and strawberries were expensive. There is no amount of strawberries that will ever cause me any material difference in my life.

Marriage lessons, including avoiding decision fatigue via routine. (01:41:48)

It's three bucks, four bucks, five bucks, six bucks. Doesn't matter. Buy it. Have something. It could be as small as strawberries. It could be as big as whatever. This is for me personal. A lot of people don't agree, but eat the same thing, mostly the same thing every single day. I do it. It's just easy decision fatigue. I do the same thing. Yeah. And then also, so this is what my wife and I have been talking about recently, is let's come up with some rules for our relationship too. These are guidelines. We can change them, but we were planning a vacation. We're going to stay with a friend for their birthday in Mexico City, and we're looking at flights. And I find that we're deciding which flight should it be economy, should it be business, what hotel, this or that. And I said, like, hey, let's get into it. Let's kind of figure out where we like to travel together and what style, but over the course of the next few months, let's kind of come up with some basic rules. For example, if you're traveling over five hours, business class, or if we're staying just the two of us, we don't need a fancy hotel, whatever the case, make a basic guideline so that we don't have to think about it all the time.

Cooking, cleaning (01:42:42)

And even down to like, who's taken out the trash? Like, let's just kind of articulate that and be explicit so that it's all on the table. And that way it clears up any misconceptions. So I love this general playbook for life, especially who has a way. What's this? What was your conclusion on the trash? Oh, dude, I take the trash out. Okay. And it just got revealed, because like, I would notice the trash filling up. And then she would take it out once in a while, but really, she would say like, would you mind taking the trash out? And it just became very clear in any relationship, there are certain things that one person does, or doesn't like to do. And like, same thing true for cooking, ironing clothes, yeah, cast cooks, quick, quick note on that. One thing that I've found really helpful is whether it's with friends or your significant other, but especially significant other is agreeing in advance from a scale of one to 10, 10 being absolutely heartfelt, must have or must not have, you can't use a lot of 10s. Like, so like, you only really get a couple of 10s in your pocket. So don't spend them on nonsense, right? But asking someone like zero to like one to 10, how much do you like doing this or one to 10? How much do you hate doing this? And it's like, all right, if, if to you, it's like, you don't love taking out the garbage. But if it's like, eh, I'm a five out of 10, like six out of 10, who cares? Like, I don't doesn't really matter. She's like, I grew up in such a such way, I hate taking out the garbage. Like, okay, fine, I'll take out the garbage. Wait, so what's your 10? On liking or not liking? Let's go both. So I, for instance, very fond of cooking, very un-found of cleanup. Love it, right? Classic. Yeah. And what about something you hate? Well, something I hate would be the cleanup. Other things I hate would be, for instance, I am much happier to pay for things if I can avoid decisions. So if my partner is willing to handle logistics, we went to Burning Man. It was her first time. And I knew what I was signing up for. And I told her, I was like, I will go, but only if you handle the logistics, I will pay for everything. But in terms of like getting costumes and like getting everything there and the bikes and the lights and the dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, you need to be like the COO of this operation. And I'm happy to be like the controller who approves the checks. Love it. But that's it. Got it. So I love that you're explicit. And I love that one to 10. I have to think about that. I've overheard my wife talking to her parents. And I grew up with my mom cooking food for us every night, right? Every night, like right off the stove, she would be giving us rotis or whatever she was making. And we all ate together as a family. And I really love that. So every night, my wife will either make food or she'll have cooked it a couple of times. And then she'll bring it to me. And like, that is so meaningful to me because it reminds me of my childhood. And by the way, the food that we eat is extremely inexpensive. Like we're not getting the fanciest cuts of meat. We don't care about that. But it's careful. We we track all of our macros and all that stuff. So we care about that. But really, it's about the meaning behind it. Macros for people who don't know fat protein carbohydrate. Yeah, the percentages of each. What does the pie chart look like? The I don't know the math off the top of my head, but it's like every week it changes, depending on whatever my goals are. And like, I think the meaning there is really important. And then there are certain things for Cass that, you know, she likes or she doesn't like and I'll do trashes a perfect example. I just kind of discovered like she really doesn't like taking the trash out. No problem. It's easy for me to take it out. So getting those on the same page and developing this just life playbook of general rules of thumb you're going to use, especially for stuff that's not important. Man, that really frees you up to to really get into the stuff that is important. Yeah, for sure. So I know we don't have too much time left, but I want to jump into one of these because I'm curious what what you will say in response to some of these questions. And we may only have time for one or two.

Morality (01:46:55)

But so these are from people on the interwebs, always a risky proposition, but they were they were voted on or upvoted. And one, this is from Scott, no last name here indicated, where does Rameet disagree with what Tim teaches or preaches or and I'll just rephrase that. But like, what do you think we disagree on? This is a good favorite question. And it could be anything, right? But far away. Oh my God, I love this. I think that we disagree on morning routines. Yeah, I think they're overrated. Yeah, I think that the best morning routine is decided a year ago. It's about your psychology. It's about how much you sleep. It's about what, you know, what have you outlined in your calendar. It's all those softer details. And I think that, you know, I get people asking me every day, what's my morning routine? And I'm like, who gives a shit? Like you think you think if I ask Michael, I'm not saying I'm Michael Jordan at all. But if I ask Michael Jordan what shoes he wears, or what his morning routine is, am I going to be like Mike? No. And similarly, if you find out what kind of coffee I drink, you're not going to be doing what I do either. But I know that you're not saying that. But that's what people are taking away. And it drives me insane. Well, yeah. I mean, what can you please correct the record? One person tries to impart what people hear are sometimes very different. Before I work with Tim, you work more than four hours. Yeah, I'm just like, okay, thanks for, yeah, right. The gift that keeps on giving. So morning routines, I think are number number one, for me, coming back to what we just said, morning routines are one example of removing decisions. That's it. There's a little bit more to it for me in the sense that as someone who had onset insomnia and slept very poorly for several decades, I would wake up and be non functional, generally speaking. So having a boot up sequence, which didn't require any thought, I'm not deciding what to eat for breakfast. I'm not deciding what step number one is. Do I do a, b, c, d, or e first? No, I'm always going to be doing b, right? Or a whatever it might be, has been very helpful. I also know equally or far more successful people who have your answer. They're like, I wake up, I drink a fucking cup of coffee. I school Instagram first, literally the first thing I do is I get on Instagram while I'm in bed. It's like the worst possible thing, but I'm like, I like it. Yeah. And I don't know what it counts. Anyways, it's all cabins. It's all cabins. I swear to God.

Success and escape velocity. (01:49:39)

The question I think that is, that is also just like a macro question's worth asking is, is this person you're looking at succeeding because of, or despite what you're looking at, right? This is really important. It's especially important if you're studying people who have already reached escape velocity in some type of success or financial freedom, and you are still working your way up, because hindsight is not 2020. A lot of folks who are on top of the world and are just crafting billion dollar deals every day, do not remember very clearly what helped them when they were working in the office on Thanksgiving or whatever it might have been. This is a great point and so powerful. By the way, this is why I love your podcast, because here we are two people who seemingly disagree on something, but now we're getting into the nuances and we can really crack the code of what's the differences and similarities. I will totally agree with what you just said about the more successful you get or the more time you get away from something, the less details you remember. I'll give you an example. My wife started, she used to be a senior buyer at Equinox. She left to start her own styling business about 18 months ago. I would hear her doing sales calls in our living room, and I would see her sometimes closing a client and sometimes going weeks without closing a client. I've got a business now, I've got amazing employees, we've got traffic that's coming, we've got people coming and regular customers and all that stuff. But when I started off, that shit was not easy. I would go weeks without getting one person joining any of my programs, and I forgot how emotional it is. The highs are so high and the lows are so low. Half the game in this is just living to fight another day. It's just not giving up and improving just a tiny bit every day. I watched it and I heard her and I saw her go through the ups and the lows.

Retirement And Emotional Calibration

Tools vs. Understanding Principles. (01:51:48)

It's amazing. Now, this month, she told me how many clients she's done. She's totally booked up for two or three more months. It's amazing what she's accomplished in 18 months. She never would have believed it. But you forget and you forget fast the tiniest details of what it means to wake up in the morning and say, "Wow, the last four weeks I haven't gotten one client. Am I going to do it different today?" I just big shout out to every entrepreneur who's starting out out there. It's tough and you should always put in context the advice that you hear. Thanks for bringing it up because people need to know it's not all roses. Shit is hard when you start. It's hard for everyone. It actually should be hard. But if you stick with it, hopefully you're doing the right thing. You can get escape velocity. Morning routines, one thing we have somewhat differing approaches to. Tools. I think that tools are super valuable. People love to talk about tools. But you give Andre Agassie a wooden wreck. He's going to kick my ass. If somebody asks me, "What apps do I use?" My apps are horrible. I use like TripIt. That's it. But I think the more powerful things are the psychology, are the systems which are run through a Google Doc. That's my take on tools. Those are my two areas of disagreement. Curious to hear what you think about the tools and also if you disagree with me on anything. Well, I provide a lot of tools because I think the specifics are helpful. The reasoning behind it, I would imagine, we're probably on the same page with. That is, the tools are byproducts of principles or strategies. For instance, I use TripIt too. I think it's underrated. But people are like, "Okay, great. I'm going to go use TripIt and life's going to be grand." It's like, "Well, yes, but maybe, but what are the principles behind it?" It's so that I can avoid manual checking of things like gate updates. It's so that I'm avoiding certain decisions, certain manual activities that are being automated. I don't have to go to Google or wherever on my phone and search "Fill in the blank airline check-in" because I can click a button and TripIt and do it automatically whether it's Delta United, American, whatever. In that principle, if you were to pull it back, it will then allow you to deduce which tools to use or at least ask people for the right tools. But it's very easy to believe. They're like, "Oh, wow." So-and-so is a great player. So-and-so is a great business person. So-and-so is a great artist because they use watercolors. It's like, "No." Whether it's watercolors, oil, content crayons, doesn't matter, charcoal, graphite, you need to know the technique and the principles behind it and the process, then you can choose your tools. I think it's easy to become a tool fetishist without understanding why you're doing what you're doing. And then you become kind of like, where is it Solomon Islands where they have the cargo cult where they have like the fake runways and the fake towers. And it's like, "Okay, great. You have a phone full of the greatest apps. You've got 79 different rules for email filtering. And guess what? You didn't do one fucking important thing today." So- Okay, I agree with you on that. I think that's really good. And I think the way you articulated deduce what the principles behind you using TripIt are is critical. I do the same thing. We use it for the same reasons. But I also take that same principle and apply it to what I do in the morning and how I decide what place to meet someone for coffee. All that stuff has been automated, so I don't have to think about it ever again. So that's a good point. Yeah, and I would say also that it is possible, very possible, and actually very common to procrastinate by searching for incrementally better and better tools. Oh, I do that all the time. And I could do the vast majority of what I do with a day planner. And in fact, I think the finite nature, this is why I still use paper. I still use note cards or small pieces of paper for to-do lists and things like that because it is by its very nature finite. I cannot have a list of 37 things I need to do. So the- in some respects, I think applying constraints to the tools that you use in the same way that- and I had Neil Gaiman actually sitting right where you are. On this podcast not too long ago, and he uses very often a fountain pen and pads of paper for drafting. And it sounds very romantic and it is in some respects, but it also has a number of psychological and practical benefits. But it seems very primitive. It's not the latest cutting edge tool. All right, I love it. This is a great explanation of the nuances behind tools. Yeah. So yeah, I appreciate that. And it's also easy, I think, for us, like we could disagree on tools all day long. We could disagree on the implementation of various things. But here's, I think, one observation that is important, that is you and I are not the same person. Meaning, like you like fancy sweaters, I'm wearing an $8 T-shirt that my mom got me, right? Yeah. And like these pants and these shoes were both given to me and I'm not wearing socks. And so we have different desires. Your vacation may look differently from mine. Your family in India is different from my family on the east coast of this country. And that's all fine. That's great. And it also means that the way we approach problem solving is going to be different. Yeah, that's a really good point. And that, but the principles, a lot of the principles, I do think are very similar. Like the values and the principles are similar. Otherwise, I don't think we would have been friends for as long as we have. Totally agree. And I think there's value in the diversity of how we think. There's also value in knowing that those will change over time, right? So as I've gotten married, I'm like, oh, wow, there's this whole world I didn't understand before. And now I'm learning that and I'm growing with my wife. I think as we've gotten in relationships, we've talked about how that's changed us. Wow. And that's like a pretty interesting topic. And then, you know, if we had like, if we had anybody else here who maybe didn't look like us or if we, they weren't our gender, we had all different kinds of diversity opinions, we would have even more ways of thinking about how we approach problems. And I think what I have learned along the way, like when I wrote the book, for example, I was a bit judgmental about what the rich life was in the first edition.

The modern perspective on retirement (01:58:39)

I was like, this is how you should invest, follow the principles, and like, this is where you end up. Now, 10 years later, there's a lot of people in the fire community, for example, this financial independence retire early. And many people are happy to acquire enough to basically be able to live on 30k a year, live a very simple life. And if they want to have a fun afternoon, maybe they'll go to the park. And they're like, we don't need materialistic stuff, we're happy. And back then, I think I would have been pretty judgmental about it. Now, I've realized, look, there's lean fire, there's fat fire, there's all kinds of different fire. And some people don't want to fire. In fact, most Americans will never fire. They will work until they're of retirement age. But rich life looks different to different people. And part of that comes from how are we raised? What do our parents tell us? And then part of it is, do we want to change that story, or do we want to just go with that? Question about retirement, I was going to ask this earlier. So this, I mean, I've wrote about this as far back as my equally scammy sounding book for our work week, a thousand years ago. But this concept of retirement, right? Let's replace that with financial freedom. Because I want to ask you what that means, or what you think people should think about it. Because a lot of thinking about retirement, I find to be extremely porous at best. It's very faulty. And well, you're in your book, you had a great example of many retirements. And like, you want to buy a Ferrari, why don't you just rent it for a week? Yeah, great example. Or you think like, okay, 20 years from now, everything I'm doing is predicated on being able to buy a boat, and I'm going to live on my boat and sail around the Mediterranean for 20 years after that. It's like, maybe you should get on a boat first. Yes. And try that for a weekend. Like go take a sailing course. You might come out of it being like, that fucking sucks. And I was, I felt sick the entire time. Okay, good to know that now and not when you've kind of slaved away and done something that you find distasteful for 20 years. And people mess up the math too. I mean, they often miscalculate and end up having a very tough time in retirement per se. So with your students, how do you encourage them to think about the objective? Right? Yeah, well, I don't believe that most people are automatons that sit down and say, here's my 50 year goal.

The more leverage, the more you should worry (02:01:10)

And let me break it down and reverse engineer it to what I'm going to do this week. I know about two people like that. And they're special on their own, but most people don't do that. Most people are very simple. They want to wake up. They want to have a good day at work. Maybe they want to have a little bit of fun or watch Netflix or have a good conversation with their partner or their friends.

Dont plan your life (02:01:31)

And that's a good day. And that's okay. Now, to kind of push people out of that and make them think a little bit bigger, it might be taking a vacation they may not have done. It might be going to a tea event that they may have never thought of going to. It's these experiences that people remember. I would say that your comment about retirement is really true for people our age. Like, I don't hear anyone saying, like, when I retire, this, that my pension, like, those conversations are not happening with our generation. So there's more of, what do I want to do? There's more spending on things like wellness and vacations and experiences. And we're seeing that in the economy as well. What I tell people is a couple of things. Number one, you may not think right now that you want to retire. But when you look at what everybody else who reaches a certain age does, if everyone does something, it might be true. And so plan for it. Like, I don't want to buy a house, but almost everybody else does. So I saved an up for a down payment. I don't need to use it, but it's there if I need to. Similarly, don't wait, right? And think bigger. So don't wait means go take a trip for three days and think bigger is like your retirement doesn't have to just be sitting around.

Its too hard to overcomplicate (02:02:43)

It can actually be much bigger that money dial turn it to 10. And it could be traveling with a fixer. It could be going for a month, a year or two months. But in order to do that, you need to build a muscle now of thinking bigger. People have this linear belief that once this bifurcation of retirement happens, then the curtain opens and I get to do all this cool stuff. Dude, if you haven't been doing it until you're 60 years old, you're not going to magically do it at 60 years old and one day. So I would encourage people to start building the muscle just like you've told them and realize that doing creative things, trying different things is a muscle. I found myself getting lazy with this in New York. I looked at where I'd gone to in the city, like over the course of the last six months. And I was like, I live in this amazing city and I'm not even taking advantage of it. So I put it into my calendar once a quarter minimum, I'm going to do a cultural event, like a show or a tea tasting, whatever the case be, something that I could only do in New York. And so now it's like on the calendar. And you can say it sounds unromantic, but I'm like, that's what I needed to do that, to keep building my muscle of trying new things. So whatever works for people do it, but I would say don't wait until you are retirement age. Yeah. And I feel like so much in our conversation has come back to making one decision that removes a thousand decisions in the sense that you put it in your calendar.

Emotional calibration Through Communication Structure (02:04:05)

And for me, if it's not in the calendar, it's just not real. So even what we call batching conversations with me and my girlfriend for discussing certain like constant, not issues in the sense of problems, but like we have regularly scheduled times to talk about certain things. We do the same thing. And it's in the calendar. And that's true with certain types of like date nights. If we're talking about relationships, right? It's true for taking trips together. It's true for visiting my family, visiting her family. And by making that decision and putting it in the calendar, you preserve your brainpower and emotional resilience and so on for other stuff that is less predictable. Do you have a consistent thing you talk about on your check-ins? We do. Yeah. We have a whole format and everything. Yeah. Okay. So this is amazing. I love meeting smart people who apply their intelligence to a different part of life. Like, for example, there's a book out by Gretchen Rubin, who we both know, and she's just so smart and she decided to write a book about keeping her house and workspace organized. And I'm like, yep, bought it. And the stuff she writes about in there is clever, interesting. It's exactly what you would think a smart person applying themselves to something for like a year would come up with. And the fact that you and your girlfriend have, we call it a touch base or a check-in and you have a consistency, it's on the calendar. Like, I love that. And, you know, I want to know, like, what's on that? What surprised you did it? Because we're going through building our own one and we're tweaking it. And I'm like, this is awesome. She's much smarter about anything involving emotions. Oh, God, it's funny. My wife is the one who suggested it for us too. Much more, much more observant than I am. It's like two cavemen talking to each other. Yeah. Yeah. So she, she's much. Yeah. Are we good? We're good? Okay, great. Like, that would be our check-in. We good? We fucking good? Because I don't really feel like having this conversation. Yeah, we're good. Okay, great. So, well, maybe this will be helpful for folks. We'll spend a few minutes on this. We have a number of rituals and things in the calendar that I think are important for the care and nurturing of the relationship. And one epiphany that I think we both had at one point was that A, I have a tendency to emotionally shut off or get defensive with a lot of questions involving emotion or emotional vulnerability. It's just not something I was really exposed to growing up. Yeah. I mean, there was or in school or with coaches. I mean, really, the feeling was, and like I say, my family as a whole, but come from a pretty, it's the right word here, stoic and not in the cool hip, like Marcus Aurelia sense, but like a fairly stoic, like Protestant-like environment where in school, for instance, the ending coaching, the general feeling was like, don't tell me the good stuff because the good stuff takes care of itself. Like tell me what needs to be fixed. Turns out that's not, I've come to realize the best approach for longevity in the relationship that I want to have with my girlfriend, which had to be pointed out to me. This is amazing because just think about this.

Progress Tracking And Prioritization

How Emotional Shutdown Affected His Relationship (02:08:04)

What got you here? Something got you here to a very elite level, and it would be easy to just be like, oh my God, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing because I won that game. You're playing a different game. Well, I think that the question I didn't ask for a very long time is like, what did it cost? Yes. And what was the collateral damage? Wow. Right? Because it's like, yeah, the Hulk's a great fucking superhero. He also makes a fucking mess. That's a good one. And I think that there was a lot of collateral damage that I probably didn't notice, and certainly didn't weigh very heavily because I was like, yeah, but look what I did. Totally. Or yeah, but look what happened. And it excused a lot of mess. 100%. So what we realized after that was pointed out to me was, or what I then said to my girlfriend, because she was curious about how to better word things so that I wouldn't have a disproportionate emotional response. That's cool that she was curious about that. Yeah, she's very good at asking questions and probing. Because if I think I have a sensitivity as someone who's effectively worked as a freelancer for decades, that if I have my headphones on and I'm in the middle of a project, I don't want to stop and have a five minute conversation about something extraneous. I get unnecessarily spun out over stuff like that. And she says, well, how should I phrase things so that it's easier and less distracting for you. And I remember saying, I said, it has nothing to do with the content. It's all timing. And that was a real breakthrough for our relationship, not because we had the conversation. This is really fucking important. Because like, yeah, you can go to like film the blank seminar, you can read film the blank book, you can take film the blank drug and have this amazing epiphany and do nothing with it. What we did from that point was then set up what we call these batching times once a week or once every two weeks, where we sit down and she has a chance to talk to me when I am prepared to talk about things that are going to make me uncomfortable. And she can handle it whenever because she's more adaptable and resilient in that way. But I can blame it on my upbringing. I can blame it on being just a weirdo. Who knows? Or just a heteronormative male who doesn't like talking about shit. Who knows? Having that time blocked out where I can like steal myself and like warm myself up psychologically to talk about things that are going to make me uncomfortable is very valuable. And the format that we currently have, so we couldn't find any real great advice on this. Same. And the format we have is we will take notes, we have like meeting notes after everyone. And where we capture what in kind of bullet points what was said. So we start with one personal start and they'll say what they think they've been doing well. Nice. And it didn't start out this way but it's ended up. They start with what they think they've been doing well or doing better. Then they talk about if they want where they think they've dropped the ball or could focus more. Which is very helpful for diffusing things. Because they bring it up themselves. Then they will tell the other person what they're doing well. And then they'll tell the other person. We started off with like shit you need to fix or that was probably my phrasing. And then it was growth opportunities. And now it's what I'd like what I would love to see more of. Nice. And that the phrasing turns out to be really important. Right. So it's like what I think I'm doing well since we last checked in what I think I could do better. What you're doing well. And then what I'd like to see more of. Yeah. And then we take notes and each then we forward it to the other person. And we can we can take a look at it. And that's that's it. Amazing. And it usually takes an hour. Maybe two hours. Is this in the morning or in the evening? Usually in the afternoon or evening on a weekend. Oh, okay. Interesting. That's most common.

Who Takes Notes? (02:12:29)

Okay. Yeah. So the note part is also interesting. So you take notes. I take notes. No, one of us will take notes on the whole thing. Okay. Okay. Got it. There's kind of like one secretary or or minute keeper for that session. That's cool. And so it could be me. I take notes in notebooks a lot. So I take notes in a notebook and then take a photo and send it to her or she'll take it in notepad on her phone and then send it. It's an interesting, interesting part of it too.

How to Use a Google Sheet for Progress Tracking (02:12:57)

It's like each person will have some skin in the game in terms of recording it. Yeah. And then I have an Evernote file where I put all of our check-ins in reverse chronological order. So the most recent is at the top. Yeah. So I can go back and look and see like, all right, did we... And this is not tip as a gotcha. It's just like, all right, did I keep up my end of the bargain? Did I say I was going to work on something three weeks ago and then I kind of forgot about it two weeks later? But also not just from the avoiding bad but doing more of the good. Yeah. Like imagine after a year you go and you're like, oh my God, like we have been super consistent and like look at the things we used to talk about and look at the things we're talking about now. Yeah. The good, the highlighting what is being done well is really important and that it's so against every behavior and habit that I've built over my entire life. But I have come to realize that without that, it can really, really be tough.

We Do a Monthly Bullshit Brushfire (02:13:42)

So one of the things that I love about this, first of all, thanks for sharing those things. Yeah. Super helpful as we are starting this ritual on our own. And I think this is a great example. And by the way, my girlfriend did 90% of that. So like I'm along for the ride but I want to give her proper credit. Totally. I think that's an example where the ritual itself may be even more important than the content. Yeah. The ritual of having the time, having it on the calendar, respecting it, always showing up, being mentally present and tracking it. That is like 90% of the ball game. And that just shows this awesome mutual respect you both have for each other. And the fact that you take it seriously and it's not weird to write down an agenda, I think so many people are, they think about things as weird. Oh, it would be weird to have a Google agenda or be weird to save for an engagement ring. I don't, I'm not even dating anyone. Well, I think it's weird to live life as most people. Yeah. I think that's weird. I would rather plan ahead. I would pick some things I want to do differently and just be unapologetic about it. So I think it's really cool that you're sharing that, including down to like, what are the questions? Because I'm going to take some of those and take it back to my wife and we're going to do those. It's been, it's, it's, it's really been a big deal for us. And it, like you said, I think the, the intention in the act of calendaring it is, uh, is of great value aside from the implementation, right? The fact that you are both setting a side time to keep the relationship on the rails and to improve it is in and of itself going to have an impact on the relationship. And there are times also when, uh, we'll put these batching sessions out, we'll schedule them out.

Prioritization as A Way Of Life (02:15:30)

Uh, and she's better about this than I am. I'm, uh, I could actually find anyogram pretty helpful, even though I'm not convinced it's more than like business acceptable, uh, astrology basically. But in any case, anyogram can kind of be interesting as, as something to fit into this. Um, so we can, we can talk about that on another podcast, but, uh, very important to her to schedule things out. Uh, and if you, if we schedule it out for, say, four or five weeks, uh, there are times when we'll look at it, we'll know it's coming and it's like, okay, are we going to do this? And it's like, no, we're good. Like there are times when we just, we don't have a critical mass of stuff to talk about. It's like, no, it can wait. Like, we'll just do it. We can push it a week. Yep. And, uh, so it's, it's, but you, you want to, from my experience this far, better to have it on the calendar. Yeah. And then say, hey, we can play hooking.

Putting The Items on Your Calendar, Not Pulling Them From Your Calendar (02:16:32)

Make it an opt out instead of opt in. Exactly. Then to not have it on the calendar and have to like hit Defcon five when things boil over. Dude, everything that's important in life should be opt out. Everything. It should be by default. It's going to happen. It's on the calendar. And whether that is, um, call your mom every Sunday evening, whether that is go train at the gym, three, four, five times a week, whatever it is, put it just that intentionality of writing it down and putting it on the calendar, even the intentionality of everyone listening and saying, what are the four things that I want to accomplish every week? I want to call my mom or dad. I want to train. I want to, whatever. I want to read a book for 10 minutes and then putting those down on your calendar. It doesn't matter if it's in the morning or night, whatever works for you. That instantly separates you from being, uh, opt in from being buffeted by the winds left and right and just going wherever the world takes you. You decide. Um, don't let the world decide for you. Here, here. Repeat. Sati. Sati. How do you say your name correctly?

Productivity, Wealth, And Relationships

Ramit Sethi talks About Productivity, Wealth, and Relationships (02:17:34)

Remeats, Sati. Okay. So you have second edition of I will teach you to be rich. Available. Uh, and I'm sure by the time people hear this, uh, it may be available. Uh, it should be available and it has 80 new pages of material. Yeah. Tools, insights about money and psychology. Stories of readers have used the book, uh, the scripts that we were talking about. Yep. And, oh, yeah. Look at those real reader results. Yeah. Yeah. We're looking at a copy of the book right now.

Many readers (02:18:02)

I wanted to show people that rich, a lot of people think rich looks a certain way, but I wanted to put photos of these readers, men, women, black, white, young, old, every one of us has someone we want to see ourselves represented. You know, I saw an ad on the train for an Indian dad in Hindi and I was like, you know what? 10 years ago, that wouldn't have been meaningful to me, but now I'm actually appreciating being represented. So that's what I wanted in this book. And you, you've tabbed a couple of things for me to check out later, which I will check out. You got, I'm just going to read the tabs. We don't have to go through all of them stories. Next, victim culture, which I'm sure you're a huge fan of. I'm kidding. Uh, word for word scripts, ignore Reddit, invisible scripts, crypto love and money.

Scripts (02:18:48)

So you got a lot here. Uh, and as I mentioned earlier, uh, uh, I'm just going to read the first paragraph on the back of the book, because I haven't seen this in ages.

Notes on the show (02:18:55)

Just quick, quick back story note. I remember when you were writing this, and I came to you for advice. And I gave you your book. I gave you bird by bird by and Lamont. And but here's, here's the first paragraph of the back copy by as many lattes as you want.

Roth IRAs (02:19:20)

That's a reference to people who recommend you cut back on all these things like a latte. Spend extravagantly on the things you love, live your rich life instead of tracking every last expense.

Uh, and you know, what I've, what I've always enjoyed observing, uh, and learning from, uh, uh, are the tests that you do. You experiment, you actually implement these things and you provide scripts and actual like algorithms for achieving very specific results. So, uh, awesome to see you. Thank you, dude. It's been a pleasure. I love catching up and thanks for having me on. Yeah. People can find you on Twitter at @romete, Instagram at @romete and website IWT.com. Are there any other places where people can check you out, see what you're up to or anything else that you would like to say before we wrap up this episode. Get the book. It's on Amazon and come visit me at any of these social places and the, the site and the newsletter and, uh, would love to talk more with everyone about their rich life. For me, thanks so much for coming on. Thanks a lot. And, uh, to everyone who is listening, thank you for joining in. You can find the show notes links to everything we've discussed at Tim.blog forward slash podcast along with every other episode.


Newsletter (02:20:34)

And until next time, track wisely, calendar the important shit, plan your batching sessions. And, uh, thanks for tuning in.

Batching Sessions

Ill Batching Sessions. (02:20:43)

And I will be in touch very soon.

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