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Surprising money lessons from NYC delivery guy

I had just moved to NYC 2 weeks before. We ordered delivery from a deli in the East Village and 20 minutes later, the doorbell rang.

My friend, who was in the other room, buzzed him up and handed me $20 to answer the door. When I gave the delivery guy $20 and he handed my change back, I called back into the apartment, “How much was it?”

I wanted to make sure I got the right amount of change. Big deal, right?

My friend started laughing. “Who cares, dude? Just give him the $20.”

Back in Sacramento, this conversation never would have happened (and not just because we never got delivery). You get the change, count out a nice tip, and that’s that.

In New York, people are a lot looser with money. A $12 cocktail is just the cost of doing business for a young professional. In your early 20s, you go out to clubs, you take taxis, and you don’t worry about counting pennies — or the city would drive you insane.

You would never know this from a website. It’s not written in any guidebook. But it’s true.

So there I am, trying to count back a few dollars in change, and I just handed it all over to the delivery guy. That one comment from my friend opened my eyes. Who the hell doesn’t count their change?

I realized my Rich Life didn’t need to involve private jets and $80,000 watches. On a day-to-day basis, my favorite thing is NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT COUNTING CHANGE.

If I want to take a taxi, I do. If I see 3 appetizers I like, I order them all. And if I want to send my parents tickets to visit me, I send them without caring how much they cost.

Sometimes people get this nutty idea that a Rich Life means sitting around and counting your money all day.

The answer is much more prosaic — but also more interesting. What happens once you don’t have to worry about your day-to-day expenses? What happens once you’re making more than you need to live…

…and even earning it while you sleep?

Here’s a revenue report from last week:

Or if my friend invites me to a tea tasting, I can go without worrying about how much it costs (like yesterday’s matcha class):

Matcha class from yesterday. More on

One of my goals is to show you that living a Rich Life is possible. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an idea, or if you’re not sure how to get started — I can help you with all that. But it all starts with you believing that you can live a Rich Life.

If I could give you $100,000, what would you do with it? Would a Rich Life mean ordering the wagyu beef? Would it mean dropping out of the 9-5 rat race and building a business that runs even while you sleep?

I can show you countless example after example: John, a Zero To Launch graduate, built a business and quit his job. He now lives in Thailand.

This place:

Photo of Ao Nang Beach, Thailand by kallerna used under a creative commons 3.0 license

(By the way, there are lots of different business ideas we can help you find — not just a business coach. For example, we’ve helped Zero to Launch students launch businesses on parenting or airline miles…and many more. We can help you find a business idea.)

Take a look at John’s story. For him, his Rich Life was moving to Thailand.

For me, my Rich Life is not having to count change and being able to order appetizers — basically not having to worry about the little things!

What does your Rich Life look like? I’d love to know – leave a comment below. Give me a specific answer, please — don’t just say “freedom.” Who knows? Maybe I can help you get it.

P.S. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you more about that $14,000+ revenue report. If you want a sneak peek, sign up for this free event I’m hosting to help you launch an online business.

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There Are 8 Comments


My rich life is to have enough money that my bills are always paid and I can travel to anywhere in the world n stay for as long as I want. I want to have my businesses running like cogs

I’ve been following you for a while but I’ finally, finally.. finally.. FINALLY realizing that my Rich Life DOESN’T include a business that run while I sleep, and it doesn’t include having a startup or anything. (Those are things that I think have been easy to get caught up with, being that the wave now is a focus on starting a company, possibly to make a ton of money.)

My Rich Life features not worrying about having to shell out 80 bucks for tickets to see a really cool presentation at a cultural center, or limiting what I get my girlfriend for her birthday. My Rich Life is similar to yours (if I understood yours correctly), but it mainly features not feeling that anxiety about actually spending money, no matter what I spend it on. I realized I have the same anxiety about spending money on something I REALLY want, as I do spending it on bills.

Money leaving my possession is a problem for me. My rich life looks pretty similar to my life NOW, just without that problem. At least that’s the start of it.

My rich life is throwing my credit card in the pile at dinner with friends and splitting it evenly. Doesn’t matter that I only got one drink or another person ordered two appetizers. Not dealing with the fuss of writing out who bought what and how much each person is paying just makes my life easier.

A Rich Life to me would give me the flexibility to pursue all the hobbies I want. (Ballet, horseback riding, etc.) These things take time, and working a standard 9-5 job with a long commute isn’t conducive to being able to do all that I would like.

A Rich Life to me would include making enough money so that my wife had the option to work if she wanted to or quit and do something else if she wanted to do that. It would be paying off our CC debt and our student loans. It would involve not needing to double check our checking account to ensure we can afford to go out on a date or if that has to to wait until after our next paycheck. We are looking to start a family and I want to be able to give my children the same wonderful life that my parents were able to provide for me.

I currently work at a sporting goods manufacturing company that doesn’t provide anything really “worthwhile” to the world. Our objectives are always to sell more jackets, open more accounts, ship more product, yada yada yada. Two years ago, we had record growth, but failed to see any sort of bonus/reward/incentive to keep up the good work. This fall has seen record high temperatures on the east coast which has led to great uncertainty about our business and lots of high stress days. It would be wonderful to not be so dependent on the weather and be able to supplement my regular income with a small steady side business.

I have been quite interested in starting my own custom woodworking company – creating modern wood wall art, having the ability to customize with an inlay. This could be sold to businesses to decorate corporate offices or gifts for employees or c-level executives (ex. logos), adding elements of state flags, and/or to sports fans for a classier piece of art to show their support instead of a flag or poster.

My target individual would be that person above that doesn’t need to worry about pennies or counting change and just wants something nice and unique in their apartment or home.

– How do you design your living space and/or work space?
– Did you pay someone to do this for you?

This new business is one of my new years resolutions as I have continually spoken about this and talked about it for the last few years, but I have resolved to finding my first 3 paying customers and actually DOING something rather than talking about it.

Thank you for keeping up your kick-ass content. Your material truly inspires me to think outside the box and make that Rich Life happen for myself and my family.

My ‘Rich Life’ would involve being able to donate liberally to my friends’ gender transition expenses, and help any fundraisers for teenagers in similar situations to them; it would also include being able to spend money indiscriminately on new experiences without worrying about the cost.

I liked your comment about buying tickets for your parents to come visit you. That is what my rich life would look like. Except not just parents, my whole family.

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