237. 20 Hours with Tai Lopez: Investor, Entrepreneur & Author
105 Questions to test your mastery of lesson 237
Influence & Persuasion
- What is future pacing and how can it be used to influence?
- What is norm of reciprocity and how can it be used to influence?
- What is social authority and how can it be used to influence?
- What is social proof and how can it be used to influence?
- What is authority and how can it be used to influence?
- What is scarcity and how can it be used to influence?
- What is teasing and how can it be used to influence?
- Why must there be losers in life? What are some consequences of claiming ‘everyone is a winner’?
- “You should be sad & depressed _____ of your life. It means you’re learning from your lessons.”
- What are some benefits of testimonials on your site?
- What are the PASE psychological profiles?
- What are the four basic human drivers?
- “The more exposure you have to different cultures, the higher your _____, the less _____ and to _____.”
- “The wealthier you get, the _____, and the less _____.”
- What percentage of the population are gullible suckers doomed to always having their money taken from them by others?
- What are the 6 domains of the HEXACO-PI-R?
- What are the 5 elements that comprise conscientiousness?
- What are the three types of people in the world?
- What are 11 ways to face your fears and rewire your brain?
- What are 3 ways people generally react when receiving large sums of money:
- Where does happiness come from? What is memory happiness?
- “I do not fear the man that _____. I fear the man that _____.”
- What are some risks of optimizing for the wrong thing? What should you optimize for?
- “Money can’t buy _____, but lack of money _____.”
- What are some differences between hustling, working hard, practice, and deliberate practice?
- “Plan your next _____ years, but optimize _____. Optimize around _____.”
- What is self-sufficiency narcissism?
- “No matter what you do people are going to _____. In fact ‘if at least _____ of your clients aren’t complaining, you’re a nobody.”
- “If you _____, _____, and _____, people can’t be angry with you afterwards.”
- What the the two main human philosophies, and how do they differ? Which is better for long-term success? Why?
- What are the 3 limiting beliefs you’ve been conditioned by society to believe?
- What are some reasons why users complain about a product and believe they’ve been ‘ripped off?’
- What are the 3 steps to change?
- What are 6 advantages of looking back and identifying crossroads, key turning points and landmarks in your life?
- What are the 5 steps to reinventing yourself?
- Which is more powerful, internal or external motivation?
- What are two reliable personality tests you can take for free?
- “You should treat others as you’d like to be treated, but _____, which is imperative if you are going to _____.”
- What are some reasons why ‘being lucky’ is a crutch?
- What is ‘pattern interruption’ in videos?
- What is the ‘availability bias?’
- What is self-depreciation?’
- “Most people underestimate what they can do in _____ year(s) and underestimate what they can do in _____ years.”
- As an entrepreneur, what are some benefits of contacting people who invest heavily in advertising?
- “If you aren’t afraid of _____, you’ll always have money in your bank account.”
- What are some benefits of having long-form sales pitches? What are some benefits of offering a lot of free, quality content?
- How does ladder theory help or hurt professionals?
- “You can’t stand out by _____. You’ve got to _____.”
- What are some examples of fear-based questions? What is the best way to overcome crippling fear?
- What is a better strategy than merely ‘trying to grow a successful business’?
- “Most businesses fail not because _____, but because _____.”
- What are some differences between optimizing for your startup versus optimizing for you?
- What are some respectable strategies for dealing with haters, trolls and people who seek to discredit you professionally?
- What are some benefits of an entrepreneurial CV/Resume?
- What counts isn’t your first startup; what matters is:
- “Most millionaires earn their money through _____. Most billionaires earn their money _____.”
- What are some limitations of the traditional university cursus?
- “Spend as much time as you possibly can in-person with professionals who are _____ years ahead of where you are in your career right now.”
- “You need a business partner that _____, that way you can both _____ and both of you win.”
- What are some benefits of the plus, minus, equal system?
- What is are some consequences of the Pareto rule?
- How many mentors should you aim to have?
- “Don’t focus on _____ and _____.’ Focus on _____. Then wealth and success will come naturally.”
- What are some pitfalls to self-sufficiency narcissism?
- You don’t have to be the smartest person, but never let yourself be seen as _____.
- What are some differences between the 2 imperatives to success?
- Which is preferred, quality or quantity of knowledge? Why?
- “Without _____, _____ & _____, all your other tools are essentially useless.”
- What are the 5 principle phases of sales:
- What are some major benefits of going to events and conferences?
- For your first business venture, is it better to start with a product or a service? Should you seek upfront capital & inventory? Why?
- What are the 12 steps to creating a turnkey agency with robotic income?
- Is it better to spend money learning others’ business shortcuts and lessons, or spend time and discover them for yourself? Why?
- What are some differences between a red ocean and a blue ocean?
- What are some business benefits of having competitors? What are some risks of not having any competitors?
- “The airline industry is in competition with _____.”
- Why do smart businesses have a marketing budget?
- What are some benefits of performing a free audit to capture a prospect’s attention and providing value before they have even asked you?
- What does the phrase “Be the flame, not the moth” mean?
- What is a white label?
- When offering a service, price yourself _____ enough so people take you seriously. Setting _____ is imperative to your reputation and your lifestyle.
- _____% of all self-made billionaires started in the _____ industry.
- What is bootstrapping?
- How many seats does the New York Yankee Stadium have? How many people could your little live stream potentially reach?
- How much free marketing did Donald Trump receive during his successful 2016 presidential campaign?
- Statistically, how often do global recessions occur?
- How many minimum revenue streams is ideal to hedge against economic downturns and bad times?
- “Even with deliberate, calculated practice, it’s probably going to take you _____ years to become a millionaire.”
- What is the minimum # to be considered a good credit score?
- What are some great advantages of paying using a credit card rather than a debit card?
- “The average person spends _____/year on Starbucks.”
- What are 7 steps to maximize your offline time for your online content?
- According to the Dalai Lama, what are the three types of knowledge?
- What is Kylie Jenner’s major business accomplishment?
- What are five foundational lessons your education should have taught you, but didn’t?
- What are five things children should learn growing up?
- What is ‘strength-based time management’?
- What are some differences between active and passive investment?
- Working hard vs working smart. You shouldn’t start working hard until _____.
- Which offers greater ROI, focusing on one business idea at a time or experimenting with 12 different ideas per year? Why?
- Once you’ve finally found ‘that one idea’, what should you do?
- Which strategy offers greater ROI, paid online advertising or hiring a photo- and videographer to shoot your event and post them online? Why?
- When dealing with data-driven algorithms, what are some differences between Netflix’s and Amazon’s approach?
- What is optimal stopping?
- What is the process of scaling from making 100K€/year to 1M€/year?
17 videos. 184 links. 223+ takeaways from this 20 hr training lesson:
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Below are 20 hours of high-quality, curated content gleaned from Tai Lopez’ Youtube channel blended with my personal experience as a talent development specialist training over 15,000 professionals and university students, neatly bundled up and in one place.]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Persuasion strategies for optimized sales pitches
- How to deal with ‘haters,’ ‘trolls’ and online criticism
- How to change, avoid procrastination and be more productive
- Psychological and personality defaults that sabotage success
- What you know & Who you know: the 2 imperatives to success
- Find business partners that compliment your weaknesses
- The benefits of advertising & marketing your strengths
- Balancing ambition and happiness
- The secret to success, knowing in what to specialize
- How to create a ‘turnkey’ business with robotic income
- Reasons why people fail to reach their goals in life
- The ‘optimal’ personality profile for success
- Learning how to learn and deliberate practice
- Lessons your education should have taught you, but didn’t
- Tai Lopez’ Claim & Disclosure
PERSUASION STRATEGIES FOR OPTIMIZED SALES PITCHES
When appearing on stage in front of an applauding audience, exploit this position of power to take a photo and/or video – at the beginning or the end of your time on stage. The benefit is that you and the event organizers have free content for social media, and those who can identify their faces in the crowd will proudly tag themselves and share your videos and images with their followers. This can be done:
- First-person though your own phone held in your own hands as you stand on the stage.
- Second-person by getting a person in the audience or other persons on stage to record you.
- Third-person by obtaining footage from the event organizers who are recording the event from multiple angles.
Sharing this content through social media exploits several weapons of influence:
- Future pacing is placing a prospective client in a future situation and after they have already done a particular action you’re expecting them to do. Tai frequently uses the phrase “the product you’re about to get access to…” presupposes the viewer will continue on to purchase the product.
- Norm of reciprocity is the tendency for others to “repay in kind what has been done for them.” Whether or not you are contractually obligated to ‘market’ an event or conference in the way Tai Lopez does above, this little free marketing gesture benefits all parties involved, and opens up more speaking opportunities and business growth.
- Social authority is a measure of your content’s level of engagement and influence. It measures how often a person’s content is shared online. Having successfully established social proof and authority, social authority acts as free marketing for your personal image. So much so that Tia non longer needs an introduction at the start of his presentation.
- Social proof are cues on how important and powerful you are and how others should perceive and treat you. Consistently appearing on stage in front of hundreds or thousands of people sets a strong anchor for how others should treat you and conduct business with you in the future.
- Authority is the tendency to believe that if a person is an expert in their subject matter, then what you say must be true, your advice must have value, and thus should be heeded. Being a guest speaker at an event, having an audience applauding your entry onto the stage… are all signs of authority.
- Scarcity involves offering a limited, VIP, test group access to a small number of ‘legitimate, serious’ professionals who ‘understand’ and who are the first to sign up. Tai Lopez frequently says “I’ve never done this before and I may never do it again…” This adds perceived value and social proof not only for you, but to those who take you up on your special offer; those who do sign up can now brag to their friends that “Many signed up, but I was one of the select few chosen to be accepted.” Even if Tai never withdraws his ‘limited time’ offer, anyone lucky enough to stumble upon your ‘unlisted Youtube video’ or your ‘hidden’ page will believe they’ve beaten the system.
- Bonuses and ‘scholarships’. Always throw in ‘free’ and ‘reduced priced’ stuff into your offers, such as a free PDF copy of your latest book, access to previous online trainings, or access to a secret online community. It’s seen as a gift even though the price is subjective and purchasers are technically paying anyway. Gifts work and are easy marketing tools.
In nearly every ‘sales’ video, Tai Lopez holds a brick of $100s and periodically offers $100 bill rewards to viewers on his social media live feeds who correctly answer his test questions. Tai even calls the person out by name when they win.
- Teasing. Demonstrate value, but don’t give everything away all at once. Give people a reason to want to stay tuned and continue listening to you. The strip club business model is based on the idea that even if a dancer takes off 90% of his/her clothes, there will always be clients willing to pay to see the final 10%.
- Fear. People are more likely to pay attention to you when you provide advice against failure than when you offer opportunities to success.
- Mutual win/win commitment. Provided you’ve established trust, people are more willing to commit knowing that your success is equally dependent upon their success. Likewise, that if they fail, you lose as well – or, at least you don’t win despite their failure.
- Mutual respect. Eventually you will become the conversation topic of people who disagree with you and/or your methods. ‘Haters,’ ‘trolls,’ ‘unsatisfied clients,’ etc. will make up a large percentage of the conversation in your comment sections. Knowing when to engage and when to not to engage is important. Regardless, treat others fairly, and expect to be treated fairly, even if they do not. Demanding to be treated with respect is called assertiveness (discussed later)
Done discretely, exploiting these techniques offers many benefits to building your personal brand, however done incorrectly you risk alienating and damaging your authority with your live audience, making you appear detached, arrogant, and disinterested.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in my interview with Emmanuel Caurel of Bizarre Love Triangle that he grew his music event not through paid advertising, but by strategically investing time and money in hiring top quality photographers to shoot the party and provide attendees with photos of such high quality that those attendees were proud to tag themselves on facebook and post the photos as their primary headline photo.
haters & trolls
Lastly, for more on future-pacing and communication techniques, check out Lesson 204. How Donald Trump uses language to persuade and Nerdwriter’s video: How Donald Trump answers a question.]
HOW TO DEAL WITH ‘HATERS,’ ‘TROLLS’ & ONLINE CRITICISM
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In the above video Tai Lopez organizes a live debate with John Henry, a ‘hater’ who claims Tai is unqualified to teach real-estate course, and accuses Tai’s followers of being gullible. At the minute 8:00 Tai is challenged several times about financial definitions and mathematical knowledge of the real-estate market, to which Tai tries to clarify he isn’t teaching the course, that other qualified professionals are doing the training. After several attempts of being cut off Tai imposes himself by saying “Wait. I’m going to make sure you allow me to say my point.” This is a respectful yet firm way of asserting himself in the conversation and not allowing himself to be dominated.
In Lesson 169. How to negotiate your compensation package, Deepak Malhotra explains you should aim for an 11/10 with regard to how the other parties should perceive you after having negotiated with or done business with you. Even if the other party still disagrees with you, they should respect you as a professional.
Lastly, the US Air Force created a blog assessment flowchart to determine if, when and how to respond to criticism online.]
You cannot please everybody all the time; this includes your present friends and family telling you ‘you’re screwing your life up,’ and it also includes those living 50,000 generations ago who were afraid of leaving the safety of their little village for more hunting opportunities.
Even yourself, you cannot always be happy with who you are and what you’re doing. Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn said “If you’re not a little embarrassed with your first product, you waited too long to launch the business.” This is because people don’t demand perfection from your business – that is unless you’re in the airline business – and even then they only demand perfection from the airplane engines; not the staff and the online website and the check-in counter…
No matter what you do people are going to complain. In fact, “if at least 5% of your clients aren’t complaining (for ungrounded reasons), you’re a nobody.”
Interactions with other people – even the most mundane – are soft skills training in persuasion, sales, negotiation, information gathering, emotional intelligence…
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in my interview with Hervé Godard, owner of Blake Magazine that most of the time, if you handle yourself transparently, apologize for your mistakes, and offer to make any wrongs right, people can’t be angry with you afterwards.]
HOW TO CHANGE, AVOID PROCRASTINATION & BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Human decision-making and behavior are rooted in two main philosophies:
- Epicureans believe in enjoying present moment because the future is not promised. Why limit gratification today and invest in the future when the future isn’t guaranteed?
- Stoics believe in investing in the future and limiting gratification today. Why spend today what could be worth more in the future?
Over time, it becomes obvious the role your guiding philosophy plays in your future success, your leadership style, your negotiation style, your financial style and your maturity of defenses: your ability to manage fear, rejection, failure and risk.
Following advice from the book The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, focusing on a 67-day goal and a goal for each 12- to 18-month cycle, and summarizing those goals into a simple phrase you can repeat to yourself prevents procrastination and helps you channel your energy into accomplishing those goals, thus increasing your productivity and chances of reaching those goals.
If ever you find yourself torn between 2 more-or-less equally beneficial opportunities and you don’t know what to do, flip a coin. Multiple equally beneficial ideas? Roll the dice. Most people freeze up, stop and procrastinate while opportunities pass them by.
At what point does procrastination & cynicism become stupidity?
Where is the line?
There are many skills and feats you are capable of achieving, however you’ve been conditioned by society to believe:
- Low self-esteem. You’re not good enough
- Procrastination. You haven’t enough time or money to do it
- Cynicism. It’s impossible, or it’s ‘probably’ a scam
It isn’t until you actually see someone else you trust actually doing it that you realize how wrong you are and how attainable those skills and feats are. Until you see it, you won’t believe it.
Most of the time when you’ve been ‘ripped off,’ it’s not by the things others did to you, but by the things you didn’t take advantage of: The options and features you could have exploited, but didn’t – either because you didn’t know about them, or because you dared/chose not to use them.
Change comes by:
- Seeing someone else do something you believe is impossible or unattainable.
- Buying in: readjusting your belief from impossible to possible, and then begin actively working to accomplish what you once believed was impossible, be it with the person who showed you your problem, or by solving your problem through another avenue.
- Reinventing yourself. Having bought in, you must now redefine who you will be, and begin acting that way. Even if it means changing your entire social circle. A great sign you’ve successfully reinvented yourself is when people around you treat you the way you expect to be treated
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In his Ted Talk Are athletes getting faster?, David Epstein explains that in 1954 Sir Roger Bannister set the world record for running 1 mile in under 4 minutes. Since then, that record has been met and broken thousands of times. This is in part because:
- Once athletes saw a 4 minute mile was actual attainable, their self-imposed psychological limit was shattered and they began pushing themselves harder and training more intelligently.
- They began training with technologically advanced equipment.
- Athletes with genetic predispositions to running (longer legs, thinner, more aerodynamic body types…) began focusing on the sports they naturally excelled in.]
Even from where you are in life now, you should be able to look back at your life and identify crossroads, key turning points, and landmarks: key moments and people who had a critical, profound influence on shaping who you’ve become who you are. If you’re unable to do this, you’re missing out, and for several reasons:
- Being able to reverse-engineer past successes requires the same critical thinking skills necessary to streamline success in the future.
- Certain characteristics and patterns (people and environments) will emerge that you can then build upon, and avoid, in the future.
- By reconnecting with those former mentors and people, you may be reigniting a lost relationship that could turn into future opportunities.
- The world changes quickly, and if you aren’t ahead of the curve (trend setting) or at least with the curve (great majority riding the wave), you’ll get left behind.
- Seasons come and go:
- It could be that a former mentor is now in a far better position, and you can learn even more from them.
- It could also be that a former mentor has had a string of failures and is in a very difficult, depressive moment in their life, and you’ve the opportunity to return the favor by helping them, just as they helped you.
|How to reinvent yourself||As a practical example..|
|1. Pick a future landmark. It could be the day you graduate high school or university, get a new job, get married (or get divorced), get a promotion…|
Your goals need to be internally motivated, otherwise you’re more likely to abandon your goal when times get difficult.
Your goals need to be further divided into micro-goals which you can accomplish. Doing so gives you a sense of accomplishment, builds your confidence, and builds up your resilience for the inevitable future setbacks.
|“If you don’t like your current income, reinvent your job by working yourself out of a job by owning your own small business at home.”|
|2. Identify at least 4 mentors to help you in your reinvention. Ideally they should be in person with professionals in your network to help you, however until you can attract those caliber of people, read their books, take their online courses (free and paid)…|
Don’t focus on ‘getting rich’ and ‘becoming successful.’ Focus on rewiring your brain with the right mindset, strategies and knowledge. Then wealth and success will come naturally.
A problem with books is that they quickly become outdated, depending on the subject.
Another problem with university is that it charges a ridiculous price for out-dated, unpractical, lecture style teaching on subjects you’ll never use in real life, and definitely don’t teach you the practical skills and tools to succeed.
|Identify the already successful path to reach your landmark:|
See below and refer to Lesson 231. Learning how to learn
|3. Build your financial credit score so you can quality for loans to buy a house, car, appropriate business attire, or whatever else is necessary to optimize reinventing yourself. Banks don’t loan money to people with no money.|
If you have bad credit or no credit, you will first need to invest the time repairing your credit. (Discussed later)
|Buy your laptop, wifi connection, domain name…|
– Keep your current job
– Find micro-investors (discussed later)
– Going into debt should be your last resort.
Sell from the US to the US. Sell from country X to demographic Y in country Z. There are no limits online.
Diversify your revenue streams and investment portfolio in anticipation of economic crisis
|4. Stay ahead of the curve. Know what to invest in; online and offline. Investing in ‘winners’ requires inside knowledge, skill, research, and after all of that, luck.||Invest a portion of your revenue in expanding your skill sets and professional network (discussed later)|
|5. Return to step 1 with a new landmark.|
My business partner’s and I launch 200 businesses a year – roughly 4 per week – and then we cull them down to the top 12 most profitable per year and sell off or ditch the rest.
PSYCHOLOGICAL & PERSONALITY DEFAULTS THAT SABOTAGE SUCCESS
It is important to distinguish between easy vs hard, simple vs difficult:
- Earning 1M€ by winning the lottery is hard & difficult to do.
- Earning 1M€ by convincing 500,000 people to give you 2€ is hard, but simple.
- Telling yourself you’re going to lose 10 pounds is simple, but hard to do.
- Losing 10 pounds by running 5 kilometers every day is hard, but simple to do.
Self-sufficiency narcissism is the myth that you can accomplish everything on your own and without the help or input of anyone else – that ‘you are your own self-made millionaire.’ Narcissism is a self-protection mechanism; it’s hard to admit there are people better and smarter than you. Unfortunately, this “I can make it alone and all by myself” mentality is what’s taught to entrepreneurs and the Western culture prides itself on the belief that you must hustle, grind, suffer and sacrifice all, work harder…
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Tai Lopez frequently refers to two important tests he uses when recruiting and assessing others:
- HEXACO Personality Inventory – Revised (Take this test for free)
- Dark Triad Personality Test (Take this test for free)]
That said, there are many self-starting, self-confident professionals who enjoy figuring out new problems on their own and have learned to take pressure, stress, rejection and failure in stride, and they have learned how to learn. This is an ideal professional profile.
To earn 100,000€/year gross, a human working 40 hrs/week would have to earn 48€/hour. One robot, however, working 24/7 only needs to earn you 11.50€/hour. (Creating robotic income is discussed later)
The idea that you don’t need to read and learn from others, and that you can simply learn by doing, is ridiculous!
Rather than thinking you can learn on your own, train with people who are better than you. Intelligence is the ability to admit you need help and then go find and learn from those people who are smarter than you.
Another perspective that can sabotage your success is how you compartmentalize your life. You have your professional life, home life, social life, private life… and these lives need to be appropriately integrated. Let your professional life bleed too deeply into your home life, and your family relationships will suffer. Ideally:
- You want a job you enjoy doing so much that it almost feels like a hobby, so you don’t waste your weekends dreading Monday, and you aren’t using hard earned annual vacation to ‘escape’ work.
- You want healthy friendships in your professional circle, which will lead to career opportunities, such as finding jobs you enjoy
imperatives to success
Others will always know more than you in many things; but never let yourself be seen as a fool.
WHAT YOU KNOW & WHO YOU KNOW: THE 2 IMPERATIVES TO SUCCESS
Your success is based on:
- What you know. You can ‘know’ Facebook ads and online marketing funnels, etc… And what you don’t know you can learn.
‘Knowing’ ‘quality’ versus ‘quantity. In this highly competitive, globalized world, you are in competition with professionals much more competent than you. In order to stand out from the average professional and be respected, you need to narrow and deepen what you know to become respected as an expert in your field.
People tell you that to be successful in life you’ll need things like a university diploma, daily habits & routines, to grind & hustle, networking skills…
All these are important (“except maybe a university diploma”), but it’s your ability to sell and negotiate: to get strangers to trust you enough to open up about their personal needs & wants, and then accept your solution and give you what you want for it. Without sales, negotiation & persuasion, all your other tools are essentially useless.
Sales is simply “getting people to hear your side of the story,” and involves 5 principle phases: (2 sales pitches analyzed below)
- Reading people:
- People will not buy until they are ready to. People who find you but aren’t yet ready to listen to your side of the story but aren’t yet willing to buy what you’re selling should be on your email list so you don’t lose contact with them
- Online marketing ads use algorithms to analyze consumer behavior and qualify leads so those most primed to be will find you, human behavior predicted by AI.
- Mirroring is mimicking your prospective client to exploit the liking bias (people tend to like others who are similar to themselves). The problem with mirroring is that a prospective client may be speaking quickly because they are anxious or worried, and a prospective client wearing a business suit might actually hate business suits. In these circumstances, mirroring may actually backfire and send the wrong message and those prospects may be turned off by you
- Opening deals
- Understanding life cycles:
- You can’t convince a prospect to give you 10K€ if they don’t have the money; unless you convince them to go into debt + interest, but it’s easier to convince prospects to give you the 10K€ they were going to spend anyway, or you collect your 10K€ from your client’s future revenue after they’ve benefited from your product/services
- Dealing with difficult people and situations
- Closing deals – the secret to closing a deal is opening it correctly
- Reading people:
- Who you know. “Your network is your net worth…Your net worth is the average net worth of the five people you spend the most of your time with.” One of the major benefits of going to events and conferences is that you’re surrounded with like-minded people, all seeking mutually-beneficial opportunities.
Don’t be envious when around wealthy or successful people, be encouraged and absorb as much as you can. Envy will send bad vibes and turns away mentors, investors, and business partners who would have otherwise helped you.
In the same vein, stop giving your time away to people who aren’t offering you anything in return. Yes, people have ups and downs, and you should treat others as you’d like to be treated, but surrounding yourself with people to take and take and drain from you is not putting yourself in a position to strengthen yourself, which is imperative if you are going to be able to help others.
You can outsource and hire people to do your marketing for you, to run your business for you, to run your errands, or sell your products and manage customer support for you.
The ‘what you know’ is important, but by far ‘who you know’ is critical to your success and goal-completion; a simple introduction could provide a domino effect that leads to you achieving your long-term goals. It’s not what you do that helps you reach your goals, its who you know that gives you access to ‘what you need to know’ as well as introduces you to ‘who you need to know’ to help you reach your goals.
Spend as much time as you possibly can in-person with professionals who are 20 years ahead of where you are in your career right now. Aim to have at least 15 of these people in your close contact list.
Never take for granted your professional network – combined with luck, active listening and sincere interest. This led to Tai Lopez’ second ‘who you know’ event during a casual conversation when someone at his dinner table mentioned a newly launched Facebook Advertising platform.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 212. Why ‘being lucky’ is a crutch and 5 ways to improve your luck, Bryan Cranston said you can’t prepare for luck; you just have to just do your work, do the best that you can, and be prepared for when it stumbles upon you.]
In 2007, Tai Lopez’ third ‘who you know’ event came when a fellow marketer told him he needed to get out more and to do more professional networking.
Tai’s fourth ‘who you know’ came when he invited a friend to go to a club and his friend, without looking up from texting on his phone, responded “recreation is overrated.”
In August 2014, Tai Lopez’ fifth ‘who you know’ event came during a dinner when someone said to him “Hey, I’ll bet you’d be good on video. You should launch a Youtube channel.” Tai originally resisted ‘buying in’ for months because the person who made the suggestion wasn’t on Youtube (launched in 2005 and acquired by Google in 2006). Months later, he uploaded Here in my garage, where he exploited the 25 most common cognitive biases:
Returning to ‘what you know,’ let’s analyze the introduction to Dollarshaveclub.com‘s first advertisement uploaded 6 March 2012 (with over 26.7M views and counting):
- Knowing online video watchers get bored and turn off quickly, 18 seconds into the ad, Michael Dubin used a technique called pattern interrupt by crashing through orange paper similar to the “Our blades are f**king great” poster (also exploiting availability bias) just outside of his office. Although the poster said his key message, Michael said it for dramatic impact and to speak to both those visual watchers as well as those who prefer auditory messages.
- At 30 seconds Michael uses self-deprication to exploit liking bias (mentioned above)
Think of life as a puzzle. Assume every person you talk to has one little piece of information that, were you to uncover it, could improve your life forever.
FIND BUSINESS PARTNERS THAT COMPLIMENT YOUR WEAKNESSES
If your strength is ‘what you know’, partner with someone who’s strength is ‘who they know.’ If you lead a boring life that would not look good on social media, partner with someone who is interesting, or pay influencers or professionals to manage the social media marketing side of your business. You need a business partner that compliments your weaknesses, that way you can both focus on what you do best and both of you win. Work with people whose strengths compliment your weaknesses.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in my interview with Roc Chaland that you should form partnerships and exchange your qualifications. Also, be picky with who you do business with. Don’t work with people simply because they can help you; work with them because they’re qualified in what they do.
Bill Gates is credited with saying “Most people underestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in 10 years.”
In his Youtube video on Stoicism, Ryan Holiday advocates “The plus, minus, equal system: To improve your skill sets, train with someone who is better than you, someone who is equal to you, and someone who is not as good as you who you teach. This makes you better and keeps your ego in check.”
For university students just starting out, William Raduchel advises you to “Don’t pick a job, pick a boss. Your first boss is your biggest factor in your career success. A boss who doesn’t trust you won’t give you opportunities to grow.”
Also for university students, universities do not ‘offer scholarships,’ they ‘offer discounts’ on a ridiculously inflated price and call it a ‘special offer.’
However, when working with people who are better than you, Sir John Hegarty warns you to “respect don’t revere. Putting anyone on a pedestal is dangerous. It implies they are better than everyone else; but they’re not. We’re all stepping-stones for the next generation.”
Future generations will mock you.
“Are you telling me when you were my age you had the internet, yet you STILL paid tons of money to sit in physical ‘classrooms’ with other gullible suckers and ‘learn how to be successful’ in life?!”
Accept in life that there are some people you just won’t be able to help. You can’t help everybody. The 80/20 pareto rule states that roughly 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your work. Likewise, roughly 80% of your problems come from 20% of your work. It may actually be in your interest to earn less money if it leads to fewer problems and more time for you to focus on what you enjoy.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: 2012 era-Mashable posted a good article explaining how Apple and Google are profitable because they know where to lose money. Also, refer to the book 27 Powers of Persuasion.]
Anyone will give you their email nowadays. But their phone number; that they keep much more guarded.
market your strengths
When networking, don’t get emails. “Emails are so 2004.” Get their phone number and text them.
THE BENEFITS OF ADVERTISING & MARKETING YOUR STRENGTHS
Professionals who invest heavily in advertising do so because they want the exposure necessary to meet new people and develop their professional network and business opportunities. Thus, they would be open to your contacting them and pitching them business opportunities; even if what you pitch them isn’t why they were initially advertising for in the first place.
If you aren’t afraid of the phone (and face-to-face professional networking), you’ll always have money in your bank account.
Most marketing campaigns are too short. When your copy to convince people to trust you and buy-in is only 2 paragraphs long, and when your video pitches are too short to be taken seriously, and when your call-to-action pops up before prospects have had the chance to make a decision for themselves… it’s understandable you’ll have a hard time finding clients.
Instead, having long-form sales pitches that offer a lot of free, quality content builds your reputation, allowing strangers to become comfortable with you. Then the leads start coming in as prospects convert. Not because you’ve persuaded them, but because they have decided to trust you.
When starting a business or a side project, build upon what you already know and are competent with. In 2001 Tai Lopez was a life insurance professional licensed in all 50 United States, and he took his competence and tested it online with new and emerging opportunities, which he tried after taking an online sales training by the late Corey Rudl.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In the Ycombinator lecture series at Stanford University, Lesson 99. How to build products users love, Kevin Hale also advises you to start with a project where you have sufficient competence to be able to solve a known problem. If your objective is to start your own business, get into a good, large company and spend a few years understanding the industry, the people, building the professional network and reputation before launching out on your own.]
William Durant states in this book The Lessons of History that “the first biological lesson of history – with business as with mating – is competition. Competition is not only the life of trade but is the trade of life. Peaceful when food abounds; violence when the mouths outrun the food. Animals eat one another without qualm. Civilized (wo)men consume one another by the due process of law.”
With dating websites like Tinder or AdopteunMec as with professional networking and recruiting sites like Linkedin, ladder theory (or assortative mating) is the evolutionary theory that personality, physical attraction, success, nearly all attributes… fall on a scale between 1 and 10, and that in the majority of cases individuals seek to mate and associate with other individuals who are either of equal or greater status than they are. Thus:
- 1s and 10s differ tremendously in their behavioral patterns and thought processes. It thus follows that there are certain codes of conduct that must be followed relative to the people you are in company with. To the curious and astute learner, these patterns and processes of your target demographic can and must be copied.
- People with a perceived ranking of 3 compete for the company of people with the perceived rank of 4, 5, and if possible 6. Most 5s won’t compete for the company of 10s because of the idea of energy conservation – having to put an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and money meeting, seducing, and then keeping a 10 over time against all other competitors.
- With each person competing for equals and those one or two ranks above them, the math simply does not add up: your ‘ideal’ romantic partners and ‘ideal’ business partners and investors don’t respond to you when you contact them, and all the people you’d rather not spend your time with are competing for your time and attention.
- The average business owner (5s) earning around $43K annually is competing for the attention of the CEOs and investors (9-10s) with $450K annual income or more is next to impossible.
To stand out and succeed among fierce competitors, you can’t be afraid of controversy – in all its forms. Strong opinions and viewpoints stir controversy, which in turn creates buzz and exposure.
You can’t stand out by thinking and speaking like everyone else. You’ve got to play with, and break, societal rules and codes.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In terms of exploiting controversy for competitive advantage, who in this video…
…do you recognize?]
Returning to the earlier-mentioned strategy that you should spend as much time as you possibly can in-person with professionals who are 20 years ahead of where you are in your career right now. It is possible, and for your success it is critical; however this strategy of attracting people who are more successful than you flies in the face of the first biological lesson of competition. Simply put…
ambition and happiness
Elon Musk does not want to hang out with you, but you can learn from his lectures and read his books online.
BALANCING AMBITION AND HAPPINESS
Set challenging but realistic goals. You can do a lot with $300,000 per year after taxes, but more money more problems. At some point earning too much money degrades your health. At some point people begin attacking you with frivolous lawsuits to get their hands on a part of it.
Every legitimately rich person (8-10s according to the assortative mating theory) have at least one extravagant hobby or thing in their life (cars, wine, cigars, jets, a basketball team…)
Social pressure – rejection, competition, judgment, humiliation, etc. triggers fear. The amygdala is the emotional center of your brain. If you don’t control your emotions, fear and other emotions will control you.
Asking yourself “Should I accept this job offer or that job offer?” or “Should I divorce my husband?” is a fear-based question. You’re afraid of making a bad decision, so you seek to relieve your stress by placing the decision upon somebody else whom you can blame if you’re unhappy with the consequences of that decision.
It is far better to face your fears head on and overcome them than let them dictate the better part of your life.
People allow complacency and fear of failure to prevent them from taking action, and never take into account the lost opportunities and regret of decades wasted due to their inaction.
Learn to fear wasting precious years of your life when you know you can do better elsewhere.
The average business person fails on at least their first two businesses before their third one wins. So instead of ‘trying to grow a successful business’, lowing your starting goals to earning enough to keep reinvesting in your side project while keeping your primary source of income; at least until you can afford to give up your primary source of income for your business.
Most people will have had their ‘billion dollar’ idea by the age of 45.
The other part of your brain, the medial Pre-Frontal Cortex (mPFC), “has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behavior, personality expression, decision making, moderating social behavior, and moderating certain aspects of speech and language.”
The only way to overcome crippling fears is to face them and create newer, more positive experiences that annihilate your fears.
To face your fears and rewire your brain:
- Accept you’re inevitably going to die, but don’t let that be your excuse to create nothing of value in life. See life as a challenge to get as much done as you possibly can before you die. Don’t aim to be “the richest (wo)man in the graveyard, aim to be the happiest (wo)man on your way to the graveyard.”
- Approach life as a puzzle. Nobody really knows what they’re doing; nobody has it all figured out and the world is essentially “the blind leading the blind.” So view life as a puzzle and every adventure and conversation you have is one of millions of tiny pieces to that puzzle.
- Reserve “thinking” sessions where you intentionally rationalize why you believe what you believe and do what you do. Deconstruct the steps involved from action to reaction. Move your mind away from unimportant things you shouldn’t be afraid of to identify those more important things you should be worried about and prepared for.
- Create a margin of safety. This should include cash, expertise in your business, brain power… Financially, you should have 6x your monthly expenses stored in a checking account you have immediate access to. You spend 4,000€/month to live? You should have 24K€ in cash savings.
- Be afraid of aging (in the right way). Many people worry they won’t look physically attractive as they get older. More importantly, you need to be afraid that as you get older you’ll lose your drive, curiosity and creativity.
- Be altruistic. Donating money gets you out of ‘scarcity mode’ (the belief you’re lacking, which increases your need to hoard) and stirs you to go make money. For those selfish people who refuse to give back to society, the world has a way of forcibly taking it from you.
- Be less introverted. People don’t care about you as much as you fear they will. Worse, as you grow older, you become less important and relevant to people. Don’t miss your opportunity while you’re young and able-bodied to attract attention. It is that attention that you need to stand out and reach your goals.
- Stop doing what you don’t like doing. Flow is the state of mind whereby you are so involved and interested in what you’re doing that you lose track of time and you’re doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing. It is during this time when you are the most creative and productive. You’ll never run out of money, but you will eventually run out of time and energy.
- Collect small wins which pave the way to big wins. Doing so increases your brain’s dopamine receptors, which increases your confidence in yourself, which improves how people treat you and respond to you and limits cynical people’s negative comments towards you.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, the more ‘fails’ you collect, the less confident you become, which affects how people respond to you, and cynical people’s negative comments do more damage to you.
- Be more tough, physically and mentally. Your ’emotional stability’ and ‘maturity of defenses’ are how you manage fear, stress, rejection and failure. Your ability to overcome them productively and constructively and fight to survive another day is what determines your success in life. It’s easy to do drugs and become depressed to try to escape your problems; it’s much harder to confront, take control and creatively solve those problems.
When times are hard, people’s true character is revealed. People trust and invest in those who are tough; those who have proven to be calm and reliable. Do not aspire to be a weak-willed person nobody can rely on.
Linguistically and psychologically, there’s an important distinction between:
- “You’re an incompetent failure!”
(simple present – a deep and negative attack on your character)
- “You’re having a bad quarter”
(present continuous – a temporary state of being).
When talking to yourself, use the present continuous.
When others attack you using the simple present, understand that their attack has nothing to do with you, it has more to do with their weakness in judging others and failing to see the bigger picture.
- “You’re an incompetent failure!”
- Don’t simply “do what makes you happy.” This is a myth. Contrast is what makes you happy: the contrast between knowing and experiencing what you hate, yet being able to do what you enjoy. That contrast is what makes you happy
Your business could fail and it could take you a long time to recover from; if recovery is even possible.
Most businesses fail not because it wasn’t a good idea, but because they ran out of cash flow.
When people receive large sums of money, they generally respond in one of three ways:
- Materialistically. They spend 99% of the money and save very little, preferring to ‘enjoy it while they have it.’ These profiles will have to keep working out of fear to keep the money coming in.
- Non-materialistically. These people save up enough money to safely retire, and then do so as quickly as possible.
- Lost opportunity cost materialistically. These people see all time and expense as a lost opportunity to have earned more. For example, they’d pay 8€ to sit in a movie theater for 90 minutes, all the while thinking that during those 90 minutes you could have earned 2 million€, but didn’t, and this frustration will keep working out of fear of missing out on opportunities their competitors are potentially cashing in on.
Happiness comes from accomplishment, more so than financial independence. Finding ‘flow’ (“the action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream”) leads to achievement.
Do you honestly believe you can work just 4 hours per week and get what you want out of life? Even if hypothetically you could, what would you do with the rest of your time?
Don’t quit because ‘it’s too hard.’ The fact that it is hard is what makes it great! Once you’ve accomplished it, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are capable of so much more than you thought possible. You’ll have ‘memory happiness‘: (“Someone who is happy has feelings of pleasure, usually because something nice has happened or because they feel satisfied with their life.”)
secret to success
A fence that goes up fast, falls down fast. Build your empire slowly and deliberately doing something you enjoy and are good at. Along the way you experience ‘flow’, your brain experiences contrast bias, and you have a sense of accomplishment upon completion. Above all, to get what you want, you have to deserve what you want.
THE SECRET TO SUCCESS, KNOWING IN WHAT TO SPECIALIZE
“I do not fear the man that does a thousand kicks. I fear the man that does one kick for a thousand days.”
– Bruce Lee
You only get one chance on this planet during your lifetime. The worst thing you can do in life is to get older and realize that you got good at the wrong thing; you optimized for the wrong thing.
You want your own successful startup or career? Optimizing for starting a successful startup at the expense of your health and love puts you down the path to being overweight, unhealthy and lonely, and maybe you’ll have a successful business, maybe you won’t. Optimize for a good life: health, wealth, love and happiness. Everything else is a tool; a means to an end. Likewise, optimizing for a good life sets a good example for others, and it rubs off on them.
Money can’t buy happiness, but lack of money is a great cause for unhappiness and stress.
Optimizing for grinding and hustling (working hard) is not a good goal. Instead, optimizing for deliberate practice (working smart) and for necessary pain and suffering are good goals which are more likely to lead to success and happiness.
In 2010 if you had invested $100 in bitcoin, today you’d have +$75M.
Tell me. Is that working hard, or is that making good decisions?
If hard work led to wealth and success, construction workers and nurses and waiters would be the richest people on the planet.
As soon as you start making decent money, invest in a good mattress and eat better food; take care of your health.
Plan your next seven to ten years, but optimize your day; optimize for right now; optimize around your limitations. You can control the day ahead of you.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In Lesson 122: How to start a startup: managing your professional and personal life, Oussama Ammar explains that because there is such a great risk of your startup failing, you must balance optimizing for your startup versus optimizing for you.
One of the best ways of keeping your professional storyline realistic, measurable, and attractive is to maintain an entrepreneurial CV (resume).
For example, many entrepreneurs optimize their company to obtain as much seed funding and series A round investment money as possible, and many entrepreneurs would rather gamble and turn down bad or mediocre offers in the hopes of a better offer. But now consider this from the perspective of the entrepreneurial CV: that actually raising the funds and selling their company is an accomplishment that VERY, VERY few entrepreneurs can actually put on their CV.
If the entrepreneur were to strategically accept a mediocre investment offer, then that entrepreneur has set himself/herself apart from all those other entrepreneurs, and this accomplishment will be a permanent fixture on his or her CV.
If, however, the entrepreneur holds out for a potential better offer, and that better offer never comes, then that entrepreneur will have nothing to put on his or her CV other than a failed business or a ‘gap year.’
For example, Aaron Levie, CEO and Co-founder of Box has only 3% of his own company he created; a very low percentage in terms of the industry. Yet in accepting this he has joined the exclusive club of only a handful of entrepreneurs to create a billion dollar company.
Would you rather have 5% of a multi-million dollar business, or 100% of a business that earns $0?
What counts isn’t your first startup; what matters is:
- Your health and happiness
- Your long-term reputation as an successful entrepreneur
- The lessons you learned from your previous ventures
- The revenue generated by your previous successful ventures that can be injected into your next project(s)
- Your ability to attract investors in your future project(s).]
Most millionaires earn their money through real-estate. Most billionaires earn their money online.
With modern online businesses and enough time and expertise, you can turn any hobby into a profitable business. So from an early age learn how to marry making money with your hobbies and doing what you love.
Just because they are your parents doesn’t mean they will give you good advice. Parent’s pick favorites; they try to live vicariously through you…
A parent’s interests are not always aligned with their children’s.
HOW TO CREATE A ‘TURNKEY’ BUSINESS WITH ROBOTIC INCOME
For your first business, consider:
- Starting with a service and/or an internet-based business such as social media marketing, consulting, a phone app, drop-shipping or e-commerce…
- Avoid anything that requires a lot of upfront capital, inventory space, perishable materials… Wait until you’ve found a lucrative idea and then reinvest your earned revenue into more complex businesses. Avoid bad and risky debt as much as possible.
- Make sure there is a large enough market for your service, yet narrow enough so there isn’t too much competition.
- Choose your activity prudently because over time:
- Your business venture and product/service will become less popular, perhaps even redundant
- Inflation lowers the value of money over time. $1M today might be worth $200K in 40 years
- Aim to earn your first $1M as quickly as possible. The world is constantly changing, and the longer time passes, the greater the risk your money-making idea loses its power to other, better and more viral ideas. Likewise, the longer it takes, the more energy you burn; eventually you’ll run out of time, capital, energy, ambition…
As you learn from your first business, then you can invest and launch more complex and expensive businesses.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on determining your startup business idea and target demographic, watch Lesson 91: How to start a startup: competition is for losers.]
Create your own ‘turnkey’ agency and/or robotic income in one day. The first steps to building an online business and brand reputation are:
1. Know your competence.
- “(As you specialize) you learn really great tricks, and those tricks turn into a methodology. That methodology determines your authenticity and what makes your work special.” – Lesson 139: The next black documentary
- “If you are a generalist, you mustn’t do ‘everything.’ Rather, seek to do a lot of different things with a very similar approach; you do need your own definition of how you are a specialist.” – Lesson 115. Building a generalist/specialist business
- Invest in other professional’s shortcuts – understanding they are worth the price, and collect your own through life experience
- Charge others a price to learn your shortcuts
- “You don’t have to know a lot of stuff to be successful financially. At the very least you need a small circle of competence, and stay within it.” – Warren Buffet
2. Understand your environment & your clients’ alternatives.
- Success always involves a price; nothing is free and even with a world-changing idea you’ll need a minimum amount of startup capital (laptop, website, domain name, bank account, video or photo editing software, marketing budget…) to get your idea out into the world and accessible to others
- Are you in a red ocean (many competitors) or a blue ocean (few to no competitors)? You want some competition, because competition justifies necessity and gives you a point of comparison when pitching to clients, but you don’t want so much competition that supply far exceeds demand and you’re forced to stand in line and wait to be interviewed; like applying for a job. You need to know who your competitors are, and you should aim to be so good and well-known that you’re able to win without pitching:
- The airline industry is in competition with bus lines, car pooling, trains, electric bicycles, and even the post office, email, and tele-conferences as people are more and more comfortable having virtual meetings
- Brick and mortar banks are in competition with online banks, Paypal, and cryptocurrency
- Because university degrees are no longer ‘imperative’ to earning a living, universities are in competition with online training courses – both accredited and unaccredited
3. Identify your client’s needs, wants and problems.
- Given both options, your prospective clients more and more prefer cocooning at home while things are delivered to them
- Your prospective client will be somebody who isn’t very good at your competence, which is why they would hire you. You just have to point out how their lack of competence is costing them opportunities and money.
- There are night clubs that pay 10,000€ for a famous DJ, but didn’t take any high-quality photos or videos to post to their social media
- There are movies with a 60M€ budget to make, and lose millions in revenue because they didn’t market the movie effectively
- There are million dollar, nation-wide restaurant chains going out of business to small, single store restaurants because they aren’t taking advantage of home delivery services such as Just Eat or Uber Eats
- Start small and expand strategically:
- Start within your own professional and social network: 1st and 2nd connections
- Target local businesses in your surrounding area. You probably drive/walk past 500+ businesses each day
- Target relevant businesses through social media advertising
- Consumers have specific needs & wants
- Adapt to consumers’ psychological profile:
- Practical people respond to hard numbers and facts
- Action-oriented people respond to ‘hands on’ approaches
- Social people respond to popular and exclusive offers
- Emotional people respond to reassurance from worst-case scenarios
- For more check out Social Beaker’s dissection of Tai Lopez’ PASE system
- Business owners generate the most money, have immediate access to liquid cash, and actively seek to invest that money in exchange for a return-on-investment (ROI):
- Every smart business has a marketing budget. They maintain these budgets because they don’t want to have to deal with it themselves; that is what employees are for; that is why they stopped being an employee themselves and became an entrepreneur.
- Establish your credibility, find a persuasive script, say the right things, do the right things, follow the right codes, and they will hire you as an independent consultant (see below).
- Perform a free audit to capture their attention, show they what they are doing wrong, and provide value before offering your solutions for a price. Provide value before they have even asked you. Problem 1 > You, the solution. Problem 2 > You, the solution.
- Ramit Sethi calls this the briefcase technique.
- In advertising, this is called pitching for free and is discussed in more detail in Lesson 166: How to win without pitching and in my book How to Shape Human Behavior for Advertisers 2nd Edition.
- In today’s world where success is a moving target and information exchanges so freely, don’t hide your best knowledge. Give it away for free and charge people for immediate access to you.
- “Follow-up. At the end of the day, you want to be the last person in the business owner’s mind… You’re not getting rejected, you’re just failing to show another person how you bring value to their life.” –Jayden Gross. And so they forget about you.
4. Know what to offer.
- “Be the flame, not the moth.” Be so good and well-positioned with the ‘perfect’ product or service that people and opportunities gravitate towards you, not you having to chase after them.
- No matter what happens in the world (especially during tough times) people are going to buy more and more stuff online. This is a fact of life from now on, and it must be a fundamental part of your business.
- Incorporating a ‘social community tribe’ of experts and other clients is risky because you’re opening yourself up to complaints in front of other paying clients, but it can also be a great form of social proof (mentioned earlier) for your business as you meet and exceed expectations. Having a private client-base community can also help your clients hold each other accountable, which increases perceived customer satisfaction.
- Your most lucrative opportunities will come from “the stupidity of other people.”
- If you’re drop shipping, using an affiliate program, or selling other businesses’ products/services at a markup:
- Identify & carefully select popular household items you’ll sell: reading glasses, books, candles, vitamin supplements, hot sauce, coffee cups, bottled water, tea, spatulas, tooth brushes, fresh bottled air, pillows and cases, beef jerky, dog beds…
Some products are very popular but have a low profit margin, while other products are harder to sell yet yield a high profit margin and have few competitors.
- White label (take someone else’s product and place your own branding on it) and/or drop ship with existing providers rather than create your own manufacturing and logistical processes. Alibaba, founded by Jack Ma, literally connects you directly with suppliers who will make your products for you and ship them to your customers.
- Identify & carefully select popular household items you’ll sell: reading glasses, books, candles, vitamin supplements, hot sauce, coffee cups, bottled water, tea, spatulas, tooth brushes, fresh bottled air, pillows and cases, beef jerky, dog beds…
- If you’re offering a service, outline your 2-4 adjustable client packages & pricing attractive to your narrow target demographic. Expensive enough so people take you seriously. Enough options so people can choose, but few enough options so people don’t become confused or try to cherry pick your best features between all your packages:
- Basic package for roughly 997€/month
- First work on their brand story
- Focus on solving the few, critical issues that are doing the most damage to their revenue. (In other words, those few, critical issues that would impress the client enough to convince them to upgrade to more expensive packages)
- Do less, but do it very well
- Advanced package for roughly 1995€/month
- VIP package for roughly 4995€/month
- Enterprise package for roughly 9997€/month
- Basic package for roughly 997€/month
- Expand your package offers relative to your industry. For example, if you manage social media, consider also selling WordPress templates that easily integrate into your service. If you maintain a website, consider partnering with a digital font designer, creating your own proprietary font which to use on your website, and then sell the font to your readers.
- Setting the right price is imperative to your reputation and your lifestyle:
- With 3 client paying you 1,000€/month you can focus on high-quality and do much more good for those 3 clients that lead to testimonials = free marketing.
- At 100€/month you’d need 30 clients paying you for the same revenue! There is no way you can maintain superior quality and have free time to grow your business and relax with 30 clients. You’ll burn out very quickly.
- You must charge money; and it must be a respectable price. People don’t take something seriously until they put money on the table for it. In fact, your paying clients will be your most brutal, but most important people to listen to because they actually paid, meaning they have expectations and demand their money’s worth.
- Be sure clients understand this price does not include tax.
- If you truly believe in what you offer, offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
- Aim to start them on your basic package and move them up the ladder as you solve their problems and show them how much more they are missing out on (see sales pitches below)
5. Purchase a strategic domain name.
- Long, 3-4 word domain names are okay
- Strategically choose your name and domain. A good name is unique enough to stand out, but not so narrow it limits future expansion should you decide to diversify your products/services. For more check out Lesson 51. My interview with creative Gregory Ferembach
- If the address you’d prefer is not available, find a similar address that is available.
- Always buy the ‘.com’ top-level domain. Don’t just settle for sub-domains
- Hire a lawyer, or check out LegalZoom to verify you aren’t using an already trademarked name (which would result in a lawsuit) and to set up a common Limited Liability Company (LLC) or an S Corp business status, depending on your needs and your country’s legal system
- With your company paperwork, set up your business bank account (DON’T use your personal bank account; separate your personal and professional life both for financial investment reasons as well as for legal reasons – in case you are ever sued, must file bankruptcy, want to sell your company, or the IRS pays you a visit)
- Professionals have lawyers, so consult with a lawyer to ensure you at least have an ironclad working contract.
- While you’re at it, beware of patent trolls.
6. Set up your own basic website.
- Consider WordPress, Shopify, Click Funnels, Amazon Affiliates… to set up your online business space. At the beginning of the internet these things either didn’t exist, or were extremely complex and difficult to set up. Today, it can be done by amateurs in just a few clicks. In fact, most companies have their own ‘how to’ tutorials to walk you step-by-step through their website because they want you to be successful with their product; they want your testimonial.
- Use PageSpeed Insights to ensure the coding is optimized. This tool may also be helpful for your free client audit.
- Make sure your website is on the first page of a Google search, not the 10th page.
- Explain your product/service to your narrow target demographic, and in their own words.
- Outline your 2-4 adjustable client packages & pricing (outlined above).
- Include a sales funnel to collect client contact information for follow-up.
- Even if you’re not strong in sales, sales is a soft skill you must have at least a social functioning level of, at least when it comes to pitching yourself and your ideas. According to the research in the book The Self-Made Billionaire Effect, 60-70% of all self-made billionaires started in the sales industry:
- Practice makes perfect
- Consider an affiliate program where strangers earn a commission on your sales
- Consider sharing revenue with a partner whose strengths are your weakness. It is better to own 50% of a business earning 100K€/year than owning 100% of a business earning 0€.
- Collect testimonials; the more you get, the easier it becomes to find new clients:
- Testimonials and social media followings create a self-fulfilling prophecy – the more you have, the more social proof you have, and the more people are interested in working with you.
- Make it a habit of collecting testimonials and placing them prominently on your website – closer towards the top of your website than the bottom. Groups of people talking highly about you is more influential than individuals.
- There is are a lot of people on this planet with varying degrees of intelligence, all of them fighting for limited resources. Hence, there will be a lot of bullshit out there, and you MUST separate yourself from that bullshit if you want to be taken seriously. “People lie but numbers don’t.” Your bank account, your engagement count on social media doesn’t lie. Show your numbers to establish your credibility, and ask for their numbers to validate their credibility. Ask them “Where did you start from and where are you now?” To quote the famous Levi‘s black jeans advertising created by Sir John Hegarty, “When the world zigs, zag.”
- So a person has 1M€. Did they start homeless and build to 1M€? Or did they inherit 2M€ and lose 1M€? Context is everything.
- Integrate an automated recurring payment system or credit card processor (& eventually a bank) such as Paypal or Stripe or Braintree:
- Favor full-payment up-front at a discount, but be open to 3- or 4-time broken up payments. You don’t want to lose prospective clients because you’re a couple of € beyond their monthly budget, and you don’t want to fall into the trap of negotiating your price. Once you start negotiating price, you become branded as a commodity. For more refer to Lesson 116. Win without pitching.
- Set this up through a business bank account, not your private bank account. Worst case scenario you use your personal bank account just to get started, and then switch bank accounts once your business account is open.
- Automate your business as much as you can without losing touch with your clients.
- Once of the best tricks when cold calling prospective clients is to have them fill out a relatively long form with pertinent information and a time when they’d like you to contact them, and then you call them at their requested time and say “Hi, this is Tai. I saw you wanted to talk to me.” Having the form leads to fewer, yet more highly-qualified leads contacting you, and framing your conversation as ‘I saw you wanted to talk to me’ emphasizes you as the prospective client’s solution to their problem or need.
- Contrast prospective client’s situation with actual results and numbers (objective criteria) you’ve achieved for your other clients:
- Sales pitch 1: A 4-step pitch to say to your potential client. You know you’re pitch is doing well when for every 10 prospect pitches, you get 1 paying client:
- Prospect client actual situation: “I was looking at your Instagram account. You’ve 10,000 followers. Your last image post from 4 days ago received 98 likes and 12 comments. Your last video post from 8 days ago received 3,000 views and 56 comments.” Then say:
- Your client contrast example: “This client I’m working with now has 120,000 followers. Our last image from 2 days ago has 43,000 likes, and our last video post from 2 days ago has 105,000 views.” Follow with:
- Your pitch: “I’m not bragging to you, I’m telling you that you can do so much better than you currently are. There is no reason your competitor should have more followers, engagement and online exposure than you.”
- Your solution: “If I were to take control of your social media, I’d do X, Y, and Z (your free analysis). All of which I’m doing for my other clients, and you’d see the same online numbers, almost immediately. Are you interested?”
- Sales pitch 2: A 4-step realistic comparison scenario for a restaurant:
- Establish their fixed expenses: “How much do you spend annually (rent, utilities, insurance…)?” 20K€
- Establish their overhead: “How much do you spend monthly (employees, food, etc.)?” 50K€
- Establish their income: “How much do you earn monthly?” 70K€ “Ok. So you’re not working with high profit margins.”
- Offer your solution: “What if I promised to increase your income from 70K€ to 100K€/month, and you pay me 3K€/month to do this?“
“…and what if I provided you monthly tracking numbers and reports so you could see the numbers I’m bringing to you and the online reach you have?“
“…and what if I promised you that if you’re not happy after 1 month, I’d refund you 100%?”
- Notice in both pitch examples above, neither rely on hard pressure sales tactics. Sales is simply “getting people to hear your side of the story.” Client testimonials and your own demonstrable success are ways of telling your side of the story and setting an example your prospective clients strive to attain. Don’t push for hard pressure, border-line manipulative tactics when ‘lead by example’ is most persuasive. Top performers have nothing to ‘prove.’ Your results are your certification.
- Sales pitch 1: A 4-step pitch to say to your potential client. You know you’re pitch is doing well when for every 10 prospect pitches, you get 1 paying client:
7. Choose your business model, team and funding strategy.
- Even if you’re ultimately running your business alone, don’t be so foolishly narcissistic to believe you can do everything on your own. At minimum you’ll want quick access to:
- An accountant for financial decisions and taxes
- A lawyer for legal decisions
- An advisor for strategy decisions
- Specific consultants for precise decisions that arise
- Fund your business through loans or your professional network. Worst case scenario you need government aid or file for bankruptcy (millions of people do it every year and banks have grown comfortable taking the risk. Recovering from bankruptcy is uncomfortable, but highly doable).
- Bootstrap your business with your current resources:
- Find just 3-5 clients willing to pay you 1K€/month recurring retainer fee or membership fee – recurring is important – and you’ll be earning 36K€-60K€/year.
- Find 1,000 people willing to pay you a 100€ annual recurring fee for continual access to your automated online service or application, and you’ll be earning 100,000€ with minimal actual work.
- Aim to have a minimum 30% profit margins.
- Bear in mind you must pay taxes on your profit, so structure your business in such a way that the majority of your revenue is put back into the company for marketing, and thus untaxed.
- Keep your overhead costs low:
- Work from home or a café or a coworking space rather than renting an office space.
- Website hosts such as WordPress have multiple packages. Start with the free and move up as your success moves up. Don’t pay directly for the enterprise package when you’ve no clients.
- Consider, at least at the beginning, using sales solutions that take a small percentage of sales rather than charge you for their services whether or not you make any sales.
- Use affiliate programs like Clickbank for marketing so you only pay for marketing when products are sold.
- Use virtual assistants rather than hire your own personal assistant.
- Invest in a high-quality laptop and mobile device with sufficient software to effectively run your business and marketing from anywhere; you never know when ideas and opportunities will arise. Most viral videos weren’t planned; they were the random intersection of a person’s camera pointed at the right location at just the right time.
- Depending on your business status, leasing houses, jets, cars etc can be tax deductible, in which case may be more interesting than buying. Especially DON’T buy things that depreciate quickly such as cars, which lose +50% of its value as soon as it drives off the dealership parking lot.
- Depending on your marketing ROI, spending 1M€ in marketing may bring 5M€ revenue in the next year, while spending 1M€ buying a house may become worth 5M€, but in 30 years.
- Once you start making money, set up daily or weekly report notifications as revenue comes in. This acts as positive reinforcement and gets you working harder.
- If your ultimate goal is to sell your business for a profit, then you’ll want to focus on a superior-quality client base, low overhead costs with high ROI, perhaps a team of specialists that would become employees of the acquiring company, maintain strict separation of private and business accounting, and making your company easy to hand over once sold. Essentially, the less complex the transaction, the more attractive it is to being sold
8. Fulfill more than you promised to your clients & collect testimonies.
- The more you give, the more you tend to get back. “Put out stingy vibes, attract stingy people.”
- Set expectations from the beginning:
- Don’t promise to “run their social media.” That subjective promise means you’ll have to tweet for them and post for them all day, every day. This level of work you should reserve for your high-paying ‘enterprise’ package, and even then you could outsource that work to someone else.
- Work smart, not hard: set up your client’s solution so you only have to work 30 minutes per week. For example, work with the client’s IT dept to set up a landing page or email signup, and you focus on optimizing their social media advertising campaign to convert visitors and writing weekly/monthly emails to those converted visitors.
Critics will always say “prove it to me” or “Maybe if it were free…”
If you genuinely believe in your results, offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
9. Monetize your social media presence in your own interests using three tiers (these tiers will obviously change as quickly as social media evolves):
- There are over 1 billion websites today, so to be noticed you have no choice but to do marketing. And online is the most cost effective way to reach your narrow target demographic:
- Tier 1: Instagram & Facebook and Email collection such as Mailchimp. Emails are important because they offer direct access to potential clients and thus the greatest return on investment, and Instagram has become a standard people use to verify your legitimacy: your follower base will be your certification.
- Tier 2: Youtube and LinkedIn for older audiences & Snapchat and TikTok for younger audiences. Youtube subscribers are harder to get, and your subscriber base are much more easily distracted by the amount of content available on the platform.
- Tier 3: Influencers, live stream, podcasts for older audiences and Twitter for both older and younger audiences.
- The New York Yankee Stadium has 54,251 seats. Your live stream could potentially reach several ballpark stadiums full of people; that is the power of the internet.
- Even though it’s free and easy to set up, don’t waste your time on Tier 3: podcosts, Facebook live or Youtube live broadcasting to a measly audience of 1-20 people. Take a step back to tier 1 and then tier 2 and building your Instagram, email list, Facebook and Youtube follower base so that when you do go live, you’ll have at least 10,000 people interested in listening to you.
10. Reinvest revenue bringing traffic to your website.
- You’ll need both:
- Organic traffic: Branding is the back door to your business. Many prospects will discover you through your free social media content, and the quality of your content sets your reputation.
- Paid traffic using Email, Facebook, Google Adwords, Youtube, podcasts (sponsoring others podcasts).
- Consider selling yours and other people’s products & services. Then you’ve got multiple sources of income, and those professionals you feature will speak highly of you and recommend you.
11. Generate buzz with a striking/controversial story & promise.
- Marketing that goes viral is free marketing. The NY Times estimates Donald Trump received $2B in free marketing during his successful 2016 Presidential campaign:
- Make people laugh, feel warm inside, or angry and outraged. Basically the stronger the emotion you can evoke, the greater your chances of going viral, and driving traffic to your website 10x faster than your competitors:
- Referring back to the concept of ‘cocooning’ (mentioned earlier) Futurist Faith Popcorn is credited with predicting this cocooning trend 30 years before it became reality. How powerful is branding? Now try to forget Futurist Faith Popcorn’s name.
- Make a brand promise:
- “For every product purchased, we will donate 1€ to charity.”
- “In 2020, we helped X dogs find their forever homes.”
- Local news will definitely be interested in your story. Well done, larger news outlets will pick your story up
- Social media, especially Instagram, love cats and animals. Incorporate them into your brand story.
- How do people know you’re good at marketing? Because they are watching you. “Your results will be your certification.” – Parker Walbeck
12. Diversify your cash flow & investment portfolio.
- The world is constantly changing and money always shifting, and statistically global recessions occur every 8 years. Thus, you’ll always be vulnerable, and you can never be protected.
- Ironically, modern society is set up to prevent you from becoming financially independent. But you can still break out of this system by following the below steps:
- Have multiple streams of income. Having all of your revenue coming from one source (your employer, for example) is risky, and with one mistake, or one Facebook or Google terms & conditions update, or a COVID-19 pandemic you could lose everything in minutes. 3 or more revenue streams is ideal.
- Collect & absorb from mentors. Quality mentors are the gateway to assets, professional networks, and opportunities you would otherwise never have had access to. Well managed, mentors eventual become friends and may even become business partners. This holds true also for your career “Don’t pick a job, pick a boss. Your boss is your biggest factor in your career success. A boss who doesn’t trust you won’t give you opportunities to grow.” –William Raduchel
- Cultivate business partners. Having business partners is another great way of protecting your assets. Because both – or all – of you are in it together, exposure can be multiplied, while losses shared and minimized.
- Make your money work for you. This relies mainly on who you know, because who you know will have investment opportunities. Investing 500€ for a dinner maintaining a relationship with a few reputable venture capitalists and sharing opportunities can be a better investment than spending 4 months reading online news articles.
- Invest wisely in new trends. The longer you wait, the lower your ROI. This likewise is aided by who you know
- Online education is already a $100B+ industry and growing. Top universities are moving online, COVID-19 has forced companies online more quickly than the world would have wanted
- Be realistic about your expectations. If you’re expecting to build a 1M€ business, understand that even with deliberate, calculated practice, it’s probably going to take you 12-20 years to become a millionaire.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In October 2017, Tai Lopez predicted a recession “in the next few years.” It was the COVID-19 he was unwittingly referring to.
13. Build your credit: Exploit good debt for long-term wealth.
- Society kicks you when you’re down. No credit? Bad credit? No co-signers? Expect high interest rates and no mercy. “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.” – Bob Hope
13A. Get your credit score in good to excellent standing.
- Debit cards attached to your bank account earns you nothing: no perks, no benefits, and it doesn’t help your credit score.
- For credit cards, anybody can be added as a credit. Wise, trusting parents can add their teenage child to their credit card as an authorized user, which builds the credit score for their child so when s/he turns 18 and can legally make financial decisions, they are already in good standing with the banks. This requires trust both ways, because just as the teenager can damage the parent’s credit score, so can the parents damage their child’s.
- If you’ve bad credit, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) (Inside the US) regulates every creditor and mediates between you and your creditor. Because credit card companies are often hard to get in touch with, you file a dispute through the CFPD and creditors who fail to respond within 14 days are heavily fined:
- If you’ve made minor mistakes (a few missed payments) they may be dismissed as a gesture of good will.
- Don’t assume credit card companies aren used to fighting. In fact, collectors may abandon their collection if the amount of money it would take to recover your debt far outweighs what they would hope to recover.
- Get one credit card and start building credit:
- If you have a 10K€ credit limit, don’t live above your means. Only buy items on credit that you already could have paid for in cash. Follow this rule and you’ll never find yourself in debt.
- Maintain at least minimum payments to stay in good standing.
- Maintain a balance of no more than 10% of your total credit limit. So if your credit limit is 10K€, ensure you’ve never more than 1K€ debt on your credit card at the end of each billing cycle. The closer you are to your credit limit, the more damage it does to your credit score, and the less banks will trust you.
- Never miss a payment.
13B. Open up the maximum amount of lines of credit.
- With a good credit score and a good relationship with the banks, obtain multiple credit cards with multiple banks with greater credit line increase (CLI):
- The Chase 5/24 rule limits the amount of credit cards you can open within a certain amount of period (5 cards within a 24 month cycle). Therefore, focus first on obtaining the credit cards with the greatest advantages. The most coveted and most elusive card appears to be the American Express Centurion Black Card.
- More lines of credit equals more financial power. For example, you could have 200 credit cards with a 3M€ total line of credit:
- Recall earlier, it’s imperative to maintain a balance of no more than 10% of your total credit limit, and don’t live above your means. Only buy items on credit that you already could have paid for in cash.
- For cards with annual fees, you’ll have to factor that cost into your spending. In fact, a few weeks before each credit card’s annual fee meet with your bank and negotiate a better card or a CLI.
13C. Travel for free (flights, airport lounges, rental cars, hotels…).
- Some great advantages you can quality for include cash back and/or sign-up points which can be converted into VIP airport lounge access, first class flight upgrades, global entry to go directly through customs and passport control…
13D. Collect cash back cards & gift cards.
- Don’t underestimate the ROI of membership reward (MR) points. Simple, basic credit cards may offer 1.5% cash back, and are the most often taken. But MR points-based credit cards can be converted into travel mileage or hotel points, etc. Some MR credit cards can even earn you up to 6 times more than cash back cards. As Deepak Malhotra explains in Lesson 169. How to negotiate your compensation package, if you’re flexible in how you’re paid, you can earn a whole lot more.
To raise capital from investors, start by borrowing small amounts and paying your debtors back on time, if not ahead of time. Find 20 investors who each give you 1,000€, in exchange for 1,100€ one week later. You’ll have raised your 20,000, and it only cost you 2,000€ to do it, and you now have 20 investors who’ll be willing to trust you with more money. By the third time doing this, you’ll have no problem raising larger sums of money from investors. (This is covered in more detail above, as applied to credit cards and building your credit score.)
Don’t dig yourself into a huge whole of debt trying to solve a problem. Don’t put all your money into something you can’t earn from immediately; go step-by-step.
Even better, why not target micro-investors and convince 200,000 to give you 20€ (4M€ capital) in exchange for stock in some future business?
People always have money sitting around somewhere. The average person spends +$1,000/year on Starbucks. Even those people who don’t drink Starbucks, eventually someone in their social circle drags them to there.
Realistically you should be able to get through steps 1-6 outlined above:
- Know your competence
- Understand your environment & your client’s alternatives
- Identify your client’s needs, wants and problems
- Know what to offer
- Purchase a strategic domain name
- Set up your own basic website
why people fail
…and have your business online, up and running with 1 concentrated, purposeful day of work. Then you focus on growing your business using steps 5-13.
REASONS WHY PEOPLE FAIL TO REACH THEIR GOALS IN LIFE
When learning social media, the problem with books is that they quickly become out of date. You need to learn from a more flexible source, and you need to reverse-engineer the professionals strategies in real-time.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Gary Vaynerchuk advises maximizing your offline time for your online content:
- Record your offline presentations on video and audio.
- Full presentations can be uploaded to Youtube and Facebook,
- Shorter video snippets can be uploaded to Youtube and Facebook.
- Your audio can be uploaded as a podcast.
- Your audio can also be turned into a blog post.
- Your best quotes can be shared on Twitter, and
- Those quotes can also be put on top of a beautiful image and uploaded onto Instagram and Facebook.]
Be careful whose advice you trust. One way already successful professionals defend their position is by dissuading and sabotaging gullible competitors by intentionally teaching them all the wrong things. Convincing people that the color of your purchase button can make or break your online business is a great way of ensuring you have few competitors, as they spend all of their time and money building ‘websites that convert’ rather than focusing on the true most important thing: a quality product.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: An excellent book on this subject is Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal With Competitive Attacks by Tim Calkins.]
A lot of critics claim “it’s too late” to make money in industries such as social media.
I disagree. The internet never forgets, and you can buy and own domain names forever. The internet is like the real-estate industry. Prices will only go up over time as properties become more valuable.
Younger people lack capital and professional network, but they have faith, energy, curiosity, the motivation to try things and enough time to fail and try again until they succeed. Older people (should) have more capital, network and experience, but tend to be risk-averse and stubborn.
With the internet, you don’t have to leave your home country to go live and operate a business in another country. You can operate your business from anywhere and sell to anyone, anywhere.
When you lack capital, focus on simultaneously learning while working; integrated learn by doing; deliberate practice.
- Set detailed goals, and write them down.
- Absorb. Start with a large general search on your target skill to absorb the current trends. The more diverse the better.
- Identify & learn from the best. Don’t waste any more time and money than necessary absorbing the useless, low quality, advertising-riddled content. Go straight to the top and absorb.
- Don’t just consume; Take notes. Your brain forgets 90% of what was said in a meeting within 30 seconds. By using a concise, high-quality, note-taking system along side your information consumption, and by consistently reviewing the notes you’re taking, what you’ve learned moves from the short-term memory part of your brain into the deeper, longer-term part of your brain.]
You must understand and accept that everybody in life cannot be winners; losers must exist so humans have the concept of winning. You lose meaning when you claim ‘everyone is a winner.’ This is known as the contrast bias. Unfortunately, must people are set up for failure because their principles and beliefs about what makes winners and losers are wrong; most people were either not taught this in school growing up, or they were taught incorrectly.
Why do you think 50% of marriages end in divorce? Why 80% of businesses fail within the first few years? Why over 10% of America is on some form of anti-depressant? Why over 40% of Americans are overweight?
Fear is a powerful motivator. Until you have fear of failing, you won’t be fully motivated to improve.
If it really motivated you, you wouldn’t procrastinate.
For most people, depression is a signal from your brain that you need to switch your job, switch your social circle, move, stop procrastinating. Don’t ignore this signal, and don’t just seek medication to disable it.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on the dangers of using medication to dull human emotions, check out Lesson 168. The 3 Phases of love and why we love and cheat by Helen Fisher.]
You should be sad & depressed 25% of your life. It means you’re learning from your lessons.
In fact, you may need to look yourself in the mirror, have a hard, honest conversation with yourself, and admit to yourself “I fucked up. The honest reason I’m not happy with my marriage/career/… is because I did/didn’t X.” on certain parts of your life. When you’re able to do this, you’re able to begin improving.
Things don’t magically ‘get better’ as you go along, especially when you’re going the wrong way.
Being a realist is better than being an optimist or a pessimist. Stop blaming and take matters into your own hands.
Those under the age of 25 are still young enough to change. Over 25 year old your brain’s chemistry changes and you start becoming set in your ways and habits; it’s not impossible, but it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. And after 25 years old change is usually only brought on by experiencing massive trauma.
If you’re unhappy with your career path and retirement savings, and you want a better job with more financial stability, you’re where you are today because of the choices you’ve made so far in life. You’re unhappy with your career and financial situation because you didn’t take your education and skills and professional networking seriously enough. To change your bad habits, you’ll need to suffer to reprogram the way you think.
±33% of the population are cynical/haters doomed to always miss trends and opportunities.
±33% are gullible suckers who are doomed to always having their money taken from them by others.
±33% ‘get it.’ They’re the realists who seek to trade their value for greater value, and are always improving their value.
THE ‘OPTIMAL’ PERSONALITY PROFILE FOR SUCCESS
|6 Domains||Description||26 Facets|
|1. Honesty-Humility||Willingness to manipulate others, break rules, disinterest in luxuries & social status.||– Sincerity|
|2. Emotionality||Fear of physical dangers, anxiety & stress, need for support from others||– Fearfulness|
|3. eXtraversion||Feeling positive about self, confidence in leading & in groups, enjoy social gatherings, experience positive feelings||– Social Self-Esteem|
– Social Boldness
|4. Agreeableness||Willingness to forgive, lenient in judging others, willingness to compromise, control temper||– Forgivingness|
|5. Conscientiousness||Ability to organize time & physical surroundings, disciplined & diligent work toward goals, strive for accuracy||– Organization|
|6. Openness to Experience||Absorbedness in beauty of art & nature, level of inquisitiveness, diverse knowledge, imaginative, interested in unusual ideas & people||– Aesthetic |
*Awareness isn’t officially recognized; Tai Lopez adds to this list
For more insight into domain 1. Humility, honestly rate yourself on a scale of 1 (Rarely, “I don’t care or I think I can do it all by myself”) to 10 (As often as possible, “I want all the help I can get!”) for the following questions:
- How often do I read?
- How often do I identify and meet mentors, and get to know them?
- How often do I study and steal from my more successful competitors?
- How often do you spend money on learning from others?
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more insight into your personality as it relates to your professional success, check out my NLSS Assessment which analyzes your strengths and opportunities and boosts your professional competitiveness. This assessment also is free.]
Conscientiousness (Organization, Perfectionism, Diligence, Prudence & Awareness*) has been proven to be the most correlated with business success. Meaning:
- Diligence (hard work): Your ability to maturely absorb, persevere and overcome stress, fear, rejection and failure is imperative to goal-completion. Contrary to popular belief, hard work only accounts for 25% of business success.
- Perfectionism: You absolutely must double-check your work before submitting it. Every grammar mistake, software coding error, unverified fact, incorrectly cited reference… comes back to hurt not only your decision-making accuracy, but also your reputation. As a caveat, it’s important to be perfectionist on the things that matter.
- Organization: Organizing your day around a set routine, maintaining a clean and filed office space and keeping clean and clear accounting records improves productivity and self-confidence, provides clarity of though and decision-making, reduces stress and leads to flow (the state of mind whereby you are so involved and interested in what you’re doing that you lose track of time and you’re doing exactly what you’re meant to be doing.) It may be difficult taking control over your currently disorganized life, but once you have, maintaining it becomes quite manageable and can be done in minutes.
- Prudence: Your ability to make the right (intelligent and well-informed) decision. Unfortunately, your emotionally-laden brain, your society, your upbringing, your education has not taught you how to make decisions prudently. Humans are irrational, unpredictable, and often times we sabotage ourselves.
- Situational awareness: Be observant. Be curious. Pay attention to what you are doing and what is happening around you. Notice the details. Pay attention and recognize patterns. Instead of becoming close-minded and automated, ask “What do you know that I don’t?” “What have you learned that I haven’t?” You may be missing critical information that could change the course of your life.
“The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million car crashes each year. Nearly 390,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.”
There are three types of people in the world:
- People who make things happen
- People who watch things happen
- People who wonder what happened; they lack situational awareness and pattern recognition. Stop complaining about what happened, and go figure out why it happened.
Many people go through life missing trends; watching people become rich and others go bankrupt, all the while confused and wondering what happened.
Certainly, if you work diligently, you may eventually reach your goals, however had you factored in all the other elements of conscientiousness (diligence, organization, perfectionism, prudence), you’d have a far greater chance of reaching your goals in far shorter time, with far less stress, with far less sacrifice and far more capital, and with much less regret.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: In my own experience, true professionals:
1. Always know the answer to every question before they are asked.
- To pass a driver’s test, you’re expected to know all of the rules of the road all of the time
- To pass a final exam at university, you’re expected to know all the answers to the test questions
- If a policeman stops you on the street in Thailand and gives you a 200€ fine, you were expected to have known what you were doing was illegal and punishable by law.
2. When you cannot know the answer immediately, have immediate access to the answer.
- Within seconds, you should be able to access the information, be it online, in the client’s file, in your notes, in your email exchanges…
- As a professional, you should be prepared as much as you possibly can for the unknown
- What you don’t know can and will hurt you
3. When you cannot have immediate access to the information, say you don’t know and that you will find the answer as quickly as possible; be unequivocal so others have a sense of control.
4. And then never again find yourself in a situation where you don’t know the answer to a question. (Return to step 1)]
LEARNING HOW TO LEARN AND DELIBERATE PRACTICE
The first step to improving yourself is to admit you’re lost. And this is very hard for people. Especially those who buy into the Western self-sufficiency narcissistic myth of ‘Learning only by doing and without the help of anybody else.’
Most subjects are not as difficult and intimidating to learn as you think. They currently appear intimidating because of the way you were taught – to fear the unknown, and because you don’t know what you don’t know, and because the false belief that learning will take years and you don’t know where to begin.
This is where mentors come in. Mentors, books, lectures, workshops, training… all help you become more prudent, and more quickly, and they are everywhere; especially on the internet. These people don’t have to be perfect; at the very least they should have to be better than you currently are at your target skill. You just have to be willing to organize your life and time, organizing your time and diligently working on improving yourself and learning about how to make more prudent decisions. Until you prioritize this, you will always be poor; you will always be beat by another person who is willing to prioritize this.
Go to any book store and you can purchase a book from some of the most successful people on the planet. The top universities and coaches (alive and passed) offer a ton of content online – free and paid. Obviously those mentors and book publishers and professional coaches expect to be compensated for the value they offer, but that is the cost of your learning their expensive short-cuts to reach your own goals.
If you’re going to work hard and ‘hustle’ on anything in life, hustle on the networking side.
Build a professional network of ambitious, intelligent, conscientious mentors, read books, take online classes, reverse-engineer how professionals approach and solve problems. And then learn by osmosis.
The Dalai Lama identifies three types of knowledge:
- Familiar information you recognize because you ‘read it once’ or ‘someone told you.’ This may be a consequence of information overload, perhaps by spending too much time scrolling news outlets or social media. This is the worst type of knowledge because the information isn’t actually being used.
- Contemplating knowledge you use for creativity and reprogramming your mind and thought processes.
- Instinctual knowledge you use to make decisions without thinking about it. When optimized, this is the best type of knowledge because you’ve instinctively identified the best problem-solving methods.
Assume you’re not practicing and learning enough. For even more motivation, assume your competitors are practicing and learning more than you on a daily basis. Assume that for every minute you’re not learning and improving, someone else is. Assume eventually you find yourself against them – for a promotion, a new client, for a romantic partner, for the closet weapon. Assume in that future moment you will lose.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: One of the rules in the book The Rules of Work is “Never let them know how hard you work.” The logic is that when people meet you, they don’t care how hard you worked or sacrificed to acquire the knowledge and wealth you’ve acquired; they only care about to what extent you can fix their problems. So whether it took you 10 years of learning, or 6 months, if you promise to solve their problem, and then you do so; that is what matters.]
Make things in life practical: easy to learn, easy to remember and easy to put into practice so that you won’t procrastinate.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: “Familiar information” mentioned above is explained in more detail in Lesson 233. How to study smarter, not harder.
“The single greatest investment you can make in life is in yourself, and the most useful skill you can acquire is ‘learning how to learn.’” But an even greater challenge is moving from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence as quickly as you can.]
Did you teach yourself your own mother tongue, social manners, etc. as a child? Or did you have mentors and teachers (your parents and teachers) who provided a framework with corrective action for you to learn?
There is some truth to the belief that ‘everything happens for a reason’, but your spending 6 years in a dead end job only to be the first to be laid off and finding yourself in serious economic hardship is not ‘a lesson for you to learn in life,’ it was a lesson you should have seen others learn and hedge your assets to protect yourself from the likelihood of this happening to you. It was you imprudently allowing yourself to waste precious time and energy in a situation where you were not being paid your true value, and you complacently allowing others to dictate your value to you rather than you taking control to get yourself out of that dead end job.
Organisms that only learn through trial-and-error lose to organisms that can learn through other people’s trial-and-error.
– Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
One of the reasons humans are presently the smartest animal on planet Earth is because your brain has evolved to be capable of safely projecting yourself into hypothetical situations, and then predicting with reasonable certainty the outcome of actions taken. What your brain needs to improve outcome certainty is quality, reliable information.
You cannot ‘pound knowledge into people’s brains.’ In fact, the harder you pound, the less they learn and the more they dislike you. It’s hard to lecture people into success; they need to be inspired, and they prefer a process of integrated learn by doing.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Likewise, you cannot ‘you should do X, Y, and Z’ people into action. The modal ‘should’:
- Implies judgment: “You are not currently doing something I believe is important, and you should be.”
- Is controlling: “Don’t think, just do as I say.”
Instead, consider more subtle nudges such as “Have you tried X?” or “A colleague of mine did X, and it worked out for her.” Alternatively, challenge the status quo, ask yourself “why exactly should people do X” rather than another option. The most innovative people began by challenging other people’s “should’s” and “have to’s.”]
According to Warren Buffet, in today’s society a person with a 125 IQ is intelligent enough to be successful in life. Maybe you can’t solve the worlds most complex problems, but you don’t need to. You just need to be smart enough to figure out how to employ highly-intelligent people capable of solving those problems.
“You want to make fun of the Kardashians?!” Kylie Jenner has become the youngest billionaire ever by selling makeup kits and cosmetics. To put that into perspective, it took companies like L’Oreal and Maybelline 50 years and thousands of employees to do what Kylie Jenner has done by herself (surrounded and supported by her family and other professionals) by the age of 20.
Maybe you don’t like or agree with the Kardashians or Kylie Jenner, but you can’t deny their business model works. So rather than criticize them you should figure out what they’re doing that works and then take the parts of it you like and use it in your own life.
For over 50 years Ford and other leading automobiles could have created the electric car, but chose not to. It was Elon Musk with his billions of dollars who had the audacity to, thus making the world a better place.
“The thing about smart people is they sound crazy to dumb people”
– Stephen Hawking
By learning just one useful and relevant concept or strategy per day, you very quickly become wealthy in knowledge. End each day a little bit smarter than when it started. Also, be willing to correct your knowledge as you learn more, and as you uncover your blind spots: those cognitive biases and heuristics that hinder prudent decision-making. What you know and believe today will inevitably change as you learn more and realize you were only looking at a part of the picture.
Life isn’t black or white and opinions and beliefs evolve as you learn, so don’t just lazily pick a side of an argument.
“You should not allow yourself to have any opinion that you can’t argue the other’s side better than they can argue it themselves.”
– Charlie Munger
Success may not come quickly, in fact it will more likely be a slow process of highs and lows, but you must be prepared for when success comes, otherwise you’ll have missed your lucky break. Life is not a journey, it is a process. Life is about preparing and improving in an attempt to increase your odds of winning.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in Lesson 212. Why ‘being lucky’ is a crutch and 5 ways to improve your luck, Bryan Cranston has learned that you can’t prepare for luck; you just have to just do your work, do the best that you can, and be prepared for when it stumbles upon you.]
People need financial education. Financial stress is a main cause for divorce. When you’re under a lot of stress: not enough money, life is falling apart… It’s because of one simple truth:
Nobody cares about you. You’re not special. Your problems don’t matter.
People don’t like to hear this, but by answering a few basic questions:
- Who did you learn from?
- Tell me about your upbringing.
- Who do you spend most of your time with?
- Who are you learning from now?
lessons in education
…you can predict your future with relative accuracy.
LESSONS YOUR EDUCATION SHOULD HAVE TAUGHT YOU, BUT DIDN’T
If you’re struggling in life, this is why: You didn’t learn the lessons you need to to make prudent decisions. Here lies foundational lessons your education should have taught you, but didn’t:
1. You must know how to pick your career. You’re going to spend the vast large majority of your life working in positions that become known as your career.
Where do you get your inspiration and career guidance from? You get them from your parents, family, peers, authority figures, school field trips and guidance counselors, university internships, trial and error once you move into your full-time professional world…
Many of the above mentioned people who ‘couldn’t,’ or chose not to put in the slow, hard, tedious work of improving themselves to reach their goals tend to either redefine or lower their goal standards using terms they are more comfortable living with.
You don’t want to find yourself stuck in a career or job doing what you don’t like doing – whether or not you’re paid well.
Don’t only follow the money.
Don’t simply focus on what you’re ‘strong’ and ‘good’ at. Your ‘strengths’ are relative to other people:
- If you’re the ‘strongest’ person in the room, you’re not challenging yourself enough.
- If you’re the ‘weakest’ person in the room, you provide no value to anybody and you’ve no negotiation power.
- If everybody else in the room has the same ‘strengths’ and ‘weaknesses’ as you, collectively your ‘weaknesses’ will be your downfall.
2. Surround yourself with people who make you uncomfortable at “the ego-level.” Congratulations. Somebody (you probably have never met) has decided to label you as the ‘smartest’ person in your class, or the ‘best’ basketball player on your high school team, and through limited competition your team may have become ‘the best’ in your local district, perhaps maybe even your state (which may attract the attention of sports headhunters offering university scholarships). But your current status is compared to a very limited group of peers, and it is subjective. Compared to university players, and especially pro players, you suck pathetically and in reality you’ve an unrealistic chance of actually going on to make a living from this hobby of yours.
Your ‘strengths’ and ‘weaknesses’ must compliment those you surround yourself with, and those you surround yourself with must constantly challenge you.
3. Optimize for active and passive investment.
- Active investment generally includes trading time, energy and expertise for (non)financial gain. Thing is, you only have so many hours in a day, and while you may be able to negotiate greater financial compensation for your time, energy and expertise, you are still only using finite sources so your compensation will always be capped.
- Passive investment generally includes financial gain beyond your limited, finite resources; your investment into online and/or part-time businesses, the stock market, cryptocurrency, real estate…
The more sources of passive income you have, the better.
With the millions of hours of quality content available to you today, investing time and money on a training (psychologically and physically) leads to greater results than those who try to learn using free methods.
Be willing to sacrifice a couple of pints of beer per month and invest that money into developing your knowledge-base.
4. Discipline and motivate yourself.
- Learn at least one relevant fact, skill, habit, trick, or concept every day. Learning from others cuts your learning curve drastically.
- Exercise your skills, tricks and concepts every day
5. Optimize for close family and social circles
- You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most of your time with
- Your income is the average of the 5 people you spend the most of your time with
- Learn how to read people’s true intentions beyond what they portray verbally and non-verbally
- Learn how to communicate, negotiate, and conduct yourself so other people’s true intentions are revealed
Cut out bad social circles that teach and reinforce stupid habits.
As you begin learning and improving yourself, be careful against fostering regret, anger and vengeance with your parents, family, authority figures, school field trips and guidance counselors, university internships, bosses and employers who didn’t teach you what you ‘should have’ learned. Forgive them. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Let it go. Negotiate on good faith.
Assume people do the best they can with the resources they have available to them at that time.
Invest in your brain and learn how to catch trends that create a competitive advantage before everybody else notices them.
These ‘trends’ don’t even have to be on a global scale; they can be locally relevant to your:
- Team – Are colleagues taking longer lunches and leaving work later? Why? How can I use that to my advantage in the next 3 months?
- Department – Are meetings being congregated at the beginning of the week? Why? How can I use that to my advantage in the next 3 months?
- Division – Are Excel spreadsheets being organized by rows on the same page rather than arranged by tabs? Why? How can I use that to my advantage in the next 3 months?
- Employer – Have recent Google Alerts on your employer been emphasizing a certain product or complaint? Why? How can I use that to my advantage in the next 3 months?
- City – How has my employer’s and my residential population evolved over the last 5 years? Why? How can I use that to my advantage in the next 3 months?
5 things children should learn growing up:
- Start your first business by the age of 12, with the encouragement of everyone around you. With the internet, anybody can start any type of business online within minutes. Teaching children how to set up a business: identify needs and wants, monetizing hobbies, teaching, how to lead and follow, managing finances, time management… is imperative to success as you get older, and it is an easy way to learn without accumulating too much debt. If the business works, congratulations! If it doesn’t, help the child identify the lessons learned and start over again, this time with a better version.
- Travel as often as you can. The more diverse your sources, the more innovative your ideas. The more exposure you have to different cultures, the higher your emotional intelligence (EI) and the less gullible you are to peer pressure and ‘fitting in with the local herd.’
- Master a musical instrument. People tend to more easily connect to people who can play instruments like the guitar. Think of all the posters of bands and singers children have on their wall growing up; think of how important music is to most people in their daily lives.
- Master a self-defense martial art. Self-defense teaches respect, control, morals, assertiveness and how to defend yourself and those you love; all the while staying in shape and building a community around you of other like-minded people.
- Learn 4 languages fluently. Modern school system might introduce you to other languages and cultures, but they don’t teach language mastery. Building upon step 2: Travel as often as you can, the more exposure you have to different cultures, the higher your emotional intelligence (EI).
The most correlated factor to making your first million € is the age at which you start.
– Warren Buffet
According to the law of supply and demand, there is only so much money in the world, and everybody is competing for it for competitive advantage. Why? Because money equals freedom to people.
To run a business – even to have an opinion – you must have thick, thick, skin. You cannot please everyone, and there’s a lot of money to be made criticizing and insulting other people’s ideas and shortcomings. As you grow in popularity, expect family & friends to betray you, steal from you, insult you, sabotage you…
In this world we live in, people are getting weaker and weaker-willed. The wealthier you get, the lazier and more self-entitled you become, and the less capable you become of surviving hard times.
During the 1995 NBA Finals Shaquille O’Neal – known for exploiting his strength and size and intimidating his competitors through brute force – elbowed Hakeem Olajuwan in an attempt to ‘set the tone’ and dominate him early on in this important match. Hakeem, rather than accepting it, laughed it off and then went on to lead his team to victory.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Here is a discussion between professional basketballers on Shaq’s aggressive tactic:
When rules start being made to stop your competitive advantage. When people are trying to figure out ways to cheat you; that’s when you know you’ve arrived.
Shaquille’s strength and size also meant his competitors had to be much more aggressive with him as well to prevent him from scoring points.]
Master strength-based time management. The most accomplished people in the last 500 years had the same 24 hours as everyone else. At the very least, you should:
- Focus on those few events that have the greatest impact and liberate the most of your free time, and
- Spend the majority of your time capitalizing on your strengths, and collaborating with business partners who have different, complimentary strengths than yours
- Introverted? Focus on researching and writing and creation while your extroverted partner focuses on professional networking, business growth and expanding your client-base
There is no single absolute rule to solving problems and reaching goals. You have to play around with many different methods, and then create and commit to one that best corresponds to you.
The earlier in life you identify this, the better.
Work smart, then work hard. Or better yet, work hard at working smart. Society educates you to ‘work hard.’ For example, millions of people around the planet work hard, going into debt for college degrees and/or laboring for 15 hours per day and sleeping 6 hours per night, stuck in a system that encourages – but doesn’t actually reward – hard work.
The idea of ‘hard work’ is misunderstood. The truth is you shouldn’t start working hard until you are certain you are working in the right direction (your north star metric).
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on building a scalable business and finding your north star metric, check out Lesson 93: How to start a startup: optimizing your business for growth.]
Experiment with at least 12 different monetizable ideas per year. Don’t think “I’ve got a business idea.” and then work hard at your business idea. More prudently, think “I’m going to test this business idea this month.” and then assess. If the idea works, keep going. If it doesn’t shut it down fast, take the lessons learned, and move on; or perhaps return to it later when circumstances change.
If you’ve settled in on an e-commerce website, you should be testing at least 17 products a day, letting demand determine which direction you continue moving toward.
Amazon, Netflix, Facebook… are shrewd because they’ve essentially created an environment where people can do their own experiments to see what sells the most, then Amazon uses their algorithm to determine which products get featured, all the while collecting profit.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: Recall in our Lesson 22. Sam Fajner explains that “you don’t tell people what you are, they tell you what you should be.”
Also, recall in Lesson 172. How Netflix and Amazon pleasure you through data-driven algorithms that:
- Amazon’s approach to identifying those 9s and 10s is to hold a competition whereby thousands of ideas are evaluated and sorted until the final eight ideas remain. A pilot eposide for each idea is then filmed and made available for the world to watch for free while Amazon monitors the very-detailed analytics (plays, pauses, scene skips, rewatches, shares, etc.) of those pilot eposides to identify which shows are the top performing and should be invested in.
- Netflix’s approach to finding blockbuster television shows involes analyzing all of the data they already have from their users’ past behavior: series they’ve liked, skipped, the actors/actresses who starred in them, etc.
Two different approaches, two different levels of success.]
Optimal stopping is “concerned with the problem of choosing a time to take a particular action in order to maximise an expected reward or minimize an expected cost.”
Know what motivates you. The four basic human drivers are:
Building upon finding a business partner whose strengths compliment your weaknesses discussed earlier: e.g. an introvert partnering with an extrovert, now consider an introvert driven by mastery/status partnering with an extrovert driven by money/materialism. This would be an ideal, lucrative business venture for both parties.
[JOSHUA’S NOTE: For more on this subject, check out Lesson 82. How to start a startup: the importance of choosing your team and execution.]
It’s got to be the worst life ever, spending all day at work looking at your watch waiting for it to end.
Once you’ve finally found ‘that one idea’, focus and scale. It’s extremely difficult to scale from making 100K€/year to 1M€/year; you must focus on repetitive training, learning and improving your skill sets:
- Just running your business, patching up holes and weaknesses and improving it as you can will not drastically increase your revenue
- Just doing your job and learning as you go will not guarantee you promotions and pay increase
The average millionaire tests many different business ideas before becoming successful.
Life is a puzzle, and the purpose of life is to put the pieces together.
For those of you who don’t have all the pieces, good luck out there.
Tai Lopez’ Claim & Disclaimer: “Tai Lopez has more than 15 years experience in selling online, and his partners combined have spent more than $500M in online advertising. Tai Lopez is a professional internet marketer and his results are not typical. His experiences are not a guarantee you will make money. You may make more, less or the same. This is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme.
Any credit strategies, or credit repair/rewards examples, are only estimates of what is possible. There is no assurance that you’ll do as well. Results are based on many factors. Use caution and check with your accountant, lawyer or professional adviser, before acting on this or any information.
The content of this video is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.”