This is a full transcript of the episode with Craig Grant Sabatier. You can find the podcast here.
Brody [00:00:06] Hey all, Brody here with a new episode of Titans As Teens, a podcast where I have detailed conversations with interesting people from all walks of life, about their teen experience and the knowledge they have for teens today.
[00:00:19] Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with personal finance expert and author Grant Sabatier
Grant [00:00:24] Just because you’re told to do something, you’re supposed to do something, doesn’t mean that it’s going to end up being important. And also, the fact that if you find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else, then you’re probably going to turn out like everyone else.
Brody [00:00:42] Grant Story is one of the most inspiring I’ve heard. He’s the embodiment of From Zero to Hero. He recalls the feeling of only having two dollars in his wallet and uses that to propel himself to an incredible level of financial security. Grant is a pleasure to talk to. He leaves you with a feeling of inspiration, due to his incredible charisma. So, without further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Grant Sabatier.
Brody [00:01:07] Something I’m actually kind of curious about is how you run your own podcast. I listened to a few episodes, I really like the one with Kevin O’Leary. That was a good one.
Grant [00:01:14] Yeah.
Brody [00:01:14] Yeah. Like, what’s your strategy?
Grant [00:01:16] Yeah. So, I’m kind of haphazard in a lot of ways. But then on the flip side, one of the things that’s helped it really grow, is from the beginning I focused on the scarcity principle. You know, there’s so many podcasts that just put out episodes every single week, all the time. There’s so much noise. I’ve seen podcasts sort of thrive or die, obviously, based on the quality of the content and also the diversity of the content. And a lot of those podcasts that even historically were really big, because they’re coming out every week and it’s sort of the same old, or the quality of their guests drops because they just can’t get enough quality guests, the podcast just goes to hell.
[00:01:56] So I focused on, from the beginning, with this podcast as a product. You know, so like I have my book, I have my website. The podcast is for people who just want to get to know me more intimately and just be a part of conversations that I find interesting. So probably 70 percent of the podcast episodes that I record, actually I don’t make live. They don’t reach that threshold. And so that ends up upsetting the people that I interview sometimes, but it just doesn’t reach that quality. And that quality for me is, is someone willing to go deep and be in the conversation and also be fully present. And so, you get a lot of people that they just start spinning, they’re spinning the wheels. You know, they give their pitch. Like even me. When you start asking me a question, you’re like “So, Grant, how do you make all of your money’? I naturally will snap into the default performance mode.
[00:02:45] You should listen to the Tony Robbins episode, because in that episode, he was very structured. And then I asked him this one question right in the middle, where all of a sudden, he’s like, oh, wow, like, it completely jolted him out of his, you know, his performance. And then the rest of the podcast is just absolutely great.
[00:03:02] So the scarcity piece ended up working out really well for me because I thought of it as a product. It’s made it successful. And it also just keeps it fresh for me, because I had a podcast before this were, I recorded two hundred and sixty episodes and those were five days a week. And that: a) it burnt me out. b) you know, it just ended up being a little bit more derivative. And c)I think if you put out really, really good quality content, putting out less of it, sort of like the anti GaryVee approach actually ends up performing better because people wait for it. Like, I know, like I sent out two emails a month instead of an email like once a week or something. And people like wait for it, like wait for what I’m going to say. And the same thing with the podcast. The number one request that I get is “When’s the next episode coming out”? When’s the next episode coming up? So only recently I’ve started putting them out more regularly, both because I have advertisers and I’ve just had some really great opportunities and great conversations.
Brody [00:03:56] I’m actually trying to do the same strategy as you. Multiple, both on the release schedule, we’re doing, I think, once every two weeks now, as well as the interview style you mentioned kind of just getting people out of their advertising flow, I guess you could say.
Grant [00:04:13] Yeah,
Brody [00:04:13] Big inspiration for me was actually Tim Ferriss, and he talks a lot about making sure you don’t ask people the questions that they constantly have to answer.
Grant [00:04:19] Yeah, yeah. I think it also depends on like the quality of your content is where you’re at in your life as well. Like, I think Tim Ferriss, he’s gone through like many different phases in terms of his personal life, and you can really feel that on his podcast. And so, if you can make your podcast also a reflection of where you’re at in your life and be open about that, that tends to resonate really well. But some people hate it, too. I mean, that’s where you get like the people really love you or they really hate you. Because there are some people that, like some of my listeners, will be like, you know, love the book, love everything you write – your podcast is like too slow or it’s too… Because there’s literally one episode where in the middle of it, like, I stop, I’m like, let’s just like take forty-five seconds to look around at our life. And for the person who’s not used to doing that, they’re just in the middle of listening to this like episode. And then the paradox is like it’s obviously everything I’ve written about. It’s all about sort of saving money and investing, and it fits in nicely under the rubric of like self-help and personal development. But I’m actually like the anti-self-help, self-help writer in a way. So, I try to do the podcast in a way that flips it’s on its head. So, people are like, oh, I want to make a lot of money. And the whole time I just tell them, like, you know, well, OK, well, here’s kind of how you do that. But here’s the things that are more important. So, I’ve always tried to do that in building my brand. Just it’s been very, very instrumental because people are like they think they’re coming for one thing, and then you give them something else entirely and you’re actually able to tell them a deeper, more meaningful, substantive story.
Brody [00:05:48] Yeah. You don’t want to just be the money guy for the rest of your life.
Grant [00:05:51] No, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t have gotten to the level of reach that I have doing that. And it would have been boring as hell. So just being truly unique, like where I’m at any moment and being open about that. I think we’re definitely in the age of vulnerability, so the less performative you can be in, the more vulnerable in terms of like what are you worried about in your life? What are you thinking about? What are you worried about in the world? And then bring that into the conversations. Like, if you’re like, oh, great, you know, I’m like…
[00:06:20] How old are you? 16.
Brody [00:06:21] Yep.
Grant [00:06:22] Yeah. So, you’re like Grant, I’m 16. I’m like freaking out about my life. Like, how am I going to make all this stuff? Like, you bring yourself into it in terms of your own worries. Or like, am I going to make the most of my life or how do I make more money? I like really just like or I don’t want to go to college or, you know, like. So anyway, that’s just…
Brody [00:06:42] Yeah, well, I mean, in podcasting, another tip that I got from Tim Ferris is, it’s not a good episode unless you’re personally interested in it.
Grant [00:06:49] That’s absolutely true.
Brody [00:06:50] And make sure all my guests I actually am interested in interviewing and want to hear what they have to say.
Grant [00:06:57] Yeah. And you’re having fun, so…
Brody [00:06:59] You definitely fall into that category.
Grant [00:07:02] Cool man.
Brody [00:07:02] Another really random question that I have is: I listen to part of your book. I didn’t have enough time sadly to finish it, but what is it like actually like reading an audio book? Because I know you narrated it. I imagine it’s incredibly difficult to read an entire book.
Grant [00:07:16] Yeah, yeah. It’s both terrible and fun. You know. One of the beautiful things about the whole book writing and reading process is, you know, it’s just I was doing things that I had never done before. And so, it had that element of challenge and fun and excitement.
[00:07:34] And so reading the book was the same way I did a fair amount of just reading it out loud as I was writing it, because one of the things that is important to me is just sort of the cadence of prose, you know, because if people get bored, I mean, you write a money book, No. One, I was like, many books are boring. So, I’m just going to be, like, open and just tell my story and try to write as well, write as well as I can. And so, ended up reading like especially the last chapter when I wrote it, actually read it out loud because I wanted to have a certain cadence.
[00:08:04] But going in and reading the book is so hard. So, I did it at Penguin. Penguin has a studio in New York and the producer for is like this Grammy Award winning producer who did like all these books. You know, there’s an audio book, Grammy, and he’s won three of them. And so, he’s super, super famous guy. And he was cool, too. But he had to do a lot of coaching and a lot of like breath management. And so, having done meditation, it was somewhat helpful. But you’ve just got to get the cadence right. And I’ve only listened to probably parts of the first chapter pretty much. And I thought I did OK. I did the first chapter actually at the end of the recording. But, you know, you’re sitting in a little booth and there’s like no circulation, sound booth, and you’re forced to read it, and then you’ve got to do pickups. It took six days to do So it was fairly long. And it’s physically exhausting. So, after the first two days, you know, you’re just like – you’re not supposed to talk at home and, you know, it’s tiring and all that stuff. And it’s very especially this one because there’s like certain numbers and mentioning charts. And that was difficult.
Brody [00:09:18] I personally actually really liked the cadence and flow you mentioned earlier. And it reminded me a lot of the audiobook for Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which I’m positive you’ve read.
Grant [00:09:27] I’ve read it. I haven’t heard the audio book.
Brody [00:09:29] Very similar. Both were amazing.
Grant [00:09:31] I’m intense. I’m naturally an intense person. And so, I had to…finding that intensity, reading it in in the booth was kind of tough. Like I wanted to read a certain way. And he actually was like, no, just read it in your own voice because I naturally talk kind of fast. And so, yeah, it was cool. I mean, it was it was all you know, it’s funny. It’s like you read some of the reviews of the audiobook. You know, there’s some people like it and appreciate that you’re doing this for the first time and then you’ve got the haters. Just like what? Like I had to stop this guy. Because the thing about the audiobook that’s cool, too, is you can actually add in new content. And so, the producer doesn’t care if you just want to say something else, you can be reading the book and then just go off on a tangent. So, there’s actually more content in the audio book than there is in the regular book, because I’ll tell a few different stories. But…
Brody [00:10:21] Yeah, I was just kind of curious about how that process works.
Grant [00:10:24] Yeah, it’s like if you go with a mainstream publisher and get a publishing deal, you know, they bring you into the studio. And the cool thing about those big publishers, if they if they like your book and, you know, they give you a decent advance, they put a lot of resources behind it. And definitely if you if you want to write a book, going with a traditional publisher, especially for your first book, it’s, I think the way to go.
Brody [00:10:45] I’ll keep that in mind if I ever write a book.
Grant [00:10:47] You’ve got time man and you’ve got to time.
Brody [00:10:49] Oh Yeah, I definitely have time.
Grant [00:10:51] When I was 16… you live In Palo Alto too, right?
Brody [00:10:53] yep.
Grant [00:10:53] So you like I live in California, living the dream man. You like living a catalog. Palo Alto is like… I did talk at Stanford on my book tour and. Yeah. So beautiful, it’s like a catalog. (laughs)
Brody [00:11:04] Where did you grow up and go to high school, by the way?
Grant [00:11:06] Northern Virginia, so like six miles outside D.C. This area called Falls Church, Virginia. It was also very idyllic. Very kind of it’s like a small city outside of a big city. Sort of had kind of that small town but close to a big city feel. It was cool. It’s a very aspirational place. And so, you get a lot of everyone’s focus on their SATs. And, you know, it’s very… It wasn’t as intense as it is now, it seems. But it was it was just the beginning of that intensity where, like schools were harder to get into. Whatever, you know, your SATs and everyone had SAT tutors and, you know, that sort of what is in place now is just ramping up when I was applying to college.
Brody [00:11:51] What else was your high school experience like to be more specific? Was there anything that you like maybe did in high school that you think influenced what you became today or something that you did that helped?
Grant [00:12:04] Yeah, absolutely. So, one of the things that I realized pretty quickly in high school was: Number 1, that my teachers were just people. And they themselves had flaws. But more importantly, they also had big gaps in their knowledge. And so, I realized that a lot of my teachers, many of whom had PhDs, actually, they were teaching me from a reference point that was probably 20 to 30 years outdated or behind. And so, I realized early on that they just didn’t get what at the time was kind of, you know, the beginning part of the digital revolution.
[00:12:45] So I got my first laptop computer when I was six years old, which would have been an immense rarity back in the day. So that was like nineteen ninety, nineteen ninety-one. So, by the time that I got to high school, you know, I was I just knew the Internet a lot, lot better than my teachers did. And so, I was able to quickly fill in the gaps of knowledge that I ascertained. One of the things I just didn’t. I’m just such a curious person that I realized that, like, school was designed to kind of keep me in a seat and teach me some basics that may or may not be helpful for preparing me for the rest of my life. But basically, what it was teaching me was how to be a citizen, how to follow rules and ostensibly how to learn. But it wasn’t really teaching me much beyond that. And so, the topics that I was interested in myself, I just I just went off on those tangents on my own time. And I viewed school as like something to get through and do and get the grades, but not in and of itself sufficient, from a learning knowledge standpoint. I felt very empowered early on, like if I want to learn this, I’m going to do it myself. I spent a lot of time in the library. I spent a lot of time at my public library just checking out random books on random things that would interest me or obviously just going down the pit, of the Internet.
[00:14:17] And then I think the other thing that was very, very important was, recognizing even then, that just because you’re told to do something, you’re supposed to do something, doesn’t mean that it’s going to end up being important. And also, the fact that if you find yourself doing the same thing as everyone else, then you’re probably going to turn out like everyone else.
[00:14:46] And what I mean by that is. I recognized early on it was very easy to look at other people and see the people who were just kind of, you know, following everyone else, in that sense. I mean, I was always just kind of naturally curious and weird and more of an introvert. So, I didn’t have any problem doing my own thing. But I think that, like curiosity more than anything else in life, has been the determiner of my success.
[00:15:15] Just having a sheer interest in a topic and pursuing it, no matter what anyone else around me does or says that I should do, because the status quo is ease & convenience. I’ll say that. Ease & inconvenient. So, everyone you’re going to notice through your life, the people who are truly successful, are the people who view ease & convenience is the enemy in a way. Like if you’re to, it’s actually not that hard in life to get like comfortable. But then that is…people want that. They often want that. I want a comfortable life. But a comfortable life in a lot of cases is not a rich, fulfilling life. And so, I think that’s an important distinction where, I never felt that I wanted to settle. And I always felt like a lot of people were just doing the easiest thing possible just to get by. And I recognized, early on, that that wasn’t: a) a path to success, b) it would be boring.
[00:16:17] And the last thing I’ll say, and I heard this early on, I think from Michael Jordan when I was a kid and then Kobe Bryant talked about it. You know, we have such a limited time here on Earth that we can’t do everything. We definitely can’t excel at everything. And so, building your life in a way that you can a) do the things that you love and b) do the things that you’re really good at and work on them so you can try to be great, ends up being a pretty replicable path to success.
[00:16:52] And that’s why Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, the reason they were so good at basketball. Yes, they had natural talent, but that had to actually, you know, nurture that talent and do that one thing. So, for me, I love writing more than anything else, like it’s my passion. I was writing a lot when I was your age because I’d read that Jack Kerouac had written a million words by the time he was 30. And I set that as my goal when I was 16 or 17. I was a huge Jack Kerouac fan at that age and I, I was writing just a ton. And so, like I’ve been writing now for like pretty intensely for 20 years. And so that allowed my. I figured out pretty early what I loved. I never thought I could make any money doing it. But kind of doubling down and trying to focus on that one thing that you know you’re passionate about, ends up, you kind of wake up in a couple of years and you’re a lot more successful than the kid or the person who a) did as little as possible and b) you know, they didn’t do that, but maybe they tried too much. Because a lot of people just spread their time too thin. They’re like, I want this, and I want that wanted that where if you have a singularity of focus, that often gets rewarded if it’s something that you’re passionate about. So that’s a really long answer but…
Brody [00:18:09] Yeah, it makes sense. As an example, for what you were bringing up actually, I believe I read that you had read over three hundred books on money at one point. I believe that’s on your website, which is an insane amount. If you think about it, each book takes a day to read like twenty-four hours maybe if you’re really paying attention.
Grant [00:18:31] Yeah.
Brody [00:18:31] So that’s a lot, that’s…
Grant [00:18:34] I mean I’ve easily read now over five hundred books about money. I’m sure. It’s like anything else where you get faster as you’re reading about a particular topic as you go on. So, one of the things you realize with money books is, you know, after you’ve read 10 to 20 of them, especially the classics, the rest of it is somewhat filler. And so, you’re reading the book for that extra idea or that extra mind set piece. And so, you don’t have to you don’t have to read the chapter on compounding because you’ve already read it five times before. You’re looking for that golden nugget. And that’s very much what I was doing. I was very specifically like, OK, where’s the like, what am I missing here? What’s going to fill in the gap here? And I also just really love personal finance. For some reason. I’ve never figured that out. But and so that was naturally easy to read about it. And then once I got into Buddhism, I really did the same thing. I just started.
[00:19:28] And you start with kind of the core text, and then you just I mean, my favorite thing in the world in any book is the bibliography or the citations, because that gets me down the rabbit hole. And I try to go as far back to the primary source as possible. So, when I was reading about Buddhism, I was like, OK, we’re clearly in the sort of post-modern phase of Buddhism in the US. I’m going to go back to those first books that were written in English about Buddhism as the ideas were moving from the East to the West. And when you do that, you actually realize that books written pre like 1950 and certainly late eighteen hundreds, early nineteen hundreds, the quality of them is actually significantly higher than any book written after nineteen fifty.
Brody [00:20:12] Hmm.
Grant [00:20:12] The writing’s better, it’s more comprehensive. The writers took it more seriously. I think they had a lot more time because they weren’t on the Internet. So, you read money books even from like nineteen twenty and they’re, the best money books ever written were written between like eighteen seventy-two and like nineteen thirty.
Brody [00:20:31] Yeah. I mean it’s like as you talked about there’s just less filler because everyone takes shit from other people’s books, puts it in their book and it’s your job to sift through all that to find like the original idea. But if you go back, as you said, you don’t have to because that is the idea.
Grant [00:20:47] Yeah, exactly. Most thoughts that we think have already been thought for millenniums. Like none of us are having an original thought really at any particular moment. It’s just some natural stream of consciousness that we’re entering into. And so, I view my role as a writer or content creator, as tapping into that, and reinterpreting it for a particular moment in time. So, if you read my book, Financial Freedom. And you could have it’s literally a distillation of those three hundred books, filtered through my experience. That’s exactly what it is. So, I was able to be like, this didn’t work, that worked this work, that didn’t work. And so, for me, the benefit is or for the reader, you don’t have to go out and read those other three hundred books. I’ve done that for you and I’ve actually lived it. So, here’s exactly what I think is important. So, I view it very much as like a greatest hits, no fluff, get to the heart of it, save your time, kind of book. And it’s crazy because people your age read it. I get more emails from people like kids kind of 13 to 18 than I do any other group of people. And they’re just so far beyond my thinking. And the reason why is because they’ve been able to read my thinking and build on it, so fast. Like, you don’t have to go through 15 years of learning that I went through 10 to 15 years. You can just read my book and you get all that literally and four and a half hours.
[00:22:12] And so that’s how knowledge as it’s accelerating, works. And I’m so impressed because it’s just like. And that’s why we do it. I mean, that’s why you do pass on what you’ve learned so that people can figure it out and don’t have to go through the hard work, just like I did read other people’s books or money books.
Brody [00:22:31] Yeah, I mean, synthesizing is one of the greatest abilities that humans have. And if you’re able to do it effectively in a way that works for you, you just have a super power pretty much. And that’s what your book is in a way, just a synthesis of all those three hundred, as you said.
Grant [00:22:45] Filtered through your own experience, because a lot of people that write books, they either just view their experience or they just copy someone else’s ideas. But when you combine those pieces of your own experience, it lets you filter out all the crap that people don’t care about. It also helps writing a book when you don’t have anything else to sell. And so, you know, I don’t have some big mastermind program or some ten-thousand-dollar thing I want you to buy. I literally wrote it. And you don’t make any money. Even when you saw hundreds of thousands of copies of a book, you’re making like two to three bucks a book which for the amount of effort is debatable. But the reason you should do it and the reason that I did it was just, yeah, just to give back, and just to be a part of the conversation.
[00:23:31] I get emails every day from all over the world. People just share in the love back to me. So, it’s made my life richer and a lot of ways there. And it’s something the last thing I’ll say about this and this really kind of blew my mind when I thought about it. I was chatting with my agent and we figured out that at any given moment, twenty-four hours a day, every single minute, there’s at least five hundred people reading or listening to my book at any moment.
Brody [00:23:56] That’s so cool.
Grant [00:23:56] So you think about that. You create this one thing, right. I spent twenty-eight hundred hours doing it, and then you put it out into the world and then it gets becomes popular, gains some momentum. Then I don’t have to rewrite that every time. But my energy, my ideas are constantly rippling into the universe. And same thing with, like you mentioned, Rich Dad Poor Dad, him writing that book like twenty-five plus years ago, best-selling personal finance book of all time, probably tens of millions of copies. I mean, it’s just it’s just continuing to ripple and that only creates more opportunities for you. But it also creates a richer life because you’re you know, you get reactions and feedback from people that you’ve never even met. I view it as kind of like putting an energy out into the world. And so, I think a lot of people write books for the wrong reasons.
[00:24:45] But when you read a great book, you kind of know and you can feel what the author put into it. And now when I actually read books, I can I can not only read the book and the content, but I’m reading, and I can see immediately how it’s structured and how the argument was built. And did like I could tell, like if the author was half assing it or if they really went hard on it. And the great books really do start to stand out very quickly. Once you’ve read, once you’ve written one, the art of it stands out and I’m even more appreciative of them now.
Brody [00:25:16] Ummhmm. For me, a lot of the time when you read a really good book, it feels like you’re having a direct conversation with the author in a way.
Grant [00:25:24] Yeah.
Brody [00:25:24] Almost as if they’re just speaking to you. And you can really feel that.
Grant [00:25:28] Yeah, they’re alive. Books are alive. I mean, they really are. Like you create them once, but they come alive in that interaction of your mind and your consciousness with someone else’s. So that’s exactly what’s happening.
Brody [00:25:40] Mmmm. A little bit of a shift. We mentioned earlier, kind of how you read at a very early age and kind of started focusing on something I’m just kind of quickly curious about is how early- not do you think as a definite moment, but in general – should kids, teens, people start worrying about what’s my specialization, what should I do for money? What kind of what should I do? What when should people start thinking about that?
Grant [00:26:07] That’s a really great question. You know, it’s one of those that I’m going to use music as an analogy. Because I think when you’re a teen and you’re just growing up, what you really want to be learning and should be learning are kind of the scales, you know, the music scales and playing and learning the instrument and also listening to the greats. You should do those two things, learn the fundamentals and read or listen to the greats.
[00:26:33] And what that then allows you to do is naturally the things that we consume, read, listen to, they unconsciously and consciously, to some degree, they become a part of us. Like when you’re reading language like that, if you’ve read my book, listen to my book. My language has become you. And when it becomes you, what actually happens, is It starts to impact how your unconscious works. And so, you’re going to naturally, it might not be immediately apparent, but in a year down the road, you’re thinking is going to have changed because you listen to me read that book, it’s naturally going to change literally how you think over time. And so, it’s important when you’re younger to surround yourself with greatness. And I’m not saying my book’s great, that’s what I’m talking about. I’m simply saying, like, surround yourself with people who have done the things that you want to do. And so back to the music analogy, learn the scales. So, the basics of money, basics of personal finance. Personal finance is not that complicated. You know what I mean? You can figure it out in a couple of weeks by reading some basic books. Same things with like some music scales. So, learn the basics and then learn the greats. So, listen to those jazz artists that you really love or read the books of the people that were really successful that you really love. So read the Tim Ferris’s of the World. Even if you don’t understand everything that they’re saying, their language will literally become you. And so, what happens is you don’t have to have your life figured out when you’re in high school, nor should you. Some people do. Some people are like, I’m going to be this thing, and this is my life. Good for them. But I actually think the worst question you can ask someone your age is, what’s your purpose in life or what are you going to do with the rest of your life? Because I think a lot of people don’t know. And it puts an irrational level of pressure. Sometimes it just takes people more time. But for those who have learned from the greats and learned the basic fundamentals, it makes it so much easier to start making your own music or your own content when you’re ready. And what I mean by that is if you’ve read the hundred best business books of all time, by the time you’re out of high school, naturally, no matter what you do through the rest of your life, you’re going to be better at business even if you don’t have an interest in it. And so that’s one of the things going into college. You’re naturally going to be better able to evaluate that opportunity. If you’ve read the greats already and you know the fundamentals.
[00:29:01] So it just makes it – back to the music analogy – it just makes it easier to create your own voice. Your own tone, if you’ve done the work. So, I think that’s really, really important. If you if you’re interested in a subject, read everything you can about it. Read the people who know the most about it, try to get to know them. And that’s the great thing about books or podcasts is you can do that without even knowing the person. So, I think that that’s a really, really important.
[00:29:26] And then the other piece, like a lot of us, expect to find kind of the perfect thing for our life very quickly. And then when we don’t, we feel lost, we feel frustrated. But it often takes people a long time to find that thing, if they ever find it. And that’s an important piece as well. There are a lot of people in life that now looking back, I saw, and they just spent you know, they’re looking for that perfect thing. They don’t know what it is. They’re looking for the perfect thing. And so, they spend a lot of their life on the sidelines. And that’s the worst thing that you can do, meaning they’re just looking for that perfect job or that perfect major. The worst thing that you can do in life is just sit on the sidelines., because what ends up happening is, the more active you are, the more people you’re meeting, the more opportunities you’re taking, the more risks you’re taking, especially when you’re young, like the idea of risk, young, is like ridiculous. Like most people your age are like too afraid of like, oh, I’m not going to get into this college or my life’s going to be ruined or I’m not going to make any money. And I know that because I was like that, too, and a lot of ways. But the amount of risk is like you’re so young, you have so much time to pivot, so many, so many mistakes you can make and should make. But if you’re not making mistakes and you’re not taking risks, you’re not living.
[00:30:38] And what I mean by that is like you’re going to find the best opportunities when you’re just out there doing shit. You know what I mean? Like, literally, you’re going to meet some person and they’re going to introduce you to someone else. And all of a sudden, some opportunity that you never could have imagined to do this thing, that you could never have imagined, would open up to you. Like growing up like I was, you know, my parents, like, wanted me to be a, you know, a doctor, a lawyer, scientist or something. And like then you realize, like, great writers or great musicians or like these people… there are people that actually do that.
Brody [00:31:16] Mhhhmm.
Grant [00:31:16] And that’s one of the things now that I get to do what I love, like, I wish I could have just told my 16-year-old self, just like, you know, chill out, keep reading, keep enjoying your life, don’t stress out too much. You know, you’re going to find your way. It’s going to be hard and it’s going to take time. It’s going to be messy, but that’s going to be the beautiful part of the journey. And then you’re always going to look back with nostalgia for those moments. You know, like when I had no money, I was always stressed about money. I was like always stressed. I couldn’t sleep. And now I’ve got a lot of money. I’m just like, Jesus, why was I so stressed about money? I wasted so much time. But I look back fondly and I’m like, I shouldn’t have been stressed about that. I should’ve just been enjoying my life. And the same thing. You know, you never get back this moment like you really are… Life does get richer in some ways and change in some ways. But I think, you know, your high school years and your college years, just soak up every moment. Because you’ll regret it if you don’t. Or I think a lot of people actually regret, like playing it too safe. And so, don’t ever play it too safe, make a lot of mistakes.
Brody [00:32:21] Well, I feel like I should be applauding, but there’s no audience. So really, you actually answered a crap ton of questions that I was formulating as you spoke. Even when you were talking about how really you just have to do something because you never know what will happen. And a question I had in my mind as you were talking was like, OK, what if I can’t find the right books to think of? What book should I do? And it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re actually actively doing it and learning shit, it doesn’t matter, right? You just have to be putting yourself out there. There are countless stories of even people I’ve talked to on this podcast just by meeting one random person. Their life incredibly changed. And they’re where they are today just by speaking to one person, just putting yourself out there, as you said, changes your life.
Grant [00:33:10] Yeah, curiosity. Curiosity is the most important trait in success. And I think in a rich life, just be curious. Hard to say to someone who isn’t curious. You know, it’s hard to manufacture that. And actually, yeah, just try to be around, you know, great people and great people don’t necessarily that doesn’t mean they’re the most maybe successful people, but great people are great people. And you start to recognize that the more you pay attention to it. And then you realize it’s all just a game and an illusion at its core at some point as well. Where, like for me, I took life very, very seriously up into the point where I realized it was all kind of an illusion, it was all kind of a game. And then I had one part of the game and then I was just like, oh, gosh, like being an adult is so much different than I thought it was. And I thought that everyone had it figured out. But in reality, no one has to figure it out. And not only just don’t have it figured out, I had it more figured out than I thought most people around me. And so, I felt pretty good. It’s like you’ve got a lot of people in life and you just realize, like a lot of people are just trying to do as little as possible or the bare minimum. And then they complain about why they feel stuck. You know, it’s like. It gets easier to see, the more and more people that I meet all around the world.
Brody [00:34:30] It really connects back to this point that I believe I read in a Napoleon Hill book, fear is what controls most people. Fear of success, fear of failure, fear of change, fear of anything. It’s what controls us not wanting to go out and try more things because we want to wait for the perfect opportunity, as you said. It’s not reading that book because it might not be the best book. And fear is really I’m going to quote Dune, “fear is the mind killer”.
Grant [00:34:58] Wise words.
Brody [00:34:59] Yeah, good book, too. But once we can overcome that, other things will start to come, is what I think I should say,
Grant [00:35:08] And I don’t think you necessarily ever overcome fear. What happens is you’re just able to put fear in its place. And so, fear, you’re able to contextualize it in a way that you control it more than it controls you. You still have it. I mean, naturally, we all have this sort of unconscious fear of death which maps back to fear of success and self-sabotage and some of these things. It’s a lot easier to not be afraid, by not trying.
Brody [00:35:40] Yeah, you’ve done a lot with the first I believe you’re thirty, four thirty-four years of your life. But what is the next thirty-four going to look like? What are you going to be doing when you’re 68?
Grant [00:35:52] Yeah. You know, there’s a great Carl Jung quote, the psychologist, he says, “you spend the first half of your life building up your ego and then the second half of your life trying to let go of it.”
[00:36:09] And I think that really encapsulates where I’m at in my life now, because I’ve spent an immense amount of time and energy to build a level of freedom into my life that allows me to not only be happy, but also grow.
[00:36:32] And so I realized, not that long ago, that the thing that makes me happiest in life is growing. And growing, I mean by that, getting better at the things that I love – being challenged. It’s not about having tons of money. It’s about am I excited about what I’m doing. And there was this small shift I made in my life a couple of years ago, where I think it’s really, really important to set your own measuring stick for your life, and so define success for yourself. Figure out what kind of life you want to live, not just what kind of life maybe your parents told you should live or the life your parents lived or the life your friends are living. Actually, think about what kind of life you want to live, and then realize that your relationship to yourself in the world and to money and everything else, as you alluded to, is going to change as you change. And so, who I am at thirty-four is vastly different than who I was at twenty-four or at 16. And you have to be honest and open with yourself that the only constant in life is change. And you’re changing whether you want to or not. And so much of the tension in our lives comes from holding on too tightly to who we think we are. So, we’re holding on like, oh I’m that I’m that young entrepreneur, I’m that rain maker. And by holding on so tightly, we haven’t created any space, for the “us” that we’ve yet to become.
[00:38:07] And so we hold on so tightly and here we are. This who this person could blossom into. We’ve all held on so tightly, we just haven’t become that person. And then if that gap gets too long, we’re just always living in the past. You’re always living in college or high school, you like. Those are the times in my life where I was always that person. You know, sometimes you can get way too far behind yourself, and not realize and embrace – like – my beard starting to get gray. And that’s one of the things where people could be like a lot of people in our world are like, oh, my gosh, I’m getting gray. What’s happening to me? For me, like, I really it reminds me that I’m fully human. You know that I’m only here for such a short time. And so, embrace your humanity, embrace getting older, embrace change. And the most successful people are the ones who are able to adapt and accept change and let themselves change, because you’re changing whether you realize it or not. And the more you do realize it and the more you tap into that, the richer your life is going to be.
[00:39:05] So I think back to your question, what’s the next thirty-four years of my life, I’ve spent an immense amount of time building a life that I love. And now my challenge is to simply enjoy it, Because I am my own worst enemy in the sense that all of the skills that I acquired to get to where I’m at, not only do I still have them, but I’m at the peak of my power, you know what I mean? The greatest musicians and writers and creators in the world, their peak is often in their mid-thirties to mid-forties. Like I’m entering into that peak creative years. And so, I should be creating more than ever. And I naturally have a propensity to work all the time and try to chase all these things. But the more that I chase things in life, often the more distracted I get, the more just less grounded that I feel.
[00:39:55] And so my challenge to myself is: enjoy it, man. You’ve made it. You made it. Like you’ve won the game. Like when I look around at my life and my wife and where I live and my friends and my opportunities and my audience and my listeners, I’ve won the game. I have everything that I’ve ever wanted. And so now I’m really in the bonus years of my life. And I feel that, and I feel grateful that I’ve gotten here. And I’m – the paradox of all of this is, you know, I mentioned that ease & convenience are the enemy. And now that I have all those things, actually the paradox here is I need to stop and enjoy them. And so, I just moved to a house. I’ve always lived in New York City, in Chicago and apartments and lofts. And I moved to a house and moved to Ohio. I hung up a hammock between two trees. I bought a grill. I have a garage and I spend most of my time now sitting out in my hammock just reading books. Because what I love to do, I like writing. I like reading. I like walking my dog. I like playing records and hanging out with my wife on a Saturday night. Most things in life that I enjoy are relatively inexpensive or free, and I’ve taken the time to figure out what makes me happy. And so now I’m going to enjoy it.
[00:41:10] I am working on another book, which may be my last book, I don’t know, it’s very, very big topic. So, I’m going to push pretty hard on that for the next year or two. But then I’m going to try to let go man. I’m going to try to let go. Because I think the worst thing that I could do is to chase more money. I don’t need more money. The worst thing that I could do is to, you know, chase fame because I don’t need any more notoriety. It’s already weird, now. The worst thing that I could do is just chase after something that at the end of the day likely won’t make me as fulfilled as I am now. So that’s kind of my challenge. And I feel very blessed to be in this position. And I worked hard to get here. And yeah, I think more is often the enemy in life. And a key driver in my life is how much is enough? And I realize I have more than enough.
Brody [00:42:06] Honestly beautiful. I feel like I could listen to that every day and that could be all the motivation I ever need once I reach there.
Grant [00:42:14] Yeah. You can reach there faster than I than I did. That’s the cool thing about learning this when you’re your age. You know, it’s never been easier in history, it’s never been easier in history to make enough money to live a life you love. Because at the end of the day, money itself is the catalyst for a lot of the stuff. It’s the freedom that allows you to buy your own time, to do the things that you love. And so, you know, as you as you come out of high school and start making money and saving money, this stuff really adds up a lot faster than you realize. But you’ve got to view saving as an opportunity, not a sacrifice. And what happens if you do that, you’ll wake up at twenty-five or twenty-seven or thirty, and you’ll have more than you need. And you’ll love your life. And it’ll grow and compound and you’ll never have to work another day in your life if you don’t want to. And maybe you do want to. I mean, a lot of us do after we already have that, but we’ve realized what’s enough and we can always walk away or do something else. But you have to be honest with yourself about that.
[00:43:16] And that’s one of the things, often you meet a lot of people in Silicon Valley where they’ve just got tens and tens of millions of dollars, but they’re stressed out about their life. And it’s really funny because it’s often they’re like, you know, it’s like I’m just burnt out. I’m so tired. It’s like, well, then why don’t you just stop? Like a lot of people know why they’re stuck in life, it’s just like so obvious to them. But they’re so, you know, we’re so conditioned, we’re so wired that the skill sets that we’ve built to get us where we are, it’s very hard for us to let go of them. Or even put them on the sidelines.
[00:43:47] I like to think about his levels of freedom as you get to each level, really stop and look around your life and think about, am I willing to continue making the sacrifices that I’ve made to get here and am I willing to make the sacrifices to get to the next level? Because maybe you’ll just get to that point where you’ll have enough and you’re just going to chill for a while. And that’s a really good spot to be in. But a lot of people, what they do is they just fly through those levels and they’re not mindful at all. So, they’re just like heads down making millions of dollars. And then they get to the point where they’re forty-five and they’re stressed out about their life and they look in the other their distanced from their kids and they’re stressed out and then they’re like, whoa, what just happened in the last twenty years and why am I so unhappy.
[00:44:33] You got to stop and reevaluate. And that’s why I always encourage people, like the reason I wrote my book, one of the reasons is like, I encourage people like read this every year, maybe like every three years, because as your relationship to money changes, it’s important to kind of check in with yourself. And a lot of people don’t do that. And I didn’t do that. But now I definitely do. And it gets a lot easier over time, too, because by the time you’re in your 30s, you kind of know what you like.
[00:45:02] Like this is the last thing I’ll say. So, like, when you’re your age, like you don’t know, you know what you like, you really don’t know. And you’re really excited and life’s full of potential and all this opportunity and you think you’re live forever. And you think you’re invincible and never going to die. And so, you like just like you’re very alive, very full of energy. And then you get in your twenties and you realize you have to make money and that you don’t know what you want to do with your life. Your kind of stressed out and some of your friends start dying and you’re like, why they die so young? And you’re really kind of lost in a way. And then by the time you enter your thirties, you kind of only want to do the things that you like to do and you’re not willing to make those tradeoffs. So, some things do get easier like that. That anxiety in that stress kind of falls away.
[00:45:44] The twenties are really intense, man. The 20s are probably the hardest kind of decade. That’s why having money saved so you don’t have to take shit from anyone is really, really, really helpful and just doing cool stuff. But I mean, I can’t speak for late 30s or 40s, but every decade is definitely very, very distinct. But just pay attention to it and you obviously will. You’re asking, really beautiful questions for someone your age. And, you know, you’re like a very mindful kid, so all that stuff is it is well suited to living a rich life.
[00:46:22] [Music up then down for].
Brody [00:46:22] That was Grant Sabotier. If you want to learn more about him, please visit MillennialMoney.com
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