How I got rich

Table of contents

Working class upbringing

I grew up in a proudly working class family. My single mother was a full time Map Librarian with two sons. My brother and I had a happy and fulfilling upbringing in Melbourne, Australia. We never went cold or hungry, thanks to government welfare and support from the extended family. 

We did not have any money, nice things or a father in the house, but that seemed normal to us. We did not have a car and we ate out about 5 times per year. It was not poverty, but the comparison with other kids around me made me aware I was poorer. 

One year when my friends got Super Nintendos and bikes as the big Christmas present from Santa Claus, my brother and I got a bath towel. Or while my friends birthday parties were activities like go-karting and laser tag with pizza; my birthday party was kick to kick footy at the school oval with home made sandwiches. 

From about 10 years old I got pocket money of $1 a week for doing household chores properly and on time.

For high school my brother got a full scholarship to Camberwell Grammar, one of the best private schools in Australia. Camberwell Grammar mandated that he have things like a laptop and a musical instrument, while I did not. He also had much better school camps, socials and all that. So I was even poorer in comparison to my own brother!

Mum died of cancer when I was 14 years old and I had to move to my grandmother’s house on the wrong side of the tracks (Frankston). I was no longer poorer than my peers. This has all made me comfortable in different socio-economic environments, I can relate to and quickly fit in with people from all classes.

First taste of money

Because my mother was a 20 year employee of the Australian Public Service, she had a good retirement fund. When I turned 18 I inherited the last $80,000 USD from it. 

This was the first time in my life I had ever had money. I was living in the family home and had no children or responsibilities, I was even still getting government welfare since I was still in highschool and l had no income. The whole lump sum was disposable.

I intended to invest in real estate but a financial planner convinced me to put it in a balanced managed fund of shares instead (which would generate him fees and commission, unlike my real estate idea).

The stock market was sluggish immediately post 9/11 and with access to withdrawals whenever I liked, I burnt through the inheritance on travel and university. I had nothing to show for it except a great 5 years of life experiences and fluent Spanish.

Back to reality – getting nowhere

My twenties were a full and rewarding decade. I traveled the world, I got married (and divorced), earned a master’s degree, had a lot of good times and tried a couple of different career paths, one of which eventually led to success and riches.  Financially I got nowhere. I stayed broke, bouncing around, traveling, and failing at entry level jobs like Valet Parker, Call Center Operator, Recruiter and English Teacher abroad. 

I managed to save and invest on one occasion. After getting married I settled down and worked desk jobs in Hobart, Tasmania for a couple of years. That was long enough to save $20,000 which I used to buy a small piece of land in the middle of nowhere. That kept the savings illiquid for a while so I could not waste them.

Then my father and I bought a sailing boat in California, where they are cheap, and tried to sail it to Australia, where they are expensive, to sell it. I had never sailed before, what could possibly go wrong? Anyway I had to sell my land in Tasmania to refund this failed endeavor. I literally and figuratively washed up in Mexico and had to put my hand out for a plane ticket home.

In my late twenties I started trying to make money online through blogging and affiliate marketing. The first four sites I made over a three year period all failed.

Discovering crypto

In my early 30s I discovered cryptocurrency and fully embraced the tech, politics, philosophy and community. I went all in and started to blog about crypto and for the first time in my life, I was successful! I found what I was supposed to do, I made my dream job for myself with no boss and I was kicking goals.

I had the knowledge and skills gained from my first four failed attempts and I worked 80 hours a week. I had the leading site in my field, which I have since sold. In two years I went from working class to millionaire. Having found something I was passionate about and enjoyed, I have not had to worry about money since.

Get rich quick 

Since 2013 I have had all my income and all my savings in crypto. I have almost never purchased crypto, instead I earned and was paid in crypto. I have only ever sold enough to meet my expenses.

Because I started broke and 100% of my income is in crypto, that means 100% of my savings is in crypto by default. I would have to actively sell for my savings to not be all in crypto.

I got rich by having a profitable crypto business and keeping the profit in crypto while it went up in value. The crypto profit I made, denominated in dollars at the time, is now about 20% of my net worth. The other 80% of my net worth came from that same crypto appreciating in value. So every $1 of crypto business profit I made is now worth $5. 

For example, make 20 bitcoin profit in a year when bitcoin’s price was $1000; that is $20,000 worth. Then spend 10 bitcoin on living expenses and hold the other 10 bitcoin until the price of bitcoin is $10,000; that is now $100,000 worth.

Running a successful crypto business gets you profit, then keeping the profit in crypto is a wealth multiplier. You could also do this by making profit, or a salary, in government currency and converting it to crypto.

What if you made the profit or salary in crypto and held it while the price of crypto went down? Then you need to keep holding it for longer until the price goes up again. To make this work you have to make more profit or salary than you need for your living expenses. 

I ran a crypto generating business while having a great old time traveling the world as a digital nomad and working from my laptop. Including long stints in Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Thailand and the USA.

There was a lot of grinding and a lot of BS to put up with, but overall I loved it. I sold because I did not need the money anymore, I wanted a break and I wanted to build iYield, crypto’s first financial planning tool.

Don’t worry if you are still broke into your 30s

For the first 30 years of my life I was something between a charming rogue and a hustler. Always looking for an angle or an opportunity. 

I got a bachelors and masters degree in random things like New Media and Linguistics then worked unrelated jobs which I could never hold down for more than a year. There did not seem to be any strategy or direction leading to wealth and success. No one would have thought I would be a man of leisure by my mid 30s. 

But actually, everything I did up until launching my own crypto business allowed me to make it successful when I did launch it in my 30s. Part of the journey was learning what I was not good at and what I did not want to do. That’s how you find out what you are good at and what you do want to do. That’s what your 20s and some of your 30s are for.

Now my kids and I are financially set for life. You can do it too. Most people do not make their wealth in their 20s and 30s. They do so in their 40s and 50s. Keep learning and keep trying, you will figure it out.

Read what is has been like for me to become new money trash here.