Discover more from Fashi Mindset by Chidi Afulezi
FU Talent vs FU Money
If I gave you a choice b/w the two...I know which one you would pick. And it is the wrong one, of course. Argue with yourself.
Spoiler: there is some spicy language in this write-up o. It is spicy but it is good for you. Will help clean out your systems; detox and defrag your hard drive. If the language offends you, post this on social media and declare, "THIS BOBO DESERVES CANCELLATION”.
I'll handle it from there.
fuck-you money (uncountable)
(US, slang, vulgar) Enough money to leave one's job, etc. and enjoy the lifestyle of one's choice.
One of my favorite dinner anecdotes that I like to drop is the story from back in the day from Rob Glaser (founder of Real Networks) about one of his encounters with the late Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Glaser owned a private jet—a state-of-the-art Gulfstream—at the time. He was balling, a mega millionaire, as Real Networks was doing big things as one of the marquee web and media players on the planet.
He said one day he was summoned by Allen to come meet with him, and they took off on one of Allen's three Boeing 757s. After the meeting, Glaser decided he had to work 10X harder, as the largesse of the 757 made him feel like a loser on Allen's turf.
He believed Allen had FU Money.
I have always thought that was the most absurd ishi mgbaka (head scatterer) story I had ever heard. And I am sure you can guess why the absurdity of this absurd story kept me absurdly disturbed.
If Glaser wasn’t a bona fide VIP in Fumoneystan, then who is?
If you haven’t read Morgan Housel’s Psychology of Money, then biko…run and do it. If you have, then you can appreciate my appreciation for the “Not Enough” chapter, which is probably one of the most kickass chapters in book writing ever. This piece from page 37 tells you Morgan didn’t come to play:
At a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island, Kurt Vonnegut informed his pal, Joseph Heller, that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel Catch-22 over its whole history. Heller responds, “Yes, but I have something he will never have…enough”.
For instance, the obsession with unicorns. You know, the companies that have hit $1B in valuation. “The AI startup, iDihc, has raised $300M at $1.2B valuation and is now Wakanda’s newest tech unicorn.”
And the audience goes wild, aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!! (iDihc is Chidi backwards if you were wondering, channeling Oprah there).
As in, spreadsheet covered investors believe the company is worth $1B plus. Not that the company is making $1B plus in revs, or has net positive cash flow of a $1B plus, or is even enabling $1B plus in customer transactions. Craziness. Folks are on a spin cycle that has turned an illusion created by highly motivated entrepreneurs and investors into real life mythologies about what FU Money looks like.
As we all embark on our inevitable FU Money journeys and odysseys, the question will always remain, when is enough enough? How do you know that you have FU Money, and when do you pull back and really enjoy the time you have left? Notice I didn’t say retire, I said enjoy…as in be “in joy”.
Ok, I pulled that out of my you know where…but you get my point.
Now, let’s pivot to FU Talent. If you google f* you talent, you won’t find any white papers or even urban definitions. Clearly this is not a thing, and I can surmise why. So I’ll take a shot at it. According to the Oracle of the One and Only The Chidi:
(chidi-ism, slang, vulgar but powerful) Enough talent tied with hard work, luck and risk to dominate one’s field or area of expertise, unleash immense creativity, etc. and enjoy life on their own terms.
And potentially, probably more likely, make FU Money.
I am not going to belabor this point. There is the argument that many Nigerians make—“I go chop talent?”. Translated to Shakespearean English…can I pay my bills with talent? Well, I have yet to meet a talented person—who has put in the time, taken calculated risks, recognized and taken advantage of the many lucky breaks that come their way—that is not doing well out there. Well being relative, right? There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that FU Talent seems to lead to fulfilling livelihoods, many who are not millionaires or billionaires, and many who are. And thre are huge second and third order benefits for friends, family, and community that unfold from this FU Talent.
FU talent is not about being indispensable, for me it is about being inevitable.
But Chidi…am I going to eat talent, I am asking you again, this man? Fine, I am opining here. I try not to prescribe, so abeg…do you. Roll with whichever FU track you believe suits you best.
Let me use Housel to close this Fashi out. Four points he makes in the same chapter:
Social comparison is the problem here. Ugh. This one does not require a dissertation from me. All you have to do is go on LinkedIn and be excited, humbled, privileged and stoked to compare yourself and be envious of your friends’ assorted and continuous FU Accomplishments.
The hardest financial skill is getting the goal post to stop moving. The Notorious B.I.G had Kelly Price singing “It's like the more money we come across, the more problems we see” in More Money More Problems. So if more money brings more problems, then why do we seek more? Ambition rising 10X faster than satisfaction…which means the more power, money, prestige you have, the less satisfied you are. I know an Afrobeats pioneer from Nigeria who left the country because the expense of looking like a baller was costing more than he was actually balling at. Now he can drive live his life in peace, less wahala…and not have folks speculating on why he’s not driving a Maybach or has less than ten bedrooms in his mansion. Ishi mgbaka type stuff.
“Enough” is not too little. I learned this the hard way. It was when we hit rock bottom financially not too long ago that I saw $100 for what it was…a lot of money. Enough has to be enough, no? FU Money is being able to say no to life changing money that is compromising because the stuff I have is enough. Yeah. You wholeheartedly disagree with this. And I hear you…my daughters (yes, plural) are applying for college next year, I may be disagreeing with myself on this in the very near future. If you hear I started a crypto ChatGPT fintech company, okwe has shifted.
There are many things never worth risking, no matter the potential gain. I can’t imagine what will make me compromise my family, my reputation, my independence, and especially my well being and peace of mind just so I make a certain type of money or be a baller, shotcaller, brawler. Dipping in the Benz with the spoilers.
It doesn’t have to be all about the Benjamins, baby.
Take this with whatever level of spice you prefer. I have no illusions about the outright dismissal of this Fashi. It’s all good…I’ll take the FU, and just let me come and be going o.