Across every aspect of life you’re essentially spending every single day making small changes. This is why it is incredibly easy to tell who will be successful from those that will just never make it. While talent can be an issue, the bigger issue is that people try and find the “correct answer” on day one. Life just doesn’t work like that. You can essentially get the correct blueprint/map but at the end of the day, just like a sport, the execution is what matters. Knowing how to write a good campaign ad, knowing the right exercises and knowing the right diet is not the same thing as actually doing it. In addition to this, even with the blueprint, you’re still going to have specific skills/issues that are related to you. Why? No one is going to have your exact same skills.
Diet the First Blueprint: Everyone knows that eating healthy is important. How many people know what their body responds best (and worst) to. We’ve always used this as a simple metric when someone talks about their eating habits. The difference between the guys who stay in shape past 30 and the ones who start to pack on weight surrounds this topic. It’s just not the same for everyone. For example: some people will respond better to things like intermittent fasting (14-16 hours a day) while others will respond better to avoiding large amounts of carbs (pasta etc.). We won’t waste our time arguing these facts since they’ve been tested over a decade and it’s highly likely that you (if you’re in shape) already know a few things about your own body that respond better. We’ll outline a few examples below.
Unhealthy Foods: It is almost impossible to eat like a trained professional 24/7/365 for 10 years straight. Everyone has a “vice” where they enjoy eating something unhealthy. The key is finding out what unhealthy foods you can eat without seeing a significant impact to your weight or your energy levels. It really gets detailed. For example a person might be able to eat a candy bar and feel fine but couldn’t eat the same amount of calories in the form of a pie or a tart. Again. People can argue that there is no difference but we’ll just ignore them since they don’t have serious experience. You can even try this at home yourself by choosing two unhealthy foods, eating ~1,000 calories worth of one (to feel bad on purpose) and ~1,000 of a different type. If you’re being honest you’ll feel slightly different in each situation.
As a fun example, we’ve met a few people who are extremely tuned into their bodies and if they eat doughnuts they tend to gain something like 2x more weight than if they eat basic croissants with similar calories. We’re sure the calorie counters will jump into the comments but we’ll end up deleting them. Why? Well if you eat 1,000 calories of cucumbers or 1,000 calories of snickers, your body spends more energy trying to digest the consumers (more energy burned). Easy reason is due to the density (trying to eat 1,000 calories of cucumbers is next to impossible in a sitting… you’d need to eat ~60 cups of of cucumbers). We have no real proof for why your body will digest certain foods better but then again we do have proof that people suffer from certain allergies etc. In general, science usually lags trial and error since it’s not going to be easy to compare one human to the next (different DNA + genetics etc.).
Healthy Foods: It’s one thing to know the unhealthy foods but it is a whole different ball game to know the healthy foods. Another good example is comparing, Kale, Wheat Grass and Spinach. Some people have a hard time eating/drinking one of them versus the other two. Not sure why this is. It can make them feel sick and on top of that dampen their energy levels. Again. No science here, just basic trial and error. The people who have incredibly high fitness levels later in life have this sort of information as well.
A second example of the healthy food difference is “high energy” fruits. Generally, Apple, limes, lemons, ginger and beets are used to increase blood-flow/energy levels. Similar to the concept above, your body will likely respond better to one of them. Based on the amount of hype apple cider vinegar got for a while maybe the majority benefits from fresh apple juice over limes and lemons. It’s unclear and is something you can find out yourself. For what it’s worth the sour flavors are usually more effective on this side of the web but it’s never a guarantee. Ginger shots and Wheat Grass shots are useful when you’re traveling as places like Jamba juice carry them (sure not the greatest spot, but works if you’re in a rush and stuck in an airport).
Muscle Growth the Second Blueprint: We’ve reached a point in society where simply appearing in shape is seen as an accomplishment. The good news here is that every single in shape person knows where they are physically stronger/weaker. If al your’e doing is a little bit of biking/swimming and lifting heavy weights, then you’ll know which areas are stronger on a pound for pound basis. People like to talk about their max weight but it means nothing without knowing their current height and weight as well. During this process if someone is serious about staying in shape long-term they will also recognize where they are at risk for injuries. If you’re doing any repetitive task over the course of a year, you’ll develop a “tightness” at minimum in certain areas of your body. This is your signal to find the weak spot.
If you’re suffering from achilles pain it could be an issue with your legs or even your foot (you might need to buy toe separators to sleep with to prevent your foot from contorting, which then puts stress on your heel/achilles). Similarly, you might have shoulder issues, in that case you’re going to hang from a pull up bar to stretch out and use weights to stretch out your chest and shoulder area. In addition to this… You could have “tennis elbow” which may require you to use a pulse massager or an arm massager. These are some common ones and there are many more ranging from the lower back to your hips and quads/hamstrings. The guys who go “above and beyond” are able to pinpoint the exact issue, strengthen that area of their body and create long-term high quality muscles. These “annoyances” never really go away, meaning your body composition is always going to have tendencies, but recognizing them early will save you an incredible amount of time and energy.
Specialized Workout: If you get the chance to hit the gym with someone, see if they have an odd “routine” they add that normal people don’t do (including the ones that are in shape). These people are likely “in-tune” with their bodies and will have a lot more longevity. While anyone can buy a book on the basic workout routines to do, the small additions can severely decrease injury rates by a significant amount. We’d say the people who have specialized additional routines reduce their chance of injury by over 50-60%. Why? They know when specific muscle groups are giving out and can adjust accordingly.
Limited Negativity: While we’ve focused on the physical tells, one social one is the “observation” ability. Two signs that a person will be more consistent and continue to tweak in the right direction: 1) do not look down on out of shape people working out and 2) able to visibly see a persons relative strengths and weaknesses in two sessions. The first one is social and more obvious, no point in discouraging someone who is trying to get better. The second one is more interesting as it shows that a person can visibly see when things are going right/wrong and do a quick calculation on the weight relative to the size/age of the person. To wrap it up, similar to the diet tweaks, you’ll be doing exercise tweaks over the course of many years to prevent injury. Those that don’t and simply follow a standard blueprint after they are in shape will have a harder time keeping up with those that take it seriously (similar to everything else in life).
Making Money a Million Edits: If anyone thinks that the above two are hard to figure out over time, they shouldn’t bother starting any sort of real business. While there is a good set of rules to follow, as soon as you “start” the game becomes a trial and error series that is incredibly tedious. The good news is that each small change can move your margins or sales growth by percentage points (not basis points… But full percentage points). This is also why we really avoid giving advice on items we have limited experience with, each market is incredibly different and you just never know what is going to work without many days of trial and error. That said here are some examples:
Website Design: You know those annoying “don’t leave sign up for email or click here” pop ups when you try to exit? They exist because they work. Some people have them run multiple times in a row because the “third” one or the “fourth” one is the highest converting one. Who knows why any of this craziness works but this is the stuff that happens. Continuing with the design front, sometimes changing the placement of where your product is located shifts the click rate by 10%+. Even if you know what you’re doing sometimes you have to take a risk and place it somewhere slightly different just to see if it works. Home page design matters for anything real.
Ads: The industry matters a lot. A lot. While Facebook and Google are currently dominating and mastering either of these will make you incredibly rich, we are still surprised by the types of ads that convert. For some industries those ridiculous pop up ads at the bottom of phones work. In other industries they get next to no sales. Sometimes being on yahoo is better than targeted Facebook ads (all relative to how much you spend of course and the cost per click). Never give up. This is the lamest saying in the world but it’s true here more than anywhere. Never give up. You have to try every single ad angle there is and we can all but guarantee it will lead to riches assuming the product is priced correctly and the sales page is solid.
Sales Page: Sales pages are the most annoying. Sometimes having errors can actually *help* your sales because it calls attention to something specific. Similar to how a car crash causes people to slow down and look at what happened. This isn’t a good idea to start with but you can go ahead and mess with “accidental” errors that cause the viewer to focus on something specific. The only good news about sales pages is that your competitors will be going through the same issues at all times. You can piggy back on their changes and feel free to use the same tactics. People say this is a “bad” strategy but look at what happened with the Chinese… They copied and stole IP (you’re just taking words which is 100% legal) and they have a booming tech industry now. Copying your competitor is simply smart since you have to add your own secret sauce on top anyway. You have to learn how to sell… So may as well start with one that is working.
Hiring/Outsourcing: There is a running joke on this blog that the worst thing in life is customer service. If you want to lose faith in humanity go into customer service as you’ll encounter so many dumb questions that it will make your head spin. The faster you can outsource this, the happier you’ll become. Speaking of this, there is also a large tilt here to outsourcing for a more human reason (firing people is awful). Having someone else depend on you for their livelihood is just not a great experience. That said, if you do find the right people to work with you’ll be in luck. Fortunate for this side of the web, you can make a very good living with a team headcount on your single hand. Our basic advice here: better to churn and burn through different outsourcing companies at first. Once you hit scale issues with outsourcing then it’s time to either sell or take significant risk by hiring people. Based on our history you already know what we’d lean towards!
Speaking of hiring and outsourcing, on a fun note, one of the questions for Plato was “Hire the hard working person or the talented person assuming they have $0 to their name”. We thought it would be a close race since there was a catch at the end. When push comes to shove you want to choose the hard working person since you probably have a lot of processes in place that ensure a hard working person will get results over time. Now the catch here is if you’re hiring a younger person, you probably choose the talented person. Why? Well the reward is a lot higher on the upside and they are currently broke! Remember we never said the talented person would be utterly lazy. Normal work ethic with extremely high talent does outperform hard workers particularly at a young age. So if you were given the age of the candidate the answer would be a no brainer, anyone over 28 or so would choose the hard worker 90%+ of the time and anyone who is 21 years old for a lower paying starting position could easily lean to the talented person.
Dating: For fun we’re tossing this in the end. We’re not going to allow dating questions during our Q&A anymore as we find them repulsive. Anyone who actually makes it (which again is less than 2% or so based on pure mathematics), knows that there are no real issues if you make it. That said, our post on style really showed how most people never go anywhere in life. If you’re rich you will have a natural “style”. This means you might be more of a classic person (think Mercedes Benz) or you might be more flashy (think Porche 911). Your style is going to align with your life and we can promise you no one is picking up girls on the beach at age 55 in tank tops with $0 to their name. The point. Your dating style will line up with the person you’ve become which give you the exact answer as to why we don’t answer these questions from people over the age of 28 or so. The prior sentence not only tells you why but also tells you the entire story.
For the newer readers… if you’re interested in learning more about making money, staying in shape and doing so without choking off your personality (essentially the point of this post!)… You’ll probably like Efficiency, Get Rich Without Giving Up Your Life. The benefits include: 1) How to get into the top 10% physically with one hour a day of exercise; 2) How to eat correctly to be in the top 10%; 3) How to figure out what type of intelligence you have; 4) How to use this type of intelligence to choose a career and the *right* company: Wall Street, Technology or Sales; 5) How to start an online business and sell (the basics and all you need to start); 6) Clear outline of how to create and start an online product business with correct copywriting; 7) How to go into affiliate marketing if someone wants to take a stab at the competitive space; 8) Overview of how affiliate marketing operates and how to do it, 9) How to do all of this and maintain a normal social life (avoid choking off your personality). As a bonus you can read a success story by Clicking Here.