Not the prettiest of months, I had to write down my RSUs (which also vest next week and I will be paying tax on!), due to my company being at a 5 year low. Bit of a tough one as I was hoping these RSUs would give me the cash buffer I could do with at the moment. My net worth has been stagnant for the past few months, but given the decline in stocks and house prices I think I have down well to cling on. When the bull market returns I expect to do very well.
Life: There has been a lot going on in my life with the birth of my first nephew and various drama. I ran my first half marathon in a time of 1.55 which is reasonable I think… not quite the 1:45 I wanted but I definitely did not train enough for it. My mental health has been “ok” but not marvelous. Mostly because I hurt my foot and could not run. It’s amazing the effect of not being able to do the thing you rely on for your mental health. All my other habits didn’t happen nearly as often as they should have done once I stopped running. I need to diversify the tools I use for my mental health, mediation, singing anything really.
I changed my strategy for my Trading212 investing account as I decided I wanted to be much more ambitious in this portfolio. My risk tolerance is very high, and I have plenty of exposure to S&P in my pension (I changed from the Scottish Widows North American Fund to an actual S&P one, I hadn’t realized the fees were so high on the former (0.8%!) which will save me a lot in the long-run.
I bought two quite ambitious and risky stocks this month (and consolidated all my investments into these two) Oxford Nanopore – I bought just after they were mentioned in Apple’s M3 chip launch hoping for a bit of a trade. I’m up about 6% in a week but I think that is from sentiment turning around within sequencing. PacBio massively outperformed expectations so the sector has turned, momentarily at least, bullish. The second company I bought this month is Oxford Biodynamics Plc as they roll out their new prostate cancer test in the US and UK. Currently neither are profitable, but the amount of growth potential (and actual revenue sales) is outstanding. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how they fair.
Rest of the balance sheet looks like this:
- Pension: £15500
- Crypto: £700 (staked Ethereum)
- Savings £1884 (NatWest Digital Saver and Santander 5%)
- Home Equity: £118,000
- RSUs vesting 2023 – £2800 (subject to tax on vest)
- Stocks – £3450 and £371 left in FreeTrade (via Crowdcube)
My girlfriend and I have reached an agreement for me to focus on my side hustle at certain times of the week, and she is going to help hold me accountable. I’m still debating which of them I want to go “all-in” on but I’m seeing some good traction on Google for one in my professional and local niche, which I think would be well worth fleshing out.
- Sarah Moore – How to Buy An Established Business and Make Millions
Sarah Moore’s story is a remarkable tale of determination, ingenuity, and sheer hustle. Featured on the “My First Million” podcast, hosted by Shaan Puri, Sarah shares her incredible journey from being a troubled teen to acquiring a multi-million dollar business, Eggcartons.com, with zero dollars and no prior experience.
Sarah’s path to entrepreneurship was unconventional. She was a student with no money, no experience, and the only asset to her name was her car. Inspired by the concept of a search fund, where one can acquire a business with little to no capital, Sarah embarked on a year-long quest, sifting through over 100,000 businesses. Her target was a niche business, and she found it in Eggcartons.com, a company specializing in the production of egg cartons.
The podcast reveals Sarah’s radical approach to business acquisition. She utilized her resources at Harvard Business School, where she was studying, to scrape databases for potential businesses within a 1.5-hour radius of her Boston apartment. Despite the challenges of inaccurate data and the daunting task of evaluating businesses without prior experience, Sarah persevered.
Her story is not just about the acquisition but also about her unique approach to running the business. She emphasizes simplicity over innovation and the importance of a hands-on approach in managing online communities and maintaining a healthy business environment.
Sarah’s journey is a testament to the power of determination and the ability to leverage available resources creatively. Her success story is an inspiration, especially for those who feel limited by their lack of resources or experience. It demonstrates that with the right mindset and approach, significant achievements are possible, even in the most unlikely scenarios.
Sarah’s interview on “My First Million” is a rare glimpse into her life and business philosophy. She remains a private person, with no social media presence or desire for public attention. Her story, as told by Shaan Puri, resonates with authenticity and serves as a powerful reminder of what can be achieved with hard work, creativity, and a bit of unconventional thinking.
In a world where entrepreneurship is often associated with significant capital and extensive experience, Sarah Moore’s story stands out. It challenges conventional norms and showcases the potential of entrepreneurial spirit, even in the most unexpected places.
- Pieter Levels: The Solopreneur Behind a $2.7M/Year Empire
Pieter Levels, a name that might not ring a bell for many, is a solopreneur who has carved a unique niche in the digital world. His story is not just about building successful online businesses; it’s about doing it single-handedly, with a nomadic lifestyle, and a radical approach to transparency and honesty.
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Levels’ journey into entrepreneurship began with inspiration from Patrick McKenzie, known as patio11 on Hacker News. McKenzie’s approach to building small, independent software products resonated with Levels, who combined this with his love for a nomadic lifestyle. Starting in 2014, he embarked on a journey, moving from place to place, building apps and websites from his backpack.
His ventures are diverse, ranging from Nomad List, a platform for digital nomads, to RemoteOK, a job board for remote work. Levels’ approach to business is refreshingly straightforward. He believes in radical honesty, a concept he tries to embed in both his personal life and his online presence. This approach is a stark contrast to the corporate world he despises, with its often artificial and opaque nature.
Levels’ success is not just in the variety of his projects but also in their profitability. Nomad List, for instance, makes $2.1 million annually. RemoteOK follows with $115,000 a month. He also runs several other niche projects, each contributing to his impressive revenue stream.
What sets Levels apart is his operational model. He is the only full-time employee across all his ventures, relying on a small team of contractors for specific tasks. This lean approach allows him to maintain flexibility and control, essential elements of his nomadic lifestyle.
Despite the success, Levels’ journey hasn’t been without challenges. Managing online communities, for instance, requires a delicate balance and often, a hands-on approach. He learned that automation can’t replace the human touch needed in moderating discussions and maintaining a healthy community environment.
Levels’ story is a testament to the power of simplicity and focus. He demonstrates that one doesn’t need a massive team or complex structures to build a successful business empire. His philosophy is about being true to oneself, embracing a lifestyle that suits one’s values, and being transparent in business dealings.
In a world where entrepreneurship often conjures images of large teams and complex hierarchies, Pieter Levels stands out as a beacon of simplicity and effectiveness. His journey is a reminder that sometimes, less is indeed more, and that a single individual, armed with a laptop and a vision, can make a significant impact in the digital world.
- Anna (Panda Boss) FIRE Update
A lot of youtubers appeared during lockdown, claiming they were going to FIRE ASAP. One that actually has taken a very good go of it is Anna (aka Panda Boss). In a candid and personal update, Anna from Panda Boss – Personal Finance & Bossing Life shares significant changes and plans in her life. For those in a hurry, here’s a summary of her life update, reflecting on her journey of embracing change and new ventures.
- Moving Plans and Facing Fears: Anna initially planned to move to Poland and live free from the corporate world. However, she faced fears related to bureaucracy and financial stability. To navigate these challenges, she decided to secure a job while building her content on the side.
- Financial Adjustments and Investment Strategies: Anna’s financial journey took a turn as she sold off a significant portion of her investments to fund her house build. From having almost £25,000 invested, she now has about £5,000. She plans to focus her investments on eToro and maintain a diversified portfolio across different platforms.
- Purchasing Land and Managing Debt: In a bold move, Anna purchased the land next to her property. This decision required taking out a loan of £22,000 at a high-interest rate. She’s now strategizing to pay off this loan by balancing savings, investments, and setting aside funds for a much-needed holiday.
- Plans for the New Land: The newly acquired 1,000 square meter land offers Anna an opportunity to expand her self-sufficiency plans. She intends to even out the land, fence it, and eventually develop a vegetable patch, aligning with her goals of sustainable living.
- Expanding Her English Teaching Business: Anna is also focusing on expanding her English teaching business. She plans to obtain a TESOL qualification to gain insights into teaching group classes. Additionally, she aims to create learning materials and courses, particularly for Polish students, to generate passive income.
- Personal Reflections and Future Goals: Amidst these significant changes, Anna emphasizes the importance of emergency funds, as recent expenses on vet bills and car maintenance have highlighted their value. She also shares the joy of having five cats, adding a personal touch to her update.
- Engaging with Her Audience: Anna invites her audience to engage with her journey, ask questions, and share their thoughts. Her openness and willingness to share her experiences make her update not just informative but also relatable.
Anna’s life update is a blend of personal insights, financial strategies, and future aspirations. It’s a story of adapting to changes, taking calculated risks, and pursuing a balanced life. Her journey is a reminder that life is a continuous process of learning, growing, and embracing new opportunities.
- How Mark Cuban Became A Billionaire
Mark Cuban, a name synonymous with relentless ambition and a flair for the dramatic, has etched his name in the annals of entrepreneurial success. His journey, marked by audacious moves and a knack for seizing opportunities, is a testament to the power of dreaming big and backing it up with hard work.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cuban’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from his early years. He sold trash bags, newspapers, and even postage stamps, showcasing an innate ability to sniff out business opportunities. His first major venture was a stamp company, which he started with just a quarter and turned into a $50 enterprise, a significant feat for a teenager.
Cuban’s journey took a significant turn at Indiana University. Here, he wasn’t just a student; he was a budding entrepreneur, running a bar, teaching disco, and even starting a chain letter. His bar, Motley’s, became a campus sensation, embodying Cuban’s business acumen and his ability to create something extraordinary from scratch.
After college, Cuban’s relentless pursuit of success led him to Dallas, where he founded MicroSolutions. This venture into the burgeoning field of computer software and hardware marked the beginning of his ascent in the tech world. Cuban’s hands-on approach and willingness to learn quickly paid off, and within seven years, he sold the company for $6 million.
But it was the internet boom that catapulted Cuban into the stratosphere of business success. Along with Todd Wagner, he founded AudioNet, which later became Broadcast.com. This pioneering venture in internet broadcasting, streaming everything from sports to fashion shows, was a game-changer. When Broadcast.com went public, its stock skyrocketed, and when Yahoo acquired it for $5.7 billion, Cuban had hit the jackpot.
Many of his colleagues at the time weren’t so lucky. Mark kept “telling them to buy puts” as a way to protect any potential downside in the stock market. Cuban positioned himself so that even if Yahoo stock went down he would still be rich. When the dot com bubble burst he found himself doing very well. It remind me of the first rule of Warren Buffet’s strategy “don’t lose money”.
Cuban’s next big move was into the world of sports. As a lifelong basketball fan, purchasing the Dallas Mavericks was a dream come true. His unconventional approach, from redesigning the locker room to sitting courtside and vocally supporting his team, redefined the role of an NBA team owner. Under his ownership, the Mavericks transformed from underachievers to champions, a testament to Cuban’s belief in the power of change and innovation.
But Cuban’s journey wasn’t just about sports and tech. He ventured into television with HDNet, a high-definition TV network, and later into the film industry, shaking up traditional release models. His approach was always unconventional, often controversial, but undeniably effective.
Cuban’s life has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. He faced legal battles, like the insider trading allegations from the SEC, which he vehemently denied and fought fiercely. His ventures sometimes met with mixed success, but Cuban’s resilience and ability to bounce back have been hallmarks of his career.
Today, Cuban is more than just a billionaire entrepreneur. He’s a public figure, known for his appearances on reality TV, his outspoken nature, and his blog where he shares his views on everything from business to personal health. Whether seen as brilliant or lucky, Cuban remains a figure of fascination, a maverick who continually challenges the status quo and looks for the next big opportunity.
In a world where success often seems scripted, Mark Cuban’s story stands out as a reminder that the path to achievement is anything but linear. It’s a journey of bold moves, relentless pursuit, and an unwavering belief in one’s dreams. As Cuban himself says, if everyone is doing things one way, the future lies in looking elsewhere. His life is a testament to this philosophy, a narrative of a man who turned dreams into reality, one audacious step at a time.
- Howard Schultz: From Poverty to Starbucks Billionaire
Howard Schultz’s journey from a poor boy to the CEO of Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffeehouse company, is a story of determination, vision, and resilience. It’s a tale that proves dreams can become reality, no matter where you start.
Born into poverty, Schultz grew up in a small one-bedroom apartment in a public housing project. His father, an army vet and a truck driver, worked low-paid jobs. A defining moment in Schultz’s life came when his father broke his leg and lost his job, leaving the family without medical insurance or savings. This image of his father, defeated and hopeless, left a lasting impact on Schultz.
To escape his harsh reality, Schultz would sit on the staircase in his building, dreaming of a better life. His talent in football earned him an athletic scholarship to college, where he chose to major in communications. To pay for his education, he took student loans and worked odd jobs, even selling his blood for money.
After graduating, Schultz worked various jobs, including at a ski lodge and as a salesman. His desire to work at Starbucks, then a small company selling only coffee beans, was strong. At 29, after a year of persistence, he finally joined Starbucks. A business trip to Italy introduced him to the intimate coffee shop culture there, sparking a vision for Starbucks that he was eager to implement.
However, his ideas were initially rejected, leading him to quit Starbucks and start his own coffee company, Il Giornale. Raising funds was a challenge; out of 242 people he approached, 217 said no. But Schultz’s determination paid off, and he eventually opened his first coffee shop, replicating the Italian experience.
Years later, when Starbucks faced bankruptcy, Schultz seized the opportunity. He bought the company, became its CEO, and rebranded his Il Giornale shops under the Starbucks name. His vision led to an expansion across the United States and eventually worldwide. Today, Starbucks boasts over 30,000 stores and a market value of over $100 billion.
Schultz’s advice is a testament to his journey: “Life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It’s seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future.” His story is not just about creating a successful business but about the power of believing in your dreams and relentlessly pursuing them, even in the face of adversity.