3 Ideas: Billshark, Young Mind, 5 Year Plan


written by oz chen

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Welcome to my weekly newsletter, where I share 3 ideas to help you become wealthier and wiser.

Idea 1

I used a company called Billshark to help me negotiate my internet bill.

They saved me $480 over a 2 year period, and charged $192 (40%) of the savings as their fee. The process:

  • Discovered Billshark via Mint.com and and signed up.
  • Filled out some forms and personal info, including the account information for Spectrum Internet (what I wanted to negotiate)
  • 1 week later, Billshark successfully negotiated my internet bill down to $49.99/month for 2 years.
  • I paid Billshark 40% of the savings

I had previously tried to negotiate my Spectrum bill on my own. It worked once, but after another promotional period they wouldn’t budget. Spectrum knows they have a monopoly on internet services in my zip code.

Here are 2 extra bonuses that I couldn’t get on my own:

  • Billshark secured a new contract term for 2 years, helping me lock in a low price that otherwise might have only lasted 6-12 months if I had tried this on my own.
  • As part of negotiating a new package, Spectrum bumped up my internet plan to 100 mbps faster, so I’m getting higher speeds for free.

I went with Billshark because of their simple pricing model. I haven’t tried competitors like Rocket Money (formerly Truebill). Either way, these bill negotiation services can just end up saving you hundreds.

Idea 2

“You are only as young as the last time you’ve changed your mind.”

I love this reframing on youth.
Habits and a lifetime of learning can calcify the mind.
The ability to change your mind shows flexibility.

A related idea: consider your surface area of knowledge. Is that surface area narrow or wide enough to catch new ideas? Is the surface brittle or porous?

Bonus idea: To end a debate with someone, you just need to ask them “Is there anything I could say to change your mind?” And if they reply “no,” you can stop debating and move on.

Idea 3

The 5 year plan is dead; Long live the 5 year plan!

On a recent chat with fellow writer Drew Stegmaier, I came away with one powerful one liner:

“People are more concerned about creating a 5 year plan more than they are in reviewing their progress every 5 weeks.”

If you’re like me, I like to make plans and not stick to them. Making the plan often helps me feel like I accomplished the job. Consistently reviewing the plan (and adjusting) is the real work I like to avoid.

Planning vs execution.

Personally, the most valuable part of doing a 5 year plan is to clarify my vision and set a general direction for how I want my life to go. Having a North Star – something to work towards – does help.

The 5 year plan hasn’t worked as well when I got too granular, like “make $1 million in one year.” That approach bears the risk of setting a stress-inducing expectation, and violates the what I learned about input vs output goals.

So…what’s in your 5 year plan?

Just for fun

In this 2 minute rom com, Carton meets Generica in a city where no one cares about business. By @imchriswilson on TikTok.


Meet Cute: a Two Minute Rom Com. #hallmarkmovies #everyhallmarkmovie #shortfilm #sketchcomedy #romanticcomedy

♬ original sound – Chris Wilson

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