Welp, I'm no longer in my 30's. So far life has only gotten better as I've aged. Life gets better when you get better as I like to say. Not that everything is perfect, things could be much better obviously, but things could also be a lot worse so I'm thankful for where I am.
I wrote a popular post called 19 things no one tells 19 year old's that I renamed "life advice for young men" - 19 things you MUST know; since that's actually something young men are looking for.
That was more geared for young guys entering their 20's and making that transition from being a kid. What if you're already in your 20's? Well here are 7 ways to set yourself up for success in your 30's
1 - Go to the gym.
This is one of my favorite pics of all time:
I literally looked younger at 33 than at 27.
Both pics were taken in Chiang Mai Thailand. At 27, this was my first time abroad. The only difference? I started working out again when I hit 30.
In high school, I was a lean 153lbs at around about 5,10 inches tall. I was a wrestler, I exercised regularly and was consistent with that until I graduated college at 24 years of age.
Then, working for PWC, I was working long 12, hours days, all day, six days a week. I brought this up in my popular "teacher trap video" as one of the reasons that drove me to quit.
"No time for myself, just getting fat and working all the time" is what I said.
The funny thing is however, that from 27-30 when I was an English teacher in Thailand I really did NOT get back into working out because at the time I thought of myself as the guy I was when I was younger:
The skinny, lean guy who had trouble putting on weight.
The reality sunk when I looked at pictures of myself and realized, "Whoa, that's what I look like?!" I was no longer the skinny guy who had trouble putting on weight, but rather a 174lbs of soft weakness.
Rice belly. A-cup titties. Chicken wings for arms.
This is what men mean when we say you don't really become a man until you're 30ish. Because, at least for me I was late bloomer. Luckily enough I started working out again regularly starting at 31, and quickly went from out of shape to in-shape within 7 months.
The lesson learned is to go to the gym.
Work on your physicality. You will look better, age better, and become more attractive to women which is no small thing. Particularly today when most of your male competition is fat or obese.
Just being a fit guy does wonders for my sex life as the competition is mediocre. It's an easy way to stand out with women; and with men, you look more competent, intelligent and you have it together.
As such, you're treated with more respect and people will not mess with you as you look like a capable man.
You also have the advantage of having good (hopefully) hormone levels to build muscle, so build a good foundation in your 20s instead of being a mediocre man.
How to work out
Look, I'm no Greg O'Gallager of Kinobody. But in a nutshell, here is what I do:
Full body workout, three days a week minimum. I lift weights, then I allow for 1-2 days of recovery.
I do six repetitions of all exercises before moving on to new exercises.
I do pyramid training for weight training. That means I do the heaviest set first for 2 reps, then decrease the weight slightly for 2 reps, then reduce the weight again. For example, I bench my weight of 165lbs twice, then 160lbs twice, then 155lbs twice.
I work my arms, chest, and shoulders and also do leg squats.
I also incorporate practical movements like jumping, pull-ups, chin-ups, and dips.
I do focus on my abs through weighted sit-ups and leg raises.
Last, I finish off everything with a 10-minute run on the treadmill followed by a 5-minute speed walk on said treadmill.
This helps keep the belly at bay and promotes heart health.
2 - Eat better as a way to stop being fat.
No one likes hearing this (myself included), but what you eat is just as important as working out. Sorry, but you need to eat correctly. You can't be picking up junk food at 7/11 and ordering McDonalds every week then turn around and complain how you can't get fit.
This is what I eat five days out of the week:
Steak and eggs cooked in butter. I noticed that increasing my protein intake helped massively with my energy levels, burning off fat and just getting physically strong.
A big salad with veggies and no dressing. Salad dressing makes you fat.
Macadamia nuts - a handful every day. They have healthy fats and are the most nutritious option with regards to nuts.
A little dark chocolate that's 90% dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is very healthy for you, but it's calorie dense so just eat a bit. I typically buy a dark chocolate bar and break it up into 3 servings.
A can of sardines. Good way of getting those omega-3 fatty acids.
Iced coffee and green tea (one serving of each, no coffee after 3 p.m.).
One serving of fruit - meaning a single apple, or banana or two kiwis. An actual serving of fruit.
One serving of carbs only, ideally I like sweet potato or your basic white potato. Unless you're doing keto you will need carbs.
No sugar, no processed food.
Beer once every two weeks max. Instead of beer, I now favor wine or gin. Gin has low calories and mixed with soda water, makes for a low-calorie alcoholic drink.
I also drink once a week, max. In general I try to minimize my drinking as much as possible.
For fasting, I typically eat a small meal around 1 or 2, then a bigger meal around 7 or 8. I don't fast every day, usually 5 days a week
What about the other 2 days?
I try to follow this diet every day roughly, but hey, life happens. I'll have my lunches with friends, beers with the guys, and dessert. Having two days of flexibility helps a lot.
I'm mindful of my diet but give myself room to enjoy life.
I have a whole post on the supplements for men I take, including the what and the why. Here are the cliff notes:
Creatine - Good for your mind, makes me noticeably stronger.
Collagen - Helps with recovery. It may help you look younger by improving your skin and hair.
Magnesium and zinc - Magnesium is used in a range of bodily functions, the same as zinc.
NAC - A potent antioxidant.
Tongkat Ali - Improves your free testosterone. It's energy in a bottle as far as I'm concerned.
3 - Decide to be self-employed or have a trade/career
You can't do both, and the worst thing you can do is go deep down one path and then switch and change to a different path. Also, you need to play to your strengths, which requires you to know yourself.
I'm not talented in math so no way could I be a great engineer or an accountant. I'm genuinely a creative person, for better or worse. So what I'm doing with YouTube, websites, internet marketing, writing and design make sense for the type of person I am.
It's funny because my degree is in finance and accounting which I hated and struggled at. But I only did it so I could get a job after college.
It never dawned on me at the time that you need to be good at what you do, really good, because if you're not, you're just going to either be:
A - Fired for being useless.
B - Flatline at a low-level position for the rest of your life.
Both outcomes will simply require you to go back to school and get training at something you have some talent at. So don't do something you think is cool or think you will make a lot of money at if you have no innate talent or aptitude for it.
Degrees don't equal money
I have a close friend who like a typical millennial got degree after degree. Now he's in his mid-thirties with a basic job teaching English in Thailand still. He sees me doing what I'm doing and has regrets.
The reality is that it took me five years or so to get to a point where I'm making enough online to take care of myself, and it required me to go into debt, be stressed out, and be unsure if my dreams would ever come true.
Now, if my friend chooses to pursue the self-employment path, he's starting from scratch in his 30's instead of his 20's. You want to hit your 30s and be established already because the 30's are for a man are what 20's are for a girl.
Instead, he's spent a lot of time and money going down the credential path where you're supposed to end up in some sort of career position.
The truth is that degrees don't guarantee money. If you want money, you need to provide value to other people. You do that through developing a skill and helping people.
Seeing where the ball is going is important; I would strongly suggest to any young man to consider the trades right now. We have a thin grey line of boomers who are going to age out and in the next 10 years, men with actual skills like plumbing, construction, HVAC, and electricians will be in high demand.
These trades of men who maintain society are going explode in demand, as such, you'll be able to demand appropriate compensation. You could even form your own business as well.
When I was coming up it was all about being a "digital nomad." Now the vocabulary has switched to passport bro.
Look, you can make money online and live abroad. I'm ahead of the curve and have been doing this for 10+ years now.
But, it comes back to value. You need to develop a skill that can translate into the online space. It's also not for everyone. I spend a lot of time alone writing, editing, and going back and forth over email.
I personally love it, but when I talk to my brother who is a six-figure-earning electrician he says he would hate it.
It goes back to playing to your strengths. Yes, the passport bro movement is a cool idea, but you need to have the right skill set and mentality for it. Living abroad and working online sounds great but it's work, and a type of work that is not for everyone.
Like me forcing myself to push through accounting and finance when I have no talent for numbers, don't make the same mistake and romanticise the idea of living abroad and working online.
Trade or self-employment
In short, choose a trade or become self-employed when you're in your 20's because it's hard to reverse course the older you get.
Play to your strengths and know and understand your weaknesses and where you suck (like me with math and how I wasted a few years of my life pursuing a path that I could never be good at).
I also see too many delusional people on YouTube talking about how they will go to law school (or whatever they think sounds cool and pays a lot), become a lawyer, and that will magically solve their problems.
You need to have an IQ of 130+ to be a lawyer and you have to have a great work ethic and a clean record to be bared.
Is that you? If it is, then great. But I'm just bringing this up because I want you to live in reality and make the right moves for your situation and not la la land like this girl:
A great comment on this video:
Elise, you should know that after law school, you will have to apply to your state’s court to be licensed/barred. One of the elements of that application is an extensive background check into your financial history. If there are records of you not paying your bills on time, the court may see that as evidence of dishonest character and it may complicate the process of you becoming an attorney. I just want to give you fair warning that if you do want to pursue law school, you need to get your finances in check ASAP. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!
4 - Read 1 book a month minimum.
Read or listen to at least one book a month. Start with the classics and go from there. Take notes too on what you read or listen to in a notebook or your iPad for reference and to help with comprehension.
Don't make books your Netflix or video games, though. That's the extreme I see some people take where they spend an exorbitant amount of time reading.
Read to expand your vocabulary and knowledge base bit by bit over time. I maintain an ever-growing books for men page on this site for this very reason. Just make it a habit like you do with the gym.
Here are a few of my favorite must-read (or listen):
Absolutely mind-blowing this book was written in 1997. It basically predicted the future and the coming of Bitcoin, censorship, our digital lives and more. Get this book to help you navigate the future.
Saifedean takes a fascinating look at the consequences of voluntary free market money through his grasp of technological possibilities as well as historical facts about monetary progress.
Bitcoin, by challenging one of government's most hallowed privileges, is shifting sovereignty away from governments and toward individuals, offering us a revolutionary insight into a world where money is totally divorced from politics.
The Dip –
A great short book by Seth Godin. A short truthful book about the struggle you will face when doing any creative endeavor and why most never achieve anything of real value because they don’t work to get past the dip. How long does it take to get past the dip? It's unknown, it took me 5 years.
The audio version of this is great. It statistically shows in part how the millennial generation got screwed over by the poor parenting of the boomer generation as well as the dire failing and poor choices made by this generation.
A book on central banking, a second look at the Federal Reserve (that's not federal and has no reserves lol) and a theory of how it was secretly formed in 1910 by a group of powerful men and the societal decay that we're seeing today.
This books teaches you how female behavior is and how to act accordingly. There are two books by Rollo, The Rational Male and his follow up, Preventative Medicine. I found that latter to be an excellent read.
5 - Buy Bitcoin
I'm good at seeing where things are going and making the correct moves. I run an online business and live abroad in Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia.
10+ years ago people thought I was crazy and that I was going to fall behind everyone else who was getting married and buying a house. Now, fast forward, I'm in a good, enviable position where I have a life of freedom, choice, and access to attractive women.
So buy Bitcoin.
I'm usually right about these things.
I'm not saying you have to throw your life savings into BTC. But you should aim to own at least 0.1 BTC (I would suggest anyone reading this to try to get to 0.3 BTC) right now that's locked away in a wallet you control (not your keys, not your coins).
In 5-10 years it may very well be a medium of exchange and a unit of account. At worst, it will be a store of value, a bank in the sky that can't be inflated away.
Bitcoin is the invention of money
Gold became money because it was selected as such from the open market. No company, country, or council of elders decided gold was money.
Gold started off as a store of value, then it became a unit of exchange, and then finally a unit of account. Paper money we use was built off this.
Money is a weird thing the more you think about it.
Money is our economic energy.
Money is this base layer of cooperation or goods and services and serves as a way for us to secure our future when we are no longer able to work.
Money has an emergent property where people self select what money is. It was gold previously; it probably will be Bitcoin in the future.
We live in a digital age and need a digital money. Not shiny yellow rocks dug out of the ground from expensive and polluting gold mines.
A digital money that is produced from time and energy. Your work requires your time and energy; shouldn't the money you earn be made from the same thing?
Just like how English is the lingua franca instead of Esperanto, which was a top down solution. Once you realize top down solution don't work for money, you'll understand that Bitcoin may very well be inevitable because it has all the properties people seek in money like gold, but better.
Sign up and start buying BTC.
6 - Be a playboy for a few years, then settle down
This may be controversial, but being a playboy in your 30s for a few years I think is a good thing because you then will see that other side of women you did not see when you're a useless 20-year-old.
The cheating, the one-night stands, the fact that many girls maintain a rotation of men they see, girls who just want a FWB setup. The stories I have are crazy and fun, I may very well write a book on it.
Unless you're some young 6,4 Chad, most guys are probably like me. I didn't grow into an attractive man until I hit my 30s like I stated at the beginning and was in general quite naive and clueless about women.
As such, I did not have a lot of experience with women. What a good woman is, what a bad woman is, acceptable and unacceptable behavior. How to have and set boundaries. How a lot of women move in the world.
Most importantly though, once you do become a guy in that top 20% your scarcity mindset will die off. This is why you need to be a playboy for a bit so you operate with women from a position of abundance.
That way, you don't have to tolerate low-quality women or bad behavior, have boundaries, self-respect, and move in a masculine way feminine women want, need, and find attractive.
So when do you meet that rare girl worthy of commitment, you can be the man she needs you to be and you'll be ready to invite her into your life. You'll also be ready to settle down because you've had enough experience with women.
As opposed to being some goofy, out-of-shape boomer simp leaving comments on working girls' IG posts about how they're a "goddess" with a bunch of emojis like these men:
Pick the right girl but only when it’s the right time.
Marriage is not for everyone; children are a vibe too. But the player lifestyle I discussed above is good for a few years to help you catch up with your social skills and sexual experience to be on par with the average girl you're dealing with.
It's not a forever strategy.
You don't want to make "getting da girls" your identity. You should have more important things to do and you want to cash out of the proverbial casino with the right girl and start a family.
You're not going to be young forever so you do need to think about what the latter half of your life looks like.
7 - Don't F Up
Crass I know, but my final tidbit is don't fuck up. Too many guys I see do something stupid in their 20s that ruin their life.
Getting a girl pregnant, having a criminal record, going into massive debt for a degree. Falling into some life-altering accident. Getting into a bar fight.
Your job is to not F up your life in a way where you can't come back from it.
Alright, that's it for my high-level guide on how to set yourself up for success in your 30's.
Hopefully, you found it helpful.
I don't expect everyone to agree with everything. But I hope you got some good ideas to execute going forward.