Using the 5/25 Rule to Learn to Say “No”

When I was 12 I was obsessed with a book on my parents’ shelf. “Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No.” A pop psychology book from the 70’s all about sex.

I would pretend to be sick. Stay home from school. Read the book over and over again, fascinated by the stories.

Too bad I didn’t learn anything from it.


Yes #1:

I wish I had never started a business, to be honest.

Here’s the results of my first business:

  • My partners (one sister, one brother in law) no longer speak to me.
  • I lost all the money I made from that business.
  • I gave up on my dreams of launching a TV show. I was in the middle of pitching two shows to HBO at the time I left to do my own business.
  • I gave up on dreams of writing a novel.
  • I stopped sleeping from 1995 to 2010. 15 years of little to no sleep. My brain is now damaged.

I learned fear, hate, anxiety, stress and poverty from that first business. I wish I hadn’t said “Yes” to it.

 

Yes #2:

I wish I never started in the financial industry. I ran a hedge fund for many years. I have nothing really to show for it. I learned a lot about business.

But I also gave up on doing what I was good at. I was good at building websites.

I started my first fund around 2003, after being a solid day trader for the prior two years.

I read 200 books on finance, I wrote software modeling the markets, I started networking with other hedge fund managers, I started writing about finance.

I really became an expert in the entire field of trading and stock markets, etc.

You know what… Wall Street is mostly BS and a scam. I really despise almost everyone in that industry.

Whereas when I finally started building websites for people again, in 2006, I quickly got over a million users a month on the first site I released to the public. And I sold it a few months later.

I wish I had said, “No” four years earlier.

 

Yes #3:

Then I wanted to be on TV.

Every time CNBC called I would say “yes”. I would drop everything, and sometimes travel 70 miles so I can go on TV for three minutes.

Here’s what would happen.

I’d be sitting next to the anchor. She’d stare at her notes until 5 seconds before we were going live.

She’d say (It was always a “she”), “How do I say your name again?”

I’d look at her and say, “I’ll… touch… her. But fast. I’ll-touch-her”. And the she’d still be laughing when we’d go live.

I went on twice a week for years. Each three minute visit was about five hours door to door including preparation. So about 1500-2000 hours of wasted time because I couldn’t say “No.”

Here’s the only thing I learned about news TV. “All we are trying to do is fill the space between commercials,” one major news producer told me.


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I said “No” to something this week.

I started taking DJ classes a few weeks ago. I really wanted to learn.

But then I thought of the 5/25 rule that Warren Buffett talks about.

What are the top 25 things you want to do in life?

DJ-ing, believe it or not, is IN my top 25. I love the music.

Warren Buffett then says, “now take the top 5 and separate it from the bottom 20. And never look at the bottom 20 again.

Because you love those 20. But it’s BECAUSE you love them that they will always distract from the top 5 that you SUPER love.

I super love Writing. Podcasting. Comedy. My family. And the remaining businesses that I’m still involved in.

My top 5.

That’s all I want to say “yes” to. So I said “no” to the classes.


I said “yes” to a girl once when I was much younger. It took me years and scars all over me to finally say “no” to her.

I said “yes” to being on a board of directors once because of greed and money. The business failed and the lawsuit has finally ended after years.

I said “yes” to buying a house. Twice. I lost everything on those.

I said “yes” to 5,000 coffees to just “meet and greet”. 4,950 of them I wish I had stayed home and read and written.

I said “yes” to a publisher to writing a book I didn’t want to write. I was flattered to be asked so I did it. That book sold 300 copies and took a year out of my life.

“Yes” steals years of your life. You never get them back. “No” adds years.

This moment I have 248,433 unread emails. I’ve started saying “no” to emails.

I don’t read the newspaper. I don’t vote. I don’t rent (I just Airbnb). I don’t pay any bills (since Airbnb is my only bill). I don’t spend time with toxic people.

I don’t have health insurance (too complicated to figure out). I don’t go to weddings. I don’t really speak at many conferences.

Over the years I said yes to buying many things. Books, art, games, collectibles, sheets, furniture, on and on. I wasted Yesses.

I finally said no to all the things. I cleaned out. I don’t want my children to have to inherit a bad “yes.”

I have no regrets. Because everything I said “yes” to turned out to be a lesson about “no.”

“No” is how you whittle down and sculpt yourself into a work of art. “Yes” is how burn up and burn out.

Do I want to hit publish on this post?

Yes.

What’s your 5/25? Comment Below…


Related reading: How the Power of No Saved My Life

  • Thomas Dotson

    I am 63 years of age and have only begun to understand the power of NO. Anyone who reads and absorbs this post can add immeasurable freedom to their life.

    • Thomas, it’s time to get those years back! What is you top 5?

    • Good on you Thomas, and good on me too… same age, same enlightenment. It’s nothing short of bloody wonderful.

  • I have practised this now for a while. Still getting hang of it! Experimenting with different ways of saying no, you know, practising empathy at the same time and all that. @James, how do you usually say NO?

  • Stimpy

    Worst advice ever — not having health insurance. No insurance, no annual checkup?
    Google DRE. It might save you from a disease that has no symptoms until it is stage 4.

    • Nomad

      I should have said ‘no’ to googling “DRE”… https://www.google.com/search?q=DRE&oq=DRE&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i65&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

      • Stimpy

        You can thank me later. Wasn’t there a rapper named Dr DRE?

    • nicogranelli

      He say no to health insurance here, but he talks a lot about having good physical health (at least in the book I’m reading). Maybe he was talking about the financial part of health.

  • wehhehehe

    Good advices which are hard to practice. At least, at first you feel you are a rude person when you say no. But indeed, it’s the best way to save your time. Time is the only resource which becomes less with every second passed and there’s no way to increase the time you have left.
    So my advice is, similar to James’, to practice to say no. I also try my best to do so.

  • disqus_9gNPDqErUE

    I only came across James and this blog yesterday after listening to the Tim Ferriss interview. I thoroughly enjoyed and more importantly learned from interview and this blog. I couldn’t agree more ….I have actually been giving this subject a lot of thought recently and then I came across this blog.

    There isn’t necessarily a right a wrong in this and you don’t have to say ‘no’ …you can keep saying yes, however, upon reflection the pointless yes’s have resulted in much time wasted ….ultimately quality comes from being selective in all spheres of life.

    Great Blog James
    Q

  • Nancy Stalker Swett

    Have said a few ill-advised yesses, too, and been distracted by the bottom 20. You’re an inspiration, thank you! Rock on.

  • Graeme Hughes

    One caveat – sometimes saying “yes”, even when you want to say “no”, is what introduces you to new ideas and new experiences that make your life much richer. Missing out would be a shame.

    • ObscurelyAgnostic

      I hate it when ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are both the right answers :)

    • Ejaz Mohammed

      It’s this very pursuit of “new ideas” and “new experiences” that has led to the misery that James is talking about. You are still stuck in “Yes” mode Graeme.

      • Graeme Hughes

        Like most things on the net, this post is a little glib. James’ idea of giving yourself permission to say “no” is right-on, but if you fall in to the habit of saying “no” all the time, you’re going to have a boring, self-centred, possibly empty life. If you don’t see value in new ideas and experiences, you may already be there, Ejaz.

        • airheart

          I see your point there. I think that’s why he was talking about 5/25 though, because that allows for some things that are good to say yes to.

        • Ejaz Mohammed

          You just repeated yourself Graeme. The article suggests 5 new shots out of 25. Don’t you see the benefit of a focused approach amidst all the noise of ‘new’ opportunities ?

  • This was me, said yes many times to folks who just wanted to take, take, take! Now I am learning to say No. No to annoying phone calls about partners whom I gave advice on years ago, No to silly gossip, No to stupid tv shows and No to my darling toddler when she wants me to jump up and down for the umpteenth time! :-)

  • ObscurelyAgnostic

    “…everything I said ‘yes’ to turned out to be a lesson about ‘no’.”
    I’m going to use this in a sermon someday soon!

    • Sam Browne

      For the love of god, say no to Jesus.

      • ObscurelyAgnostic

        How can we say ‘no’ to the new and true way of being human that Jesus’ teachings show us? or do you mean say ‘no’ to his divinity?

      • airheart

        For the love of science, say no to God! Your post made me smile.

  • megaman25

    I really wish I had said no to a lot of things in my adult life. Currently working on reversing (or at least trying to) those “yes” to make them into a “no”.
    Some are working out, others…. I’m hoping they will.

  • Paul King

    people who have even one or two things kind of amaze me .. I can’t even think of one. I walk the beach – sometimes 2 times a day. That’s awesome. I drink beverages (adult) and chill out at places. I go to church on Sunday. I’m not retired, but I can’t think of 25 things, much less 5, that are at the “top” of the list .. whatever list that is … I exist … that’s all … oh, sure, when I wrote songs with Grammy winners I wanted to be a writer … when I ran that one business I wanted to … who cares. Right now, I want to get my guy elected to Congress. Suppose that’s #1. But anything about me … well. Good for those people.

  • Hunter Armstrong

    I like how noone below has given their top 5, myself included. Are we all afraid to think about it and even more so, act on it? I’ll be the first to admit, I am. Who’s with me?

    • nicogranelli

      I’m still writing the top 25 (at 16 right now). I promise I will reply again when I figure out my top 5. Would you too?

      • Hunter Armstrong

        Absolutely, as I’m narrowing down in my mind what those would be. It became evident this year that a lack of focus can stifle forward progress in ANY direction. On the contrary, I chose to narrow my sport focus almost exclusively on mountain bike racing this season (didn’t snowboard or wakeboard), and it has taken me to the National level in less than 1 year. Mountain biking. That is ONE of my top 5, and this, I can say is certain.

  • Ken_Long

    Yes is an adventure. Sometimes it’s great like a book you cant put down, sometimes it’s horrible like being involved in someone else’s neurosis or compulsion. But after it’s all done and you’ve recuperated it’s an experience.
    No is seclusion, respite, time to recharge. Sometimes it’s necessary, but sometimes you miss out on all the fun, and after you’ve recuperated you wish you had had the adventure.
    I love both, and need both.

    • Perrier & a Joint

      “Adventure is just hardship with an inflated sense of self” :)

      I think the lesson is that saying yes to others is not necessarily saying yes to yourself.

      • Ken_Long

        I guess that depends on how you view self and others. Often saying yes to others gets you out of yourself and into something new.
        I think the trick is not getting trapped by the responsibilities and expectations and obligations of self or others, and simply accepting them, or not. And working with those decisions to live and create whatever the current life and dream are within your means. Not that one cant change and expand their means, but that is one of the challenges and decisions we get to make.
        The real truth here is choice and decision. We get to choose yes or no. We get to weight the pros and cons, and we have to live with the results. And we can change our course at almost any time provided we still have enough time, energy, and money to do it.

  • Yinka Taiwo

    I am always blessed by your post. I have also said many yeses that had landed me in trouble, Now I am learning to say No. I said No to a friend yesterday and was so angry at me, but I stuck to my ground.

  • 1. My 6th Business (this is the ONE)
    2. My Family (the people who are always waiting for me when I return home)
    3. The Cheeky Gang (my close group of friends)
    4. The Drums (in the ZONE)
    NOTE: No 1 is a bit cheeky isn’t it! Trouble is I love YES. Yes opens everything – especially minds. I’m often saying no when I say yes.

  • Flora Guttierez

    The story about your interviews on CNBC being filler was hilarious. How is AirBnB not several times more expensive than renting?

  • Hedge

    This could be the wisest thing I have ever read.

  • Mitchell Jarmell

    James. Thanks, again, for your posts. I love them, they make me think, they bring me happiness. I want you to know that.

  • Peter Hermann

    Really well done. Not all of Your sophisticated elaborates are to understand. But this one is really helpful for mankind. Will think about it and the adaptation to my ons situation. Then will come back and tell about the cnsequences.

  • Neil Winward

    James – you are an iconoclast. I love that about you. Some of the things you write, I love. I love decluttering – but I could never go as far as far as Airbnb for a whole lifestyle. We had a bad Airbnb experience. The last one we will have. I get great psychic benefits from some things. It used to be cars and a nice house. Not any more. Travel clothes and shoes are great – suits not so much anymore, except when it’s colder. Skiing is amazing on a powder day. Golf is amazing when I play well but less predictable than skiing. I love watching my kids evolve into adults and figure out the world. It is satisfying when they seek my advice, assimilate and then improve upon it. I love my wife of almost 29 years. I am impressed she is reinventing herself with an MPH. I feel like I am 25 with 55 years of experience. Maybe I will do better this time around. Do or not do, don’t try. I disagree with a lot of what you say, but that’s fine – the rest is great. I admire the way you put yourself out there. I imagine its cathartic. Carry on.

  • dashama

    I love this article James! :D Thank you for your love of writing, it helps so many. Namaste

  • Isabella

    Beautiful piece, as usual! my “Yesses”: photography, writing,painting,reading, travelling (not necessarily in the same orderI). But I will have to wait until February to make space for all the 5. Now I am training my patience. Thank you James. Please keep writing.

  • Leigh Reedy

    Instantly of my 25, was my longing to “kiss you back”, Dear James.
    In my old age innocence, I somehow feel I could kiss away any negativity in your life & replace it with quiet wonder of a young child.
    I have read some of your writings expressing your desire to simply kiss someone.
    I must spend more time figuring out my other 24, but if we met on a busy, rainy street crossing, I would hold up traffic, gently grab your coat sleeve, & either kiss your world into “sunshine & flowers”, …
    Or watch you say to my hopeful eyes…
    “NO.”

  • Tim Werner

    If less is more, than nothing is everything… I’ve ever wanted.
    If you’re out on a date, it’s quite alright to ask her…
    “When you say no, do you really mean yes?”

  • msmerlin

    I really love your posts. I always learn something profound.

  • 1A. To produce THE premier Yoga / Bodywork / Whole Health Training for Therapists on Earth.

    1B. To be a positive influence on the restoration of the nearly defunct American Pre-Constitutional (Anti-Federalist) Republic & Free Enterprise system under Natural Rights & Common Law.

    2. To be an expert on International Geo-Political Economics and prevention of crony-corporatist, centralized intervention in such affairs. Roll back of the New World Order and ALL associated political, economic & social interventions worldwide.

    3. Be a positive force in reigniting the moral foundations of Western Civilization and restore pre-Constitutional society in America.

    4. Support the return to Radical DE-Centralization of ALL economic, political & social trends in America, including reduction to an absolute minimum of any centralized state functions. Devolve EVERY possible institution to local, free-market forces.

    5. Be a positive force in resolving the Schism in Male / Female relationships, roll back the Marxian / Platonic drive to destroy the bonds between men & women and the family.

    6. Roll back the centralized, crony-corporatist, anti-market, medical and agricultural monopolies — and the anti-CO2 scam — that are eroding the health & wealth of humanity and killing a whole lot of people in the process.

    7. Go out to arm-in-arm romantic dancing several times per week. Preferably with the SAME woman every time.

    OK! That’s EIGHT out of 25. (Even though first two are of equal importance.) But it would take me a LOT longer to come up with the rest of the 25, IF there even are that many for me.

    Fortunately, several of them can be easily wrapped together, bringing the total down to five.

  • Reija JB

    I absolutely love this post! Thanks for sharing! It was very refreshing and just what I needed to read today. :)

  • Michael Adewunmi

    Thanks for writing this. Thanks. It got me thinking really hard. Thanks a lot.

  • Mel Kimsey

    Yes are the things that give you something to write about. Noes are writing about what you missed out on.
    Yes is swinging the bat at night. No is saying “who cares ” and watching TV instead. We read you in part because of your yeses, not in spite of them. You incite thought, so thank you for your old yeses and your knew noes.

  • kdsays

    Love this column! So refreshingly honest. Glad I sad YES to reading it. Love the 5/25 rule! Thank you.

  • msschwartz

    This is a good one and has me making the list. Oh, and it was neat running into you @ The Crosby Hotel. The timing was perfect!

  • Vicki Suiter

    I think the universe (or God?) sends us little messages at just the right time… your post was my “message” this week! For the past two weeks i have been contemplating what I really need to say no to in my work and my life. My life is now more than half way over, and i’m beginning to realize more and more that my time is precious, and I want to spend it only on this things that, as you say, are in my top 5. Thank you James for the “message.” :-)

  • Saying no often is huge time saver. I came across the idea of saying no to save time while reading the book “Productivity” by Daniel Cerescu. After wasting almost 15 years of my life saying yes mostly to TV, not having enough sleep everyday, not reading even one book per year for years, etc.

    Now, in my late forties, I read almost one book per week and try try to write a few hundred words per day. I even wrote a blog post about how to find time to read by saying no more often. You can have a look at it here, if you are struggling to find time to read or do other important things that you have always wanted to do – http://futureleadersreadandwrite.com/blog-post-content-type/find-time-to-read-by-saying-no/

  • Andrea

    Spectacular post. Thank you very much. No is scary, especially for women to say, on so many levels. It’s less scary when you understand what you value, which takes a long time to figure out, mostly through improperly given yesses. Finding one’s bliss is a tough, tough journey, filled with missteps. (But, viewed another way, it is simply life.) I enjoy your posts.They feel like cold water in the face. In a good way.

  • Albert M

    You wrote in the September report:

    “…And I am grateful I am writing this newsletter and the messages I receive from many of the readers. These interactions are very special to me.”

    Today you write:

    This moment I have 248,433 unread emails. I’ve started saying “no” to emails.

    I sent you an email yesterday, to add to the 250,000 unread emails (I don’t blame you), but I did not know that at the time. Perhaps you read some of these comments. This is what I wrote:

    “You inspired an idea, a humongous idea, and an idea that is totally altruistic, in that it is too big for me to ever implement or have any say in it, but it could move a continent and radically change the lives of children for generations to come. I put the idea into a slideshare after I listened to a podcast in which your guest mentioned the slideshare website.

    http://www.slideshare.net/bastiatcapital/invigorate-africa

  • Ken_Long

    I liked this article the first time I read it and I still do. There are times when I wish I had said no, and times when I wish I had said yes. These choices were life changing, life deciding, they are what created my life, and I had a great time, I cant honestly say that they were wrong. I dont really know how things would have been if I had taken a different path, I can only imagine it.

    • Ken_Long

      The real truth here is choice and decision. We get to choose yes or no. We get to weight the pros and cons, and we have to live with the results. And we can change our course at almost any time provided we have enough time, energy, and money to do it. And it doesnt always take a lot, just enough to break away and survive without coming crawling back. This is all part of the adventure that is life.

  • Franziska Walser

    I dont agree with this statements, its too short thought. Sometimes it is just important to step outside of the own perception and think about the people that surrounds us. Sometimes, there are things that arent important to us, but could mean the world for the other person. Even though it could result in a time consuming ‘Yes’ for oneself. Whats so wrong about it, to make another person happy? Things get a meaning when a person can act on something thats bigger then her oder himself and sometimes suffering is just a part of it. When time is dedicated to other people or real social issues that can be tackled down, it is never wasted time. Indulging in a ecocentric view on the world and the environment is in my opinion wasted time.

  • Laura Hoffman

    This is great! It takes discernment to
    Find your true North. I love this post.

  • matt ledding

    No.

  • Sheri Levenstein Conaway

    Great post! I spent over 30 years in a career I hated before finally saying no and moving on to do what I love. I’m happier and less stressed, if less able to buy all of the “things” I used to to fill in the empty spaces.

  • Robert Dugan

    James,
    I LOVE how transparent and, indeed, vulnerable you are with your stories. That gives me encouragement and solice and hope that I can still do something meaningful and profitable with my crazy life!

    So, THANK YOU!
    Robert

  • Jay D

    Hmm…if you had not said ‘yes’ so many times, you wouldn’t have so many life experiences (topics) about which to write.

  • Vida Wright

    I love this blog. It is so eye-opening. Learning to say NO is one of the most valuable lessons in life. As always, thank you James for sharing your thoughts!

  • Rohit Vaishnav

    Health, Continuous learning, family, happiness, to start own business/company

  • airheart

    I’ve started to say NO to bargains that aren’t really bargains, to food that’s really bad for me, and I said NO to cable and television years ago. That particular no has given me hours of time to use every day for other things, like talking to my spouse, doing art, and working on my websites.

  • disqus_Nai37JgpQj

    My first of five is to get millions of signatures on my change.org petition to let me know that I’ve done everything I can to help myself; and maybe kept one person from experiencing what I did.

    http://chn.ge/1fhM4si

    Second, continue to get up every day, walk outside, prepare good food, find some peace, handle all required/and only required paperwork-everything else, throw out, sleep at 10, and up at 7, even if still awake at 3am-and no naps.

    Third, eliminate all unused household and clothing items, sell my home and move to cool climate near beach, to benefit my health.

    Fourth, be healthy enough to have a dog again to have longer walks on a beach, and less medication, being careful to continue medical appointments as required; and live in a home rental, with fenced yard, that allows dogs.

    And fifth and final, find meaningful work that I can have from home, hopefully communication consulting, online using Skyp, for those who want and would benefit from insight and experience in speaking and working with other professionals; work that I loved when I had my own business-this time I’d like to work for a business with great entrepreneurial spirit.

    If I can focus my days, my time, my thoughts on these five areas I believe I will be able to have good people again in my life-it isn’t possible now, but it may be.
    Meg

  • Robby Bonfire

    Top-5: Good health, +++ money and power and the social and political contacts that go with that;

    Girls, girls, girls – since I am a happily unmarried man;

    Travel the world – mostly on luxury cruises;

    And good food and drink – the best in the world.

    Also culture, as in patronizing the finest ballet and opera houses in the world.

    And finally, as regards the money and making lots of it – winning at investing in commodities and futures, and beating the crap out of the rancid-personality, baseball cap on backwards jerks who think they can beat me at Texas Hold’em.

  • Richard Lynch

    I love writing like you James. People say my stories are absurd or too extreme. They just don’t understand. I’ve already finished two stories, one story which I wrote 3 times because the first was written on paper and got thrown away, the second time an external hard drive holding all my stories was destroyed while I was caught in a storm while out at sea. My family wishes I would publish more, but no matter how good any of my books are I only see flaws. I also want to achieve my childhood dream of creating a video game that uses artificial intelligence to teach foreign languages. Most consider this dream silly. I haven’t mastered any languages. This reality could change the world, but I’m lazy. I draw pictures and have met most of the musicians I fancied as a kid. I just beat the Vice President of Meyers Corporation in a lawsuit. She wanted my mother’s life insurance money after she died and my step dad changed the policy to his The V.P. before he murdered her, they even back dated the date to make the change seem less suspicious. Every attorney in Jacksonville said we would lose. We were a waste of their time. I didn’t care. Even the pro bono attorney tried to trick us into giving her all the money. I left the military, it bored me anyway. I took some college classes, researched and represented myself. She told us we should give up because we will never win, we will only be stuck paying the court cost and her attorney fees. I argued because I’m stubborn, one of the few things I’m good at. She lost. I won and gave all the money to other family members. Now I’m bored. Maybe I’ll write another book.

  • erica

    Good points, with one point I really disagree with. If you are not voting, you are free riding. You are taking for granted a system that allows you to do the five things you love. To think you can just operate without giving something back to the system that allows you to pursue your loves…I’ll just say, you lost my respect there.

  • Jarrett

    Excellent James! Any smart person can see the value in this article; I will have to separate my 5 from the 20.

  • Such an amazing post. Simple. Raw. Honest. Love all of your writing (almost as much as i love your podcasts). The power of no is truly transformational but we never get encouraged to do it.

  • Maarten van Heek

    I can relate. And I am learning. But it will take a while before I will finally manage to say ‘no’ properly.

  • Hey, today while driving I thought of the 5/25 rule you have mentioned in one of your previous posts and was thinking that it is about time to apply it in my life too. And now here it is again. This is a sign! You finally won’t take the DJing classes? It is ok at least we all learned about the DJ strategy we sometimes need to apply in our lifes.

  • Jesusico Demi Mare

    Awesome blogging James. I ignore if you already done so but reading Epictetus´ The Enchiridion suits you well. ; )

  • Kimbra Champagne

    Mr Altucher ,
    No?…Thank you……
    I’m going to go breath now……
    Many thanks
    KC

  • Kathy Laudenback Laidlaw

    Incredibly timely advice. Thank you! I’m now armed and dangerous with “No’s” :)

  • James Buechler

    I’ve been coming up with my 5/25 list again and again and again. Such an interesting exercise. Here I am again under the Starbucks umbrella in Austin working on my list.

  • Alisha Peck

    Home
    Writing
    Music
    Internet
    Every thing I create in my head
    This will change when I can leave my job and breathe. When I move I I’m quitting. My job is killing me

  • Victor Wilburn

    Saying..no is freedom. Set me free from many years with toxic people who happened to be relatives. Now I work for myself, only on my schedule and say no..alot. Definitely wish I had figured this out 10 years ago…but right now is best time in my life for freedom and being wealthy in terms of my..time.