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).
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, join 6000+ subscribers who read my 2-minute weekly email, where I send you links to the smartest financial content I find online every week.
Want to learn more about The Best Interest’s back story? Read here.
If you prefer to listen, check out The Best Interest Podcast.
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!
Steve! Thank you, sir. Always appreciate your kind words. Hope all is well with you.
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 🙂
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? 🙂
Starting early is such a great lesson that applies to so much in life. Thanks Jesse!
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!
This is great advice for entrepreneurship, and even better advice for investing.
Executing on a business idea is great because you get to learn tons, even if you fail. And if you never start, you might never know what you’ll accomplish.
And it’s even better advice for investing because investing’s all about time in the market. The sooner one starts, the more money they’ll make. I think this relates to the old adage of “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the 2nd best time is now.”
Thanks for the wonderfully poignant, yet simple advice we can all take home!
Hey Angie! I couldn’t agree more with you. Thanks for the kind words!
It applies to our work – running a website.
And it applies to personal finance and investing.
All the best!