Whoops. These cost me a few bucks. Hopefully… you can learn from ’em.
1) Investing in things I knew nothing about.
Penny stocks, for example. When I first got a little bit of money, I bought a six-cent stock. I did my research of course.
Thought for sure it would go up. And, a funny thing happened: it did. Bigly. I made like $30k in a week. Got confident… when I should’ve known it was dumb luck.
Proceeded to lose it all back, and then some. Gee. Shocker.
2) Not investing in myself.
I always thought this was just a line gurus used to guilt you into buying their programs.
Twelve years later, I can only laugh. I mean, profound depths of dipsh*ttery right there! As if anyone who’s accomplished anything did it without serious self-improvement.
“Learn? Nah. I’ll just wing it.”
3) Starting businesses that had no chance of success.
Granted, most were websites, so I wasn’t out a ton of cash.
But I bankrupted myself in terms of time. When you’ve got a day job, your nights and weekends better be spent doing something that has legs.
My early projects… didn’t.
Why? I was trying to get rich quick.
So… low quality. Nothing unique. Wasn’t helping anyone. Just gunning for easy commissions. Ay yi yi.
Today, I f*cking run from easy. It never works. And if it did, it’d be copied immediately – and die soon after.
4) Not doubling-down on what’s working.
For example, I had a Facebook ad that was making me four dollars for every dollar I spent.
“Hmm, 400% return? I dunno. Maybe I should transfer this spare $600,000 into my Fidelity account and day-trade Apple and Amazon and Chipotle. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.”
I wish I was kidding. But hey, at least I’d graduated from penny stocks, right?
5) Not keeping a million liquid at all times.
Online, once you’ve got people and systems in place and you’re profitable… you wanna dump gas on the fire. Or else, by the time you’re done drinking Busch Light and makin’ s’mores, you might miss your window.
I’ve done that twice. Never again.
6) Not getting a business credit card that gave me cash back.
I literally had months where I was spending $350,000 on ads and maybe $50,000 on independent contractors and miscellaneous expenses… so, let’s call it $400,000 a month in total expenses… and paid it off every month without making a penny or receiving any kinda reward from my lousy credit card.
After a year of my dad telling me, “As much as you spend, you should really look into that,” I finally did.
And, voila, a Capital One card with 2% cash back on all purchases.
“Wait. What’s that? A free $8,000 a month? No. No, I would not like that. I’ll pass.”
Related: skip small money.