Financial investments are artificial and derivative
Money is not a natural phenomenon, it’s something humans invented. This isn’t to say money is not important but every investment you’ll ever make is ultimately in humans. Every company is made up of individual people and with a different set of people and culture it would run differently. I do invest in companies and financial instruments and recommend you do as well but my personal favorite approach towards investing is to go right to the source of value: individuals.
I’ve been buying profitable real estate for a few years now but a house has never written me a check. How could they, houses don’t have opposable thumbs! (ba-dum-tss). Every dollar you’re ever going to make is going to come from another human, and I think about this every day. Every company you want to invest in was started by a regular person, a person you may know now, a person who probably could use some help.
My objective here is to sell the idea that people are the source of all potential in the world. Return on investment might be an important investment metric but if we focus too much on the monetary return we may forget that human growth is hard to measure on paper. In 2019 the S&P grew 28% but what did you grow as an individual? Ambition, maturity, experience, and confidence, and others aren’t measurable on paper but they matter. I care far less about financial return and far more about investing into people’s individual growth because I know most people have the potential to make 28% look like a bad joke.
What do you get out of going to conferences?
I’m planning to go to 4 conferences this year, a fantastic way to meet a high concentration of people in your industry all at once. Someone asked me what my plan for these events is, what do I get out of them, and how do I create a strategy that maximizes my attendance.. It’s a really good question and it’s what prompted me to write this article. There are tons of articles written detailing tips and tricks to get the most out of a conference, things like putting people into a CRM, and following up with good potential leads, making sure to take diligent notes at the classes, downloading power point slides, etc. I do none of that, and it’s not the point at all for me.
My approach is far more organic, I’m there plant seeds of genuine human relationships that I know I will harvest in ~36-48 months. I don’t go to many of the breakouts at a conference, I don’t take notes, I hardly do any of the official ‘conference’ stuff at all. Instead you can find me at the bar, or taking pictures, and just honestly getting to know people. It might seem like an unproductive approach to the efficiency nerds, but creating an ‘efficiency system’ around genuine human relationships seems incompatible to me. For me, it has to be organic or it doesn’t work, because smart humans can tell when you’re just trying to elaborately sell them something (even if selling just yourself) plus I myself am a human (surprise!) and I don’t want to spend my whole weekend entering names in a database to follow up later. It doesn’t work for either party, organic is the only way. I’m not trying to sell anyone anything, I literally trying to shake hands with the people whose social circles I want to be part of over the next 3-4 years and add value to them on a personal level. I’m also make sure to get their phone number and text them occasionally from now until forever.
This is how I invest in people, not by making a strategy outreach campaign, but by texting people randomly on a Tuesday morning to ask how things are going with them, and I do this for the rest of our lives. When I leave a conference I just made ~20 new friends who have the same interests as for life, there is no better investment.
No amount of money is worth doing business with someone you don’t like
Would you hire the best contractor in the land to work on your project if you hated working with them? He shows up on time, the price is reasonable, and the work is good…but your personalities are so incompatible you loathe to call him.
This scenario is actually quite unlikely to ever exist, which further proves my point. If you really hated to deal with someone you wouldn’t deal with them no matter how good they are. I’ll call a lousy contractor who I have a great relationship with before I call anyone I don’t like
There is an old saying
“People don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses”
Investing in people isn’t about finding the best person for the job, it’s about finding the best person for you. My overall point for this article is that humans are the best and only true investment, but just like starting a business you don’t pick the one simply with the highest return on investment you pick one that fits your personality first. Selling cigarettes might be a financial slam dunk, but I don’t believe in the product so I’ll pass on that opportunity every time. Just like if someone came and wanted to partner on a great real estate deal but I know the person and I aren’t going to get along I would pass. No investment will have a high enough return to make me agree to being miserable.
Invest selflessly and fearlessly
When I started telling the whole world to come to Fayetteville NC and providing content that allows them to easily replicate my process I found some of my peers cautioning me that the people listening might use my system to compete against me. Some of that did happen, which admittedly is frustrating, but another thing that happened is far more important: people reach out to me daily and thank me for the help, and they often want to participate in my future projects. In fact half of the projects I’ve done since starting this blog have been done in coordination with people I met through trying to help them. So while some people would fuss and whine about self creating competition, I think it’s short sighted. If someone needs my strategy and information to compete with me, then it’s unlikely they can surpass me anyway. The real value to focus on is now I have long term partners who believe in my ability, they trust me, and we have the next ~40 years to do business and build a friendship together.
People also make the mistake of internally tracking equality in relationships. Meaning, there is a tendency to make sure we are getting back reciprocation of social value similar to what we feel like we put in. The problem with this is that relationships (when done correctly) are very long, and what you can do to help someone now may be far more than they can help you, or vice versa, this deters people from taking the time to help the next person grow. Relationships are not about a trade of value they are about believing in someone’s potential to produce something useful to the planet and then sinking everything you can into that person. I never want my relationships to be equal, I want to give a lot more than I get. I know people can do tremendous things over time especially when they feel supported by their fellow human or a friend and I aim to be that human and friend every time.
Value is not seen equally by people either, value is very often intrinsic by nature. For example, I remember distinctly what it was like to be tied to a job I hated and not have the knowledge, skills, or resources to quit. This was emotionally unhealthy and discouraging position to be in and many people suffer with it. Now that I have largely solved this problem I’m in a position to help a lot of people fix it for themselves, often I can provide people a lot of value while they may or may not be able to provide value in return. What should I do? I could sell this knowledge to the next person for a premium like so many of my peers do, but to me that hardly seems more like treating people as a product rather than an investment.
From the very start, I built a website designed to teach people how to replicate my success with no ads, no sales funnel, and no catch. I provide everything I can to people and the only thing I ask in return is for you to reach out and start a friendship with me. Yeah I miss out on a lot of money, but money isn’t what I’m after because money isn’t where the value is. I’m investing in human individuals, and I think it’s going to pay off
Text me bro
I believe that investing in people is the only real investment and it comes with all sorts of additional benefits, not only do people produce amazing things over a lifetime, they often make for good friends and companions.
For these reasons people is what I focus on almost exclusively, real estate is far down the list of things I work on and I wrote this article to encourage others to do the same.
I will give you my time.