Forget #YOLO. Think #WOLO.

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Assuming you haven’t been living in a wifi-less cave for the last 5 years, you’ve probably heard of the hashag #YOLO. The phrase “You Only Live Once” reigns supreme as the de-facto excuse to do reckless things. Why?

‘Cause life is short, FUCK consequences!

And when applied to spending, this lets us satiate our shopping urges by giving our credit card a Jillian Michaels’ style workout. After all, life is short, and what better way to enjoy it than to “Treat Yo Self”!


But what if I told you don’t have to live just once? What if I told you can live seven, eight, and even nine lives, each one more fulfilling than the last?

How would you feel about #YOLO then?

Sure, #YOLO gives you an instant burst of happiness, allowing you buy that fancy car, that shiny purse, or that ridiculously cute, yet horrifying abomination known as a “Chinchilla” that you somehow all of a sudden decided you just can’t live without.

Screw you, REGINALD. Screw you in your adorable, adorable face. (photo credit: Filipe Ramos@Flickr)

But what it’s actually doing is allowing you to blow your cash on silly things without any long-term payoffs. And in doing so, shortening your life span.

#YOLO is about short-term happiness instead of long-term freedom. #YOLO assumes life is short and bleak, forcing you to constantly reward yourself in order to tolerate your short, stress-filled life. #YOLO reminds you that you only live once and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Take my friend, Kyle, for instance. Kyle is THE poster child for #YOLO. In fact, I’ve seen drug addicts go longer without a heroine fix, than Kyle without saying “YOLO!”

You see, Kyle has a 6-figure job that he absolutely hates because his boss never lets him stop working. So to make up for it, Kyle buys $900 Moose Knuckle Jackets, $1000/night beachside Miami vacations, and a $500,000 Condo. He’s over the moon when his friends coo over his fly threads, his roof top infinity pool, and his “I totally met Vanilla Ice on vacation” stories. But reality soon hits. The trendy jacket is quickly replaced by the next big thing; the vacation ends in a week, and he gets an assessment for $20,000 to fix the leaky windows in his Condo, forcing him to work even longer at the job he hates.

Kyle’s happiness lasted less than a week before going right back to the level of happiness he had before. He bought into #YOLO but in the end, it didn’t amount to anything.

Is #YOLO really worth it? Wouldn’t you rather have something better? Something that lasts more than a week?

Forget about #YOLO. Instead, let me introduce you to:


#WOLO stands for “Why Only Live Once?” and it lets you completely redefine your life.

#WOLO lets you live multiple fulfilling lives instead of a single materialistic one.

#WOLO lets you choose what to do with your life instead of being told what to do. #WOLO lets you create multiple lives by becoming FI.

It takes 7 years to master a skill. 

So how many skills can you master in your lifetime?

How much could you accomplish if you had the time to master all those things? You’d have seven lives instead of one!

Take me as an example. Instead of buying “nice” things because #YOLO!, I decided to put the money towards creating my seven lives. This has allowed me to learn something new every 7 years.

From traveling the world, to learning how to Scuba, to writing a children’s book, I’ve been living these amazing, fulfilling lives, and it’s made all the difference. These amazing past few months of Financial Independence have felt like YEARS, instead of the meaningless ten that flew by when I was working.

That’s what happens when use your money to generate more lives, rather than just living the only life you’ve been given.

And you don’t have to be a genius either. Heck, I made it through engineering by the skin of my teeth, and I know you’re probably smarter than me, so chances are you can do it too.

Spend one life learning how to play the guitar. Spend another skydiving. Or start your own business. The possibilities are endless when you have multiple fulfilling lives.

So, now that we know what #WOLO is, how do we get there?

Instead of thinking, “Why not indulge? You live only once”. Think “Why live only once when I can be happy forever by making my money work for me.”

Instead of wasting money on one short life, put it towards your seven lives.

The money regenerates via dividends/income, and you use it to create multiple fulfilling lives.

So, now that you know how to #WOLO, tell me: what will you do with your extra lives?



photo: Filipe Ramos @Flickr

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12 thoughts on “Forget #YOLO. Think #WOLO.”

  1. Just continuing to read through this website. There is something that still confuses me about the “millennial” way of doing things. I am in my mid forties and grew up in the 70s and 80s. When I was out of undergrad I went travelling. I spent my 20s doing what you are doing, however I did it with a backpack, slept in parks, hitch hiked where I could and the “mantra” was try not to work, because work is bad. Live free or die I believe was the slogan back then (is still the state slogan for New Hampshire). Living free did not involve working.

    The plan was spend my youth world-travelling, come back to Canada, work and purchase a few houses, stash a portfolio full of stuff that pays me money, and retire early. It looks like that is exactly what I am going to do. The backpacking opens your eyes, and then you don’t need to work for people (I run businesses).

    With your generation, it is like you have this deep seated uneasiness. You cannot just “get out there” you have to either own houses in your 20s or have million dollar portfolios. THEN you can relax and travel and open yourselves up a bit.

    I don’t understand it. Maybe you all need to read Jack Kerouac. It is not necessary to be wealthy before you travel and why would anyone in their right mind want to own a house in their 20s?

    At any rate this is a very interesting web site. Tells me how much I still don’t understand about the generation that came after me.

    1. Millennials are more “uneasy” as you put it because job stability is, unfortunately, not what it used to be. It’s so easy to outsource jobs and many of them are also being replaced by machines. That’s the reality of the world now, so I think my generation feels like we need to have more safety nets in place before we can take it easy. Also, we’re being pressured to buy houses because our parents got lucky with rising housing prices, so that doesn’t help our stress either.

      Good for you for living your life to the fullest! I always admire people who have the guts to live their dreams and start their own businesses.

      1. True. However your parents didn’t own a house did they? And didn’t you guys work in the tech industry (ie, where jobs are falling from the sky like raindrops in a thunderstorm?)

        That is the odd thing I’m talking about. Two tech trained millennials, both of whom could have their pick of jobs whenever they like, feel it necessary to obtain a seven figure portfolio and retire before they can live their lives.

        It makes no sense. With me, there were no jobs in my field anyway. But I just built and ran businesses. I’d do that any day before trying to work for someone. I would be very uneasy letting another person be in charge of whether or not I get paid.

        At any rate nice job on the portfolio and enjoy early retirement!

        1. Thanks! And our parents do own houses (mine took a while to get there, since we were quite poor when we first came to Canada). Hence the constant pressure to buy a house.

          Congrats on running a successful business! It takes a lot of balls to be able to do that and not many have the guts to do it.

          1. Ahhh Ok that makes more sense. The issue with the parents is also an odd one. For me, I bought three houses because I had the cash and I figured some day two of them would be worth something (and I like gardening, the third was for me, it has an awesome garden in the back, really large). I can’t imagine my parents trying to force me to buy a house. I don’t imagine they’d care if I decided to live in a cardboard box under the Gardiner.

            The hardest thing about running a business is the taxes. Basically you start out, and if you’re successful (like I was) then you create this wonderful cash machine and as long as you keep putting your back into it and making it work, it pours money into your bank accounts in a way you have really never experienced before. So you spend it, of course.

            Then around February the following year, you go see an accountant and drop off all your receipts and invoices and all the rest in a banker’s box and three weeks later you find out you owe $40,000 in income tax.

            Following that, I became really, really good at tax planning. Most salaried employees have no idea how much the government is really taking from you. Run a business and you will know. There are no source deductions for businesses and the first year, there are no installments. So you get to see first hand how much they actually take, because it is all due, in one large payment, the following April.

            At any rate have fun with your travels. I am spending another year in freezing cold Ontario. Maybe next year I’ll shut down these businesses and call it quits. It becomes personal and it’s hard to do. But I do remember traveling and backpacking very fondly from my 20s.

            1. “Most salaried employees have no idea how much the government is really taking from you.”

              This is SO true. The employee gets screwed the most when it comes to taxation. When I was an employee, I used to pay 22% taxes (and that was after maxing out RRSP). This year I only paid 2% tax!

              Thanks! We are really loving the nomadic lifestyle. Since you have so much experience running a successful business and tax planning, if you can somehow figure out how to run your business remotely or move it online, you can travel while running your business. Win-win!

              1. True. Eventually I may do that.

                Re: taxes: the first world is set up for rich folk and run by rich folk, for the benefit of rich folk. The middle class work, for the benefit of the rich, who do not. Our tax systems are designed so that wealthy people do not have to pay income tax. This is of course because our governments are run by the children of the wealthy, who make decisions which are designed to benefit the social class that they come from.

                The interesting thing is that when you have a look at these tax laws, they make no sense. You have to look at them from the perspective of someone who has millions of dollars, does not work, and derives their income off of investments only. Then they make a lot of sense. The tax code is designed to off load any income tax burden that the wealthy may face, onto the middle class workers.

                Of course you guys have figured out how to benefit from this. Don’t work. Earn your money off capital gains and dividends and distributions (like the wealthy do).

  2. @ace I think our generation is extremely risk averse overall. We tend to plan for the worst and hope for the best. After seeing some of our peers make one misstep (ie: over borrowing for school/picking the wrong major) and ruining their lives in the short term or permanently, I know I personally want to have alot of room for error. I know I’m going to make mistakes in the future. I want to create a vehicle that can withstand my inevitable setbacks. TLDR it’s about risk mitigation more than anything for me personally.

  3. WOLO! Love it! That is the reason I am pursuing FI. My attention span is really short and I need the freedom to reinvent myself and learn new things. FI is flexibility. I can relate to your friend who spends money to decompress from a stressful job. My job is well paid but extremely stressful. I spend money going out to eat and treating myself to deal. The spending is not that much though to change the job.

  4. According to Glaswell, it takes 10,000 hours to master something. So being in a rush to do anything is pointless going by the 10,000 hour-rule. Slow down.

    If it was there in 2015, it will be there in 2020, 2021, and 2022.

    Figure out what makes you happy and finds ways to do that. And if yous should just so happen to get paid for it, that’s the cherry on top!

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