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  • Jim

    Moved to NYC! Which Taylor is this?

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    Welcome back! Lol. What are you up to these days?

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    how important do you think money is? Do you think it's a black and white thing? Some people always talk about making money and will do whate...

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    "Also don’t choose that field based on your “passion”. Choose the field based on where you perceive the most exciting growth, with clo...

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    I wouldn’t recommend quitting. I would recommend getting things ramped up as far as you could go WHILE you are in your job. I was in my jo...


29 Jan 2016

The Date Is
2

A Motivating Video On Urgency

This is a great motivational video on urgency. While I don’t think the person in it is a good role model for behavior or success (in my experience people who are loud / verbose and sell motivation seldom achieve the same magnitude of results as those who are quietly effective and focused at their craft) but I do really like the message. Check it out.

22 Apr 2015

The Date Is
2

Feel Like You Are Destined For More In Life? Read This First

So I received a message from a friend who said he is sitting in med school and feels like he wants more in his life then med school. Well, welcome to being young and restless. So you want to be great? You want to be different? Let’s explore that.

Firstly, I’m assuming being great means becoming world class at something cool.

The most important question to achieving this goal is… are you happy to pay the price? Its not easy to be great. See the post here by Justine Musk – http://www.quora.com/How-can-I-be-as-great-as-Bill-Gates-Steve-Jobs-Elon-Musk-Richard-Branson/answer/Justine-Musk?srid=iAix&share=1. She says “Extreme success is different from what I suppose you could just consider ‘success’, so know that you don’t have to be Richard or Elon to be affluent and accomplished and maintain a great lifestyle.” So first consider if what you want is worth the sacrifice. You can read other past posts on this blog to get an idea of what I mean by sacrifice and how it relates to achievement.

Anyway, if the answer is yes, then here is my advice to you:

  1. Choose something to be world class in a field that you want to be world class in. Regardless of what it is, the first key is being dedicated at being world class at it. You have to be obsessed. If you are scared of the thought of being obsessed and the rest of your life falling to the wayside, this path is not for you. If you think that you can do it, go ahead and try it and prove me wrong… many have tried and none have succeeded. So just be prepared for mediocrity.
  2. Don’t choose that field based on what your parents say. Also don’t choose that field based on your “passion”. Choose the field based on where you perceive the most exciting growth, with close second factors being your natural advantages in that field (for example, you have friends who can help you get started) and your level of interest. Steve Jobs was passionate about computers. Bill Gates about software. The Beatles about music. But Steve Jobs could have been passionate about music. The Beatles could have been passionate about computers. People are a creation of their circumstances and the formula for passion is where the desire to learn meets a point where challenge and success rise simultaneously. There’s more to it but thats a good run down. DO NOT IGNORE THIS RULE! The field you choose and your competitive advantages are SO important in how quickly you rise to the top.
  3. If you are in school, show that you can excel in school. Learn the habits that allow you to excel in school as they will help you to excel in other fields. Moreover, just because you are in school doesn’t mean that you can’t start being great. People believe in the whole “drop out” story but that isn’t really how things happen. Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook while he was at school. Many great sports stars and musicians completed their schooling. School should be considered your playtime, or a safety net, or a place to learn. But if what you are studying is not what you want to do, then it should not be considered to be the primary focus in your life. If you can’t go through school and also start a business, you’re not doing it right. How do I know? Because I did this. And I studied Law and Economics at one of the top Universities in the world. While I was in secondary / high school I also accomplished many feats while keeping my grades high. How did I do this? Focus. Not having a rampant social life. Is this too much to give up? Well again, the path may not be for you.

Remember, a balanced life can still be a good one. And if you are happy with it then you don’t have to rock the boat. Look at your idols and see if they have balanced lives. If they do, then mimic them. But whatever you do, make sure you see the forest from the trees. For example, Richard Branson looks like he has a fun life. But ask him what it was like when he was growing his first business and you may have a picture more in line with what I’m saying in this blog / post.

Hope that has been insightful.

28 Dec 2014

The Date Is
8

Warp Holes, Shortcuts And Hacking Life

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the ways in which people take shortcuts in life, learning and success.

The word ‘shortcut’ has negative connotations when applied to goal acheiving. However, it is unjustified. The truth is that in this day and age of 20-somethings become billionaires, teens who become rockstars and kids who are chess prodigies, the speed at which mastery is attained has never been faster.

This is exactly what the book called Smartcuts (which I would HIGHLY recommend) covers – what creates the possibility for these “short cuts” and how you too can use those “warp holes” to get ahead faster. The book and the concept resonated with me in particular because I feel like I spent the first half of my life (my early 20’s) ‘earning’ my way to the top. Law School. Law firm. Investment banking. Scholarship. Good grades. Typical high achieving asian family shit. Then in my late 20’s, I discovered that warp holes really do exist. My experience with them allowed me to get richer faster, better socially, more ripped with less work etc. I’m now looking at these warp holes in the context of both learning and success in a new field. A lot of the ideas below are discussed in Snow’s book, which is highly recommended, if this topic interests you:

1) FRIENDS who are Mentors. Smartcuts highlights having a mentor as being important. Yes, everyone knows this. However, what it shows is that the key to HIGHLY leveraged and beneficial mentorship is where the mentor and mentee are actually friends and have a genuine like for each other. Smartcuts provides evidence that this genuine like and friendship translates to a much more beneficial mentorship than an “official” mentorship program or agreement.

2) Hard ZONED / FLOW work. As much as you can, spend time within the zone. According to the book “Becoming Superman”, being in flow is one of the ways in which you can short cut the 10,000 hours to mastery rule.

3) Network / people / collaboration. Combining your knowledge with the knowledge of other people allows you to create new and exciting combinations of your knowledge plus their knowledge for maximum effect. If you are lucky to meet a “super connector” who you can bring value to and who will allow you to work with them, that is even better as they will catapult your success in the industry / space.

4) Failure and Rapid Feedback without Ego. The key is to fail and take responsibility of the failure for yourself. Natural human tendency is to blame your failure on someone else or something external. However, it is only when you take responsibility that you improve. Thats why observing others fail makes a critical difference according to Snow in Smart Cuts – because you can be more honest about their flaws and then adjust the way you are based on that observation. Obviously, the feedback received and the speed at which it was both received and implemented make a big difference.

5) Simplify. Focus on the thing which creates the most value. For example, if you are a musician, you can keep adding tweaks to sounds to your music, or you can improve your skills on melody and realize that it is often simple melodies which are behind great songs.

6) Become a Master Of Platforms. Utilizing systems and platforms which allow you to shortcut processes allows you to be expert at use of the platform. For example, you could become a master of advertising, or you could become a master of the Google marketing platform. Mastering the platform is far more beneficial. Mastering any system which represents the major point of profit or goal of what you are doing is the key to success. Identifying that is the key. So for example, you could be a master of a music production software or you could be the master of a new form on songwriting (for example, hooktheory.com). I would argue that while some understanding of both is important, a mastery of the system of songwriting is more important.

7) Momentum / The Path Of Affluence. I’ve written on this before but basically, when you are hitting, the key is that you continue to capitalize and realize that momentum in life is the KEY. See – http://www.notyouraveragelawyer.com/affluence-the-fast-rise-up/.

8) The Slow Build. When you are working and focusing and are not getting results, but are producing good work, you should realize that what you are effectively doing is creating the latent energy needed to one day fully explode. This latent energy will at one point gather into one point that will seem to everyone else to be “explosive” or “lucky” but was actually the accumulation of years of producing great work.

9) Learn and perform under strange constraints. Learning or having to perform under adverse or strange circumstances will often yield different results. An example is the innovation that occurs when cost and speed is a factor. Often, this pressure leads to fast, effective and very clever innovations.

19 Dec 2014

The Date Is
0

Breaking Through Barriers: The Point Of Optimal Frustration

In the past, I’ve been in situations where it feels like I’m working very hard for a prolonged period of time, but it doesn’t get me very far. In these situations, its as if despite copious amounts of time and effort, results do not come. It’s as if I am trying really hard and not making progress.

In fact, if I really think about it, there came a point in all fantastic things that I accomplished that I hit a point of incredible frustration. Most of these points, I had a guru or mentor that I was following, but the path or answer that they were trying to teach me was leading me down a path that had limited results for me. What I didn’t realize back then but realize now, is that the answer and path worked perfectly for the mentor – it was the solution for THEM – but it was up to me to learn that path and then create my own solution, taking the best from what the mentor had, but also factoring in both (1) other points of views from other mentors / successful people as well as (2) my own unique strengths and weaknesses. It was only when I did this – took the best of what people had taught me and added others views and my own solutions based on my unique talents and abilities, that I achieved massive success. This did not mean straying from the mentor, but rather, not being afraid to deviate by degrees from the methodology.

In summary, the way to get past the point where progress is stinted, is to attack the problem from a different angle which considers your own unique situation / position. However, you should not do this before reaching what I call the Point of Optimal Frustration.

What is the “Point Of Optimal Frustration”?

But you take any action and look for different methods and solutions, you MUST be sure that you have reached a point that I call Optimal Frustration. This basically means that you have given it a serious try (i.e. not just prematurely given up) and that despite all your best efforts, you are still metaphorically banging your head agains the wall. If, after putting a lot of time, energy and effort in, you still feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, then the key is usually to pivot and find alternative things. To find different answers.

These different answers usually involve some of the positive momentum you have gained in your current solution (so you should remain focused), but also require a different perspective or leverage point. It is at this point that you must find or think of different opinions or “destabilizers” (see my article written here – http://charlesngo.com/the-1-difference-for-achieving-success/) to start the process of pivoting or finding different perspectives and solutions.

The key realization here is that it may not be your inability, or your execution, but rather, forces which are either beyond your control or the fact that the current solution is an imperfect solution for YOU. Its basically a realization that there are factors outside of just hard work that impact your success and to find your way around them, you have to venture past the conventional and forge your own path.

Finally, note that all of your effort leading up to the point of optimal frustration is worth it because without these, you may not find or be able to take advantage of the solution / opportunity you find from the different perspective.

So in summary, if you are feeling frustrated with results in any area of your life:

1) Continue to try and try harder doing what you are doing

2) Take some time to get different perspectives and angles and seek destabilizers and realize that you can’t follow a blueprint – you have to use what you have learned and then create your own blueprint based on your own strengths and weaknesses

3) Execute the new solution well, until you feel optimal frustration with that approach

4) Repeat 1-3 until you find your solution / opportunity / wave

25 Nov 2014

The Date Is
6

The Demons Of Motivation That Make You Superman

A while ago wrote down my thoughts on using the dark side of motivation. Recently, I have more fully come to terms with the power of this type of motivation.

Let’s rewind a little bit just in case you haven’t read the previous post on motivation. Tony Robbins says there are 2 types of motivation:

  1. Things that you want (i.e. movement TOWARDS PLEASURE). There are things that I want. For example I want $50 million. I want to be famous. I want to travel on the orient express. I want to write a best selling novel. These are things motivate me.
  2. Things that you run away from (i.e. movement AWAY FROM PAIN). There are things which I run away from i.e. I don’t want to be poor. I don’t want to be lonely. I don’t want to be fat. These things also motivate me.

I’ve tried focusing on the thing that I WANT to a point of obsession and what I have found is that obsessing on what you want literally creates a type of pain. So 1 and 2 are actually linked. It’s the pain of not having what I want and it intensifies over time, as you become more dissatisfied with the status quo. Rather than simply creating something you don’t have, it creates something you are running away from – i.e. the status quo. You basically create dissatisfaction with the status quo and actually create PAIN. It is also in this state that I must admit, for better or worse, that I achieved the most. It’s a double edged sword though – you give up happiness and embrace discontent so that your body and mind become naturally more focused on the goal.

However, there are even deeper ways in which different types of pain have a motivational impact.

The most motivating type of pain is actually that which you most closely relate to. It’s the darkness you accumulated in your own experiences (sometimes traumatic experiences) that causes this powerful motivator. It is, in fact, more powerful over the long term than any other motivational force that I have personally experienced.

This isn’t an isolated event. What I’ve noticed is that every single SUPER successful person I know has had a massive pain or a “demon” that they are running away from. They have a deep seeded fear or a previous traumatic experience which makes them put intense amounts of effort into becoming wealthy, or getting better with public speaking, or socially or with girls, or great at sports… or something. They are sometimes barely aware of it.

It is as if their adverse experiences or circumstances have provided them with a hidden fire behind their goals. Personally I have experienced the same thing. It’s like a hole in your chest which you constantly try to fill, usually due to some type of experience (often when you are younger). Thing is, its a deep hole and very difficult to fill. So you work impossibly hard to fill it. These are what I call your “Demons Of Motivation”. They are both powerful and dangerous. Powerful because they motivate like no other – no want can motivate your actions as much as your demons can. Dangerous because the more you indulge them, the more discontent you feel and have in your life.

I have demons. I was socially rejected when I was younger. I experienced my parents struggle with money when I was younger and observed the stresses it brought upon my family. I was devastated by a few girls who cause heartbreaks. These all created “holes in my chest”. They are my demons.

For a large part though, if you looked at my life today, you would think that I had conquered these demons. I’m great socially. Good with girls. Young and wealthy. However, recently, I realized that for me to think that I have conquered my demons actually takes away my greatest power. It leaves me less motivated. It takes me away from my “death ground”. My mind wants to comfort itself by telling me I am no longer on my “death ground”, that the demons are dead and that I can chill out. And when I believe this, I relax. My body goes towards what makes it the most comfortable and I become less competitive and motivated. This mentality of “safety” is the most comfortable but it is also the least motivating. Consequently, what I realized was that if I psychologically crush my demons, I am depriving myself of my greatest motivators. I am snuffing the fire that burns within me and motivates me to get away. It made me come to the realization that rather than crush my demons, I have to cultivate them, but carefully. I have to play with that fire, but be careful not to get burned. What exactly do I mean?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I can either create demons, or fuel the fire of demons which I thought were dead, but can be revived. I remember when I was in the process of building my wealth, I utilized every EXISTING demon that I had to motivate myself towards that goal. For example, I had the demon of being poor spurring me on to make money. However, I knew that there was also a demon telling me that if I had more money, I would be better with girls and would be able to repair or even forget the heartbreak I felt when I was younger. I KNEW that this was logically false (firstly, I can’t change the past and secondly, not all women care about money or consider rich guys attractive because they are rich). I could, however, see that belief starting to resonate in my head. It was part conscious, but also a large part subconscious. I simply started blaming all my demons on the fact that I didn’t have money at the time. The resulting motivation was huge. I remember being at a club at my buddies table, surrounded by hot girls, thinking to myself “I need to work to be able to speak to them”. Even back then I knew it was a lie, but it also kind of wasn’t. I needed to clear my mind from the goal to be able to be fully engaged in the moment. And I could not do this when I was so focused on my goal. I was caught in a catch 22. I went home depressed, and started to work (literally at 12am, in the middle of a VIP table at a banging nightclub). A few months later, I made my first million.

After much deliberation, I came up with the following techniques that might be able to help you /me create or rekindle your demons of motivation. Say “X” is your goal. The following will cause dark motivation. It will either create or fuel your demons:

  • Hang Around Successful People And Feel The Pain Of Not Being Them. Hang around people who are more successful than you and blame your lack of X on not being at their level.
  • Bad Experiences Are A Result Of Not Having X. Think about the traumatic experiences that you experienced in your life and simply blame that situation on not having X.
  • What Scares You Can Be Avoided By Associating It With X. Think about the things that used to scare/motivate you and convince yourself that in order to get truly away from them, you need to do X.
  • Picture Of Your Pain. Put pictures and quotes in places you look at once a week or so, that remind you of what you are trying to run away from and associate them with your not having X. I would avoid looking at them every day. Just when you need a reminder of why you are working so hard when you lose motivation.

That is literally all I have thus far. Its not easy to utilize the beast and I’m going to try it myself.

A lot of people who read this will probably disagree with it. I’m not saying its right for everyone and the truth is, thats why I don’t publicize this blog. Because I believe that outlier thoughts like these are not meant to be for the general public. This way of thinking can lead to depression and probably loss of motivation or hopelessness. But it has worked for me. And I think it is probably the most powerful tool in my motivational arsenal. Its what makes me Superman when I need to be.

24 Nov 2014

The Date Is
0

The Valuation Of Free Time

The excerpt below was taken from the book Millionaire Fast Lane, which is a great book.

Then why do so few get rich while the rest wallow from paycheck to paycheck? The distinction lies in the valuation of free time, the chosen roadmap, and the acquisition of parasitic debt. Guess the behaviors—rich or poor?

  • This person sleeps until noon.
  • This person watches hours of reality TV.
  • This person drives two hours to save $20.
  • This person buys airline tickets with multiple layovers to save $100.
  • This person spends hours surfing social networks and gossip blogs.
  • This person is a Level 10 Druid in World of Warcraft.
  • This person watches every Chicago Cubs game (just kidding, all you loyal Cubs fans).

Behind the tangled roots of poorness, you will find a poor valuation of free time, which breeds from bad choices. “Time losers” are poor evaluators of time.

I wanted to highlight the above list and concept.

Firstly, the concept is 100% on point. What you do with your down time / spare time, indicates how successful you are going to be. Do you go out clubbing? Do you watch random youtube videos? Do you have movie marathon nights? What do you do with the majority of your spare time? If these are the things you want to get good at, then keep doing them. However, the quality of your use of time (both work and leisure) is directly related to your success. I recently spent time with one of the most successful affiliates in the world and asked if he wanted to go out on a Friday night. Keep in mind, the guy is single. He declined and said he was going to spend the night in, working and reading a book. When I asked him what book he was reading, he responded, “How To Be A Billionaire”.

Secondly, the list above is also on point. Why? Because I am guilty of spending too much time on Social Networks. And this is something I can call myself out on. What can you call yourself out on that is a waste of your day? Be honest. Is it movies? TV shows? Socializing just for something to do? All of these things can take you away from your primary goal. Instead of doing these things you could do things that are productive to your goal such as go to the gym (to keep fit), read books (sharpen the saw) and discuss relevant topics with friends who are interested in the same things or at least can provide perspective on those things.

Anyway, the big take away is to value your free and work time, and use it all to the utmost effectiveness. You are born only with a certain number of hours in your life. Make the most out of it by utilizing every second moving towards the things that you want, remembering of course, that goals should ideally be pursued sequentially, not in parallel.

18 Nov 2014

The Date Is
0

The Two Keys To Wealth

Credit my buddy Nick and his mentor for a lot of the thoughts in the below discussion.

There are two main keys to wealth –

(1) Achieving surplus money (by catching a “wave” or working hard or being the best at what you do or just plain getting lucky). How to do this has been the topic of this blog for ages so I’m not going to go through this.

and

(2) Buying assets that inflate with that surplus money.

We’re only going to be looking at (2) here. But let’s start at an interesting place – why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

The gap between rich and poor is getting so big its almost insurmountable but its not because of what you think. Its an asset and money related thing. In summary, the poor spend money on essentials while the rich spend money on assets that inflate. Let me explain.

Pre the Breton Woods agreement, there used to be a link between the American Dollar and gold i.e. at one point in time, a note or coin was simply a convenience so you didn’t have to carry around gold or silver. You could bring that note or coin to a reserve bank and exchange it for its value in gold or silver so money had meaning. It was backed by a physical asset. This isn’t the case anymore. Now the money is not linked to anything which restricts how much money you can make. The Bretton Woods agreement severed the link between currency and gold, allowing the US to basically print money when they need to.

The result is basically that we have the ability to loan money to ourselves – what we know as “loose monetary policy”. Government monetary policy basically allows the printing of money for loans through banks. Lower interest rates mean people buy more / spend more. This basically means that we have more money chasing the same amount of goods and services, which means prices have to adjust upwards. i.e. inflation. Why does this impact poor people / middle class? Because poor people spend a higher % of income on essentials – food, medicine etc. So someone who makes $500 a week is spending almost all of their money on food, shelter and medicine. Someone making 10k a week (lets define this as “the rich”) can save maybe 15k a month on investments.

The difference is that the rich have money that they spend on assets which INFLATE WITH PRICES. When you print more money and prices inflate, your house inflate with it because it is a commodity people with that money want – thus it is resistant, if not immune, from the impact of inflation because it itself will inflate as more people have “currency not backed by anything” (this is called a “fiat currency”, btw) to buy the house, and demand goes up. The house they thus bought for 7m ten years ago is now worth 17m. But poor people are kind of fucked – the things that they are buying – food, shelter etc – just keep going up in price. The gap then keeps increasing because of these assets – the rich get richer because there is more money chasing the same assets, the poor get poorer, because they don’t have assets and inflation works against them.

This isn’t some big conspiracy or anything – its just a fact of life that (1) prices increase (2) asset values increase (3) wages for the lower class do not increase at the same rate. Thus, the only way that you ensure you are on the right end of the stick is by having assets that inflate. And possibly buying gold or silver if you believe that that will remain the standard (a different debate and one I am not convinced about – I don’t own gold or silver, but I’m not closed to the idea).

People like to blame CEOs, capitalism, etc for the inequalities but its not true. Thats the conspiracy. Inflation i.e. printing money that means nothing, is the true cancer that kills the lower class slowly. Moral of the story? Buy good assets that inflate. Then use good debt to buy it too. Why use good debt? Because you are effectively using tomorrows money (borrowing) today and tomorrows money is worth less due to inflation. Practical application? Buy 10m worth of GOOD assets now. In 10 years its worth 20m. How do you know what a good asset is? Same way you get good at anything… you become obsessed with the asset class.

Anyway, lets say you get 10m and make 10m in 10 years. Well, good luck making that in 10 years as the lower class… or even as the upper class, its a challenge.

Moral of the story? Buy good assets that inflate with money from tomorrow.

08 Sep 2014

The Date Is
0

The Secret To Creativity - Obsession (and more)

I was trying to explain to my buddy how I thought about the creative process. Mid way through my explanation he says “wow, you have to watch this one Ted Talk – a University researcher said the exact same things as you are saying to me now”.

My buddy eventually sent me the Ted Talk which confirmed everything that I had previously thought creativity. It’s a little long, but you should check it out (or alternatively just read my blog post below it, where I summarize what I also discovered in my own words, as well as extrapolate conclusions) –

Basically, what Vincent Walsh says is something that I’ve thought for such a long time… that creativity happens in relaxed states BUT ONLY when you are obsessed with whatever it is that you want to solve.

Think about it. Creativity often happens in the shower, or in the car while driving or when you are doing something unrelated to the actual problem you are trying to solve / task you are trying to complete. This makes sense because your subconscious brain is working on things while your conscious brain is focusing on other things or in a relaxed state. Vincent says that this is because creativity is encouraged in relaxed brain states. But you CAN’T just be relaxed to be creative now, can you.

Also in my experience, you also have to be obsessed. The word “obsessed” was the exact word I used with my friend, and Vincent uses it in his talk too. Why obsessed? Because the obsession does two things –

  1. Your obsession is an indication for your subconscious mind that the problem or the situation or task that you are obsessing about is important enough that it is what you want it to work on.
  2. Your obsession means that when you are conscious you will be searching for answers and thus inputting as much as you can into your brain. These inputs are extremely important because they determine the quality of the output / creativity. As Vincent says, obsession provides the “bedrock of preparation”. Its your conscious brain’s job to feed the most up to date and relevant information to the subconscious brain (through testing, reading, talking to people or whatever other way) so that the subconscious brain might come up with a solution to the problem.

This process has happened to me so many times in crucial situations, that its unreal. This is why a lot of the time, when I have to make a crucial decision, I will think about it intensely and then ruminate for enough time for the subconscious brain to throw out ideas. Often it throws things out that I did not even know or think about.

Extrapolations?

Firstly, this again supports my theory against “balance lives”.. IF you want to be extraordinary. The theory being that if you want to achieve fantastically creative results yourself (and there is nothing to say that you can’t just piggy back off someone who is obsessed and creative – and nothing wrong with that, seriously!), then you must be obsessed and you cannot be simply “balanced”. Balance is the absence of obsession. Balanced people become average doctors, lawyers, accountants, but its obsessed people that become millionaires, billionaires and people who achieve fantastic things. I’m not saying the path of obsession is for everyone. I’m saying that it is one of the determinants of creativity, and thus, if you want to be creative and break new ground and achieve extraordinary results in a field yourself, you truly must be obsessed, or at the least be attached to someone who is.

Secondly, how do you become WORLD CLASS CREATIVE? Fantastic inputs! As Vincent says, being smart doesn’t matter. Being born to a good family doesn’t matter. Being obsessed does. BUT, being obsessed is not enough in my opinion. What you need is to have WORLD CLASS INPUTS to that obsession through your social group, your access to learning materials, your own efforts and those around you. When you have these world class access to INPUTS, AND you are obsessed, then you are on the cutting edge of your field. Then, with all those inputs… boom, THAT is when you will be creative on a world class level. Seriously, this is from first hand experience with Internet Marketing. Its when I had insanely good people around me who were all obsessed, and I was obsessed, that we pushed each other to the limits of what we thought were possible and came up with the solutions to problems which made the big bucks.

A good point about obsession is that it doesn’t always have to be hard. Its hard in the beginning if you are trying to be obsessed with something you don’t find interesting or if you are in the “dip” phase of learning. But sometimes, obsession is gifted to people because of vocation, childhood, social group, love of sports, existing habits etc. And again, sometimes, you just need to be attached to someone who is obsessed and their obsession will carry you through.

Finally, note that obsession has other side benefits. It changes your perceptual filters to look out for opportunities within that field, and get you constantly talking about it to people. I remember when I was completely obsessed with Internet Marketing, when I was first learning it. Anyone who did not talk about internet marketing made me bored? Extreme? Maybe. But over time I became surrounded by people who had the same mentality and people would introduce me to people who had the same mentality because they knew (a) I was really fucking good at what I did and (b) that I would connect well. Eventually, this led me to partnerships and ideas that created success.

Obsession isn’t the only thing you need, of course. You need the incubation / relaxation period. When you are chilling and/or doing something else and you let your subconscious mind push the answer to your conscious mind. But this one isn’t really that difficult I don’t think… just go to the gym… or do something that 99% of the world does normally… chill.

Good talk.

 

11 Aug 2014

The Date Is
0

The Waves That Cause Wealth

Here is the path to what I believe to be massive wealth… “waves”.

Massive wealth comes from “catching waves”. The bigger the wave, the more the wealth. “Waves” represent shifts in the tectonic plates of industries, countries, technology and society. Almost always, these shifts originate at the fringes of the industry (or of society) or on the cutting edge of it. Some waves are small (e.g. a new ad format that Google might release) and some waves are large (e.g. the invention of the computer chip and the personal computing revolution). Its also not always the FIRST entrant who takes the wave (think Myspace versus Facebook).

Here are some examples. Bill Gates caught the computer wave and just happened to license DOS. It was only when IBM adopted DOS that he became extremely wealthy. Could Gates have foreseen this? Did he foresee it? No. He did not foresee the magnitude and he admits this in interviews. However, the point remains that he was at the cutting edge of a rapidly emerging industry and was innovating by mixing and matching technologies. Steve Jobs has a similar story – could he foresee that apple would be so ubiquitous? Could he foresee the dominance of the Mac and the iPhone, when he started Mac? No, and he didn’t. He simply started by trying to make money in a new industry that he thought was cool. But he again became at the cutting edge of an industry, made the right moves and of course had some luck. Jobs and Gates are not the only ones who have a similar story in the context of catching a wave in society – Rockefeller (railroads), Brin and Page (Google/Internet), Carnegie (steel) etc all caught waves. Smaller waves create smaller, less well known entrepreneurs, but they still have a wealth creating impact.

Waves can be caused by the government, people or by societal, technological and economic changes. The waves usually start small – you hear whispers of change and/or disproportionate profit on the fringes of the industry or society. Then by the time they hit the headlines, its too late, there is a new societal giant.

The big question is how to find these waves. Here is what I have pieced together so far:

1) Make sure you ARE on the cutting edge of your industry. Being on the cutting edge – i.e. the best at what you do – is absolutely key in catching waves. This is because the waves are first seen by those who are “surfing” or in the battle, and who are innovating themselves, as opposed to those on the sidelines. When changes to an industry or technology happen, those on the cutting edge will be the first who catch or see it. It may not be a billion dollar wave (the size of the wave has a lot to do with luck), but it will be a wave. “Investor Syndrome” is something that I feel like is a danger to people – i.e. looking for the next wave instead of being in an exciting industry, trying to make waves yourself, and pushing to be cutting edge. It’s the same way that you might hear rumors of what is happening in various parts of the world, before they are ever on the news. The problem is, by the time they are on the news, its practically too late. You need to be in it, to win it. And you need to be excellent. The best of the best. Then you need to look to be better than the best, make more money, and see where that path takes you… which will hopefully be the next wave. This is literally exactly how it happened to me.

2) Know outliers. Outliers – people who live their lives or exist in industries and operate outside the norm, are usually those who first see the opportunities for waves. Being around these people, and seeing the things that they are involved in, is useful in identifying future waves. Note that these outliers can be kids. They can be more mature people. They are simply people who are doing things differently and against the grain – in their lives and in their profession.

3) See where kids are making money. Kids (lets say between 14 – 25 year olds) have no idea what is possible and impossible. So they try everything. This leads to a lot of failure, but it also can lead to incredible success. I like to see what kids are doing, and there are forums where entrepreneurial kids hang out.

4) Know thought leaders. Get to know the thought leaders in industries and see what they are thinking. In every industry there are the innovators. They might not always be the most well known, the most vocal, the incumbents or the most famous, but they are usually the ones trying new things and making some noise doing so. These people are those that you should watch and build relationships with. Sometimes, incumbents ARE actually the thought leaders, but this is only sometimes the case. A lot of the time, they fade from relevance because they rest so much on their existing success that they become… obsolete.

5) Pay attention to the fringes of society. Bitcoin, the deep web, P2P technology and other disruptive new growth areas in society – these, and others, are areas of serious potential for new companies and massive profits. Think about the companies that spurred off of the above listed (and other) new areas in society and you will see what I mean.

6) Have friends in Venture Capital / Angel Investing. There is no doubting that VC is a source of amazing leads for new and innovative business ideas. A good friend of mine actually built a multi million dollar business from having his VC friend tell him about the business ideas doing very well in the USA, which he took to a different country.

7) Know and have heart for the rejects. Its often those people who are the “rejects” of life and society and find the waves. Those who do not accept the status quo as sufficient. Those who were rejected by life / society because of their physical appearance or some situation. Why? Because it causes them to seek out extraordinary results and in strange fields.

If you want to make true wealth, I believe that finding waves is the best way to do it. To find these waves, the 6 ways above are what I consider to be the best ways of doing this.

EDIT – I had the question from a reader about how to make sure you catch a wave. Here was my response –

Its SO hard to predict the wave, but it is ultimately important. You can be focused and obsessed at selling widgets and never make a million dollars UNLESS a wave comes in which creates a huge demand for widgets. Or if you can create one by merging new technologies, new forms of marketing, new formats etc. Network and hang around people who are breaking new ground. Thats why I suggest being focused and obsessed in an area where there could be a wave and continually push forward in it. Moments in time should occur where you can make a lot of money due to some shift or unique opportunity. You have to be in it… you have to be focused… you have to be opportunistic… you have to experiment… and you have to be lucky.

13 May 2014

The Date Is
10

Why People Don't Succeed

Here are the two biggest problems I see in people who say they want to succeed:

1) The first problem is that MOST OF THE TIME, they don’t want it bad enough, and they thus will fail. And by not want it bad enough, I mean that they aren’t willing to give up what they need to give up to achieve their goal.

2) The second problem is that even if they do give it up, they are addicted to a “stimulus (work hard) / response (get results)” model of success and get discouraged when they find out that massive success really doesn’t follow this pattern.

Let’s start with the second problem above – ADDICTION TO STIMULUS / RESPONSE or INPUT / OUTPUT results.

PART 1: INPUT AND OUTPUT DO NOT CORRELATE ON THE ROAD TO MASSIVE SUCCESS

A lot of people tend to think that going to the gym and working out is a microcosm for success. You see memes all over the internet like this:

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Well, going to the gym is certainly better than doing nothing, but the model of getting fit/ripped/sexy is just not the model of succeeding in life, or every meathead / fit person I know would be successful (and they definitely are not).

What is the difference? Well, IF you exercise, IF you push through the pain of sets and tiredness, then you WILL get bigger, you will get leaner and you WILL look and feel better. It’s just biology.

In other words, in the gym, there is a direct correlation between input and result.

Success does not play by those rules. Success is not linear, like working out / exercise is.

Do you want to know what what achieving real success looks like? Real success looks like being able to put in A LOT OF INPUT and get NO RESULT, and respond like a fucking champion i.e. still hammer out the hours, still pivot tirelessly to try to find solutions, STILL MOVE FORWARD… in the FACE of seeming to achieve so little (if anything) for your hard work / input. Real greatness is becoming OBSESSED with why your input is yielding such a shitty output. Thats the key. It’s hitting dead ends after putting MONTHS IN, and not being DISCOURAGED, but instead being OBSESSED with finding the better solution.

For example – I know the BEST internet marketer in the industry. The guy gets discouraged for about an hour or two when something doesn’t go his way. Then, he gets OBSESSED with why shit isn’t working. I know many average / bad marketers and they get DEPRESSED and lose confidence when things aren’t working. Look at the difference in response here. If something doesn’t go according to plan, do you get OBSESSED on finding a solution, or DEPRESSED about why you are not achieving a result? If the latter, and you wallow in it for more than 1-2 hours, then I hate to break it to you, but you’re a fucking pussy and you’re not going to succeed. You don’t have what it takes, period.

PART 2: YOU JUST DON’T WANT IT BAD ENOUGH, SON!

Now, back to the first point I made in this article – the fact that people just don’t want it enough.

Unless you can give up parties, spending a lot of time with girls, sunny sunday afternoons in the sun, parties with friends and good company, to pursue and become OBSESSED with your goals, then your probability of achieving those goals is low. Unless you can prioritize your goals over whatever it is that you love THE MOST but that takes THE MOST time away from your work, then you may succeed in a small way if you catch the right wave, but you will achieve only a part of what you could have achieved, and your probability of MASSIVE success goes down considerably.

Do you know WHY successful people prioritize like this? What their internal motivation is? It’s that they want it SO FUCKING BAD that doing ANYTHING else would make them feel emptiness in life. I find that the only people who have this internal motivation are those who either (a) have truly experienced the suffering of having no money or (b) do not buy into the complete bullshit of society of “money doesn’t make you happy” or “live a balanced life” or “do what you love”. Not saying that these are 100% wrong, but they are quite simply used by poor fuckers who create a distorted meaning from what they should have been. A rich person and a poor person can say these lines, and they will mean completely different things inside their heads.

For example, I STILL have people telling me that they believe in “balance”, that I should have more “balance” and then they begin citing successful people who have balanced lives. OK, maybe those people have balance NOW that they are successful, sure, but I highly doubt they did when they were building their first success. When I hear this “balance” talk from people, it makes me laugh inside. I have now heard enough about balance, have accomplished enough in my life, to know what I am talking about, so I’m going to say it – “balance is bullshit if you want unbalanced results”.

I hear people telling me about how person “X” and “Y” are balanced and successful. I would love to see this. Seriously. I would love to see someone who was not OBSESSED and achieved massive success when they were young. I sure as hell didn’t do it their way. I came as an immigrant to a new country that I moved to when I was 24, without help of my family, and by the time I was 30, I was a multi-millionaire and thats how I did it. If you are more successful and younger than myself and did it without your parents help or have a different opinion, then leave a comment telling me your point of view and how you did it without insane levels of focus, and how you would modify the central tenet of being OBSESSED.

If you think that I’m talking to YOU through this post… I’m actually not. I’m talking to myself. What do I mean? I only ever write this blog for myself. You see, I see failure and potential failure in SO many people around me that I am afraid. I don’t fear for them… I fear for me. Because if I’m honest, I see the traits that make those people unsuccessful… in me. Those demons – laziness, discouragement, inability to give what it takes, inability to pivot, distraction – are common to all. It scares me because there are still big things that I want to accomplish, and I know now what it takes to accomplish them, and I see the traits that make them failures… in me. I’m scared that I will not want what I want enough, I’m scared that I will be discouraged by banging my head against metaphorical dead ends in my pursuits and not being able to pivot, I’m scared that I will lose the small battles because its so hard to give up the pleasures in life that I have to, to achieve them. I look at those who are unsuccessful, and I use them as inspiration to remind me of what I DO NOT WANT TO BE.

I have to look at myself and understand that I have to fight the first conscious, and then UNCONSCIOUS, war to live my life in a way that others will not, so that you will accomplish some day what others cannot. I have to understand that I will often work work months, years even, without results, and when this happens, it is my job to pivot and keep trying and keep moving. Fast. I don’t know when a “break” is going to happen, or IF it will happen. All I can do in my new pursuits is keep trying, keep pivoting and put the same hunger and attitude that I put in to my current success, into my next one.

If you are reading this and thinking “this guy is extreme” or “he’s wrong for x, y and z” or “I can’t do this because of X”. Well yes, I’m extreme… extremely successful. But I’m not wrong, because I’m young and extremely rich. So feel free to excuse away whatever I said above with whatever excuse you usually use, click the red “x” button on the top of the page, have a tea, eat a cookie and in the words of Morpheus, “take the blue pill… wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe”.

Red Pill Blue Pill

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