The thing that I will miss most about living in Mexico is a 20 L Bottle of water and a bomba sifon (hand pump). I know that sounds silly, but there is something very restorative about looking into how much water you are drinking on a daily basis and seeing the financial cost of consuming water.
In America, we are spoiled for water. I can turn on the tap and drink freely to my heart’s content, it costs me next to nothing, and it has been that way my whole life. Even when I was living on a farm as a young man, I never had to worry about the contents of the water.
But here in Mexico, I have been told time and time again not to drink the water from the tap. Doesn’t matter what state you are in, don’t do it. Do I know, or have hard facts that the water is unsafe? No. But do I disregard what I have been told/read about the water? No. So I buy refills of a 20 L Bottle.
In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, Oaxaca and in Cancun, I have been buying water for my family to drink clean, water. Some days I catch a water salesman shouting from the street, “AGUA!” Other days I am seduced by the soft voice coming from a loud speaker mounted to a truck, “La agua…” And days like today I have to carry my deposit bottle to either a convenience store or a grocery store, and carry 20 L of water home.
The cost of the water really isn’t all that much. In most places they sell a refill of 20 L for around 30 MXN (~1.50 USD). Strangely, in Oaxaca it was almost half that when purhcased from a salesman. And my household of two adults and an infant go through 20 L every three-four days. And so on this trip of nearly 33 days, we have gone through roughly 200 L of water, which will mean we spent a little under 300 MXN (~15 USD) just for water. In a year, that is 2.4 Kilo Liters, or 3600 MXN (~180 USD).
So why am doing all this math? Because I have never had to living in America. I have never visably watched my family go through water, I have never had to consider the economics of it, I have never had to be sold water by salesmen, or had to lug a huge bottle of water home. Now that I have, I understand what a beautiful and expensive gift it is to having clean water that comes straight from the tap.
This new found appreciation for water, and so many other gifts, would have never come my way had I just stayed home and continued working for work’s sake. Don’t make the mistake of working for work’s sake. The world, and all her gifts, are waiting for you.
You are not alone if you have found your self asking, “Why should I buy cryptocurrency?”
While I was searching for why I should, I discovered a book that eloquently, and correctly, hypothesized what the world would look like after the year 2000 from the perspective of 1998. I imagine it was much like looking over a chasm’s edge.
The Sovereign Individual was written by James Dale Davidson & Lord William Rees-Mogg. I imagine writing with a partner is difficult, but these two pulled it off nicely.
How I came by the book
It is difficult to pinpoint in memory where I found this book suggestion. I don’t use goodreads or other review/recommendation websites. Most times it seems that books are looking for me.
As for The Sovereign Individual, I came across the book while digging through some cryptocurrency forum. The subtitle, “Mastering the Transition to the Information Age” seemed interesting enough.
I grabbed a copy from Lib Gen on my personal phone and had Librera Pro read the text to me (TextToSpeech, TTS). That’s right, I did not read the book. I listened to it, which just lends to the validity of this book in my eyes… or ears.
What the book is about
The Sovereign Individual is about how impactful technology is on the mega-political structures of humankind.
They, Davidson & Rees-Mogg, examine three major historical turning points:
The End of the Roman Empire
The End of the Roman Catholic Church
The End of the Iron Curtain
With each of these historical turning points, they look at:
The context for why these technologies were revolutionary
How each new technology fueled changes in human quality of life (for better and for worse)
How currency has changed with each era of mankind on account of these technologies
They elucidate that with the invention of the micro-processor humankind has transcended the need or use of the nation-state.
What does their argument look like?
Computational encryption and communication empowers man to write messages that the nation-state can’t stop. And thusly, be able to exercise sovereignty over their liberty.
Need a couple examples?
I can lock a message with OneKeyChain on my phone that only you can unlock. Or a group of people can unlock. In that encrypted message could be anything. And the desirous-to-be-all-seeing nation-state doesn’t like that.
If you wanted to lock a message that only I can open, here is the pgp public key I generated as an example:
I am tremendously surprised that I haven’t reported on this book before. I have been using the method for over a year now, strike that, two years nearly, and Profit First has been the single most important financial book I’ve read as a serial small business owner.
When I was young, I learned the concept of tithing. While I wasn’t very fond of the idea of paying a portion of my income to the local church I attended as a young man, looking back I am exceptionally grateful that my parents and church leaders encouraged me to do so. Those small contributions, widow’s mites by sum, helped my community keep the local church doors open and afloat. More importantly, however, I learned a principle about money that could only be described in the useful idiom made famous by Benjamin Franklin, “A place for everything, everything in its place.”
Applying the principle of tithing to my own life, which I have for many years now, even after having left the church, I have grown a considerable foundation of wealth the likes of which would have never been possible without the idea of setting up to “the lord” the best you have. That allocation I have so dutifully sown with all my personal income has grown to a healthy spring of wealth.
But when it came to business, this principle seemed to have been missed by me. Everything that was going out of the business was everything that was going into the business. My business seemed to call for that as though it were the only way to stay afloat. And yet, each day I felt as though me and my business were headed for the hard rocks of financial ruin.
That’s just about the time I discovered Profit First on the front desk at the office late one night as I was pacing up and down the halls, stressed about how I was going to make all the bills work. I’d made more money than I had to date, that wasn’t the problem, and yet there was seemingly no more money for me at the end of the day. That’s when I saw those words, “Transform your business from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine.” Those words shone like a light house in the thick fog of financial affairs I had made for myself. I picked up that book and read the whole thing in less than an hour.
The idea was so simple, the process so easy, and the implementation so quick that the effects were felt immediately (read: that night). In that single night, I corrected my financial future in a way I hadn’t thought possible at the time. A year later I had achieved a sense of financial security in my business that is hard to describe to my fellow associates who don’t implement these cash-flow ideas.
Now two years later, the fact that the Profit First Method worked on my business was no fluke. Later I applied these ideas to other businesses I took part in, and Mike’s ideas changed those businesses too (read: my friends and family’s lives). It took some time to help others understand that this palliative would fix what was ailing our businesses. Often it took them completely throwing in the towel before they’d let me steer. And to the surprise of friends and family, the idea that there is a “place for everything,” resulted in them achieving a level of wealth that they never had before.
In the end, all that it took to have greater security in our lives was a little faith towards an age old practice, setting up the best before the lord: a tithe.
What are your thoughts on cash-flow management? Comment below.