StartUp Tip #71: Live a simple life

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If you want to follow your dreams to be an entrepreneur, you need to become comfortable with not knowing what is going to happen tomorrow.

You need to be comfortable with uncertainty.

Do everything you can to increase your tolerance for uncertainty. Put yourself in a position where there is no such thing as an unpleasant surprise.

Nassim Taleb’s book, Anti-Fragile, is a treasure chest of advice for ensuring that you not only are immune to adverse events, but that you actually benefit when things don’t go your way.

Being anti-fragile means all surprises are pleasant.

Being anti-fragile allows you to take the path less travelled.

Living a simple life will make you anti-fragile.

The most important tool for taking risk is to live a simple life. Don’t be ostentatious and don’t be flashy.

Keep your overheads low, regardless of your income.

Keeping your life simple has benefits other than allowing you to take risk.

  1. You will avoid the wrong spouse. It is easier to attract the right spouse if you are not driving a Ferrari. Do you really want to marry the kind of person that finds a fancy car irresistible?
  2. You will avoid doing stupid things. The high life brings temptations to go to the dark side. Why test your resolve? You have enough on your plate making your business a success. Rather avoid temptation. A simple life keeps you away from doing bad stuff.
  3. Will will extend your runway. If you keep your personal overheads low, then your runway gets longer and you can plug away at your startup for longer. High overheads equals shorter runway.
  4. You will maximise profit. The habit of frugality in your private life will transfer into your startup. Low overheads equals more profits.
  5. You will stay humble. If you are flashy you will be perceived as arrogant. No one likes arrogant people.  When you have a setback there will be a pile-on whilst people savor the schadenfreude. Rather stay humble.

If you can’t be humble, then look humble.

     6. You will think clearly. How can you think when you are constantly surrounded by courtiers, flashy cars, mansion houses and stuff?

The less distractions you have in your life, the more you can focus your mental energy on your business.

The only meaningful thing is whether you left a positive impact on the world during your short time alive. Owning a super-yacht is not a “positive impact”.

Build a profitable business that helps its customers and that can outlive its founder.

That’s a positive impact.

Living a simple life doesn’t mean living a common life.

You can still be extraordinary. You can eat great food, send your kids to world-class schools, travel to amazing places, and create great memories.

You can still be rich, and have the peace of mind that comes with financial freedom.

Just keep your lifestyle simple. It is easy to be simple when you are poor. It is also easy to be flash when you are poor.

Easiest of all is being flash when you are rich.

Live a simple remarkable life that matters.

Choose the hard path: Keep it simple even when you don’t have to.

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