What I Learned About Making Money from Making it Rain

If I started this article telling you that it's somehow a good idea to withdraw a stack of dollar bills in cash and throw it up in the air at stripclubs, you should stop reading right now. But it's not, so get ready for the most random advice that somehow actually works, like why I listen to gangster rap while working.

It's funny how the most random things can teach you real life lessons, often quicker than any amount of schooling or studying can.  I downloaded a silly app called Make it Rain: For the Love of Money mainly as a joke. In real life is the worst possible way to invest your money and returns 0% ROI. By playing the game, my real life bank account has grown but 400% which means something it's taught me has actually been working.  Here is how to completely revamp your way of thinking about making money, what you're time is worth, and why rich people often intentionally sabotage their success and go bankrupt.

Stage 1: Swiping for Dollars 

When you first download the app (it's free on iPhone and Android) you start swiping. You'll quickly realize that by making $1 per swipe, it's equivalent to working at an hourly job that's close to minimum wage. You need to increase your rate, you need to increase your value.

Action Step: When I decided I wanted to increase my hourly rate to $115 an hour, I also needed to increase my value and my skills or start a business so I could pay myself.

Game Lesson: In the app, to increase your earned money per swipe, you purchase "Business Investments" starting at paper routes, lemonade stands, coffee shops, to owning your own fast food chain.

Life Lesson:  In real life, my first job paid me $4.75 an hour.  By starting a business, I'm still trading time for money, but instead of getting paid a salary or low hourly rate, I now make over a hundred dollars an hour.

Stage 2: Financial Investments 

If you open the app on my phone, you'll see that I stopped increasing my per swipe earnings at $100. The reason for that is, even though it's nice to increase your hourly wage, at a certain point, you want to be able to make money without swiping...without trading time for money. This is where you decide to put your money you've earned to work and invest in something that can "earn money without swiping."

Action Step: As we learned from Rich Dad, Poor Dad, buying investments that make you money such as dividend paying stocks or other assets that produce passive income allows you to make money regardless if you are asleep, in the hospital or otherwise unable to work.

Game Lesson: In the app, you start off by buying a piggy bank, stash money under your mattress, and eventually become a loan shark. 

Life Lesson: Investing in both myself as well as cash producing assets have allowed me to go from trading time for money, to being able to check my bank account at month end to see it has increased in value. I do this by issuing high interest micro loans through Lending Club, and buying the stock market and reinvesting the dividends through the Vanguard Total Index Fund. (VTI)

This app commercial shows another reason why you don't want to spend all of your time swiping:

Stage 3: Other Investments

The game, just like making money in real life, gets addictive. When I get into the flow of starting a new online store or business, you'll find glued to my laptop day till night, and often wanting to come in on weekends to get a bit more done. In the game they call it "political investments" but in real life, I call it investing in yourself and your business to increase your Return On Investment (ROI)

Action Step: Hiring a virtual assistant (VA), customer support team, invest in software that allows you to automate your business, or attend a course or conference that allows you to expand your reach.

Game Lesson: In the game, by hiring a lobbyist, or a top tax accountant to reduce your tax burden you start earning money even while the app is closed, which should be the goal of everyone and was my focus.

Life Lesson: By investing in a tax service, hiring assistants to handle my store's customer service, answer phone calls, and take orders, I've been able to both make more money as well as save money completely passively as others are increasing my net worth on my behalf.

A screenshot of my personal account in the game

Stage 4: Reaching Goals

Before installing this "time wasting" app, I had never seen one million dollars written out with all six zeros. I might have somewhere, but never noticed it as it sure the heck wasn't in my bank account or anywhere I would have had access. But as soon as I set the goal to have $1,000,000 in the app I knew it would eventually happen as long as I kept reinvesting my money into the right investments.

At first, when I had $10 in my account, swiping a million times just didn't seem logical which forced me to figure out the "game" but in reality it also gave me an overview of what I would need to do with my real life bank account to reach the same bank balance.

Action Step: Set a goal and figure out how you can achieve it. My goals both in real life as well as the app was to have a $1,000,000 balance and to keep investing in myself, my businesses, and investments to make that happen.

Game Lesson: Just seeing the balance grow and for the first time seeing what $1,000,000 in my posession, app or not, looks like written out kept me motivated to hit that goal.

Life Lesson: Pick a big goal and work towards it. If you have no financial goal, congrats, you've hit it. But if you pick a big number, like $1,000,000 or $5,000,000 you'll keep working towards it and realize if what you are currently doing is getting you closer or not.

A poster for motivation, and my real life balances

Stage 5: Staying Motivated

The photo above was taken one year ago when I was actively trying to grow my bank balance from less than a few thousand dollars to over hitting my goal of being a Thai Millionaire which is $30,000 in the bank.  I put up photos for motivation, and kept an active eye out on my Shopify App which is my real life equivalent of watching my bank balances grow.

Action Step: Once you've reached your first goal, it's easy to get content. The trick is to have goals 10x bigger than you think you can achieve and celebrate the milestones along the way.

Game Lesson: Once you reach your goals and start seeing billions in your app lose that motivation and become tempted to either completely stop playing, or even deleting the app so you can start over at $0. This is why real life millionaires often go bankrupt and have to start over.

Life Lesson: Don't allow yourself to get content, bored or otherwise think you don't deserve the success you've earned, and don't waste your time making in app zeros, when you can do it in real life instead.

My personal investment account for the stock market ETF

The Summary: 

First we all have to trade time for money to get started, but focus on increasing your hourly value so you can increase your hourly rate. You can do this by learning new skills, building your own business, reading books, or taking courses that show you how.

Then once we start making money, hire people, buy software, and figure out ways to make your income passive so you don't have to actively work to increase your income.

Only then can you have the excess cash flow to start really investing with a millionaire mindset and goals. For me I started putting $3,000 a month in a low fee stock index fund (VTI ETF) after getting some very helpful advice from both blog readers as well as my buddy Ed from Hong Kong.  I went from having $0 in investments to over $20k in just 7 months. By continuing to reinvest my dividends, investing regularly and increasing my income, it's crazy to say, but I know I will be a true to life millionaire in this lifetime which is something I never thought would be possible growing up in a household that earned $18,000 a year.

I hope this write up encourages everyone to think a bit differently about money and what's possible. If you haven't already, download the "Make it Rain App" on your phone and go through the same lessons yourself. It's a free game, and as silly as it sounds, it really opened my eyes financially.

Want to know more? This is how I started.

Why I listen to Gangster Rap while working:

Almost forgot to add this in, I was in such a flow getting this blog posted. I always have my headphones on while working to keep out distractions but depending on what I'm working on, I may be listening to classical piano, edm or gangster rap. For me if I need to actually pay attention to what I'm doing I listen to classical, piano, or something else without words.

But when I'm trying to crush it and get motivated, it's gangster rap all day.

What do you listen to when you work?

Warm Regards,


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Post a Comment

  1. VTI is a great ETF but the entire stock market bubble is about to pop. I'd rather own AGG (also very low cost) right now to be defensive.

    1. I'm sure it'll happen eventually, but none of us know when, how long, or how low =)

  2. Replies
    1. I actually just deleted it off my phone finally, but it was fun and taught me a ton when I had it =)


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