Making Money Is Like Lifting Weights

Nicolas Cole
2 min readJan 19, 2021

When I was 22 years old, I wrote down in my journal, “This year, I’m going to make $100,000.”

Of course, I had no idea how I was actually going to make $100k. I hadn’t even figured out how to make $1k. I was about to graduate from college, had just finished reading the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and per his “Chief Aim” exercise, I thought if I wrote down my financial goals they would just sort of magically happen on their own.

I did not make $100k that year.

Or the next year.

Or the year after that.

It took me most of my 20s to realize that making money is a lot like lifting weights.

I first started going to the gym when I was 18 years old, in an attempt to strengthen my back muscles after suffering a stress fracture in my spine playing hockey. At the time, I weighed around 100 pounds. I was all skin and bones, not an ounce of muscle on me. And I had spent most of my adolescence sick and nutritionally deprived, undiagnosed with Celiac Disease until I had graduated high school.

Physically, I was “broke.”

Yet, little by little, year after year, I kept going to the gym, and I kept putting on weight. By the time I was 20, I weighed around 130 pounds and started to look “normal.” By 22, I got up to around 145 pounds and had successfully achieved tennis ball sized biceps. And by 24, I weighed 170 pounds, shredded, and looked like I had eaten my former self.

Learning how to make money, and increase your earnings, follows a similar path.

You can’t lift the 30s until you learn how to lift the 20s. And you can’t lift the 50s until you learn how to lift the 30s.

Making money is the same.

You have to learn how to make $1k before you can make $100k.

This is an Atomic Essay from the Ship 30 for 30 daily writing challenge.



Nicolas Cole

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