What is “Not Pretty, Not Rich”?

“Not Pretty, Not Rich” is a free, (mostly) weekly newsletter that explores the concept of doing things the hard way. NPNR is written by me, Sam Becker, and I started publishing it in late 2019. Though it started as money and finance-focused newsletter, I’ve since broadened the scope — though much of it will be focused on business, entrepreneurship, investing, etc.

Okay, but why do things the hard way?

Things…aren’t great. And a lot of that is because we’ve grown accustomed to cutting corners, taking the path of least resistance, and pushing forward with little or no regard for our actions. That goes for many of us individually, and many more in our governments and business leaders.

I believe it’s time to take a good, hard look at the issues we’re facing, and actually try to solve them. Not just come up with a band-aid fix, but do the work to set things straight. Whether it’s acting like adults when a public health emergency arises or actually taking steps to create a sustainable, strong economy, there are things we can all do to make the world a better place.

It’s just not going to necessarily be easy.

What’s with the name?

“Not Pretty, Not Rich” is a portion of a lyric from a song by the Iowa hardcore band Modern Life is War.

From the song “D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”:

Sore back!
Sore feet!
A ragtag army and we're sick in the heat
We're not pretty
And we're not rich
We're gonna have to fucking work for it

It’s been something of a mantra for me over the years, as I grew from scrubbing pots and pans and parking cars to eventually having something of a writing career.

What is Xyston?

Xyston is the editorial services (i.e., writing and editing) firm I founded in 2021. I work with a variety of businesses and publishers through Xyston, and folded NPNR into it as well. So, as of 2022, NPNR is “published” by Xyston, using Substack.

What else?

I’d appreciate it if you subscribed!

The newsletter is free and will remain so. I may not publish every week, though I intend to. If you’re interested in sponsoring the newsletter or otherwise working with me, you can reach me at sam@xyston.co.

Also, to find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to Not Pretty, Not Rich

A newsletter about doing things the hard way.


I write about money and the economy.