Vincent Chan

I finally won the big fight

Welcome to reThinkable – my weekly newsletter where I share actionable insights to build a wealthy healthy life.

A recent study found most millionaires in the US aren’t some big wig executives or tech founders. Most millionaires are regular people with regular jobs like an engineer, accountant, teacher or attorney.

But while they might be “regular,” they do certain things differently than the average person. Specifically, with their mindset — how they view, think and approach life.

Here’s what we’re covering:

💰Varied Action & Boundaries

🪜The Thought Experiment

🏠 The 3 Environments

Estimated read time: 3 minutes and 57 seconds

🪜 The Thought Experiment

Every year, without fail, I feel tempted to upgrade my iPhone.

I know it’s practically the same phone just with a heftier price tag – around $1,000.

But then, I always take a step back to think about what this purchase really means.

Most items, like an iPhone, a car, or TV, lose value over time. Sure, there are exceptions, but generally, as soon as you make that purchase, the value plummets.

Image by decluttr

That’s why I now do a quick thought experiment before I make any big purchases decisions. Here’s what I think in my head:

  • I could spend $1,000 on a new iPhone and accept the fact that within 5 months, it’ll be worth 50% less or…

  • I could invest that $1,000 in an index fund, like the S&P 500, which historically grows at about 10% per year on average.

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This thought process always brings me back to a crucial question:

“Is this purchase worth the freedom I’m sacrificing?”

Because that’s what money represents – the freedom to choose, to live comfortably, and to be financially secure.

The next time you’re considering buying something expensive, it might be worth considering what you’re giving up in the long run. It’s not about never treating yourself but about making sure your spending aligns with your long-term financial goals.

💰 Varied Action & Boundaries

Most people don’t become wealthy because they aren’t taking enough Varied Action. They do the same thing over and over again hoping for a different outcome.

They’ll earn approximately the same amount of money and take on the same amount of debt, year after year — never changing enough to build wealth.


Image by Andrew Wiltshire

I’m not saying you need to immediately jump out of your comfort zone, quit your job, and YOLO everything on Tesla stocks.

The truth is: you can build wealth while gently pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone as long as you act, try different things, and aren’t afraid to fail.

Chris Gardner, for example, came from a less than “regular” background and eventually became a multi-millionaire. He didn’t grow up with a silver spoon — he faced many hardships, including homelessness, while raising his son.

But he didn’t let his circumstances define his future. He knew he wanted and deserved more so he started pushing.

During the day, he worked his typical day job but at night, he hustled for a better life.

Chris’ story is about taking Varied Action and pushing the boundaries of his comfort zone. Research shows that embracing tough challenges is crucial to becoming financially successful.

So ask yourself, do you:

  • Stick to familiar jobs with limited growth potential?
  • Avoid investing because you’re worried?
  • Procrastinate doing something even though it could potentially transform your life?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you need to figure out what small steps you can take today to start pushing your boundaries.

P.S. You might recognize Chris Gardner’s story because the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” was based on his life!

🏠 The 3 Environments

I never realized how much impact your environment has on your financial success until I started my first big boy job in 2017. Specifically in 3 areas:

1. Where you live

After college, I moved to NYC but as an adult, everything was just so expensive. So, I made a decision to move back in with my parents.

This move alone changed my financial trajectory. I was saving more, had more money to invest, and had more time to work on my own projects.

Of course I helped pay for some of the bills at home but it was still significantly less than living on my own.

2. Where you work

I used to work in finance where the culture was terrible. No room to grow, no appreciation, horrendous work culture. Then I switched to a startup, and it was a world of difference.

Not only was I a lot happier, but my work was recognized and I was rewarded with raises and promotions.

If you’re in a negative environment or work with people who don’t want you to win, you’re only destroying chances of success.

3. Who your friends are

There was a time when my closest friends weren’t exactly the most aspirational people – which is fine if that’s what you want. But it wasn’t what I wanted.

One day I started to seek out new friends. I went to networking events and met people who were on a closer wavelength to me and their influence was contagious. I became more driven to achieve what I wanted and to not settle.