While introverts are not always the greatest people to bring to high energy night clubs, introverts have a much higher likelihood of being independent thinkers. It sounds like an oxymoron. But. It is 100% possible to become an independent thinker by using processes that force you to think for yourself. We see numerous people on the internet who cannot think for themselves they either 1) use the mainstream to “educate” them, 2) find a few people they think are smart and regurgitate their opinions or 3) read a bunch of information but unable to apply it resulting in memorization… which isn’t learning. Generally speaking, extroverted people fall into trap number two while introverted people are more likely to fall into trap number three. The first group would never read this blog so we’ll go ahead and kill that off first.
Step 1 – Mainstream Avoidance: There is no way to insulate yourself from the entire mainstream media or mainstream trends. At the end of the day it is natural to have some hobbies or interests that are popular with the masses. We’re public with our interest in boxing and basketball as both a hobby and a way to make money pretty consistently. Until we got rich we didn’t watch any real movies or mainstream entertainment and now that there is a ton of free time we watch them once and a while. The funny thing about going through those two phases (watching none of it for several years then watching it once in a while) is that you can see how blatantly fake special effects and acting is.
Back to the point. Mainstream media and mainstream entertainment are the two items to avoid until you can think critically for yourself. One of the clear reasons we chose to watch sports as a hobby is that there is no real political motivation there. Unless you go down the rabbit hole of watching interviews and post game recaps (not sure who does that) watching and analyzing a live sport is neutral (no narrative). Since you’re reading this blog the chances that you sit around watching TV and movies is hopefully quite low. A maximum of 2 hours a week is about right if you haven’t made it yet. Thinking back, during the busiest “ramp” years it should be zero hours naturally as you’re too focused putting out fires everywhere and scaling your production.
Mainstream avoidance is solid general advice because of the audience it is serving. That’s a good way determine if you should listen to the source. If the source is “the general population” it means the message has to be dumbed down to a point where nuance can not be communicated. Similarly, motivational speaking is the same, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein and Tiger Woods do not attend motivational seminars. Motivational items are targeted at people who lack motivation (by definition) which is not a crowd you want to take advice from or be a part of.
Step 2 – Look for Sources: Since we want to create a post that forces you to think for yourself, we’ve only limited two groups: motivational nonsense and mainstream. At this point you’re already ahead of the curve. Now the next part is to play a fun game “Does this make sense”. Sounds easy but it isn’t and this is how you’ll end up creating your own thoughts. Just because something is said by a person you respect, you should still question it. There are people we follow who we think are smart from Cernovich to Naval. There is no chance they agree on everything and there is no chance we’d follow two different accounts that say the same stuff. That’s the fastest way to create “Group Stink”, where everyone agrees and the result is nothing (if the herd agrees there is no significant value left).
“Does This Make Sense” come up with your own structure. We’ll emphasize that again. Come up with your own structure. We’re happy to give ours a way as an example, so here we go: 1) where are the incentives, if the incentive is aligned for it to be true the likelihood increase significantly, 2) follow the insecurity, 97% of people don’t even get to a million bucks and we’d say 99% of people don’t get to a million dollars with their life in check – unhealthy, overbearing wife/girlfriend and 3) what are they trying to “get”. These three are probably the foundation of our decision making. There is a lot of nuance but that’s the big three if forced to make a rapid decision.
Incentives, Incentives, Incentives: The only way to get people to cooperate over extremely long periods of time is through incentives. This is an opinion but as you can see we beleive that to a high degree. Train a dog to only eat food when you say he’s allowed to and he’ll do it for a few minutes or maybe even hours… leave the dog there for longer periods of time and he’ll break. At the end of the day, humans are the same, we’re not special. If you’re over the age of 25 we can all but guarantee you’ve had at least “wow she/he did that to him!” and if you look under the hood you’ll see that incentives were not aligned for a long period of time.
The second piece of incentives is the “likelihood of being hurt”. This is more art than science. Take white collar crime for example, generally speaking, the incentives are aligned for people to break the law in many cases. If someone has a chance to make $10M off of a questionable deal and they will only be under house arrest for a couple of years… they will probably do it. This is a lot more common than you’d think. Kids are arrested for drug possession (crack cocaine for example) and serve longer prison sentences than people who steal millions of dollars. Until a balance is made we’re certain that these issues will not be resolved. Coming up with the right balance is definitely not within the scope of the blog. But. This will happen over and over and over again as new industries grow and die creating a similar situation consistently.
Follow the Insecurity: Even rich people are typically insecure. They got rich by giving up everything (their health and social skills for example), so it is extremely rare to find someone who is stable. When we use the phrase stable we mean that the person really isn’t moved by anything passive aggressive or “words”. They know it isn’t true so it’s entertainment.
While the rich usually have insecurities around women and their health, the vast vast majority are insecure about their place in society. So they do the following “root for the underdog” “find exceptions to the rule” and claim that visibly successful people are unhappy relative to them. Why? Well they have to come up with an excuse for being in their current position in life and must find “hope” that they’ll make it. This is why people consistently claim that rich people are unhappy, it’s an arbitrary measure that make them feel better about their current place in society.
What are they trying to “get”: This doesn’t refer to people. *Generally* people who are happy with everything in their life don’t have role models. Instead this refers to a style of life. If someone is really “aiming” for a basic life outside of the USA, it usually means they know they can’t make it in the USA. If someone is desperately trying to make an extra $500K a year while their health erodes, it usually means they think that money can fix their personal life problems. Look at what the person is trying to get and you’ll find what they lack in life quite quickly. This is why our readers don’t see us engage with people often, it’s because we can tell in a single click “where they are” and then predict with high accuracy “where they will be” in a few years. Unsurprisingly, the ones we have engaged with the most have suddenly done well in life (including random anonymous accounts). Doesn’t matter if the person is a public figure, where they are going can be figured out based on tweets alone with extremely high accuracy 90%+ (no we’re not joking).
Step #3 – Find Proof Points: At this point you should be looking at various sources of both high and low quality. Consistently asking “does this make sense, do i want to be like this person” over and over again. Now you can build your own mosaic of ideas. Say you respect one person’s ability to spot trends in investing for example… Maybe you don’t listen to their fitness advice since they are out of shape. For another person they are in extremely good shape and even competed at a professional level… But… They are always strapped for cash. Finally, you find one person who is a solid 20 years older than you and you say “generally I want this persons life”. Well you can now build a data set out of this. You get the broad picture of where to go “the life arc or life path” the person took. After that it’s up to you to stay current on the micro level.
One way you see this play out in *reverse* order is when unsuccessful adults try to pass on advice to kids. While some of it may be decent it just isn’t worth listening to. Many will feel attacked and upset by it… That’s alright, this is supposed to be a post on thinking differently anyway. The adults mean well, they just didn’t see the consequences of their actions over a 20 year period. And. What worked before may no longer work today. As a prime example, going to work in financial services was a great idea. If you have a child that is only 4 years old… Probably not the best advice (in fact probably terrible advice). Instead you want to move down the software/sales route to open the door to more options. Learning from mistakes just isn’t good enough when making life changing decisions. You have to find people who saw “where the money pot was going”. If they didn’t see where the money pot was going 20 years ago, they are not going to see it today since age usually results in falling behind. In fact, we’re starting to feel those consequences today as we lose interest in keeping up with every single industry that is out there.
Mosaic complete. Find results. You want to build rapport with people so you’re going to 1) ask them for advice, 2) take the advice, 3) send them proof that you took their advice and it worked and then 4) send a thank you message to follow up. Prior to taking their advice you will not bother them or contact them. To cap all this off if you have absolutely no mosaic built you should “A/B” test this. You find two people for each category you’re trying to learn about and see which guy gives you the best results. Make sure they don’t know each other and are geographically spread far apart. The guy with the weaker actionable information is the guy you’re going to drop.
Step #4 – See Green: Less than 4% of the human population will take the time to go through all three of the steps below. This is why we aren’t worried about increased competition any time soon. They are too busy complaining about where they are in life.
Seeing green is a reference to the combination of yellow and blue. Essentially, you have to learn how to combine two different topics into one. If you can do this you’re going to come up with different conclusions from the masses. The masses only see one side of a picture. This is also similar to how they play a game like chess, they only react or see one move at a time. This is because they don’t have any niche knowledge, only have one trusted source (media or one guy they trust) and can’t piece it all together.
For fun we can come up with a clear example. During the presidential election the only person that people could talk about was Trump. This was clear as day even if you were against him. Most assumed it was because he was being made fun of… but why would you pay attention to someone that is a “running tabloid joke”. Tabloids only last a day. It made no sense. The average person only saw the laughing and joking part and ignored the amount of attention he was getting in general. This is similar to people who say they think “Kanye West” is a loser, but then proceed to talk about him every single time he does something. The same applies to the Kardashians and many other celebrities. If we only look at the initial reaction, we can’t see what “caused” the event. Maintaining relevancy is NOT easy at all. In fact it is borderline impossible which is why many musicians are “one hit wonders”, never figuring out the secret sauce to consistent hits.
Taking this to another example you can look at the marijuana/weed industry. While the masses tried to create weed shops and products the big money was made in buying land in Nevada and Washington since there was a clear “go” signal that it would be legalized. So over time the people who bought the stores are paying all of these land owners for several years (5, 10, 15 year leases). Also. They don’t even care if the person succeeds. Someone else will take the land to grow the plants.
A conclusive sentence for this section is that “memorization isn’t learning”. That sentence hurts for all the book smart people who “know a lot of stuff” but don’t have anything to show for it. At all. Doesn’t matter if someone knows a lot of information, the magic happens in the execution. This is similar to sports yet again. You can teach someone how to make all the right movements, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will execute them.
Step #5 – Create Consistency: This is a lifelong process you will eventually come up with differentiated thoughts, ideas and predictions. This is great. Want to know what’s better than that? Being able to gain utility from all of them. You don’t need to make money off of it. You could get information that saves you time, makes you healthier or improves your social life. It could be a wide range of items. The one key here is that you’ve successfully become an independent thinker when you come up with a conclusion and it makes people go “hmm i didn’t think of it like that” AND it works!
That’s the holy grail of this long process that we can all but guarantee 99% of people won’t follow. Since there is no way to “teach” independent thought, we had to rename this to “avoiding regular thoughts”. By avoiding the sources of data and information that are weak, you’re forced to come up with different conclusions on your own. This is where the magic happens.
For the newer readers… if you’re interested in learning more about making money, staying in shape and doing so without choking off your personality … You’ll probably like Efficiency, Get Rich Without Giving Up Your Life. The benefits include: 1) How to get into the top 10% physically with one hour a day of exercise; 2) How to eat correctly to be in the top 10%; 3) How to figure out what type of intelligence you have; 4) How to use this type of intelligence to choose a career and the *right* company: Wall Street, Technology or Sales; 5) How to start an online business and sell (the basics and all you need to start); 6) Clear outline of how to create and start an online product business with correct copywriting; 7) How to go into affiliate marketing if someone wants to take a stab at the competitive space; 8) Overview of how affiliate marketing operates and how to do it, 9) How to do all of this and maintain a normal social life (avoid choking off your personality). As a bonus you can read a success story by Clicking Here.