There is nothing wrong with thinking like the masses in a survival situation. In reality, most people follow the herd because it is a survival instinct. If we dropped a random reader into a remote area of the world with no contacts, no social media (God forbid) and no electricity or access to shelter… The correct move would be as follows: 1) observe other living animals eating/moving towards a source of water and 2) consume similar foods and ration out water to survive. Pretty simple right? Unfortunately, this tactic only works to survive and doesn’t get you much further in life. Eventually, you’ll be forced to think differently and avoid doing what everyone else does to get ahead. In this post, we’ll go ahead and outline numerous examples since it is not possible to teach someone to think exactly as we do.
People are Not Equal. Throughout your life you’ve been told to “treat everyone equally”. This is horrible advice. If you follow this motto in life, it will be nearly impossible for you to build relationships with the right people. Instead, your goal is to find the winners and link up with said winners. We’ve said it numerous times on Twitter, but at the end of the day, winners like winners and losers like losers. Never, under any circumstances do you work *with* or *for* a loser. You will get 100x further in life by working *with* winners (emphasis on the word with and not “for” as they are unrelated).
Utilize Probabilities. If you do what everyone else is doing, you will end up like everyone else. This certainly prevents you from becoming homeless and living on the streets begging for change, but it also prevents you from living a better life than the masses.
For our non-finance readers, unfortunately, the best example is Wall Street related.
If you deem yourself to be more intelligent than your peer group then there is no reason to follow the herd. You have to come up with a differentiated strategy. In the world of finance, most junior employees focus on “financial modeling”. But. Less than 10% of junior employees (Analysts and Associates) will ever see a single day as Vice President at their firm. Let alone Director or Managing Director. This means you should probably be focusing on other tasks (not financial modeling) which would be… Sales. Every single position on Wall Street (excluding Quants) becomes a sales role at the end of the day. Even the buyside becomes a sales position as you need to raise funds. In short. Stop wasting time learning how to build a complex model (something that can be mastered in 6 months) and get busy getting connected.
Stay on Offense. There is no point in playing defense. Staying on offense is actually the number 1 rule to financial independence. If you follow our advice on becoming a millionaire in 10 years (*easily achievable for intelligent readers*) then you will realize this immediately. The path to becoming rich is paved in consistent *offense*. You’re busying working a career and at the same time busy building a sales business. As you continue working on both your career and business, time becomes a leverage point for you and you can delegate tasks at a rapid rate freeing you up to do anything you like.
In short. The best way to save money is to spend your free time making money. You won’t be able to spend and you’re increasing your income.
Fun for You Should be Boring to the Masses. Talk to a regular person (disgusting) and you will find that their lives are extremely boring. They will also believe that your life is extremely boring as well! While making money is just a game for you once you have enough to be financially independent, they will not understand why you want to grow your company/career/(insert anything else that is difficult). Why? They are more interested in watching other people live interesting lives.
The biggest joke is reality television where 20+ contestants compete for $1M while the host of the show makes $1M+ per season. If you want to go the fame route (not recommended), your goal is to become the creator of a show or host of the show. You do not want to be one of the contestants hoping to make less than the host… After embarrassing themselves on television for multiple weeks in a row.
Perception is Reality… For Most. After creating multiple products that do not sell well (you will quickly realize that what you want is unrelated to what the masses want) you’ll be forced to realize that perception and branding is just as important as the product itself. Laugh if you wish. But. Having a celebrity endorse your product will add more value than actually creating a product better than your competition.
The previous sentence is not a joke.
Once you realize perceived value is equal to real value… You’re going to immediately change your sales technique and your marketing technique. You will obtain superior traction from “quick fix” and “Celeb X recommends” than you will from creating a product that is 2x better than your peer group. As long as your product is roughly equivalent, spend your time selling the perception.
Pay for Help. Most people have huge egos when it comes to living life. No one is willing to ask for help and the difference between being arrogant and simply having an ego is this: realizing when help will accelerate the process. No one has time to be the #1 player in every single sport, the #1 banker, the #1 brand in clothing and the #1 doctor. It just isn’t possible.
Instead of wasting time choosing to become an expert in 10 topics, choose two or three and hire consultants for the other seven. The power of 1% is on your side.
Find the winner (top tier professional) in the seven topics (piano and tennis as examples) and simply take lessons. You’re going to learn more in 2 hours a week than you would through self learning anyway. Asking for help is perfectly fine. Pay the fee and save yourself the headache. Besides. The topics you focus on will generate a lot more cash flow than the hourly rate for an instructor.
Stop Working for People by Thirty. This is the hard cut off. By thirty you should not work *for* anyone. The emphasis on the word *for* cannot be strong enough. You may work “with” people. But. Under no circumstances will you be in a position where you’re taking orders all day. You are either contributing to a project (working with) or you are running by yourself. Notice… If you’re working with someone, you’re essentially working for yourself and throw your contribution into the pool at a stated deadline.
If someone does not know the difference between working “with” someone and working *for* someone, they should no longer read this blog.
They do not have any idea how revenue generating roles work. And. They have never generated a meaningful amount of money.
Ask Questions… When You Know the Answer. As many of you are aware, the typical person is an expert on everything. They know how to make money, get girls and lift more than professional body builders.
All jokes aside, you can use this to your advantage. When you are meeting new people you should ask them questions you already *know* the answer to. If for example, you are an expert in three topics and the new person claims to know one of them… Ask them 2-3 questions and use the following phrase:
“I don’t know anything about XYZ can you explain the basics?”
Jackpot. Instead of being forced to waste time (IE: seeing if they are full of it) they will now be forced to show their cards. Most people will ask them about topics they do not know. This doesn’t work. Why? You won’t know if the person is legitimate or not and you’ll be forced to back track and research the topic yourself to confirm the statements.
Focus on the Audience. People do not speak to each other equally. If you are speaking to a family member, friend of 10 years or a client… you will not use the same tone of voice, verbs or nouns. This is why you should never waste your time getting information from mainstream outlets. The targeted audience is too wide and the speaker is going to *change* the message to resonate with the people in front of him.
In addition, this works for advertising as well. Most people focus on if an ad would work on “them”. This doesn’t work! An ad working on you is irrelevant compared to an ad working on the masses.
Think differently and ask who is in the audience? Then find an advertisement that appears *repeatedly* for many days, weeks or months. The ad must be good because the space they are paying for is not cheap and if it is converting at a high rate… then you are certain it will be re-run until unprofitable. Take notes.
Let People Tell You How to Succeed! That’s right. We get a lot of questions on “how to make friends” and this section will solve every single one of your problems.
In short. People are insecure and have a superiority complex.
Knowing this as a fact, here are the two rules to making a new friend (note this works for casual acquaintances and is not to be confused with business). Rule #1: Ask for advice and let them tell you exactly what to do (remember they know everything). Rule #2: Regardless of what they say to do, report back and say it “absolutely worked and that you appreciate their time immensely!”.
Congratulations. This will work every single time as long as you avoid correcting them when they say something foolish in the future. Let someone believe they are better than you and you can bet everything you have that they will happily hang out and give you more of their advice.
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Updated for 2016 and beyond.
*As Usual Absolutely No Questions, No Clarifying Questions Either. They Will be Deleted with ZERO Exceptions. Interesting Value Additive Comments are Always Welcome.*