Today I Turned 32.
My abundant thoughts as a new 32 year old
I’m turning 32 years old today. This isn’t some sort of training or step-by-step tutorial. Instead, it is a journal in time. I’m writing this for two people:
- For those to aspire to have a lifestyle like the one I live
- For myself, to check back on this post 10, 20, or 30 years from now to see where I was at the very beginning of age 32.
It goes without saying that between the ages of 31 and 32, the world has changed. We live, right now, in a time of COVID. Everything that was day to day, everything that was normal has changed for now, and possibly forever. I really hope that’s not true.
Many people across the world have been affected in a negative way. They’ve emotionally lost people that they love and fiscally lost their employment. I can say right now that I am truly blessed to have had neither of those things happen. Everyone I love is doing great. In terms of the financial side, I’m thriving.
What happens when people can’t go into town or a mall to buy? They buy online. It just so happens that I’ve been selling things online for 10 years now. Could this be me getting lucky at the right time? Sure, I think so. I couldn’t have predicted this to happen. I couldn’t have predicted that COVID would boost all forms of online business.
Between the ages of 31 and 32, I made the most money that I ever have. For the first time ever in a fiscal year, I was able to break 7 figures. That to me is crazy. I never had the goal to do this; I didn't even know I could. I didn't know that it was possible.
I’m currently writing this post in Key West, Florida and I live in a van. No, not just a little bit, but full time. Living in a van is something I thought I’d never do. To be honest, before my wife, Ashley brought it up (yes, it was her idea!), I didn't know that “van life” was a thing. Ashley, who is usually the more conservative one in our relationship, had this crazy idea that we should live in a van as a way to travel during COVID.
Before COVID, we were living in Europe. It was amazing. We planned to travel all the way to Asia and spend an entire year there. Obviously, COVID disrupted that. We were halfway there when we got stuck in a hold in Hawaii.
I’ll never forget the day that COVID hit. We were on our normal bicycle run so we stopped at a juicery. As we went to get our juice, a local screeched at us saying, “get the f off our island!”. Long story short, the locals were getting restless with tourists coming in. Even though we were thinking of moving to Hawaii — we had already spent around a month there — it became apparent that even if we were to survive COVID, the next challenge would to not be murdered by local Hawaiians.
After that, we spent time quarantining, which was a blessing. I spent the most time that I ever have with my entire immediate family; my sister, her boyfriend, my parents, and my wife were all together in one house. Some may think that it sounds like a nightmare to spend that much time with their family. In my experience, however, it ended up being an amazing bonding experience that made all of our relationships stronger.
It was at this time that Ashley started researching and came across the idea of van life. Hence, at this time, we are 4 months into living full time in a van! We drove all the way from California to Key West, Florida. Currently, we’ve fallen in love with Key West and are going to be here for about another 30 days. If you are reading this at a later date or simply don keep up with national news, there is a giant cold front happening in the country right now. Texas is literally frozen. Nevertheless, here we are getting tan and sweating our butts off in Florida — another reason to be super grateful.
It’s really hard to think about an entire year of your life, especially in the format of a blog post, but what I want to remember at this point in time is that I’m really grateful. I’m extremely grateful for every aspect of my life. My problems are so minute in this day in age that they really aren't “problems”. My family is healthy, I have a beautiful wife, we have an amazing relationship, we are on an adventure across the U.S., and my businesses are thriving. What else can I ask for?
In this last year, TikTok was a platform in specific that really helped blow up my personal brand. Besides the numbers and having a lot of followers, what matters the most to me is the relationships I have with people I meet online from all across the world. It’s been remarkable. I’m super honored for each and every person who has bought a course of mine, watched a video, and done coaching with me. These are the people who give me purpose at the age of 32.
Most of how I make a living is automated. It’s just me and a computer; no people (at least it feels like). That being said, working with people is what I’m most excited about. I do a lot of different things and make money in a lot of different ways but working with people is the best. There’s truly nothing better than watching someone grow and make improvements. If I had to do a forecast of what my life will look like in 5 to 10 years, I can confidently say that I won’t be giving up teaching. I hope to help people until the day I die. It’s infinitely rewarding.
At this time, I am 100 to 200,000 followers away from having a total of 1 million followers online. I have written about this in my physical journal, but I want to say it in a recorded form…
Followers in our society have such a weight to them that they are, in a way, like a social currency. To put it frankly, I think it’s all just bullshit.
I think it’s incredible that I can create a piece of content that can reach millions and millions of people per week — even 100 amazes me. But, I see the hype around followers is irrelevant. 30 years from now a follower count will not matter. I don't think that on my deathbed I will be worrying about how many followers I have. It does not matter.
Right now I like to think that I have the right intentions and plans. I think I’m someone who is being transparent about money because I have a mission, a cause, a vocation to help. I’ve shared everything since I made my first dollar online. I would love to continue to share my experiences. Although, if it ever jeopardizes my safety, or more importantly that of those I love, I would delete my online presence. No matter how many followers I had, I would do it.
To prove a point, I could delete it all right now. However, that would be a very irresponsible fiscal decision, as I currently do have a legit business. Right now the problem is that society thinks that just because you have a lot of followers, you are somehow better. It makes no sound sense to treat people differently based on the followers they have. It’s totally stupid.
What I have figured out though, is how to monetize online. It is a totally different game. I treat it like a business. I have real friends that I connect with via social media but I do not spend any time consuming content. I'm on literally every social media platform but I only create. To be truthful, I think social media is toxic.
Yet here I am, posting on every social media platform there is.
Why? Well, I see the advantage of it from a business perspective. If it wasn't for the opportunity at hand to scale, I would 100% not do this. There is always a fine line between creating content inspiring vs. humble bragging and people judging. It’s a mental burden, if you will. I do it because of the people’s amazing stories and positive messages. I feel bad that I can’t respond to all of them; if I did, I would never go to sleep! I remember when I first started getting messages I would write people personalized thank you notes and even send them books sometimes. I wish I could still do this but the scale is starting to get to a point where it's impossible. It’s the best problem ever to have and it humbles me greatly.
Between you and me, I’m nervous. What happens next? Does it just keep getting crazier and crazier? It’s scary — in both a good and bad way — to think about what the future has in store for me.
There are a lot of things that don't matter in the end. Call me sinister or dark, but I believe a lot of the content that people stress and worry about really does not matter. What should matter is love. To me, that's my wife, my mom, my dad, my sister; I love them. Everything else is irrelevant to those relationships. How do I value what’s important to me? It’s them.
At 32 years old, I pray (even though I’m currently not going to church right because #vanlife and #covid). I still consider myself a Christian and I think it's the foundation of who I am as a person.
I hope someday when we settle in a home, I can find a community to meet others and thrive in. 31 was the “lone wolf” year. It was my wife and I taking on the world together. We work together, live in a van together, and our relationship is the best it's ever been. We are living small — intentionally — and we’re on an adventure that is so cool.
Now, I know I didn't have a set agenda for this post. I really just wanted to share my honest thoughts on whatever was on my mind. Maybe I didn't share the right things, but that's not for you to decide. I wanted this post to be more for myself, but I hope it wasn't totally irrelevant to you.
Life is definitely a crazy, crazy thing when you think about time. When you're in it, it goes by slowly. But when you look at time that has passed it seems surreal how fast years can go by. The scariest thing is that this time — every second, every minute, every hour, every day — is gone as soon as it happens. This moment will never repeat itself. It's a great reminder that this is our only life. I will never be 31 again.
Inevitably, someday I will die. I don't think a lot of people think about death, but I do. Once again, if that’s dark I apologize, but it's the truth. I like to think that I will die of old age but you never know. I think about these things because they are the ultimate benchmark to how I live each and every day. Are social media followers going to matter when I'm old and gray? How about when I'm on my deathbed? Is this the way that I want to live my life? These questions are essential to me.
Of course, I would love to live forever. But in case I don't, I'm going to try to live everyday to the fullest and live a life of fulfillment. I want to spend time doing the things I love the most with the people I love the most. Not every day will live up to those standards but I’m going to try and that's the best I can do.
I make new content every single week, so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube and follow my Instagram @brambilabong and TikTok at @AdrianBrambila. I also have tons of resources and courses on my website that you won’t want to miss. Head over to www.adrianbrambila.com to learn more about what I do and how I live a financially free life.
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