• Dave Burns

The Principles of Money



The 3 biggest mistakes men make about moneY


  1. Overcomplication

  2. Picking a side

  3. Forgetting the hunter within



Solution


  1. Radical simplicity

  2. Ferocious generosity

  3. Claim your hunter



1. Radical Simplicity



Aristotle said that money is the equipment of gentlemanliness.


He was right.


Without money, your capacity for partnership, social impact, friendship, health, and education are limited.


If your wife loves chocolate, you need money to buy it.


If you care about cancer research, you need money to fund it.


If you want to study martial arts seriously, you need money to hire a teacher.


A good man is a free man, and a free man is a man capable of generosity. Without money, you can't express the totality of your good intentions.


There are plenty of online guides for how to start a business or negotiate a raise. 




But beneath all those tips and tricks, there exist a few principles—challenging mainly because of their almost blinding simplicity—which, if you follow them, cannot help but increase your income and ease of acquiring it.


———————


Where does money come from?


Other people.


Either individual people, or groups of people we call “companies.”


How do you move money from other people's bank accounts to yours?


You propose that they move money from their bank accounts to yours.


Without a proposal of money transfer, direct or indirect, money doesn't move.


If you want $100,000 dollars transferred to your bank account today, what's necessary *is:


-You propose that someone transfers $100,000 into your bank account.


-They say yes.


That’s it.


———————


The best way to persuade someone to say “yes” to your proposal to give you money is to offer something that they want in return.


Services, products, brokered introductions, future financial returns… whatever it is they happen to want.


Now, if you offer something in return that you don’t actually want to give—not only will you be selling your soul, you’ll also be much less likely to receive a “yes,” because people can sense the lack of coherence between speech and spirit, and they’re far more likely to give money to a man of palpable integrity.


Your entire task for receiving more money, then, can be distilled down to these four steps:


  1. Decide how much you want to receive

  2. Decide what you want to give in return

  3. Propose to someone the exchange of #1 for #2

  4. Repeat until you receive a “yes.”


Holding this kind of simplicity in mind is necessary to cut through all the layers of myth and false rules that the practice of financial exchange has accrued throughout our lives.




2. Ferocious generosity



Most men are incapable of holding two competing energies in their behavior and demeanor.


They feel as if they have to choose between tenderness and dominance in bed; confidence and humility on dates; and between generosity and sharp, clear boundaries in business.


The most important energetic key to making more money is to combine this last pair: generosity, and crystalline boundaries.


Boundaries are the constraints you place on the behavior of those in your sphere: they are the laws of your personal kingdom.


Laws are not laws without a threat of force supporting them, and so built into every boundary is a tacit threat of violence, even if non-physical.


If in business you simply exhibit harsh boundaries, only delivering the exact services that you promised and no more, sharply reprimanding every client or partner who steps on your toes, never providing anything for free, constantly threatening your associates with lawsuits or verbal threats—you will become an abrasive, penny-pinching, nickel-and-diming asshole who nobody likes.


If you exhibit only generosity, letting clients walk all over you, giving all your work away at steep discounts, doing whatever it takes to keep people happy—you will become a broke and exhausted pushover who nobody respects.


Signing lucrative deals and maintaining long-term working relationships requires a combination of the two: unflinching generosity, warmth, overdelivery, and compassion—with unbreakable boundaries when it matters, and the constantly transmitted sense of your danger to those who break your trust or don’t respect your work and time.


Inhabit both fully, and your wealth will grow.




3. Claim your hunter



David Attenborough’s voice narrating nature documentaries is almost soothing enough to cover up the tragedy of pumas having to eat rabbits to survive.


But not quite. Life consumes life. We cannot escape the harshness of this fact in our earthly incarnation.


Outside of literal eating, there is no place this painful fact is more stripped bare and tangible in human life than in the realm of monetary exchange.


Every time you receive money from someone, the amount of money they have decreases.


Every time you give someone money, the amount of money you have decreases.


When it comes to money, one person is always benefiting from another’s loss.


There may be all sorts of other things happening around the exchange that make it fair, beautiful, and of ultimate universal benefit.


But the exchange of money itself carries the energy of consumption. One person is the hunter, and the other, the hunted.


If you’re naturally empathic, and have felt resistant to charging lots of money for your services, this is why: you can sense, on an energetic level, the tragically consumptive element of the exchange. (You would rather not eat people, if at all possible.)


But even if you’ve never felt that kind of resistance, developing a full awareness of this situation holds massive importance for making more money.


Eating animals or plants doesn’t have to be an unconsciously savage act, despite the fact that you’re robbing those beings of life to extend and enhance your own.


But for the consumption to be skillful, it must be conscious—and so you cannot hide from the fact that you are, on the most primal level, a hunter and a predator.


Taking money from people can be fair, noble, and good for all parties involved. But it still requires consuming another’s life force in the form of cash.


For you to become capable of living a gentlemanly life—of providing well for your family, of studying the arts required for a good life, of donating to what matters to you—you must make money.


To make money, you must take money.


And to take money, you must shamelessly—with compassion, grace, and gratitude, but also with an uninhibited and fully embodied ferocity—be the predator that you are.

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