Since I’m not actively writing articles at the moment, I figured I’d at least post a short update with some things I’m doing or thinking about- that you might find helpful or interesting. Different than my normal articles, but if you’d enjoy this type of update leave a comment on the post and let me know.
What I’ve been up to:
As you probably know from past emails I’ve been focusing on my health lately. Other than that I’ve been working on a new business project that I started experimenting with late last year.
It’d been a while since I started a new business project. A lot of the last few years I was traveling, writing or helping others start businesses. I missed being ‘in the game’ so to speak. So, as I mentioned after the last Incubator I was going to get another project of my own up and running. So, once I was feeling well enough to get something going, I did.
It started off, well… slow. It took longer than I anticipated to ‘solve’. There was a lot of that $0/hr work that I talk about to try and figure out how to make it work.
The reason I share this is I think most people falsely assume everything is an overnight success, and it’s not. That’s lies from info marketers.
I started it 6+ months ago, and only became profitable in the last couple months. But… since I put some time in to figure out what was going on, it started to really gain traction once I ‘got’ it.
I wanted to share this slow start with you because I feel like too many people expect a ‘get rich overnight’ result if their business is going to work.
I saw many what I call ‘quitting points’ during my first 4-6 months that I think most people would have just stopped under the assumption that it ‘wasn’t working’. And since it’s a brand new industry I’ve never been in before I had to kind of figure some things out as I went. Some things worked, some things didn’t, so you take out the things that don’t work, and double down on the things that do, and gain new theories based on the experiences and do tests on those. Rinse, repeat.
Remember if something takes a bit of figuring out- it’s likely why the opportunity is there in the first place.
Anyways, as you can see from the numbers I shared, I was basically producing no results in the beginning. But now that I’m gaining a better understanding I can scale it into a larger business, or get it to the point where I have the option to let it spit out cash as a small, passive cash cow business.
But realize it wouldn’t have gotten to that point if I hadn’t been okay with the $0/hr work and getting past the ‘quitting points’.
I just wanted to share this so that if you’ve got a project that’s not producing results right away, as long as you did the up front work to recognize if it was a decent opportunity, don’t just give up when it’s not an overnight success.
That will help to let you know if it’s worth pushing through the quitting points and doing all the $0/hr work or not.
Remember you can’t just work for a while, or have a good idea to have a successful business, you have to do both.
Each of the following scenarios will be an obvious failure despite doing one thing very well:
- Work for a long time on bad ideas (“I think if I keep at it I can make it work” … but if it’s a bad idea why would you want to?)
- Work for a short time on good ideas (“It’s not working I’ll just stop” … but if it’s actually a good idea to pursue, stopping when it’s hard is definitely not what you want to do)
What do you think is better:
- Working for 2 years on a crappy idea.
- Working on great ideas but stopping every few months if they don’t take off super quick.
- Just taking a decent idea through the finish line.
#3 by a mile. Even if your ideas are great in #2 but you stop early, a bunch of great ideas taken 75% of the way to the finish line are worth nothing compared to just one decent idea taken 100% of the way. There’s no payday for partly done projects.
By ‘take it all the way’ I’m not saying go commit for 5 years to something. You want to get a business to the point where it spits out profit, giving yourself the option of doubling down and scaling it, or just setting it up to run passively as a cashflow business.
But you don’t want to fall into the categories that 95%+ of people fall into – which is working on terrible ideas, or just stopping at the ‘quitting points’ on good ideas before you’ve got far enough.
If you don’t know if an opportunity you’re considering is worth the pursuit, take it through the 4-steps I recommend:
Step 1: Is the product or service you’re offering better than what currently exists on the market?
Step 2: Can you reach the ideal audience for it?
Step 3: Due diligence phase – verification of steps 1+2 as well as in depth research into the market and competition
Step 4: Expected Value phase- what’s the profit potential and would a positive outcome here be worth the pursuit for you?
I’ve always tried to share what’s really up on this newsletter, so realize very few people are getting rich overnight, and even if you’ve started businesses many times, there’s still going to be learning curves, and the same trial and error as anyone else. Remember, no one knows what they’re doing when they try something completely new. So don’t refrain from pursuing an opportunity just because you don’t know all the answers yet. No one does.
Things I’ve been doing to help my quarters:
Every year I plan out a few things I want to accomplish for the year. I write down things in categories that I think could lead to accomplishment of whatever it is that I’m trying to do.
Each quarter I set quarterly goals that I think if completed, would put me on a good pace to completing my yearly goals.
Each week, I go through and review my quarterly objectives and see what I need to add to my weekly calendar to stay on track for the quarterly goals.
I also have a list of things I wrote down to keep top of mind at the beginning of the year. It’s 3-4 pages long, and I review it every Sunday- it’s one of several things I have to check off each week on my goals sheet.
Every Sunday I also map out my week so that I make sure the important things will get done the next week. A lot doesn’t get done and that’s okay, as long as the important things do. The things that didn’t get completed either go onto next week, or they get moved to a big list that I’ll get to when I can. The interesting thing is the ‘I’ll get to when I can’ list- if I look at it months later, 90% of the stuff never really needed to get done.
Make sure you’re not using your time on things that won’t be relevant to accomplishing what you’re trying to accomplish.
Few things I notice/on my mind that could be helpful to you
Cigar butt Warren Buffett strategy vs. grown up Warren Buffett strategy
As many of you may know when Warren Buffett was getting started he bought what’s referred to as “cigar butts”, companies that had a few good puffs left on them, and then they’d be pretty much done. Meaning they could make him short term profit, but probably wouldn’t continue to make him money over time.
He realized that wasn’t a very good long term strategy and started investing in businesses that had a chance to produce income for a very, very long time.
I talked about a similar concept in this post: https://foreverjobless.com/arnold-schwarzenegger-infrastructures-of-wealth/ and asked if you were creating a product or service that is likely to be used just 10 years in the future?
Most people are not. They’re all targeting short term cigar butts in their business endeavors, and will pay the price long term.
Many who called their business an ‘amazon business’ are already experiencing this as margins have been getting eaten away recently. I’ve been saying this was going to happen for a while (https://foreverjobless.com/amazon-price-war-season-3-episode-7) and it’s only going to get worse. Remember you have to have some level of moat if your goal is to have your business be around for the long haul. It’s harder in the short term to try and create a moat, but you get paid significantly more if you can figure it out. Otherwise you may unintentionally be operating a cigar butt business. You might get some more puffs out of it, but it’s going to be over soon.
Crypto and the ’make money’ space
I assume everyone reading this has heard about crypto(bitcoin etc…). I think watching what happens in the crypto market is a perfect market to realize what’s happening in every other market. It’s just so extreme in crypto that it stands out so obviously that anyone should notice.
I went to a bitcoin meetup last year because I was genuinely curious in learning about something I knew 0 about. When I walked in there was a guy sitting down that seemed to have a pretty good audience around him, so I pulled up a chair right by him and listened. People asked him questions, and he continued to give his feedback as people jotted down all sorts of notes. As the meetup was about to start, I introduced myself to him and this was the beginning of the conversation:
Me: Thanks so much for sharing all that, you sound like you know quite a bit about the industry, how long have you been investing?
Him: Three weeks now.
Me: Three weeks?!?
Him: Ya, but I’ve been reading about it for longer.
Regurgitated info – the best kind of fake knowledge!
Most crypto experts are not crypto experts, they’re internet marketing experts who notice crypto as the latest opportunity to take advantage of the uninformed/suckers. The same way most “business coaches” have never started an actual business, and are infomarketers wanting people to pay them for coaching for something they’ve literally never done.
Think of that crypto story when considering your next consultant/coach.
The % of ‘never started a business people’ teaching how to start a business in the space is at an all time high right now.
If you’re considering hiring someone for coaching/consulting, couple things to help you steer clear of trouble from the ‘I read about business’ business coaches:
If their only business has ever been blog/podcast/info, unless your goal is to start the same exact thing as them: YOU IN TROUBLE!
Look out for false confidence- notice every crypto “expert” who is very loud when it is going up, wanting to act like they are making lots of money/they knew it all along, but they’re completely quiet when it goes down/were quiet before it went up. A true expert if they thought it was worth more would be louder when it’s going down, unless their goal is fake authority – becoming an authority to sheep who don’t understand, in order to convert more people into a sale.
They should be loud before something happens, not after. If you’re following the guys who are loud about something after the results are in: YOU IN TROUBLE!
Have they started ideally two or more real businesses before(real business = product or service of real value that produced income for extended period of time, not temporary arbitrage play)? If not: YOU IN TROUBLE!
I probably harp on that subject too much, but every time I log into social media it’s like a 95/5 ratio of people you should run for your life from, and I don’t want you falling trap to the nonsense and wasting a lot of time/money down the wrong rabbit hole.
To wrap this quarterly update/mini rant up, here are two books I read recently that I LOVED that you may enjoy:
I hope you’re having an amazing year so far, and that you’re on track for achieving this year’s goals.