What is Wealth?
How "Speed" and "Range" became symbols of success.
Wealth is a concept that extends far beyond the traditional notion of money and finances. At its core, true wealth is about having the freedom to spend your time as you desire and wielding the power to choose your life's path. It grants you the flexibility to shape your days around purpose and meaning rather than material possessions or status.
Society often equates wealth with extraordinary affluence — visions of sprawling mansions and overflowing bank accounts.
But while money can certainly buy comfort, it does not inherently guarantee happiness or fulfillment. True wealth is better defined as having the absolute freedom to spend your time as you wish because:
your finances are abundantly and passively taken care of
your family has support people, technology and other infrastructure
your businesses benefit from the same list above + financial and operating leverage
Wealth is access to the systems and possessing the resources to decide how your hours and days unfold, rather than running on the hamster wheel of work simply to pay the bills.
When your time is freely your own, you can align your deepest purpose. You can soak up time with loved ones, travel the world, or dedicate yourself to meaningful work without worrying about finances.
This degree of time affluence allows you to operate from inspiration rather than obligation.
You spend each moment following your passion, not chased by financial pressure. This is one aspect that separates the wealthy from the rich — it’s not an issue of how many zeros are in your bank account, but rather your autonomy over that precious resource called time.
So while abundant financial wealth serves as the foundation for this time freedom, true affluence goes far beyond money. It means leveraging various resources to obtain the power of choice over your days so you can live aligned with your values and purpose.
Wealth as Freedom of Time
The most precious commodity on earth is time.
Our days here are finite — you can always make more money but never reclaim lost hours. That’s why cultivating wealth’s freedom of time should be the highest priority; money itself holds little meaning without the ability to leverage it for this time autonomy.
True wealth means achieving absolute freedom over your time before anything else. The material comforts money can buy are of secondary importance. With financial freedom comes the liberation to no longer view time through the hourly-wage lens, or make decisions based purely on economics.
The wealthy understand that time is a precious commodity not to be traded thoughtlessly.
You cannot accumulate more lifespan by endlessly chasing higher paychecks at jobs demanding ever more of your finite time.
What you can do is leverage money’s power to purchase time affluence now so you can spend it purposefully going forward.
This mindset shift takes some effort because society constantly reinforces the notion that wealth is defined by net worth alone. But the fulfillment money may temporarily provide pales against building a life of meaning rooted in freely chosen experience.
Understanding wealth more completely involves recognizing time as far more valuable than material possessions that simply gather dust. Adjusting your relationship with money is instrumental here. Rather than an end goal, true wealth sees finance as fuel to power greater life purpose because income replaces time constraints with abundant options.
The Role of Systems in Building Wealth
As you continue expanding your relationship with wealth, it’s crucial to implement support systems and understand the role they play in building financial freedom.
Contrary to popular belief, amassing wealth rarely happens by accident or overnight. It requires intentionally creating structure to develop positive money habits and leverage your earning potential over time.
Implementing strategic systems helps cement the character traits and daily actions that allow wealth to flourish.
For instance, setting up automated payments into investment accounts sidesteps our brains’ natural inclination to overspend. Our family has 3 accounts that receive 10% of each income flow:
Avoiding lifestyle inflation by defaulting to modest living circumstances provides an environment fertile for accumulating assets.
Building multiple income streams through passive investments or online businesses generates wealth through diversified effort over years, not intense work over weeks.
Well-designed systems handle the heavy lifting so you need not rely on sheer motivation or willpower. They put time on your side by fostering financial efficiency. After years of compounding interest and continuously reinvesting profits, your various automated engines propel you closer to a destination of time affluence.
Such systems allow space for consistency, patience, and perspective along the journey.
You can also utilize tools that provide an eagle eye view of your income and expense aggregates and net worth.
Sensor grid dashboards that visualize your assets and liabilities across accounts engender mindfulness of how daily choices ripple into the future. Budgeting systems that automatically categorize spending offer concrete data to inform smarter decisions.
The key is being thoughtful about what works for your personality rather than forcing yourself into systems not aligned with your natural rhythms.
Experiment until the small steps you implement feel seamless rather than stressful. The goal is leveraging such frameworks to develop unconscious competence over years until prudent financial habits become your status quo.
Done right, systems allow wealth to blossom in the background of an otherwise full life.
Let’s talk about how to maximize what you can achieve in life.
Optimizing Time and Utilizing Leverage
Once adequate systems provide financial breathing room, you gain capacity to amplify your results through optimal time usage and leverage. Think of it as exercising muscles built from that aforementioned foundation now strong enough to lift heavier weights.
Leverage comes in many forms:
Borrowed capital / manpower, etc…
The wealthy are students of time discipline.
They deeply understand financial freedom hinges on how deliberately they spend every minute. So they become masters of active delegation, determining which tasks they alone can move the needle on versus assignments better outsourced so they may focus on high-yield goals.
They squeeze productivity from pockets of time others overlook, transforming downtime into learning through audiobooks and podcasts. They analyze recurring time drains with meticulous scrutiny, pruning unnecessary commitments without remorse.
Truly optimizing your use of time requires painfully honest evaluation of how you currently spend it and where inefficiencies hide. Track your hours for a full week. Review calendars and accounting software data. The granular insights uncovered often reveal inefficient patterns occurring by default. But now you can reallocate reclaimed time into more thoughtful endeavors aligned with purpose.
The way the wealthy radically catalyze their results is through the power of leverage.
In simple terms, leverage means getting an outsized return by applying modest effort at just the right point. Think of how a lever multiplies input force to lift far heavier objects using mechanical advantage. One well placed pivot point gives you the power to move tremendous weight using little physical exertion yourself.
The wealthy bring this mentality into their financial dealings, constantly examining their lives and ventures for opportunities to utilize leverage.
Can they structure a real estate acquisition deal that largely uses other people’s money?
Can they build partnership networks to open doors and fast track business relationships?
Can they collaborate with others whose expertise amplifies mutual success?
Leverage boils down to maximizing your strengths while delegating lesser abilities to those whose complementary skills form a collectively stronger unit.
It means looking at your life through a strategic lens — analyzing where applied effort or money has potential for disproportionate future returns. The aim is realizing that time and net worth can radically transform depending on how thoughtfully invested.
The wealthy put sweat into the game early on so they can eventually watch their ROI compound thanks to leverage and talented teams largely running self-sufficient systems.
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Building a Cash Treasury
With optimal time usage and leverage accelerating your wealth building efforts, the next milestone is establishing a substantial cash reserve fund as your foundation for shifting into an even higher gear.
This capital base protects you from needing reactive income to cover living expenses or service debt.
It provides the dry powder to move decisively on promising investments while markets are gripped by fear.
Building this treasury requires avoiding debt dependence so your income flows into your own coffers rather than interest payments.
Consider how to build income streams beyond your existing salary efforts — perhaps via an online side hustle or part time self-employment gig.
And then augmenting this by building a passive income portfolio of investments:
The goal is amassing several years’ living expenses into stable liquid accounts and appreciating those assets outside of separate retirement funds you never touch. Collect interest and forget it is there.
This capital base steadily builds as you remain focused on big picture timelines, avoiding restless diversion into spontaneous wealth hazards.
With consistent savings and astute investing, your cash treasury expands into a self-sustaining pool generating sizable monthly passive income over time.
Dividends roll in from stock portfolios alongside rental property profits, online business revenues tick higher every month.
Your expenses shrink in magnitude relative to reliable income secured by diverse assets and automated ventures no longer dependent on direct involvement.
This is the good part!
This stage requires vigilance against backsliding into former habits that feed on present income surpluses rather than furthering capital expansion. Guard against lifestyle inflation hiding in comfort upgrades or spending binges covered by short term cash excess.
Remember, the end game is fortifying wealth’s staying power so complete freedom of time becomes a permanent status not a temporary state. Patience pays exponential dividends for those who mute greed’s inclination toward instant gratification.
You are long-term greedy… not myopically focused on the next 90-days, or making yourself feel better by consuming when you could be creating.
Expanding Your Empire
With self-sustaining foundations now established, you can focus wealth building efforts toward exponential empire growth rather than simple survival needs.
This is the stage driven individuals and family offices target for generations — seeding cash into well-selected assets and then reinvesting those income streams to rapidly broaden and deepen their financial foundations.
Flowers yielding flowers until the entire field is filled with your family’s beautiful abundance.
But next level expansion requires calculated boldness as you evaluate trade-offs between risk and reward. Conservatively saving excess income alone grows wealth linearly.
With inflation, operating like that translates to a net loss of purchasing power.
Heavily leveraged bets pose possibility for windfalls but equally likely gut punches. Navigating these waters demands insight into your personality and tendencies.
Can you stomach periods of volatility on a given asset class without irrational exit decisions?
How resilient are you to temporary setbacks while awaiting patient strategy fruition?
Honest self reflection determines suitable asset selection and healthy use of leverage without half awake midnight panic attacks.
For the strategically aggressive, private lending backed by thorough vetting offers a middle ground.
Be the bank and fund credit worthy projects beyond traditional institutional loan standards but capped at personally comfortable capital levels given isolated incidents of fraud. Over time, net a low double digit yield enjoying monthly payments as principle repayments are redeployed into new loans or the expansion of existing loan lines.
Our family office does this.
We diversify across geography and asset class with adaptive sophistication keeping overall portfolio beta in check. Reinvest and compound continuously.
Alternatively, turnkey platforms allow qualified investors to place capital behind experienced operators handling heavy asset procurement and operational lifting.
Think fractional ownership in multifamily apartment complexes or syndicated stakes in large commercial developments. Lean on experts for filtering quality deal flow and asset management while you act as sleeping limited partner. Target 20%+ unlevered IRR over 5-7 year periods generating cash flow the entire ride. Redeploy distributions into additional projects picking up residuals while continually expanding your empire’s square footage.
For more self directed types, building a business may better suit your skillset and risk tolerance, even if revenue ramp takes years.
Tough early phases teach brutal lessons made survivable by your existing wealth foundations and systems.
But with grit eventually comes treasure - an autonomous income machine shouldering future heavy lifting as your role evolves toward owner not operator.
Scale your profit engines while you sleep as automated AI agents and human operators run full tilt. Reinvest profits to widen competitive moats ensuring your empire’s prominence and legacy planning.
Whatever the path, understand wealth creation at this level requires both offense and defense:
Offense meaning taking educated risks and decisive action to increase your aggregate holdings.
Defense via well-established intelligence networks and systems to ensure risk awareness is maximized so risk mitigation efforts can be optimized to your specific profiles /scenarios
Build in layers of resilience across the spectrum so no single point of failure exists.
Self-aware operating ensures you play long term games extending beyond monthly scoreboards.
Know thyself and shape the map accordingly.
Investing in Resources for Growth
The final pillar to solidify your expanding capital base and the wealthy lifestyle it partially enables is continually investing in resources spurring personal and professional development.
Remember that money itself contains no inherent utility.
Its power derives from what it enables you to achieve.
Wisdom, relationships, knowledge, influence, top-tier talent - these are the ultimate currencies in determining how far your empire can scale.
Cultivating such intangible affluence requires first looking inward. Set aside time for regular self-reflection via journaling, meditation or solo travel now wonderfully afforded given your financial freedom.
Nurture clarity around your purpose, values and vision apart from daily grind.
Locate any misalignment then course correct bearing long-term True North goals. Perform routine maintenance examining your foundations for cracks or deficiencies. Do annual reviews across wealth engines and lifestyle elements just like a rigorous doctor visit assessing full body health.
Never stop investing in yourself.
Invest in mentors and communities transferring wisdom from those further on the same journey. Join mastermind groups and attend exclusive conferences putting you shoulder to shoulder with those already where you intend going. Brainstorm new flight paths and cautionary tales to shortcut learning curves you need not repeat.
Harness that lifelong learner mindset; stay curious about emerging trends before they crest mainstream.
Put wealth to work unlocking access to the world’s highest caliber teachers across fields you aim to influence and gain mindshare en route to marketshare.
Subscribe to premier research services alerting you to promising developments ahead of your competition. Task team members with scanning peripheral environments for potential opportunity threads — this is my favorite part about being a direct investor in 20+ companies. Use Google Alerts or even advanced AI tools to scour key terms and deliver them to you (or your team) instantly.
Building wealth thereby extends far beyond some final dollar amount eventually permitting retirement.
It means committing to lifelong growth and understanding money as a defensive measure and a fuel source for funding causes bigger than yourself.
True wealth sees capital formation as a tool for maximizing contribution to future generations and society in general, not an end achieving trivial creature comforts serving only fleeting happiness.
It embraces ambition not for egoic gain but for furthering a purpose intended to outlast your earthly tenure.
Wealth is having options.
Wealth is freedom of time and the ability to make any choice.
Expanding on this further, I think the most descriptive model for Wealth is Speed and Range.
When I refer to Speed, I mean much more than just being hasty or impatient. It is the ability to make decisions promptly, take action rapidly when opportunities arise, and operate with autonomy over one's schedule.
Similarly, Range is beyond a mere scope of experience. It encompasses the breadth of one's networks, the diversity of cultural perspectives accessible, and the abundance of environments one can navigate.
Together, Speed and Range confer the flexibility and exposure needed to capitalize on emerging possibilities. They enable broader worldviews that fuel innovation. Developing these two areas, I argue, may matter more than simply amassing financial wealth alone when it comes to cultivating influence and impact. The individuals who will shape the future are those who enhance their Speed and Range.
The Role of Speed in Wealth
Speed grants the power to control one's time.
Individuals with high Speed swiftly evaluate options, make judgments, and take action. They do not dally on decisions due to uncertainty or analysis paralysis. This nimbleness allows them to take ownership of their schedules. Rather than being trapped as a reactionary who is constantly responding to external demands, they proactively move their priorities forward.
When new opportunities crop up, Speed also determines who gets first-mover advantage.
People with slow Speed risk ideas getting replicated by faster competitors.
Fast entrepreneurs can execute on ideas rapidly and gain footing in newly emerging spaces.
Speed enabled billionaires like Elon Musk to aggressively capitalize on untapped markets from payment systems to electric vehicles.
It enables promptly seizing chances others delay on and leaves less room for outside barriers obstruction progress.
Whether in business, relationships, or any domain, Speed pays dividends.
The Power of Range in Wealth
If Speed governs pace and autonomy, Range governs perspective and exposure.
Specifically, Range represents the comprehensive scope of people and environments one can access.
Individuals with wide Range have honed the ability to engage diversity - in thought, culture, geographies, industries, and beyond.
Such exposure expands awareness of possibilities.
Encountering fresh, foreign viewpoints compels re-examining assumptions. Experiencing contrasting approaches prompts reformulating beliefs. A broad Range fuels innovation by informing new synthesis and connections between dispersed ideas.
It explains why creatives often produce their best work through collaborations across disciplines.
Wide exposure builds contextual intelligence.
By navigating different cultures, political climates, and business norms, individuals gain situational adaptability. They become better at tailoring communications, striking partnerships, and finding win-win exchanges. Over time, those with broad Range accumulate extensive rolodexes and channels to enable their goals.
In sum, Range enables what pure financial wealth cannot: diversity of thought and abundance of opportunities.
Billionaires with narrow Range remain confined in their bubbles of advisers.
In contrast, even modest income individuals with wide Range access more abundant ideas and possibilities by building bridges across various worlds.
Synergy of Speed and Range
Speed and Range enhance each other when developed in tandem.
Speed allows promptly testing ideas sourced through Range.
Multiple trials can occur iteratively thanks to Speed. This rapid experimentation enables building deeper connections to scale impact.
Consider innovators like Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway. His substantial Range via global travels informed various technologies while Speed allowed prompt prototyping.
Or take performance artist Usher, who leverages wide industry Range to reinvent his music while rapid creative Speed enables frequently releasing new hit songs.
Or examine social media influencers with young followers worldwide. The breadth of their Range creates visibility into emerging cultural trends while real-time Speed allows capitalizing on viral meme moments. Likewise, their fans enjoy wide pop culture Range and fast meme Speed for participating online.
In all cases, Speed and Range intermix to form an engine enabling individuals to thrive in life’s natural volatility.
As technology accelerates global idea flows, those who quickly process diverse inputs and adapt promptly will increasingly materialize the most opportunities.
Maximizing Capabilities with Speed and Range
Combined, Speed and Range amplify multiple capabilities:
Innovation – By scanning wide landscapes for diverse solutions while rapidly testing iterations, creativity flourishes.
Adaptability – By experiencing varied contexts and promptly responding, contextual intelligence grows.
Influence – By understanding diverse motivations and quickly building rapport, persuasiveness expands.
Decision Making – By widely gathering evidence and quickly evaluating, judgment sharpens.
Problem Solving – By encountering more use cases and rapidly applying lessons, solution quality improves.
Learning – By exposing oneself to abundant ideas and swiftly processing, knowledge compounds faster.
Simply put, Speed and Range compound one’s ability to handle complexity.
Processing volumes of dynamic information across contexts demands both bandwidth and pace. Individuals lacking either will fall behind those with both faculties.
Leaders looking to develop these meta-skills should:
Diversify networks beyond immediate social & professional circles to broaden Range.
Impose constraints like shorter deadlines to improve Speed.
Travel to experience different cultures and ways of thinking - Speed and Range.
Learn basic skills in disparate fields to enable connections between them.
Review decisions rapidly after making them to sharpen future judgment Speed.
Just as physical health requires nurturing multiple facets like endurance, flexibility, strength, and coordination, so too does socio-economic fitness demand cultivating Speed and Range in tandem.
Gaining Speed and Range
To gain the freedom offered by Speed and Range you need to design systems to optimize the use of your time and leverage so you can start building your treasury and your network.
Here's how I'd approach it:
First you build systems to enhance the quality of your work product, your skill-development and other ongoing processes.
Then you optimize your time and utilization of leverage.
Finally you fill your treasury and build a wall around future generations of your family. Turn on one wealth engine. Then reinvest a portion of those proceeds back into that engine. Divert a stream to funding the completion of a 2nd wealth engine.
Money is more than just a simple wall... it is a time machine.
Building up a capital base and a large enough Treasury of assets can shield your next 20-generations from all manner of troubles.
The single greatest threat in the modern world is running out of money.
When people say "Matt don't you have enough?" my answer is typically:
"I'm working on giving my Grandkids enough."
With no idea what conditions they will be dealing with, or what opportunities they will have, all I can do is give them more.
More assets and equity in their name.
More surface area for luck.
More tools to build with.
You need assets & recurring cash flow to play offense and defense - remember:
Offense = making moves to increase your wealth
Defense = taking steps to protect your wealth
Once you have:
• $6M to $8M net worth
• a year's worth of operating expenses in a high-interest account
• passive monthly income 130% of your monthly expenses
You really are "rich enough" at this point... if you aren't doing the multi-generational steward thing.
Without regard to the amplitude of your ambition... Systems help manage and grow the "wealth engines" required to fund our treasuries.
We stand at a pivotal moment in history where seismic technological forces offer both profound opportunities and perils.
By honing one’s Speed and Range, you equip yourself with the autonomy, perspective, and nimbleness required to thrive in tomorrow’s volatile landscapes. These capabilities empower you to take ownership of your destiny rather than react to the winds of external change.
So consider: How can you expand your Range of ideas, cultures, skills, and networks this year?
And how can you accelerate your Speed of decision-making, execution, and communication?
Increasing Speed and boosting Range is the key true wealth.
Speed and Range lead to freedom.
Wealth Systems is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.