If you’ve already made it in life we will wager that you’ve made a ton of mistakes *and* you made all of those mistakes early. Most people spend hours upon hours looking for a magic potion to cure all of their problems. They will look for the easiest way to make the most money “per hour”. They want to know a specific “routine” to get all the girls they want. They want to know that the decisions they are making are 100% correct before they even try… then they wonder why it always fails. With that said we’ll start out with a ton of items we got wrong.
Laundry List of Things We’ve Gotten Wrong
There is a Step by Step Process to Success: Couldn’t have been more wrong on this one. You can only give people the basic structure (framework) and after that it is up to the individual to think for themselves. Who in the world would help someone for free if all it did was increase the competition level within their industry. No one that is who. Any time something can be summarized in a step-by-step fashion from $0 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, the margins within the industry are going to die shortly thereafter.
People Won’t Help You: Got this one dead wrong. While there is no step by step process (point 1) if you do a ton of research and send a single email with one concise question to an expert in the field… you’ll likely get a response within 5 tries. The key part is knowing EXACTLY what you need to ask. After you ask your extremely specific question within a few sentences (3 maximum) they will respond and then ignore you. If you then take their advice and show/prove that it worked, they will happily help you again. The ego is an extremely powerful tool. Most people send outrageous emails that are 2 pages long about their “situation”. In reality, there should only be one precise question which can be summarized in a couple of sentences. If you don’t have a specific concise question it means you’re likely wasting their time and they’ll ignore you in the future. Remember people won’t give away their business model (“step by step process to success”) but if you have one specific question people are very likely to help you.
Working in a Partnership is “Good”: Never do this. Unless you really don’t care about the product/business, never work with a partner. It will fail once the money comes in and people begin to bicker about who is adding the most “value”. Under no circumstances do you work in a partnership with anyone. The best way to learn is by becoming your own business and eventually carving out a niche. Once you have a niche skill, you can then work in a team (not partnership) because there is a clear delineation in roles. Oh and never work with friends for money. Never ends well. The best structure is to outsource and temporarily hire people if it’s not in your field of expertise (pay cash for the best people). No equity should be given.
Hedonic Adaptation is “Real”: After going from broke to rich, we can happily say this is a huge lie used to make the masses feel better about themselves. There is no such thing as “hedonic adaptation”. The only time it begins to plateau is when you no longer have to work for a living. If you’re happy living off of $5K, $10K, $20K a month (the number does not matter) then the additional money you earn is not going to make a big dent in your happiness. The studies that show people are “just as happy” with and without money do not account for people who are in control of their emotions. The people who are rich and unhappy/miserable are those that spend their time comparing themselves to the “Joneses”. Hedonic treadmills only exist for the masses.
Bottled Water is a “Bad Business Idea”: Here is a fun one. We thought this was going to be a terrible business when it first came out. Who in the world would pay a premium to have tap water in a plastic bottle? Seems like a logical counter argument… That is exactly why it was wrong. People are extremely lazy and after positioning bottled water as “somewhat healthier” because it *feels* cleaner … The masses took to it immediately. There are even “luxury” bottles of water such as Fiji. The bottled water industry generates ~$14-15 billion dollars per year in total revenue. That is $14-15 Billion (with a B) dollars per year. A huge lesson was learned… never underestimate the value of 1) marketing and 2) laziness of the average person. For the record we simply drink filtered water since a large portion of bottled water is indistinguishable from tap water.
You Can Change a Person’s Opinion: For those that follow us on Twitter you’ll notice that we don’t engage the trolls. There is no value in engaging people who don’t like you. If they don’t like you, just move on. They may spend some time hating on you in the background but it really doesn’t matter. Once they realize you’re not going to interact with them they will leave you alone. Also, if you waste your time trying to change their opinion you’re losing 2-3 other customers/friends/contacts. It is never worth the trade off. Just accept the fact that at least 50% of people will dislike you (the President has a similar approval rating). In short, by ignoring people who hate you… You’re also helping their lives. They won’t burn valuable time interacting with you and will find something better to do.
People Will Take Action: Wrong again! We have no problems creating Efficiency because most people won’t listen anyway. Maybe 1% will and they deserve all the credit for their future success. You can hand them the exact way to work out correctly (they’ll spend thousands on other products looking for a trick that works slightly faster such as “Cross Fit”), you can tell them exactly how to look for the right company to work for (they won’t listen and will join the Company that “feels better”) so on and so forth. People want immediate results (right this instant) so they’ll always choose the path that works better *temporarily*.
Reading Popular Books Gives You an Edge: This is just impossible. At first it makes sense because if “everyone loves it then it must be good”. This sounds like good logic until you realize that most people fail. If everyone likes it… that means it speaks the best to the average person. If it is a good book according to average people… well you can fill in the rest. The only way you’re going to get an edge is by reading new and interesting information from intelligent people that are *not* popular with the mainstream. If it is mainstream… It’s officially dead. Besides, “Think and Grow Rich” has sold over 100 million copies, you can do the math from there. Even if every single millionaire in the USA read the book that would lead to a 10% success rate (vast majority failed, so the money was made by selling to the masses).
How to Get Things Wrong Early
Not knowing where to start is the most ridiculous excuse of all time (and it is the most common!). This just means “unwilling to fail”, which means the person will fail by default. If someone is not willing to do five google searches, they will be eaten alive when it comes time to earn money so maybe it is better that way. All that said… here is the best way to be wrong early.
Go Alone: The best way to make mistakes quickly is to make them yourself and make them early. This does not mean you make big mistakes (choosing to major in humanities for example) it means you make mistakes when learning your craft. If you’ve decided to go down the sales route, read 2-3 basic copy writing/sales books and get cracking. You’ll make more mistakes in the first year and learn more by doing than you ever will by having a teacher.
Make a Bunch of Small Mistakes: Without experience it is foolish to make a leveraged decision. Going into a large amount of debt without knowing with certainty that the debt will result in success is a recipe for disaster. Instead, make a ton of smaller financial mistakes when scaling any decision. This can include buying small amounts of traffic, buying small websites or buying a bit too much inventory to avoid losing sales. Either way, by making a handful of small scale mistakes you’ll learn a lesson or two when it comes to scaling your ideas in the future.
Take Information and Run With It: Unless it’s a life changing decision, go ahead and listen to well researched information. As a quick check point, if you got the information from a main stream outlet you’ve failed at doing appropriate research in the first place. Once you’ve found a solution to your problem from a non-mainstream solution provider, run with it and see it works. If it does, the value is not in the success. The value is in knowing that you can find good information if you search hard enough.
Work Until You Fail: Take a full week and work until failure. This means you’ll be working somewhere around 18 hours per day. You’re not doing this consistently. You’re purposely proving to yourself that you’ve been feeding yourself lies. Anyone can work 18 hours straight if there is a reason to do so. This way, when the time comes (an event requires a lot out of you) you’ll be well prepared.
Do the Opposite of the Masses: Everyone will tell you it doesn’t make sense so try it anyway. It will feel like you’re doing everything wrong but just wait until you see the results (“These Guys Tried to do the Opposite of the Masses and You Will Be SHOCKED At the Results”). By going alone and making a bunch of decisions that go counter to the mainstream advice you’ll get an eye opening experience and likely take on more risk due to the results you see.
Concluding Remarks: A short post highlighting multiple things we got entirely wrong several years ago. We left out other things we got entirely wrong such as date venues, beliefs about athletic and others. The real point is that by making a bunch of mistakes early and being willing to fail, you’ll catapult yourself ahead of everyone else. The masses want a step by step magic potion to success (it doesn’t exist). Instead of trying and finding the right resources they continue to buy product after product for $49.99, $39.99, $29.99 $19.99 (ONLY THREE LEFT – NO SALES EVER IN THE FUTURE) when the solution could be found in five or ten minutes.
Overall, there is enough free information on the Internet to prevent you from spinning wheels so it’s best to get started today. In addition, if you don’t want to look for the information, Efficiency alone will tell you 1) how to work out, 2) how to eat correctly, 3) how to choose the right college and major – unnecessary but we cover it anyway 4) how to choose the right career, 5) how to choose the right company, 6) how to start a online product business, 7) how to go into affiliate marketing and 8) how to do all seven while maintaining a fun social life. That alone guarantees that there is enough information out there for you to live a successful life. All that said, with the basics entirely covered people will *still* look for magic potions for each of the items listed above! That alone is why life is so awesome. There is no competition!