Play The Lottery, or Calculate EV?
Thanks so much for all your awesome comments and questions from the last two posts: My 4-Step Process and EV Profits.
When I started I was just like anyone else…
I can remember staying awake the whole night sometimes browsing the internet searching for a business idea that would somehow make me money. I had no process, I was just hoping to come across the next big idea.
See, I was hungry.
But I had **zero sense** of what a good business idea was. So I’d go down all the wrong rabbit holes and waste a ton of time on ideas someone who had the experience could have told me in five minutes was no good. Five minutes sounded a lot better than the five hours or more I’d constantly spend on horrible ideas. I look back now and cringe at how many hundreds of hours I wasted on the stupidest ideas ever. I mean, I guess you could say I invested them, as I learned the hard way what works, and obviously what doesn’t work. It’s definitely time I would pay a lot of money to get back though.
I know what it’s like when I see people going through the same struggles, trying to find ideas that work.
As frustrating as it is, I can tell you coming out the other side is well worth it. For me it was not having to work for anyone else and becoming “ForeverJobless”, for others I know it’s been providing a better life for their families, traveling more, or like some of my friends, setting up a business in a way where they work as little as possible.
Putting in the extra effort now that others aren’t willing to put in, is what gets people the results others aren’t going to get.
I don’t know any of my successful entrepreneur friends who aren’t glad they put in the extra effort to make it happen. Most people won’t want to put in the effort it takes. Some people think ‘successful people’ just threw up a website, got “lucky” and money just magically starting showing up in their accounts. They don’t see the effort, and the process behind making it all happen. They lazily wait around for the big idea to hit them. It’ll never come for them. The people that do hustle to make things happen, those are the people I don’t want to see go through the same struggles I did.
One perfect example of someone with the “hustler” mentality is a former employee of mine, Jordan. Ever since I met Jordan, he told me he wanted to start a successful business. Knowing how hard he works, I’ve never doubted him for a second.
On top of that, he couldn’t be a nicer guy, so he’s the type of person you just really want to see succeed.
Anytime we catch up he’s always trying out a new idea, or at the drawing board figuring out what to try next. He puts in the work, and is one of the few people I can pretty much guarantee will have success just based on his work ethic. Last year I mentioned the Incubator to him(at the time it was just a video course), and told him he should sign up to watch the videos as I thought it’d make his life easier.
We chatted right after he finished the videos so I could see how he liked it and get any feedback to try and improve it, but we hadn’t caught up in a while. The other day he responded to the same email you received from me asking for feedback on the new project, and pinged me to make sure I already had his feedback from the survey he filled out back when he had completed the videos. I let him know I did, but if he wanted he could give me a testimonial on how it went for him.
I was thrilled to see his response. It’s one thing to know how he liked the videos after just watching them, it’s another to see the progress he’s made since then:
“I’m very skeptical of a company or person that makes light of how difficult launching a successful business can be. I gave the Incubator a chance because I believe in Billy and the logical, non-emotional principles he lays out in his blog and podcasts. After going through his Incubator, I’ve made sense of and have a framework for the endless investments in time and money that are required to launch a successful business. Furthermore, I’ve been able to move through ideas at a lightning pace which has allowed me to land on my most promising idea in the past 5+ years. The ability to validate quickly is a blessing that you cannot overlook and the Incubator is by far the most valuable route I’ve ever used to get there. Highly recommend!”
It may be hard to think there’s a “process” for choosing successful business ideas, and that it can be simplified. But there is, and it can. Unfortunately for me I had to fail my way to figuring out what works, and what doesn’t, but I tried to create a way
where it wouldn’t be so difficult for you. Once I finally had a process, it’s made my life a whole lot simpler since.
I’ve been reading the comments on what people are struggling with, and the questions about exactly how to do each different step in depth.
“I’ve been working on my idea for over a year now. I feel like I have wasted quite a bit of time and money.
My question is this: Your steps are very clear and obvious. What isn’t obvious is HOW to do those steps. How do I research the market and know what is going on? How do I know it will be profitable and my offering is good? Each step is required, but at the same time, I have no idea how to do them.
I think that is the real reason people just dive in. They figure diving in is better than doing nothing since they can’t figure out how to do those other steps.” – TJ
I agree with TJ. I think a lot of people do just dive in because they don’t know what else to do. It’s not wrong, at some point they may get the hang of it, but if they had a process before they started they’d save a lot of damage. I kind of envision people jumping into a car and just attempting to drive instead of taking time to get any lessons. The step seems easy, just drive the car. But they’ve never done it before. They may teach themselves how to drive the car at some point, but they’re going to crash their car many times, and cause a lot of damage before then. If they had a driver’s ed instructor walk them through all the controls, go over specific traffic rules, and drive with them as they’re implementing everything they’re learning, it’s a lot less likely they’re going to end up running into a tree.
How can you apply EV to business?
That’s when everything changed for me. I remember when I first started applying EV to business, so I could calculate the expected profits. I didn’t understand why no one else was doing it. When I had played poker, not understanding EV would have been really costly. You have to be able to understand EV to know if you’re making the correct decisions. Otherwise, you can only depend on short term luck, which will eventually run out, and you’ll eventually go broke. The same applies to business, that if you don’t understand your EV you run the risk of losing money on bad ideas, and you’ll waste a lot of time doing so. Learning that EV was relatively easy to apply to business was a huge “aha” for me. The variables were the difficult part to figure out, but I failed my way into understanding the variables, which gave me what I needed to determine the difference between the profit potential of good ideas, and bad ideas, ahead of time.
Most people outside of the ForeverJobless community don’t even understand what the term EV means, and most math geeks who understand EV don’t have business aspirations, so there’s not many people out there applying it to finding profitable opportunities.
Instead of throwing a dart at a board blindfolded wondering what’ll happen, I can look at my ideas and evaluate the expected profit from launching the idea. If it’s “risky”, I can decide if I want to go with the highest EV, or look at another idea and that still has a high EV, but higher probability of success. It depends what you’re goals are. But you get to choose, instead of playing the lottery.
What if you could pick all the good fantasy players because no one else knew what they were worth?
Or if you walked into a watch store and picked the most expensive watch because no one knew the prices so they just listed them all the same. That’s basically how it is with business opportunities. There’s a lot of great ideas just sitting right in front of people that they’re doing nothing with because no one knows how valuable they are.
Instead of just showing you videos on how you can go through the 4-step process I use, I’ve created a private community where you’ll be able to go through the process with other Incubator members, and get feedback from each other, and directly from me.
In the next email I send, I’ll show how you can join the Incubator.
P.S. – To make sure you get results I may limit the number of people I initially open the Incubator up to so that I have enough time to give feedback on people’s ideas. So, if you’re interested in being part of the Incubator, keep your eyes out for the next email.
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17 Responses to “Play The Lottery, or Calculate EV?”
Ready for the Incubator.
Let me ask you this…
I know for a fact that my idea is a six or seven figure biz because there are scores of pp doing it. My question would be, how could MY business in that niche stand out so I too could make six or seven figures?
And that’s not what “The Incubator” is, right?
That’s one of the main things I’ll be helping you with in the Incubator- to determine how to differentiate yourself from the market to make sure you actually have an idea worth X, or if you need to go back to the drawing board with it to get it to the point you’d like.
Very much interested in Incubator and EV. Best communities are private and get’s good feedback usually.
Okay.. well, it sounds interesting. Can’t wait to see full details.
Hey Billy, cool to see my comment on this post.
Is the Incubator only for new business ideas? Or can it work for overhauling and turning an existing business around?
For both- if you have a current project you’re wanting to take through, going through the process in the Incubator will help see where the issue is, so you can either realize it’s a fixable problem, and fix it, or that the idea isn’t going to work and save the time/money to invest in a better idea.
Also, like I mentioned in one of the previous posts you’re able to take through as many ideas as you want. That’s why the Incubator is set up the way it is, so you keep taking ideas through until you have one that works, with a process to follow to help make everything easier as you go.
Yes i also glued myself to the principle ‘Plan the work and then Work the plan ‘ but WORK confussion still exists ……
Let’s change that Suresh!
What you describe in the beginning of this article is exactly how i feel.
Im looking forward to the incubator as well, i hope it will be affordable (a non US citizen here 😉 ).
I wonder if its possible to use EV in other areas of life as well, not necessarily business related.
Very excited for the incubator. I’m interested in diving a little deeper into EV. I understand the theory of it, but struggle to figure out what numbers to plug in, especially when it comes to determining thr chance of success.
I’ll be waiting for that next email!
Understanding the variables to plug in to enable you to calculate the EV was the toughest part for me too. Once you have the variables it’s easy. That’s where the work comes in, and what I’m going to help you with.
I’m with you on this! I have applied EV but basically got all of the values wrong because I didn’t understand the depth of what I was getting into vs where I was. Luckily I’m happy with the resulting decision, since I’ve learned a ton, but I’m looking forward to learning much more about those pesky EV variables!
Will be on the look out! Can’t wait!
I’m up for this, seems so many ways to tackle sales, with so many pitfalls. This seems credible.
Thanks Billy Sir….. Actually whenever i have started a business it runs in a zigzag manner, touching best heights of my performance plus output graph then suddenly it falls profound into the ground …… yeah i always jot down the cause of all ups and downs i work so hard but success never boomerangs ……. now situation is such that i am running out ________ hope you understand . I am waiting eagerly for the incubator…
I’m very excited about the Incubator 🙂
I want to get clear on finding the successful business idea with high EV.
Looking forward to the upcoming post!