The Anti-Quick Fix

This post is a bit of a departure from the stock options post that I’m working on to cap off this month, as part of the stock compensation series. I promise that will come soon. For now, enjoy!

Shiny hunting is an incredibly niche part of gaming culture. You start as a fan of Pokemon. Then you want to collect rare Pokemon. Then you want to collect the rarest, alternate patterns of Pokemon. Lastly, you decide that you want to devote a significant chunk of your limited time alive to doing this. Yet, by doing it, you just might accomplish a unique feat that no one else has. Just take a look at the YouTuber Reversal and his quest for a shiny Feebas.

Speed running a game is similarly niche. It requires that you accelerate your ability to beat the same game with each attempt, eventually progressing your fine actions to the point of near-perfection. The end result of a thousand hours practicing a game is that you can beat it faster than anyone else in the world…for the five hundredth time. Take a look at the creators who partner for Games Done Quick to get an idea about the size of the speed running community.

Completionism in a game like Runescape seems to stem from the opposite. The idea is to have the most XP possible in every skill, for the sake of accomplishment itself. It means the most hours in the game as compared to anyone else. It is a constant push-pull between you, the developers, and your competitors as new skills come out or new quests are released. It’s a destination you may never permanently reach, but which will have its own intense journey.

What do these gaming niches have in common?

What do all three of these niche gaming trends have in common? They aren’t a quick fix. These trends are built off of days, weeks, months, or years of deliberate (and often slow) progress to a goal that only the individual can decide matters. They are the anti-quick fix. The very definition of the journey being placed before the destination, though the destination may have been the initial motivation. These trends aren’t unique in nerd culture at all – from collecting whole sets of trading cards or comics to rewatching niche shows like Firefly a dozen times, these repetitive acts are about a sense of completing an achievement.

So why do we look for a quick fix when it comes to our money? Both nerds and non-nerds alike spend decades looking for a path to riches via some gigantic windfall. Look no further than the number of people who buy lottery tickets to understand that the thrill of paying $20 to win 20 million is by far more exciting than the boring steps of deliberate financial progress.

Don’t Go For the Quick Fix

For most of us, creating wealth is going to take time. It will likely bring challenges, unique moments of success, and will require both adaptation and persistence. But the anti-quick fix has always been that way. So this is no new information.

The worst part of this is that you likely can’t rely on the ‘quick fixes’ to get rich. There’s no magic bullet, singular product, or best strategy to hack your way to wealth. The work of insuring your financial stability will take that intentionality, effort, and dedication that is so difficult to muster. It will also take knowledge, planning, and strategy.

The best part of this news is that there’s a lot of opportunity to choose your own journey here. There’s hundreds or thousands of paths available to take you from where you are to a sense of financial progress and stability. You just need to find your preferred sense of balance, a way to get compensation within that sense of balance, and save so that you can take breaks (and retire permanently some day.)

Easier said than done, for sure. If you’re looking for help deciding these things, that’s what I do! Grab some time on my calendar at

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