Compare two people trying to get an edge in life after starting with debt.
John focuses on small wins: removing little costs wherever possible. He sets up a budget. He cuts back on his daily lattes. He doesn't buy new clothes. He doesn't go out much.
Chris focuses on big wins: a few things he can do once that will pay him back forever. He negotiates multiple salary increases, including a $20,000 raise. He negotiates his rent from $2,000 per month down to $1,500 per month.
What's the difference between the two?
Chris is, in fact, a real person. A national reporter wrote about him in a six-page Fortune profile. Today, he earns $120,000 and has tens of thousands in savings. He leveraged the philosophy of big wins to do a few easy things that got him a life-changing impact. As a result, he can now do the things in life that make him feel rich.
John isn't a real person, but he represents the conventional wisdom of finance experts: frugality. No lattes! No new clothes! No appetizers! Constantly say no to all the little expenses. This approach fails because it requires you to build a difficult habit that you keep for life. We deplete our willpower every time we say no to the little things in life that make us feel rich. This is the reason why many people who try this approach eventually give up.