Takeaway: Happiness is the ROI.
What do you (Gary Vee) spend money on? I am asking because I want to figure out good ways to spend and use my money.
What I mean is, how to use money as a tool for the good life. There are a lot of my friends that have money, way more money than myself, and they say well at some point it is just numbers going up in the bank account. It is like quarantine right now, sure Netflix is fun, but when you have 3 weeks of Netflix as your only entertainment, you start to look for something else. To me Netflix is mindless relaxation (which you need), but it is not something I actively enjoy.
The only word I can think of is substantive, you know, something that means something. I want an activity that means something, that I like to do, that I could even organize my life around.
So I am sitting here thinking of, well, how does Gary think about spending money. That dude seems happy and successful in the money sense, but also in the family life and career sense and mental health sense.
Here are his various answers provided through tons of media:
1. Nothing, I ate shit for 13 years.
"There’s a lot of people that make 55 thousand dollars a year when they’re 23. The problem is they go to Coachella, and they want to buy a watch, and they want to buy a BMW, and I didn’t. I ate shit for 13 years, and then when I had an opportunity I struck. I’m ultimately patient. It’s what I do." - https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com/much-money-made-twenties/
Here, he is talking about making money. He is talking about how he did not spend money for 10 years and then when he was 33, he invested and got himself to invest in social media, and made a lot of money.
But what I am talking about is using money for 'stuff' what 'stuff'. Using money to make money is one answer, for sure, but if you have a lot of money.
2. Experiences that he can look back on with his brother.
He talks about spending money not on fancy stuff, but on a basketball game that him and his brother could talk about when they are old. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-mrsU2v3c8
Experiences, not things, is a huge bit of truth that is having its moment online. Part of it, though, I think comes from a certain personality type. Some people really value experiences, and some do not. Do what works for you. I think, in general, there is more 'durability' for myself from experiences...the memories they make. Rather than things. Even things that I use everyday and are special, like my watch. They are only special because they are imbued with, they were part of, specific experiences and milestones in my life.
3. He invested riskier and in other people earlier and now invests in himself.
"Give myself opportunities to play business..."
... I don't want the boat, a fancy car, jewelry, or art.
When he was asked about investing money, he talks about a shift from high risk investing, early stage, like winning the lottery to now, investing in himself.
What I think is super important here, though, could be the transition. Normally, I try and skip the early stage 'before' stuff and go straight the 'after', which in this case is invest in yourself.
Just skip ahead.
It works for some things. Like people who say they made a mistake and wasted years of their life, do not be like me...
But perhaps sometimes the early stage stuff is required before the shift.
In his example, he made a lot of money early, then had monetary freedom, and monetary freedom is a fantastic tool.
Now he is investing back in his own businesses because 1) he can control it and 2) he is a good operator. He makes the point that other people have done and may do better investing in others.
He is giving the whole picture.
"If you actually hold onto your money and save it instead of always spending, you will be able to invest it into something more long term than can propel you to the next level." - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_q8HFXG-ao
This idea presumes that you want to get to the next level, which I expand on in bullet #4.
But it does provide a way for you to think about investing. If there is something that you want, like you really want it, like 1) it is your dream, and 2) you need money to get there, then 3) path is to save, like really save, and then invest that money into something more long term that can get you to the next level on your journey.
Grind...if you want to.
"There are other people who made more money investing in others, but I have always been good at business."
"When there is another moment that looks similar to social media in 2007...I might invest again."
His example was a guy he knew who owned an auto shop and then invested heavily early in Starbucks. That was a huge win for him and it did way better than the auto shop.
It leads into his concept that : "people need to be productive in their own way."
4. Happiness is the ROI. The biggest realization for me.
Hugely eye-opening, mind-opening exchange for me:
"So you encourage everybody to be productive all the time?"
"No, I encourage everybody to re-engineer their hard wiring.
I think a lot people should work a 9-5 and make $55k and live a great life.
I think the problem is a lot of those people want to make a million dollars a year and they feel stressed instead of accepting what makes them happy."
He goes on to say:
"I think people need to be productive in their own way...I started out loving to work."
"Self-awareness and patience really matter...not caring about other people's opinions really matters...I think if you think about those three things, it gives you a chance to be happy."
"Everybody is impatient because they want to prove it to other people, their parents, their friends." - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7RhUWJPUWY
This quote is the biggest for me because it is exactly my untenable situation. Where I was lacking clarity. Where I am incongruous with how I am feeling, how I am acting, and what is true. My feelings are incongruous even with what I believe to be true.
Even though in other stuff he always says, hey, happiness is the ROI. Happiness is the game. He also talks about a few other things:
- Working really hard if you want to live a specific kind of life.
- Not everyone needs a ton of money.
- If people want to make money, there are ways that the internet has opened up.
- He talks about how he expects to be working his whole life.
However, that comes with the context, that he loves playing the game.
Playing the game is him winning. That is why he plays the game.
Winning for me, well, it may not be playing his game, I think emphatically, he would say for 99% of people it is not the game they should play.
People should play the game that does what they need, that makes them happy.
Happiness is the ROI.
I realized that I might just be happy, now, actually. That I am doing what I want.
Having monetary freedom is a fantastic tool
Play the video game of life: monetary freedom
Video games may usurp achievement drive