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My Biggest Rich Asshole Moment (plus, Lessons on How to Be Happy)

I’m going to tell you about a series of events that dramatically changed my life, including my BIGGEST asshole moment…

From this story, you’ll learn:

  • How to “test drive” your happiness — and general lessons on how to be happy
  • My BIGGEST asshole moment
  • How the “Test Shit Out” strategy changed my life
  • How to deal with mistakes
  • And much more

You can listen to the story in my podcast below. Or, you can scroll on to read the post.

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BONUS: Get my cheatsheet with 4 ways to be happier in life & biz

My Biggest Asshole Moment

The story starts in 2016, when I sold my beloved Mini Cooper aka “Blue Balls.” It kept breaking, so it was time for another car.

Seeing Blue Balls transition to the car graveyard was sad, but I was also excited to treat myself to something new.

I decided to buy myself a fancy-ass car. Why?


  • I’m 35 and I’ve never spent on “luxuries” before
  • The most money I’ve ever spent in a single purchase was on lasik eye surgery (or a new Touch Bar Macbook)
  • My entrepreneur friends love their cars and I wanted to know if an expensive car was worth it for me

I wore a fancy suit (my usual outfit is the same Myles shorts and Sumo t-shirt, e’ry day) and went to BMW, and Lexus, and Ferrari dealerships.

After test driving a bunch of snazzy cars — BMW M3, Lexus ISF 350… and sitting in a Ferrari (they wouldn’t let me drive it 😂) — we landed at the Jaguar dealership.

This is where I saw her.

“Hot Sauce” was a sexy-AF Jaguar F-Type convertible in orange. I took it out for a quick test drive the next day.

In love, I placed the order.

Meet Hot Sauce 🚗💨

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Immediately, I regretted my decision.

Impulse buying was my first mistake. Then, it got worse…

The $74,000 Jaguar Arrives

After 5 months of waiting, my baby “Hot Sauce” arrived.

Here’s the weird part: The immediate feeling that came over me was sadness.

Not elation.

Not “I can’t wait to tell my friends.”

Not feeling like I finally made it.

Just straight-up sadness.

To make matters worse, I quickly started acting like an asshole with my new car…

On day ONE of owning “Hot Sauce,” I SCREAMED at a lady because she caused a door ding.

In the midst of yelling, I had a realization this was not what I wanted in my life. And it was only the first damn day!

Even though the car looked cool, it felt more like a burden than the $73,000 machine I thought would give me immense joy.

Because of the amount of money I’d spent, I felt incredibly invested in making sure the car was always perfect. It made me realize that most rich assholes are just too protective of their stuff.

“Hot Sauce” wasn’t for me. And after paying more than $1,000/mo for the car payment a few months in a row, I needed to just see it gone. I just wanted it out of my life.

The happiest day of owning the car was the day I got rid of it — it was almost a best day ever.

My New Strategy: Test Stuff Out

Before I bought the Jag, I could have tested it out for a full day, in a few different situations, to see if I enjoyed it before I wasted $15,000 on payments for the damn thing.

Cars don’t matter to me, and I know this now. I wasted a ton of time, energy, and money to find that out.

The key is investing your time and money in the things that matter to you. 🔑

Life lesson time…

Instead of wasting money on stupid material possessions, you can put the money towards creating your perfect business (here are some ideas).

Or, you can take people you admire out to lunch to test the waters for a friendship (if you’re afraid to reach out, check out these cold email templates).

With the “Test Shit Out” strategy, the aim is to try before you buy. For example:

  • Rent your dream house before buying
  • Go on MANY dates with people before getting married
  • Hire someone as a consultant before you hire them full-time

When you test something out, you know how happy (or unhappy) something makes you before committing.

The Jaguar cost nearly 10x what I’d normally spend on a car. Did it make me 10x happier? Hell no. I could have found that out in a weekend by renting a Jaguar, rather than throwing months of time and cash down the drain.

Think about how you can test things out on a smaller basis before you commit to purchase.

Here’s a recent example of the “Test Shit Out” strategy in action from my own life: I was thinking about buying a condo, so I reached out to the realtor and asked if I could rent it before buying.

I ended up deciding not to buy the condo, because I didn’t enjoy renting it. Buying that condo could have been an even bigger, costlier mistake than the Jaguar if I didn’t test it out.

So why does all this matter? What are the biggest learnings you can take away from this story as you make decisions costing you either money or time?

If you want to learn more about how I’m making decisions after my rich jerk moment, check out the video below. Or, keep reading.

4 Lessons From Testing Stuff Out

1. Reduce the money, time, and energy you waste on things that don’t matter

We’re alive for a short period of time — my friend Neville even has a calendar counting down to his death. It’s important to reduce the time, money, and energy you waste on things that don’t matter.

I don’t enjoy long meetings, so I stopped wasting my time and energy on them. Now, I set agendas for everything and make sure every meeting in my calendar is going to be fulfilling.

Think about what you truly value and enjoy from life and try to optimize every day to be filled with the things and activities you enjoy the most.

2. Find the things that REALLY matter

By testing shit out you can find the things that really matter to you, and then spend your money on those things.

After my mistakes, I realized nice cars don’t matter to me. But good beds, books, and faster laptops do matter. I’ll spend as much money as I can on these important things.

Easy mantra to think about it: Spend your money where you spend your time.

Spend money where you spend time: How to be happy without material possessions

Click to tweet

If you’re unsure what matters to you, use the “Test Shit Out” strategy to uncover the things that truly bring value to your life.


If you’re buying something, especially if it’s something big or expensive, you should be excited.

If you’ve just brought a new house you should LOVE walking through the front door every single day. Or when you walk to your car you should be thinking “hot damn, that’s gorgeous.”

Once I finally got rid of the Jaguar, I ended up buying a 2004 Miata (named “Blanca”). Now, when I walk over to my car I love looking at it.

👋 Blanca #miata

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There should be a level of emotional gratification with every key part of your life: your partner, your house, your car, your latest hire…

If you’re not excited — and a bit nervous is OK, too — it might not be worth the cost.

4. Mistakes will always happen

Mistakes are unavoidable in life:

  • You’re gonna make bad hiring choices
  • You’re gonna make bad dating decisions
  • You’re gonna make stupid purchases

The key part of this is learning, and how you react to each mistake.

Buying the Jaguar for myself was a terrible idea. But, it helped me to realize what matters to me and how I can prioritize those areas of my life.

Instead of dwelling on mistakes, look at them as chances to learn.

So there you have it: my BIGGEST rich asshole moment.

BONUS: 4 ways to be happier in your life

Honestly, it was tough to open up about this. I felt embarrassed as I told the story about screaming at that poor lady over a stupid door ding. I shared because I think the lessons are incredibly valuable.

There’s something really rewarding about taking time to figure out what you want in life and taking the time to get it.

Ultimately, spend your money and your time on things that MATTER most to you.

Don’t be a jerk like I was. Test drive your happiness, and try things out before you commit for the long-term or buy.

Challenge: Tell me the last thing you regret doing. Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

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60 responses to “My Biggest Rich Asshole Moment (plus, Lessons on How to Be Happy)”

December 13, 2020 at 7:30 am

Experience is always the best teacher! Thanks for sharing your experience and feelings!

October 9, 2017 at 5:51 pm

Awesome story, Noah! I also got an F-type recently, but luckily I love it and I get a lot of joy out of driving it. But this could have happened to me as well… easily. It was definitely an impulse buy.

I also learned from owning my previous car to not be obsessed with taking perfect care of it, so when I scratched the Jag for the first time, I didn’t care as much as I did when I scratched my previous car.

I can especially relate to hiring people as consultants before getting them onboard as full-time employees. I had many hiring mistakes, but I learned a few things from all of them, so I try not to focus on the regret too much 🙂

Keep up the cool posts!

October 9, 2017 at 3:58 pm

I think you can spend on yourself or the things that you want without being an ‘asshole’.

Buying new stuff for yourself doesn’t make you an asshole but buying it cause your friends are getting it(peer pressure) leads you to those actions which make you an asshole.

A simple formula that I follow before getting something expensive’for myself is that I write down the reasons why I want it and if any of the reason looks like asshole reason such as cause that person has it so I should have it too or just to fit in the society then I probably won’t buy it but if the reason is that I have always imagined that once I have the money I will get this or that I will definitely buy it in a heartbeat.


June 29, 2017 at 10:56 am

Thanks for the NPR producer podcast. I am in the process of learning to create content when I randomly came across your podcast! Podcasts are a dime a dozen but I chose to listen to this because I listen to NPR, planet money, and I’m focused on learning how to tell a story. That podcast was a goldmine of information!!! I am always looking for differentiators and that is great stuff. Flipped over here from there and I can definitely tell you’ve applied what you learned from Nick. Clean, interesting, with sing posts and all!!! Good Job. Thanks for the content. I am working to use the story format in creating my first course. Now let me see if I can do the same with my content. Thanks. Oh, my car is an ’08 Toyota MR2 spyder with all the tags/emblems removed(previous owner). I have heard people talking about trying to figure out what it is. Fun.

May 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Hi Noah! Thanks for an interesting and helpful read. I was able to relate to this with regards to the condo situation – I wish we would have rented first. We found a 2-bedroom condo in a lovely area of Canada (the Okanagan), but the prices have exploded. While other friends are buying (even more expensive) houses, we thought we were doing well to buy a condo. But the truth is, it is still too expensive. With a baby and just one of us working at the moment, it is a lot of stress for steep payments. I think we will look to sell in the near future and perhaps move somewhere more affordable.. even if it isn’t quite as beautiful or ‘desirable’. Thanks again

Mary McD
May 2, 2017 at 8:26 am

I’ve been a fan of “only get what makes you happy” for a long time… I love the new-to-me 2014 Sentra I bought specifically b/c it had the bells and whistles I wanted for longer car rides…. don’t care about nuthin’ but the comfort.

What this DID remind me of, though, is the sense of entitlement we all have (like when you were in “your” parking lot) — I have that about public spaces, sometimes. I’m traveling 40+ weeks this year, so it’s more noticeable to me than usual as a result…

I’m really working hard to remember that the airport gate chairs are shared; that my space in line doesn’t change dramatically if someone cuts in 5-6 people in front; etc. I’ve never been one of those folks who stack their luggage in front of the chair next to ’em so someone doesn’t sit there; but now I welcome someone sitting down with a smile vs. subtly extending my elbow to show that I own that armrest, etc.

And the best part? It makes the traveling SO much nicer for both of us!! I Whenever someone is kicking the back of my airline seat, etc, I remind myself that “It’s a 2 hr flight. I can stand anything for a 2 hr flight” instead of turning around with a mad face to let them know that they’re disturbing me. And, interestingly, it usually stops within 20 mins. SO now, it’s just “suck it up for 20 mins and it’ll stop”, which is even EASIER to do! I also try and pray for the person who’s aggravating me, since it’s pretty much impossible to both be mad at someone and wish the best for them…

May 1, 2017 at 5:03 am

I think opening up like this was brilliant Noah. If 1,000 people have read this and received the learning from it all, then you have saved in total thousands of dollars in both cash/income and human hours.
My one thing… can you rent girlfriends/partners as I haven’t been going too well with that lately.
Please keep what you think are scary topics coming – that’s the sauce that separates you from others.

May 1, 2017 at 1:07 am

You Know what I love about this Blog ? Its how you take the real simple experiences relatable on a daily basis and turn them into Great lessons and make them about our choices.
This was a Great read, Thank You.

April 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do when my lease is up in August. Maybe I should get something cheaper and move farther away?

But after reading this post, I realized I love my apartment. I spend $1,500 on rent, but you know what? It takes me 15 minutes to walk to work. I can also walk to the downtown bars and meet up with friends in just a few minutes.

I hate commuting. I would go 1.5 hours each way when I was in DC. And dreaded it.

I also love being around friends, and being a part of all the action that downtown affords me.

So yeah I spend a good amount of money on my apartment, but I also spend a lot of time there. And I wake up and feel really grateful living there. So I’m sticking with my apartment. Thanks for sharing Noah.

Susan Lassiter-Lyons
April 29, 2017 at 11:59 am

Totally. I was part of a “coaching program” a few years ago that was really just a cult worshiping all things material. Everyone was buying Rolls Royce’s and Lambos and videoing themselves while driving like assholes. So, I bought a giant fancy house. That I had to furnish and make “smart.” One giant house and $200,000 later, I woke up and was like “WTF?” Did the work to discover what I truly want and discovered a giant fancy house ain’t it. So, I sold the house last week and now I’m in CA buying a much smaller, less expensive home and taking inventory of all the stuff I can sell/donate to truly downsize and lighten up. It feels great.

Romeo Jeremiah
April 28, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Ha. Man…I couldn’t imagine spending money as a millionaire. Seriously. I literally spend, at most, 40% of my existing salary. All else is saved and invested. At 36 years old, I’ve learned that more shit only equates to well…more shit. My car is a 2008 Acura TL that I bought used. I love the car and even though it’s approaching 140,000 miles, it’s in great condition and has the majority of the same bells and whistles as the newest replacement model. So, why should I drop $40k just because I have the money and can “afford” it?
Another quick story that happened today. Received a going away gift card from my team. It was $100. My initial thought was to use it to buy a $270 bottle of 18 year old single malt Scotch (Macallan). Then, I realized that no matter how tastey it may be, the 12 year old $40 bottle I usually get does the job just fine. So, I bought that, 3 bottles of carbonated flavored waters, and a grilled chicken sandwich from Chicfila. Ended up with a “net profit” of $50 after all was said in done.
Regardless of how much someone earns, they should always try to be good stewards of their dollars. Thanks for sharing.

Noah Kagan
April 30, 2017 at 10:49 am


SOOOOO true. I can never tell diff of more expensive bottles. I would disagree and say that Acuras are great cars!

Mike Wagner
April 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm

i felt exactly the same after buying my first supercar. Not only did it change me, it also changed my friends and there perception of me. some people didnt hang out with me any more.
i got “well i dont own a car like yours” or 1 of 10 million statements. After the new feeling wore off , the impractical set in..
i couldnt take it anywhere.. well with out having 9 million people surrounding it all the time,, some even getting in the car.. Strangers in parking lots! Long story short,, i drive a Dodge mini van 99% of the time,, i still have supercars, and several. they are eye candy “toys” which i collect, drive on a weekend when i remember i have them. But honestly i think we need to feel that “we finally made it” internally and a expensive car is usually what we reach for first.. good or bad, its a feeling of accomplishment for our sole.. well maybe a bit male ego to a little. but we need to feel that atleast once. we need to reward our self for hitting our goal.
every time i reach a goal, i try to reward myself, pat my self on the back for a job well done.. if we get turned off by that an refuse to feel accomplishment / happy feeling,, then goals / achievements would be meaningless. – Mike

April 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm

I loved this post. And I can relate. I have a business that is sorta working now (after many years of under-earning) and my accountant told me I needed to lease a car to cut my taxable income. It was a stretch for me to believe that, but I was really tired of the car I was driving. Interestingly, it was the Miata you have, but in baby blue and four years older.

(By the way, the reason I got tired of the car wasn’t that Miatas aren’t great, but that someone had slashed the top on two separate occasions. A slashed Miata top is a $1,200 event. Worse, I stupidly tried to save a few bucks by going aftermarket with the second replacement, but it worked so badly that I basically stopped putting the top down ever. Eventually, the pile-on of hassles, resentments and bad memories led me to loathe the fucking thing.)

And while I didn’t spring for a Jag, I did lease a new CX-5. Which is nice, but feels like more car than I need, and I feel like an idiot driving a big new car when I’d be perfectly happy with a “Mr. Money Mustache”-style beater.

I also agree with you completely on spending on laptops if that’s where you spend your day. Every laptop I’ve ever had for twenty years felt slow. Finally, for my newest one, I got a high-powered 17″ monster with a 4k screen. People may laugh but I’m in bliss. I’ve gone on to buy a 27″ 5k monitor for my desktop, which needs a special gaming card to drive (and I’m no gamer.) But yet again: bliss.

So yeah — cherish your weirdness, and invest disproportionally there. (And have the self-esteem to disinvest in the stuff you just don’t give a damn about.

Sorry, I guess I just mostly rephrased your post. But anyway, I can relate…thank you!

April 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm

What if I made the mistake of a wrong marriage already? Is it all lost now?

Cory House
April 28, 2017 at 12:49 pm

Great stuff Noah. I really appreciated the “Spend your money where you spend your time” quote. I, like you, happily spend money on a nice computer because I use it often. But I also happily pay people to do the things I don’t want to do like mow the yard, landscape, fix appliances, and so on.

Thus, an interesting offshoot occurred to me:

“Spend your money where you don’t want to spend your time”.

Noah Kagan
April 30, 2017 at 10:50 am

Love that line as well Cory.

Stephanie Katcher
April 28, 2017 at 10:21 am

For much of my life, I lived without regrets because each potential regret was a lesson. Now I’m old enough to say I have regrets, and the overarching lesson to each is that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. (Yeah, doesn’t sound so different, aside from the arrogance on my part.) But now I challenge myself a bit more to revisit past lessons, make sure there isn’t a pattern of destruction/ignorance starting to form. My favorite is realizing that someone tried to stop me/help/offer advice and I didn’t get it because I didn’t have enough perspective to put their words to use. Presumably, that’s why personal stories make for better guidance than sterile advice. Thanks for getting over being an a$$hole and for rocking your own frugal chic side.

Mike Sudyk
April 28, 2017 at 9:52 am

great post Noah, thanks for sharing this timeless lesson.

Charlene Parlett
April 28, 2017 at 8:44 am

After my business became successful, I fell in love with a big house with a pool in a private community full of trees. It has everything I every dreamed about – except that it was an older home that hadn’t been updated in 25 years. In truth I was in love with the IDEA of looking successful – I ended up hating the house and was glad to sell it at a huge loss several years later.

April 28, 2017 at 4:36 am

Not trying to be confrontational, but this seems to be a textbook example of “I’m not good enough.”

April 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm

I own two MINI Coopers, a 2004-S and 2013-GP, and I am fully emotionally gratified by both of them LOL.

I actually think people are a little too quick to dismiss physical possessions as “just a car,” “just a laptop,” “just a pair of sunglasses.”

If someone only spends money on things that are emotionally gratifying, for that to be true they will have formed an emotional attachment to that thing. If that thing is damaged or destroyed, naturally, there will be an emotional response. Does anybody WANT to be the kind of person that screams at a woman in a parking lot or gets into a physical altercation with a guy over a traffic accident? Probably not and they would probably regret such a reaction but we shouldn’t be so hasty to invalidate their emotional response simply because it’s “just a car.” If they tested shit out, thought, planning, and preparation went into the purchase of that thing and when it was obtained it became more than the thing, it was an achievement. Not to mention, time of ownership. I have owned my 2004 MINI for 13 years. It has a name. All of my friends and family refer to it by name. Many of my friends I met because of owning that car. It is as much a part of my friends and family circle as my father’s dog.

The sunglasses are obviously a stretch but it’s also important to recognize that many physical possessions are tied to a person’s livelihood; their ability to support themselves and their families. Especially, their car. Yes, it’s just a car but that car transports them to and from work. If it is damaged or destroyed, how are they getting back and forth to work until they can repair or replace that vehicle? Public transportation, carpool, bicycle… I’m sure everyone can easily come up with several ideas that are good enough for someone else but what if it was you? How many of those ideas would be good enough for you, personally? Public transportation might not be available where you live. You might not have any co-workers that live nearby. Bicycle? Sure, unless your office is 30 miles away. Now add on top of that needing to pick up one kid from daycare and get the other one to soccer/baseball/karate practice. Are you going to do that on a bus or bicycle or ask your carpool buddy to do it?

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or working for the man, chances are, most of your work, if not all of it, gets done on your computer. What if your computer is stolen? Or what if someone bumps into you in the parking lot and you drop your laptop bag and it gets run over by the public bus you were chasing down because your car got totaled the other day? Yeah, it’s just a computer but now how are you going to work and earn your living until you can repair or replace that computer?

You can always get another one, while true, is often times much easier said than done. Whether it’s a $74,000 Jaguar, $5,000 Honda, or a $1,000 laptop, everybody’s situation is different and being put in the position of having to go get another one can cause incredible emotional distress. Even rich assholes stress out a little over having to spend money they hadn’t planned on or had allocated to something else.

They say your life flashes before your eyes before you die. All of the above are thoughts that flash through your mind when your thing is damaged or destroyed. While someone may regret completely freaking out on you for damaging or destroying their thing, before leaping at the chance to suggest they relax because it’s just a car/laptop/whatever, consider that the reaction may be coming from a place much bigger than, “You just door-dinged my brand new Jag.” On the other hand, they could simply be a rich asshole.

April 27, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Good one Noah, simple and true. I don’t know whether it’s the time we live in or a certain age you reach, but we seem to be spending too much money on things we don’t need. For me it’s the thrill of buying ‘stuff’. Over the last few years I’m trying to cut down on the things I own and buy, not necessarily to save money, but to cut down on the clutter that weighs us down.
Unfortunately the last purchase that caused regret was only 2 weeks ago. I bought a fancy-ass motorbike helmet from Italy that was too big. These helmets are expensive where I live and not readily available . I went out of my way to visit a store far away from where I live to try one on for size, only to find that the store only had a couple and not my size. The store owner told me to size down, I didn’t listen and ordered my usual size through an eBay store in Italy and I live to regret it now.
Lessons learnt (not just from this purchase, but from many, many online purchases):
– Listen to expert advice,
– Brick & mortar over online unless you’re confident; how much are you really saving?
– May not be applicable to helmets: order 2 or more sizes or items you think you like and send back the items that don’t fit or you do not like,
– Practice the zen art of ‘resistance to buy’; it really overpowers the ‘thrill of the buy’, it’s stronger in the long term; you’ll feel better.
– Think about the waste you’ll be creating from a purchase: packaging, shipping cost, returns and the actual item value loss when you throw away or sell because you didn’t end up enjoying it.
This applies to online purchases, but also to impulse purchases.

Funny, I have this business idea for the exact problem you’ve experienced, anyone reading this can have it; I do not have the capital to execute this idea, nor the appetite to take on the risk: Most of us guys (and some ladies as well, I’m sure) have these childhood dreams of owning their favourite (exclusive) car. When men reach a mature age and/or hit ‘comfortable wealth’ they find themselves in the position (much like you in this story) to make these dreams come true and buy their favourite car. However, through poor decision making, lack of knowledge, impulse or bad sales end up losing a lot of money on this dream, turning it into a nightmare. Cause of mental health issues, I’m sure. Instead this business would offer a range of ‘dream cars’ and lease them to you for a monthly rate (all inclusive), take the worry and drama out of it and offer to sell it to you after 3 or 6 months. Upfront cost is known and you are free to step away if you sober up from your childhood dream and start valuing the things that really matter in your life now! This would be unlike the exclusive car clubs where you pay a lot of money to drive around in a collection of cars for a few hours, instead this would focus on the ‘common man’.



April 27, 2017 at 5:40 pm

I divirced after 19 yrs of marriage relocated from Ontario I bought 27 acres of land for 325,000 in New Brunswick to do a subdivision and ended up going bankrupt because I did not know what I was doing.I was the office part of our marriage not the Civil Engineer Construction part and I did learn valuable lessons. I did a lot of things right also and I have never dwelled on the loss nor stayed in that less than mentality.
Humility is a gift.
Thank you for the opportunity to share!!!

David L
April 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm

I like how your formats for the podcast are constantly changing. With you telling a story, then going into an audio blogcast thing and then with your neighbor randomly coming in, and then challenging the listener at the end. I never know what’s going to come next. I like it.

April 27, 2017 at 4:28 pm

Growing up I alwas told my dad, “There’s no such thing as a bad decision as long as you learn from it.” Yes I was busy making bad decisions as a teenager. You know the saying, “Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.” I have a friend that said, “I haven’t made any bad decisions lately. I’m getting bored.” Ha ha.

Andrew Miner
April 27, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Blanca! That car is so beast mode.

So much better to have time freedom, good experiences, and friends than just stuff… you can always rent a lux/fast car and enjoy it for a day or two. That usually does the trick. 🙂

April 27, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Bought a really expensive tent for “glamping” – over sized for just the two of us. Had way more fun in a 3 man tent and spend less time setting up and taking down!

Jessica Josephson
April 27, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Did you find out who she was and apologize to her? Buying a hot car is something that relates to how you see yourself through the eyes of others. That you have to be seen to be cool in a hot car is mostly for show. A car gets you from one place to another. Anything else is symbolic and ego-assuaging. I don’t mean to be insulting, but it’s very childish. You are smart and effective and a good person. You don’t need fancy cars to give you an identity.

Clay Steadman
April 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Thanks Noah! Good story, love the neighbor part too. 🙂

Why TST? Lol what not TSO?

Andre Nakaso
April 27, 2017 at 1:16 pm

Love this post. One of your best, as it has so many important life messages in it. Love the concept of testing stuff out !



April 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

I like your style 🙂

April 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

Great post and totally relatable! I was about to pull the trigger on going to grad school last month and after “testing” it out in a pre-orientation, realized I wasn’t excited about it and that I should be excited about something with such a huge cost and time investment. Was so relieved after I declined enrollment 😀

April 27, 2017 at 11:35 am

I agree with your key message.
Someone once said to me, buy experiences not things and that works well most of the time and keeps possessions under control. But sometimes you need coffee cups (and cars) and that’s when the William Morris quote ‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’ works well. Spending money on something that is both useful and beautiful is the goal which I guess is why the white car looks great and the orange beast is neither useful nor beautiful (honestly!!)

April 27, 2017 at 11:02 am

I don’t care much for luxury cars either and my friends with them are envious of me for it. They realize that they’re pissing money away. I told them they have it backwards, I wish luxury cars made me happy because then I’d have another way to buy myself happiness.

Now trendy research seems to say that things don’t buy happiness, experiences do. I think the research is misleading because it’s portraying happiness as innate which is wrong. Rather, I think it’s a generational trait. Urban areas are in trend and they appeal to the higher levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Suburbs, in contrast, appeal to the lower levels.

April 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

I’ve been very unhappy with my job and I’ve been thinking about starting my own side gig but before I did that I decided to explore my options at the company where I work. Someone was retiring and she asked me if I wanted to take over her responsibilities. It looked interesting but it also looked like a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t like doing. But I thought, whatever it is I can deal with it . Now it’s nine months in and I’m regretting making that decision. Luckily, I can still go back to my old job. I’m glad that I was able to test it out and that I’m able to go back to my other job which has a little bit more flexibility.

April 27, 2017 at 9:38 am

Interestingly enough…it takes being an asshole to learn the lesson in the moment. If one wasn’t an asshole, one wouldn’t have learned the lesson, but then if one wasn’t an asshole, one didn’t need to learn that lesson now did they?!

Which segways to telling you the last thing I regret…I REGRET NOTHING. Just as the lesson presents to the student (said asshole example), I realize that I make the best choice I am able at the time. We all (well, not all) know the saying, move fast and break things…it is the only way. Which I guess leads me to my one and only regret…I wish I moved faster on some things an slower on others…but like I said…I am doing the best I am able to. If someone wants to help me out…all the more power to US. Namaste!

Love and Taco’s Noah! Life is a dance, we learn as we go…sometimes we lead and sometimes we follow. The key is, as you said, find what matters!

Angel B
April 27, 2017 at 9:21 am

Awesomely honest post bro! Lots of insight and wisdom and I love how you just threw your neighbor on the podcast!

April 27, 2017 at 9:03 am

Is Noah Kagan the new Tai Lopez?

What’s the ‘asshole moment’ here? You buying a shitty Jag, or bragging about buying a shitty Jag?

Noah Kagan
April 27, 2017 at 6:40 pm


Ps. Next time have the balls or vagina to post your real email address.

Matt Vecchio
April 28, 2017 at 11:23 am

nice write up and thanks for sharing.

Mary Anne Hahn
April 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

The last thing I regret doing was getting out of the habit of writing every morning. Now I hardly write at all. Of course, if I had these past several months back, I would have kept up my morning routine. Ah well, as you said, Noah, live and learn.

April 27, 2017 at 8:58 am

I love that you name your cars.

April 27, 2017 at 8:56 am

You look like a Jeep Wrangler man.

Noah Kagan
April 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm

Actually been looking for a Tacoma.

April 27, 2017 at 8:44 am

Great article. Just texted my ex and told her she was a great “learning moment” for me.

April 27, 2017 at 8:34 am

Thanks for sharing your asshole moment.

I feel the same way each time people scream to me OSAMA (because I use turban (I´m Sikh)) and I react angrily to them. Each time I react I feel the worse. It shows me that I´m not being who I want to be.

Peace out.

April 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

My personal strategy with cars is to buy the nicest car possible for the least money–and I’ll never get a loan. What that means is I get a lot of 30-year-old luxury cars that need maintenance (different from “constant repair”), but I’ve learned to do a lot of the work myself and I find it quite relaxing to do–that is, it doesn’t make sense in terms of time but in terms of a hobby it’s great. Plus they’re great conversation starters and amazing for learning experiences in other ways–e.g., never accept a date because someone thinks your car is hot.

April 27, 2017 at 8:31 am

Never regret a taco, tho.

Steven Goode
April 27, 2017 at 8:30 am

Great article. I think i’m such a passive person I feel like i’m inconveniencing them or something by trying it out. Its totally stupid and I am going stop that. The car dealerships always offer to let you take the car home for a night. I don’t know why I’ve never taken advantage of that. I always buy tech hardware from retailer I know have good return policies and price compare with multiple places. Why I don’t apply that when buying homes or cars that are 10x or 100x more expensive if beyond me.

My most embarrassing buy was for a network tuner card and media center. I wanted to be a cord cutter but wasn’t ready to totally give up TV so I decided building a media center and cutting out all of the rented hardware with my cable company was the way to go. Instead I ended up spending hours with tech support and what was probably over $1000 trying to get the media center up and running just to save $20/mo. What I took away from that was that I need to either man up and cut the cord or suck it up and pay the bill. It was fun tinkering, but in hindsight I wish i had put that time and money into something else. Besides with kids now its not like I watch a lot of TV.

April 27, 2017 at 8:23 am

On point! Most important aspect for me was:: “spend money where you spend your time”. If you don’t drive a lot, but instead spend a lot of time at the gym — get the best/suited gym membership/pants/kit you can afford, and it will always make you happy. #TRUTH

++ the Mazda Miata has been touted as a super fun car to drive … so massive congrats on a fun ride! 🙂

April 27, 2017 at 8:13 am

you should have got a Tesla

Noah Kagan
April 27, 2017 at 6:41 pm

I would if I had 5 kids =)

April 27, 2017 at 7:35 pm

What’s significant about 5 kids? *curious*

April 26, 2017 at 6:46 am

Great article. I always think Iv never regretted doing anything. This may be the reason why my life always repeats the same pattern lol.

Tell me the last thing you regret doing.

Stopped marketing and spent 4 months on preparing for a test in order to apply for permanent residency. When I received my target score, I was not excited. Maybe similar to your feeling of seeing ” Hot Sauce” ? because I knew I was not proud of the process. I was distracted by training and did not follow the plan I made. (I am preparing for a fitness competition at the same time)
My review was not consistent, so before every test, I would stay up late for 2 or 3 days and took the test-feeling stressed-then repeated the same cycle again.
?If I could have better planned my preparation, taking everything slowly, It would only take me maximum 2 months rather than 4 months.

Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

I learnt that consistency and following the plan are very important !

I am still preparing for the test – I need a higher score to build the credibility and sell the test preparation course 😀

but this time, I am taking things slowly. take more consistent actions and I hired a coach to help me. As long as I review everyday, I know I am making progress. I havnot registered for my next test date. I will wait until I am confident.

This applies to my business as well. After I develop the habit of daily test review, I will develop another habit of writing marketing copies, gradually take the business back on track.

April 27, 2017 at 2:07 pm

You know what Lynn…when you make me think to a deeper level…you are right. I think I need to review my mistakes or patterned cycles and look to auto correct and find the lessons instead of masking the mistakes with “it’s all good.” or reasoning my way out.

The CryptoStaunch
June 29, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Lol! You are very funny about the new car too. You started yelling at people even it wasn’t necessary

April 26, 2017 at 1:38 am

I wish I had read this before purchasing my present car.

April 26, 2017 at 1:35 am

Hi Noah,

Beautiful read it was. Yeah I completely agree with whatever you mentioned. Couple of years back I bought a Samsung Tab. It was a desperate buy for me. I spent close to $600 on a stupid tab. Though I quite like it (May be because I spent on it) however I don’t feel excited. I guess I could have easily avoided the purchase. Thanks for the post. I admittedly note your point!

Ester K
August 7, 2019 at 9:46 pm

Hey Noah
Can’t help it but no matter how old and successful you are, I will probably always imagine you in the Valco parking lot “hanging out” (we were in BBYO together with the Tomer’s) anyways you’ve stayed the same, hilarious, smart, and humble, and surprisingly still as smitten with tacos. Very rare and special.
I do have to disagree though with your “testing things out” formula when it comes to a relationship.
People are not cars. They don’t need nor deserve to be test-driven. Jewish thought teaches that when you get married you become one soul, but 2 different bodies. The goal is to grow with each other. That’s real love. Learning to make room for another. No matter how “close” you and your gf are, without the commitment, you’re basically saying the second I don’t like you, I’ll trade you in for a different model. I bless you that you should meet the right person if you haven’t already that shows you what life’s joys are really about. Commitment, growth, family, that’s the real legacy, that’s eternal.
Shalom, Ester (you might remember me as Irina from JSZ)

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