If you think the way some rationalists think, you’re not going to like this.

Because the way rationalists think is there’s got to be an explainable reason for everything.

But you’re smarter than that.

My car was broken down the other day. The mechanic drove over and took it away. He told me it needed a new air sensor and something to do with the power steering. I said do whatever you need to do to get it working. I plan on driving Fang 2.0 (my car’s name) into the ground.

A day later the mechanic called back saying he’d fixed it. It was something different to what he thought. He told me he had an idea, stopped in the carpark of a car part store, went in, bought the part, changed it in the carpark and it worked. That’s the type of mechanic you want in your contacts list.

When I got the car back it felt like driving a new car. I’d made plans to go and get it detailed the next day. That’s a way to trick yourself into getting a new car for $50. Get it cleaned.

I told Dave about it. Dave's hobby is buying and selling cars. He told me don’t bother in this weather, just go and vacuum it yourself, all you need is $2 coins.

I told him he’d ruined my plans. I was so excited to have a working car again, now he’d pulled my idea out from under me.

Then he said it.

I once made $5000 from vacuuming a car.

I asked him about it. He kept going.

I found a car on the internet, went there, bought it. It was filthy. I took it to the vacuums, the ones I told you about it, cleaned it out, took some nice photos of it and reposted it there and then. Someone bought it that night for $5000 more than I bought it for.

You see the average person would ask how is that possible. Even some of our close friends (Dave and I) which are otherwise smart, would say that’s a rip off.

Call it what you want but that’s how business works. Things are bought and sold on perception of value more than they are on their actual value.

It’s a form of alchemy.

Your iPhone costs $400 to make but you paid $2000 for it.

Someone who doesn’t even bother to clean their car before they sell it is going to be ready to sell it for a small amount.

Dave did the work of cleaning it up. Making it appeal more, $5000 more, to a perspective buyer.

Notice how you don’t think about how much something costs to make when you buy it. You think about the value it’s going to bring you.

If you want to earn in a non-linear way, if you want to earn without trading your time for money, that’s your job. You’ve got to figure out how you can bring value to people who are willing to pay for it.

What skill do you have you can offer the world? If you don't have one, it's time to build one.

And if you're stuck, don’t overcomplicate it. Sometimes it’s as easy as vacuuming a car. Putting in a little more effort than someone else.