On Gross Potential Income and F*** You Money

Pre-S Warning: This week’s post contains crass language. If kids are nearby, you may want to cover their ears.

This weekend when driving back from a roller derby bout with my accountant/jammer wife, she taught me the term “Gross Potential Income”.

While reading a recent article on financial independence, Brennan Dunn taught me the term, “Fuck you Money”.

Gross potential income is the amount of money you could potentially make based on a resource you own. For example, If you own 2,000 water bottles that you can sell on Amazon for ~$12, then you have $24,000 in gross potential revenue. A similar model could be applied to apartment buildings, based on vacancy and rent. As a freelancer, it could be calculated based on hourly rate and number of billable hours you could work.

Fuck You Money is the amount of money you need to say “Fuck You” to obligations on your time and your person. This could mean the amount of money you need to feel comfortable leaving your full-time job to go freelance, or the amount of product income you would need to stop accepting client work.

As a freelancer, when you optimize towards the goal of reaching your gross potential income, you will run into several side effects. You feel guilty when you are doing work that doesn’t pay the bills. You put side projects aside because they don’t bring in as much money as “real” projects. You’ll focus on booking your calendar solid with as much work as you can handle, probably more.

What if you focus on getting your Fuck You Money instead? You’ll make time to work on improving your business because you see the long-term payout. You’ll feel excited to work on side projects, because you are building an asset that will pay dividends for a long time. You’ll focus on getting the most value out of your time, instead of booking an express ticket to burnout city. You treat yourself at least as good as you treat your clients.

Optimize towards Fuck You Money.

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