Skip to content

Could Your Weirdness Be Your Ticket to Wealth?

  • 4 min read

In high school I had a knack for “spontaneous math”

I’d see an equation and the correct answer would simply pop into my head.

Here’s something I was terrible at though:

Solving equations using formulas.

I found them burdensome and uninteresting.

Sometimes I tried to use them but then I’d make mistakes and get the wrong answer.

I didn’t see the point of it.

– Why work really hard to adopt other people’s ways and eventually get worse answers? –

So I dropped the idea of formulas.

I intuitively aced all my math test answers.

Time after time, I got 100% of answers right.

Still, I wasn’t allowed to pass.

Because I couldn’t prove how I got them.

I felt bitter about it and started to challenge the teachers.

For the less confident among them it became a power struggle because I destabilized their authority.

This led to a 3 year period of:
Fights with teachers
Mandatory tutoring
Extra homework

All trying to force me to learn proper math.

But I kept refusing.

Because none of the adults could give me a solid answer as to why it would benefit me.

Eventually I grew to hate math, a subject I used to love, and the answers stopped coming to me.

Fast Forward 10 Years

In my mid 20s, I was doing some freelance writing work.

One of my clients kept investing in me. Until they gave me more and more advanced work:

Team leader

They used my talents to help scale their business to +1M revenue.

Why did they wanna work with me, a high school dropout, in those roles?

Because I was a strong nonlinear thinker.

The very thing teachers tried to get me to unlearn was my advantage.

Strong nonlinear thinkers are hard to find in the job market.


1. Schools teach us to think linearly.

2. Many nonlinear thinkers have worse organization skills

3. Nonlinear thinkers more often question or challenge dogma and authority.

Since insecure leaders can’t handle this, it’s more likely they’ve been confronted with abuse of authority. And in response, have developed a bad relationship with it.

Unfortunately, such an attitude makes you a challenging hire.

What Are the Lessons In This Story?

If you’re nonlinear / divergent thinker, you are sitting on a proverbial pile of gold.

But it’s likely covered in a much bigger pile of poop.

The challenge is to keep holding on to the gold and not let anyone take it from you. While diligently digging through the poop to get to it yourself.

Some things that’ll help you do it:

1. Balance your skillset for a linear world.

Learn linear skills to develop good organization and work ethic.

It’ll give you an edge over other creatives.

This is exactly what the adults should’ve told me in math class as the reason to learn formulas.

(Side note: I’m really honest: I’ve simply learned to transmute my nonlinear thinking into a linear representation of it. This is again where the skill shines: The reverse is much harder to do.)

2. Manage your emotions, judgments and identifications wisely.

The more you are attached to a certain way of looking at:

the world

…the more impaired your nonlinear thinking skills are.

These things create linear walls your thinking can’t diverge from, because it would threaten your perceived safety.

The cleaner you keep your mind, the more space for answers to suddenly “pop in”.

Find routines for mental hygiene.

Learn to stay humble.

And let go of attachments or ideas about how/who/what things are.

3. Fix your issues with authority figures.

If you have any issues with authority figures, you’ll need to resolve this.

You might think: “Well, what if I just live without a boss?”

In that case, you need it even more.

Because it requires you to become an authority figure yourself.

And most people won’t allow themselves to become what they hate.

The way to resolve this is through a process of reclaiming your own responsibility and forgiving the past.

If you want guidance with any of the above from someone who walked the path before, you can always reach out to me.

In any case, I hope this post can inspire you to allow yourself to shine!


(Photo by Alexander Grey)

If you enjoyed this free article, please consider leaving a tip.

For personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation, go here (subject to availability).