March 13

This is alarming (for real) ☠️


Here is your weekly dose of WYODC Times, a list of what I’m pondering and exploring. Please feel free to forward this along to friends.

WYODC Times is a private newsletter where I share my best mental models and strategies in business, marketing and investing.

What I’m watching:

I’m currently watching the Big Short.

I’m rewatching it to revise how traditional institutions fail and their implications.

I was 28 years old when The Great Financial Crisis happened – everything happened in a flash, and I couldn’t imagine big names like Lehman and Bear Steins collapsing.

That pivotal moment turned me into a skeptical “rebel,” I embraced that aspect in every facet of my life – from marketing, fashion, and business.

This movie is great if you’d like to watch an educational documentary about how the Subprime Mortgage Crisis happened in 2008.

What I’m Reading:

I’m still reading the book “Principles” by Ray Dalio.

He outlines his 40-year-old experience in business strategy, risk management, and leadership in a 592-page book.

In case you haven’t heard about Ray Dalio, he built one of the most successful hedge fund companies that have stood the test of time.

Today, Bridgewater (the company he founded) has over $150 Billion in AUM (Assets Under Management).

In certain sections of his book, Ray outlines his opinion of modern-day America and the challenges it needs to face to prevent its decline.

I find the theme of geopolitics and economics incredibly valuable for 2023, especially with the topic I will cover below.

Word of Warning: This book requires deep reading, and you might need to highlight or draw out certain sections to see how the ideas are linked.

It’s definitely not the easiest book to read.

You might need a few days to read the book and weeks to internalize its concepts. 

I’m one week in, and I haven’t finished it yet.

What I’m Thinking: 

Since last year… I’ve been warning of a great impending economic recession.

A couple of my mentees have taken me seriously (Zach, Shi En, Sean, and Wendy)… they’ve been putting in the work, hustling with their heads down.

While there are false alarms and threats about a financial crisis around the corner – it’s been baseless noise so far until last week.

This weekend, I have a hunch that something in the financial system has broken.

If you’ve been reading the news, you’d have known that Silicon Valley Bank, one of the top 15 banks in the world, has collapsed.

Hundreds of startups and dozens of VC firms are storing their money in the bank. 

SV bank is an important pillar in US technology – which has been a LEADING DRIVER of the US economy.

If it goes under, hundreds of tech companies cannot cover their payroll and might have to start laying off employees just because they put all their money in ONE bank.

As an entrepreneur, one idea you have to understand that ONE is the most dangerous number in business.

Because your whole world will collapse if that ONE option fails.

You should be be gravely concerned if you analyse your business and you find ONEs all over.

One income stream…. one product… one offer… one bank account… one traffic source… one client.

Do not make my mistake – I had to learn the hard way once.

In my earlier days in business, I was helping a client that compromised almost 50% of my revenue. 

We hired an additional 5-6 people just for that project.

And then suddenly, that client pulled the plug on me without any warning and we had to fire the same group of people we hired which was crazy disastrous.

It was a traumatising experience for me because I made me do things in business that I didn’t want to do. (E.g. I never like to fire team members).

So if you’re pondering upon your business and you see a couple of ONEs, you need to start getting concerned and putting contingencies in place.

How is this relevant to WYODC?

Since the pandemic, I’ve been preaching the idea of autonomy.

This concept is often ignored in mainstream society as most people would care far more about how much you’re paid.

E.g. Most people think that if you’re a software engineer making $8,000/month – you’re good.

If you’re a lawyer making $10k/month, you’re in the top-earning bracket… you’re good.

Being a contrarian as always, I think how you get paid matters much more than how much you’re paid.

Let’s say I have 3 clients paying me $2k a month… it provides me far more autonomy than having a high-paying job paying me $6k.

Because if I only have one income stream (that high-paying job), then my entire livelihood depends on that ONE salary.

If you want to attain true wealth and freedom, you need to have autonomy

Autonomy is the freedom to make choices. 

Most ‘9-5’ employees won’t enjoy much autonomy because they only have ONE stream of income.

Since most employees only get an income through their job – their fates are literally bounded to their employment contract. 

Hence, their job has a massive power over them – hence their boss can decide where and when they work to the point of even what they wear at work.

For example, back then, when I was working at a traditional company (say Ogilvy), I’d also have an invisible pressure to take on additional responsibilities.

Being young and new to the workplace, I found it difficult to reject my boss. (On the flip side, I learned a lot from my time there.) 

So you’ll need more autonomy if you want to make a higher income.

And especially in times of financial crisis (like this year), it’s actually in your interest to have more autonomy.

Because at the end of the day, corporations don’t really care about you.

They care more about their bottom-line.

The good news is that if you have a higher autonomy – you’ll likely be able to make more money. 

That’s because your income wouldn’t be tied to your time on your job (unlike most corporate employees) and you can focus on building multiple streams of income.

Well, this is the best way to De-Risk when job stability is low.

When you make more money, you can buy distressed assets for cheap (real estate, stocks, and crypto).

That’s my strategy for you to WYODC in 2023.

To sum it up, it’s:

While the world burns… hustle hard, save more, and buy cheap

If you’ve enjoyed this email and want more autonomy to increase your income, whether you’re an employee, entrepreneur, or side hustler… 

I want to give you an invaluable opportunity to experience how wealth is created first-handedly in the Post Pandemic World.

I will be hosting WYODC’s first LIVE In-Person event in Malaysia, Penang, on June 1, 2023.

Here, you’ll experience the wealth-creation action that usually happens behind closed doors. (SNEAK PEEK: I’ll share the finest mental models and advanced strategies about business, wealth-creation, and marketing.) 


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