With the economy practically shut down, we think it’s the best time in history to get ahead. Most people are getting fat and watching television re-runs all day. If that is the decision making tree for the majority, you couldn’t ask for a better set up. Sadly, we’ve found that most people enjoy memorizing random facts and asking redundant questions instead. So you’ve really got 98% of the population doing nothing productive either 1) pure laziness or 2) wasting time on things that don’t increase personal productivity. Since the first group is a lost cause we’re going to focus on the second group.
Memorization is Not Intelligence: For the people who are well read, this does not mean you’ve learned anything. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has created anything. If you read a ton of books and simply memorize a bunch of facts at best you can recite facts. This isn’t useful at all. We’re taught that this is “intelligence” based on how the school system operates. And. Unsurprisingly, this doesn’t translate to real world wealth. Why? Comprehension is what matters not memorization.
The next time you decide to pick up a book to read, you have to ask yourself if you’re going to apply anything. If you’re not going to apply anything, you should immediately put it down and move on. There are millions of books that simply provide a laundry list of facts. This isn’t useful unless it’s a fact related to tax reduction strategies or supply chain management. Think about it like this. If you know something that can be googled, you’re just a worse version of a free global service. There is a zero percent shot of you memorizing more facts than google, a massive super computing system designed to look up facts, so you shouldn’t burn your time on these types of activities.
For fun take a look at professions that primarily rely on memorization: history, language teaching, biology, physics and even chemistry. Notice, we threw in some sciences because they have no application. If you decide to focus on something like math and physics but never learn to apply it, you’re just a computer system! You’ll never beat a professional computer system when it comes to calculating or memorizing anything. Sticking with the math example, you’re better off learning advanced statistics so you can apply analytics to predict events (generating a profit for yourself)
What to “Learn”? Well the vast majority of learning requires effort and personal interest. So if you want to start an e-commerce business you should probably learn the following: how to set up a server/website, how to mimic the design of a brand that has been successful, how to build a social media profile – for profit and of course how to run and make advertisements. Most people just ask meaningless questions like “how do i start”. This just means they don’t want to succeed and are too lazy to do anything by themselves. This guarantees failure in two ways: 1) they require hand holding to get started or 2) they can’t think for themselves to a point where it’s not possible to figure out basic tasks. Failure is certain in this case.
This is why it is easy to tell who is learning and who is looking for a handout. Even if it was a simple task, such as setting up a website, they might have questions about spam filters, ideal website design etc. Instead? The majority of questions are about “how to start a website” even though this can easily be googled.
So while the above sounds “rude” it is simply true. So we’re going to write, once again, the easiest way to start. Don’t try to start a consumer business on day one. Start a services business. This could be fixing iPhones, reviewing resumes etc. Once you have a basic service you can offer, you will break even on year one (likely make a decent profit). This won’t be exciting and will be a painful learning experience (which is the point). The other reason for this? If you have a basic service that you can offer, the website design won’t matter much. You’ll have a decent number of customers through your own word of mouth. Promote your website on other forums on the internet after establishing yourself as a trusted source. This will lead to at least a few hundred customers, which leads to at least $10-15K a year. (Yes this is nothing but this is also an extremely low risk way to pay some basic living expenses)
Try to Earn or Don’t Bother: If you want to improve your productivity, everything should be focused on earning more. You shouldn’t focus on “learning” as you will end up going down the rabbit hole of meaningless factoids that are not applicable. The way to focus on earning is by aligning everything you do to either 1) building a reputation or 2) generating a profit. Most people ignore the first step and just want to make money “now now now”. Well, in order for people to trust you… Value needs to be added and a reputation needs to be built. The “freemium” model is one of the best ones to follow if you’re a newbie.
Assuming you are a good golfer, you could go on golf forums and begin providing free advice on golf swings. We don’t golf seriously but you get the idea here. If you were a Division 1 athlete (at minimum Division 2) then you are in a good position to teach/provide input to the general public. After doing this for a few months, people will respect your opinion and you should have a link to your website at the bottom. Congrats, you are now on your way to providing online coaching/teaching for golf. That is really all it takes. If you do well, this is actually a great long term business. You can sell golf products (affiliate), sell your own instructions/packages and even create camps as your audience grows. We are using golf as an example here because the people who play golf are rich which gives you a wider range of pricing (offer a low cost one to attract a new population or a premium one tailored to the wealthy).
Another good example of earning is what you do with your free time. If you’re on social media and it is not making you money, it’s time to shut it down. Unless you’re already rich, why do you have the time to troll the internet with $0 of income associated with the activity? It makes no sense. This is a structural lack of priorities. By forcing social media to make you money, you will also follow different accounts. You’re not going to follow celebrities or athletes. You will follow accounts related to your niche/sector which only makes you more informed on important changes in the industry. Use social media a tool to get ahead, not a tool for entertainment. Most choose the latter.
Meaningless Questions and Time Drains: We’re fine with trolls since they are entertaining from time to time. That said, eventually you have to give up the trolling if you’ve got no results. If you notice, we don’t really engage much with people on twitter and only once in a blue moon troll someone hard to emphasize how ridiculous their rebuttals are. Why is this? It’s not a good use of our time. You should think the same. Asking meaningless questions that can be googled are not a good use of your time. Our time is less relevant in this situation since we dedicate a certain amount no matter what. The issue is the user, why would he/she waste his time with this stuff? We have no idea. So below is a step by step on avoiding meaningless questions by various forms.
Able to Google: It is not a useful question if it can be googled. This is because you should have looked it up already. If someone cannot look up basic items by themselves without asking for help this is equivalent to asking someone to pick out the clothing for them to wear on a night out. After becoming self aware as a kid, you shouldn’t need mom/dad to pick out clothing. This is quite literally how sad it is to see someone ask a basic question that can be found on google. Questions like “how to buy bitcoin” have been available online for just under a decade and there is no excuse for asking these questions.
No Scenario Questions: This is common amongst people in college. They sit around with their buddies and talk about “scenarios” that never occur. What if you get job offer A and B “what would you do” or if they got a million dollars “what would they do”. The answer is you don’t know because you’ve never been in that situation before so don’t worry about it. You should be more worried about putting yourself into those positions. Unless there is an actual event, the scenario question is just a form of mental masturbation. This is also common among people who were “successful in high school” and never amounted to anything. “Oh man if i did this i wonder what would happen, what that would look like”. Avoid these individuals like the plague.
No Handout Questions: This is another crazy and common one, if you are simply asking for a handout “please give me your supplier all your materials and the formula… and your ads” then you should seriously consider entering into an insane asylum. No one is going to give away their IP and no one is going to invite additional competition into their industry. Real questions are live situations that need a solution. Real situations should not directly compete with the person you are asking. It is comical to believe that a competitor would help you in any industry and we have no idea why it would be any different online.
The above three are going to get rid of around 90% of the bad questions that we’ve gotten over the past couple of years. While we can’t fault people for the second one as many readers are young, the people who fall into the first camp have a zero percent shot of making it in the future. We don’t even have to guess. If you can’t solve basic problems without hand holding, you’re not going to solve real ones when it is actually a unique situation that less than 0.1% of the world has experienced.
The final comment we’d make here is that you should never ask the same question twice. That is a never. No exceptions. If you are serious about getting better, after you get an answer you should write it down so you never have to ask it again. It is an embarrassment to ask the same question over and over again. This is probably the #1 reason why we stopped giving any and all dating advice. We concluded that most people are never going to accept reality. Besides, if you can’t even get dates in the easiest environment in the history of mankind, it just means you’re not successful. Again. Not a group we want to attract or care about. Having endless conversations about “hypergamy” when the same guy would choose a better looking younger girl with a similar personality is a colossal waste of time. Humans all want the same thing, the best they can get.
Create a Basic Journal: We’ve written about this in the past and lots of people said we were joking. It was not a joke. Every single day write five sentences on what you did to actually improve your life. You don’t need to ramble like a teenage girl in her personal diary. You write five sentences that state your exact actions. If you cannot come up with five sentences that means you wasted the day. Do this every day for 30-60 days and you’ll see if you’re on the right track or not. Don’t write results. Write action items that make you more productive or move you in the right direction.
The key part of a journal is that it does not include results. After the age of 14 or so you should came more about doing things correctly and improving the right way. If you’re improving by short cutting things, this means you’re unwilling to take a long-term view on your future. Not a good thing. So. Every single day you’ll write five sentences, no more no less and see if you’re actually maintaining accountability.
A good example could be as simple as this: 1) sent out daily newsletter to customers, 2) updated servers and back-end for next product launch, 3) lifted or 1 hour and biked 10 miles for fitness also did 20 minutes of yoga/stretching, 4) cooked own food to reduce sugar and salt intake and 5) read 50 pages on sales. As you can see, the productivity can address various items. Perhaps you’re trying to learn how to play piano/guitar, that could also be an example of improvement.
Concluding Remarks: If all of the above seems mean or intense, you’re probably not going to make it in life. We’re not here to lie to people. If you cannot keep yourself accountable it just means you’re not interested in improving. While you don’t need to follow everything here to the exact T, the framework is simple. Successful people don’t day dream about scenarios that are unlikely. They don’t need hand holding to get started. They don’t ask questions that they can answer themselves in a few minutes. They don’t burn tons of time with entertainment. When you’re set for life you can increase the amount of entertainment (since you are no longer in the accumulation stage of life). Until then, best to focus on productivity. Oh and by the way… You’ll end up enjoying the winning/work. This means the good habits formed above will unlikely change even after you make it. That’s simply how life works. Winners continue to win for a reason.
Newer Readers: For those that are unfamiliar with our blog we have three high quality products in order: 1) Efficiency, 2) Triangle Investing and 3) Spending for Maximum Return. In order, you learn how to make a good amount of money (a million liquid within 10 years or so), how to correctly invest it and finally how we’d avoid blowing it all with intelligent spending and PED use to improve quality of life. We hold Q&As 1x a month for purchasers only.