The Story of the $350 Entrepreneur-Mobile

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Most aspiring entrepreneurs are focused on making more money. A problem with that approach is that it often leads to short term thinking.

I’ve found that when people focus less on money, and more on the underlying value they are creating, they end up being happier and doing better. Most people that I know who are ruthlessly focused on money can’t seem to figure out how to get enough.

Not having money sucks. I get it. I spent years swiping credit cards to put half-tanks of gas into my crappy car (which I had a loan on).

When I quit my day job, I was poorer than I was when I started my career. I used my big salary to get a lot of credit and act like an idiot.

Now that I’ve finally got my hands on some cash, I have experienced the most cliched reaction possible: I feel the same.

With or without the money, I’d be focused on the same thing– creating organizations that I believe are valuable.

It got me thinking: most people believe it’s money that stands between them and living the life they want. I don’t think that’s true.

People don’t live the lives they want because they prefer to be normal.

It’s tough to be weird. At the beginning, it’s exhausting.

One of the things I love about traveling around the world is seeing face to face so many different versions of what my life might have been. It frees me up to say “fuck it… I can do weird shit.”

Here’s one weird thing you can do to become an entrepreneur: you can reduce your living expenses to almost nothing. I learned from Dave Ramsey that in order to live like nobody else, you have to live like nobody else.

It’s this type of thinking that lead me to drive a $350 car.

Here’s an email I sent to my Dad back in ’09:

I know a lot of people think this kind of thing is silly. My parents sure did.

I was sure the successful guys in the business mastermind I had just joined would think I was a loser. Not so. Turns out I talked with one very successful entrepreneur about crappy cars for a while. Even though he was making tons of money, he hadn’t upgraded either.

That’s Ian and my 350 buck car, you gotta better pic of this hoopie brotha?

Here’s the thing…

Being a successful business owner is not normal.

I know some really smart people who just want to make money to fit in with a certain crowd.

These are the kind of people that make the word “opportunity” sound dirty.

I’m sure this works for some people. It doesn’t work for me.

Assume you wouldn’t make any cash in the next 3 years, but you could eat, and sleep somewhere.

What could you build that others would find valuable?

Cheers,

Dan

PS, also see Paul Graham.

Published on 02.24.11

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