Why You Need to Create More Options

How to create a life with unlimited upside and little downside

Welcome to the 522 new people who have joined us since last Monday!

Join the community of 14,372 individuals who are cutting through the noise by subscribing here today:

Hey friends 👋 ,

Happy Monday and welcome to Through the Noise!

Our modern world is chaotic, therefore prediction is impossible. Instead of trying to predict what will happen next, position yourself in a way that gives you options. Lots of them. Today you'll learn how to create a life with unlimited upside and little downside.

I hope you like new thumbnail art, we're now powered by DALL·E.

Let's dive right in.

Read time: 2 minutes

Why You Need to Create More Options

DALL·E prompt: "a sketch of a man creating options in his life"

Optionality at its most basic level means having lots of options. Nassim Taleb explains the importance of this concept in his book Antifragile. Another way of thinking about optionality which I like is from Mihir Desai, a professor of finance and law at Harvard:

When you hold an option and the world moves with you, you enjoy the benefits; when the world moves against you, you are shielded from the bad outcome since you are not obligated to do anything. Optionality is the state of enjoying possibilities without being on the hook to do anything.

In finance, an option gives you the right, but not the obligation to earn money if a stock rises higher than a future price point. This is how Roaring Kitty made millions from the GameStop saga. In life, an option gives you the right, but not the obligation to perform an action. Acquiring wealth gives you lots of options.

Optionality is the idea of having many of these options to choose from. But all options aren’t created equally.

Let’s consider two options:

  1. You sit on the sofa and watch Netflix for 1 hour

  2. You write about a topic for 1 hour and share it on Twitter

Which of these has the the greatest potential return? It’s clear choosing no.2 would be the better choice. Why? You increase your surface area of luck for a positive outcome. Watching Netflix for 1 hour gives me a short term gain of dopamine. But sharing my thoughts online opens the possibility for new relationships, business and ideas.

So it's important you chase options in life that are asymmetric: writing online, creating content, building software.

The potential benefit of doing the thing >>> the cost of doing the thing.

It's your job to create as many options as you can with limited downside but unlimited upside. How can you go about doing this?

By going against the grain. Don’t conform to comfort, instead differentiate yourself.

  • Travel the world solo for 6 months

  • Create content online and build your personal brand

  • Experiment with new product lines for your business

For some, a comfortable, well paid job at a top company is the ‘upside’. For many, a comfortable, well paid job at a top company traps their options of starting that business or chasing their creativity. Don’t be afraid to differentiate yourself to create the options in life you deserve.

A Little Something Extra

  • 🗞 Newsletter: My friend Jason Levin writes 'Cyber Patterns', a newsletter about unconventional strategies for how you can win the great online game.

  • 🐥 Tweet: Elon Musk's "Whaling and Culling" at Twitter.

  • 🎥 Video: The best elevator pitch you will ever see.

That’s all for today friends!

As always feel free to reply to this email or reach out @thealexbanks as I’d love to hear your feedback.

Thanks for reading and I’ll catch you next Monday.


If you liked this piece, subscribe below: