About You

I think most people who stumble on this site will probably be a lot like me

because you’re probably part of the infamous and exhaustingly over-analyzed Millennial Generation.

AKA the Echo Boomer Generation.

Echo boomers are children of the Baby Boomer Generation. 

Demographically, it might also mean:

  • You are well educated, intelligent and a high achiever
  • You want to be happy, want a good work-life balance
  • You’d rather travel the world than live in a McMansion filled with junk
  • You are socially tolerant of other people’s life choices
  • You don’t like, or want to live in debt
  • You don’t want to be a wage slave to your boss, job or anything else
  • You want a clutter free life, house and mind
  • You are good at using technology
  • You value freedom, simplicity, thoughtfulness and efficiency

About this website

This website is about a few things:

How to evolve, grow and avoid the mistakes we’ve seen other generations make

Choosing to live a mindful, deliberate life, according to your own values

Living your life, and letting others live theirs

Choosing freedom, simplicity and efficiency

Hacking and Optimizing for success

Avoiding mistakes that might kill your freedom

Making smart money choices that allow you to be happy, healthy and free

It will also be about a simple, fun game, which combines all of these things. 

Red Paperclip Trade House Kyle Macdonald Barter Craigslist Project Did you ever hear about One Red Paperclip?

It’s an amazing, true story. 

A young guy, Kyle Macdonald had an idea to take something worthless- a paperclip- and continually trade it for something better, one baby step at a time.

  • First he traded his red paperclip for a fish pen.
  • Then he traded the fish pen for a door knob.
  • He kept trading up.

In 14 trades he went from ONE RED PAPERCLIP to a HOUSE.

Watch Kyle’s short 13 minute TED talk because you’ll love it and understand this game.


Imagine if you played this paperclip game, but started with just a little bit of cash, instead of a paperclip. 

And imagine if instead of being limited to trading for other items, you could be free to trade for dollars too, if you wanted.

That’s the game.

How to play:

  • Start with $0, or whatever works for you. 
  • Find a little bit of free money to play with. 
  • Keep track of it. Don’t lose it*
  • Find ways to make it grow.
  • You’ll have more and more money, like a snowball.

*If you lose the money, it can’t grow any more, so the game would be over. If this happens, it’s okay. Start again.

Watch how easily $1 could turn into a million dollar snowball.*

1 x 10 = 10

10 x 10 = 100

100 x 10 = 1,000

1000 x 10 = 10,000

10,000 x 10 = 100,000

100,000 x 10 = 1,000,000

*These 10 x  gains are big steps, and are not realistic to expect in real life.

In fact, if you tried to get 10 x gains, you would probably have to try really risky ideas. You might lose the money and have to start over.

But just for fun, let’s keep going with this idea.

What if you could buy something off of Craigslist for $10, and sell it for $15?

That would be a 50% gain. That’s very possible.

How many of those 50% gains would it take to get 10x the original amount?

1.0 x 1.5 = 1.50

1.5 x 1.5 = 2.25

2.25 x 1.5 = 3.38

3.38 x 1.5 = 5.06

5.06 x 1.5 = 7.59

7.59 x 1.5 = 11.39

So, if you could do 6 trades of + 50% each, without losing money, you could meet, and even beat 10x gains in real life, by taking safe, easy little steps.

You’ve probably heard of this idea, Compounding before. More about compounding

It’s about putting money to work, to earn even more money.

It’s the force that let Kyle Macdonald turn a Red Paperclip into a House.

It’s a big idea, but there’s something even bigger to this game.

Hold on. This is where it gets exciting.

This snowball game- and starting out at zero- can be a lot of fun. It can easily grow into a big snowball if you do it right, and avoid the losing money.

But, You probably already have a regular job, or some sort of way to earn income that earns larger, steadier amounts of money.

Almost everyone can find ways to save more of their income, by finding new savings, or by needing and wanting less stuff and services.

You can save this money and build an even bigger snowball much faster than if you started from zero, using the same simple principles. It’s exactly the same idea; put money to work safely, and let it grow exponentially by taking lots of little steps along the way. 

Even a small amount allowed to grow for a long time, can turn into an enormous snowball, especially if you add more money to the snowball steadily over time.

A sufficient money snowball could earn money to pay for your:

  • rent, or house payment
  • food
  • transportation
  • all other costs of living

It’s even easier if you make sure these costs stay low.

If your living costs were paid for, you wouldn’t need to work for money.

It would be like a Universal Basic Income, but one that you’re in control of. Nobody could ever take it away from you.

You could choose how to spend your time, to be most happy.

You could work on projects that excite you, and spend time with the people you love.

You would have enough time to slow down, and help people and animals.

You could go see the world.

You only get one chance to do these things.

Imagine what you would do with your time, if you didn’t have to spend it working for money?

You’d be free. 

This idea is called Financial Independence (Fi).

It wasn’t about the paperclip. It’s not about having it or selling it, or what it’s worth. If I hadn’t traded away that red paperclip I’d just be a guy sitting there at his desk holding a paperclip in his hand, wondering what would happen if I did something with it. So if you have a paperclip, trade it away. You might only get a fish pen, but it might be the single step that leads to an amazing journey.

Kyle Macdonald