Under the Radar

266: The Middle Path


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development. I'm Marco Arment. And I'm David Smith. Under the Radar is usually not longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:10   So today I wanted to talk about the, I guess, in my mind I started to think of it as like the middle path or kind of, and I mean that in the sense of, as a business, I think, you know, Marco and I, we both have these businesses that started out and largely are just like one person things.

00:00:28   And this could be, you know, I think if you wanted to generalize it, it's that kind of the concept of the very small business, like rather than the small business, this is the very small business that it's either one person, two people, something along those lines.

00:00:40   And there are some benefits, there are some wonderful things about being a business that that's, you know, that size, that that's small. We both love it. I think, you know, been doing this bit that way for 13 years.

00:00:52   But I think as a result of being in that place, there is definitely some times in the back of your mind, there's this, this sort of like this, this pull this thought that like, hmm, where does it go from here?

00:01:04   And like, what could that look like? What would that benefit be? And I was recently reminded of this sort of this tension that I feel when I was listening to a recent episode of Thoroughly Considered, which is a great sort of podcast on here on Real AFM, where Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt, who are the people behind Studio Neat

00:01:21   talked to Mike Hurley about their business, and they have a sort of an indie business, but not they do some software products, but mostly they make physical products, like they make awesome pens and notebooks and things like that. These are these tangible products that actually exist in the world.

00:01:38   And it was fascinating because they were talking about how they find themselves in this kind of awkward middle place between being the super small business and being a traditional small business where, you know, they're starting to get into paid acquisition. So they're, you know, doing Instagram ads and these kind of other ways to get people to be interested in their pens.

00:01:59   And then they now, which is great, but it means that they're now selling more pens. And if they sell more pens, they have to make more pens. And if they make more pens, they need people to make the pens. And previously, they've been making the pens, but now they need to hire someone who will make the pens.

00:02:12   And they're selling more pens, which is great, but their overheads are higher because they're paying someone to make the pens and they're paying Instagram to acquire the customer. And as long as you know, they're still making more money as a result, like they still have a margin there.

00:02:24   But all the margins and all the things change when you start to shift your business in that direction, that it isn't just the two of them, you know, like once a week, they just sit down and make the pens together. And then like, that's it for that, you know, there's no sort of additional cost beyond that.

00:02:40   And they're kind of finding that I think it's this really interesting tension between, it's almost like there's this like snapping function where, on the one hand, you would sort of like it's easy to stay small, like very small to be a very small business and to stay there because

00:02:57   there are so many advantages sort of structurally to that, that you have all these benefits of having no overhead by being completely in control, having decisions being straightforward by not having any kind of overheads that you have to think about that are you know, beyond just like the money overhead, but just in general and cognitively, it's so much simpler.

00:03:15   Or you end up as like a traditional small business, which is going to be like 10 to 15 to 20 people, you're going to have like payroll and you're going to have benefits and you're going to have to think about employee like growth and you know, development and all of the various things like you start having office space because you these people need places to go like it, there's all these questions that start happening.

00:03:37   And I think what was fascinating to hear in them and this is something that I as I think about this in my own business and kind of where I would go is, it's like there's it just snaps one way or the other that you stay where you are as a very small business and take the kind of difficulties of that or you snap up and suddenly like, Oh, it's not just only hire one person, because once you hire one person, it's very quickly seems to push you in a direction of hiring multiple people.

00:04:01   But like when you start hiring multiple people, then you start to get into like just traditional business that this is the like, you know, if you went to it, did any MBA or did any listen, watch any like business YouTube video or anything like these very standard rules and processes and things that are like known to work, that don't really work or like apply when you're just a very small business, but apply very well.

00:04:24   And you have to sort of educate yourself on like there where they were talking about how, you know, they were talking to a business consultant, and they said that typically, if you hire someone you can expect, like the best you can typically expect is to get like 20% return on that person's cost, you know, so essentially, it's like 120, like they were really return 120% of the cost that they that they that they you know, that they have to you.

00:04:48   It's just like a general rule of thumb. And it's like, conceptually, that makes a lot of sense to me that like, if you had, you know, if you hire a person that it's not like, you know, if I went from just me to one other person, it isn't that we get double the kind of productivity, benefit, income, general, everything doubles. It's like, it clearly doesn't work that way. Because that's just not how businesses generally work that if you you add one person, it's you start to get this marginal return.

00:05:13   But anyway, so just like this fascinating thing that I think we both find ourselves in where we're both, you know, very, you know, for these very small businesses, essentially, when people burn person, I mean, I have people who help with bits and parts, like I have an accountant who does my accounting and tax filing for me, which is, you know, a form of hiring, and I have a designer who does some of the icon work that I do on a freelance basis for me.

00:05:36   But you know, it's not something that is committed and ongoing and, you know, sort of stable in that way. And I have someone who helps me with help desk sometimes and like, that's great as well. But it's, it's a different, it's not like the core part of the business that is being scaled up.

00:05:50   And so anyway, it's something that I think about a lot that, you know, would I ever want to go down that road? And if on the scarier part, it's like, if I went down that road, what would be the first step on that path? Because knowing that it's very quickly going to probably expand out of just one step and quickly become 20, 30, 40 steps down the road.

00:06:05   Where it's a very different business that I'm running.

00:06:08   You know, I've often thought like, you know, am I being basically, am I being a fool here for not expanding my business when I have the chance to? At most times in my businesses, I've made enough profit from them that I can theoretically hire a person or two if I really wanted to.

00:06:29   But usually I don't because, you know, first of all, I treat all iOS app money as temporary. And I think I should probably save as much of this as I can because it can go away at any moment because that's true.

00:06:42   So part of it is I don't want to spend the money on an employee. The bigger part of it is I historically have not really been great at being a boss, being a manager. It's just not among my skill set.

00:06:53   And it's also not something that I enjoy doing. I'm very awkward about it and not very confident in my skills in that area.

00:07:03   And so, and then finally, I'm also a control freak. You know, I've been spoiled by being able to do everything myself and being able to make all the decisions myself.

00:07:11   And so I don't want to give up control and delegate responsibility to other people if I can help it.

00:07:17   But I've often thought like, am I, you know, long term, am I going to look back on this time and say, man, I wish I would have tried to expand my business more because I missed huge opportunities.

00:07:27   And I've often thought like, you know, what would I hire for first? Where am I lacking? Where would I really benefit from somebody beyond just like supporting roles?

00:07:38   Like, you know, like as you mentioned, yeah, an accountant does my taxes for me. That's kind of a, you know, supporting role for the business, not really core to what we're doing here.

00:07:46   Things like answering support tickets, or, you know, support email. That's kind of core to the business, but it's also something that's fairly easily outsourced to somebody in a way that you don't have to do a ton of management.

00:08:00   So I'm talking about like working on the actual like core product or core business mechanics in some way. A programmer, a designer, somebody to do like your app store marketing, like that kind of stuff.

00:08:13   That is core to the business. In the past, I used to think that I would really benefit from a designer. And while that is still true, I don't think I needed as much as I used to, in part because my own skills have gotten better and in part because the system-wide default UI controls and default conventions that I've been able to use have gotten better as we talked in the past about things like SF Symbols and the new fonts and everything.

00:08:41   It's gotten really good. System colors, like there's so much now that we get for free design-wise that I think the need for a designer for small operations like ours is greatly reduced from where it was five or ten years ago.

00:08:54   And I've often thought where I would probably benefit most from another hire would be on the kind of promotional side. So kind of basically a marketing person. Somebody who would manage my app store assets, the screenshots, do a video promotion, run the social media accounts, design different engagement techniques and retention improvements.

00:09:23   And maybe start doing promotional notifications and run the directory and run promotional stuff there. That kind of person. App store optimization techniques, any kind of A/B testing, optimizing the paywall for conversions. That's where I actually need the help.

00:09:42   And I frankly don't really think I need another programmer. I could get more coding done, surely. I could definitely get more done if I had another programmer. But I think if you are a programmer and you hire a second programmer, what you're doing there is increasing the amount of that person coordination overhead that you're going to have to deal with because you're both doing the same thing on the same code base.

00:10:05   Whereas if you're a programmer, hiring somebody who's not a programmer is doing a better job of covering skills you probably don't have or skills that you're pretty weak on. And for me that's certainly the case.

00:10:15   The original reason I wanted to hire a designer was I didn't have design skills worth anything. Now I have some design skills. And so I feel like I can get away with that. But I don't have any skills in terms of marketing, optimization, running my search ads and stuff.

00:10:35   I don't have any of those skills, really. I do an okay job of it, but I think that's where I would have the most opportunity for growth because I look around at other apps that do well, that get a lot of installations, get a lot of customers and retain them and spam them with notifications and all that stuff.

00:10:53   And what I see is not necessarily nicely designed apps. I see nicely marketed apps and nicely sold apps and apps that have really good effective sales funnels and all that stuff that I really am not good at. People who know how to use data, you know, because I never do.

00:11:13   That kind of stuff, I feel like that's where I would see the most benefit. And because it wouldn't overlap a ton with my main work on the app, like my coding work, obviously there would be some changes to the app that this person would either do themselves or would direct me to do to help them do their job better.

00:11:31   But that I think would be where I would see the most benefit, would be that kind of higher. But even then, I worry. I mean, look, I already worry enough. Am I spending enough on ads? Am I promoting my app enough?

00:11:44   And I look around at the market and I see, like, you know, it turns out, like, Overcast numbers have been a little bit down since December. And that's a little unusual for this time of year.

00:11:54   I normally don't have this kind of seasonal dip. But my theory is that Overcast numbers historically have gone down whenever people don't go to work.

00:12:05   I think I had a larger than expected number of users who worked tech jobs in Silicon Valley. Because as soon as those massive job cuts hit, you know, over the last few months, that corresponds directly to when my numbers started sagging.

00:12:19   And, you know, that's my problem to deal with. But so because of that, I've been focused more on, like, all right, let's see what I can do to boost growth here.

00:12:25   Like, I bought, I've increased my search ad spend because, first of all, that's one of the only places I have to, you know, get more installations and stuff is paid installs, which sucks.

00:12:37   I hate having to do it. But it turns out because of the economic downturn and everything, search ads are cheaper than they used to be because fewer people are buying them.

00:12:45   That's what, you know, it's hurting the other areas of my business because my own ad rates are cheaper than they used to be. But, you know, it is, it's a benefit there.

00:12:54   But as I'm managing all that, I'm like, should I really be the person doing this? Like, wouldn't it be more effective if I hired somebody whose sole job was to boost my usage and sales?

00:13:07   Like, that's your sole job is, you know, do stuff that I either can't or won't do or I'm not very good at and boost sales and go out there and increase, you know, do whatever it takes to optimize my ad copy, you know, run promos, whatever it is, you know, growth hack my app.

00:13:25   And I hate having to say it like that, but that's really what I'm looking for. But, again, I think, what would it cost me to do that?

00:13:33   And, you know, both in terms of the direct monetary cost of paying this person and also funding whatever they would tell me to do, like, you know, buying more ads or whatever.

00:13:42   But then also, like, the overhead involved in managing a more than one person operation is so different from when you're working by yourself. It's radically different.

00:13:54   I don't know if I'm ready for that. I don't know if I want that. Like, I don't know if that's the lifestyle I want, you know, once I start doing that. Maybe it would be much simpler than I expect. I don't know.

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00:15:39   Yeah, and I think there's such this feeling of, I guess, opportunity, I think is the best word for so much of this. That it's this weird feeling of there's both the, are there opportunities that exist that would be tapped if I were a bigger business, if my business were a larger thing?

00:16:01   What would they be? What would that look like? And then I guess that's both the opportunity cost of that as well as just what doors would be open, what things might happen.

00:16:13   Then it's like, yes, it also is the tremendous opportunity to just be in this place that is the negative opportunity. Right now, there's not a lot of space, there's not a lot of opportunity for my business to get out of hand, for me to be unaware of what's going on, for things to be happening that I don't necessarily agree with or want or whatever.

00:16:35   And the business is so buttoned down and straightforward because it is so small that it's easy, it's straightforward, but it definitely is coming at a cost. And it's a weird thought that I have sometimes where I think of, if someone were to buy my apps, what would they do with them?

00:16:56   And it's like, generally speaking, I feel like, and sometimes there's things I think to learn from that exercise, because I suspect, you know, there's lots of opportunities that I'm not taking advantage of that they would, that the kind of company that would, you know, want to buy, you know, Widget Smith or pedometer plus plus or sleep plus plus or one of these things like, you know, either, it's like they would be looking, the reason they would be buying is because they thought it would be worth more to them than it would it is to me.

00:17:20   Right, like that's fundamentally the nature of what an acquisition would be based on. And I think, you know, other than the kind of like, they're buying it because it's some kind of complimentary thing, and it's more of an aqua hire, or they just want the technology, like that could be the case.

00:17:35   But otherwise, they could just look at what I'm doing and they'd be like, you know, like this fool doesn't know what he's doing. Like, oh, you know, if we if we got we got a hold of this app, we could do all kinds of things with it and, you know, take it in all kinds of different directions on the marketing side or like look at these screenshots, these screenshots are, you know,

00:17:49   are nowhere near optimal and could be, you know, I, you know, they could have a designer who's done this 100 times who, who makes some some really awesome screenshots or things that could, you know, have these incremental sort of gains to the business. But I think at the end, it's like, I find this really, the tension I find is in so much is this weird thing of, like, what is the actual goal of my business? Like, why do I do what I do? And you know, that becomes very personal and very kind of like philosophical. I think at some point,

00:18:18   but it really kind of ultimately is becoming those kind of questions like, do I want, you know, to be a business analyst and come into my app and treat it like I have an MBA? You know, I don't but if I did, like, I'm sure there are lots of things that you would do to the app that you would treat it in a different way. And like, sometimes I wish I was that person who would look at my app, like purely analytically and numerically, and it is just it's all spreadsheets all the way down. And that is, you know,

00:18:47   And that is the way that they would govern the business

00:18:50   and the way that they would do it.

00:18:52   And it's like well, if we could hire a marketer

00:18:54   and we could get back 20% of what it costs

00:18:57   to hire that marketer, then we should totally do that,

00:18:59   because we made 20% on that person.

00:19:02   And it becomes very analytical and straightforward.

00:19:04   And like oh, well, it's like well once we have three,

00:19:07   it's like oh, let's do that again and again.

00:19:09   And oh, well now we have a person we need to hire

00:19:11   in order to manage the people we hired.

00:19:12   It's like well that's great, it's fine.

00:19:14   Like they're all paying for themselves.

00:19:15   I guess like every fifth person,

00:19:17   you get a person free or whatever.

00:19:19   I don't know if that's how people work,

00:19:20   but it's like that's a different way of thinking,

00:19:24   but it's a very different goal.

00:19:26   It's like that's probably the goal that would extract

00:19:28   the most money out of the opportunities I have

00:19:33   and the apps that I have and their place in the app store

00:19:35   and all of those things.

00:19:36   But like ultimately, I do like 80% of this thought exercise

00:19:40   and I always end up at this place.

00:19:41   It's like yeah, but is that what I want to do?

00:19:45   Is that the business I want to have?

00:19:48   Is that what I want my life to look like?

00:19:50   That it's just about trying to get the maximum amount

00:19:53   of money possible from these things?

00:19:55   And then I just sort of end up like yeah, probably not.

00:19:58   And then move on.

00:20:00   But always in the back of my mind,

00:20:01   the thought of like yeah, so what you're doing,

00:20:03   you know is not optimal, that could be better,

00:20:05   but you're kind of just like,

00:20:06   and I hope it's not just laziness

00:20:08   that is preventing me from being optimal

00:20:10   in the sense of like I could do more.

00:20:11   I could do all these things.

00:20:12   Maybe if I just tried harder on my paywalls,

00:20:14   if I tried harder on my screenshots, I'd get better.

00:20:18   But I don't know if it's quite that straightforward.

00:20:22   - No, I mean, I think one of the greatest cultural flaws

00:20:27   that we have in at least American culture

00:20:33   is that we don't really have a concept of enough.

00:20:37   Like what's enough?

00:20:38   Like once your app is making enough,

00:20:41   and what that means varies for everybody.

00:20:45   There's so many dependent factors there of course.

00:20:47   But once you're making enough,

00:20:49   you get the luxury, if you reach this point,

00:20:53   of kind of deciding where to go from there.

00:20:56   And making decisions of like what kind of lifestyle

00:21:00   or what kind of life do I want,

00:21:02   and what choices can I make to either keep that

00:21:05   or get to that?

00:21:07   Once you will have enough, it might not be worth

00:21:11   changing your lifestyle in other negative ways

00:21:13   to get that incremental amount more.

00:21:16   And so if you are right now are making enough

00:21:20   by whatever that means to you,

00:21:22   and you like your lifestyle of working alone

00:21:25   and doing whatever you want and having full control

00:21:28   and having it be simpler and easier to manage,

00:21:30   yeah, you might be able to make more

00:21:33   if you started hiring people

00:21:35   and dramatically changed what your day-to-day life

00:21:39   actually looks like once you start managing people.

00:21:41   Yeah, you could make more.

00:21:42   But is that the life you actually want for yourself?

00:21:45   A lot of times people don't ask themselves that question

00:21:48   because the allure of more is so powerful

00:21:52   that you either don't have the luxury

00:21:54   to ask yourself that question,

00:21:55   or you don't think to ask yourself that question

00:21:57   because money tricks our brains.

00:21:59   It's like a drug to our brains.

00:22:01   And sometimes it's because it's necessary in your life.

00:22:04   But a lot of times, again, once you've reached

00:22:06   that point of enough, your brain often still treats money

00:22:09   as that kind of drug that you can't question.

00:22:12   Oh, of course, if you can make more,

00:22:14   why wouldn't you make more?

00:22:15   But there's lots of reasons why you wouldn't want

00:22:18   to make more if you actually think about it

00:22:20   and if you actually start running the scenario out of,

00:22:23   "Okay, well, if I hire somebody, then what happens?"

00:22:26   And then, "Oh, if I hire five people, then what happens?"

00:22:30   And, "What does my life look like if I go down that path?"

00:22:34   Or people often don't think like,

00:22:37   "This thing I'm thinking about doing or wanting to do,

00:22:40   "what happens if I succeed?

00:22:43   "What does my life look like if I succeed

00:22:45   "in doing what I am thinking about or attempting to do?"

00:22:48   And oftentimes, it's actually not something that you want,

00:22:51   or it's not a lifestyle that you want,

00:22:53   or it has all sorts of negative downsides

00:22:56   that you didn't really consider or adequately evaluate.

00:23:00   I look at people who make more money than me,

00:23:08   and I usually do not envy their lifestyle

00:23:11   because of what they have to do

00:23:13   to make that that much more money.

00:23:15   Usually, whatever they do in their day-to-day life

00:23:17   or the way they run their business

00:23:18   or the kind of business they have to run,

00:23:20   usually I look at that and I'm like,

00:23:21   "You know, that's fine for them.

00:23:24   "I don't want that.

00:23:25   "I don't want my life to be that,

00:23:26   "or I don't want my business or my company to be that.

00:23:29   "I wanna be able to sleep at night,

00:23:30   "and I'm fine with what I have."

00:23:32   And again, look, I know this is coming

00:23:35   from a position of privilege

00:23:36   'cause a lot of people can't make that choice

00:23:37   'cause what they have is not enough.

00:23:40   But once you reach that point where it is enough,

00:23:42   I feel like you get that luxury

00:23:44   of being able to make that choice.

00:23:44   And most people underthink that or under-consider that

00:23:48   or undervalue some of the niceness

00:23:50   of their current lifestyle when thinking about,

00:23:54   "Well, should I push more, and should I make these changes,

00:23:57   "or should I sacrifice in these other areas

00:23:59   "so I can make more?"

00:24:01   And I feel like it's worth stepping back a lot of times

00:24:04   and thinking, "What would that do if I succeeded in that?

00:24:08   "What would that do to my lifestyle?"

00:24:09   And for me, like you were saying a minute ago,

00:24:12   for me, I'm extremely happy running my business as myself.

00:24:17   I love doing it just myself,

00:24:20   and I love having full control over everything,

00:24:23   and I'm fortunate enough that it works out

00:24:25   that I don't need to hire more people to make enough.

00:24:29   But again, it is always tempting,

00:24:31   like these areas that I am not good at,

00:24:34   would I actually be happier not doing them

00:24:37   and leaving it to somebody else?

00:24:38   I don't know.

00:24:39   Sometimes the answer is yes.

00:24:40   Like in the case of having an accountant do my taxes,

00:24:42   that's a no-brainer.

00:24:43   I hate doing taxes.

00:24:44   I've done them before.

00:24:45   I hated it every time I did it.

00:24:46   So once I was able to, I hired it out,

00:24:49   and I've been happier as a result.

00:24:50   I can apply that same logic to lots of things.

00:24:53   I say, "Well, maybe I should just outsource X, Y, Z,

00:24:56   "thing I don't like doing about the app

00:24:57   "or thing I'm not good at about the app.

00:24:58   "Maybe I should just hire someone to do that,

00:25:00   "whether it's a contract-based thing or a full-time."

00:25:03   I mean, obviously there's very different levels

00:25:05   of complexity and cost there,

00:25:06   but maybe I should hire things out

00:25:08   in the same way I hired an accountant.

00:25:09   I don't know, but it's really unnerving

00:25:12   to think about giving up the lifestyle I have now

00:25:14   because I really like it,

00:25:15   and there's huge benefits of this lifestyle to me

00:25:18   that I want to protect.

00:25:20   - Yeah.

00:25:22   And I feel like it is one of these things

00:25:24   where I think I'm increasingly,

00:25:27   I don't know if that's how you would say it,

00:25:28   like I'm increasingly comfortable

00:25:30   that I will always be uncomfortable with this tension,

00:25:34   that there isn't a solution to find

00:25:38   in the middle of this, I think,

00:25:40   that if you can't have the benefits

00:25:42   of being a super small business,

00:25:45   that you have a lot of control,

00:25:47   that you can make choices based on values

00:25:50   rather than spreadsheets or be making those kind of choices

00:25:54   that are coming from potentially a place of,

00:25:56   sort of like, it's a bit privileged, yeah.

00:25:59   It's that sense of I can make the choice

00:26:01   that I think is best, not necessarily this choice

00:26:03   that is best for the business.

00:26:05   I always hear of that phrase,

00:26:09   maximizing shareholder value,

00:26:11   that it sounds like I never want to be a CEO of a company

00:26:14   where that's the thing that I'm supposed to be doing.

00:26:17   That sounds terrible, and I'm sure, obviously,

00:26:19   it's not quite as simple as that for a big company CEO,

00:26:22   but as a goal, as a value, as what I'm doing,

00:26:26   that sounds awful to be maximizing shareholder value.

00:26:28   And at a certain point, if my business were bigger,

00:26:31   that's what the business starts to kind of do,

00:26:33   because whatever you measure, whatever you keep score with,

00:26:37   is the thing that you're optimizing for.

00:26:38   And it's so easy to be optimizing that

00:26:41   for the revenue number or the profit number

00:26:45   or whatever those things are, like the user base,

00:26:47   the monthly active users, whatever it is,

00:26:49   that is something that is easy to optimize for

00:26:52   because it's the thing that is tangible and measurable.

00:26:55   You can't really measure how well-designed the app is

00:27:00   and get a score with that and hope for that,

00:27:02   see that score increasing over time,

00:27:05   that as I've gotten better at visual design

00:27:08   or accessibility or whatever aspect of my apps there is,

00:27:12   I think that's gotten better.

00:27:13   I have a pretty good sense

00:27:14   that that's gotten better over the years,

00:27:16   that it's not a number that I can just pull up

00:27:17   in a spreadsheet and say,

00:27:18   "My design score was six two years ago.

00:27:21   "Now it's seven and a half.

00:27:22   "Let's see if I can get it to eight and a half."

00:27:24   It just doesn't work that way.

00:27:25   And because it doesn't work that way,

00:27:26   I feel like it's so easy to ignore those

00:27:28   and only focus on the things that are tangible,

00:27:31   that are easy to count,

00:27:33   because once you can count it, then you can measure it.

00:27:35   And so, yeah, in the end, I feel like it's one

00:27:39   of these things that ultimately, the important thing is

00:27:41   to have a goal in mind and understand

00:27:44   that the approach you and I take to making software

00:27:48   and doing things is different than the approach

00:27:51   that you would want to take if you wanted

00:27:54   to have a big business with lots of people.

00:27:56   And potentially, it's like 10 times the revenue

00:27:59   with whatever, 20 times the people.

00:28:03   That could be great.

00:28:04   That could be beneficial for a lot of people

00:28:05   and be in a great situation,

00:28:07   but it also comes with a lot of costs.

00:28:09   And it's like, if you value that, if that's your goal,

00:28:10   like, awesome, go do that.

00:28:13   But I think, for you and I, it sounds like,

00:28:16   we're happy kind of snapping back to the other way

00:28:18   and keeping staying small and understanding.

00:28:20   We're giving up something for that,

00:28:21   but we're gaining something else, too.

00:28:23   And it's easy to sometimes be focused on what you've lost

00:28:26   rather than what you've gained, which is a natural thing,

00:28:29   but certainly a dangerous thing in this case.

00:28:31   - Yeah, and ultimately, your lifestyle and your happiness

00:28:34   and minimizing your stress and everything else,

00:28:37   that all has value in the same way money has value to you.

00:28:40   So once you have enough money,

00:28:42   then you can start optimizing for those other things

00:28:45   and make yourself happier and healthier

00:28:47   and make your life better, optimize for your family,

00:28:51   whatever you need to do, that all has great value.

00:28:53   And that's usually worth a lot more than making 20% more.

00:28:57   - Exactly.

00:28:59   - Thanks for listening, everybody,

00:29:00   and we'll talk to you in two weeks.

00:29:02   - Bye.

00:29:02   [ Silence ]