by Brian DeChesare Comments (48)

How Does Money Change Your Life?

How Does Money Change Your Life?

“Is it all worth it?”

It was one of the first emails I received after starting this site.

Someone had written a long message asking about the trade-offs of going into finance vs. joining a normal company vs. becoming a nomadic horseman in Mongolia, but that’s what his question came down to:

Does the money justify the long hours and the suffering you endure in demanding, high-intensity jobs like investment banking and private equity?

We spend a lot of time predicting and debating bonuses and compensation…

…but hardly anyone asks the underlying question: Does it matter?

In other words, how much of a real difference in your life does money make?

I’m going to break this one down today, and explain how money changes your life and your mindset – and I’ll tell you some stories of how my behavior has changed over the years.

Why Does This Question Matter?

First and foremost, you have to know what you’re getting into.

Is extra money worth the extra effort?

Or is it better to take a lower-paying, but a more rewarding job that gives you more free time?

But you also need to understand this topic because many of the people you interact with in fields like finance and technology will be wealthy themselves.

If you know how they think, what they’re looking for, and what their biggest frustrations are, your chances of winning offers and succeeding on the job increase exponentially.

Finally, if you want to become wealthy one day, you need to start thinking like people who have already done it.

If you dress like you’re successful, people will assume that you are successful (see: The ROI of Fashion).

And if you think the same way as people who have “made it,” people will assume that you’ve also made it… even if you’re not quite there yet.

You’re visualizing the outcome, which will make it easier to achieve the goal. Just ask Rocky.

My History: From Rags to… Almost Riches?

People who sell companies, ascend to C-level executive positions, or inherit trust funds rarely share what it’s like because it seems tacky and uncomfortable.

Sure, there are the Rich Kids of Instagram, but you won’t exactly find thoughtful discussion there.

If you’ve read my life story before, you know my history: my family never made more than $60-70K per year, and I graduated university with over $100K of debt.

As a result, I was very focused on making money – far more so than students without debt, and far more so than (most) students from wealthier backgrounds.

And it worked.

I got into a high-paying field (investment banking), and then quit and started this business, which has become quite successful.

I paid off all my debt, I saved up more than most retirees, I travel all the time, and I don’t pay much attention to my daily spending.

But I also work 65-70 hours per week, I haven’t taken a day off in the past eight years, and I run around frantically responding to messages and creating content every day.

So was it all worth it?

Narrowing Down a Very Broad Question

You have to narrow down this question a bit because the impact of money depends on:

  • How you made the money – Did you sell your company? Did you become CEO of a major corporation and get a 7-figure bonus? Did you work at a hedge fund for 10-15 years? Or are you just a Rich Kid of Instagram?
  • What your ongoing obligations are – Are you still in a demanding, high-intensity job, despite having made money? Or did you make a clean break and “retire”? Are you semi-retired?
  • How much money you made – $1 billion USD buys you a very different lifestyle than $1 million USD, though both levels put you in a different bracket from 99% of humanity.

In this article, I’ll assume that:

  • You made money from a demanding corporate job or from your own business; and
  • You’re still in that position – because you cannot leave or because you want to stay; and
  • You saved up between $1 and $10 million USD – not enough to buy a yacht, but enough to live comfortably and to avoid doing things out of pure financial obligation.

If you go into the finance industry and do reasonably well for 10-15 years, these three conditions represent the most likely outcome for you.

The One Change to Rule Them All: Time vs. Money

Your behavior will change in dozens of ways as you approach this level, but there’s one overarching change that explains everything else:

You start valuing time more than money.

Most people, however, do not value their time at all.

This mindset makes sense if you have a regular job or something that pays you a fixed salary: you earn the same amount regardless of how you use your time, and even if you work more, you won’t get paid more… so why bother?

If you’re outside that “normal job” bucket, though, and particularly if you’re in a role like entrepreneurship, sales, or investing, where there’s unlimited upside, your mindset is quite different.

You might think this mindset shift is 100% positive… but it’s not that simple.

There are both positive and negative changes, which I’ll detail below – along with Key Takeaways for each change that you can immediately apply.

Change #1: You Start Tracking and “Saving” Your Time Much More Closely

Imagine your most frugal friend: the one who can survive on $5 / day, or the one who buys tickets from the US to Europe for $100 by picking an ultra-low-cost carrier and packing only two shirts.

Now imagine this type of frugality, but with time rather than money.

I find ways to squeeze in work anywhere and everywhere: on the subway, in the taxi, and even on the ferry when everyone else is getting drunk.

More than anything, I hate waiting in line or having “dead time” where I can’t work, read, or do anything useful.

Since I’ve started valuing my time more, I’ve also done a better job of tracking it.

For example, I can tell you that in the past week I’ve spent 29 hours, 47 minutes, and 12 seconds on the new PowerPoint course we’re currently creating:


If you don’t track your time, you end up wasting it on low-leverage activities that are unlikely to result in higher income or better business outcomes.

For example, if I spend more time answering random emails than on content creation, something disastrous has happened: I’ve traded $100-$500 / hour work for $10 / hour work.

I now use to track and categorize everything down to the minute – here’s a 14-hour segment (not the entire work day) from last week:


I often spend money to save time because the “the cheaper option” can result in wasted time , and therefore lost earnings, even if the sticker price is lower.

So if I see an itinerary from Seattle to Seoul that will cost me 2x less than a 12-hour itinerary but will take 18 hours, I’ll pay for the 12-hour one.

If I’m visiting Buenos Aires and I see a place that’s cheap but far from Palermo, I’ll pick a more expensive place in Palermo; I want to spend my time working or drinking wine, not commuting.

Key Takeaways: This point is why I encourage you to pitch yourself as offering time savings to bankers.

Seasoned professionals want free time, or at least time for higher-leverage activities, more than anything else.

So if you walk in and say, “I can immediately save you 2 hours per day on Tasks X, Y, and Z, which gives more time to win clients / find new investments,” you’ll get a far better reception than someone who walks in citing only his/her grades and previous internships.

Also, even if you’re still a university student, you should consider tracking your time.

You don’t have to be OCD about it as I am, but by tracking your time you immediately start valuing it more highly.

Change #2: You’re Willing to Turn Down Money Because It’s Not Worth as Much to You… or Because You Have Other Priorities

We get a lot of suggestions to offer courses in new areas, like sales & trading, Project Finance, mining, venture capital, etc.

Putting aside the practical issues – the difficulty of finding suitable reference materials, being locked into revamping and updating the courses into eternity, etc. – there is another reason I haven’t followed most of these suggestions:

I don’t care.

Or rather, I care more about improving and adding to what we already have.

So I spent ~5 months this year creating material on real estate private equity and private company and IPO analysis for our existing courses.

It’s also why there’s a night-and-day difference between the old Fundamentals course and the new one.

I would earn more money if I left the older courses in crappy shape and then focused 100% on creating courses in other areas with the bare minimum work required.

But “earning more” isn’t a great incentive for me anymore.

I’ve also made other tweaks over the past few years as a direct result of this changed mindset:

  • We’ve started turning down more potential customers. If someone isn’t a good fit for our courses or services, I don’t want him/her to sign up. It’s not worth it to me anymore.
  • A year or two ago we changed the money-back guarantee to 12 months rather than the usual 1-2 months. This one costs us money as well, but I don’t care: if someone tries the course and doesn’t like it for any reason, I don’t want his/her money.

These policies cost us money, but they preserve my sanity and also help our readers and potential customers.

Key Takeaways: Yes, if you need work experience and you’re a university student, take an unpaid internship if that’s your best option.

But as you progress, build contacts, and get real experience, you should become more discerning about the jobs and promotions you pursue.

If you always go after whatever pays the most, you’ll get diminishing returns from the money and you’ll end up short-changing yourself in other areas, like skill set development and networking.

Change #3: It Becomes Harder to Relate to Other People, Friends, and Family Members

In the past, I often went on trips with friends: Mt. Fuji, a cross-country trip over Golden Week in Japan, and even a cross-Asia trip when I first started this site.

Nowadays, though, I almost always travel alone because of the time vs. money issue.

Friends with regular jobs want to save money, even if it costs them time via indirect routing – whereas I will always spend more for the most direct path.

Other people also don’t really “get” how I can never completely disconnect from emails, questions, and so on. So tensions inevitably develop over why I’m “always working.”

Tensions have also developed between myself and family members, most of whom are middle-class workers in government jobs.

At family gatherings, I stay silent and do a lot of listening.

To a middle-class family raising four kids, I’m like an alien visitor from an Earth-like planet: we can breathe the same atmosphere, but it’s a bit awkward to be in the same room.

Besides the obvious negatives, there’s another significant downside to not relating to other people as well: it makes you worse at business.

For example, if you start a consumer-facing company and you’ve already been well off for quite some time, you will not understand the average person’s shopping and consumption habits that well.

There’s a reason so many successful startups came from the Founders’ personal problems: you understand yourself and your frustrations the best.

Sure, you could always start a luxury brand or target the higher end of the market, but you lose out on a lot of mass-market opportunities once you become disconnected.

Key Takeaways: Do you have a big frustration, or another problem that’s affecting you right now for which you can’t find a solution?

Act on it!

Don’t wait until “you have enough money,” or you might lose the motivation and empathy required to start whatever you’re going to start.

Change #4: It Makes Dating/Relationships Easier to Get Into, But Harder to Make Successful

If you made it through my life story, you saw the various bad experiences I had along the way: stupidly following one girl to Korea, dating another crazy one and then having to climb Mt. Doom to destroy Frodo’s Ring and defeat Sauron, and so on.

One underlying reason for those experiences is that money makes it easier to date and get into relationships, but harder to sustain them and make them successful.

When you earn a certain amount, it’s quite easy to “wine and dine” your way to success.

If you take someone out to nice places and do things that other people can’t afford or don’t want to pay for, you immediately stand out.

I’ve “tested” this all around the world, and it works surprisingly well.

But this same advantage also turns into a disadvantage in the long term because no relationship can survive on wining and dining alone.

It takes time, which is in short supply if you’re in a demanding, high-intensity job that requires you to be on call 24/7.

This requirement is why so many CEOs, serial entrepreneurs, and film directors have failed or non-existent personal lives (see: Martin Scorsese and his five marriages).

Then there are plenty of other issues that money cannot solve.

One of my problems, for example, is that my profession is perceived as unstable and therefore looks unappealing to older, more conservative people – and inevitably the other person’s family always has plenty of them.

Attempting to “prove” that I’ve earned and saved money just makes it worse: they accuse me of lying and say that I’m both unstable and dishonest.

And whatever I do or say, it will never be as good as being a doctor.

Key Takeaways: I don’t believe there is such a thing as “work-life balance”: pick one!

If you have a demanding job where you’re working 60-70+ hours per week, it will be tough, though not impossible, to make a long-term relationship successful, especially if the other person has more free time than you.

So if you value your social/family life highly, stay far away from (most of) the jobs featured on this site.

Change #5: You Have to Develop Non-Financial Goals to Motivate Yourself

Up through my first full-time job and the first few years of this business, I had simple goals:

  1. Pay off my student loans as quickly as possible.
  2. Save up enough cash to survive on for 2-3 years in case something disastrous happens.
  3. And don’t die in the process (this was the hardest goal).

But then a few years ago, those goals stopped mattering because I achieved all of them.

When this happens to you, you’ll wake up one morning and ask the obvious question:

“What now?”

I view myself as an educator. The most valuable thing I can do is teach more effectively to help more students and professionals understand concepts.

I do that not strictly for money, but also because I enjoy the process: coming up with new ideas, researching new industries and case studies, and then figuring out how to break them down into step-by-step tutorials.

So my main goal now is to continue revamping all of our existing courses and make them as good as they possibly can be.

I wanted to go beyond the Excel formulas and present each concept as a case study where you have to advise a client or make an investment recommendation… and then write a memo or presentation on it.

This new approach takes about 5x as much time, and it has led to some “internal disagreements” at our company.

The marketers wanted me to dedicate 100% of my time to marketing; they thought everything was “good enough” as is.

I disagreed with them and felt the products had to be improved.

From a financial perspective, they were right: you can go a surprisingly long way with half-assed products and a big marketing budget.

But… that’s not my goal.

Key Takeaways: Yes, everyone cares a lot about money, bonuses, etc., but you should come up with non-financial goals for each internship/job/opportunity you pursue.

What skills do you want to gain? Which people do you want to network with? How can you leverage the experience in the future?

And always think about whether it’s time for you to earn or learn.

Change #6: You Realize That Money Does Not Solve All, or Even Most of, Your Problems

This one is not some hippy, save-the-Earth train of thought: I mean that there are specific business problems that you cannot solve with money.

If you run your own business and your employees are grossly underpaid, sure, you need to fix that…

…but if the work environment sucks or you’re a horrible boss, people won’t stick around for the long term no matter how much you pay them.

Sometimes it is also tough to find people with the right skills, regardless of how much money you’re offering.

For example, I still answer a ton of support questions personally because they are too technical or too detailed for others to reasonably respond to:


You might say, “Hire more people! Build the team! Pay people and they’ll do it!”

But if you think about the job for a second, the difficulty becomes apparent:

  1. This person would need at least a few years of experience in IB, PE, or a related field.
  2. This person would also need to be very familiar with our 300+ hours of training, and the new content added each year.
  3. And… this person would need top-notch communication skills.
  4. And… this person would have to be patient and not ridicule students for silly questions.
  5. And… this person would also have to have 1-2 hours of free time per day, every day, to respond to questions.

There is a name for such a person: a unicorn.

If you find one, please catch it, study it, and let me know how to reproduce it.

Even if I found such a unicorn, he/she would not want to stay in this type of support role for a long time because it doesn’t lead to anything career-wise.

It’s okay for a part-time job if you’re in business school or you’re starting a new business and you need cash flow, but the same problems still exist with those (i.e., no long-term reason to stay).

People are motivated just as much by their work environment, purpose, and potential future opportunities as they are by money in the present day (see: Dan Ariely’s work).

Key Takeaways: You can endure a horrible work environment up to a certain point, but once it’s broken beyond the point of repair, quit.

Also, if you ever start your own firm / startup / venture of any kind, you should focus just as much on the work environment, culture, and morale as you do on compensation.

Oh, and don’t follow my example by creating a role for which it is impossible to actually hire someone.

Is It All Worth It?

So going back to our original question: Is it all worth it?

Does money change your life as much as you think it does?

I would say, “Yes… but only up to a certain point.”

Coming from a middle-class background, I never wanted to end up clipping coupons or watching my budget with hawk eyes to save $1.00 here and there.

And in exchange for that, I’ve gladly accepted longer hours, more stress, 5 AM calls, and no vacations/holidays… ever.

But I don’t think I’ll be working at this same intensity level forever.

Money solves some problems, but there are also diminishing returns after a point, and it creates other problems that you may not have considered yet.

So if you’re picking a career based on money, set a stop loss: an amount you need to save up to feel comfortable doing something else.

This is not “retirement money,” but merely what you need to feel comfortable taking bigger risks and setting non-financial goals.

For some people, this might be no debt and $100K… or $200K… or $500K… but whatever it is, make sure it’s a specific number.

When you get there, stick to your plan, quit, and start thinking about life outside your bank account.

And then it might all be worth it.

About the Author

Brian DeChesare is the Founder of Mergers & Inquisitions and Breaking Into Wall Street. In his spare time, he enjoys memorizing obscure Excel functions, editing resumes, obsessing over TV shows, traveling like a drug dealer, and defeating Sauron.

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  1. Thanks a lot Brian, it helps a lot.

  2. Interesting story.

  3. Brian – First time commenter, long-time reader. Would really appreciate any thoughts you might have here…I have 2+ years of research experience and just got into a regional boutique IB in the same sector that I was covering. I’m hoping to lateral to EB as soon as possible for better pay and potential exit opps. Given that I’m in a second tier city, the few EBs here don’t have the same industry coverage group as mine, although I may be able to make a case for some overlap with other groups. Curious your thoughts on approaching this type of transition. Should I wait a year and then try to make the move? Should I start reaching out via LinkedIn/email to the MDs at the EB I am targeting now? I don’t want to come off as a job hoper for only having been at my current IB gig for a few months. Will exit opportunities even exist since I did research for over 2 years? Seems like I may be getting in the game late. Really appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thank you!

    1. I would probably wait for closer to a year before you try to move to another firm. Otherwise they might ask why you want to move when you’ve only been there for a few months so far. If you’re in IB now, you will have exit opportunities… the future of research isn’t great, but it’s not a big deal if you worked there and then moved into another group.

  4. Very helpful Brian! Thanks!

  5. Brian,

    Thank you for the article. Truly insightful.

    Have you heard of Mark Manson? Your writing and mindset resemble his closely.

    I think that you’d really enjoy his content.


    1. Thanks! No, I haven’t heard of him before, but will check out his writing.

  6. Great article, Brian. I can wholeheartedly understand and relate to your situation when you were incredibly money-driven… I also come from a humble middle-class family that watches our budgets meticulously. As the firstborn child, a lot of my dad’s hopes and dreams are placed on me and we’re using so much money to send me to university. I spend as much time as possible trying to perform value-added activities, but I need to find a way to improve even more…

    So I will start using I’ve already allocated a total of 13 minutes reading this article and writing this response. I’ll also keep in mind that money is not the end-all, be-all.

    Thank you for this amazing article, Brian. It’s already changed my life.

  7. Thanks Brian for sharing your stories and opinions on this topic. I will start thinking about both my financial and non-financial goals now. And there are some other deeper questions I need to ask myself after reading your article.

    1. Thanks for reading and glad to hear it!

  8. now that you’ve made your money, how do you invest it?

    do you expect to make 10% returns yearly?

    to me, that’s the whole point of making as much as soon as possible….

    so once you have $1mn saved, you can have a early income of 100k with a 10% yearly return…

    1. however, at the same time, i’ve come to realize that’s not as easy to achieve as it’s easy to say.

      do you go on margin?

      take higher risk?

      10% loss ends up meaning a loss of $100k a year….

      1. I am really not doing much of anything at the moment aside from some angel investing and P2P lending. Like you said, it’s FAR harder to actually earn 10% each year than you realize. Doing so consistently presents a lot of risk, and at this level you care much more about preserving wealth than possibly losing it all just to earn 10%.

        I actually think it’s sort of overrated to have that as a goal – yes, you can cover expenses, but what are you going to do with your time? You still need some type of daily routine, and you’ll get bored with partying eventually. So you might even go back to work unless you have a really clear plan for other alternatives.

        To get “risk-free” returns that cover expenses you would probably need a lot more saved up, or you’d have to be more active in managing your money (which I don’t want to do).

  9. Awesome post Brian, thanks for putting it out there! When you started out in finance, did you imagine how life would look once you’d “made it”? Was it anything like your current outlook on time/money/life? Any guesses on how you’ll change in the next decade or two?

    1. Thanks! Not really, no. It was so far away at the time that I wasn’t thinking about it – the goal was to simply pay off debt and save up something. I think I undervalued time back then and didn’t understand its true importance… which is an easy mistake to make when bankers around you are working 24/7.

      I anticipate winding down a bit more over time and not working at this level forever, but it’s really tough to get specific. The biggest difference will be that I’ll probably have to “settle down” at some point and stop moving around so much.

  10. As it happens, I too started using last month … boy, what an eye-opener.

    1. Yeah it’s definitely shocking. I always like seeing peoples’ expressions when they see how they’ve *really* been spending their time… (if tracked honestly).

  11. This one goes in the hall of fame for sure, Brian. Incredible article as others have pointed out. Hardcore dedication comes with a heavy price.

    Changes #3 and #4 are definitely true. I slowly went from about 30 good friends in my younger years and hit zero friends about 2 years ago. I simply can’t connect with people who hate their job and who never want to improve or innovate on anything. Family members and friends are speechless since I didn’t take “the path” so I’m invisible.

    In addition as you pointed out, getting dates is not an issue but I too often hear the “You only care about your work,” line a few weeks or months in. 1-2 phone calls requiring me to log in over a weekend will usually do it. I changed jobs within finance and cut my hours way back by the time I hit my 30’s but it’s too late now.

    Sometimes I wish I had become a car mechanic or something so I could go home at 6pm and maybe have a family. But then again, I still love what I do and I can’t think of anything else I’d enjoy.

    To the younger readers, for the love of god don’t end up like me. That’s all I can say.

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah I’m so tired of hearing “You work too much” that I sort of just block it out now. Sometimes I just tell them upfront, “I work a lot. So if you’re expecting me to hang out every day or talk on the phone for hours, I’m not the right person.”

      A car mechanic would be interesting… at the very least it would be easier to stay in shape with that kind of job.

  12. Thanks for sharing this genuine perspective on hardwork and money, Brian. Your work ethic is truly admirable.

    If I may ask, how did you manage to keep yourself motivated through the darkest of times. Have you ever burned out, and how did you come back from it to continue working at this rate?

    1. Thanks!

      That is a tough one. Yes, I’ve felt burned out before. I usually try to do at least one fun thing per week and “take a break” even if I’m still working for part of the day. Sometimes I also did trips in between major product launches to down-shift a bit and focus less on work for a week or two. Then there’s my TV addiction – I binge-watched Fargo last year after finishing the new Fundamentals course.

      Meeting new people and randomly exploring some new place also tends to be a great way to avoid burnout… whereas staying at home or in the office too much leads to Patrick Bateman-like moments.

      Also see:

  13. Hi Brian,

    In the article, you mentioned if someone wants to be weathy, he/she needs to think like a wealthy person. It is a really good advice – but realistically, how to do that? I am not a rich person, how do I know what they think/care?

    Any recommendations to train my mind? My ultimate goal is to become an investor.


    1. The thing is, everyone is an investor even if they do not have much money to invest… because everyone has to decide how to spend their time, attention, and other resources. “Investing” just means allocating resources, whether they be time, money, attention, or relationships, into the areas of highest returns.

      So you are already an investor even if you don’t realize it.

      To start thinking this way, you can begin by tracking your time for a week or so and see where it’s going. Are you spending a lot of time on the job search? Networking? Interview practice? Researching stocks to pitch? Are you browsing the web too much or watching too many TV shows? How much time do you spend exercising or doing activities? What about on sleeping?

      The first step is to see how you’re *already* allocating your time… and the next step is to decide how you *should* be allocating it.

      What use of time will result in the highest future income, or highest potential income for you? What about the usage of time that will result in the most valuable skill set? Once you know that, you should start investing more time into those activities.

      Most people never really think about this… just try asking around and very few people will be able to give even a rough answer of how they’re allocating their time.

      1. Thanks Brian. Your advice is really really helpful.

        A follow-up on my previous question: my ultimate goal is to become the best private equity investor focusing on technology or consumer industries. Now I am in business school and I will start in investment banking next year.

        I tracked down the time I spent on each item everyday. I found I spent much time studying, instead of socializing with my classmates. I understand private equity is a people business too. How can I start making friends with these people that I haven’t been friends with for the past one year? From your experience, is it really important for me to make friends with my classmates even if I don’t like them? I want to make friends with these people because they might be helping me someday.

        Thank you.

        1. Yes, I would definitely reduce the time you spend on studying. Business school is all about networking, especially once you’ve already lined up a job. To start making friends, just go to events, join new clubs, and maybe try volunteering to plan an event since that will put you in touch with a lot of new people.

          I don’t think you need to become best friends with your classmates, but you definitely need to expand your network while there… so try to find common ground, build a bond when you can, and look past the parts you don’t like as much.

  14. Hi Brian,

    I really appreciate reading your many articles, and thank you on behalf of all other college students/aspiring financiers for your invaluable resources. I really like how you provided a non-biased, no-political-bs, non-self-serving commentary on how a banking lifestyle/career could potentially and reasonably change a person’s perspectives.

    It seems that our society of late is largely composed of two idealist groups, one in which bankers/Wall Street professionals are condemned for whatever discord the world finds itself to be in. And the other in which (usually by aspiring bankers) the banking lifestyle appears to be the silver bullet of all and the most rational way to solve all of one’s troubles as a cure-all panacea. I feel that we really do need people like you who are down-to-earth and sincere about the actual pros and cons of a banking career. Really enjoy your article, as always.


    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, people definitely gravitate toward extremes these days. Unfortunately, the more nuanced descriptions often get lost in the shuffle because people just want easy answers for everything… but real life does not work like that.

  15. Benjamin Moses


    My plan is not to have a number in mind, but to work IB as an analyst for two years and get into a B school to run my dads company. In my experience time is worth too much to work 70-120 hour weeks for any longer than you absolutely need.

    Question is: do you have a number in mind you’ll continue running this site until you reach?

    You’ve helped so many people man, thanks.

    1. Thanks! I don’t really think of it in those terms. Basically, I’ll keep doing this as long as I feel there’s new territory to cover and as long as there are ways to improve, add to, and expand what we already have. But as I said above, realistically I don’t think I can work the same hours for the rest of my life.

  16. Agree with many others, I’ve read most weekly articles and this is is right up there!

    I can relate to almost every feeling or every state of mind that you (Brian) have gone through. Will be happy to join hands with folks like you who value time more than anything else.

    Please connect with me on LinkedIn so we can continue this discussion.

    1. Thanks for reading! I’m not saying it’s “good” to value time more than money necessarily… just that it is one thing that happens as you gain more wealth, which has both positive and negative effects. Looking back, I’m not sure I should have been so focused on financial gains.

  17. As a long time reader of this site I would have to say this is one of the most fascinating and insightful articles I have had the pleasure of reading. A fresh approach to many issues I’ve been thinking about since graduation. Thank you very much Brian!

    1. Thanks, glad to hear it!

  18. Great post! I completely agree. Love your courses, and the responses to the comments are invaluable.

    On another note i think there is something else that matters too; its passion. I personally am extremely passionate in investing, and honestly that’s all i’ve ever thought about since I was a sophomore in college. Every single day I work pretty hard and will likely work this hard for the rest of my life, but regardless I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is what I was born to do, and the financial incentive is great, but it isn’t even close to everything.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, that is definitely true. I didn’t want to get into passion here because it takes time to figure out, and many people incorrectly think they can just “know” what it is from day one. But if you are at the stage where you already know what it is, then yeah, you can do almost anything as long as it’s in-line with your passions.

  19. Brilliant read. You mentioned something about not dying being the hardest part, and I assumed you were only half joking. I understand that you crashed your car once. Care to elaborate on anything else?

    1. Thanks! There were other incidents as well, mostly due to lack of sleep – it’s not even a great idea to take public transportation after pulling multiple all-nighters (one time I fell asleep on the subway and ended up going in a complete circle around Seoul, twice, which takes hours), or to ignore multiple signals that you’re sick and then end up in the ER. I did learn my lesson about driving, though, so I pretty much never drive anymore (easier with Uber and Lyft now).

  20. Your no-BS attitude and great content never disappoint. This post was like listening to a mentor and it was very well received. Definitely going to invest in your courses in the near future. Very motivating


    1. Thanks, glad to hear it! No pressure on the courses. :)

  21. Love your story!

  22. Sounds like a lot of wisdom been gained from the process, :)

    1. Thanks! Yes, definitely… as I sit here writing this while working in my hotel room and debating if I want to sleep now or just stay up until 5 AM…

  23. I read your content every week even if I’m not in the finance / banking industry as they’re great reads nevertheless. This one is pretty awesome though, have to re-read it a few times to digest and reflect on my own money mindset. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for reading! Oh yes, this one was designed for re-reads…

  24. Very insightful

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