Another lost kid figuring things out 🗺️📍 Find me at, @ymasdan (Instagram), or email me at

#2: See your work as an experiment.

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Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

There is no profession in this world as hated as that of the salesman.

The mere sound of the word — salesman — causes us to wrinkle our nose as if at a putrid smell and bombards us with a slew of negative connotations — sleazy, pushy, grubby, dishonest. Bad experiences we’ve had in the past flood our brains and we are tempted to spit on the ground — “tfoo!” — in disgust.

This, at least, is how I feel. I don’t like being sold to and I absolutely hate selling.

Part of this aversion to selling comes from my…

The ‘good life’ is cheaper than we think.

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Photo by Peter Geo on Unsplash

I was talking to some friends from New York recently, and they were complaining about how crazy expensive it is to live there.

They are three single guys sharing a two-bedroom apartment on the outskirts of the city, and between rent and going out for lunch and clubs and drinks and this and that, they were each spending around $40K a year.

I nodded along as they said this — they made every dollar they spent sound like an inevitable expense — but alarms were going off in my head. 40,000 dollars?!

So when I got off the call, I…

#2. Money does not grow linearly.

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Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

I graduated from college with $30,000 worth of debt.

Yet within a couple of months, I had paid this debt off and three years later my net worth has risen to $400,000.

Getting here hasn’t meant living under a bridge.

I don’t skip meals and, yes, I change my underwear daily.

I’ve traveled to Italy and Argentina. I’ve been to Portland and Vancouver and Yellowstone and Zion.

But there are things I’ve done differently over these past few years from many of the people I know.

And, through living differently, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

1. “Getting rich easy” does not exist.

Remember, going vegan is not a legal contract

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Photo by Daniel Salcius on Unsplash

My sister went vegan in ninth grade, back around 2006, which seems like a lifetime ago.

(To give a sense of how much time has passed, in 2006 George W. Bush was president, YouTube was in its infancy (Charlie Bit My Finger wouldn’t come out until 2007), and ExxonMobil was the world’s most valuable company.)

I was then a snot-nosed 6th grader and found it hilarious to give my sister grief. One of my favorite games to play was Vegan What-If. This game angered her to no end and so was deemed a terrific success in my book.

The game…

From all the bad comes the good.

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Image created by author

I graduated from school back in May 2017. In the pictures from that night, there’s a smile on my face and wisps of coarse, dark hairs on my upper lip and chin. (Sad to say I haven’t made much progress here. If there are any secrets to growing a lustrous beard do let me know.)

A couple of months earlier, I had accepted a job offer at a big tech company on the west coast. I was going to be a Software Engineer. My dream job. A six-figure salary and stock options.

My whole life I had said I would…

Do you talk to yourself? Dumb question. Of course you do. I do too. Here’s what the voices in my head have been saying lately.

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Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

Do you talk to yourself? Dumb question. Of course you do. I do too. Here’s what the voices in my head have been saying lately.

Dear Dan,

Well, it’s like this, I feel like I’ve been living under a dark cloud. It’s not raining. It’s not thundering. There’s no lightning or wind.

It’s just this dark cloud sitting over my head that I can’t seem to shake.

And I’m going about my day, but the whole time the cloud is looming over me and I feel very small and scared and trapped and insignificant.

But we’ve known this all along…

I had a great time, but there’s a couple of things I’d change

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Photo by Park Troopers on Unsplash

College for me was a world of ‘firsts’: first time living on my own, first time doing groceries, first time having a credit card and managing my own money, first time cooking for myself, first time doing laundry, first time massively failing a big exam, first time drinking, first time smoking weed, first time having sex, first time having a girlfriend, first time for extended periods of walls-closing-in-on-you existential crisis.

There was a lot of growing up and a lifetime of memories packed into those four years. …

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