The title says it all. Self doubt is normal. However. The need for motivation is for the unsuccessful. If you know someone who needs to be lifted up *emotionally* to achieve something… He never wanted it in the first place. He’s simply someone who wishes upon a star for the world to give him something he never deserved. Even worse? He thinks the emotional pump up is good for him.
The type of person who gets amped up by written words in a text book or a motivational video will scour the internet far and wide looking for a solution to his problems. It will never come.
He will attend seminars and speaking venues. It will never help him.
He will try to use the same ideas to sell to his peers. It will never work.
He’ll never find his magic product or service to sell. He’ll never succeed even in the slightest because he is unwilling to take risks. Perhaps, if he is lucky, he gets by on a middle class salary of $100K per year. But. He’s never going to accomplish anything meaningful. Period.
Knowing that most people love this type of inspirational nonsense, many, many, many people become rich by transferring this feeling to the masses. As usual, don’t just do the opposite, be the opposite. Use motivation to sell products because people will make purchases when they are in a high emotional state.
Instead of nagging on and on about how weak people enjoy motivation (by definition they are weak because a successful person doesn’t need to be motivated) we’re going to give away a step by step process to rid yourself of the need for motivation. For free.
Step 1 – Stand up, Walk Out: Lets assume the worst. Someone reading this likely enjoys motivational speeches and other such nonsense. Time to throw away the crutch. Kill it for good. Choose a large, large, large venue (college commencement speeches and motivational seminars are good for this). Sit front and center.
You are waiting now. Wait until the crowd bends to his words. When the crowd is bending to his words you’ll sense an uncomfortable quiet and focus from those around you. This is usually just moments before the conclusion of the speech.
Stand up. Slowly. Walk through the crowd. Slowly. Never look back. As people stare at you, make eye contact until they break first or you have walked past them. Head straight. Do not look down. Time will slow as you feel the scrutiny from your “peers” weighing on your shoulders. You are not doing this for the attention. Exit the venue.
To reiterate, this is not done for attention. When you are quizzed (many will ask) as to why you left at the “best part” simply say you had to use the restroom. An emotionless statement. Do not say anything negative or positive about the speech, remain in a neutral state (Ie: you’re not doing this to be a hater). Never mention the incident again.
What have you done? You’ve taken control of your emotions. Congratulations. This is step one in your long journey to internal motivation. You will not bend to the words of others for “feelings” or “emotion” you will only listen to logic and reason. Most won’t be able to complete step one.
Example: Here is a clear example of motivational junk that doesn’t help you. Started laughing out loud at second 31.
*Note 1: This is certainly rude. The one time event of learning to control your emotions is worth many thousands of dollars. Here’s a hint. The speaker has no interest in giving you money so it is going to be a great long-term investment for you. The only message is to work as hard as you can, no actionable advice is given beyond getting rid of your cell phone.
This video was found in a YouTube search and you can replace it with any other video. The inflection point is usually right before the conclusion which is always the same “work as hard as you can”. If you’re already trying your best then there is no reason to watch the video correct? Correct.
Step 2 – Testing Phase: The one time event above is going to give you more adrenaline than the entire speech. You’ve stood up against the largest enemy of all. The masses. Learn to control your heart rate and bring yourself back down to normalcy as fast as possible.
After taking a large jump towards emotional control, it is time to see what you are actually good at. The bad news? Time is not on your side (it never is). The good news? Everyone is good at something.
Find twenty five subjects that you are interested in. Since this blog is about making money, Wall Street and having fun we’re going to assume you’re more interested in the money part. Go and try all of them until you feel comfortable with the subject. It may take 4-6 months but we doubt it. You’re going to be good at some, terrible at others and have potential in *maybe* two of them. Check those two out.
How do you know the difference between good and potential? Other people will tell you that you’re good at it. These people will not be your friends and family, they will have businesses in the same field.
To conclude the testing phase, here’s the rub. Most people try to “do what they love”. This does not work. Almost everyone would love a life where they have sex everyday, get drunk and make a lot of money for doing nothing. Naturally, none of this is really going to get you anywhere. Instead of “doing what you love” find what you are actually good at first (maybe only a few things) then figure out if you can do it for many hours per day… bringing us to step 3.
Step 3 – Stress Testing: Stress test refers to stress testing your physical body. Step number 2 already determined if you have the talent/intelligence to be good at the task (remember other people will tell you that you’re good!). Lets assume you found two topics that you have a knack for. Time to stress test. Can you do this for 80+ hours a week consistently? Try it.
You try one. You find that you’re sick of it after a week. Complaining about the lack of sleep. Complaining about the types of people you were meeting. Complaining about the effort it took to improve upon your craft. Complaining about the process of setting up the business.
You try another one. You don’t complain about your lack of sleep because you wake up energized. Strange. You don’t complain about the people you meet, there are some bad apples but it is tolerable. Strange. You don’t mind the hassles of dealing with a miniature set of customers. Strange again. Strange that you’re working the same hours but you’re not tired anymore. You found a potential revenue stream.
Step 4 – Prioritize: So you’ve found one interest with revenue potential. Check. You’ve already stress tested yourself for 3 months or so. Check. Now it’s time to re-prioritize your life to go all in on your new found venture while maintaining a normal social personality. You can guess where we’re going with this.
You commit 100%. You care about every single detail. You do not cut any corners. You do not run in blind. You start building based on long hours of research and effort and commit every single ounce of energy into the project until you are beat. Now you’ve got 1-2 hours of leisure time and 6-8 hours to sleep… Remember step 2? This is how you avoid becoming a boring type A person who no one wants to hang out with .
Keep those fun ideas in your back pocket and they become your new source of fun/entertainment. You will go through phases and cycle through many activities where you’ll be “pretty good” and more and more people will enter your social circle.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
Example: Maybe you need an example. One is staring right at you. This blog. This blog falls into the hobby/entertainment aspect of life. While it has evolved over time as any hobby will, the chances that we try to build this blog up appropriately (see cater to the masses) is next to zero percent.
Alright, alright it actually is zero percent since we’re terrible writers anyway (too blunt and don’t cater to idiots).
Alternatively? We take our real side businesses (some smart readers already figured those out) and Wall Street work extremely seriously. You care about everything in that case. You care if the charts have tic-marks or not. You care if there is a typo on a slide no one will read. You care if you respond to a client in 90 seconds or 45 seconds. Everything matters.
Step 5 – Daily, Monthly and Annual Accountability: This is similar to your journal. If you’ve done the first four steps appropriately you won’t waste your time listening to speeches or reading insanely corny success stories. How does reading about the success of someone else without any actual *actionable* advice help you? It doesn’t. If you cannot apply it, you have wasted your valuable time. Again, if someone else has to get you to take action… you are going to lose in the ring every single time to the person who inspired you to take action! You do not read to take action… You only read in search of actionable advice.
You write down your accomplishments, your failures (you’ll fail a lot!) and your future tasks every single day. Every single month. Every single year. You tell no one on a personal basis that you are doing this. It is up to you and only you to hold yourself accountable and compare yourself to the person you were last year. (under no circumstances do you compare yourself to others, there is always someone better than you)
Example: The easiest example is financial if you’re on Wall Street. You know the comp structure and you know what the Street pays. Luckily it is an up or out environment (you’re moving up or getting fired).
Analyst – Base $80-100K (100% targeted bonus) 160-200K (age 22-25)
Associate – Base $120-160K (100% targeted bonus minimum) $350-400K if you are promoted to VP (age 26-33, wide range due to young talent and MBAs)
VP – Base $175-200K (100%+, call it 125% targeted bonus) (age 30+)
Director – Base $225-250K (Variable call it 1.5x base salary target) (age 32+)
Managing Director – Base $325-375K (Variable, call it 2x base salary as a target) (age 32+)
*Note: Yes base salaries at the junior level are moving up a tad, call it $5-10K depending on if you’re an associate or an analyst. However, as the numbers show, your goal is to get promoted since the variable numbers become larger and larger as a % of your salary
If you’re not on Wall Street, try the following: make your income grow at a faster rate each year. This is extremely difficult. In simple terms, if you were up 10% last year, your goal is to be up 15% this year. If you are up 20% then you want to be up 25%. The “law of large numbers” works against you. This is the fun part of the game (it is just that, a game).
Finally, throwing income out of the equation, if you run into an acquaintance you have not seen for a year he/she should recognize that *something has changed*. Many times people cannot put their finger on it, but you are simply different (in a good way) compared to the last time you two spoke.
Step 6 – No One Cares About Your Career or Business: Most people talk about their work, career or business. Can it. Unless the person you are meeting can potentially help you in your venture, there is no point in giving people information about your life. When you are out once or twice a week since you earned it (from all of your 12-16 hour days) leave it all behind you.
This will work wonders for you. Most people dislike what they do so bringing up work in a social environment is a terrible decision. In addition, if people realize you’re happy with your life they will pepper you with questions and waste more of your time. It’s a lose, lose situation. You either kill the atmosphere, make the person feel unhappy talking about careers/work or you have a mediocre person trying to squeeze information out of you.
Remember, if you’re going to meet someone to discuss important topics, you’re not meeting them out and about on leisure time. To repeat… Can it.
Step 7 – Repeat Step 2: Once you’ve squeezed as much as you can from one venture, it is time to move to the next. Do not let your life pass you by. Every year should be filled with interesting and new hobbies (see the attempt at 25 different activities) and ideas. If you think that the last year flew by, it means you were in a mundane routine. Do not do this.
Step 8 – Bonus Sales Tip: Now that we’ve basically killed the myth on motivational speaking and other such nonsense… You know what to do… Use it to sell. By definition, again, the masses love this stuff! If the masses love to be motivated and pumped up… Use motivation to sell more products and services! Get them amped up and feeling good about themselves then make the sale.
No we’re not saying you should sell BS products (you won’t last long in that case). Instead, make the connection that if motivation and pump up speeches are popular… You know the masses will buy.
Concluding Remarks and the TL;DR Version: In short, motivation is a tool used to sell to the masses. If you can make someone feel hyped they will bend to your beliefs and convert (convert is basic internet marketing language for purchase). It is perfectly fine to use motivation to your advantage to sell products.
From an individual standpoint however… No one should be able to motivate you. You should be internally motivated to do well and the external motivators should be telling you to slow down if anything. People who are internally motivated have a problem of going too far. People who need external motivation have not even started in the first place.
The Bullets: 1) go against the grain in a large environment to take control of your emotions, 2) find what you’re good at – a long-term theme in this blog – no one can hold your hand through this process, 3) stress test yourself intensely and find out if you can actually handle 80+ hours a week – most give up after 50, 4) prioritize everything in your life to maximize your brain cells towards that activity, 5) hold yourself accountable on a daily basis and have an annual review – the harshest critic should be yourself, 6) leave all this effort behind you during down time, your brain needs to recharge and no one cares about your success, 7) repeat step 2, most people work boring 9-5 jobs so they do not know the difference between year one and year five.
We realize this post is going to piss off a lot of people. This is fine. We need to decrease the traffic here and get rid of the mediocre people who have found the blog. They can go back to watching motivational videos! We also noticed that someone else agrees with the belief that motivation is nonsense… naturally he’s a successful hedge fund manager with an 8 figure net worth. Go figure.
WEALTH BUILDING RECOMMENDATION
Manage Your Finances In One Place: One of the best ways to become financially independent is by signing up with Personal Capital to track your finances for free. They are an award-winning online platform that aggregates all your financial accounts in one place so you can see where you can optimize your money, track your net worth, manage your cash flow, and analyze your portfolio for excess fees.
They’re best two features are their Portfolio Fee Analyzer and their Retirement Planner. The Portfolio Fee Analyzer showed me how I was paying over $2,000 a year in portfolio fees I had no idea I was hemorrhaging! The Retirement Planner users your real input to run a sophisticated Monte Carlo Algorithm to ascertain whether your retirement is on track. Simply link up all your accounts, click Advisor Tools on the top, and then choose either Investment Checkup or Retirement Planner to get started.
There is no better online free financial tool than Personal Capital. The firm is run by Bill Harris, the ex-CEO of Intuit and Paypal. They’ve got some of the most trusted investors and partners, included USAA, America’s leading financial institution which first started serving our military families.
Updated for 2017 and beyond.