#24: You're Playing the Game

newsletter Apr 08, 2024

The game of life…

Work, get the biggest title, get a mortgage, buy stuff (monthly payments), add a few cars and kids, have beers and wine on Friday, go to Costco and kid activities on Saturday, recover on Sunday. That seems to be what (at least US culture) has become.

We get into this loop where we repeat the cycle for 40 years while putting money into a 401K so we can finally break the cycle at age 65.

No thanks. And many of you don’t want it either.

It’s no wonder when I posted this image on social media this week it struck a chord with over 150,000+ people, because it’s true!

In my coaching, we focus on five freedom areas:

1. Time Freedom

2. Financial Freedom

3. Geographic Freedom

4. Freedom to Execute Your Purpose

5. Freedom to Build Meaningful Relationships

By far, the biggest concern for people is financial freedom, and how to get it.

There is no one way to financial freedom. The combinations and strategies are endless.

But what is financial freedom. Here’s my definition. Financial freedom means different things to different people (debt free, good credit, lack of expenses altogether, etc.).

In Trying Life On, it refers to more passive income than expenses leading to unrestrained access to time.

That distinction is important.

Money is not the goal. Unrestrained access to time is!

It means unlike what social media tells you, you don’t need $20M. That kind of figure is overwhelming. The secret is having assets that generate more income than basic expenses (see Newsletter 22 for a deep dive).


Now back to the game itself.

One way you’ll NEVER achieve financial freedom is to play the game of life never buying assets. If you’re just spending, you are the asset for someone else! Your credit card interest is someone else’s passive income. Think about that!!

Break the cycle. Start buying assets yourself, any asset.

This is how I broke the cycle. I talk about this a lot but it’s hyper important. My plan IS NOT the only way to do things. But developing a habit of buying assets is.

In 2002 I created my own Freedom Plan.

1. Give yourself a why…. (i.e. family, Lifestyle).

2. Stop buying unneeded stuff and forcing you to work.

3. Pay yourself first. The “Future You” is the #1 bill.

4. Store money vs. Saving money. Stay broke (not poor).

5. Build up enough in storage to buy an asset.

6. Buy/create assets that pay you (stocks, real estate).

7. When it pays, store that income + add your paycheck.

8. Buy another asset.

9. Press repeat.

10. Press repeat again.

My ‘asset’ was condos. Bought 35 in 12 years on average salary of $80k. Sold some, kept others. By 2014, 18 paid off generating $160k+ a year. Still live off it to this day.

Outright time, geographic and financial freedom.

I’m beating the game. You can too.

I was just boringly consistent. Nothing special.

I post my plan a lot, but I don’t talk about the mindset of it which is key. So, let’s walk through steps 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. It’ll give you a better perspective. Thanks for being a part of my newsletter. Here goes...

The Mindset of Steps

1. Stop buying unneeded stuff forcing you to work.

The incessant urge to acquire “stuff” traps people in a cycle of overwork. Every TV commercial, Instagram ad, pop up flyer is asking you to buy something on payments, more stuff to pay for. The next suit, the next car, the next house. It never ends.

This perpetual cycle perpetuates a culture of overconsumption, where work becomes a means to sustain unsustainable lifestyles rather than a pathway to fulfillment. Recognize it.

You are buying unnecessary stuff forcing you to work more. Stop it.

2. Pay yourself first. The “Future You” is the #1 bill.

Future you must be the #1 bill. (Please re-read this again and again).

We’re trained to get paid, pay our bills (i.e. electric, gas), go out, and save what’s left. Rewire this habit. As a priority, when I was paid, I systematically (automation is key) sent large portions away for storage (see next step) before I even looked at bills. If the gas bill was late it had to wait until next month because FUTURE Maurice is the #1 priority. The gas company is not.

Feeling broke because you're always storing money? Good. That’s the point. Store the money before you go spending it.

The world is designed to take money from you (tolls, speed cameras, credit cards, dinner out). Before you let it, get rid of it. Store it away for investment. Pay your future self first. Why is the cable bill more important than you?

3. Store money vs. Saving money. Stay broke (not poor).

Flip the mindset from ‘I am saving money’ to ‘I am storing money’. Stored money is intentional. That money is pending a date to be deployed to buy an asset. That’s the purpose of storing it.

Yes, you will sometimes feel broke. That’s what we want. This is related to a Try Life On principle:

Make your investing life easy & your day-to-day life hard.

I struggled all the time with day-to-day things on my journey, but storage kept growing.

My storage account (savings account really) is at a small regional bank. Money gets transferred to it systematically every month. Here’s the key… Money goes in easy but it’s very hard to get out. No debit card, no linked transfer out, etc. For me to get it, I purposely must call and request a form to wire it out. I made it very difficult for myself to get it so I won’t use it for trivial things.

NEVER STEAL FROM YOURSELF. NEVER ROB YOUR STORAGE. If you have a life need, deal with it from active pay to the extent possible.

4. Build up enough in storage to buy an asset.

If I need $25k for a down payment to buy an investment property and I am storing $2,500 a month, then I will buy that asset around month 10. Simple as that. Money is used to buy assets, only.

5. Buy/create assets that pay you (stocks, real estate).

The choice of what to buy is a very personal one driven by lifestyle-related goals.

I choose real estate because of cash flow. I live off of it. That doesn’t mean you have to. You may choose a business, stocks, bonds, gold, bitcoin, etc. Doesn’t matter. What matters is you’ve built the habit of storing money to buy or build assets.

Now what? What’s the next step?

Well… the level of income or equity created depends on the time & effort you put in. And the level of income or equity you need depends on your lifestyle and goals. There is no boilerplate answer.

When I reverse engineer financial freedom plans for coaching students, we tailor them. You must tailor yours too.

My results were as follows:

Took 7 years for more income than expenses (2008), about $6K a month. Life changed. Was in total control as basic needs were met by me, not an employer. Opens life in ways not easily explainable.

Took 14 years to generate more income than from work (2014), about $13K. Can be done way faster. I was inefficient. There are more resources available now.

It’s year 27. My assets buy assets.


So, what's the key?

The habit. Build a habit of buying assets over long period of time.

Sure, play the game. But collect more that $200. Collect assets along the way. That ensure you have life options as the game goes along.

Hope this helps you beat the game.