Being Poor is a Choice

Being a broke-ass is a choice. An unwise choice, most of the time anyways. I say this because I believe in there being unlimited opportunity available to most* people. That means that anyone can start with practically nothing, and become wealthy.

Do I consider myself wealthy? Absolutely! Am I rich? Not exactly, if measured my monetary gains. I’ve got a long way to go. I don’t ever plan on retiring, because I plan on loving my productive ventures as long as I am topside in the land of the living.

Don’t get me wrong fam, I appreciate and sympathize with the fact that lots of people are buried in debt and misfortune. Some people are not able to work because of disability or get ahead be cause of unmanageable debt.

Most people can get ahead. You probably can. But will you? In order to “get ahead”, by definition, one has to behave differently.

I lived in a freaking windowless cargo van for three years. It sucked. But WTF are you going to do? You’ve got to do something. You’ve got to take extra-ordinary action in order to separate yourself from the rat race.

Living in that van that I borrowed at like 44K with 0 down (manageable debt?), allowed me to build over 10K in equity, which I traded for a car that I peeled off the car lot with paid off. Actually I didn’t peel off because it’s the slowest car on the road, but it felt like that. One of the best feelings ever, having gotten my first car paid off and NEW.

I’ve put 100k miles on that Mitsubishi, and it has paid for itself ten times.

Anyways, my point is that you’ve got to make moves (but not dumbass moves). Life is a game. You have to have strategy to WIN. Don’t loose all of your chips. Don’t gamble with that which you cannot afford to loose.

Anyone can find value in the market. Anyone can come up with a little extra money from a low-wage paying job to buy stuff at a discount, thrift or yardsale to flip for major returns. It’s not unheard of to make triple or even quadruple digit returns in arbitrage.

Even “rich” people can be broke by my definition because they have a scarcity-mindset and worry about preserving their wealth and play defense. Abundance mindset, on the other hand, is about staying on offense, being fruitful in your life, positively effecting others and providing value.

The come up is stressful and takes unceasing work, while being stagnant and lethargic is easy. Complaining and making excuses for not taking action takes no effort. It gets old though, and the only people sympathizing are other loosers. Put the work in, you’re future self will thank you. (:

How YOU Livin’⁉️

Life is defined by movement, and death the lack thereof. So if you’re not making moves, you’re dying (on the vine). You’ve got to get up and be somebody! Because the alternative isn’t worthwhile. But who do you want to be?

Define success. Envision it. Does it involve wealth? Power? I wonder how you relate to yourself and other people. I want to know what kind of energy you are disseminating, because that tells me what kind of person you are.

Don’t get me wrong and think that I am some sort of mamby-pamby think positive thoughts Soy-boy. Think that at risk of being thrown out of a ROFLCOPTER 🕴💭🚁😂

Rather I think that I’m interested in the truth. I’m committed to the facts and reason, yea, I even love the truth because what choice do i have? It’s either philosophy or sophistry, and ain’t nobody got time for that. But baffilingly people do have time for sophistry, and it seems that blue pills are in much higher demand than the medicine.

You cannot speak in love, or bring about positivity, if it is not rooted and grounded in the objective truth itself. Obviously I’m not talking about things of subjective nature here, but I’m taking a dive into the shocking question of what it means to live well as a good person. Suffice it to say, and hopefully we can agree that good people live according to “the truth”, and if you object to that, then stop reading here because nothing matters…. man.

Anyways, I don’t want to dwell and make the argument for the objectivity of truth or morality, but I would like to simply comment on some things that I think are good for you such as travel and mixing up your social life.

I think that if you’re complaining, like I have been, then you need to splash your face with some cold water and wake up. You’re going to die. You’re going to die. Once, not twice. YOU 👏ARE👏GOING👏TO👏DIE.

That concerns me, because I am going to die also, and I would like to live well and take advantage of the good opportunities afforded to me.

By the way, thanks for reading thus far. I appreciate your attention.

So a couple of ways you can set yourself up for success: you can not live a boring and stagnant, miserable existence. Get up and be somebody! Evan as someone who isn’t particularly artistic (I haven’t discovered any artistic talents worth mentioning as yet), I feel like humans are meant to express themselves. Meant to be productive and creative. Are you being productive and creative? Does it feel good?

So I just wanted to write about how one shouldn’t get tied down by sub-optimal or low-rent environments which starve your ability to be fruitful and flourish into your potential. Are you exploring your potential? If not, that’s a shame!

The past is impossible to change, but profitable to learn from. If you’re miserable, consider what you can do to sustainably be less miserable. Focus on the future, and the choices available to you, no matter how limited those choices are.

Don’t get stuck in situations without a positive future perspective. If the people around you are not learning from their misfortunes, then unfortunately they are losers. If you learn and become a better person, often times it is painful, but at least your suffering won’t be in vain. I would not have you ignorant, brethren, as the only way you can keep your heart with all diligence is if you buy the truth and sell it not.

New Chapters

Doesn’t it feel fantastic to enter new stages in life, to make new friendships, to explore new business and travel? Likewise it is excruciatingly painful to feel stuck, stagnant and under-appreciated. It hurts to break relationships, to the point of making you doubt whether it was worth making in the first place. Why become close if you’re going to be torn apart? Why settle somewhere if you’re going to be uprooted? Or invest time into a venture that is just going to fail?

Arguably because without such losses you wouldn’t learn. I feel like there are people that are interested in truth, and there are people that are committed to living in the ignorant bliss of delusion and comfort. People that avoid discomfort at all costs and hedge themselves to avoid making conscious life changing decisions. Those are the ones that “go with the flow”, say that “things will just work out” while adjudicating themselves of culpability. Then there are people that desire to know all the facts, realizing that just “going with the flow” often results in loosing all control in the grand rapids of life.

Of course it’s not totally binary, but most people place their tents more in one camp or another. If you haven’t guessed, I like to be more conscious and less passive. Which is easier said than done! I realize that there are plenty of things (in fact, most things) that are out of my control. 99.999999% give or take. But I control my decision making processes, and am interested in self-knowledge to know the deeper conceptions upon which I base my beliefs. I choose my focus, and that translates into how I live my life.

So as I turn into what feels like a new chapter, I’m excited, because I feel equipped. I don’t want to live life in fear, although there’s good reason to fear perdition. Perdition is defined as, noun 1. Entire loss or ruin; utter destruction. And I think it’s good to feel that as it can happen to anyone, including you.

I feel great power in embracing contrast. Black/white. Good/evil. Right/wrong. Like I said before, more often than not, life isn’t that binary. But sometimes it is, especially with regard to morality.

Anyways, I feel like you have to embrace your challenges with dedication to staying active and taking responsibility. If you find yourself in a bad economic, social or emotional state or situation, acknowledge how you chose it. You always have responsibility for your situation. Deal with it.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm, But Doesn’t Keep It

Think about it. The person who gets up early wins. That rings true, but it has more to do with discipline than the actual hour one wakes up. Because the people that wake up early that are REALLY winning, the innovators and creators and leaders that wake up early, also went to bed early. They got their 7 or 8 hours of sleep. Surely, some of them only got 4 or 5, but they most certainly cannot perform most optimally because it is simply impossible.

Lots of working class people (not that there is anything wrong with being working class) simply never get ahead in life. And like anything else, it all comes down to self-knowledge. I woke up at 0600 to take a pis and considered making coffee and starting my day, and then I did the “quick-maths” 2+2=4-1 that’s three and realized I simply wouldn’t have slept enough because I went to bed past midnight.

In order to perform you must maintain. And from what I understand, getting anything less than 7 hours of sleep is not maintaining, but rather undermining, your cognitive abilities.

Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t recommend sleeping in when you’re expected to be at work, but let’s try to not force ourselves into that stressful position by getting to bed early if that is the case. Turn your stupid phone off. Turn the lights off, and don’t listen to crazy music or watch a thriller to get ready for bed. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF. I like to set mine on airplane mode to have the alarm, but take away the temptation to sneak peaks. Let your brain do what it was designed to do, and ready yourself for the beautiful physical and spiritual experience of rest and replenishment.

The Bible says that, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” I just realized as I read that, that God says it’s vain to do the combination of rising early AND staying up late, which apparently results in the eating of the bread of sorrows! That’s cool.

Get some sleep!!! Here is a really cool longform interview with a neurologist on this topic, and I look forward to doing a book review of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep & Dreams

Why You Should Show Off Your Spoils in Public Victory

I think that it is good to show off. And not even in a humble-brag kind of way, but more like an in your 😝 mouth! kind of way. I say this knowing full-well that it makes me sound like a total douche, but hear me out.

There are many different kinds of people in the world. Some are just cut from a different cloth than others, so to say. I have had a diverse upbringing and experience, with some wealth and abundance as well as poverty and the necessary resourcefulness that comes along with that. I went to public schools, and a boarding school in New Zealand. I’ve driven a public transit 40 ft bus in Louisville Metro, and I’ve sat in an office managing a fleet of drivers. Now I’m running my own resale business.

Point being, I can see things from different perspectives, and when people assume that I was given anything, or have lived a sheltered life, they are mistaken. And that is probably the main reason that I haven’t any qualms about publicly rejoicing in my victories. Because I earned them.

I think it is the coolest thing to prove negativity wrong. To stunt on the haters. To shit on the critics. It’s a great motivation! I don’t know what gets you out of bed in the morning, but for me it is to prove everyone who has doubted me wrong! I smirk and grin as I write that because it is so true for me.

I feel like I’ve been doubted my whole life, and instead of focusing on that as a negative weight that would hold me down, I choose to embrace it and take flight against all adversity. It’s funny, because I empathize with the fact that I come across as if I’ve lived a sheltered life wherein I’ve received hand-outs, but after graduating high school from a motel room because I got kicked out of my house, I haven’t been given shit!

So now when I start to bring in some real money, averaging $1K/day on my Amazon business alone, it feels great knowing that it is the product of my efforts, and I’ve earned it myself. And yet, I’m just beginning, and soon I hope to bring in $10K every day. And I will hilariously still be driving my Mitsubishi (that I bought new, CASH), because for me it is all about practicality. But Lord knows, when I get my big boy car, or even a helicopter, I will have earned it.

Creme! Gotta Get the Money. Dollar Dollar Bills Y’all!

So I’m sitting here drinking my coffee with honey and without milk, because I haven’t gotten my groceries, but normally I drink it with milk and honey. The Bible says those two things are good, and they are, in coffee. But this cup of coffee is a heaven-send even without creme, because I was up late last night and I slept in. I noticed that I was running late to go pick up from Amazon to make deliveries, which I had actually forgotten about. So I canceled that, and promptly started brewing some coffee.

But I brought in over $10,000 in the last 48 hours. Cool, right? That is hands down by far the most money I’ve grossed ever. I’m on track to have another big day today, even possibly another 5K day. But you know what is funny? It doesn’t feel much different from all of the other days! Don’t get me wrong, it feels good, but I want to share some of my psychology when I’m hitting these new highs, which objectively are a big deal for me and my business, but subjectively it doesn’t feel life changing.

How would you feel if someone just gave you $10,000 as a gift? I remember when I was given one hundred $1 bills by a friend for my 13th birthday, and I felt like the flipping man! I was thumbing through those ones, and it felt like a major boss move in my early business career. I’ve always wanted my money to make more money though, and even as a kid I was encouraged to create value using my resources. It became the best game ever to think about how I could hustle new money by selling Colby’s Coolers which was my first real business. I walked up and down Ojai Avenue on Ojai Day or the Fourth of July selling coolers and fans to people dying of heatstroke at a healthy markup from fans that my friend Andrew and I had bought when my Mom took us to Walmart. Call us the original OGs of Walmart Arbitrage.

We bought those fans for around $100 and I had a stack of $300 or $400 from a couple hours work, and I think it was then that I understood that you never want to settle for the $100 that your friend gives you on your birthday and buy some dumb shit with that, but the greater gift is one that keeps giving.

Anyways, I kind of feel that way with $10K. I mean, yeah, great. I’m stoked I made some quick dough. And I need it. But I guess I’m just trying to take a really big MACRO perspective, that I need to continue the growth, or it is just vanity, seeing as it’s not like I can retire (I never want to retire, God that sounds horrible). I should mention, I’ve learned that it’s not what your bringing in, it’s the increase. You could be selling tons of shit at a loss. Thankfully, I’ve learned to focus on profit margins, and I’m making well over 25% net profit.

So what I’m saying (to myself) is, keep moving. Keep investing in what has allowed for growth. Keep re-investing, and finding new ways to be smarter and more efficient while “working hard”. Do both. And I guess it’s OK to treat yo-self a little bit, and buy a damn desk.

Update on Business- Growing Pains

Growth is painful, but so is the alternative. Last year I grossed $65,817.07 on Amazon, having started with their Fulfillment by Amazon program in April after running into some guy at Costco who is a Pastor at Southeast Christian Church looking at some Nike hoodies for resale.

I’ve grossed $63K in the first quarter of 2018, and I’ve been focusing much more on making my margins of 25% minimum (after fees, shipping and other expenses). I’ve sold some very high dollar products at minuscule margins that were simply not worth selling, so the gross numbers really don’t matter unless the margin is there. It feels pure vanity to brag about big gross numbers knowing that the profit margin is all that matters, which you don’t see in a screen-cap.

I think it’s funny when people assume that selling on Amazon, eBay or anywhere for that matter is passive. Granted, when Amazon fulfills my orders with the inventory that I store at their warehouses it saves me the work of shipping the product and dealing with returns, but that is why it is so scaleable. Most of my time is spent maintaining my listings because I do my own repricing to stay competitive, and sourcing more product. If you want your business to grow, you need to feed the beast. Amazon’s FBA program makes for a hungry beast that has an insatiable demand for product.

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So the key to Amazon FBA is sourcing profitable merchandise and having the capital to buy it. My first deal was buying 82 pairs of golf shoes that, come to find out, I couldn’t sell on Amazon. But I figured it out anyways.

I’ve sourced plenty of products. Some have done well, others have been losers. Double down on the winners and cut the losers seems like a principle that works well in most areas of life, especially ecommerce arbitrage. I’m learning to test products more, and then wait for the right time to really commit to buying larger amounts of product.

I save more money now when I find a real winner product by buying wholesale quantities and having them shipped LTL via tractor trailer. I’m excited because I’ve made my largest purchase last week, two pallets which will be headed to an Amazon warehouse tomorrow.

The bottom line is that if you want to make it happen, you’ve got to hustle. If I don’t hit the ground running tomorrow morning, then I’ll have no chance of grossing over 100K in Q2. If I don’t work smart, may be I will gross that much but not make much profit at all, and earn a pittance for all of my “hard work”. So my focus is on being active and dynamic, keeping my eyes open for opportunity to come my way, executing upon good information and being an overall practitioner. Stay hungry my friends.

Switching to Fresh Spring H²O ⛲️

So I’ve just awakened, feeling great, and I’ve slowly sat down and had some black tea with honey and creme. As of last evening, I started drinking natural spring water from a local deep earth spring, and I wanted to share some of my first impressions.

You may not think that this is worth writing about. Clearly I disagree. Just from the first day of switching to water that is thousands of years old, purified through the layers of earth, and mineralized thereby, I think this is an important topic.

A friend of mine, Ben, had brought this to my attention over one year ago. He actually drives to Climax, KY, South of Lexington, and fills up multiple 5 gal jugs on a weekly basis. And for some reason I looked into Daniel Vitalis, someone Ben had recommended listening to. It clicked for me, in that water is the most important substance to life, and not all H²O is the same.

If your water is treated with chlorine and floride, pumped through old pipes and recycled through sewage and metro-infrastructure, that’s obviously not the same as water which has been moving naturally for thousands of years to a pool underground, collecting minerals while being filtered under pressure through layers of limestone here in Kentucky, only to spring up in clean, abundant support of life. That’s what I’m talking about!

So I did some quick research. My friend said that he hadn’t any on hand and that he’d let me know when he got some more. Come to find out a local company is rebranding that same water from that local spring that I visited with my friend a year ago, and it’s about $1 per gallon. Quite affordable in my opinion in that it saves me a trip out there to gather my own.

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Day 2 went swimmingly. I drank more spring water and I was a little sore in the chest and arms from working out. I’ve been eating better, in having less fast food. Trying to limit my coffee consumption, but I had a couple cups later in the morning. I’ve noticed that when I first got my spring water yesterday, I drank lots of it. I was parched! After chugging it, I’ve been less thirsty for obvious reasons. But I think that spring water is more rich in minerals and the hydration quality is such that it takes less water to hydrate yourself. I drank some today, not copious amounts, and felt fully hydrated. So at the end of day two, I was starving so I ate some eggs and hummus and a PBR before going to the gym, and at the gym I brought a bottle of spring water. My friend’s taste test was interesting, in that he thinks that the water “tastes smooth, like bourbon”. I think he was describing the heaviness to it, in that it feels substantial, or thick when you drink it. I describe it as tasting like whole milk vs skim milk (tap water)

The problem with tap water is that it isn’t fresh or untainted. It’s treated with all kinds of stuff so that you won’t get terribly sick drinking it. It’s recycled and treated, containing even pharmaceutical drugs. If you find a good spring, you’re getting the pure product the way God made it! That makes sense to me, and I don’t mind paying a little for good water because I feel that it is the most important substance when you think about it.

So day #4 and I’m drinking coffee made with this good water. Yesterday I installed a shower-filter to get out harmful substances (like chlorine) from my shower.

Update

I’ve been doing the water thing for over a month now. As a matter of fact, I ran out of water this morning and poured little bottles in my Chemex to make coffee. I need to re-up. I need to get out of my robe, get dressed, and drive 5 miles to get 5 gallons. But I feel great! I’ve also been making one or two “Lemon Volcanoes” a day, which is a mineral water like Pelegrino or Gerolsteiner with some pure lemon juice. It’s a great elixer and has fantastic digestive enzymes. I love to drink bubbly lemon mineral water after eating. Also I’ve been taking probiotics for beneficial gut flora because I believe that the gut is literally your second mind in that it effects mood and performance. It’s hard to have a clear mind without a healthy gut.

So anyways, clean water is great. It makes great coffee (I need to get a second cut). I’m super glad that I put a filter on my shower, to reduce my exposure to chorine and the like, and I’m going to the sauna to sweat out toxins, replacing them with nutrients. Perfection is a poor standard, but we can all strive to eat well (whatever that means to you) and drink well.

I went to a yoga class, which is funny because I’m totally not a soy-boy, but the yogi gave me an interesting quote. She talked about being more body-full instead of the popular concept of mindfulness. Well the mind is the body. Let’s not hyper-focus on one part or aspect. Let’s work to make positivity in all aspects. Mind and body. Breath and being grounded. Enjoying tasty grub and getting nutrients. Eat well, drink well, love life!

Healthier Choices I’m Making for Myself

Check it out – life is short. What kind of life are you living? I ask myself that regularly. And here are some of the choices that I’m making to live the life that I want to.

Really there are too many to list. I feel that I’m constantly adjusting, sensing, evaluating. Right now I’m writing this as I listen to some very empowering and relaxing dubs from this producer out of Belgium Digid. I took a much needed shower after going to the gym for an hour. I just now got an email confirming that I have a massage with Gabriel “Magic Hands” LMT tomorrow at CLimb Nulu.

I put a filter on my shower head to filter out nasty shit. Chlorine mainly, but also base metals from old pipe infrastructure and the neurotoxin fluoride that they unnecessarily put in tap water. I don’t think it filters fluoride out, but it definitely filters chlorine and other crap out. My showers are more enjoyable now, knowing the water is cleaner and I’m not absorbing toxins, or reducing my exposure.

I started drinking only the freshest natural spring water that I can find. My buddy preached the spring water gospel to me over a year ago, but I thought it to be inconvenient. After coming across @danielvitalis and his talks about this issue, I decided that clean water strait from the earth is worth paying for. My old buddy has been driving over 100 miles weekly to fetch fresh water for a local food club that I need to renew my membership with. Check them out if your a 502 local. Their organic and mostly locally sourced food is super dank (especially the yogurt). 😜

So my H²O that I’m putting in my body (my body which is composed of over 70% H²O mind you) has gotten cleaner. It’s interesting because apparently research suggests that quality water has been shown to directly effect ones hormonal and nervous systems, namely the pineal gland in the brain. The third eye as it is referred to, regulating dopamine levels and REM sleep. An interesting concept, that water is life and not all water is the same. I believe the element is fundamental to one’s health, in that in order to achieve peak health and performance, one must source fresh and clean water.

Food too. I’ve been trying to eat healthier. This is something I’m struggling with, in a good way. Finding time to cook is difficult for me, so I’ve been trying the “AirBNB Diet” as James Altucher refers to it. Eating healthy and quick can be affordable. Go for the fresh snacks instead of processed foods. Spend $5 at a healthy grocery instead of on fast food. Salmon & pasta is my go to at Whole Foods, with a mineral water. I can get out of there for under $10 every day.

Saving money is a big deal. If you drop all kinds of cash (or even worse, credit) on lattes and expensive snacks, good luck saving any money. Luckily I’m naturally cheap af, so I don’t spend a lot on unnecessary splurges. I negotiate with everyone when theres a negotiation to be had. I enjoy saving money more than spending it.

Being nice with people is another thing I’m focusing on. Enjoying peoples company. Letting people enjoy mine. Life is better when you develop mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships, to whatever degree. I get acquainted with as many people as I can, even though I don’t consider myself that social. I enjoy getting to know people individually, even if it’s just a casual encounter with someone doing business.

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It has felt great to take breaks from working and MAKING* time for myself to go to the gym, stretch, foam roll, do some yoga or just walk around with my camera. This is something I’ve been meditating on, that if you don’t take time or opportunities with money or eating/drinking well, spending time with people you care about etc., then you don’t. That’s it. You have to make it happen for yourself. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ll keep you posted on how things go. Thank you.

What I’m Doing

I’m really excited about all the tools we have available to connect with each other. Audio, video and text. Most people gravitate more towards one, but I’m not sure which form I like best. I enjoy writing, talking and being in front of a camera. I guess I just enjoy reaching out to people.

So that’s what I’m going to be doing. It’s Friday night and I’m watching HOC at 1 A.M. I’m also writing this. I’m not in the mood to jump in front of a camera, and I can’t rant on a podcast because my AirBNB guest is sleeping in my guest room. So now is a good time for me to half-attentively write about what I’ve got going on in hope that someone finds it interesting.

I’m going to be podcasting. I’ve used Anchor a couple times, and SoundCloud. The five minute limit on Anchor keeps things concise, and make for hasty endings.

I’m going to continue to do little daily Vlogs if I can compile relatively short compilations that I think are entertaining and informative enough. And, I’ll be writing more!

I just know that I always have to be doing, and the more I do, the more I wish to share. I’m not a big fan of holding myself to arbitrary rules, but I do love developing systems and routines that produce results. And that system that I’m adopting is getting one piece of content out on the daily, or more.

So I hope to make podcasts, Vlogs and write blog posts to get started. I’m imagining doing much more as I get going; I want to record music and get a proper film set up with a camera and a crew. Big things are coming. Stay tuned.