The Secret for Success in Life: Being Wrong Early

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!


  1. blue says

    Maybe you should put out a poll and find out how many of your readers are still in their 10s and early 20s. I am in my 30s and may not be interested in 3, 4, 5 of your upcoming book.

  2. Cigar Guy says

    Another great post. I stopped reading popular books because after a few they’re all the same. Time better spent networking with those in your industry to learn the real truths.

    Excited for Efficiency book. I have a site already that sells physical products but struggle to get traffic. B&M biz growing rapidly, plateauing online though.

  3. collegestudenthere says

    College student here (Ivy League school) – planning on starting a side hustle while in school to learn while doing. Any advice on executing?

  4. Ym says

    Awesome post – hit at a time where I finished another failure but am more prepared than ever to hit the next idea (and come up with one that makes more sense) harder.

    26 (is that early?) and have “failed” more this year than any other in the past but in my mind it’s also been the most fulfilling and successful. Have lost just a small few thousand over 4 months but this was the small price I paid to learn to drive thousands in product sales a *day* and gain a strong knowledge of the process which gets stronger with every “failure”.

    This was across multiple ideas that I researched trusted my gut and fired from the hip. Point is I’m not there yet but know I will be soon, but id be 10x further away if I never took the first shot and probably even further as Id be reinforcing a negative mindset in putting it off.

    Look forward to the book.

    • YM says

      Through this these are the major points of your article that I’ve seen clearly.

      1) There is no step by step process
      2) People won’t help you
      3) Go alone
      4) Make a bunch of small mistakes

  5. DaleB says

    I have a small list of quotes laminated and stuck on the wall in front of my desk from you guys.

    This article reminded me of the following:

    ‘Be willing to lose money but NEVER time’

    Take risks. Fail as early and as often as possible. Learn lessons.

  6. WalkFastTalkSlow says

    Yep copywriting you learn by doing.

    Make an account on Upwork as a copywriter. you’ll learn:

    1) How to sell yourself

    Most ‘copywriters’ write horrible cover letters when bidding on jobs. Something logical like:

    “Hello, my name is XXX XXX I am a copywriter specializing in XXX”

    (no one cares you sheep)

    To stand out: do the opposite (talk about client, make the client feel special, use emotion)

    “Hey [client name], Love the way you used the hook in your sample’s headline! Hooks can be devastatingly effective when used in a crowded niche. Have you tried changing the XYZ etc”

    Get good enough at this skill and you’ll be able to convince top Upwork copywriters to Skype with you and share their sales page skeletons/tactics (like playboys said: tell them it worked well after & they earn points for their ego).

    2) How to sell other people’s products

    Start out at $15 / hr doing easy stuff editing, copyediting, product descriptions, product naming till u get the hang of it

    You’ll also game the job success score system by stacking up good reviews from ‘easy’ jobs which you can then use as cred to pivot into harder, more profitable copy niches -sales pages, email list building.

    99% newbies start out writing long form pages and get crushed with bad reviews then claim ‘there’s no money on upwork’ (lol)

    5% of copywriters are making 95% of the $$ most of us make 125/hr +

    Reading about copy can only get you so far…many pro copywriters aren’t able to verbalize how/why their copy kills it.

    If you want to get in the top 5% you’ll learn more by subscribing to their email lists & paying close attn to how they pitch and by doing

  7. Anon1 says

    Incredible article, very powerful and concise. Most… Efficient

    I’m going to implement the accept the losses of ‘50% of people not liking you’ one.

    Especially for the young a fear of not being liked is so Damn prevalent due to the way schooling reinforces conformity and not independent leadership. And you can’t have an edge without making mistakes.

  8. Recent graduate says

    You bring up a great point – no one can possibly be right all the time but the thing that separates successful and regular people is that regular people think being right = success and being wrong = failure.

    I feel like the difference between success and failure is simply the ability to make an adjustment when you’re wrong.

    Easier said than done because a lot of time you don’t even realize that you’re wrong until someone point it out to you. Or even after you make an adjustment it’s still not working well.

    I think this is where having a great mentor comes in but I finally just recently realize that successful people won’t help you until you’ve done so much yourself and they see that you’re just one small adjustment away from massive success.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      “regular people think being right = success and being wrong = failure”

      Well said, their ego’s can’t take the hit of being wrong. So they never try and constantly look for the “secret potion”. Never comes.

      • Recent graduate says

        Most hilarious example:

        Regular Person:
        *sees me running a business*

        “You studied X in college, why are you running a business instead? Why not find a job in X?”

        *Smile and shrug*

  9. Andy says

    “Use this ONE WEIRD TRICK to succeed beyond your wildest dreams!!!”

    = “Work Until You Fail”.

    Go for a few weeks. This is incredibly difficult to maintain longer than a week and beyond one week is where the big benefits set in = HABITS.

    Forces you to make lifestyle changes (sleep habits, working out, eating clean, etc).

    Work Until You Fail…around exam time? Easy. Work until you fail…for a big trial coming up? Easy. Work until you fail…when your bills are paid, everything is “ok” but you want to take it to the next level? Very difficult.

    Working until failure for the long term despite lack of any perceived short-term pressing need = maximized chances of success (nothing is guaranteed…ever).

    P.S. – use a timer to see how much time you actually work (but don’t obsess with apps). I use a $10 stopwatch. You will be shocked at how hard you *feel* you are working vs. how hard you are *actually* working. Eye-opener to see how much time you waste and how efficient you have to work to truly clock in 14+ -hour days.

    P.P.S. – it’s fun.

  10. mk says

    As crazy as I am, I have 2 engineers & an economist currently working for (with) me; I have taught a dozen or so “smart” dudes how to work online over the last few years and people who follow me tend to be (very) above average achievers, in general.

    Why mention this?
    Well, I make them study select articles from this blog and they – 9/10 – fall in love and become readers.

    So, just a reminder: all signs indicate this “blog” is objectively right.

    We all need a reminder sometimes!

    “Unless you really don’t care about the product/business, never work with a partner.”

    I get personal satisfaction out of finding people in the desert and leading them to the oasis (and taking my well-deserved cut, obviously). Why? Well I’m not the smartest individual but I’m very good at being a leader. Additionally, I enjoy the process because it makes me friends along the way 😀

    PS: Can’t wait for Efficeny, gonna buy 10 copies and make everyone read them hehe XD
    (So make it great!)

  11. Marco says

    How much money do you think someone would need saved up (in cash+easily accessible liquid assets) in order to justify quitting an average (55-65k) paying job?

  12. D-Train says

    “Do the Opposite of the Masses”

    This is something I believe in wholeheartedly and have applied to my life with success, but struggled in certain areas, particularly with office politics. I work on a loud sales/support desk where there is a lot of banter back and forth and office politics are critical. While discussing personal lives, most guys on the desk (as you pointed out) are boring, passive aggressive losers with no hobbies (welcome to Wall Street!). The typical weeknight of my colleagues looks like this:

    -Get home (or happy hour with friendzzz)
    -unhealthy takeout (for younger guys) or wife cooks basic meal
    – watch “the game” or catch up on the latest HBO/Showtime show (or watch a Breaking Bad rerun for the 4th time…Sad!)
    -crack a few cold ones
    -swipe on tinder
    -diet starts tomorrow
    -finally go to sleep when they can barely keep their eyes open

    My weeknights look like this:

    -Go right to gym after work
    -Come home to a meal prepped meal, reheat for a 10 mins in over then eat
    -study spanish/ work on instrument/ work on side biz
    -aim of 8ish hours of sleep

    Weekends even get more comical


    -right to happy hour on Friday
    -drink until pass out maybe eat dinner maybe not
    -try to hookup with 7s at crowded bars, maybe settle for a 6 if “lucky”
    -watch sports all day Saturday and Sunday and drink or watch movies
    -blackout and get so f***ed up bro


    -Gym right after work Friday
    -Meal prepped dinner
    -instrument/ language/ or biz
    -Saturday wake up early and focus on 3 above…hit the gym
    -Saturday night grab a drink or two with people better than me who will improve my life or help me network..if not, same as Friday

    Now this works for me, and I still have a decent social life/ dating life even though 95% of the focus is on myself. At the office, it’s hard to not appear like the weird one who doesn’t watch TV. Obviously with sports it’s easy to watch a 2 minute highlight clip and just smile and nod when colleagues are discussing it. I guess same could be true for the latest TV shows to a certain extent. But on a social sales/support desk where politics are crucial, fitting in is also important for your career. It’s easy to lie about what you did on the weekend and just say you went to bars and it was crazy, but at some point it seems like you’re just living a double life if you continue to play dumb. If you were completely honest about your habits and discipline you’d definitely be the weird outcast and it would be career suicide. I guess it’s all about finding a right balance but it’s something that I’ve been struggling with.

    • IBD says

      I am also in the same situation with office politics. Although I have no interest in NBA, I try to watch few highlight clips of what happened, or maybe read a reddit post to know who the players are.

      Obviously WSPs would not condone watching and going on to “useless” websites such as reddit or etc, but I think it is a necessary evil when it’s appropriate; I only watch it because my MD watches it, and I can mention what happened with Golden State with their game against Jazz etc. It makes a great convo starter and he really enjoys the break.

      I would suggest only watch shows or games that people upstairs with real power are watching, and maybe sneak some convo in. Humans are after all emotional creatures, so we can’t be efficient 100% of the time.

  13. Ambitious says

    Im surprised your books is not going to mention relationships. (unless that is ch 7)

    People with potential get their eyes opened up by your blog. I made a ton of mistakes and was down a pretty shitty path. Some coincidences happened and I stumbled upon your blog when I was getting into online sales. It changed my life. I would not be financially independent without this at my current age. I would have quit at a much lower number.

    Similarly, after I made it I had about 30+ guys hit me up for advice. I told every person the same thing: go to an Internet Marketing forum (not saying b/c Idk if it’s a good forum anymore), read everything but also realize no one is handing you the keys to an income there, and then read this blog, and come back to me with a specific question.

    Only 1 guy came back to me and he’s making 4-figure net net a day for 5+ mos now. I can’t even take the credit like you said – the kid did an amazing job at executing.

  14. Sepp says

    “$49.99, $39.99, $29.99 $19.99 (ONLY THREE LEFT – NO SALES EVER IN THE FUTURE)”

    This is especially hilarious when the product in question is a digital one. I’ve actually seen that. Apparently there really are people stupid enough to fall for something like that.

  15. says

    About the first mistake,that there are not step-by-step instructions:As you said,if they did exist,they would surely crash the market.

    And i am thinking,is that what happened in real-estate some years ago? Not on the surface,but after everyone figured out the AAA crap,everyone was doing it,basically putting numbers in a box.

  16. says

    The belief that there is a ‘free step-by-step to be successful’ – even if this creates competition for the ‘teacher’ – is invariably universal.

    The naivety of people – of all social classes – is what drives the money from one’s pocket to another. The only difference is that the closer to the top of the social pyramid, the more scarce it is to find sheep.

  17. says

    Some of the lessons I’ve learned so far at age 20:

    1)Thinking college is unnecessary and that I could realistically start a successful, scalable business w/o a degree.

    Lesson learned: fact is most *well off* and *rich* people have graduated college. College, when used properly gives you the pre-req to getting a good job which teaches the skills needed to start a business, not to mention building your resume up much easier.

    2)Not being on the good side of teachers, some bosses and gym managers, etc. Either being a hassle or not putting in enough work.

    Lesson learned: politics is everything. Impressing important people and those with power over you is paramount to making your life easier. Taking someone important out to lunch, getting them a gift card, sending a thank you, volunteering your help and going above and beyond will take you far.

    3) Being lazy.

    Lesson learned: this is (imho) the most important characteristic to eliminate as soon as possible. Success is literally just showing up, putting in more work than the masses and doing that work more often. Mediocre grades, being fat(luckily never had that issue), being broke, etc etc can almost always tie back to laziness in some way. Don’t be lazy if you want to live a happy and successful life. Allocate the time to things that get you closer to your goal(s).

    4) Trying to chase women and get a GF in teens and early 20s.

    Lesson learned: any conscious man knows marriage is a foolish move, but even having or trying to obtain a girlfriend is a waste. It’s a pure numbers game with getting women and women in their teens and 20s will give you little to no attention when you’re the same age. Women, not men, decide all characteristics of the animal family. Where the woman cannot derive benefit from interaction with the male, no such interaction will take place(Briffault’s law). Hypergamy will work against you until you have the means($$$) to use it as leverage to work for you. Better to focus on you when young to build a foundation than focus on chasing pu**y, as the latter is a waste of your time, money and emotion. Also, another takeaway is that it is very easy to get a girl’s #, it is difficult to get them to meet up(~10-30% success rate depending on game ability), and VERY difficult to get laid. Sex is women’s bargaining chip- their primary value is based on their youth, fertility and sex appeal whilst a man’s is based on his ability to provide and protect. A woman besides your mother will never love you unconditionally. Women are machiavellian by nature and have a propensity to lie, manipulate and hide their true promiscuity. On the flip side, if a woman hasn’t had sex with you after 3 dates, it’s most likely not happening and she is leading you on. Dinner date and coffee dates are generally a waste. Drinks at a lounge or bar is a superior option, followed by an alibi to return to your *nearby* place(ie- balcony, more drinks, music, need to take a protein shake, your dog, artwork, etc). Once a man understands female nature and the red pill without having a jaded mindset on women he will see them for what they are and then he can position himself properly.

    4)Not adding value.

    Lesson learned: providing value is how you make money and keep people in your life. You must provide value to get a job(ie- knowing a skill), attract women, keep friends, buy a slice of pizza, etc. Nothing is free. Either provide value or start learning the skills to provide value. The best and most visible form of value is money.

    5) Looking up to nomadic location independent entrepreneurs.

    Lesson learned: it’s not sustainable long term to make $30K and travel the world. You never see those same guys at 45+ still living that lifestyle. While it can be true freedom, there are very few jobs/businesses one can do while being location independent. Better to make the big money, then travel on vacation and/or when financially independent.

    6) Not listening to my older, wiser men’s advice.

    Lesson learned: LISTEN to your father and other men who have been around the block. What they say usually won’t make sense, but they are correct 99% of the time.

    7)Following trends and trying to fit in.

    Lesson learned: luckily this one was learned before even turning 18, but the masses are not people you would want to emulate. The degeneracy of pop culture, fashion trends, and amount of useless news/information is to be avoided. Notice, most of these promote herd mentality and/or addiction to consumerism of more things you don’t need that won’t lead to happiness.

    8)Productivity problems. Wasting time on things that don’t matter.

    Lesson leaned: see #7 for just a few examples of things that don’t matter. See consumer vs producer mentality. Everything is either consuming or producing. Successful people produce more than they consume, they produce more than the masses and at a more productive clip. Look into the 80/20 principle. 80% of results, come from 20% of the work, 80% of women are fu#&ing 20% of the guys, 80% of happiness derived is from 20% of your activities, etc etc.

    9) Letting anger and bouts of depression control your moods and life.

    Lesson learned: nothing worth having comes quickly. It takes 5-10 years to build. Depression and anger is simply a choice. Letting a driver who cut you off on the road get you upset is your choice(see: don’t let regular people affect you). You control your mind state at all times.

    10) Getting upset over flaky people.

    Lesson learned: most regular people are complete flakes and have no concept of time or respect for others’ time. You’ll eventually develop a radar for who will flake and you can avoid contacting them before it even happens.

    These are just a few life lessons I’ve learned the hard way. The examples are endless for each category but you all get the jist. Notice most of these topics are actually talked about on this blog. This blog is A1 for advice on becoming happy and successful. This was a great article WSPs, I hope I added some value to the fellow readers with this comment.

  18. says

    WSPs, what are your thoughts on dimentional financial advisors? Good place to park large amounts of $ and get an income? There’s no info on google or any books on the subject. THANK YOU.

  19. David says

    Alright, you had me until “8) how to do all seven while maintaining a fun social life.”

    Now I KNOW you’re trying to sell me something (for $49.99, $39.99, $29.99 $19.99 (ONLY THREE LEFT – NO SALES EVER IN THE FUTURE)

  20. A says

    unsure why you guys are freaking out about automation on twitter

    personally waiting for automation to come out so I can find the company that makes it and sell for them. will be too easy.

  21. John says

    I am 19, close friend of 5 years has been prescribed anti-depressants.

    He always made depression-related jokes like “if that doesn’t work then you should just kill yourself”, “hahahaha, yeah, depression is my life”

    He’s from a rich family, is doing a solid degree at a good university with excellent grades, very intelligent, but very negative mindset.

    How should I help him? Can I help him? I’ve never dealt with this situation before, please give me some advice.

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