2 min read
The older I get, the more I realize that most advice people freely hand out is just specific advice that worked for them in the past.
For example, the businessman still working in his late 60’s who tells you to “enjoy your 20’s, travel the world, and don’t worry about money while you’re young” probably did exactly that when he was young.
Gary Vee, CEO of VaynerMedia, often tells young people to “work three jobs, never watch Netflix, and spend 10-15 years pursuing your passion so you can ‘flex’ on everyone in your late 30’s and 40’s. He recommends that approach because it’s exactly what he did and it worked out well for him.
James Altucher, a serial entrepreneur, is infamous for claiming that college is a waste of time. Despite attending both Cornell and Carnegie Mellon, he made most of his money through starting his own businesses. He tells young people to deeply reconsider going to college because most of his own success came without the help of his degrees.
Anyone who has built a successful rental property portfolio will tell you that owning property is the best way to build passive income. But someone who has built up an impressive REIT portfolio (a more hands-off approach to real estate investing) may tell you otherwise.
I don’t think there exists career, financial, or life advice that applies to everyone. We all have unique personalities, interests, and ambitions.
I recently stumbled across a tweet by Mark B that encapsulates this idea:
Some pieces of advice might be perfect for your unique situation, while others may feel misguided. It’s a good idea to expose yourself to a wide spectrum of life philosophies from a wide variety of people. This way, you can pick and choose what feels right to apply to your own life.
That’s why, when I read articles, listen to podcasts, or watch videos in which people dish out advice, I pay close attention to how my gut responds. If a piece of advice resonates with me, I’ll take it and run with it. If not, I’ll ignore it.
Here are some examples of recommendations, habits, and philosophies that have resonated with me over the years and that I have chosen to implement in my own life:
Waking up early (5 – 6 AM)
REIT and dividend-stock investing
Saving and investing while still in my 20’s
Spending on travel before achieving F.I.
Starting a blog
All of these things have added value to my life, which is why I have written posts about most of them. When you read these posts, just know that I’m recommending them because they have personally benefited me.
It’s inevitable that you will hear a wide variety of career, financial, and life advice from the world. It’s up to you to decide which advice to absorb.
Don’t feel guilty if minimalism doesn’t resonate with you, or if tiny houses don’t sound appealing, or if you find joy in buying chipotle burritos more often than you should.
Find what does appeal to you, keep your eyes peeled for new habits and strategies, and pay close attention to how your gut responds to different pieces of advice.
Find what works for you and ignore the rest.
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
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