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Not Pretty, Not Rich issue no.1: Kicking things off
Welcome to Not Pretty, Not Rich, a newsletter for all of the underdogs out there. If you were forwarded this email and would like to subscribe, you can do so here.
This newsletter will revolve around a central theme: That life isn’t fair. But there are measures you can take to level the playing field, and that’s what I hope to share with all of you. For now, the newsletter will mostly focus on career and financial matters, but I’ll likely loop other things into the mix as well and change things up over time.
If you’re curious, the title of the newsletter is inspired by a song I like, “D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S” by the band Modern Life is War from Iowa: “We’re not pretty and we’re not rich. We’re gonna have to fuckin’ work for it.”
That line has stuck with me for a long time — it’s been almost 15 years since it was released, but it became something of a mantra for me as I worked my way up from washing dishes and parking cars to now writing full-time at CNBC, as a part of the Grow team.
Anyway, here’s the first issue of Not Pretty, Not Rich. Hopefully, it’ll get better with time.
1. Look for another job — even if you like the one you have.
2. What is the “Goal Gradient Hypothesis”?
3. Why you should pick up the pace.
1. If you want more money, look for another job.
“Workers who switched jobs from one month to next saw average wage growth of 5.3% in June from a year earlier, near the best pace in almost five years of data and outpacing the 4% gain for all private employees.”
The takeaway: Polish up your resume and start applying — even if you don’t necessarily want to take a new job. You should always be on the market.
2. All about the “Goal Gradient Hypothesis”
An early behavioral psychologist named Clark L. Hull devised a theory that the closer we get to a goal, the harder we push. It’s like a sprinter getting close to the finish line; When the end is in sight, people tend to catch a second wind and push through, despite being exhausted. So, if we set smaller goals for ourselves, or “move the goal posts,” as Farnam Street puts it, we might be able to hack this behavioral trait and put it to use.
The takeaway: Have goals, but break them down into easier-to-achieve goals that you can reach on a daily or weekly basis. It should, in theory, keep you motivated.
3. Move faster
We have a tendency to move slowly. It’s an evolutionary quirk — the slower we go, the more calories we conserve. But moving with speed, whether it be at work or otherwise, has benefits, according to James Somers. Faster workers get assigned more work (or, more opportunities, if you want to think of it that way). Likewise, faster writers publish more work. Speed begets speed, Somers writes:
“The general rule seems to be: systems which eat items quickly are fed more items. Slow systems starve.”
The takeaway: Try picking up the pace, as long as you can keep producing quality results. Sitting still can cost you.
What I’ve been writing about:
I recently talked to “Million Dollar Listing” star Ryan Serhant about his investing habits.
Could the U.S. see negative interest rates? And what would that mean for you?
Some negotiation tips for new job-seekers looking to make more money.
If you want to check those articles out and share them, I’d appreciate it.
That’s all for now. Keep fighting the good fight.
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