Gain financial freedom by doing this

One of the hardest lessons to learn about investing is this: to win, you need to learn how to lose.

These past several days the market has been going down, and I was tempted to sell. Maybe you were too. I get it; losing is scary. It’s tempting to sell your investments, especially your stocks, when they are plummeting.

But that’s exactly the wrong thing to do. Sure, there are some positions you might need to get out of, the losers that have little chance of winning. But I’m not talking about those.

I’m talking about the investments you’ve researched and formed a conviction around, the great companies that you hold in your portfolio. Those are the ones you shouldn’t sell. I know. I’ve been there.

In February or March of last year, when people thought that the coronavirus was going to create a zombie apocalypse, I sold most of my Shopify position in one of my accounts. It was a big position for me. And that was a huge mistake. If I had held on, it would have been a monster gain. It would have been something someone could have retired on. But I didn’t hold on.

I wasn’t willing to lose, so I lost.

See, when the market is going down, you have to be willing to take paper losses. Those are the ones you get before you actually sell your stock to actualize your loss. Not actualizing your losses leads to a path of winning.

And, the truth is, the higher your account goes, the scarier it gets. It sounds backward, but it’s not. That’s because you have more to lose. Your account balance might be higher than it has ever been, but that’s when you’re in the most danger. Maybe your account crossed some threshold, six figures, seven figures, or whatever, and when a week like this week happens, it’s all the more tempting to sell to keep what you have left. But don’t.

The best gains aren’t made in a day. They are made in a year, five years, a decade. Hold onto the companies that are growing and innovating and dominating their industry. Don’t sell them. Add to your positions when days like these come along. And you’ll be amazed at what will happen.

You’ll gain financial freedom.

You’ll win.


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How to overcome your fear of pain

Life isn’t about avoiding pain. It’s about knowing what’s worth living for despite the pain.

To find that purpose that makes the pain irrelevant or less relevant is key to really living.

Many of us get carried along in our lives without really knowing what we want in life. And, when that’s the case, we take the path of least resistance. We’ll choose comfort. We’ll coast.

But, when you live purposefully or have a goal, you approach life differently, better.

You won’t see pain as something to avoid, no. It becomes an obstacle that you must overcome to get to your goal. Pain becomes a challenge, not a deterrent. You see, good goals eclipse the pain.

So take the time to clarify what you want in life. If you do, you’ll be able to go through anything to achieve your purpose.

You won’t just be alive. You’ll really live.


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A secret to winning

We all want to win in our relationships, investments, love. But winning is often counterintuitive. And we can sum it up like this.

To win, you must be willing to lose.

You see, in relationships, we want to be right or argue our point or make people see our way, our hurts, our pain, our truths. But if you’ve been around the block and have some experience, you know that doesn’t work. In fact, it only poisons relationships. Making people see what you see isn’t a way to create intimacy. To go deeper with people, you have to lose that need to be known first and, instead, try to understand others before being understood, empathize with them, feel their pain. When you do that, you will likely deepen your relationships. Of course, you want to find people where this “losing” is mutual. They are willing to “lose” for you and you for them. But sometimes, it takes someone to initiate it. And if you do, you will not find yourself without friends and loved ones.

Who doesn’t want more money? Of course, we all do. I’m just keeping it real here. But, what we aren’t real about is how to win in this area. In investing, winning is also about losing. Maybe you’ve lost money trying to invest, and you don’t want to touch the stock market. But I think there’s a reason for that. It’s the fact that you’re trying too hard to win. I know that sounds confusing. But let me explain. When I lost money in the market, often it happened because I was too afraid to lose money: anytime my stock or investment started losing money, I would sell. Then that investment would recover and appreciate, and I would feel terrible because I felt like I was missing out. So then I would buy back into that stock when the price was higher. Then it would go down again, and I would sell again because I was losing money. And that cycle kept happening. In short, I would try so hard to win that, at any moment when I was losing, I would try to save myself by getting out of the market out of fear of losing more money. Maybe you can relate. After reading books and reflecting on my countless mistakes, I realized that I needed to just buy and hold. But to do that, I had to get my head right. I had to be willing to lose my money, all of it if necessary, if I had a high conviction about a company. That’s when I started making money. To make money, you have to be willing to lose it.

Love is complex. And I don’t want to say that to make romantic relationships work, you just have to lose, because that’s not necessarily true. But it does help. I’ve seen it in my marriage. When I’m willing to die to myself for my wife, our relationship goes better. And, when I say “die to myself,” what I mean is that I’m willing to set my agenda, preferences, desires, etc. aside and let hers be higher, more important. That’s losing. And if you do that, you will win. Your love will grow. Now, I don’t mean for you to get abused. No, marriage or romantic relationship is a two-way street. So you need to tell the other person to treat you better if they are treating you like crap. But often, to engender love, love will feel like a one-way street. And you might be the roadkill sometimes. But your relationship will likely flourish.

And, in general, too many of us care too much. We live like we have something to lose. We strive to upgrade our cars, houses, jobs. And we are terrified of getting them taken away from us. But what we don’t see is that this race robs us of joy. When we care so much about our stuff and titles and money, keeping up with the Jones, we just end up living poorer lives. We lose.

It’s when we stop caring so much that we begin to live more richly. When we stop trying to make another buck, sacrificing time with loved ones, and start making sure they feel loved, we are richer. I mean, have you ever seen someone who seems to live so effortlessly, who doesn’t seem to have a care in the world? I don’t mean that they are careless. They just are not that burdened. They may not be the wealthiest person, but they have something money can’t buy. They are free. I’m not saying we should all become homeless people. But we all burden ourselves with things that just don’t matter that much. If that’s you, stop worrying about winning. In fact, be more willing to lose.

If you do, you’ll become a real winner.


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A secret to writing even when you don’t feel worthy

One of the hardest things about writing is saying something worth sitting down to write.

I know. I’m feeling it right now, as I’m trying to write this.

And that’s the thing about writing; it’s often based on our feelings. When we write, we can feel not only that our work isn’t worthy enough, but that, somehow, we are unworthy. That’s what makes writing so hard.

In writing, it’s less about what is being written than it is about the writer. You. Me. Us.

But, if you remember anything from this post, remember this. You are good enough to write.

Sure, you’re going to write crap. A lot of what you create will be garbage. Yes, most of it won’t get read, or it will get ignored. And all of that will feel horrible.

I know. I’ve been there. I still get there. I was there today.

But that doesn’t mean all of your writings are bad. You’re just in process. You’re growing. And that is painful.

I find that I must repeatedly give myself the permission to write, even if it’s poor, unread, ignored material (especially in those times). We as writers so easily stop ourselves because we have this imaginary person inside of us, criticizing us, telling us that we have no business sitting here writing.

But they are wrong. You do belong here. You do have something to say. You must write.

You must because you feel it in your heart. You have a desire within you. And, if you do, you must keep at it. Don’t stop. Keep writing.

You see, writing isn’t about whether your writing is worthy or not. Every writer, even Stephen King to Shakespeare, wrote words that flopped. So, no, it’s not about how worthy your writing is. It’s about what you do.

And if you write, you, my dear reader, are a writer.

And, over time, you will improve. You will find readers. You will write words that will resonate with the world, people, whom you never thought you would reach, will begin reading your words and find them worthy of reading.

I don’t know if it will get any easier to write as you proceed, but I do know this.

You’ll be a writer no matter how you feel.


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