Behavior

After 20 Expert Interviews, This is the #1 Money Lesson You Should Know

I recently finished my 20th interview for The Best Interest Podcast. And thinking back through the amazing people who have shared their wisdom on the pod, there’s one amazing lesson I’ve heard more than any other.

“I‘m so glad I started. I had no idea my life would change like this.”

“I was late to the game. But I still started.”

“If I hadn’t started, everything would be different…”

Do you see the trend?

I heard it from Your Friend Andy, who started his finance YouTube channel at age 36 and built it into a $9,000 per month enterprise after 14 months.

I heard it from Brennan Schlagbaum, a.k.a. Budget Dog, who built a social media following of ~75K in under two years, and recently quit his 9-5 in order to focus on financial education full time.

The same goes for Steve Adcock, who found himself in financial quicksand at age 30…but started developing better habits (with huge help from his wife, Courtney) that enabled them to retire at age 35.

Decade Investor? Thankful he started educating Gen Z-ers like himself.

Fiona the Millennial Money Woman? Thankful she quit her financial planning job to help spread financial education to the masses.

The Wealth Dad? Thankful he wrote that first page to his two top-selling books.

The FI Couple? That first real estate investment has made all the difference (and their episode drops next week on 9/7).

Every single guest was thankful that they…

  • Started investing
  • Started that project
  • Started better habits

All three of these practices—investing, projects, habits—are governed by compound growth. Initial progress will likely be small. But one day, you’ll look back at the giant snowball you’ve built and think,

“Damn…I remember when this giant snowball was just a little scoop of flakes that fit in my hand. Sure glad I started.”

You…if you start

Compound growth is that snowball. And it only gets huge after once being small…if you choose to start it.

Me? I started investing in simple index funds in 2012. I’m so glad I did. Those early dollars are now worth ~3x as much as they were then (even after accounting for inflation).

Sadie, resting her head on a pillow.
Sadie, using the pillow like a human

I started The Best Interest in late 2018. It’s opened up doors for me that I would never have imagined. Over 400,000 people have read the blog. I’ve helped dozens of people one-on-one. The other creators I’ve met are amazing.

And heck, even Sadie started as a little conversation in Spring 2020—“Do you want to start fostering dogs?” Little did we know that question would snowball into a wonderful addition to our lives.

Ok, Reader…What Lesson Should You Take Away?

What’s the big lesson for you?

Take the leap. Do it tonight. Do it this weekend. Just start, even if in a small way.

Invest that $100 you’ve been sitting on.

Write your first page or post.

Walk that first mile.

Just start. And tell me about it! I want to know 🙂 Feel free to ask me for help or advice or moral support.

And in a month, a year, or a decade, you’ll be amazed where you end up. You might not “win big.” But you’ll grow. And you’ll have some fun, too.

Every single person I’ve spoken with on The Best Interest Podcast was once unknowing, unsure, and hesitating at the starting line. Then they started.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article and want to read more, I’d suggest checking out my Archive or Subscribing to get future articles emailed to your inbox.

-Jesse

P.S. – If you enjoy podcasts, check out the Best Interest Podcast! It’s getting some rave reviews!

About Jesse Cramer

Jesse Cramer created The Best Interest to explain personal finance and investing in simple terms. His writing has been featured by CNBC, MSN, The Motley Fool, and other national publications. He resides in Rochester, NY with his girlfriend and their dog. Follow him on Twitter: @BestInterest_JC
View all posts by Jesse Cramer →

6 thoughts on “After 20 Expert Interviews, This is the #1 Money Lesson You Should Know

  1. That’s interesting, I expected something else. But it makes so much sense. All the best ideas in the world are useless until you put them in action, you have to start. That’s a very cool thing about you, Jesse, and the rest of this community, nobody is stuck at the idea phase, everyone has started!

  2. Any survivorship bias going on here? All those poor schmucks out there that regret starting something that crashed and burned didn’t reach the prestige necessary to land on the Best Interest radar. Best policy? Start something today and also make sure it ends up wildly successful 🙂

    1. Good point! Probably 🙂

      That said, the average person has *failed* at plenty of missions in their life.

      Or, let me propose another idea…

      Imagine a person who has never started anything. Is that a person you’d want to emulate? 🙂

  3. I would much rather have started and “failed” than regret never have started at all. Period. I strongly believe that staying committed to something after you start is just as important too, but first you have to start!

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