In our year end blog review we explained that the best move on New Years Eve is to stay in. New Years Eve celebrations consist of nothing but the Junior Varsity crowd getting sloppy drunk at overpriced venues for $300 a head. It is a waste of time. This has been a consistent theme on this blog “do the opposite” and we’re going to go through a large number of examples below. From small to large.
Example 1 – Tipping at Restaurants: If you’re new in town and want to find a good date venue then you should try a few restaurants… Solo. Most people are too insecure to do this and will unlikely read past the sentence we just wrote. If you’ve passed that piece and are willing to do so… Here’s the trick. Tip before service. Everyone sits around waiting for the check to come to throw in their “double the tax” tip and don’t even think about trying to have an “image” at the restaurant. Do the opposite. Throw down a 40% tip before you even start eating and joke with the waiter (note: not waitress since she will think you are hitting on her) that you are making sure he doesn’t blow you up when you bring dates in next time. He won’t know if you’re joking about this or if you’re using self-deprecating humor. You’ll show up with a date next time of course.
Example 2 – Greasing the Bouncer: If you know of a few popular venues that have the type of women you like, then it makes sense to develop an “image” at the club (notice a trend?). This will range from the bouncers to the bartenders to the actual club/bar owner. Here’s the trick. Grease the bouncer when you leave. Everyone else tries to grease the bouncer $20 just to get into the door with 2-3 other “bros” and ruin the club environment inside. Do not do this. If you are new in town, show up solo and have a good time. Develop rapport with the door guy a couple times during the night on small breaks chatting with him and other girls in the area. When the night is winding down tell him it was great to meet him (use his name of course) and slip him some cash on your way into a cab/uber.
Example 3 – Paying Cash: This is an obvious one to the long-term readers of this blog. If you’re running around trying to pay for bar/dinner tabs with credit cards to earn 1-2% reward dollar points you’re losing out big time. The biggest error when it comes to nighttime fun is losing momentum. When you pay with credit cards you’re doing just that… stopping the flow. There is nothing worse than running your newly improved game and watching the bartender/waiter fiddle around for 10-15 minutes trying to find your card mixed in with the masses. Not to mention… You can’t even establish that you’re a solid tipper. Waiting in the queue for the next round of drinks is a foolish move.
Example 4 – Maximizing Your Looks: Most guys think that it is not manly to evaluate your looks. These are the same people you’ll see wearing crew neck T-shirts and Air Jordans out in public. Their loss. You don’t have to dress to kill 24/7/365 since you may be bogged down with work and staying in for the night. But. If you’re going to try and meet people you need to dress to impress. In addition, it would be smart to learn some basics around photography. Take a look at the video below:
Now you don’t have to watch four hundred videos like this but do some basic searches on YouTube and find a set of 10-15 tips to improve your looks. This can include basic photography like the video above (simply search for headshot photos for men) or it can include style of dress (just search for colors for men by skin tone). When people see photos of you it’s nice to know that you’re looking slightly better due to 30 minutes of basic research. Besides, any girl you date is going to show your photo to her girlfriends and say “do you think he’s cute?”. If you don’t believe this then why is Tinder such a popular dating app? Enough said.
Example 5 – Showing Up Early: Under no circumstances should you set up a meeting and show up late. This includes dates, interviews and meet-ups with friends. It is common advice that you should “make people wait” for your amazing presence. This is complete non-sense. If you show up early to any venue you’re going to have the first crack at impressing anyone in sight. Besides, if you’re willing to show up late to meet person X, you should just cancel the meeting. You don’t think they are important anyway.
Small Example Conclusions: Notice that all the “small examples of doing the opposite” pertain to basic social skills and dating/acquaintances. This is because the lowest item on the priority list is acquaintances and random women at the club. That said, it is also the easiest to fix. So, if you don’t believe anything on here, try the tricks above and you’ll see they work. 1) leave a nice tip before service and the waiter will remember you, 2) tip after you leave the club, the bouncer won’t forget you, 3) pay cash to make friends with the staff – notice all three of these will cost money but create valuable contacts, 4) evaluate your looks every year and 5) show up early or find someone else of value.
Example 1 – Impress Only Those Who Matter: Most people try to please everyone. That is a recipe for disaster because most people are not worth impressing in the first place. Before you bother trying to build a relationship… do some basic background work and find out if they are worth the time. If they are worth the time, go all in.
Twitter is a great example of this because we have weirdos and losers who @ message us to explain they are “un-following” the advice from both the main blog and Twitter micro blog.
Who cares. If you want a clearer example of losers, just look at the garbage people who got upset by Mike’s “offensive tweets”.
In fact, every single time this happens our Twitter and blog followers grow because we lose the bad readers and obtain the good ones. A good problem to have. It is great to polarize people.
Example 2 – Consistently Cut Your Contacts Down: Part of the annual process of elimination is deleting useless contacts from your phone. This is done to prevent unnecessary emotional attachment to old friends. Just because someone has been your friend for 5-10 years does not mean they get a free pass to suddenly complain all day and waste your time. Most people believe that history is a good reason to keep a toxic friend. They are dead wrong.
As you get older and your friends go through ups and downs the ones that stand the test of time always ask the right questions to get back on their feet.
Average people are going to read the paragraphs above and think it means “When your friend is down you leave him!”. No.
When your friend is down you give him access to all the *tools* you have to get his ducks in a row. If he continues to spam you to “borrow money” (see give him money) then you need to re-evaluate the friendship. The long-term friends you have (15+ years) will end up going through bad years. Your job is to find ways to help them based on their unique skill-set. Finally, when you hit a rough spot (and you will) it is your job to communicate what your skills are so your friends can help you find a solid career down the line.
Example 3 – Buy Items for Yourself Only: Most people buy items to impress other people. This is another recipe for disaster. Everyone has interests (sports, cars, clothes, drinking, traveling etc.) however these interests should be yours and *yours only*. Go out and try hundreds of activities and find out which ones you actually enjoy. You’ll be surprised.
The vast majority of people *say* they don’t care about the opinions of other people. But. Look at what they *do*. If they have to consistently announce to the world that they do not care about the opinions of others… Then of course they care… A lot.
So do the opposite, do the opposite, do the opposite. If you are going to spend some money on a material item? Great, buy it for yourself only. If you are going to buy something for a friend? Great, don’t buy it because you are trying to coax them into something. Just give it to them and move on because it is what you wanted to do in the first place.
As we’ve stated numerous times in the past, money is to be spent on 1) making more money or 2) making you happier long-term. That is all.
Example 4 – Find *Legitimate* Mentors: For the first time in this post we had to put stars around a word in bold because it is extremely important. What is the difference between a legitimate and illegitimate mentor? Easy. He is investing in you. What does this mean? He invests real time into your success.
This does not mean he should be holding your hand through every single step of a process, instead it means that the mentor is actively engaged in your life.
Not a Mentor Example: Someone you listen to every single step of the way is not a mentor. That is you following the directions of someone in front of you. That only has value if you have no working knowledge of the topic. It does not have value long-term.
Mentor Example: A person that is constantly trying to improve will eventually hit a decision point. Instead of running with his instinct he calls up a few trusted mentors to gather ideas on what direction to go in. That is extremely different from someone simply saying “do X”.
In short? Everyone else wants a hand holding experience through everything in life. They want the answers in a “step-by-step” form at all times. You will never succeed this way. While it is great to have a general map or blueprint, no one is going to actually execute the steps for you.
Example 5 – Learn in Your 20s Earn in Your 30s: As you can see from the previous examples above, the intermediate examples surround friends and contacts. Generally, this is what most people in their 20s are trying to improve upon.
There is just one problem.
Most people believe that partying and chasing girls until 3 in the morning four nights a week is how you “meet new people”. They even go out and try to run “game” in packs of dudes on the weekend.. during the day! This is wrong. Think about the people you meet in these environments and you’ll realize that you’re clearly violating rule number 1 by not having a solid screening system. If they are not worth your time go to the tried and tested move to get rid of them: Smile, Nod and agree. After this, delete them from your contacts.
Finally, this does not mean that you should become a boring frugal monk, it means that you need to learn to have balance. In our view this is going out *twice* per week. Thursday and Saturday since Thursday will have younger more attractive women and Saturday is by far the easiest night to meet women. Again, no need to simply believe this model. Try it yourself and report back.
On that note, if you are still running around getting black out drunk then this one is for you…
Intermediate Example Conclusions: As you can see from above, doing the opposite is going to save you a lot of hassle in life. You’re not going to respond to ridiculous drunk messages from that “one really cool guy” at 2 in the morning every Saturday. You are going to be “true to yourself” – as cheesy as that sounds and find activities you personally enjoy. 1) Only impress solid people – winners in life, 2) cut down your contacts if you make a bad choice – you will make several, 3) buy material items that make you happy – not in anyway used to impress the masses, 4) find a couple of high quality people that are willing to invest time in you and 5) build skills in your twenties, not damaged livers and childish hookup stories. You will have enough sex and fun if you strike a balance.
Example 1 – Who You Are Determines Your Net Worth: That is right. The masses believe that you have to do something in particular (see win the lottery) to get rich. This is pure nonsense. The best way to improve your net worth is to do the exact opposite of this and focus on You Inc.
We have mentioned You Inc. in the past and what this really means is you’re going to compare and build upon what you had last year. This is the only game you will play. How can you improve where you are, how fit you are, your knowledge base and your ability to succeed? Notice that comparing yourself to other people never comes into this equation. It never should.
To reiterate. Everyone else believes that “network = net worth”. While it is true, this equation will only frustrate you. Why? You will end up complaining that no one is interested in adding you to their “special network”. Here is what you can do instead. Re-read the underlined segment and compare yourself to last year. If you have more information on topics X, Y and Z… Then naturally… you’re going to move up the food chain. Similarly, if your contact list from year 1 is not the same as year 2… You did something right.
Notice. Your network will expand in proportion to how valuable you are as a person.
Example 2 – Money is Time: This is not a typo because again… Do the opposite! Everyone else believes that time is money. They misinterpret the phrase to mean the following: “if you do activity X you could have been doing activity Y which would make you money.” That misses the point entirely!
Money is Time.
It means that you should use money to buy people’s time. This can mean 1) hire someone and pay them an hourly wage or annual salary – no ownership!, 2) it can mean advertising since you are paying to capture the attention of people and 3) it can mean paying thousands of dollars to obtain face to face interaction with someone you need to meet.
Use money to buy people’s time. This will make you money if you sell a product/service that is legitimate. Who cares if you spend $60K/month in advertising fees if it returns $120K in profit? Not you.
Example 3 – Build Rich Alliances: Pretty funny. Everyone that saw this blog over two years ago believed that it would turn into some “resume review service” or something to compete with Wall Street Oasis. Absolutely not and never will. First we do not trade time for money and if we were going to build out a business like that the last thing you would want to do is build a reputation up on an established platform and stab them in the back. That is about the worst business decision to make.
Instead you build up a long-standing relationship and eventually you will both find a way to profit. That is a much smarter long-term model. Are we going to do anything now? Probably not, we are strapped for time. But. The point is that you should build alliances by delivering value to people you want to link up with later.
Funny that everyone “knew” it was going to be a Wall Street competitor. Of course they were wrong.
Example 4 – Go For Real Money: Everyone else tries to short cut the path to real money. No, real money is not “$250K per year” (something you can make at the age of 25 as a hedge fund associate) or some such non-sense. Real money is $1+ million per year or *at least * a one-time payout of $1M+.
Real money is made when you develop many many many contacts (adding value to the bottom line of these contacts) over a long long long period of time and pull the trigger on an *event*… or by creating a recurring subscription revenue stream. That is the reality because “getting rich slowly” is hilarious at best.
Example 5 – Live Well Below Your Means: We have talked about the difference between minimalism and frugality in broad strokes (will have an updated version shortly) but the point is that living below your means will allow you to take risks in the future. Lets assume that you are financially successful and have a liquid net worth of ~$1M by the time you are thirty. (As you know, this is our cutoff for giving any sort of financial advice, otherwise the person is not successful himself).
That $1M in liquid cash is going to give you cash flow of about $50K per year. If you are smart (see doing the opposite), you will now use all of your extra cash flow to invest aggressively in businesses and higher risk assets (private equity, venture debt, venture capital and others). Everyone else would go on a ridiculous spending spree, buying things they don’t need to impress people who don’t matter. If you don’t believe this, why are people who win the lottery always broke? Now you know.
To conclude, the biggest tipping point is as follows “cover your living expenses with investments as fast as possible”. The catch 22 of this whole process is that by the time you are able to cover your cash flow with your investments, your entire income stream comes from work you love doing! Another one of those odd nuances in life.
Advanced Example Conclusions: Clear as day, advanced levels of doing the opposite focus on money. 1) become someone instead of trying to “know someone”, 2) use money to buy people’s time, 3) build alliances, don’t try to back stab people for a few bucks, 4) go for real money if you’re going to build something and 5) live below your means to create options in the future.
Final Elite Tip to Do the Opposite
Lets say you have succeeded at all of the items above. You are going to be in shape, financially well off, sharp socially and you will have a rolodex of successful people at your finger tips (Ideally sexy women as well!).
So what is left? The last item left on the list is to continue developing new interests. Yes that is the cheesiest way to end this post but it is the reality. Many rich and financially successful people are boring. Seriously. Look around. You will see that they have odd social manners and become even more rigid as they age! Make sure that you combat this tendency by continuing to get outside of your comfort zone.
If you didn’t do something new today, this week or this month. Go do it now. Do it today.
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Updated for 2017 and beyond.