I Gave Away $2M and I Wasn't Happy... Ep 424

Summary Notes


In a reflective discussion, Alex Hormozi delves into the pursuit of meaning versus happiness in life and business, drawing from his personal experiences and profound conversations with Dr. John Berardi, a successful entrepreneur. Hormozi challenges the traditional quest for meaning, suggesting that by seeking fulfillment in work or philanthropy, such as his own donation of $2 million and fitness bands to underprivileged kids, we may inadvertently create a 'deficiency' that hinders true satisfaction. Through his narrative, Hormozi advocates for a shift in focus towards living in alignment with one's values, rather than chasing an abstract sense of meaning. He also touches on the transient nature of legacy and wealth, emphasizing the importance of skill in wealth acquisition and utilization. Hormozi concludes by aligning his personal philosophy with the mission of Acquisition.com, to aid entrepreneurs in their growth without commercial incentives, offering his book "100 Million Dollar Offers" at minimal cost to ensure accessibility.

Summary Notes

The Pursuit of Meaning and Fulfillment

  • Speaker A reflects on the evolution of their goals, moving from business success to seeking meaning or fulfillment.
  • They express a desire to keep their communication authentic and share real experiences with their audience.

"I created another happiness placeholder, right, which I now call it meaning or fulfillment."

This quote highlights Speaker A's shift in focus from achieving business milestones to seeking deeper satisfaction in life.

Philanthropy and Its Impact on Happiness

  • Speaker A discusses their philanthropic efforts, including a significant donation to After School All Stars and providing fitness bands to underprivileged children.
  • They candidly share that despite these actions, the expected increase in personal happiness was not as significant as anticipated.

"I gave away $2 million personally donated to after school all stars in the form of cash and actual physical products... And I can truthfully tell you that when I did that, I did it because I wanted to feel better. And I can tell you now that it didn't actually make me feel that much better."

This quote reveals Speaker A's motivation for donating was to feel better, but the outcome did not meet their expectations, prompting a discussion on the true sources of fulfillment.

Business as a Game and Sharing Lessons

  • Speaker B views business as a strategic game and has created a podcast to share their journey and lessons learned.
  • They express a desire to help others grow their businesses and potentially collaborate with their company.

"The wealthiest people in the world see business as a game. This podcast, the game, is my attempt at documenting the lessons I've learned on my way to building acquisition.com into a billion dollar portfolio."

This quote indicates Speaker B's approach to business and their intention to document and share their experiences to assist others in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

The Influence of Dr. John Barardi's Conversations

  • Speaker A shares insights from conversations with Dr. John Barardi, who sold his company for a significant amount and is currently inactive in business.
  • Two key statements from Barardi stuck with Speaker A, including the concept of consuming content from people outside of "the Matrix" and the importance of operating from a different energy level.

"And there were two statements that he made through that 4 hours that have stuck with me since then, and one from the former conversation that I had with him that really kind of changed my life and my outlook."

This quote underscores the profound impact that Dr. Barardi's perspectives have had on Speaker A's life philosophy and approach to content consumption.

Creating and Destroying Meaning in Work

  • Speaker A asks Dr. Barardi about the process of creating and destroying meaning in work after achieving financial success.
  • The conversation highlights the ongoing search for purpose and significance in professional endeavors.

"I said, now that you've made what you have, you made your exit. I was like, how do you create and destroy meaning? And he was like, that's an interesting question. And I was like, in work, like, how do you create and destroy meaning in the things that you work on?"

This quote captures Speaker A's curiosity about managing a sense of purpose in work post-success and the complexities involved in finding and maintaining meaning.

Personal Quest for Meaning and the Challenge of Acceptance

  • The speaker reflects on a conversation that challenged the necessity of finding meaning in work and life.
  • The questioning of inherent beliefs about life needing to be meaningful reveals a potential trap of creating a deficit between reality and expectations.
  • The speaker recalls a quote from Orson Scott Card about unquestioned beliefs shaping our worldview and influencing our behavior.
  • The speaker shares a personal anecdote about a past relationship with someone obsessed with happiness, leading to their own mantra of rejecting the pursuit of happiness to find joy.
  • The speaker discusses the concept of creating "happiness placeholders" like meaning or fulfillment, which may lead to feelings of deficiency when life does not meet these expectations.

"And he was like, why do you think work needs to be meaningful? I was like, like, okay. And this is why I love talking to people who are outside of the matrix, right? There's just so much perspective."

This quote highlights the speaker's realization that questioning the need for meaningful work can offer new perspectives on life and our approach to it.

"So if you say that life has to be meaningful, then what happens is you create this desire, right? That life must be a certain way, which means we're not accepting life as it currently is."

The speaker identifies the potential issue with insisting on a meaningful life: it can prevent acceptance of life as it is and create a sense of lack or deficiency.

"We question all of our beliefs, except for those that we truly believe and those we never think to question at all."

The quote from Orson Scott Card, which the speaker takes to heart, suggests that the most deeply held beliefs often go unexamined, yet they govern much of our behavior and perceptions.

"I must create meaning. Work should be meaningful. But by creating that, I end up creating an equation of deficiency, which then ends up making or forcing myself to not experience that."

Here, the speaker expresses the paradox of striving for meaning: the very act of seeking it can lead to a feeling of deficiency, which undermines the experience of meaning itself.

The Pursuit of Happiness and Its Pitfalls

  • The speaker's past experience with a partner fixated on happiness and positive psychology led to frustration with the constant analysis of happiness.
  • Adopting a mantra of indifference towards happiness ("fuck happiness") paradoxically led to experiencing more joy.
  • The speaker reflects on how success in business led to substituting happiness with meaning or fulfillment, creating a similar cycle of deficiency.
  • The speaker questions the assumption that actions like donating money should inherently feel good and the implications of not feeling as expected.

"So, when I was in college, I dated a girl who was really, really obsessed with happiness... But at the time, she was really into happiness and positive psychology."

This quote introduces the speaker's college girlfriend whose obsession with happiness influenced their own perspective on the subject.

"I got so frustrated with it, I got so in my head about, like, happiness, happiness, happiness, that I remember that I gave myself the mantra, fuck happiness."

The speaker's frustration with the constant pursuit of happiness led to adopting a counter-mantra, which ironically resulted in experiencing more genuine joy.

"I created another happiness placeholder, right, which I now called meaning or fulfillment. And by doing that, I created yet another equation of deficiency in my own life."

The speaker acknowledges that replacing the pursuit of happiness with the pursuit of meaning or fulfillment can lead to the same feeling of deficiency they sought to escape.

"But for me, what ends up happening is, like, if I go donate all this money and I feel nothing, I feel like I failed, right?"

The speaker questions the expectation that certain actions, like donating money, should automatically elicit positive feelings, and the implications of not feeling as expected.

Acceptance of Reality and Meaning

  • Embracing the present and accepting reality as it is can lead to reduced anxiety and a more enjoyable process.
  • Striving for meaning can create a sense of deficiency and a negative experience if there is a gap between current reality and desired meaning.
  • Focusing on values rather than the pursuit of meaning can provide a sense of freedom and alignment in actions.

"And by accepting it as currently is, I do not have a deficiency that I must resolve between where I am and where I think it should be."

This quote emphasizes the speaker's realization that accepting reality as it is eliminates the perceived gap between current circumstances and expectations, reducing the feeling of deficiency.

"And so simply focusing on the work at hand and doing it well according to my values, which is whether this is meaningful or not, the way that I choose to live is according to these values..."

The speaker highlights the importance of focusing on the present task and aligning actions with personal values rather than constantly seeking meaning, which can lead to a more fulfilling experience.

The Role of Values in Guiding Actions

  • Aligning actions with personal values can lead to a more satisfying and present-focused life.
  • Values serve as a guide for behavior and decisions, providing a framework for living that is independent of external validation or meaning.
  • Living according to one's values can be more liberating than pursuing happiness or meaning.

"I'm able to walk with the values that I choose rather than try and pursue meaning in and of itself, which created a deficit between where I was and where I wanted to go, which created a negative experience."

This quote conveys the speaker's shift from chasing meaning to living by chosen values, which has eliminated the negative experience of feeling a deficit between their current state and their aspirations.

Impact of Sharing and Word of Mouth

  • The growth of the podcast is attributed to word of mouth and the speaker encourages listeners to share it with others.
  • No advertisements, sponsorships, or sales are involved in the podcast, emphasizing a community-driven approach to spreading content.

"The only way this grows is through word of mouth. And so I don't run ads, I don't do sponsorships, I don't sell anything."

The speaker is explaining the organic growth strategy of the podcast, relying on listeners to share and recommend it to others instead of using paid advertising or sponsorships.

Reflections on Entrepreneurship and Personal Alignment

  • The speaker reflects on their experiences as an entrepreneur and the lack of additional meaning found in giving away money.
  • Creating content and engaging in business activities that align with personal values is highlighted as fulfilling.
  • The speaker acknowledges that their perspective might differ from others' beliefs and does not intend to offend anyone.

"I can tell you that I got no more meaning from giving lots of money away at all. And just thinking about taking the actions that I am taking with the intention of being in alignment with the values that I find meaningful has been the thing that has been truly freeing for me mentally."

Here, the speaker shares a personal insight that simply giving money away did not provide them with more meaning, and that aligning actions with personal values has been mentally liberating.

"I make this channel because it feels in alignment with my values. I wrote the book and the books because they're in alignment with my, you know, buildingacquisition.com."

This quote demonstrates how the speaker's actions, such as creating a channel and writing books, are driven by a desire to be in harmony with their values, rather than seeking external validation or meaning.

Legacy and Wealth Inheritance

  • The speaker believes that legacy is a myth and that inheriting wealth can be detrimental.
  • They compare wealth to a magic card called "Burning Wish," emphasizing the importance of having the skill to wield wealth.
  • The speaker and their partner, Leila, have decided not to leave their wealth to children, but to donate it instead.
  • They argue that over many generations, the connection to descendants dilutes, making legacy less significant.
  • The speaker expresses the idea that nothing inherently has meaning, which allows for the creation or destruction of meaning.

"And so when the idea of taking money and then having my kids then have something, I think that ruins people." This quote highlights the speaker's belief that simply passing on wealth to children without teaching them how to acquire and manage it can be harmful.

"I think wealth without the skill of acquiring the wealth is like my favorite magic card of all time, my jake the gathering. There's a card called burning Wish. The flavor text on the card is, she wished for a weapon, but for not the skill to wield it." The speaker uses the "Burning Wish" card as a metaphor for the idea that wealth is powerful but potentially dangerous if one does not have the skill to manage it properly.

"Leila and I already decided, and we signed our will. When we did that, I realized that we don't have kids. And everything that I've amassed and what's probably going to become a pretty big fortune when we die, I'm just donating anyways because I believe that even if I did have kids, one, I wouldn't give it to him." This quote reveals the personal decision of the speaker and their partner to donate their wealth instead of leaving it to children, reflecting their beliefs about legacy and the potential negative impact of inherited wealth.

"100 generations from now, you're diluting your gene pool. 100 multiplied, like, factored, right? And so it's like cutting by half, cutting by half, cutting by half, cutting by half times 100, right?" The speaker discusses the concept of genetic dilution over many generations, questioning the importance of legacy when the biological connection to future descendants becomes negligible.

"But more importantly, to rise above meaning and say, why am I saying that things should or should not be meaningful? And answering and examining that question has been very valuable for me as an entrepreneur." The speaker reflects on the philosophical question of why certain things are deemed meaningful and how this introspection has been beneficial in their entrepreneurial journey.

Alignment with Personal Values and Entrepreneurship

  • The speaker finds it more useful to focus on actions that align with personal values rather than seeking meaning in everything.
  • They emphasize that actions aligned with values are inherently meaningful to them.
  • The speaker introduces themselves as Alex Ramosi and mentions their business achievements.
  • Alex Ramosi's goal with Acquisition.com is to help entrepreneurs achieve financial freedom.
  • They provide resources like courses and books at minimal cost to assist entrepreneurs and potentially invest in successful businesses.

"Am I doing things that are in alignment with my values? And those values, to me, are meaningful in and of themselves." This quote emphasizes the speaker's focus on acting in accordance with personal values, which they find intrinsically meaningful.

"My name is Alex Ramosi. We got a portfolio of companies that do about $85 million a year. I have absolutely nothing to sell you." Alex Ramosi introduces himself and his business credentials, noting that his intention is not to sell anything but to provide assistance to other entrepreneurs.

"My goal with Acquisition.com is to help entrepreneurs build their businesses and get financial freedom." Alex Ramosi states the purpose of Acquisition.com, which is to support entrepreneurs in growing their businesses and achieving financial independence.

"The way that we structured everything is I give away everything. So the courses, the books, this book you can get for $0.99." Alex Ramosi explains that his approach involves providing valuable resources to entrepreneurs at little to no cost, demonstrating a commitment to helping others without seeking profit from these materials.

"This is the first of a big series of volumes that I'm making of the real stuff that actually helped us build these companies, and then with the hopes that we can help invest in some of the bigger ones that succeed using those materials." The speaker discusses their plan to create a series of volumes based on practical knowledge and experiences that contributed to their success, with the intention of possibly investing in businesses that benefit from this guidance.

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