Experience For Sale: Find Stuff to Do Over Stuff To Acquire

In Blog, Personal Branding
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Experience For Sale dre baldwinThis is an idea I lifted from James Altucher.

Spend your money on experiences instead of things.

Things — the clothes you have on, your phone, laptop, car, or Beats by Dre headphones — will wear out and get replaced. All of those things will be replaced by newer shinier things in due time. And they’re all replaceable, if lost, damaged or stolen.

Experiences, though, are what life is composed of. Your experiences are what make you interesting. You may admire a person who has a lot of material possessions, but if they have no experience to share with you, what can you learn from that person? What can they add to your life? Material stuff is nice to look at and even to have, but how many times have you heard a person who has a lot say that it “doesn’t buy happiness/satisfaction/love”? That’s because those things are only gained from experience. Success is not in having the car or the house or the watch, success is in what you did to get in a position to get that stuff. That’s the story I want to hear.

Buy a watch or travel across the country? Get the new Jordans or go to Disney World? The things will come and they’ll go. The experiences are permanent.

I was at a college graduation recently. Bill Gates, the richest man in America, was the keynote speaker.

And he fuckin sucked.

It’s not that Bill can’t speak in front of a crowd. I’m sure he’s done that many, many times. His speaking style is not great — he reads directly from his notes — but that’s not why I didn’t like Bill.

Bill’s whole speech was a glorified plug of his philanthropic efforts and fighting the spread of AIDS in underfunded countries and such. All good causes that are needed, indeed. But Bill, this is a college commencement. It’s not about you and what you’re doing now. It’s about the graduates — give them something useful from your very rich (no pun intended) life, that they can take with them out into the world. Give them your experiences. Steve Jobs did it very well.

When I have a conversation with a famously successful person or hear them talk, I don’t want to hear how great you are, I want to hear about your experience. What did you do? Where did you go? How did you think? How can this relate to me? Bill Gates can afford experiences. Unfortunately he stiffed us on paying it back during his speech.

What makes this website useful is the fact that I’ve had experiences that people want to have. I’ve done things that are interesting to people who may never do those things. None of that has anything to do with what version of iPhone I’m writing this on, or what sneakers I’ll be playing ball in later or how much I pay in rent.

Invest in experience. It, and the people who want to know about it, will pay you back the more of it you have to share.

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