“If I had that kind of money, I’d just retire.”

“Well, that’s why you don’t have that kind of money.”


When I see this classic debate, I always fail to choose a side.

On one hand, I would certainly take some sort of break if given a life-changing amount of money. On the other, willingness to lay back and relax isn’t common among the wealthy. Herein lies the paradox – paradise can be achieved through endless work, but then you’ll have no time left to enjoy it.

The original argument is paradoxical because it’s framed as “pick one.” It suggests that you can’t have a balanced lifestyle and be wealthy.

This is a false pretense, though.

In fact, putting in just slightly more work than average can create outsized returns. It’s not hard to find these stories. Browsing Indie Hackers or Starter Story will prove my point. Of course some of the stories highlight the hustle, but plenty others focus on the daily discipline that led to their success.

For specific examples, start by looking into @jdnoc or @dvassallo on Twitter.

Since I know you probably won’t click either of those links, here’s the summary.

Jordan (@jdnoc) built his company Closet Tools by getting up every morning before his family and putting in a couple hours of focused work. As of the time of writing, it appears to be around $35k MRR.

Daniel kicked off his entrepreneurial journey by launching a technical guide on Gumroad. Although it takes a while to build an audience and write in-depth content, it’s not something he’s sacrificed his lifestyle over. He’s since released another guide about thriving on Twitter. He currently hovers around $25k MRR from these two products on average.

So there you go. Contrary to popular belief, you can maintain the rest of your life while still building something of value. It takes hard work and discipline, but it’s entirely possible.