Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo quotes on money management

Building a portfolio of small bets. Quarter-time with Gumroad. Building userbase.com. Creator on dvassallo.gumroad.com. Ask me anything at daniel@hey.com.

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1

If you sell a subscription for $10/mo, and you add just 1 net new customer per day... After 5 years: - you'd have collected $547K. - you'd be doing $18K/month in revenue. Failing fast isn't the only option. You can also try to succeed slowly.

2

Many people think they can succeed by making an amazing income, only to find out they have to endure a lifestyle they dislike. You can't be successful if you hate your life. Seems obvious, but unfortunately not widely understood.

3

It’s possible for your income to drop 50% while your lifestyle improves 500%. Don’t forget what you’re really chasing when making tradeoffs.

4

To design a lifestyle based on your own preferences, you must learn how to defeat the sunk cost fallacy. No matter how much you've invested in your current path, you must be be willing to write it all off. Otherwise you'll likely get stuck enduring an existence you dislike.

5

If you're pursuing income maximization, it's hard to beat the expected value of a career at a big co — trading your time for $200/hr, 40hrs/wk, 52wks/yr, for 30yrs. But an alternative is to only pursue satisfactory income, and then maximize your time doing whatever you want.

6

If you manage to build a business that you can operate at a very low cost (including your time), you almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.

7

Product first: You start with an idea & try to make it a reality at all costs. Business first: You start with a business strategy & try to maximize profit via prudent risks. Lifestyle first: You start with a preferred lifestyle & try to find business activities that enhance it.

8

If you create things that you can keep on the market at a very low cost (including your time), you almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.

9

If you cannot make yourself leave some money on the table (once the basics are covered), you’ve become addicted to the pursuit of income maximization. You’re not in charge of your destiny anymore, and you’ll go where the money is, at all costs. It’s tragic.

10

People thinking about opportunity cost in terms of earning potential are missing the point. If you're enduring an existence you dislike, you're missing out on the opportunity to live a lifestyle that better matches your preferences. That's the real opportunity cost.

11

If you like the self-employed lifestyle, and you'd rather not go back to full-time employment, you need extreme risk aversion, not extreme risk taking. You're not trying to maximize profits. You want to avoid having this lifestyle taken away from you.

12

If you have high running costs, time is your enemy. Every day adds new obligations. Your profits must always beat time. If you have negligible running costs, time is your friend. Every day adds new opportunity. You almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.

13

If you like your independent lifestyle, you need extreme risk aversion first, not extreme risk taking. You're not trying to maximize profits. You want to avoid having this lifestyle taken away from you.

14

Variable income is thrilling. Every day starts at zero, and it’s always a pleasant surprise when the day doesn’t also end at zero. Very hard to take it for granted (unlike my old steady paycheck).

15

If you make many small bets, you don’t have to rely on being a great visionary to succeed.

16

In the real world, the expected value of a 30% chance to make $3M is not the same as a 0.3% chance of making $300M. Because if you can’t fit enough repetitions in your lifetime to realize the payout, your expected value will be $0.

17

If you sell something for $45/month and you manage to add just ONE new customer every day, by the 5th year you’ll have a $1,000,000/year business.

18

An artist makes something out of creativity. An artisan makes a living out of creativity.

19

In a normal economy, almost everyone is able to make a living trading their time for money. But you definitely can’t say the same thing about product owners. Everyone wants to decouple their income from their time — the problem is there’s no predictable way to achieve that.

20

Want to make a living as an author? Then treat it like a business, not a lottery ticket. You need to have an idea of how you're going to produce it, distribute it, promote it, etc. Nothing is certain, but you need a strategy. And "write it and they will come" is not a good one.

21

If you're resilient to a sudden loss of income, you're automatically resilient to many other unpredictable things.

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