U.S. endurance athlete Colin O’Brady just made history.

He became the first man to ever cross Antarctica on his own, without help or support from anyone else. He did it using cross country skis and while towing his supplies strapped onto a sled.

O’Brady committed the 932 mile trek in just under 54 days, including a final 32-hour push that allowed him to cover the last 77 miles all at once, an accomplishment he’s calling “an Antarctic ultramarathon.” He narrowly beat out competitor Louis Rudd, a friend of Henry Wrosley, a Brit who died after failing to make the same trek in 2016. Worsley was only 30 miles from the finish line when he called off the expedition (he later died of an infection).

Because I am less fun than a case of the measles, I look at stories like this with shock and contempt. What a pointless hobby. I understand pushing yourself to do something, but the accomplishment has to be worth something, dammit. This is obscure enough it’s barely going to get O’Brady bragging rights at some random dinner party a decade from now.

“Oh, you crossed Antarctica alone, even though your Instagram feed clearly has pictures others took of you? That’s nice. I’m going to go over here now.”

Aside: how lame is that Instagram account going to be now? He’s going to repost pictures for the next three years before trying the next dumb stunt.

Taking off my cynic’s hat for a second, I’ll admit O’Brady’s accomplishment is pretty damn impressive. I’d get about 10 miles into the wilderness before calling in for some Pizza Hut to be delivered by a chopper.

You have to admit pizza delivered by a helicopter would be pretty damn cool.

We’re impressed by such things because they’re hard. That’s what makes them worth doing. And yet you should strive to do the exact opposite in your life, especially when it comes to your finances.

See? I eventually got to the point.

‘Hard mode’ finances

The finance world loves rags to riches stories. The PF blog-o-net is even worse; they regularly get mad at people who don’t disclose their advantages.

Remember Anton, the 27-year-old self-made millionaire who upon further investigation inherited most of the cash? The worst part was he turned himself in. Come on, Anton. You gotta commit to the lie.

More recently it was the Frugalwoods clan who found themselves in hot water after it was disclosed the guy made an assload of money while the blog made it sound like their high savings rate was because of frugal living. The wife never bothered to mention how much the blog made, either.

The thing that makes people mad about this is the dishonesty. Nobody cares if you use your unique advantages to make life a little easier. It only matters when you don’t disclose it. Finance bloggers don’t bother to do this because they’re motivated by what people think of them. Besides, you can’t really milk many blog posts out of ‘make an assload of money.’

Nelson’s advantages

Instead of downplaying your unique financial advantages, do the opposite. Exploit the living crap out of them.

Your favorite blogger is a great example. I have all sorts of advantages I use. My dad is a smart real estate investor, and he was the one who suggested I buy two of the three rentals I own today. He could have easily taken those deals for himself, but chose not to. What a guy. Maybe I should stop mocking his driving habits?

Nah. Come on dad, it’s a 100km/hr zone. You can go faster than 92.

I also borrow money from family members, although I have paid every nickel back with interest. I pay the Prime rate and am happy to do so, since it’s much easier than applying for a loan down at the ol’ credit union.

There are other financial advantages I have too, but they’re not important. The key is that you capitalize on every “unfair” advantage you have. 

Have parents willing to give you money for a down payment or an investment? Ignore your pride and take the cash, stupid.

Is work giving you a great deal on buying stock? Buy that ish up, yo. Just make sure to diversify down the road.

Many people refuse to do these things, citing bullshit like their pride won’t let them take money from their parents. This is akin to intentionally living your financial life on hard mode. You might beat the game, but there are no bonus points for doing so. If getting rich is the goal, doesn’t it make sense to take the easiest possible path?

I understand some people might not have any of these financial advantages. That sucks! But that shouldn’t stop you from using your support network to your advantage. Just don’t do all the taking.

Tell everyone, yo!