Misc. Nate E-Mails

All I plan on doing here is taking what stands out to me from his e-mails and putting it here with a little commentary.

April 15th:

Yeah, I know, that’s a long time ago to be JUST opening up the e-mail now. 7 months. Ouch.

“You don’t hate the action, you hate the idea of action. Once you push past that – you’re good to go.”

He also quotes Jim Rohn: “Everyone experiences two pains in life.  The pain of discipline and the pain of regret.  The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons”

Of course he points out that there is probably something I’ve thought of doing and haven’t. Of course that’s correct. For my own sake, I will list those things:

  1. Working out everyday.
  2. Fasting.
  3. Getting the abs I said I would (like 15 years ago in high school.)
  4. My budget and the difficult conversations around those.
  5. Getting things set up for my kids to make videos, drawings etc.
  6. Cleaning out our storage room.

I’ve stopped the inaction over reading and going through courses/e-mails to get caught up on what I said to myself I would do. It feels really good. My inaction has obviously cost me a lot over the years and I’m looking to change that.

I don’t think reading this back in April I could have said I was motivated. Now I can and that makes me happy.

July 3rd:

This is around independence day and a reminder to fight for your independence. I’m Canadian, but even I want a piece of the American Dream pie.

Nate explains that he got behind on his bills and as the months went on, further and further in debt. Feeling like he was unable to get out, he felt worthless. This spilled over into his personal life – impacting his wife and kids.

I hit that point and boy, did my mood ever tank. I was not the greatest person to be around. Sometimes I still have those days, though they are getting more scarce. I’ve actually found since working through the Richest Man In Babylon that I’ve felt more optimistic. Like it or not, I managed to entwine my mental health with the state of my finances (and the number on the scale.)

Just DOING something, like the book study, was enough to get me into the doing mood. I’m trying to leverage that feeling and create the habit of doing and being HAPPY that I am doing.

Nate’s saving grace was a financial education not taught in schools. He was able to get disciplined and leverage that financial education for a new future. I fully expect to do the same, using him and his course as the backbone of my mentorship. Like Nate, I’m not trying to get rich quick but I would like to be rich forever when I do become rich.

He says he’ll be a millionaire before he dies. Ever since high school I told myself that some day I would be one too. I’m going to try to use these systems to do just that.

Nate outlines (through his partner) the Dave Ramsey system:

1. Save $1000
2. Snowball your debt. Pay off all your debt from smallest to largest. You roll all the payments in together (as things get paid off) to really move the needle
3. Save 3 to 6 months of expenses
4. Investing 15% of your household income
5. Save for your kid’s college
6. Pay off your house
7. Give generously

They are however, unconvinced that this is the best way. Nate’s partner said this felt taxing trying to get over the finish line of paying off their house and saving for college.

Until he encountered the concepts in the little black book. Dun dun dun!!! No idea what the black book is – but it contains financial secrets that skyrocketed their success and accelerated their money. The hint we’re left with is that it is leverage.

Yes. If you get Holy Shift, you’ll get a copy. This and the promise to never be a slave to money again. I’m not convinced that this e-mail would have got me to buy the course if I would have looked at at the time. Either way, I have it now and I remain hopeful that it’s worth it. Even if it isn’t, I bet I’ll learn something. If I’m confident about anything, is that they know more about money than I do.

August 17th:

“Very few people ever go straight into entrepreneurship. If you have a 9-5 use that time to build and create for when the moment is right.”

Nate had a side hustle start to work out and quickly left his 9-5. You know what happened, the work dried up and it put him on the defensive trying to get by. He wishes that he would have done then what he knows he can do now: hold a stable 9-5 and use his other time to create those new cashflow opportunities.

Despite now having a successful financial education business, he still finds the time to flip items on the side for profit. Don’t burn your bridges too quickly when you don’t have to. Don’t be afraid to have a few side things going on. Don’t be afraid to invest in the knowledge of others. The possibilities of increasing your cash flow are endless.

September 7th

Labour Day! The day we celebrate the achievements of workers in Canada (and the US).

Nate doesn’t like the fact that we don’t have a day that teaches workers how to make their money work for them. What good is spending most of your life at work if you never get past where you started?

In this e-mail, Nate is trying to re-imagine labour day as a day that comes everyday where workers are always reminded that there money works for them. It shouldn’t be the other way around.

I think that is an interesting idea. I could certainly teach my family to celebrate that. I know where I can find the information too – Holy Shift 🙂

Various E-Mails

After joining Holy Shift – I received various e-mails about things going on in it over time. It seems like:

  1. There is a facebook group
  2. There is giveaways
  3. Lots of people (with video testimonials added)
  4. And new content being added all the time.

Nate also asked in one e-mail that, once I go through the course, if I would shoot a short 5 – 10 second video about my thoughts on the course. I’m going to leave this in my to-be-completed wealth e-mail folder so I don’t forget.

Another e-mail is about the perfect investment: “The Perfect Investment” a video designed by one of his clients. I have not watched it as it has been added as part of holy shift. I’ll comment on it as part of my overall commentary on the course, once I complete it.

November 5th

Ahhh, the sweet, sweet smell of progress. Getting this e-mail looked at with in a month. Hell, that’s currently a new record baby.

That puts up my mindset which conveniently is the topic of this e-mail. If we tell ourselves positive stories, they are more likely to manifest. Nate brings up a biggest loser contestant Sam. Sam, when he was working out, said that he saw himself as a lion.

Why? Instead of being Sam the fat guy who would always feel fat, he turned himself and his story into Sam the lion – a force of nature. At one point, when I was trying to have an online identity I called myself Fat Tobin (and some of my handles still are). A while ago, I decided to try and drop that. I felt like, even though I remember using that identity as someone who could handle the pain of life, using the word Fat kinda pins me into the undesirable outcome of not being able to get into the physical shape I want.

Nate encourages us to take him to review our habits and work on, 1 per month, at getting rid of them and replacing them with better ones. 1 habit per month for 12 months means in 10 years you could have change 120 habits. That’s powerful.

Don’t give up. Self-reflection is the key to your own personal growth. You can make a change. You’ve made a big change before and you can do it again!

The Luckiest Man In Babylon

We have arrived at the final chapter! What I’ve spend a decent amount of time doing could have been done long ago had I kept up with the e-mails. Either way, I’m still happy to have reached this point.

This chapter focuses on a man who is attempting to repay a debt of gratitude for which he thought could never be repaid. He took in his esteemed friend’s grandson, whose son had made a mess of his inheritance.

The grandson does not want to work. He wants to be rich, wear jewels and fancy clothes and leave the work to the slaves. The grandson appears to be in his 40s though, which threw me off. He had once left from Babylon and watched as the men tended to the fields. He was very surprised to see those same men plowing the fields again today.

he askes the granson if he would like to know how he and his grandfather became partners. The grandson was more interested in how the money was made; however, that question fell on deaf ears. The man told his story. He was once a slave sold to pay for his brothers indiscretions.

As the man is being sold in Babylon, he is afraid of having to carry brick for the rest of his life. Many think that if he is a hard worker, as he enjoys being, that they would want him to be a brick carrier. As he begins to shrink back, another man offers him advice: be a good worker and say you are willing to work hard. If he is bought at the slave market, he will have work. If he’s not purchased – it’s carrying bricks to the walls for him.

Through looking for opportunity to work hard, he was purchased by a bread maker who would teach him his skill. As time went on, the man came up with a plan. Work more, bake more cakes and sell them to the hungry for cheaper. He kept his master in the loop and they came up with an agreement that they would split half the profit, after all materials were repaid. For a slave with nothing, this was an incredible deal for him!

As time went on, the man and the grandfather eventually reconnected. The grandfather actually purchased the mans slave contract and made him free. From there, they made a life of abundance for themselves. Upon learning about the true life of his grandfather, the grandson made a decision to work hard to change his life too.

Nate points out two things right away that I thought are worth repeating, mainly because I need to remind myself of them repeatidly.

  1. When a man is ruled by his passions, he is a slave to them.
  2. Being a slave to pleasure makes you a slave to nearly everything.
  3. Men are not meant to have too much free time; Idle hands do the devil’s work.

The secret to becoming a free man is to fall in love with hard work. You can’t do everything on your own though. People are interdependent. Work together for mutual benefit and the skies are the limit.

That’s it for this book! I’ve sectioned off the e-mails for the next book, the go-giver and put that on hold. My next post will be a quick summary of the misc. e-mails I’ve received from Nate before I dive into Holy Shift.

The Clay Tablets From Babylon

It was interesting to have this section start with a letter from an archeologist explaining that, after learning the wisdom of Babylon from the old tablets, that he was frustrated with the fact that he had never heard of these rules about money. That, despite 5000 years of improving technology, he still couldn’t match the wisdom of the dead.

This chapter is broken down into tablets. Here are the key takeaways from each tablet, according to my interpretation:

Tablet #1:

  1. 1/10th of all you earn should be yours to keep.
  2. 7/10th of all you earn should be used to provide a home, clothes to wear, food to eat with a bit extra to spend so that your life is not lacking pleasure and enjoyment. Do not go over this.

Tablet #2

  1. 2/10th should be paid to your debtors until your debt is satisfied.
  2. The tablet then lists all money that the man was indebted to.

Tablet #3

  1. Although people who loan you money may be bitter with your terms, it is easier to pay your debts rather than avoid them.

Tablet #4

  1. After paying his creditors evenly, most were thrilled at his progress.
  2. As his debt is paid, his heart felt lighter than it had in a long time.
  3. Despite a few times where business was good, the debtor still followed his plans. He ate less and he and his wife passed on new clothes.
  4. Although his payments were smaller, his creditors were still happy to receive their money, many commending him on his progress.
  5. This plan has made an honorable man of an ex-slave.

Tablet #5

  1. All of his debts have been paid.
  2. He and his wife celebrated with a great feast.
  3. People look at him differently – with respect.
  4. His wife looks at him with a light in her eye that makes him feel confident.

The chapter concludes with another letter from the archeologist, explaining that he had found himself over indebted and stuck. As expected, he applied the principles laid out on the tablets and was able to get himself out of debt. I love this quote because I plan on reaching this point as well:

“You see, that is the sporty part. It is the real fun, to start accumulating money that you do not want to spend. There is more pleasure in running up such a surplus than there could be in spending it.”

People can benefit form your bitter experiences. That’s one of the lessons of the tablet. I’ve decided to think of this blog as my sort of tablet (I did call it Nick’s notebook after all) and I will chronicle what I am researching and going through. Maybe I will post a rounded breakdown of everything each month so that people know.

As for Nate’s e-mail, he links to the following: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-make-a-life-plan-first-steps-3144639

It’s an article about how to create your own life plan. When you create a plan for life, it prioritizes your goals, desires and future. The tablets are basically a representation of the plan: from conception, execution and completion.

Nate does run through the tablets in similar detail to what I posted above, so I won’t go into that again. He does encourage us to make a life plan. This plan will make sure we get where we want without having to sacrifice everything. Like he says, it’s OVERindulgence that’s the problem. You can’t live your life with nothing to look forward to but you can’t have everything without working for it. It’ll mean more to you that way if you have to wait a little for it.

My basic plan is this: I’m finishing this book and all of Nate’s e-mails, except for the ones where he’s dove into a new book. I will then prioritize finishing Holy Shift and then I will step back and work on a fuller life plan.

I have a copy of Jordan Peterson’s Self-Authoring Program. I will do that and combine it with what I know to create my life plan moving forward. What I will do is make sure I am caught up on all of my outstanding things I’ve bought prior to 2021. I’ve decided to tidy up 2020 by simply starting so that I can rocket through 2021.

The Camel Trader Of Babylon

“The hungrier one becomes, the clearer one’s mind works — also the more sensitive one becomes to the odors of food.”

That’s how the chapter starts and its certainly true. I know that I am always at my best mentally 2 days into a fast. There is something about the cleaning of the body that really makes the brain come alive.

This chapter focuses on Tarkad, a kid who has borrowed money from many and still is unable to eat. He bumps into the camel trader and wishes he hadn’t, as he has borrowed money from him in the past.

The camel trader invites Tarkad in for a story as he eats, without offering Tarkad anything. His story revolves around his youth and how he borrowed more than he could pay (basically describing the exact situation Tarkad is in). He became a robber, looting unarmed caravans but this line of work left his soul feeling tainted.

He was eventually captured and sold as a slave. he is straightforward with his answer when asked if he can tend to camels, which earns him an iota of respect. Enough for him to become his masters’ wife’s camel tender. On a trip, they have a long discussion about the camel traders desire to not be a slave. He sees no way out of it, for his debts he cannot repay.

The wife says that he should treat his debt and fight it as if he were the king fighting his enemies. She also gives him a valuable opportunity to escape with 2 camels, water and food. His journey found him running out of food and water, but he persisted. On what felt like his deathbed in the desert, he found new resolve. He will not die. He will repay his debts, make a home for his wife and be someone he and his family could be proud of.

Right now, this kind of feels like me. I feel like I’ve been living as a slave to the world I created for myself. In recent weeks, as I lie on my imaginary death bed, I decided to make a change. It’s not going perfectly, but the fact that I’ve worked on these e-mails and this book for days in a row, means that something is changing.

I’ve started to look at my life as a series of problems that can be solved and not like a slave who can only whine saying “what can I do? I am only a slave.”

Like the camel trader – I’ve decided to take the road that leads back to self-respect. “Where determination is, the way can be found.”

Nate titled his first e-mail about this chapter as “Are you a Slave or are you Free?” A very provocative question that you want to scream FREE at, but upon self-reflection, I would imagine a lot of us beginning this journey feel like slaves. Slaves to our debt or our lean purse. That’s why we are here though, to learn the ways of becoming the free man.

Nate says people react to debt in 3 ways:

1. They accept the debt, pay the regular payments, and wait for it to go away.
2. They ignore the debt, do not pay it, and wait for it to go away.
3. They become passionate about eliminating the debt, make extra payments, and celebrating the debt’s removal.

Tarkad was someone who ignored there debt and found it impossible for him to repay. Thankfully, he had someone to teach him a lesson. Nate rightfully remarks that if you were starving and someone was lecturing you WHILE eating, you’re probably going to remember that for the rest of your life. You might remember it bitterly, but it would still stick with you.

We were all born free without bad habits. We just accumulate them over time. Often this is taught to us by those around us. For me, this is one of the reasons I want to learn to control my money – so I can instill good habits in my kids – not that bad habits that got me to where I am today.

Nate proposes that if you have a lot of debt, that you use the snowball method to pay off your debt. Basically, pay off your smallest debt first, and then use the payments for that debt to pay off the next one. As you get things paid off, if you start stuffing money against your mortgage, you are going to save a lot of money!

Nate also teases us with the strategy called “shifting the wind current” and says it’s even better than the snowball method. I’d imagine he talks about this in his Holy Shift course.

I’ll find out someday soon!

The Walls of Babylon

This portion of the book focuses on an old guard named Banzar, who was guarding the walls of Babylon from an outside attack. The king and his main army were not present for they had left for an expedition against the Elamites.

For many days and nights the walls of Babylon were under attack. Time and time again, citizens both young and old would come to Banzar, afraid that the city would fall. Time and time again, Banzar would give them the same answer: your treasure will be protected, the walls will hold, the gates will not fall and Babylon will be safe.

This process would happen many times during Babylon’s long history. With adequate protection, it was able to stand the test of time and keep its wealth. Only by being reckless and abandoning the safety of the walls it so diligently kept did it fall.

As the chapter ends: “In this day, behind the impregnable walls of insurance, savings accounts and dependable investments, we can guard ourselves against the unexpected tragedies that may enter any door and seat themselves before any fireside.”

Nate’s email summarizes what I’ve put above. He makes it as clear as the author: you need to defend your walls. How do you do that? Nate lays out two walls:

  1. Insurance
  2. Savings Accounts – which include: saving for bills, an emergency fund and your savings for your pleasure activities.
  3. Dependable Investments – These are covered in the section about multiplying your wealth. Houses, Land, Private Lending and any way you can leverage your money to make more.

I’m sure there are other ways too, these are just the ones Nate lays out in his e-mail. The bigger and stronger your walls, the less likely you are to lose your money. Being alert to threats will keep your money alive. Charging out into the open battlefield when you have a strong position inside your walls is a foolish move.

This wasn’t the most eye opening chapter. It was a fun read and did more to reinforce what was stated previously, rather than trying to teach something new.

The Gold Lender Of Babylon

Rodan comes into a large sum of gold and can’t figure out what to do with it. He initially thought of all the worldly goods he could imagine; however, it seems that he also had a desire to keep his massive pile of gold. He eventually turns to the money lender for help figuring out what he should do with his gold.

The money lender tells a story of the ox and the ass. The ox works hard and is upset that the ass simply has to bring the master around each day. If the master goes nowhere, the ass may rest. The ass teaches the ox that if he plays sick, he could earn a days rest. He’s helped his friend; however, pays the price, for he becomes the one to pull the plow that day. He learns that if you want to help a friend, do so in a way that won’t make your friends troubles yours.

He tells another story which ends with the following lesson: “Humans in the throes of great emotions are not safe risks for the gold lender.” He also talks about the folly’s of youth and how youth often do not have the experience to stay out of debt. This is a big reminder because I have made my fair share of financial mistakes. I really, really want my kids to avoid those. I’m not saying that I want to shelter them from all mistakes, I just don’t want them to be in a debt trap.

He also mentioned that he encourages the lend of gold if it is for a wise purpose. If your money is lent unwisely, it is very difficult to get back. Allowing your heart and your family to pull you into a decision simply because they are your family is unwise. “Be not swayed by the fantastic plans of impractical men who think they see ways to force their gold to make earnings unusually large.”

Better a little caution than a great regret.

Nate points out in his e-mail that, like the money lender, people are often very excited to share their knowledge. Not everyone of course, but the majority of people do. I know that I do, when I know something that someone doesn’t. It a) make you feel smarter and b) helps the person asking. Book that lunch date – people are social creatures.

Nate points out the same passage I pointed out above: if you want to help a friend, do so in a way that won’t make your friends troubles yours. Furthermore, he explicitly states: You can’t expect to get paid back from someone who doesn’t make any money. Sounds logical, but there are tonnes of people who will ignore this to “be helpful.”

Here are the types of people who you should not give money to:

  1. Someone who is emotionally distraught. Emotions cloud judgement and you never know what they will do next.
  2. Someone who is borrowing for earthly pleasures. If they’re just borrowing to buy the newest this or that, you might want to pass. If they are borrowing to use that money to make money – they will probably pay it back.
  3. Someone who is not open to any forms of advice. If they are not willing to hear any advice given (or brush it off), chances are that they will brush off warning signs that will cause the money to disappear and leave them unable to service their debt.
  4. Someone who lacks experience: this might be a little tricky. Generally it’s the young that lack experience. Not always, like in the case of someone trying a new business, but often. It’s not like the young don’t deserve a shot. They are less experienced though (generally). You should be very careful with this group, lest they piss your money away. I’ll be the first one to admit that there are people out there way younger than me that are WAY more experienced than I am. Judge for yourself . If it feels shaky to you, bow out.

Nate says the biggest takeaway from this whole chapter is that you need to keep your money safe. Grow it, but don’t take foolish risks. Nothing is 100% fool proof but you have to know you did your best. “Giving your gold to someone who cannot or will not pay it back is not a safe investment.” I found this funny: “If you want someone to leave you alone – loan them money.” We all know that’s true.

Nate offers this suggestion for loaning money to family members. Don’t. Give it to them as a gift and never expect repayment. If you can’t afford to give the gift, don’t give it. It’s not easy to do, but it’s necessary to protect your gold.

Maybe if they are struggling with money – you can help them with knowledge, like a budget, the concepts in the book or Nate’s course. Most times that’s worth more than it’s weight in gold.

The Five Laws Of Gold

“Just so it is with the sons of men. Give them a choice of gold and wisdom — what do they do? Ignore the wisdom and waste the gold. On the morrow they wail because they have no more gold.”

We get the story of Arkad’s son who wastes the gold his father gives him on foolish endeavors. Why? He failed to internalize the 5 laws of gold Arkad had etched for him in a clay tablet. His son, after returning home from is journey after 10 years, showed the 5 laws of gold, which I’ll put here:

  1. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earngs to create an estate for his future and that of his family.
  2. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.
  3. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.
  4. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.
  5. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

His son tells the expected tale that he lost his wealth, gained knowledge and was able to gain all his money back and then some. This was achieved primarily through working with those skilled in the handling of money.

Create and estate for yourself. Make it work for you and wealth will be yours. As your estate grows, so does your golden slaves who will work happily for you. The better employment opportunities you find for your slaves, the better they will work. If you are attentive, they will stay. If you are careless, they will run away. Be wise and don’t send your slaves to work in for a doomed endeavor. Do not allow the schemers to convince you that your slaves are better suited for something else.

The story somewhat focuses that, after 10 years if you are diligent, you will be a rich, respected man. I have to remember this. I’m not going to get where I am going over night. Stay humble and work towards the path of the rich man.

In Nate’s e-mail, he points out that in money twitter world, someone has probably said “If I woke up broke tomorrow, I would be back in business within a couple of months.” I always felt this was a little conceited but, those people just know the rules about money. If someone knows how money works, of course they can start from the ground up again. That’s wisdom.

Outside of retelling parts of the story, Nate makes a few points/asks a few questions about the 5 laws:

  1. Could you imagine the security every family would have if they were able to save 10%?
  2. Your dollar is worth less and less as time goes on.
  3. Finding a money mentor makes you more likely to make your gold grow.
  4. Be knowledgeable. Don’t get into investments you know nothing about.
  5. No get rich quick schemes.

And that’s it for this chapter.

Meet the Goddess of Good Luck

I’ve encountered a lot of the ideas in the chapter before. If you follow any personal development person on social media, they’ve said some form of: luck only really finds you when you work hard. Yes, there are rare expectations, but if you’re reading this – it probably hasn’t happened to you. It sure as hell hasn’t happened to me.

Why? I am a procrastinator. Being a procrastinator at a good deal will not bring you luck. Putting off what you should do will not bring you good luck. Luck does not happen to you without any effort. if it does happen upon you, it is something that will be fleeting because you don’t know how to keep it.

As this chapter ends: “Men of action are favored by the goddess of good luck.” Those men of action seek the goddess of good luck where she frequents and not at the lottery. That’s mainly what this chapter focuses on.

One thing I did find interesting was the reference to the temple of learning. It’s described in the book as follows: “This building was the Temple of Learning where the wisdom of the past was expounded by voluntary teachers and where subjects of popular interest were discussed in open forums. Within its walls all men met as equals. The humblest of slaves could dispute with impunity the opinions of a prince of the royal house.”

Why don’t we have one of those anymore? I suppose some might say those are universities. These feel like places where you are being lectured (like in high school) rather than a place for open discussion. At least, that is how it was for me 10 years ago and well, rumor on the streets is that it isn’t getting any better.

In his e-mail, Nate focuses heavily on procrastination. Don’t do it. Even on the mundane things. When you set aside time to do them each day, there is no way that they can overwhelm you in the future (which would lead to more procrastination).

Nate wants us to pick something and build it as a habit over the next month. Then, after the month is over, do another one. One at time. Eventually, you will become superman. There is always a positive side to everything, even the mundane.

The best way to get more opportunities is to talk to people! Network. Provide value. Teach them a skill while you learn a skill from them. Of course, Holy Shift has a community, which I will eventually be part of once I get through the course.

I will fully admit though, my plan was to play a match in my game after getting through this chapter. I will do so and then immediately return to it. Is this procrastination? I guess it could be. I’m going to go with it being part of the plan. So far following the work and play plan, I’ve gotten way more work done than normal.

Seven Cures For A Lean Purse

In this chapter, the King calls upon Arkad for help. The citizens of Babylon feel poor as the money has dried up now that the city’s construction is complete. The king wants all his subjects to live with abundance and asks Arkad to teach them what he knows about wealth.

Arkad accepts without hesitation and teaches them the 7 cures for a lean purse:

  1. Start Thy Purse to Fattening
  2. Control Thy Expenditures
  3. Make Thy Gold Multiply
  4. Guard Thy Treasures from Loss
  5. Make of Thy Dwelling a Profitable Investment
  6. Ensure A Future Income
  7. Increase Thy Ability To Earn

Start Thy Purse to Fattening – Utilizing your own current wealth (and ability to generate it) to grow your wealth. For every 10 coins you put in your purse, only take out 9 for use. You will not feel as if you are without – you will adjust and it will feel normal. As Arkad says – it won’t make you shorter.

Control Thy Expenditures. Your expenses will always grow to equal your income unless you protest to the contrary. Your desires will grow endlessly. If a farmer leaves space for roots to grow, not mater how small, they will grow. Your motto should be: “one hundred percent of appreciate value demanded for each coin spent.” Budget your necessary expenses and touch not the one-tenth that is fattening our purse. You will spend what you desire to spend.

A budget shouldn’t be looked at as a constrained. It’s not imprisoning you. You’re the one making it. What it does is give you liberation to do what you want while allowing your purse to fatten.

Make Thy Gold Multiply: You set your purse to fatten (by allocating 1/10 of your money to it) and you’ve protected it from leaks (your budget), it’s time to grow that sucker. Your wealth isn’t what you have in your purse, it’s the income you build and the stream of money you create flowing into your purse. He refers to money as “his golden slaves.” Make your money your slave. Make your moneys children and children’s children your slave and they will work tirelessly to create a stream of money. If you put some of your money aside for your kids and let it be, when they are older, they will be wealthy.

Guard Thy Treasures from Loss: The gods will reward you with large sums of money if you learn how to your small sums. Be careful who you trust. Do your research. Do not entrust your money to the brickmaker to buy jewels, for he knows nothing of jewels.

If you loan your money, make sure that you know the person can repay it. Make sure you know the dangers of any field you get into. Consult those with experience handling money for profit – usually they give their advice for free.

Make of Thy Dwelling a Profitable Investment: Every man should own the roof that shelters him. I get that. This point isn’t super clear as to what the best strategy is here? Do I keep my mortgage or do I pay it off as fast as I can? This is the first point that doesn’t make 100% sense to me. Hopefully Nate’s e-mail touches on it when I get to it. There’s something here though.

Insure A Future Income: The gods may call you sooner than you expect or you may get older sooner than you expect. You need to make preparations for a suitable income to flow in when you are unable to work (or care for your family.) Even small payments at regular intervals will add up to enormous sums in the future. “Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”

Increase Thy Ability To Earn: This is not about the money, this is about you. You need to have an earnest desire to increase your earnings. The man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. Don’t let yourself be left behind.

  • Pay your debts with all promptness – not purchasing things for which he is unable to pay.
  • Take care of your family so that they think and speak well of you.
  • Have a will.
  • Have compassion and do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him.

So, that’s what I got out of the chapter. Let’s see what Nate’s e-mail(s) on this chapter have for me.

He points out, quite accurately (based on my situation), that when you get a raise at work – your living standards go up a little bit. I’m always the first to tell my wife a raise is coming and that we’ll have more wiggle room for this or that. Same with tax returns – the refunds are always spent on this or that. We try to put it on debt; however, if i’m being honest, it’s probably just paying off things we decided to get because “a refund us coming.” Note to self: stop that shit.

I never thought about it like this but, who is really getting the raise/return when I do that? Nate says it’s the banks, creditors, corporations, renters and small businesses. I’m giving them my money so they can get wealthier while I don’t. Obviously, you need certain things in your life and buying them keeps the money flowing like it needs to. Overspending is what lines the pockets of others disproportionately to my own.

In the coming e-mails – he’s going to teach me how to master the skills and practices of this game. I have the benefit of just diving in so – let’s go!

The next set of e-mails is broken down by cure (see above for the list). We start with cure #1: Start Thy Purse To Fattening.

Long story short: save 10% of your income. He does say that I’ve started saving. Wrong. Payday is Wednesday though and regardless of how things look, I will be tucking away 10% of my earnings. My wife works from home and on paper, doesn’t have an income. I’ve never viewed it that way – I always felt that by going to work and her taking care of the family (she homeschools our children) that we are each earning half of what my employer pays me. So, to start my fattening, I will be putting away 10% of my 50%. Looking quickly at my (loose) budget, that should be easily doable.

The intention is, of course, to increase that to 10% of everything brought in. It’s just even though I know I need a change, it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable because I always feel I’m short on money. I have a lot of work to do to put everything in perspective but I don’t want to delay the fattening.

I’m reminded that as I’m fattening my purse, I’ll see the money and be tempted to buy bigger and better things. That’s a trap. I need to avoid buying bigger things just because I have the money. I should only be buying things that will grow in value. Things that will slave away to produce wealth for me. I should be asking myself this question: What can I spend money on that will make me money?

Nate’s second e-mail opens with a little bit of a stinger: I would like to take a minute to thank you for coming along on this journey. By committing to reading The Richest Man In Babylon and then following through with these emails, you are way ahead of your peers. Congratulations!

Ouch! I didn’t really follow through, but, it’s better late than never I guess! The second cure, Control Thy Expenditures, is about budgeting. Arkad’s statement is true for me: “Necessary expenditures will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.” I don’t protest, so I’m always feeling like there’s never enough.

Nate offers a little mental trick about saving. He tells himself that when he makes a deposit into his savings account, that he’s “spent” that money.” You need to be willing to accept that there is a limit on what you want to spend and find ways to stay within that limit. You need to recognize that you will always desire more, no matter what you have. You need to be willing to delay that gratification so that your wealth increases.

You must practice judging and weighing. Netflix might be good for you but bad for someone else. Fast food is usually a bad idea; however, if you have an insatiable craving for a chicken sandwich, you might give in from time to time – just not all the time. You should be firm, but not rigid, with your budget as your desires change over time.

When you budget, you are ensuring that things bring 100% appreciated value. Whatever that is is for you to decide. If that’s fine clothes, cool. Makeup or video games? Whatever. That’s for you to decide. This is to just to help you ensure that your are not over consuming on things that aren’t meaningful to you.

“The purpose of a budget is to help thy purse to fatten. It is to assist thee to have thy necessities and, insofar as attainable, thy other desires.”

“It is to enable thee to realize thy most cherished desires by defending them from thy casual wishes.”

“Budget thy expenses that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.”

Now we get into the 3rd cure – which is the one that I assume everyone is the most interested in. I know if I had to pick the one out of the list that I wanted most, it was to Make Thy Gold Multiply. Nate appears to be the same way – the first two don’t make you money.

He points out that by multiplying your money, you get to separate it from time. But since you work and then get paid, you’re really just getting back-pay for the work you’ve done. If you can separate your time from your money, it can eventually grow without you using any of your time to do it.

Allowing others (like the bank) to use your money will generate you money. Like Arkad did with the shield maker, who used Arkad’s money for materials. Using those materials, he made and sold goods and repaid Arkad’s loan + interest.

Nate brings up how you can get into the lending business – private lending – and the ways you can leverage your money.

  1. Peer to peer loans, P2P, social lending, and crowdlending – you invest in others without the bank as a middle man. Websites help you do this (for a fee). Just keep in mind the default rate – the rate at which people don’t actually pay back their loan.
  2. Physical property loans – short term loans that help with real-estate deals. Riskier with a higher payout. These don’t follow traditional lending channels.
  3. Bridge Loan – A loan that helps someone get cash while their waiting for a more long term loan to go through. Typically used in real-estate and they have a high interest rate.
  4. SECRET – he says he teaches it in Holy Shift. I respect the plug.

Arkad invested his interest back into the source, creating more interest that compounded upon itself. Give me some of that! 🙂

Nate cautions us about going full steam trying to create multiple income sources. He says that if we have a 9-5 right now, that should be considered the body of our river. If we want to expand it – we should carefully create new streams that will run into our river. Once we can maintain it, so our hard work isn’t lost, then build another.

The 4th e-mail/cure is on: Guard Thy Treasure from loss.

Misfortune loves a shining mark – he says. If you have a big target, misfortune finds a way to try and keep it from you. Unplanned bills, etc will always seem to get in the way of the things you want.

Sometimes though, that’s your fault. You ignore things that need replacement until the break, taking other things with them. You don’t have any savings or plans, which means all unknowns will never be covered.

Make sure you don’t take jewel advice from a brickmaker. You should always be careful of who you take advice from. They can lead you down the wrong path. That includes YOU. Don’t think you are all high and mighty. Always be learning, checking and double checking your work. Find someone who can help. Nate offers his course, Holy Shift again. At this point I had already bought it, but I think his e-mails have pointed out that, if anything, he is more well versed in finances than myself.

Its funny writing this because at one point, I always thought I was good with money. I came to the realization in previous posts that I am not. This only further solidifies that thought.

Email #5 gets into Make of Thy Dwelling a Profitable Investment. Long story short – you should own, not rent. Owning, even with repairs, is cheaper in the long run. Not only that, you get an asset that increases your whole family’s net worth. I can’t confirm these to be true, but Nate assets the following benefits of home ownership:

1. Increased graduation rates
2. Children’s health
3. Increase in Net family wealth

While decreases:
1. Children’s behavioral problems
2. Reliance on government assistance
3. Less crime
4. Less of a chance of physical assault
5. Asthma

You don’t have to deal with other tenants like in an apartment. You can have peace and quiet. You can have your own garden and eat from it. You know what’s in the area around your house because you control it. I have a house, it’s in decent shape and I’m paying off the mortgage nicely. I am interested if there is any hidden gems in Holy Shift that will help me pay it off faster (if that’s even the right move).

Ensure A Future Income is the 6th cure. I’ve never heard this said this way, but it makes sense: inflation, increase costs of goods and services and stagnant pension plans are like anti-compound interest. They are eroding factors that work against your freedom.

Nate doesn’t trust the government or wall street with your money because you don’t have control. These, alongside bank SAVINGS accounts, are the least empowering way to make money. Arkad says that storing your money for later is like burying it in a hole in the ground – it might be gone later or worth a whole lot less (due to inflation).

Nate lays out Arkad’s ways to ensure future income:

  1. Buy houses or land: you can flip them, rent them or develop them. Traditionally, over time, this always means you’ll see an increase in value.
  2. Private lending: See the 3rd cure
  3. Life Insurance: If the breadwinner dies – your family is in poverty. I have life insurance, I am just not sure how much. I should probably check that all out and revisit.
  4. Take Care Of Your Health (per Nate): Self explanatory, really.

I guess Holy Shift, after you purchase it and go through it, comes with a 1-on-1 call with Nate. I definitely want to get through these emails first. Then finish the course, then the call. I think then I’ll have a better idea of what I’m walking into.

The final cure is Increase Thy Ability To Earn. If you want to earn more, increase your competency. (I really should learn French.) You can’t buy more experience, but you can buy courses, classes and certifications. These have value and increase the chances that you will be perceived to have the skills to handle a new experience.

Don’t be a slave to debt. The more debt you have, the more you have to earn for someone else. You want to increase YOUR ability to earn. Go to work for yourself, not someone else.

Take care of your family, leave them with something that can help them. Life insurance, knowledge, assets etc. Get to a spot in your financial life where it becomes easy to give away your money to the less fortunate without feeling like it will cripple you.

Live a life you could be proud of.”

That’s a good way to end this rollercoaster of a section.

The Richest Man In Babylon

I don’t think that there was any way for me to read this chapter without really feeling like it was a gut punch. There is a sort of bitterness Bansir and company have receiving Arkad’s wisdom: that at one point, they were all equals and now, they are much worse off than he despite Arkad being, in their minds, “no more honorable a citizen than [they were].”

Isn’t that how a lot of us might feel? That, others who started at the same point in life as we did have gotten so much farther ahead, that it almost seems unfair. I know I’ve had that thought before. I know I’ve also been envious of those rags to riches stories – people who my any objective measure were (in my mind) destined for a worse life some how became King.

I know the reason why that is: Pride. I’ve had too much pride in my own self to admit that my performance, to date on the life scorecard, has been mediocre. I know that I am capable of great accomplishments but I’ve also bee sitting around assuming that, because I am capable that I am deserving. If I am deserving, then it will just happen to me. It hasn’t. As Arkad says:

“If you have not acquired more than a bare existence in the years since we were youths, it is because you either have failed to learn the laws that govern the building of wealth, or else you do not observe them.”

That’s where I am, today. I have failed to learn all the laws governing wealth. Any that I might understand, I have failed to act on and have come up with excuses as to why I have not.

“As for time, all men have it in abundance. You, each of you, have let slip by sufficient time to have made yourselves wealthy. Yet, you admit; you have nothing to show except your good families, of which you can be justly proud.”

I am proud of my family, just not the state I have left them in. Should I be gone tomorrow, I have left them with a life insurance payout. That’s it. That’s not going to hold them over until they grow old. That isn’t going to help them find liberation in their life. That will bind them to the desk as a servant like I am. I don’t want that for them.

I want to learn, like Arkad did, to have his own servants that work for him. Arkad is taught to treat his money like servants and the money his money makes like their children. As they are put to work, they create more children, who can be put to work. I’m not advocating child slavery or anything like that, but I’m certainly on board for making my money work a little harder for me and not me for it.

The remainder of the chapter is discussing the phrase: “A part of all I earn is mine to keep.” Pay yourself first. Arrange your other expenditures so that you are paid first. Enjoy life. Don’t over-strain or try and save too much. 1/10 of all you earn is what you should look to comfortably keep – everything else is gravy.

Like anyone who talks about money, the chapter ends with some who think there should be hand outs, some who did not understand and some who had just received the revelation of a lifetime. I won’t say where I am at because I really don’t know. What I will say is that focusing on the chapter, slowing down to put my thoughts on paper is helping – and maybe that’s the best thing I’m getting out of the book so far.

From here – I’m going to be working through Nate’s e-mails on this chapter. As of this second, I haven’t read any of them; however, I know that there are multiple e-mails about this chapter so – I expect from here out to be answering a lot of questions. Here we go!

I’m asked to figure out if I sound more like the crowd (“that’s unfair, I work just as hard as you”) versus Arkad (“you haven’t earned it”, “it’s your fault”). I would say is that it depends on the day, leaning more towards the crowd on a normal day – but certainly beating myself up and telling myself “it’s my fault” when I’m trying to be objective and evaluating my personal situation.

I do know that the world, simply by its design, is unfair and won’t ever truly be fair. I also accept that some people are luckier than I and that others may seem to be luckier and that I don’t always understand their personal situation. I do believe that hard work is tied to more wealth, materials and benefits.

I’m asked how much of my life is my fault and I’ll go with the good old 80/20 rule. I think 80% of my life is my fault and I’m 20% impacted by stuff I can’t control. I know that the extreme ownership people might disagree and that’s OK. I do believe that if I was to take control of the 80%, the effect that the 20% had on my life would be reduced. I don’t think people deserve wealth with little to no effort. I believe that the only persons responsibility to “save me” is myself.

Nate links this video: Iguana vs. snakes to drive home a point. During this video, the iguana and all the snakes each have a reason (if they could talk) to put the blame on someone else or say that the other was “lucky.” I like this statement in the e-mail: “if you are a slow iguana, you better take ownership of that and learn to be still, so the snakes don’t eat you.”

There is no way to predict the number of snakes that are in between us and home. There is only pushing forward and using all your energy to achieve your goals.

Even when things are looking bad, the world is full of opportunity. Energy gets you over that hurdle. That energy can be sapped by the mob and the mentality that they can’t do what others do. Be the iguana.

On the same chapter – the next e-mail is titled: Beat Fate.

I won’t lie – I missed the direct reference to a “Fickle Fate.” I skimmed over the discussion on how fate will ruin those who come into gold before they earn it. Mainly because my brain said “you already know that.”

I’m asked this question: Do you find yourself overspending when times are good? Yup. Here is a phrase, upon reflection, that I’ve used a lot with my wife: “a pay raise is coming, so yes, we can afford X.” We moved to a bigger house, we bought a larger sized SUV (which I love, but did I really need?) and so on. Just the other day I thought Hey, maybe I should get a new TV, mines like 10 years old. They’re only like 299$ now! I paid $1400 for mine a long time ago. We don’t need a new TV.

Do you regularly prepare for the future? Not really. I have a pension that, when I retire 25 years from now – will pay me enough to live on. I’ve just assumed that a) it will exist when I retire and b) that I won’t really have any other expenditures and I will be able to live off it comfortably. So, this just leaves me just allowing us to indulge in our vices, rather than using money to buy assets.

I have back-pay coming, it will be substantial; however, it will all have to go to my debt. I’m not saying that I’m mad about being ale to do that; however, discussing assets here reminds me that I can’t use the money to get ahead because I’m forced to pay back things that are not currently benefiting me. So I feel like, most times, I am just paying off debt to go right back into debt. I want this time to be the time where I get ahead.

Do I have a hard time enjoying the fruits of my labour? I’m not a miser, per se, but I certainly do guard my money. Or well, I suppose I pretend to? I’d have more money if I was a miser. Typically, I find a way to talk myself into going to the store to get junk food. Drains my health, drains my pocketbook. Outside of stuff I really need though (and the junk) I don’t spend much. I’m usually trying to balance paying off debt with the need (and wants) of my family.

In his second email with the same title, Nate hits at some of the content of his course – Holy Shift – being a switch from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance. Desire isn’t enough to get you where you want to go. I know this – there is lots that I desire but I am no where close to achieving it. Habitually working our your determinations turns determination into discipline. This is the discipline = freedom mentality that has become so popular recently with Jocko Willink.

Time and study will be required to make your determinations become disciple. Just be careful that you don’t study the wrong thing. Unlearning something is harder than learning something new. Usually what you want to unlearn has a steep cost associated with (like trying to unlearn always wanting to eat junk food.)

Nate says that you should:

  1. Never take a job based on money alone.
  2. You should take the job based on the freedom to experiment and the knowledge that it will give you.
  3. If you place money above all else, it will enslave you, and you will become trapped by your paycheck.

Arkad is able to change his own fate while he is working by being bold. By being bold, making a promise and then following through (and not backing down), you become someone that people will want to invest in. You become worthy of it.

Arkad had a mentor. Mentors are good. Nate outlines three ways to get one: familiarity, paying and a mastermind group. As I’ve stated before, he has a course called Holy Shift, which he plugs at the end of this e-mail as having it all. That’s no affiliate link. I’ve bought the course and I’ve not even started it. As of this post, I can’t say if it’s worth your time or not. Once I complete it, I will give it an honest review.

Babylon: Stop your mob mentality is the last e-mail for this chapter. The opening concept in the e-mail is around Arkad coming to realize that he’s paying everyone but himself. He pays the cloth maker and the sandal maker, but not himself.

Nate ends his e-mail with the wealth rules that you should follow if you want to be like:

  1. Save at least 10% of your income
  2. Learn how to make money work for you
  3. Make sure you will have an income in the future, preferably separated from your labors.
  4. Get life insurance. If you can afford it, get disability insurance as well.
  5. Find a mentor, teacher or mastermind group, we have Holy Shift for this exact purpose
  6. Enjoy your life

There is enough wealth to go around. Nate is saying that people who are wealthy know that the best money is money in motion. If the money makers are moving money, why can’t it move through me? If I understand it, I can find it. If I work for it, I can have it and make money dance for me too.

If you want to read this series of posts from the start, click here: http://nicksnotebook.com/?p=70