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  2. Eriko Nakamura – Naaande ? Summary: Eriko Nakamura is a famous Japanese woman who married a French guy and moved to France. In this booklet, she outlines all the cultural differences that make Japanese people say "Nââââândé??!" in France. --------- Japanese people coming to Paris experience the Paris Syndrome and become crazy. It’s dirty and people are in a bad mood. When anything goes wrong, the Japanese will start blaming himself, while the Parisien will accuse the other one. Japanese people feel guilty and hat they did something wrong when the Parisian waitress ignores them or the taxi drivers complains that he missed a street. A few things that shock Japanese people in Paris: people who blow their nose loudly, arrive late without apologizing, through their cigarette butts from their balcony Eating out French people invite each other at home and spend the evening fighting about politics. If you arrive on time, it is considered rude. It’s polite for French people to be half an hour late. They eat very late and seem more interested in fighting than in the food, including women. This is especially true during political campaigns and before elections. In Japan, they would be afraid of disagreeing and making other people upset, whereas it seems it was the goal that French people were seeking. Even those who stay quiet get their opinion asked and get interrupted before they can finish. French people start with appetizers, then the dish, then another dish, then salad and cheese, then dessert, then coffee then digestive alcohol, while moving from the kitchen to the living room twice. Meeting someone In Japan, it’s a big faux pas of being a single minute late. French people arrive at least 10 minutes late and don’t apologize. Japanese people have everything planned. If they say you will have three minutes to speak from 4.47 to 4.50 pm, they will be on time. French people seldom start meetings on time; you usually have to wait in the corridor, nobody pays attention to you. Most meetings are not planned and end up with the conclusion that people need to meet again. Japanese people hand out business cards first thing, take it with both hands and read it for a while and puts it on the table. French people might take notes on it. The subway French people often give their seats to older or pregnant women and help you carry your stroller up the stairs. In Japan people don’t do those things, and women get groped on the subway. French people have musicians on their subway, Japanese people line up very neatly in front of the doors. Tokyo is so big that the subway was made to be comfortable, it is clean and has AC. It is never late, Japanese people can plan for their transfer by the minute. They won’t speak loudly, eat or put on make-up. Men might read an erotic manga, though. Parisians don’t read or use their phone, they just wait for their stop, look sad, get disturbed by beggars with sob-stories and crackheads yelling about the president. Shopping French clerks can chew gum and speak loudly to each other about their personal problems while scanning your items. And you need to bag your groceries yourself. Japanese clerks bag them very delicately, wear gloves and never touch your items if they touch money. When a new line opens, French people will rush in while Japanese will stand in line. French butchers are like nobles, they have lots and lots of meat. In Japan, roosters and hens were seen as messengers from shintô gods and couldn’t be eaten. Each dynasty would start with a ban on meat. During Edô (1615-1868), butchers were shun from society. Their shops (kemonoya) were in the outskirts. Even today, Japanese people don’t eat a lot of meat. Department stores You get greeted by irrashaimase, employees rush to help you, there are toilets for kids, terraces where you can have a drink and keep an eye on them. It’s generally very enjoyable to spend time there. Everything is always clean and ready from the first minute. In France, if you arrive at the opening you will see employees still preparing the shop and putting on some makeup, cleaning up, talking to each other. In the evening, they are reluctant to help you, will flat out ignore you, speak rudely and snatch things out of your hands. In Japan, if the CD you buy doesn’t work, they will apologize profusely, give you a new one and the store manager will come and meet you at your company to offer you another one personally. French people don’t mind changing clothes outside of changing rooms. Japanese people would never do this. Wedding Japanese weddings are very codified, there is a time for everything and the ceremony is very meticulously planned. There is an MC called chikai. The program has been rehearse by the newlyweds several times. It is either from 11 to 3 pm or 5 pm to 9. Everything is on time by the minute. Gifts are forbidden, so everyone gives money. The bride’s gown is a rental. In France, the newlyweds’ friends show vacation pictures, make sexy jokes, the parents give speeches with jokes where only their table laughs. The bride’s gown is bought. It’s messier but more fun. Policemen In France, policemen are so tactless they had to receive training for not inflicting a second trauma to Japanese victims. The Japanese kôban’s main task is to give directions to lost travelers. They can lend you money to get back home if you lose your wallet with the promise they give it back in 2 days. If there is anything happening in your building, they will knock on every door, apologize and thank you for your cooperation. They don’t carry weapons. The okami have very good reputation in Japan. They are always helpful and polite. In France there are lots of documents to file in, you have to keep them and if you have any question, you will rarely find two employees who give you the same answer. Strikes When Japanese subway employees strike, they do it from 5 to 7 am, wear a black armband and start work again at 7 am so as not to inconvenience travelers. In France, everybody goes on strikes: Air France, the subway company, the train company, the electricity company, the welfare, the post offices, the radios, museums, nurses, doctors, lorry drivers, txi drivers, teachers, highschoolers, students, lawyers and even soccer players. And they try to inconvenience as many people as possible by doing it during the end of year, holidays and peak seasons. They do it loudly and take the whole road. In Japan, they do it quietly and take only a part of the sidewalk. France is a country of rights, Japan is a country of duties. As Kennedy said: Do not ask what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country. In France they even do pre-emptive strikes to “protect the public service”. If they wanted to do this, Japanese people would work twice harder to show everyone how well they can help things go. Workers unions who call for strikes in the public sector can be jailed for up to three years. Restaurants As soon as you walk in, a waiter yells ohayôgozaimasu, another one brings you water and says ohio geosimasu. In France, they approach you with “what will you get?” and might slam the bill on the table as soon as you order. They don’t apologize it they spill something, clean it up in front of you, whereas the Japanese waiter would apologize profusely, and bring you another clean cup of coffee. In Japan they are polite but they might charge you more if you don’t come often. It’s like a gaijin tax. But you can eat for cheap, they bring you a hot towel and a fresh one. But Japanese people slurp their noodles and eat very fast whereas French people always take the time to relax on a terrace, enjoy their time and go slowly, as if they weren’t working in the afternoon. Taxis In Tokyo, you can hail a cab and get one any time of the day or night. They are always clean, say irasshaimase and drive you carefuly, without trying to rip you off. French cab drivers can be on the phone loudly, listen to the radio and try to make a quick buck off you. If you protest, they tell you you should have taken the subway instead. In Japan, cab drivers have fixed salaries so they wouldn’t try to rip you off. In France, they might refuse you if the fare is too small and if you don’t go in their direction. TV Japanese TV has talentos – people who make silly jokes. It’s always the same stupid, repetitive jokes that French people don’t laugh about. But the Japanese are super shocked to see naked women and couples about to bang in ads for cheese and banks in France. Weekends French people like to ask each other their plans for the weekends. They like to go out with friends, go to the their second home in the countryside dressed in casual clothes. Japanese people spend the weekend at home, maybe go shopping but stay with their family. The only time they go to the countryside is during the golden week. Children Preschool is awesome for Japanese kids. But as soon as they turn six, they already have a competition to get into the best primary schools (shôgakkô). Each week, a group of students is in charge of erasing the board, prepare the gym room and take attendance. Everyone takes part in cultural, sports and artistic events, dressed in uniforms. They go to evening classes and very seldom go to friends’ houses or birthday parties. Kids have a lot of pressure and learn good manners very early, stay very well-behaved around their family or their parents’ friends. French kids talk back to their parents like they were friends, say “shut up” to them. Parents take it and minimize it, saying “it’s the age they behave stupid like that”, let kids play loudly when everyone is sleeping in the early morning and do not scold them when they loudly complain that the waiter brought them subpar fries. But Japanese people don’t make kids anymore. Hiring a nanny is just too expensive. Nightclubs In Paris, buildings are either houses or offices, by law. So it's all quiet at night. But in Tokyo, there can be different kinds of businesses in the same building, like a nightclub, an office and a restaurant. There are plenty of neon lights on buildings. At 6 pm, salarymen swarm out and are accepted everywhere, whereas Parisians have to face a bouncer who gets to decide who can walk in. And once inside, they don’t even have fun – French people spend their nights looking at each other, talking and picking up girls, even by talking about their job. Japanese people tell apart the ke (daily life) and hare (non-daily). Even in suits and costumes, Japanese salarymen can have lots of fun. Even when they are drunk, they are not violent. In Ginza, classy hostesses put back drunk guys in taxis, always smiling and saying okiosukete, matta irashitekudasai. Looks In France, nobody wants to look like their neighbor. They all want to look different. Japanese women all want to dress the same. Magazines are like catalogs full of “uniforms” for work, weekends, dinner with the husband, etc. French magazines are more to help each woman find her unique look. In Japan, from the Prime Minister’s wife to the janitor, every woman will want to buy the same Louis Vuitton bag. They have a taste for equality and conformism. No head should stick out. The ones who stick out are teenagers: cosplayers in Harajuku and their kawaii attitude to look like little girls. Japanese men love these women who look like little girls. Some girls go from Sweet Lolita to Gothic Lolita, Wa Lolita (traditional Japanese), Fruit Lolita, Cyber Lolita, Country Lolita, Horror Lolita, Punk Lolita, Industrial Lolita and finally stay-at-home mom. Cars Parisians have a 75 in their license plate and use it to judge other drivers. France has so many roundabouts. They push cars around them when they want to park. Paris is small and parking spots are rare. Sidewalks Japanese sidewalks are pristine. French sidewalks are cluttered with dog poop, old chewing-gums, cigarette butts and dirty papers. In Japan, escalators and lifts actually work, all the time. People do not litter, except on Hanami where everyone does it, once a year. Citizens clean up streets. In Paris, only building caretakers sweep, and only do it in front of their door. In Paris, a group of Japanese people called Green Bird now sweep the streets and clean up around touristic places. When French people walk in dog poop, they minimize the issue and say it’s lucky to step on it with your left foot. Toilets In Tokyo there are public toilets everywhere and they are free. In Paris, when you go to a theater, you have to line up to go to the toilets as there aren’t enough for everyone, which is pretty embarrassing. Once inside, girls speak loudly from one stall to another one and slam doors. You might want to go to a pub to use their toilets but they will make you understand that you need to be a customer to use them. Then they still might be clogged, reek of urine with toilet paper and cigarette butts lying around the floor, when the toilets aren’t closed for renovation. French toilets in bars or restaurants also have a timer that turns the light off. Japanese people don’t have this as everyone turns the light off when they leave. In Japan there are no janitors in schools. Kids sweep their own classroom, clean the toilets every other week. If your class does a poor job, you can bet the other class is going to leave you a dirty toilet when it’s their turn to clean it up. So they learn to clean up well. In 2004, Japanese homes had more electronic toilets than computers. They diffuse music as Japanese women would be horrified if someone heard them, which is why they keep flushing the toilet in France. And the toilet paper in France is way too hard. Japanese toilet paper is incredibly refined and smooth. Japanese people go to France with their own TP. Make-up French people want to tan, Japanese women want to stay as white as possible. Since the Heian period (795-1185), women must be super white. They want to have their skin as smooth and perfect as possible. Women need to have makeup at work. They spend at least half an hour a day preparing for work. French women do not hide the imperfections of their skin, their freckles or beauty marks. They just wear a bit of lipstick. But they often do not really cleanse. The average Japanese woman uses around 5 different lotions to remove her makeup. New Year’s Eve In France, people always gather for the New Year, eat with friends, do the countdown and kiss each other on both cheeks. Japanese people stay home, change the paper of the shoji (Japanese doors), replace broken objects, air up their tatami and pay their debts before the omisoka. (New Year’s Eve). It’s impossible for them not to have some omochi, chewy rice paste and toshiko-soba, some soup with noodles that are called kake – “debts” that you have paid. In Japan, Christmas is like a Valentine’s Day, you are supposed to have a date on that day. Doctors In Japan, you are very well-treated. The staff welcomes you as soon as you walk in, the doctor is on time, he doesn’t press you, tries to make you feel better about your general state and you go home with a small package his assistant made for you, with the precise number of pills that you need to take. If you have to undress, you go behind a yukata and a female assistant is always present. In France, you need to call and wait for at least three days before they can take you in. You arrive in a gloomy place with nobody to welcome you, and have to sit and wait for half an hour with a pile of old magazines. The doctor greets you with “Our turn” and asks you to undress even if he is alone with you. That would be a national scandal in Japan – both the doc and the patient would commit suicide. He interrupts the visitation to take a call and speaks out loud, scribbles a bill and says “30 euros” and no other polite word. You have to go to the pharmacy get the medicine yourself and you find out that he prescribed way more pills than you need. Hotels Both ryokan and love hotels can count on very attentive staff. In love hotels, the way in and out are different, everything is made so that you don’t run into anyone you might know. They cover up your car plate in the parking lot where they have reserved a spot for you. Even in small hotels, they will take your luggage. In France you might arrive early and be asked to wait for 3 hours. The computer doesn’t work so the employee tells you he can’t do anything before the boss arrives, while watching a soccer game on TV. He might refuse to let you leave your luggage in the hall in the meantime. The boss might scold him in front of you. You need to ask for help if you need someone to carry your luggage, and the guy who does that will moan at every step. In France, they have queen size beds. But Japanese couples prefer sleeping in separate beds, they sleep better this way. Sex In Japan, almost all men go to hostess bars. Lots of couples are sexless and it’s often because of the guy. He often doesn’t want to have sex with his wife and develops a fetish for erotic videogames, manga and highschoolers. They like lolicons – lolitas that look super young. You see them in every manga, every TV show. Lots of highschoolers sell their used panties. Japanese men often steal panties that are drying in the sun. On Valentine’s Day, the French husband offers lingerie to his wife. Couples Once married, a Japanese couple is nothing more than a couple of parents. They do not need to get along, they only need to be from the same social class, share the same values and agree on the children’s education. Lots of marriages are still arranged by professional matchmakers. French women, on the other side, would never accept that their husband comes back home super late every night and spends the weekend with his friends, customers or boss. No French woman would accept that their husband gets muted to the countryside and that he doesn’t offer her to tag along. But in Japan, it’s commonplace. Couple life is more of a contract than a love story. The husband goes to bars with friends while the wife stays home. Japanese women usually go out for lunch with friends while their husband gets his own takeaway noodles. Japanese husbands often struggle to find a gift that their wife will love; they do not know much about her. The French husband usually still expresses his love and says he finds his wife pretty. Japanese women are the ones managing the money and give their husbands an allowance. They seldom go out. When they are invited, their husbands are very seldom invited as well. French people would never invite someone without their significant other. In France, the couple is a unit. Not in Japan.
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  4. Yes, all 3 of them are not very specific and repeat each other a LOT. 80% of the text in each of these books could have been cut or summarized. Don't expect to get any specific advice though. Kiyosaki shows you a mindset more than a how-to recipe. I have also uploaded notes for Rich Dad Poor Dad btw. And I write my notes in such a way that you do not need to read the book.
  5. Awesome notes! I will put this book higher on my reading list ~ do you think that this book can be read before his other book Rich Dad, Poor Dad? I haven't read any of his books, wondering if I can read them out of order
  6. Cash Flow Quadrant, Robert Kiyosaki Lots of people are stuck in job they don’t like because they have mortgages to pay and kids going to college. They have lives they don’t like. CASHFLOW game teaches you to get out of the rat race. Many of us, especially A students, don’t act because of analysis paralysis. Our education punishes students for making mistakes – A students were the ones who made the fewest mistakes. But in the real world, people who take action are the ones who make the most mistakes and learn from them. Edison said “I did not make 1,014 mistakes. I found out what didn’t work 1,014 times” You need emotional education. Do not let fear stop you. Introduction A village needed water. They hired 2 contractors to get some. Ed would go and get water to the fountain twice a day. Bill disappeared for 6 months and came back with a team to build a pipeline. His water was cheaper and cleaner. Ed cut his price to compete and walked to the fountain more often. He hired people to walk to the fountain too but they started to unionize and protested. Bill developed pipelines to neighboring villages too. He lived happily ever after. Ed worked hard for the rest of his life and had financial problems forever after. The end. Do not work hard; work smart. Do not haul buckets, build a pipeline. Do not be employed or self-employed. Be an entrepreneur and an investor. Part 1: the Cashflow Quadrant 1. Why don’t you get a job? When Kiyosaki and his wife were homeless, people would ask them why they didn’t get a job. But they didn’t want job security, thy wanted financial freedom. Five years later, they were millionaires. Five years later again, they were financially free. The ESBI quadrant: a doctor could work in a hospital (E), work for himself (S), open his own clinic (B) or invest in someone else’s business (I). You can be rich or poor in all four quadrants. But B and I give you tax advantages and tax breaks. 2. Different quadrants, different people ES and BI people are different people at the core. While both have fears, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, they respond differently. Many people try to become business owners; when things don’t go smoothly and they start losing money, they don’t know what to do to solve the problems, so they go back to the quadrant they feel the most comfortable in. They choose security when BI people choose freedom. Changing quadrants means changing how you look at the world. Rich Dad had little education but he had the ability to bring together smart people and work as a team was one of his primary skills. If you listen to a person’s words, you can see into their souls. Employee words : I am looking for a safe job with good pay and benefits Self-employed words: My rate is 6% or 75 $ per hour I can’t find people who want to work and do the job right I’ve got more than 20 hours of work in this project Business owners words: I’m looking for a new president to run my company Investor words: Is my cash flow based on an internal rate of return or net rate of return? Words are tools A word like “risk” can excite an investor but scare an employee. Listen to the words people use to know who you are talking to. Core differences - The employee: wants security, certainty, strong agreements. He responds to fear by craving security. - The self-employed He is a do-it-yourselfer, wants to be his own boss, doesn’t like to have his income dependent on other people. Expects to be paid well for hard work. He responds to fear by taking control of the situation and doing it on his own. He wants to take the bull by the horns. He can be someone who spent years in school, like a doctor, a lawyer. He sometimes took additional education. He ca nbe a small business owner, like retails shopkeepers, consultants, car mechanics, carpenters, electricians and artists. They are often hard-core perfectionists. They don’t trust someone to dothings better than them. They are true artists with their own style and methods of doing things. This is also why we hire them, because they are perfectionists. They do not want money, they want independence, freedom to do things their way, and being respected as experts in their field. When hiring them, it’s better to tell them what you want done and let them alone to do it. They don’t need or want supervision. If you meddle too much, they will walk off the job and tell you to hire someone else. They want independence over money. They often have a hard time hiring other people. Since they often want to stay alone, they are sometimes reluctant to hire or train new people, because once trained, these new hires often end up as competition… which keeps the self-employed working even harder. - The business owner They are the opposite of the self-employed. They surround themselves with people from 4 categories. Unlike the self-employed, he loves to delegate. Ford was criticized for not knowing much. He challenged a panel of scientists to ask him lots of hard questions. He simply dialed his phone and called some of his assistants to answer. He’d rather leave smart people come up with answers so he could focus on his business. Leadership is the ability to bring out the best in people. The technical skills of business are easy. The hard part is working with people. The self-employed downs a job. If he leaves for a year, then he has no business left. The business owner owns a system and hires competent people to run it. To be a successful business owner requires ownership of control systems and the ability to lead people. Self-employed need to convert what they know into a system. Many prospective business owners say their product is better than competition, but that’s coming from the ES side. Lots of people can make a better burger than McDonalds but only McDonald’s has created the system that has served billions of burgers. Bill Gates didn’t make a great product. He bought a product and built a system around it. - The investor Their money is working for them. They don’t have to work. It’s in the I quadrant that money gets converted to wealth. Here, money works for you. Your retirement account is a form of investment, but it is not without risk and the rate of return will never make you financially free. Stockbrokers are not investors; they sell their time and work. They just trade. There is one way to find out how good your advisors are. Ask them what percentage or their income comes from commissions or fees versus the percentage that comes from passive income from their investments or other businesses they own. Most of them do not practice what they preach. Making money in the asset column instead of the income column allows to you pay little to no tax. The god news is risk can be virtually eliminated if you know the game. A true investor wants to recoup his money quickly. Before 1974, the company guaranteed you a steady amount of money as long as you lived. But after ERISA, you only got back what you and the company contributed. And you often lived longer than your pension. Whatever you and your employer put into the plan s not guaranteed to exist when you pull it out. This is because 401k and superannuation are subject to market forces. Today you can retire at 65 and run out of money at 75. Then what? Investing without being investors Too many people are dependent on the government to solve their individual problems. In 2020 there are 275 million Americans and 100 of them depend on government support. Promises won’t be kept. Because of that, many people in the E and S quadrants try to become investors to some extent and we start hearing words like: - Diversification: this is a word from people who do not like risk. But successful and rich investors do not diversify. “Put all your eggs in one basket and watch this basket closely” said Warren Buffet. The true investor welcomes volatility. - Blue chip stocks: in their mind, it’s safer. But the stock market is not. These stocks will not protect your money in a free fall - Mutual funds: people who know little about investing feel better giving their money to a fund manager. But that doesn’t mean it is less risky. Great economic upheavals coming Because millions of people who are security-minded are coming on the investment market, great changes are coming. We are at a moment of change. Some people will cling to ideas from the industrial age, while others will embrace the information age. Today we cannot put our future in the hands of the government anymore. It’s better to invest yourself. If you give your money to a mutual fund or an advisor, you might have to wait until you are 65 to find out if they did a good job. Learn to manage risk You will fall a few times but after a while it’s like riding a bike. It becomes second nature. Instead of avoiding risk, learn to manage it. People who take risks change the world. The idea of “study hard and find a safe job” is an idea from the industrial age. Many still think that the I quadrant is not their responsibility. 3. Why people choose security over freedom Every time Poor Dad got a promotion or a pay raise, he would also go up a tax bracket. Because taxes wre too high, his accountant told him to buy a bigger house so that he could write off the interest payments. Then his debt increased. The richer he got, the more he had to work just to keep up with the bills. He always thought that the next promotion would solve the problem. The more insecure he felt, the more he sought security. Your two biggest expenses Millions of people fall in the same money trap: every time they make more money, they also increase their two biggest expenses: taxes and interest on debt. Plus, the government often offers you tax breaks to get you deeper into debt. Going from job to job in search for freedom Many people spend their life in search for freedom and wind up going from job to job instead. Every 5 years they find the perfect job, that they hate 4 years later. They spend their whole life in the E quadrant. Doing your own thing The S quadrant is the hardest and the riskiest out there. Failure rates are high and being successful can be worse than failing. You will work harder than if you were in any of the other quadrants and you will work harder for a long time. They do everything, from answering the phone, to hiring and firing employees, filling in when employees don’t show up, talking to the tax man, fighting off government inspectors and so on. 9 out of 10 businesses fail within 5 years. 99% of small businesses disappear within 10 years. It’s often because of burnout and lack of energy. Those who survive only work in their life, end up working long hours in their store and end up prisoners of their own business. One year, Kiyosaki made 1 million in capital gains and was able to indefinitely defer paying those taxes. He sold three pieces of real estate and put them through a Section 1031 exchange under the US Internal Revenue Code. He never touched the money, he just reinvested it into a much larger property. No matter how much you make, you will feel more safe and confident if you make your money from two quadrants. Bill Gates did S and B (self –employed and set up a business). Kiyosaki knows some people who work in 2 quadrants: - a firefighter who works for the city government and works as professional investor on his free time - a firefighter who buys houses, fixes them up and collects rent. He owns 45 houses that pay him 10K$ a month net after debt, taxes, maintenance, management and insurance. - One who spends his time analyzing companies and taking major long-term positions in stocks and options. His portfolio is now 3 million $. If he cashed it out and moved the money into an investment that earns 10% per year, he would have an income of 300,000$ per year for life. Money alone does not bring security. It comes from being financially educated. The pattern for financial freedom The path Rich Dad recommended is business owner + investor. This is Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Warren Buffett. True investors make money also when the market crashes. They make their money because the non-investors are panicking and selling when they should be buying. You should not be afraid of the incoming economic changes, because change means wealth is being transferred. Your boss cannot make you rich Your boss’s goal is to sell the company or live off it. His job is not to make you rich but to give you a paycheck. When he sells it, if you have nothing more than the paycheck that he gave you, then you are no better off than on the first day of work. The only difference between a rich person and a poor person is what they do in their spare time. When you work hard, work hard. But remember that what you with your paycheck and your spare time will determine your future. If you work hard on the left side (S and E), you will work forever. If you work hard on the right side (B and I), you have a chance of finding freedom. Kiyosaki suggests doing B and I. Start the business, it will give you experience and excess cash so you can become an I. 4. The three kinds of business systems Your goal is to own a system and have people work that system for you 1. Traditional C corporations: where you develop your own system 2. Franchises: where you buy an existing system 3. Network marketing: where you buy into and become part of an existing system You may build 2 or 3 companies before you build one that lasts. Franchises are for people who do not want to build or do not know how to build their own systems. Often people get stuck being self-employed on their journey to the business quadrant. This is primarily because they do not develop a strong-enough system and end up becoming an integral part of the system. Successful business owners develop a system that will run without their involvement. When things go wrong it’s that either the system of the people have a problem. There are three ways you can make it to the business side quickly: 1. Find a mentor They are successful at doing what you want to do. Do not find an advisor, they have not done it themselves. Advisors are in the S quadrant. Don’t be a manager, be a leader. Leaders direct people who are smarter than them. To learn about all the systems necessary in a big company, you will need to spend 10 to 15 years and learn all the different aspects of business. Even with a mentor, this is labor intensive. Creating your own system requires lots of trial and error, upfront legal costs and paperwork. All of this occurs at the same time you are trying to develop your people. 2. Buy a franchise You are buying a tried and proven operating system. This way you can focus on developing your own people. Buying the system removes one big variable when you are learning to be a business owner. Many banks will loan money for a franchise because they recognize the importance of systems and how starting with a good system lowers their risk. Be careful, if you buy the system then you have to do it their way, not your way. It’s tough for self-employed mindsets. Banks do not lend money to people without systems Many people do not understand the difference between a product and a system. Just because you can sing does not mean you understand the systems of marketing, finance, accounting, sales, human resources and others. A human body and an airplane are a system of systems. If only one subsystem fails, the whole thing crashes. It’s the same in business. All subsystems should be working. If banks only lend to tried-and-true systems and the person who is going to run them, then you should do the same if you want to be a smart investor 3. Get involved in network marketing Also called multi-level marketing or direct distribution systems. You pay an entry fee of 200$, you can buy an existing system and immediately start building your business. Lots of paperwork, order processing, distribution, accounting and follow-up are automated and managed by the network marketing software systems. You can focus on the business Some MLM just want you to sell the product to your friends and family, while others truly want to educate you and help you succeed. To succeed, you must overcome what people think of you and learn to lead people. It’s the hardest thing in business to work with different kinds of people. The ability to get along with and inspire people is a priceless skill, a skill that can be learned. It is better to endorse a franchise that want to develop you as a human being rather than turning you into a salesperson. The best organizations: - Are proven, with a successful track record, a distribution system and a compensation plan that have been successful for years. - Have a business opportunity you can succeed in, believe in, and share confidently with others - Have ongoing, long-term educational programs to develop you as a human being. Self-confidence is paramount. - Have a strong mentor program. You want to learn from leaders, not advisors. You want to learn from people who are already leaders and are on the right side - Have people you respect and enjoy being with If the organization has the 5 criteria, then and only then look at the product. Too many people look at the product instead of the business system and the organization behind the product. Some say “the product sells itself”; this is indeed important if you are looking for be a self-employed salesperson. But if you are developing a long-term business, then the system, lifelong education and the people are more important. With a good franchise, you get a good system and you focus on developing your people. 5. The five levels of investors Those who do not invest: - Work hard all their lives - Worry about money all their lives - Depend on others, family, company pension, the government - Have boundaries of their lives defined by money - Will not know what true freedom is There are many ways to financial freedom: real estate, dividends, interest (via bonds), oil, books, royalties (via patents). Many people just give their money to brokers or financial planners who are also in the E or S quadrant. “Wall Street is the only place that people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from those taking the subway”, said Warren Buffett. In Australia, 401k is called a superannuation plan. In Canada it’s RRSP. In all cases, it is the worst thing to invest in: - The 401k company makes money even if you lose money: they take 80% of the profit - You get taxed at 35% vs 15% for long-term capital gains - You must pay 10% to take your money out early - You have no insurance if the market crashes vs fire insurance when you invest in real estate - It’s for people who plan to be poor when they retire Real investors do not park their money. They move it, acquire new assets and move on to acquire more assets. Only amateurs park their money. 401k are too expensive, too risky, too tax-inefficient and unfair to the investor. There are better ways to invest but you need financial education. What is the best investment? The average investor invests for capital gains and prays that the price of their stock or real estate will go up. But a good investment is when you have more cash flowing in than out. It’s not the asset that makes you rich or poor. Real estate is a good investment only if you are a good investor. Same for stocks. “When people ask me ‘Is real estate a good investment’, I answer ‘I don’t know, are you a good investor?’” says Kiyosaki. Most brokers and advisors are salespeople who get paid whether the investor makes or loses money. The 5 different levels of investors 1. Zero-financial level They have nothing to invest. They have nothing, or spend as much as they earn. That’s 50% of the US population. Many people look rich but are poorer than most poor people. They end up in debt or homeless as soon as the market crashes. 2. The savers-are-losers level Since 1971 and Nixon, the US can print money at the speed of light. The money you save is counterfeit. Savers are the biggest losers. Since 1971, the US dollars has lost 95% of its value compared to gold. In 1971, gold was 35$ an ounce. Four years later it was 1,400$ an ounce. Now it is 1,700$ per ounce. The problem grows at the national debt escalates and the US continues to print more counterfeit money. Bonds is another words for savings. There are: US treasury bonds, corporate bonds, municipal bonds and junk bonds. For years, it was assumed that bonds were safe. During the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007, bankers repackaged subprime loans into bonds, magically got this subprime bond labeled as “prime” and sold them to institutions, banks, governments and individual investors. Interestingly, it was Moody’s, Warren Buffett’s firm, that blessed this subprime mortgages as AAA prime debt, the highest rating for bonds. Today many countries like Ireland and Greece are unable to pay the interest on their bonds. Bonds are clearly very unsafe. And they could return less than inflation. China could be the biggest loser of all. They have 1 trillion in US bonds. Every time the US government prints money, its value decreases. The day China stops buying US government bonds, the world economy will stop and crash. Many retirees are like China; they need steady income after retirement and they believed US bonds were safe. And they are realizing those who saved money in bonds are losers. Municipal bonds are IOUs issues by cities, hospitals, schools and public institutions. They are tax-free income. But not risk-free. 3 trillion $ were invested in municipal bonds in the US. But two thirds of them are at risk now because these institutions are broke. Unless more money is pumped in, many hospitals, schools, cities and states are going to default and stop paying their bonds, like subprime homeowners stopped paying on their home mortgages. The bond market is the biggest in the world, bigger than the stocks market or real estate market. This is because most people are savers. But that means most people are also losers, especially after 1971. Remember professional investors do not park their money; they move it in an asset, get their money back without selling the asset and move their money to buy bigger assets. 3. The I’m-too-busy level They prefer remaining financially naïve. They hand their money to experts and pray he does a good job. In 2007 many people realized their expert was not an expert, and couldn’t be trusted at all. The stock market is a Ponzi scheme; so is social security. It works as long as new money flows in. 4. The I’m-a-professional level He is in the S quadrant investing in the I quadrant. Many retirees do this. They invest in stocks themselves without a broker. They buy, fix and manage their own properties. They buy and store their own gold and silver. When they take a course, it is often on a very narrow area, like stock trading or small real estate investing. Rich Dad said this should be what you spend your life learning: With sound financial education, level-4 will move on to level-5. 5. The Capitalist level This is the richest people in the world. He is a business owner from the B quadrant investing in the I quadrant. Differences with the level-4 investor: - The level-4 is in the S quadrant, whereas the level-5 is in the B quadrant - The S-quadrant uses his own money, the B-quadrant uses other people’s money to invest - The S-quadrant is a solo investor. The B-quadrant has a smart team. - The S-quadrant earns less and pays higher taxes - It’s harder for the S-quadrant to raise money - It is easier or the B-quadrant to raise money: it can sell shares on the stock market. If Facebook had remained a small web-consulting firm, it would have been difficult to raise investor capital. If McDonald’s had remained just a single hamburger store, an S-quadrant operation, nobody would have invested in it. Once McDonald’s started expanding in the B quadrant via a franchise system and was listed on the stock exchange, money poured in. The reason a business sells shares is because the more they share, the more the entrepreneur becomes. An S-business is too small to share. Kiyosaki: “In real estate, the same is true. When I was a small real estate investor investing in single-family homes, condos and small4-to-30 unit apartment buildings, it was difficult getting loans. The moment Kim and I began investing in apartment buildings with over 100 units, banks were more willing to lend us much more money. The reason? On 100-unit-plus properties priced in the millions, banks do not finance the investor. They finance the investment. In other words, on properties with over 100 units, banks look more closely at the investment than the investor. On top of that, banks would rather lend 10 million $ than 10 thousand $. Once bankers are satisfied with our ability to own and manage large apartment houses profitably, banks often line up to offer us money, even during a crisis.” So where do lvel-5 investors get their money from? Answer: they get it from level-2 and level-3 investors who save their money in banks and pension plans. Starting with nothing A true capitalist never has money, he only uses other people’s money. Kiyosaki started by buying a property using 100% debt. In 2007, when the stock market and real estate markets crashed, banks were more eager to lend him millions of dollars to buy and take over their investments gone bad. In 2010 alone, he acquired 87 million$ in real estate, using loans from the banks and pension funds. A true investor makes money no matter the market condition. Where are you? Are you an investor level 1? If you have nothing then yes. If you have bad debt, then get out of it. Kiyosaki wrote a book called How we got out of bad debt If you are at investor level 2 Be careful if you are saving money in a bank or in a retirement plan. Generally, savers are losers. It’s a strategy for those who do not want to learn. Remember the US dollar lost 95% of its value since 1971. You can even lose money saving gold if you buy it at the wrong price. Take a few course on investing, either in stocks or real estate. Remember that bonds is the biggest market in the world because people and businesses are savers, not investors. If you are at level 3 Same as level 2, except that this level invests in riskier instruments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance and exchange-traded funds. If you are at level 4 The key to success is lifelong learning, great teachers, great coaches, and like-minded friends. These people take control of their lives, knowing mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow. If you are at level 5 The world has no borders. It’s easier than ever to be a capitalist in a world of plenty. Keep learning and keep giving. Remember to be generous. You need to give more to receive more. 6. You cannot see money with your eyes Before buying a property, you need to see: - The financial agreement - The market - The management - The risk factor - The cash flow - The corporate structuring - The tax laws Before making the deal, you need to ask yourself the following questions: - What do you figure your ROI to be? - How does this investment fit into your long-term financial strategy? - What vacancy factor are you using (for real estate)? - What is your cap rate? - Have you figured in management costs - What percentage rate if you use to compute repairs? - Did you know that the city just announced it will be tearing up the roads in that area and changing the traffic pattern, and a highway will run in front of your building? - If the market is going up, do you know why it is? Is it business economics or greed? - How long do you think the trend will continue? - What happens if the place doesn’t rent? - If it doesn’t, how long can you keep it afloat? 9 out of 10 investors buy because they hear a hot tip or make their decision based on what their eyes see. That’s why 9 out of 10 never make money, or just break even. You need to make the difference between good advice and bad advice. Most of the bad advice is handed out at home; that’s why poor people remain poor. Your advisors are only as smart as you If you are financially naïve, they will only give you low-yield, low risk investments. They have to do it, by law. They do not want to take the time ot educate you and will diversify your portfolio instead of focusing it. You need to do your part of getting educated if you want your advisor to be smart. Also, some bankers might lie, like by saying that your house is an asset. And they are not lying. Your mortgage is an asset… to them. Even if you pay your mortgage, your house is still a liability if it doesn’t generate income through positive cash flow. The government still taxes you property taxes if you own it. If you stop paying them, the government charges interest that rates from 10 to 50%. Then if an investor pays these property taxes for you, you owe them the taxes plus interest. If you don’t pay them, they get to take your house for just the money they put up. In most states, property taxes take priority in repayment, even before the bank’s mortgage. This way, you can buy houses you paid the taxes on for just a few thousand dollars. The definition of real estate After the agrarian age, the industrial age made power not based on land anymore. Monarchs started taxing peasants on their land, and created taxes on land ownership and mortgages. Today, land is still called real estate because it never really belongs to you; it belongs to the royals. Find out your real interest rate Example: You buy a 100K home: 20K down payment + 80K loan. Rate: 8% on 30 years. In 5 years, you pay 35K to the bank – 31K in interest and 4K only for debt reduction. At the end of the term, you actually paid 131K only in interest, which more than doubles the price of your home. And that does not include property tax and insurance on the loan. It’s like 160% interest. Industry average In the banking industry, 7 years is the average as the life expectancy for the mortgage. That means banks expect the average person to buy a new house or refinance ever 7 years. That means they expect their 80K back in 7 years + interest. The government gives you tax breaks on buying more expensive housing because it brings more property taxes for them. Your house stays an asset for the government: it brings the government money every year. What about savings? Yes, they are assets. But your savings and checkbook balance are a liability for the bank, because it has to pay you for it. You do not get a tax break for saving money because they banks do not want you to save money. They do not really need your money because for every 1$ in their bank, they can lend 10$. They like the fact that if you have an account with them, you are likely to borrow money from them though, and you will be paying 9% while they pay you 1% on your savings. The more people you are indebted to, the poorer you are The world takes from the poor, the weak and the financially uninformed. If you have too much debt, the world takes everything from you: your time, your work, your home, your life, your confidence, even your dignity if you let them. Money is debt The US dollar is an instrument of debt. Every dollar used to be backed by silver or gold, but it is now n IOU guaranteed to be paid by the taxpayers. It only works as long as the world has confidence in the American taxpayer to pay for this IOU called money. Under the Weimar Republic, that confidence disappeared. As an old woman was pushing a wheelbarrow full of marks to buy a loaf of bread, someone stole the wheelbarrow and lef the pile of worthless money all over the street. Today’s money is “fiat”; it cannot be converted in gold or silver. It only works as long as people have confidence in the government backing it. If you take on debt and risk, then you should be paid If you invest in property and lose money just because the salesman says it’s a good deal because the government will give you a tax break for losing money, then it’s bad. They are telling you to go into debt, take all the risks and pay for it. E and S people that’s a good idea, but B and I people don’t. The game of money is the game of debt. Everyone wants you to get into debt A banker will tell you to take on debt so the government can give you a tax break. Then a real estate agent will tell you to sign the papers even though you pay more than what the tenant is paying, so you are subsidizing their lease. You are losing twice. You must remember that money is made when you buy, not when you sell. A deal has to make economic sense in both good times and bad. Just because you hope for the house price to go up does not mean it is a good investment. If you take on debt personally, make sure it’s small. If it’s big, make sure someone else pays for it. Gold is an asset only if you buy it for less than you sell it for. Every time you hear “don’t worry , the government will give you a tax break” or “easy monthly payments”, then you know someone is luring you into the game. Don’t fall for it. Part 2: Bringing out the best in you 7. Becoming who you are “When a person feels the need for money,” rich dad explained, “an E will automatically look for a job, an S often will do something alone, a B will create or buy a system that produces money, and an I will look for an opportunity to invest in an asset that produces more money. If you can’t read numbers, then you must take someone else’s opinion,” said rich dad. “In the case of buying a house, your dad just blindly accepts your banker’s opinion that his house is an asset.” Once you better understand the right side, you’ll begin to see the differences more clearly. Most people don’t even know there is a difference. They just assume that everything is risky, and they pay for it. But as the years go on and you become more comfortable with your experience and education on the right side, your vision will improve and you will begin to see what people on the left side cannot see. And you will understand why seeking security to avoid risk is the riskiest thing you can do. You’ll develop your own financial vision and not have to accept other people’s opinions. You’ll be able to see for yourself and know the difference between financial facts and financial opinions.” 8. How do I get rich? Four green houses, one red hotel When the real estate market was really bad, we bought as many small houses as we could with the limited money we had. When the market improved, we traded in the four green houses and bought a large red hotel. Or if you don’t like real estate, all you have to do is make hamburgers, build a business around that hamburger, and franchise it. Within a few years, the increasing cash flow will provide you with more money than you can spend. it makes no sense to me to give people a tax break to lose money and spend their lives in debt. Or to call your home an asset when it really is a liability that drains cash from you every day. Or to have a national government that spends more money than it collects in taxes. Or to send a child to school to study so they can get a good job, but not to teach that child anything about money. Do you want to be the kind of person who thinks buying four green houses and turning them in for one red hotel is easy? Or do you want to be the kind of person who thinks buying four green houses and turning them in for one red hotel is hard? Then she discussed investments: “Many people think that buying stocks or mutual funds will make them rich. But simply buying stocks, mutual funds, real estate, and bonds won’t make you rich. Just doing what professional investors do does not guarantee financial success. A person who has a loser mentality will always lose no matter what stock, bond, real estate, or mutual fund they buy.” A common goal people have is to find the perfect romantic partner, but according to the instructor, most people go about it all wrong. “So many people look everywhere for the perfect person, the person of their dreams. They look for the right person instead of working to become the right person. Perfectionism is the issue for people in the S-quadrant They want to do things perfectly, that is why they remain in the S quadrant. The real issue is that they need to be in control. This is the kind of people you should hire, like a dentist, because you want them to be perfectionist, like your attorney of your brain surgeon. The fear of losing money If fear keeps you prisoner in one of the financial quadrants, I recommend reading Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. In his book, Goleman explains the age-old puzzle of why people who do well in school do not always do well in the real world. His answer is that your emotional IQ is more powerful than your academic IQ After reading Goleman’s book, I came to realize that financial IQ is 90 percent emotional IQ and only 10 percent technical information about finance or money. The rational brain vs the emotional brain The problem with emotional thoughts is that they sound rational. If you use the word “feel” then it’s an emotional decision, like “I don’t feel like exercising today” or “the investment feels bad” Differences between B and I There is also constant tension between business owners and the investors in that business, often called the shareholders. One wants more capital, and the other wants greater dividends. A conversation at a shareholders meeting may sound like this: Company managers: “We need a private jet so our executives can get to their meetings faster.” Investors: “We need fewer executives. Then we won’t need a private jet.” Differences between S and B In business transactions, I often see a bright S, such as an attorney, put a multimillion-dollar deal together for a B, a business owner. When the transaction is completed, the attorney becomes silently angry because the B makes millions and the S earns an hourly wage. Their words may sound like this: The attorney, the S, might say: “We did all the work, and he made all the money.” The business owner, the B, might say: “How many hours did those guys bill us for? We could have bought the whole law firm for what they charged.” Differences between E and I Another example is a bank manager who gives an investor a loan to buy some real estate. The investor makes hundreds of thousands of tax-free dollars, and the banker gets a paycheck that is taxed heavily. The bank manager, the E, might say: “I give that guy a loan, and he doesn’t even say thank you. I don’t think he knows how hard we worked for him.” The investor, the I, might say: “Boy, those guys are picky. Look at all this useless paperwork we have to do just to get a lousy loan.” If You Are Married or in a Primary Relationship If you are married or in a primary relationship, circle the quadrant you generate the majority of your income from. Then circle the quadrant your spouse or partner generates income from. The reason I ask you to do this is that the discussion between partners is often difficult if one partner doesn’t understand where the other is coming from. Internal journey The process is much like learning to ride a bicycle. At first you fall down a lot. Often times it is frustrating and embarrassing, especially if your friends are watching. But after a while, the falling stops and riding becomes automatic. If you fall down again, it’s not that big of a deal because you now know that you can get up and ride again. The process is the same when going from an emotional mindset of job security to the emotional mindset of financial freedom. Once Kim and I made the crossing, we were less afraid of failing because we were confident in our ability to stand back up again The main reason so many people struggle financially isn’t because they lack a good education or are not hardworking. It is because they are afraid of losing. If the fear of losing stops them, they’ve already lost. Winners Cut Their Losers and Ride Their Winners Winners do not clingn to stock that is falling because they do not want to admit defeat. They do not sell as soon as the price goes up by fear of seeing it drop. Often, the moment they know they took a losing position, i.e., their stock price starts to go down instead of up, they will sell and take their losses. Most are not ashamed to say they took a loss, because a winner knows that losing is part of the process of winning. When they find a winner, they will ride it up as far as it can go. The moment they know the free ride is over and the price has peaked, they cut and sell. The key to being a great investor is to be neutral to winning and losing. Then you don’t have emotionally driven thoughts, such as fear and greed, doing your thinking for you Losers Do the Same Things in Life People who are afraid of losing do the same things in real life. We all know of: • People who stay in marriages where there is no longer any love • People who stay at dead-end jobs • People who hang on to old clothes and things they never use • People who stay in towns where they have no future • People who stay friends with people who hold them back The wisdom of risk There is a science to taking risks, especially financial risks. One of the best books I have read on the subject of money and risk management is Trading for a Living by Dr. Alexander Elder. Although it was written for people who professionally trade stocks and options, the wisdom of risk and risk management applies to all areas of money, money management, personal psychology, and investing. People on the left side think “play it safe” is a logical thought. It isn’t. And it’s the emotional thoughts that keep people stuck in one quadrant or the other. What people DO on the right side of the equation isn’t that hard. I’m sincere when I say that it’s as easy as buying four green houses for low prices, waiting until the market improves, selling them, and then buying a big red hotel. 9. Be the bank, not the banker The rich create money In times of panic and recession, opportunities are everywhere. People who panic do not seem them people in the B and I quadrants must also possess highly specialized technical skills. These include financial literacy, how to restructure debt, how to structure an offering, how to raise capital, understanding your market, and other learnable skills. When the RTC said, “We have a banker’s box for sale, and in it is property that used to be worth $20 million, but you can have it today for $4 million,” most E’s and S’s didn’t have a clue about how to raise the $4 million to buy the gift from financial heaven or know how to recognize the good deals from the bad. The period from 1986 to 1996 was, for some people, the worst time of their lives. For others, it was the best of times. When I received that phone call from my rich dad in 1986, I recognized the fantastic opportunity that this economic change presented me. Even though I did not have a lot of extra cash at the time, I was able to create assets by utilizing my skills as a B and an I. And money continues to flow from the left side to the right side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant, just as it always has. Many people are deeply in debt, yet they pour money into the stock market, often through their retirement plans. The B’s and I’s on the right side will sell at the top of the market, just when the last cautious people on the left side overcome their fear and enter the market. Something newsworthy will happen, the market will crash, and when the dust settles, the investors will move back in. They will buy back what they just sold. Again, we will have another great transfer of wealth from the left side to the right side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant Be the bank, not the banker In my opinion, people simply fail to realize that they are in this large global game, a virtual casino in the sky, but no one ever told them that they are important players in the game. The game is called “Who Is Indebted to Whom?” When I was in my mid-twenties, it dawned on me that the name of the game was to be the bank, but that didn’t mean to get a job as a banker. My advanced education was about to begin. It was during this period that my rich dad had me look up words like “mortgage,” “real estate,” and “finance.” I was beginning to train my mind to see what my eyes could not. He encouraged me to understand the game and, when I learned the game, I could do what I wanted with what I found. I decided to share my knowledge with anyone who was interested. He also had me read books on the great leaders of capitalism— people such as John D. Rockefeller, J. P. Morgan, and Henry Ford. One of the most important books I read was The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner. For people who want to operate on the B and I side, his book is a must-read After The Worldly Philosophers, I recommend reading The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin, Paul Zane Pilzer’s Unlimited Wealth, James Dale Davidson’s The Sovereign Individual, Robert Preacher’s The Crest of the Wave, and Harry Dent’s The Great Depression Ahead How to play the bank After the 1986 Tax Reform Act became law, there were opportunities everywhere. Real estate, stocks, and businesses were available for low prices. While it was devastating for many people on the left side, it was wonderful for me because I could utilize my skills as a B and I to take advantage of the opportunities around me. Instead of being greedy and chasing everything that looked like a good deal, I decided to focus on real estate. Why real estate? For these five simple reasons: 1. Pricing Mortgage payments were super cheap 2. Financing The banks wouldn’t give loans on stocks but on real estate they would accept. With 10K in real estate and a 90% loan, you could buy a 100K property. If stocks went 10%, you would just gain 1K, but with real estate you would gain 10K. 3 ;. If you made 1M in stocks, you would have to pay 30%. But with real estate, you could defer payment until the next purchase of property. Taxes could be rolled tax free until the next transaction. On top of that, you could depreciate the property for even bigger tax advantages. Important note: An investment must make economic sense outside of the tax benefit for me to invest in it. Any tax benefit only makes the investment more attractive 4. Cash flow Rents stayed high despite the turndown. 5. An opportunity to become a bank Real estate allowed me to become a bank, something I had wanted to do wince 1974. The rich create money Let’s say I find a house worth 100K and get a great deal and only pay 80K for it. I pay 10K down and a 70K mortgage. Next, I post an ad “House for sale. Owner desperate. No bank qualifying. Low down payment. Easy monthly payments.” The phone rings like crazy. The house is sold on what is called a “wrap” or a lease-purchase contract. In simple terms, I sell the house for a $100,000 IOU. This is what the transaction looks like: This transaction is then registered with a title and escrow office, which often handles the payments. If the person defaults on the $100,000, I simply foreclose and sell the property to the next person who wants a “low down payment, easy monthly payment” home to live in. People line up for the opportunity to buy a home on these terms. The net effect is that I have created $30,000 in my asset column for which I am paid interest, just like a bank gets paid interest for the loans it makes. I was beginning to be a bank, and I loved it. Remember that rich dad said, “Be careful when you take on debt. If you take on debt personally, make sure it’s small. If you take on large debt, make sure someone else is paying for it.” In the language of the B and I side, I “laid off” my risk, or “hedged” my risk to another buyer. That is the game in the world of finance. This type of transaction is done all over the world. Yet wherever I go, people come up to me and say those magic words: “You can’t do that here.” What most small investors fail to realize is that many large commercial buildings are bought and sold exactly in the manner described above. Sometimes they go through a bank, but many times they do not. Part 3: How to become a successful B and I A journey of a thousand miles begins with a baby step. Don’t suddenly decide to lose 20 pounds. You don’t need big steps but many, many steps. You eat an elephant one bite at a time. E and S’s have difficulty moving to the B and I side because they are afraid of making mistakes. They often say “I need more information” or “Can you recommend another book?”. Their self-doubt is keeping them trapped in their quadrant. You learn to ride a bicycle only by falling. People who become wealthy, regardless of where they live have 3 qualities: 1. They maintain a long-term vision and plan 2. They believe in delayed gratification 3. They use the power of compounding in their favor People who write their goals are more likely to achieve them. Instead of trying to be an overachiever, be an underachiever. Be content with small steps, because each of them moves you closer to your goals and dreams. You need to develop your financial and emotional intelligence. 10. Take baby steps The Seven Steps to finding your financial fast track 11. Step 1: it’s time to mind your own business We are programmed to mind everyone else’s business and ignore our own Most of us work hard to make someone else rich. Employees make bosses rich. Debtors make banks rich. Taxpayers make the government rich. Take action 1. Fill out your personal financial statement 2. Set financial goals – 5 years, and 1 year a. 5 years: I want a pass income of ___ and the following assets (real estate, stocks, businesses, commodities): ____ b. 1 year: I want to decrease my debt by ____ and increase my cash flow from my assets to ___ per month 12. Step 2: take control of your cash flow People who cannot control their cash flow work for those who can. More money will not solve your problems. Cash-flow management is the problem. Good debt is debt that someone else pays for you. For every liability, there is an asset. Your loan from the bank is a liability but an asset to the bank. Take action 1. Determine which quadrant you receive your income today 2. Determine which one you want to receive the bulk of your income from in 5 years 3. Begin your cash flow management plan: a. Pay yourself first Set aside a percentage of each payment you get and deposit it on an investment savings account. Never take it out until you are ready to invest it. b. Reduce your personal consumer debt 13. Step 3: know the difference between risk and risky Business and investing re not risky; being undereducated is. Financial literacy means training your mind to tell you which way the cash is flowing. Buying liabilities you have been told are assets if risky. Paying other people first is risky. Take action 1. Define risk in your own words a. Is relying on a paycheck risky to you? b. Is having debt to pay each month risky to you? c. Is owning an asset that generates cash flow each month risky to you? d. Is spending time to obtain financial education risky to you? e. Is spending time learning about different types of investment risky to you? 2. Commit ( hours of your time each week to one or more of the following: a. Read the business section of your newspaper and the Wall Street Journal b. Listen to the financial news on television or radio c. Read financial websites, magazines and newsletters d. Play the Cashflow game and join a Cashflow Club near you e. Attend education seminars on investing and financial education f. Consider hiring a coach to help you work through the process of becoming financially free 14. Step 4: decide what kind of investor you want to be Start small and learn to solve problems If you want to acquire great wealth quickly, take on great financial problems. There are three types of investors: some seek problems, some seek answers, some seek an expert to tell them what to do. You should interview several tax advisors, attorneys, stock brokers and real estate agents. Find advisors who practice what they preach and run away from those getting rich on commissions and fees alone. Start small and learn to solve problems. You will gain immense wealth as you become better and better at solving problems. If you want to acquire assets faster, you first need to learn the skills of the B and I quadrants. The best way is to build a business; it provides vital education, improves personal skills, provides cash flow and provides free time. You should get started quickly. In America and the world, there are two sets of rules: one for the rich and one for everyone else. The large tax breaks, incentives and payments go to the rich; and the middle class pays for them. For example, insufficient low-income housing is a political hot potato. To help solve it, cities, states and the federal government offers tax credits, tax breaks and subsidized rents to people who finance and build low-income housing. So, taxpayers subsidize rich people’s investments in housing. Find your fast track. To get on the financial fast track, become an expert at solving a certain type of problem. Do not diversify. Become an expert and people will come to you with their money. Bill Gates is an expert at solving software-marketing problems, Donald Trump is an expert at solving problems in real estate, and Warren Buffett is an expert at solving problems in business and the stock market, which in turn allows him to buy valuable stocks and manage a successful portfolio. George Soros is an expert at solving problems resulting from market volatility, which makes him an excellent hedge-fund manager. Rupert Murdock is an expert at solving the business problems of global television networks. Kiyosaki is an expert in solving apartment-related problems. If he wants to invest in other areas, he gives his money to people who have excellent track record in their field and who practice what they preach. Seek to solve bigger problems, because inside big problems lie huge financial opportunities. That is why Kiyosaki recommends building a business before investing. Take action 1. Get educated in investing Each week, do two of the following: A. Attend seminars and classes B. Look for For-Sale signs in your area. Call 3 or 4 per week. Ask the following questions: · Is it an investment property? · Is ti rented? · What is the current rent? · What is the vacancy rent? · What are the average rents in that area? · What are the maintenance costs? · Is there deferred maintenance? · Will the owner finance? · What types of financing terms are available? C. Meet with stockbrokers and listen to the companies they recommend for stock buys. Research these companies and consider opening a trading account and making some investments. D. Subscribe to investment newsletters and study them E. Read, attend seminars, watch financial TV programs and play Cashflow 2. Ged educated in business a. Meet with brokers to see which businesses are for sale in your area. It will teach you terminology b. Attend a network-marketing seminar to learn about its business system c. Attend business-opportunity conventions or trade expos in your area to see what franchises or business systems are available 15. Step 5: seek mentors A mentor is someone who tells you what is important and what isn’t. Professionals have coaches. Amateurs don’t. Take action 1. Seek mentors a. Seek out role models and reverse role models (who lost everything) 2. Who you spend your time with is your future. Write down the six people you spend the most time with a. Denis - S, I b. Martine – S, E c. Raphaelle - E d. Thibaut - S e. Irina - E f. Yueming - E 3. Write their quadrant after their name 4. Write their level as an investor a. Denis – Level 4 b. Martine – Level 1 c. Raphaelle – Level 2 d. Thibaut – Level 1 e. Irina – Level 1 f. Yueming – Level 1 16. Step 6: Make disappointment your strength Inside every disappointment lies a priceless gem of wisdom Prepare yourself to be disappointed. The reason there are few self-made rich people is because few people can tolerate disappointment. Instead of learning to face it, they spend their lives avoiding it. Expect to be disappointed. Only a fool expects everything to go the way they want. Have a mentor standing by. They are great for financial emergencies. Most people will not head down the street until all lights are green. That is why they don’t go anywhere. Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. That makes you too cautious when it comes to taking risks and adopting new ideas. Tell the truth. The size of your success is measure by the strength of your desire, the size of your dream and how you handle disappointment along the way. Take actions 1. Make mistakes. Losing is part of winning. E and S’s think losing is not acceptable. B and I know that this is how they learn 2. Start small. If you find an investment you want to invest it, put a little money down. You will learn way more this way. Don’t bet a lot, just a little money, pay attention and learn. 3. The key is to TAKE ACTION. You must start doing. a. Make offers on small real estate deals b. Join a network-marketing company c. Invest in stock after researching the company d. Seek advice from your mentor, financial or tax advisor 17. Step 7: The power of faith Trust that you have everything right now that you need to be successful financially. All it takes to bring out your natural gifts is your desire, determination and a deep faith that you have a genius and a gift that is unique. Take action. Believe in yourself and start today! 18. In summary Begin building pipelines of cash flow to support you and your family If you are not a long-term investor yet, map out a plan to get control of your spending habits. Have a long-term plan to put away a small amount of money regularly. Get ready to stop hauling water buckets and begin building pipelines of cash flow.
  7. Robert Kiyosaki – Guide to Investing Phase 1: Are you mentally prepared to be an investor? 1. What should I invest in? What is a good piece of advice for the average investor? à Don’t be average. 10% of the people own 90% of the stock. Never invest as an individual. Invest as a business. Most people buy, hold and pray.But a true investor makes money regardless of the market going up or down. Investing is not risky. Being out of control is risky. There are 4 types of people: ESBI. Employee -> self-employed -> Business owner -> investor Laws are for the rich. You have to use their laws. 10% of the people control 90% of the wealth because they know which laws to use. How can you be rich if you think 200K$ is a lot? It’s the minimum amount to qualify as an accredited investor. If you want to be rich, find out what everyone is doing and do the opposite. When they say Don’t take risks, take risks. When they say Diversify, focus When they say Minimize debt, increase debt in your favor When they say Decrease expenses, increase them to make yourself richer. When they say have a job, create jobs instead. The SEC protects poor people from bad investments, but also from the best ones. A sophisticated investor knows the 3Es: education, experience and excess cash. Many rich people and rick stars lose a lot of money, because they are accredited investors but not sophisticated investors. They may have lots of cash but no education or experience. Sophisticated investors invest in private placements, real estate syndication and limited partnerships, IPOs, pre-initial public offerings, subprime financing, MA, loans for startups, hedge funds. If you know what you are doing, these investments are actually pretty safe. Their ROI goes from 35% to 1,000%! 2. Pouring a foundation of wealth You build businesses so you can get into investments for the rich. Most investments are too expensive when you buy them as an employee. Employees and self-employed = Poor Dad. Business owners an investors = Rich Dad. 3. The choice What are your core values? Which comes first? 90% of people choose comfort and security over wealth. As for me, I choose to be: 1. Rich, then 2. Comfortable, then 3. Secure 4. What kind of world do you see? People stay poor or get rich and poor again because poverty and scarcity are the only way that they know. Competing for jobs or grades or promotions brings scarcity to your life. It is important to see that there are 2 kinds of money problems: not enough and too much. See the possibility of having too much money. 5. Why investing is confusing There are many investment products: Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, insurance, commodities, savings, collectibles, precious metals, hedge funds, and others. Stocks can be subdivided into: • Common stock • Preferred stock • Stocks with warrants • Small cap stock • Blue chip stock • Convertible stock • Technical stock • Industrial stock • and on and on and on Real estate can be subdivided into: • Single family • Commercial office • Commercial retail • Multifamily • Warehouse • Industrial • Raw land • Raw land to the curb • and on and on and on Insurance can be subdivided into: • Whole, term, variable life • Universal, variable universal • Blended (whole and term in one policy) • First, second, or last to die • Used for funding buy-sell agreement • Used for executive bonus and deferred compensation • Used for funding estate taxes • Used for non-qualified retirement benefits • and on and on and on There are several investment procedures: • Buy, hold, and pray (long) • Buy and sell (trade) • Sell, then buy (short) • Option buying and selling (trade) • Dollar cost averaging (long) • Brokering (trade no position) • Saving (collecting) No one is an expert at everything. Warren Buffet says “put all your eggs in one basket and watch this basket closely”. Since there are many kinds of investors, 2 might say contradicting things. 6. Investing is a plan, not a product or a procedure An investment vehicle is called so because it is designated to take you from point A to point B. To do so, you need a plan. And there are different vehicles for different people Buying a house, fixing it and selling it is not investing but trading, like buying and selling stocks. You need at least 4 or 5 vehicles to go from NYC to Hawaii (subway + plane + taxi, etc). It’s the same – you use them; you don’t need to own them or fall in love with them. And you need several of them. Many people focus on the vehicle (real estate, stock, etc) rather than the plan. Never start investing before you have a plan of where you want to go. Don’t build a house without drawing a plan first. A plan must be written and ready to be show, to somebody else. Meet a financial professional. 7. Are you planning to be rich or planning to be poor? Most people are planning to be poor. For example, by saying that it takes money to make money. In reality, it takes words. You need to learn financial words. Many people are poor because they view a liability as an asset (like a house). 8. Getting rich is automatic if you have a good plan and stick to it A first goal could be to learn one financial word a week. Stock selling is not investing. Many people get into it, make money and lose it again. Investing is not about risks, timing and hot tips. It’s a long, dull, boring and mechanical process. It’s like baking a cake. In Monopoly, you buy 4 green houses and trade them for a red hotel. Your strategy should be as easy as that. Most investors trust their personal experience or intuition more than real sets of data. And they prefer complex formulas to simple ones. Choose a strategy and stick to it until you reach your financial goal. See how the strategy works, not stocks. The longer the period of time for which you have data, the better your judgement. Find a formula that works and follow it. Buying at 5$ and selling at 30$ is NOT one. Your goal is to find a simple formula as part of your plan and stick to it until you reach your financial goal. 9. How can you find the plan that is right for you? Meet a financial advisor or coach. Develop a written financial plan. Insurance is a good start: insurance on life, insurance on fire. Do not suffer in silence. You need a team with : - A banker - An accountant - A lawyer - A broker - A bookkeeper - An insurance agent - A successful mentor Have lunch meetings with these people on a regular basis. Start with a simple plan, keep it simple and learn. 10. Decide now what you want to be when you grow up A. Start by writing a plan to be financially secure. It’s boring but it is necessary. It will take you around a month B. Now write a plan to be comfortable. It should be a lot more aggressive. It took Kiyosaki 4 months. Meet many advisors. Defining security is easy, but defining comfort is harder. Most people spend their lives mentally caged in financial ignorance. You need 3 plans: one to be secure, one to be comfortable and one to be rich. Most people only have a plan to be secure, like by using tenure. Or none. 11. Each plan has a price Realize that time has a price. A 500$ plane ticket is actually cheaper than the 100$ bus ride in terms of time. Buy time. For the third plan, you need to realize that you need to buy time. To be secure or comfortable, give your money to professional managers or institutions who invest on the long-term. Anyone can be a millionaire if they follow a long-term plan. Most people want to get rich quick or set up a business with no planning. Investing at the secure and comfortable levels should be a no-brainer; it should be as easy a following s simple formula. Usually, the safer the investment, the longer you need to wait for a ROI. 12. Why investing isn’t risky Most people are driving with their hands off the steering wheel. You need to be on the inside of deals, not outside. Ask yourself how close to the inside you are. To be secure or comfortable, just give your money to insiders. To be rich, you need to be inside. 13. On which side of the table do you want to sit? If you just work hard and save money, you will lose it to taxes and inflation. 14. Basic rules of investing There are 3 kinds of income: - Ordinary: that’s a paycheck - Portfolio: paper assets (stocks, bonds). They are the most popular because they are the easiest to manage and maintain - Passive: real estate, royalties from patents, license, You should always be building portfolio or passive income. A stock or piece of real estate are a security but they might not be an asset. Securities keep your money secure, but they might be liabilities. Tales of quick money only attract losers. There is no money to be made once you hear the story. Tales of woe and misery are where the bargains are. The security is not an asset. The investor is. That’s why the investor takes a liability and turns it into an asset. An investor is a repairman. Many people complain about the plot of land they failed to buy and whose value grew. They come from a place of scarcity. If you educate yourself on how to spot bargains, life-changing investments are everywhere. And you can take a bad deal and turn it into a good deal. A good investor has a plan whether the market goes up or down. If you choose to wait and see what happens and not sell, you predict yourself as being a bad investor. If you are educated and experienced, you will find a way to get on the deal. If it’s a good one, It will attract money. When an investor invests, he has 3Es: excess cash, education and experience. You invest in people; look at their past before giving them your money and take a piece of the business when you do. 15. Reduce risk through financial literacy Keep it simple; if somebody cannot explain the investment in 2 minutes, it’s probably bad. Most people think investing is risky. And these people indeed shouldn’t invest. You need control over yourself. A true investor makes money in either direction. 80% of the very rich have a business in investment. Poor people value money. Riche people value assets. Selling is a necessary skill. Learn to read a financial statement. Every human, every business, every asset has a financial statement. This is what you need to look at when trying to improve your business. The P/E ratio is useful but it is a number for outsiders. After examining the financial statement of the investment, overlay it on top of your personal financial statement. And see what happen if you borrow money and balance it with income. A good investor makes 1$ + 0.30$ bonus from the government. You need to redo your financial statement often. Your goal is to be financially independent at 45. If you are not, then you have failed. The only goal of investing is to turn income into passive income or portfolio income. When you marry somebody or buy an used car or home, you must know what is going on inside and have professionals do a checkup. But most people never do that with the companies they invest in. Reading a financial statement allows you to see opportunities others miss. Opportunities are found by knowing accounting, tax code, business law, corporate law. So keep an updated financial statement. 16. Financial literacy made simple Many people buy a liability and put it in the asset column. As asset brings cash flow to your pocket. Buying a house that is negatively geared (i.e when the government gives you a tax break on losses) is stupid. Do not invest to lose money. The law can change. It did in 1986 and those who were prepared for it made the millions that others lost. Also, you don’t know how much your “asset” will be worth in 10 years. Do not look at average numbers on the market. They are for average investors. An sophisticated wants control. Who are you making rich? You need to see 2 financial statements to have the whole picture. Your mortgage is the bank’s asset. To you, your house is a liability. Your savings are assets that are the bank’s liability. But your savings are taxed while your house purchase comes with a tax break. 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs dive in with little financial literacy and fail for this reason. They should take classes in accounting, finance and investing. Keep reading the financial statements of other businesses. If you do not know financial statements well, then investing is too risky for you. 17. The magic of mistakes In school, you get the lesson first. On the streets, you make the mistake first. By avoiding taking more risk, you avoid your weaknesses instead of confronting them. The biggest failures are people who never failed. “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” said Winston Churchill 18. What is the price of becoming rich? You need to be able to tell apart good debt and bad debt, good losses and bad losses, tax payments vs tax incentives, how to build a business, how to fix a business how to take a business public, the procs and the cons of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, insurance products, legal structures. Rich dad defined rich as having a 20% ROI, one million USD in income and 5 million in assets. 19. The 90/10 Riddle You do not need money to make money. You should create assets instead of buying them. If you do not have money, use things around you: paintings, inventions, songs, real estate, renting comic books. Most people will not find out if their investment plan was the good one until it is too late. Would finding a good job and investing 20K a year put you in the 10%? Not sure. It’s an average investor’s idea. A better investor makes assets without money. You can create assets instead of buying them: an invention, a patent, a painting, real estate, a business, or comic books that you can rent out. The idea of a job is from the industrial era when serfdom and slavery were abolished Phase 2: What type of investor do you want to become? 20. Solving the 90/10 riddle The formulate is to create an asset that buys other assets 21. Categories of investors The 10 investor controls you need to control: - Yourself - Your income-expense ratio and asset-liability ratios - Management of the investment - Taxes - When to buy or sell - Brokerage transactions - ETC: Entity, Timing, Characteristics - Terms and conditions of the agreement - Access to information - Giving it back, philanthropy There are 5 kinds of investors: Ø The accredited investor: earns lots and has high net worth He has 200K USD annual income or 1 million net worth. He is not necessarily educated. They are only 3% of the population. Which means 97% are in the rat race. Ø The qualified investor: knows fundamental and technical investing He is an outside investor who understand publicly traded stock. Ø The sophisticated investor: understand investing and the law He has the 3Es. He invests with a team of advisers. Ø The inside investor: creates the investment. He builds a successful business and will learn the skills needed to analyze companies from the outside. Ø The ultimate investor: becomes the selling shareholder He builds a successful business, which he sells to the public. If you have no money, start as an inside investor. Build a business and buy assets from it. Once you make 1 million, the next 10 million are easy. 22. The accredited investor He is only rich, that’s all. One way to true wealth through securities is through participating in the IPO of a company stock. 23. The qualified investor For example, professional stock traders. Thy know the difference between fundamental and technical investing. Ø Fundamental investing Fundamental investors look at the financial statement of a company, have an outlook on the economy, the industry and the direction of interest rates. Ø Technical investing Technical investors invest on the emotions of the market and with insurance from catastrophic loss.They look at supply and demand for stock. They don’t care about the internal operations, like your aunt who buys discounted items at the grocery store and sells them back to her neighbors. This is risky as a company can manipulate supply and demand by splitting the stock, diluting the pool with additional shares like buybacks or secondary offerings. And the market can suddenly change too. Many investors fail because they wait too long to invest. They are so afraid of losing that they wait for proof that the market is going up. As soon as they enter, the market peaks and crashes. That is when the qualified investor becomes really wealthy. Poor people create liabilities. Rich people create assets. You must know how to exit an investment. Have an exit strategy. Plan the divorce, because it’s more painful than the marriage. 50% of marriages end in divorce and 100% think that they will beat those odds. Keep in mind that when you are happy to buy shares or IPOs, there is someone who is happy to sell it to you, and who knows more about it than you. When you buy an asset, you should know when to sell it. The exit strategy is more important. Learn to exit with Cashflow 101 and 202. Qualified investors analyze a company both technically and fundamentally. They use the financial statement. The PE (price-earnings) ratio, also called market multiplier = (market price per share) / (net income per share). If it’s cheap, it’s a good bargain. The price reflects the market’s future expectation of earnings. You want a good PE ratio, but a good FUTURE ratio too. Compare the PE ratio of many years in a row. Compare it to other companies in the same industry. But look beyond that ratio. 24. The sophisticated investor He knows - Tax law - Corporate law - Securities law He uses the law as much as the investment product. He knows ETC: Entity, Timing, Characteristics - Entity = choice of the business structure Employees have no control over that. Self-employed choose between sole proprietorship, a partnership (which is the worst possible because you are entitled to your share of income but are responsible for all the risk), an S corporation, an LLC, an LLP and a C corporation. If you are an attorney, doctor, architect, dentist and choose the C corporation, your tax rate is 35% vs 15% that Kiyosaki pays because his business is a non-licensed professional-services business. A C-corporation is usually ideal. A sole proprietorship, a partnership and an S corporation are all a part of you. If there is a lawsuit, you are personally liable. A C corp is not part of you. That is good. You want to be as poor and penniless as possible on paper. Anything with your name on it is a target for predators and lawyers. The entity allows you to own nothing and keep control. Use insurance, trusts, limited partnerships and corporations. C corporations expose you to double taxation: a corporation is taxed on its income and then when it declares a dividend to its shareholders, they are taxed on the dividend. The same thing can occur when an improperly structured sale of a corporation occurs and a liquidity dividend is declared. The dividend is not deductible to the corporation, but is taxable to the shareholder. Therefore, that income is taxed at both the corporate and individual level. But Kiyosaki looks at the big picture: he grows businesses because he wants to sell them or take them public, not receive dividends. There is no taxation if no dividends are declared and profits are reinvested in the business. C corps give you maximum flexibility. The goal of making big businesses is to sell them or make them public, not receive dividends. Most big businesses are C corps. - Timing The rich want to control when they pay taxes. You can roll over your gain in investment real estate if you buy another property at a greater price. This allows you to defer paying taxes until the second property is sold, or you may choose to roll it over repeatedly, perhaps forever! C corps can choose a different year end, like June 30th. - Characteristics of income Investors control. Everybody else gambles. The game of money is the game of control. Passive and ortfolio income are not subjected to social insurance tax. Sophisticated investors know the difference between good debt and bad debt, good expenses and bad expenses, good losses and bad losses. Debt to acquire rental property is good. Paying for legal and tax advice is good. Depreciation from real estate is good loss, since it’s only paper loss. To be rich, you have to change your point of view on what is risky or safe. What the poor and middle class think is secure is actually risky. During a layoff, employees lose jobs but the share price goes up. Sophisticated investors see things that average investors don’t. 25. The inside investor He has 10% of shares or more in the corporation. Your goal should be to become an inside investor by building your own assets. Almost all good returns come from small microcaps under 25 million USD. They are hard to find for the average investors. Kiyosaki doesn’t buy stocks. Being an insider in real estate is more profitable and lower risk. The more controls you have over your investment, the less risky it is. 26. The ultimate investor Think Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson. They built giants and made them public. The advantages of IPOs: they allow you to get cash, pay debt, raise expansion capital, raise the company’s net worth and offer stock options to employees. The disadvantages: you are forced to disclose information to the public. An IPO is expensive, compliance is extensive, you lose some control and you can get sued by shareholders. 27. How to get rich slowly Rich people buy assets before they pay taxes. They pay income on net income, not gross income. Self-employed people pay 35% tax, or 50% with social security, when a business can pay 0%. 28. Keep your day job and still become rich Never take a job for money. Take a job only for the skills you will learn. If you cannot sell, you cannot be an entrepreneur. Never take a second job; build a part-time business instead. Some business skills you must learn: - Communication - Leadership - Team-building - Tax law - Corporate law - Securities law 29. The entrepreneurial spirit Wealth has not come from cautious investors. If you build a business, do not do it for 200K$. That’s too little for so much risk. Do it for millions and millions. You need several sources of income, and therefore several financial statements and corporations. You need the entrepreneurial mindset. It’s not about making money; it’s because it’s fun. You don’t ask a golf player when they are going to stop playing golf. Phase 3: How do you build a strong business? 30. Why build a business? As a business owner, you need to be right only once. You can keep your business, sell it or make it public. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need: - Vision: the ability to see what others can’t - Courage: to act despite tremendous doubt - Creativity: to think outside of the box - Thick skin: to withstand criticism - The ability to delay gratification 31. The B-I triangle Mission Rich dad had 10 businesses in different industries. Your business must have a spiritual mission, not just to make money. It should provide fire, drive and desire. Ford wanted to democratize the automobile. Your mission can be to provide jobs to the poor. Your mission allows the business to survive the first 5-10 years. Your mission should outlive you. Team Investing is a team sport. When you are an employee or self-employed, you play against a team. They are solo players. Business owners and investors are team players. Investing alone is super hard. Sophisticated investors have accountants, attorneys, brokers, financial advisors, insurance agents and bankers. They make a decision with their team’s input. Don’t dream of having a boat; dream of having a team of accountants and attorneys. This will get you the boat and free time. When Kiyosaki invests, he mainly looks at the team. If they refuse to work for free or cut their salaries, he knows the true mission of their business. Leadership Most businesses fail from the inside, not from the outside. Troops won’t follow a leader who doesn’t lead. Volunteer more. Volunteer at church, volunteer to take on projects at work. A leader is a combination of visionary, cheerleader and pitbull to make the tough calls regarding issues that distract from achieving the mission. When you have the right mission, team and leadership, money will follow you. You will attract it from outside investors. 32. Cash flow management Often, a perfectly good business goes down because the owners are not financially literate. Small businesses fail because they do not know the difference between profit and cash flow. As a result, very profitable businesses go broke. When you start a business, increase sales before you make an extra purchase. Cash flow is like blood in your body. In the startup phase Delay taking a salary until your business is generating cash. Keep your full-time job in the meantime. Sales and Accounts Receivable Invoice your customers ASAP. Require payments upfront until credit has been established. Establish a minimum dollar amount before granting credit and check references on credit applications. Establish late payment fees as part of your terms and conditions and enforce them. Expenses and Accounts Payable Ask for extended payments upfront. Pay timely for 2-3 months and ask for an additional extension on your payable terms. A supplier will give 30-90 days to a good customer. When purchasing something new, increase sales first. General cash management - Have an investment plan for your cash on hand - Establish a line of credit with your bank before you need it - Your current asset-liabilities ratio should be 2:1 or more - Your liquid assets-liquid liabilities ratio should be 1:1 or more. - People signing checks cannot be the ones recording them in your system - The person reconciling the bank statement cannot handle money 33. Communications management The better at communicating you are and the more people you communicate with, the better your cash flow will be. You need to be good at: - Human psychology: know what motivates people. Different people have different buttons. There are lots of good products, but money goes to the best communicators. Poor people are poor communicators. Usually, I find a 6-week gap between communications and cash flow. By looking at the financial statement of a company, you can see which areas of a business are communicating and which are not. Over the years, I have attended seminars on: 1. Sales 2. Marketing systems 3. Advertising, headlines, copywriting 4. Negotiations 5. Public speaking 6. Direct e-mail advertising 7. Running a seminar 8. Raising capital Number 8 is the most important, but entrepreneurs also need points 1-7. The entrepreneur should be making sure that the capital is always flowing in, whether it is from sales, marketing, private sales, institutional sales, investors. If you don’t want to do sales, then you can do nothing. If you want to be a B-quadrant person, you should be able to communicate and speak the language of the other 3 quadrants. I am not a best-writing author; I am a best-selling author. Unsuccessful people find their strengths and spend their lives making their strengths stronger, often ignoring their weaknesses, until one day their weaknesses cannot be ignored anymore. Successful people find their weaknesses and make them strengths. In business, appearances do matter. You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Attractive and confident candidates get more offers. The difference between sales and marketing A self-employed person is often good at sales, but to be a good business owner, you must also be good at marketing. Sales is done one-on-one. Marketing is done via a system. To go from self-employed to business owner, you need to learn how to sell through a system. In marketing, you need to - Identify a need - Provide a solution and - Answer your customer’s questions – “what’s in for me?” with a special offer. Communicate a sense of urgency for the customer to respond. External and internal communication Both of them are important. External is sales, marketing, customer service, investor relations, public relations. Internal is sharing wins and successes with your entire team, regular meetings with employees, regular communication with advisors, human resource policies. The most powerful communication is word-of-mouth from current customers to potential customers. 34. Systems Management Specific individuals must head each system of a business. If one system fails then the whole business can go down, like when cash flow dries up. Real estate is a great investment to start with because you get to tinker with all the systems. It’s stable and gives you the possibility to correct things if anything goes wrong. To find a good investment, find a poor business manager and you will find real estate bargain. It’s easier to get a credit for real estate than other businesses. Investors invest in you because you can create a good system; they do not want to invest in a system that goes home at night. The better the system, the less dependent you are on others. McDonald’s is the best system: it’s the same everywhere in the world and it’s run by teenagers. The role of a CEO It is to supervise all systems and identify weaknesses before they turn into failures, like not meeting a big rise in demand. At each level of growth, the CEO must be planning the system to support the next level of growth, from production lines to credit for production needs. Systems drive both cash-flow management and communication. As your systems get better, your employees have to provide less and less effort. Typical systems Your systems should be automated Daily Office Operations Systems • Answering the telephone and 800 line system • Receiving and opening the mail • Purchasing and maintaining office supplies and equipment • Faxing and emailing • Dealing with incoming/outgoing delivery needs • Backing up and archiving data Product Development Systems • Developing product and protecting it legally • Developing packaging and collateral material (e.g., catalogs) • Developing manufacturing method and process • Developing manufacturing costing and bidding process Manufacturing and Inventory Systems • Selecting vendors • Determining product or service warranties offered • Establishing product or service pricing (retail and wholesale) • Establishing reorder process for inventory production • Receiving and storing product as inventory • Reconciling physical inventory with accounting records Order Processing Systems • Taking and recording orders—by mail, fax, phone, or online • Fulfilling and packaging the orders • Sending the orders Billing and Accounts Receivable Systems • Billing customers for the orders • Receiving payments for the orders and crediting customers for payment (whether cash, check, or credit card) • Starting the collection process for delinquent receivables Customer Service Systems • Returns procedure for inventory receiving and customer payment return • Responding to customer complaints • Replacing defective product or performing other warranty service Accounts Payable Systems • Purchasing procedures and approvals required • Payment process for supplies and inventory • Petty cash Marketing Systems • Creating an overall marketing plan • Designing and producing promotional materials • Developing general leads and prospects • Creating an advertising plan • Creating a public relations plan • Creating a direct mail plan • Developing and maintaining a database • Developing and maintaining a website • Analyzing and tracking sales statistics Human Resources Systems • Hiring procedures and employee agreements • Training employees • Payroll process and benefit plans General Accounting Systems • Managing the accounting process with daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports • Managing cash with future borrowing needs secured and available • Budgeting and forecasting • Reporting payroll taxes and withholding payments General Corporate Systems • Negotiating, drafting, and executing contracts • Developing and protecting intellectual property • Managing insurance needs and coverage • Reporting and paying federal and state or other jurisdictional taxes • Planning for federal and state or other jurisdictional taxes • Managing and storing records • Maintaining investor/shareholder relations • Ensuring legal security • Planning and managing growth Physical Space Management Systems • Maintaining and designing telephone and electrical systems • Planning permits and fees • Licensing • Ensuring physical security 35. Legal management A patent can cost 10K USD in attorney fees, but if it can prevent a company from stealing your idea then it’s worth it. Your IP attorney and contract attorney are some of your most important advisors because they help you create your most important assets. Bill Gates only took information, protected it and sold it to IBM. Aristotle Onassis became a shipping giant by owning only one document: a contract from a large manufacturing company guaranteeing him the exclusive rights to transport its cargo all over the world. He didn’t have any ships. Protect your ideas Many businesses have started and survived only thanks to a simple piece of paper. Some of the most valuable assets you can own are patents, trademarks and copyrights. Attorney fees can be expensive but it is less expensive to set out your agreements properly in the beginning. It also allows you to focus on your business and not legal matters. Starting a business with by buying a franchise or through and network marketing also saves you money but also lots of time. Legal counsel can help you avoid problems in the following areas: General Corporate • Choice of business entity • Buy-sell agreements • Business licenses • Regulatory compliance • Office lease or purchase contracts Consumer Laws Instruments • Terms and conditions • Direct mail • Product liability laws • Truth in advertising laws • Environmental laws Contracts • With suppliers • With wholesale customers • With employees • Uniform commercial code • Warranties • Jurisdiction Labor Laws • Human Resource issues • Employee agreements • Employee disputes • OSHA • Workers’ Compensation contracts Securities and Debt Instruments: • Equipment leasing of sales or purchase • Loan documents • Private placements • IPOs Shareholder Issues • Corporate bylaws • Board authority • Stock issuance • Mergers and acquisitions • Spin-offs Intellectual Property • Work-for-hire agreements • Nondisclosure agreements • Copyrights • Mask works • Patents • Trademarks • Licensing of intellectual property 36. Product management Reminder: the triangle has 5 systems: Cash Flow, Communications, Systems, Legal, Product Many average investors focus more on the product than the rest of the business. But it’s the least important part. Having a better product does not mean much. People who say that are usually employees or self-employed. Investors and business owners look at the system behind the idea. Many of us can cook a better hamburger than McDonald’s, but few of us can build a better business system. Ford, Edison, Gates, Buffett, Murdock Branson all acquired their wealth the same way. They found their spirit and mission, built a business, allowed others to share the dreams, the risks and the rewards. This is what you should be doing. Many people are addicted to busyness while not building anything. Employees and self-employed people are often too hands-on. The key to success is laziness. The more hands-on you are, the less money you can make” One of the reasons so many people do not join the 90/10 investor club is that they are too hands-on when they should be seeking new ways of doing more with less and less. Summarizing the BI triangle: 1. Money always follows management If any of the 5 systems are weak, the company will be weak. 2. Some of the best investments are the ones you walk away from If the management won’t fix any of the 5 systems that is weak, walk away. There are too many good investments out there to waste your time. 3. The internet makes the BI triangle more available and manageable for everyone. If you are a team player, you do not need to be good at every level of the triangle. Just become part of a team with a clear vision, a strong mission and an iron stomach. A business needs a defined mission, a determined leader and a qualified and unified team. Phase 4: Who is a Sophisticated Investor? 37. How a sophisticated investors thinks You can start small, from a small hot dog stand. The BI principles needed for a big company are the same. The first million dollar is hard to make, the next 10 are easy. The sophisticated investor understands each of the ten investor controls. The Ten Investor Controls The ten investor controls are control over: - Yourself It’s not the investment that is risky; it’s the investor. We were not taught financial literacy in school. We were taught to be employees. Sophisticated investors look at financial statements - Income/expense ratio and asset/liability ratios Middle class people accumulate more debt as they become successful. As their income increases, so does their personal debt; this is the Rat Race. The rich have their businesses pay their expenses; they have very few personal liabilities. Personal expenses should become business expenses so they can be tax-deductible. - Management of the investment An inside investor who owns enough of an interest in the investment to control the management decisions has this type of investor control. It can be as a sole owner or where the investor owns enough of an interest that he or she is involved in the decision-making process. - Taxes Sophisticated investors minimize their taxes and defer them when possible. Business owners and investors can enjoy the following tax advantages: 1. social insurance tax is not deducted from portfolio income or passive income but from ordinary earned income. 2. Some taxes can be deferred indefinitely 3. C corps can pay for some expenditures before tax. - When you buy and when you sell The sophisticated investor doesn’t panick and uses patience. - Brokerage transactions Sophisticated investors do not only use their brokers; they track the performance of their investments and direct their broker or even operate as inside investors. - E-T-C (entity, timing, characteristics) If you and your wife own a restaurant, you should have one corporation that owns the restaurant and your wife should have one that owns the building. This way many expenses can become business expenses like home office, auto deduction, health insurance, legal and accounting expenses, education expenses. Your personal income goes to zero but you saved more, and the money saved can go into a retirement fund. Before: After: Summary Now if a customer becomes ill and sues the restaurant, only the restaurant corporation has to pay and the couple’s assets are protected. - Terms and conditions of the agreements The sophisticated investor is in control over the terms and conditions of agreements where he or she is on the inside of the investment. - Access to information The sophisticated investor understands the legal requirements of the SEC. - Giving it back, philanthropy 38. Analyzing investments Financial ratios of a company Gross margin percentage = gross margin (i.e sales-COGS) / sales Net operating margin percentage = EBIT / Sales. The higher the better Operating leverage = (gross margin – variable costs) / fixed costs. This is the percentage of fixed costs. The higher the better Financial leverage = (Debt + Equity) / shareholder’s equity This is how much borrowed money is used. Total leverage = operating leverage * financial leverage This is the total risk the company caries in its present business. Well-run, conservatively managed publicly traded American companies usually stay under 5. Debt to equity ratio = total liabilities / total equity. This is how much the company is financed by outsider vs insiders. Try to stay at 1 or under. The lower the number, the more conservative the financial structure of the company. Quick ratio = liquid assets / current liabilities Current ratio = current assets / current liabilities. These 2 ratios say whether the company has enough liquid assets to pay its liabilities. It should be 2 or higher. Return on equity = net income / average shareholder’s equity This compares the return the company is making on its shareholder’s investments compared to alternative investments. For real estate: cash-on-cash return = positive net cash flow / down payment Eg. You buy an apartment building for 500K$. You bring 100K and the bank 400K. It brings you 24K per year after expenses and mortgage are paid. You cash on cash return is Cash on cash return = 24K / 100K = 24% Real estate due diligence checklist 1. Current rent roster with paid to dates 2. List of security deposits 3. Mortgage payment information 4. Personal property list 5. Floor plans 6. Insurance policy, agent 7. Maintenance, service agreement 8. Tenant information: leases, ledger cards, applications, smoke detector forms 9. List of vendors and utility companies, including account numbers 10. A statement of structural alterations made to the premises 11. Surveys and engineering documents 12. Commission agreements 13. Rental or listing agreements 14. Easement agreements 15. Development plans, including plans and specifications and as-built architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, and civil drawings 16. Governmental permits or zoning restrictions affecting development of the property 17. Management contracts 18. Tax bills and property tax statements 19. Utility bills 20. Cash receipts and disbursements journals pertaining to the property 21. Capital expenditure disbursement records pertaining to the property for the past five years 22. Income-and-expense statements pertaining to the property for two years prior to the submission date 23. Financial statements and state and federal tax returns for the property 24. A termite inspection in form and content reasonably satisfactory to the buyer 25. All other records and documents in Seller’s possession or under Seller’s control which would be necessary or helpful to the ownership, operation, or maintenance of the property 26. Market surveys or studies of the area 27. Construction budget or actuals 28. Tenant profiles or surveys 29. Work-order files 30. Bank statements for two years showing operating account for property 31. Certificates of occupancy 32. Title abstract 33. Copies of all surviving guarantees and warranties 34. Phase I Environmental Audit (if it exists) Natural resources Gold is a good thing to have. Debt is fine if it generates more than it costs. Investing in a building generates way more than investing in a 401k. In a 401k, you still have to pay taxes on your income (before you can save it on the 401k) and you get zero cash flow from your investment. Whereas if you invest in real estate instead, you generate cash flow every year, your buildings appreciate every year and you can expect a 10% cash-on-cash return. The same amount brings you almost 3 times more money than the 401k. 39. The Ultimate Investor How did the super-rich make their money? They made it the old-fashioned way, like Rockefeller, Carnegie or Ford: they built companies and sold shares to the public. They became selling shareholders instead of buying shareholders. You can make your money with real estate or with small companies. Why 10% own 90% of the shares is also because this 10 percent is eligible to invest in a company (per SEC rules) before it becomes available to the public through an IPO. These people are the founders, friends of the founders, and a select list of investors. These people are not buying shareholders; they are selling shareholders. The way these select investors take company public: they find an old mine in Peru that is going bankrupt, fly there and visit it. It may have lots of problems, but the most important part of the equation is the people. Money follows management. When the founders are seen working without pay to generate portfolio, it is clear that their interest is the same as the shareholder’s interest, which is to increase the price per share. You might want to use the Canadian exchange rather than NASDAQ if this is the business that you understand. If you understand oil, gas, silver and gold then this is the place to be. But if you have a technology company then an American exchange is better. Also, NASDAQ and Well Street have become too big for a small company to get attention there. Brokerage houses in America are only interested in offerings of 100 million USD or more. Canadian exchanges let the small entrepreneurs in the business. Only there can you get into an IPO play for only 25K USD for 100,000 shares of stock. When you grow, you can move to NYSE or NASDAQ. Companies that do that usually get a 200% or more increase in the value of the company. IPO – a difficult process In the US, an IPO requires net tangible assets of 18 million USD and pre-tax income of 2.5 M USD. Sometimes it’s easier to merge with another company if you want to go public. I often start my presentation to investors by saying: The investment I am about to talk about is a very high-risk speculative investment, offered primarily to individuals who meet the requirements of an accredited investor. Make the risks clear and add: If your money is lost, all I can offer you is the first opportunity to invest in our next business. Usually 90% won’t invest in us. It usually takes 3 to 5 years to take a company to a public market. Taking a company public is a rite of passage for any entrepreneur. If you can do it, you are an ultimate investor. 40. Are you the next billionaire? Today, becoming a billionaire only depends on how many eyeballs you command. 90 percent of IPOs fail and 10 survive. The flavor of the month The IPO market is like any market: the market is always looking for the flavor of the month. The stock market always favors some businesses more than others. It you want to become very rich, part of your strategy as a business owner is to build the company that the market wants before the market wants it. Why take a company public? 1. You need more money 2. Your company is new and you need to gain market share 3. Many times, a company will use its own company stock to acquire other companies. This is printing your own money 4. You want to sell your company without giving up control. Most shareholders have very little power to influence the operations of the company. 5. You want to raise money for estate reasons to provide for your heirs. 6. You want to get rich and have cash to invest elsewhere. There are many restrictions related to selling your shares after an IPO. Your stock is usually “restricted”, you cannot sell it for quite a while. If you want to cash out, it is sometimes better to merge with another company with free-trading shares or sell the company. Points to consider before taking a company public: - Who on the team has run a business? There is a big difference between running a business and dreaming of a new product or a new business. Has the person handled payroll, employees, tax issues, legal issues, contracts, negotiations, product development, cash-flow management, raising capital, and so on? - How much of the company do you want to sell? When you start your company, you should already know what you will do with it and have a concrete goal for the end of the business. Before you build a business, you might want to consider some of these issues: 1. Are you going to sell it, keep it, or pass it on to heirs? 2. If you are going to sell it, are you going to sell it privately or publicly? a. Selling a company privately can be as difficult as selling it publicly. b. Finding a qualified buyer can be difficult. c. Financing for the business may be difficult to come by. d. You may get it back if the new owner cannot pay you or mismanages it. - Does the prospective public company have a well-written and well-thought-out business plan? This plan should include descriptions of: 1. The team and team’s experience 2. Financial statements - The standard is three years of audited financials. 3. Cash-flow projections - I recommend three years of very conservative cash-flow projections. Gates often understates Microsoft’s earning projections, which is an excellent strategy for keeping the price of the stock strong. CEOs who exaggerate earnings expectations disappoint investors and make the price of the stock fall. - Who is the market, how big is the market, and how much growth is possible for the company’s products in the market? While there is a market for your products, there is another market for the shares in your business. At different times, certain types of companies are more attractive to stock buyers than other companies. When a person has a public company, it is often said that it is like having two companies instead of one. One company is for your regular customers, and one is for your investors. - Who is on your board of directors or advisory board? The market runs on confidence. If the company has a strong and respected board of directors or advisors, the market has more confidence in the future success of the business. Frank advises, “If someone comes to you and says, ‘I’m going to take my company public,’ ask that person, ‘Who on your team has taken a company public and how many companies has he or she taken public?’ If that person cannot answer that question, ask him or her to come back with the answer. Most never come back.” - Does the company own something proprietary? A business should own or control something that another company does not. It could be a patent on a new product or drug, a lease of ground in an oil field, or a trademark such as Starbucks or McDonald’s. Even people who are owners and respected experts in their field can be considered assets. Examples of people being assets are Martha Stewart, Steve Jobs when he started his Apple computer company and Steven Spielberg when he formed his production company. People invested in these people because of their past success and future potential. - Does the company have a great story to tell? I am sure Christopher Columbus must have told a great story to his underwriters, the king and queen of Spain, before they raised the capital for him to sail off to the ends of the earth. A great story must interest, excite, and cause people to look into the future and dream a little. There should also be integrity behind the story, because our jails are filled with great storytellers who have no integrity. - Do those involved with the company have passion? This is the most important thing that Frank looks for. He says that the first and last thing he looks for in any business is the passion of the owner, the leaders, and the team. Frank says, “Without passion, the best business, the best plan, and the best people will not become successful.” How do you raise money? 1. Friends and family 2. Angels. They want to help aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s important for a city to have growing young businesses; so many cities have groups of angels. School teaches you to be an employee. If school taught you to create your business you could help your city like Gates helped Austin and Seattle. 3. Private investors 4. Public investors: people who buy stock Sources of funding you should get familiar with 1. PPMs: Private Placement Memorandums This is the start of your capital-raising activities. Hire a corporate attorney who specialized in securities. 2. VCs People go to VCs after they have exhausted their friends’ and banker’s money. A VC will become a partner and help you get to the next level of financing. It’s a personal trainer for your company. 3. Investment bankers They help you raise money for IPO and secondary offerings. Before IPO is also a stage called mezzanine funding (or bridge funding) for when you are not ready yet. An important first step If you are serious of becoming an entrepreneur, get a job at a network marketing company with a good training program and stick with it for 5 years to become a confident salesperson. The main reason people are not financially successful is that they cannot sell. They lack self-confidence, they are afraid of rejection, they cannot ask for the order. How to find a mentor Get the S&P Security Dealers book and find a person willing to listen to your ideas. The ask them to be part of your team. Becoming a millionaire is possible. Just write the goal down. If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t then you can’t. Either way, you are right. It is possible to become a billionaire 1. The internet brings you a world a customers 2. The internet gives you the power to control your own media site 3. It does not need to be high tech. Starbucks made billions by selling coffee. The future belongs to those who do the most with the least effort. My plan to become a billionaire Find an area of business that is fat, bloated, inefficient, where people are dissatisfied with the current system and whose products need improving. Billions and billions have been spent on education, yet it remains obsolete, expensive and ready for change. American’s public schools are increasingly frustrating parents and falling behind international standards. Part of this reason is that the 6,500 USD spent on each student per year are half eaten by non-instructional services like administration. Now the barriers between public and private education sectors are eroding. The 1,200 charter schools are free to experiment with private management without losing public money. 41. Why do rich people go bankrupt? Most millionaires lose 3 companies before they win big. 1. They have no idea how to handle a lot of money. They buy liabilities instead of assets 2. They feel a ‘high’, spend like crazy, divorce an asset (their wife), turn it into a liability, and marry a new liability. 3. They can’t say no to people who want to borrow money 4. They become “investors” with money but no education or experience. 5. Their fear of losing increases 6. They can’t tell good expenses from bad expenses If you want to know if a person is going to be richer in or poorer in the future, just look at the expense column in their financial statement. Some expenses make you rich; others make you poor. You need low income and high expenses (that make you rich) Many entrepreneurs utilize a single corporation strategy and fail to harness the power of a multi-corporation investment strategy. Phase 5: Giving it back 42. Are you prepared to give back? Carnegie gave back through libraries, the Rockefellers gave through the Rockefeller Foundation. Your life will be complete when your foundation outlives you. Conclusion In the Agrarian Age, you needed to be born in an elite group to ever have access to power. People got there because of birth, marriage or conquest; the others were serfs who owned nothing. During the Industrial Age, wealth shifted from land to real estate. Owners of buildings were the new rich. Fertile land lost value and rocky land gained value. Farmers had to go to school and get a job. Access to wealth got possible to entrepreneurs who had ambition and determination. Today, people who physically work the hardest are paid the least and taed the most. You do not need to have a crazy idea. Bill Gates didn’t invent an operating system; he bought it from the computer programmers who invented it and then licensed their product to IBM. Jeff Bezos took Walmart’s idea and put it on the Internet. Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”
  8. In 2016, I got offered by a few places to do a teaching gig just south of Seoul with absolutely no experience in teaching. I didn't take it because I chose my promotion at my current workplace. However, I may say that age had some kind of factor, so if you're a bit older you may need to justify that if you have no teaching experience. They asked me as a 27-28 year old in 2016 with no teaching experience what happened and basically said "you're a bit older than most candidates, why?". But, don't let that deter you from applying though. Good luck with it.
  9. Hey, it would be hella awesome to hang out with some cool guys in London and mastermind. hmu. thanks
  10. appreciate the feedback! you know what, i really got to fully enjoy London.
  11. Also, depending on what other skills you have, you may be able to find non-English teaching jobs in Shanghai (or other parts of China), Hong Kong, or Thailand especially. It's very difficult, no matter what your skills, to get anything but teaching jobs in Japan and Korea.
  12. You don't need a TEFL course to teach English in Asia, you just need a Uni degree. That's the minimum requirement. If you have a Master's then you could potentially teach at a Uni. What really matters is the country you want to go to. Seoul, South Korea has one of the best pickup communities but it's notoriously difficult there. Japan is a good midway, not nearly as difficult, really quality women, and nice lifestyle. But it's expensive and the community there isn't so great, so you'd often be picking up alone. Shanghai and Chengdu, China are pretty good. Nice quality women, low expensese, good community. But you have to have a certain fortitude to handle mainland China. Taipei, Taiwan is ok if you want primarily one night stands, but like Japan, the community isn't that great for pickup. So I'd boil it down to where you want to go. Weigh the pros and cons of each place, or you can also ask our opinion and we'll give you our feedback. Japan and Seoul need the highest initial savings and the highest quality of life. Seoul needs more upfront money but isn't so expensive over the longterm while Japan is more expensive overall. China is the best option on a tight budget. I didn't mention Southeast Asia which aren't bad choices either, if you care more about lifestyle and climate and want the women to be more receptive to your advances.
  13. Sup, I live in London (which is great because a lot of different people come here to live/work/vacation etc…) although it would be hella epic to go to Asia and have a lot of fun! Any ideas how to do that? other than a vacation, i may do a TEFL Course to learn to teach english… thanks
  14. Nothing like a good urine test to get the ladies laughing! I just had that yesterday... Yeah...not sure how that one didn't make it into the bible. Yeah...it's always tough when you prepare for one tough situation and end up with a different tough situation. You should have gotten HER phone and punched in YOUR number. That way, you know it's legit. Make sure you let it ring until it actually shows up on your screen! I roasted myself on that once. I felt it vibrate in my pocket and sent her off only to find out that the number didn't come through...
  15. Thanks for posting. Did you hear from some guys about meeting up, yet?
  16. Very inspiring animal, thanks for sharing!
  17. Fri 11 Oct 2019 Visiting Soupernoob in Utah for a couple weeks, man the automatic seven is a real REAL thing. We went out to do some practice sets at a halloween convention we saw on a billboard and I opened probably three sets but only the last one was good. The whole thing was like a county fair but there was a "party" after, basically they just set a dj up and tried to make it a club, we did one pass through and looked for sets and I thought there was nothing but I saw a 3 set dancing. One skinny girl who had pretty good hair and makeup, one dressed as poison ivy with a decent body and red hair, and a fucking whale. Told Soup to open across the whale and say something to the other girls, he hesitated because I just told him to start by opening the best girls in the room lol. After a bit, and I think they might have seen us practicing our poly-rhythmic clapping, I said fuck it and went to open. Walked over but the fat chick was all over the place and just opened the cute one, kino'd the whale and other obstacle a bit. You're feeling dangerous tonight! All black! Decent response from the target and cuter obstacle, but the fat chick was pretty unhappy, I stacked forward and just did, sisters! All from wherever! I felt like I was fucking up so badly but they weren't quite leaving. It got to the point where the fat chick kept pulling my girl away and I just decided to stand there and dance as much as I could manage to pretend I wasn't getting blown out (I had already called Soup in but he was having a lot of trouble too). Soup was having a terrible time because I had made too much eye contact with the obstacle he was trying to deal with and he's forgotten a lot of his game tricks. It was getting more awkward by the second and the girls said they're heading outside. Oh good, I was gonna go there too! Come with me! I just led my girl by the back(pack). Her compliance was WEIRD, she was compliant, but I could see her friends were trying to get her to go and she answered all my easy qualification questions with "I don't like to do anything" lol. I played it terribly but after about 8-10 minutes in set they wanted to go back inside and I told my girl she should give me her number. No pretense. Yeah, I should? Yeah. The grin works every time. She stopped and put a number into my phone which I said I'd call but she was in a hurry to go. I'll ask how to get her to answer it in group chat, but I was sitting there going damnit this is definitely a fake number. She put in a norcal number that could be right and they were freshmen in college so I don't give a damn, all there is to do is try my texting seminar magic and hope for the best lol! It was really exciting to get out and run some of my game even if there weren't a lot of good targets, I really need to get out more especially when I've got wingmen around.
  18. #Lean Startup ##The Lean Startup Method 1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere: startups, small companies, big companies 2. Entrepreneurship is management 3. valudated learning - frequentky learn through experiments 4. Build-Measure-learn - turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and learn to pivot or persevere 5. Innovation accounting: you need to focus on the boring stuff: measure proregress, set up milestones, prioritize work. ##Why do startups fails? They do not know who they customer really is and what their product should really be. ##How this book is organized 1. Vision (how is an entrepreneur) 2. Steer (how to Build-Measure-learn) 3. Accelerate (how do it fast) #1. PART 1: VISION A startup should laways be managed and not "just do it" Lean startup comes from Toyota: rely on knowledge and creativity of individual workers, shrinking of batch-sizes, just-in-time production and inventory control and acceleration of cycle times. Mianly, lean startup should allow entrepenurs to make testable predictions. The goal of a startup is to figure out the right thing to build as fast as possible. Many startups plan like then launch a rocket: one tiny mistake can mean a huge issue thousands of miles later. The Build-Measure-learn way allows you to drive a car: you see the road and you can always steer left or right. And it alows yu to stay focused on the destination. But even the smallest startups have to face the challenge of servicing existing customers while trying to innovate. #2. Define ##Who is an entrepreneur? Some entrepreneurs are intrapreneurs - they work in big companies. Some have already gathered all the structure, personnel, vision for the future and appetite for risk-taking but the fire still isn't there despite them having the wood and the matches. They have issues like: Once the team is set up, what do they do? What process should they use? How should it be held accountable? The Lean Startup management covers this. ##If I'm an entrepreneur, what is a startup? A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty Doesn't matter how big the company is, whether it is non-profit, or government-backed. Innovation could mean new technology but also, repurposing technology, a new business model or bringing a product/service to a new place or a new category of customers. ##The Snaptax story SnapTxa allowed customers to fill in their tax returns by taking a picture of them. But they were actually a big company from the beginning (7000 people) and they were able to create sustaining innovation but not disruptive innovation. They could do so by having lots of freedom from their management. The problem is tax season is only once a year, so the company had a very conservative culture: they would only have one initiative that would be rolled out for the season. But after the Lean Startup, they now run 70 tests a week. When you have only one test, you have to sell only one idea - you then have a company of politicians, because you have to sell. When you have 500 tests, anyone's idea can run. Usually, the biggest obstacle is not the team or the entrepreneurs but the leaders and the middle managers. They are good because they are analysts, and all they want to do is plan and analyze. Management needs to put in place systems that allow lots of experiments. #3. Learn What if you build something nobody wants? Many startups fail bu successfully executing a plan that leads nowhere. Run experiments on your customers. Look at what they do, not what they say. Validated learning is not after-the-fact rationalization or a good story designed to hide failure. It is a rigorous method for demonstrating progress. ##Validated learning at IMVU We realized it was to hard to ask customers to switch from AOL to another kind of IM so we built an add-on on top of it instead. We planned the first product launch in 6 months, and despite lots of bugs, we still shipped it. And nobody downloaded it. After interviews, customers couldn't even say they wanted a 3D avatar, as they didn't know what it was. And they didn't know what an IM add-on was. And they don't want to invite friends to try a product that might suck. So we built a single-player mode. And they still wouldn't invite their friends (because they didn't know if the multi-player version would be cool). So we created an online game with strangers, that you could add on your IM buddy list. And people didn't want to invite strangers into their buddy list. We thought customers didn't want to learn a new software and moving their friends over a buddy list, but that wasn't true. The real obstacle was that they didn't want an IM dd-on; they wanted a standalone IM network. They already had several. They also were ok inviting their existing friends to a new network. And they also wanted to make new friends with their 3D avatars, not stay with their old friends. I had to give up all the interoperability software I had coded. It was depressing to have built something nobody wanted to use. And to have taken 6 months to learn all of that. We could have learned faster without trying to make a product "better" by fixing bugs and adding features. ###Value vs waste Lean thinking defines value as providing value to the customer. All the rest is waste. In manufacturing, customers don't care how the product is built as long as it works. But in startups, who the customer is and what they want is unknown. IMVU allowed us to discover what creates value for customers. That was the only value we got from these 6 months. All the rest was waste. Waste could have been avoided by shipping sooner, offering interoperability with only 1 network and not 12, or not even offering any interoperability. What if we had offered customers to download before building anything? The effort that is not absolutely necessary to understand what customers want can be eliminated. It's easy to kid yourself about what customers want and learn things that are irrelevant. Validated learning is backed by collecting data from real customers. ##Where do you find validation? In the next days, despite our improvements, nobody downloaded the product. We did A/B testing on the website. After months of dicthing the IM add-on strategy, we finally understood: customers wanted to use IMVU to make NEW friends online. We were the only "anonymous" network. We found out through hundreds of experiments. Each bit of knowledge suggested new experiments to run. ###The audacity of zero It is better to say you have zero customers than very few. Investors can still imagine overnight success. #4. Experiment What can be changed safely, what will anger customers? Which customer opinions should we listen to, if any? Zappos started with a small experiment: They took pictures of shoes in real stores and promised to come back and buy them if a customer bought them online. This answered the question: do people want to buy shoes online? By bulding a product instead of asking questions, they got to observe real customer behavior, learned about their needs (eg. for discounts and the effect it has on their perception) and saw interesting unepexted behaviors (eg. customers returning shoes) ##For long term change, experiment immediately HP employees didn't volunteer despite programs existing, and volunteered without offering their skills (eg. manual labour). Test these 2 things: * Value hypothesis: Find an indicator that employees find donating their time valuable For example, you could send some of them volunteering and look at the retention rate (how many do it again) * Growth hypothesis: Find how new customers will find a product or service Once a program is up and running, you could see how fast it spreads among employees, how often the word is spread. In this case, take a small number of employees, like 12 and offer them a great opportunity to volunteer. The first customers should be the ones who really need the product: they will be more forgiving to mistakes and will be more eager to give feedback. In this case, it was best to take employees who were numotivated and disconnected from the company's values. Once they participated in the great volunteering program, yu could measure what they did: how many completed their volunteers assignment? How many re-volunteered. How many referred a colleague? The whole experiment could take place in only a few weeks. And it can happen in parallel with the plan still being formulated. ##An experiment is a product Traditionally, the product manager says "build that" and the engineer does it. Instead, have your team answer these questions: 1. Do consumers recognize that they have the problem we are trying to solve? 2. If there was a solution, would they buy it? 3. Would they buy it from us? 4. Can we build a solution for that problem? Many people just skip and jump to question 4 and build something nobody wants. ###The village laundry service To see if Indians were ready to give their clothes to someone else to have them cleaned, P&G had trucks park around many areas and offer the service. This way they could test several questions in real life: did speed matter? Was cleanliness a concern? What were people asking when the truck left with their clothes? It turned out they were happy but were suspicious of the washing maching installed on the truck, which was therefore replaced by a kiosk. They parked the trucks at different places to identify target customers. They discovered customers were ready to pay more to have the clothes ironed and returned in less than 4 hours. ###A lean startup in government Obama launched CFPB to help Americns with their tax problems. despite a budget of 500 million USD, it was managed as a startup. Therefore, they created an MVP to test their assumptions: they thought too many people would call for help. But this is an assumption. What if victims of fraud don't seek help? What if they have different notions of what problems are important? What if they call for help not related with the agency's purpose? They created an MVP with a phone platform using Twilio. It just took a few hours. Then they advertised in just a few blocks of one city, where they could afford to pay for billboards, newspaper ads and targeted online ads. It just took a few weeks and a few thousand dollars. Even well-seasoned managers and executives struggle to launch innovative new products. Their challenge is to overcome the prevailing management thinking that puts its faith in well-researched plans. #PART 2: Steer ##How vision leads to steering 1. Build a product 2. Measure data 3. Learn ideas 4. Repeat You need to minimize the TOTAL time of this feedback loop. The first things you need to test are your *value hypothesis* and your *growth hypothesis*. You will need to test your *leap of faith assumptions*, the ones one which everything depends. Create an MVP as fast as possible, even if many features are lacking. #5. Leap Facebook could sell high because of several metrics. More than half the users came back to the website every single day - which validates the value hypothesis (customers find the product valuable). The growth hypothesis was also validated as 75% of Harvard students used it after less than a year, with no advertising. Being free and not psending money on advertising would it make it easy for you to build the new Facebook? For startups, the strategy is to figure out the right question to ask. ##Strategy is based on assumptions Every company makes assumptions. A startup should test its assumptions as fast as possible. Leap-of-faith assumptions might include: customers have a significant desire to use a product like ours, supermarkets will varry our product. If they are true, great opportunity awaits. If they are false, the company risks total failure. ###Analogs and Antilogs If you are selling iPods, the Walkman is an analog: it answers the question whether people would be ready to listen to music with earphones in public. Napster was the antilog - it suggested that people would want to download music but not pay for it. Steve Jobs took the leap of faith that they would still be ready to pay for it and he was right. ###Beyond "the right place at the right time" Many people were at the right place at the right time. Ford had 500 competitors. Facebook had lots too. But very few had the ability to discover which parts of their plan were working and which were misguided. ###Value and growth Some companies use the appearance of growth despite destroying value - Ponzi scheme or Lehman Brothers. Innovation accounting helps differentiate false startups from true innovators. A startup must have a financial model- the instincts must be transformed into data. ###Genchi gembutsu It is the Toyota Way of "going out and see for yourself". It means you cannot rely on the reports of others. Whether you are in sales, distribution or public affairs, you have to go see for yourself. That is how the manager went on a trip with a Sienna and spoke to owners and realized that the family who sat in the back of the truck was also responsible in the purchase decision. he then spent his budget on internal comfort features, which are critical to long-distance family trip (which are more common in the US than Japan, too) ###Get out of the building Go and meet your customers. Cook took 2 phonebooks, called random people and asked them if it was frustrating for them to pay bills by hand. They didn't know much about PCs so more specific questions were useless as these people were mainstream customers and not early adopters. This allows to create a *customer archetype*, a document that humanizes the proposed target customer. To create this document, look at interaction design and design thinking. But the problem is you never know who your customer really is. Which is why it must be tested with user Experience - called **Lean UX** ###Analysis Paralysis Some entrepreneurs build too fast. Others build too slow, endlessly refining ther plans, talking to customers, reading research reports, whiteboard strategizing. They miss all the subtle ineractions with customers that allow to test their assumptions. How do you know when to stop analyzing and to start building? The answer is the MVP. ##6. Test Groupon started as a Wordpress blog with PDF coupons sent through email. The MVP should be the fastest way to get through the Build-Measure-learn loop. The MVP begins the process of learning, it doesn't end it. ###Why first products aren't meant to be perfect First products are designed for early adopters. They only need a product that works at 80%. These people lined up for iPhones that couldn't copy and paste, and the first people using Google could only answer queries about Stanfard University. What they care about is being the first ones to adpot a new products or technology - a shoe, a player, a phone. They are suspicious of products that look too polished- it makes them feel not special for being the first one. Entrepreneurs dream of a pretty, polished product and it is hard for them to accept that the MVP should be buggy or incomplete. Do not overestimate how many features an MVP requires. When in doubt, simplify. For example, you have a one-month free trial and customers will sing up for it once your product is ready. You should write in your assumptions: we think 10 percent of customers will sign up for the trial. And the number of features should be really low. ###The video MVP Dropbox assumed that file synchronization was a problem most people didn't know they had. Once you try it, you can't imagine how you lived without it. You couldn't expect to hear this from a focus group. Dropbox's strength was that it worked seamlessly, like magic. But you couldn't demonstrate that in an MVP, so they made a demonstration video with lots of hidden jokes for early adopters. Their beta waiting list went from 5K to 75. ###The concierge MVP Food on the Table started with one customer - they did everything offline, including delivering her grocery list for just 10 bucks a month. It was extremely inefficient, and all customers got the same VIP treatment until they started automatizing more and more processes. This way, they could scale something that worked instead of inventing something that might work in the future. ###Pay no attention to the 8 people behind the curtain Aardvark was a Google for subjective questions: (eg. what is the best place to eat around here?) - while people thought they were talking to an AI-machine, the answers were actually coming from other humans. Doing this every week to real people they invited to their offices, they pivoted lots of time before being bought over by Google. ###The role and quality of design in an MVP If we do not know who the customer is, we do no know what quality is. In other terms, you do not know that your customer wants a beautiful website, or that is perceives it as valuable. Do not be afraid of shipping something that feels incomplete. Criagslist and Groupon were loved by customers despite being low-quality. And sometimes, a low-quality MVP can help you build a better product. Customers trying IMVU didn't like static avatars. It was bad news, because it meant we had to code all the animation and movement; so we tried something else: a "teleportation" by just clicking anywhere they wanted, with no animation. And they loved it. MVPs require the courage to put your assumptions to the test. If you create something cheap and the customers cannot use it, that means you must invest more into design. But you should also ask yourself: what if they don't care about design the way I do? When creating an MVP, remove any feature, process or effort that doe not ontribut directly to the learning you seek. ###Speed bumps in building a MVP Most common speed bumps: legal issues, competitors, branding risks and impact on morale. You will not get your idea stolen, even if you try. Time spent away from customers (in stealth mode) is unlikely to provide a head start. The only way to win is to learn faster than anybody else. If you fail, almost nobody knows you anyway so you do not have any reputation to lose. Finally, MVPs provide a needed dose of reality and often bring bad news. Visionaries are often afraid of releasing a flawed MVP, that is too small or too limited. But you need to be able to make a go/kill decision on a regular basis. ###From the MVP to innovation accounting You have to commit to never give up hope, no matter what comes from the MVP. The MVP is the first step to a journey of learning. Outside stakeholders and investors need to know that when we fail, it is not because of a failure to plan or failure to execute. ##7. Measure Entrepreneurs are naturally optimistic, this is why the myth of perseverance is so dangerous. ###Why something as seemingly dull as accounting will change your life Accounting allowed GM to set lar milestones for each of its divisions. Many startups think the same way: when asked "are you making any progress?" they answer "we made a number of changes, our customers seem to like them and our overall numbers are high erthis month. We must be on the right track" But this is a wrong indicator. ### An accountability framework that works across industries Innovation accounting begins by turning leap-of-faith assumtions into a quantitative financial model. For a manufacturing company, rate of growth depends on the profitability of each customer, the cost of acquiring new customers and the repeat purchase rate. For eBay, sellers and buyers are both coming to use a big network. The metrics are the retention rates or sellers and buyers. These businesses have different drivers of growth but can still use a common framework. ###How innovation accounting works- three learning milestones 1. Establishing the baseline When choosing the many assumptions in a business plan, it makes sense to test the riskiest assumptions first. A media business selling advertising must test 2 basic assumptions: can it capture the attention of a defined customer on an ongoing basis? Can it sell that attention to advertisers? Here, the advertising rates for a particular customer segment are known, so the riskier assumption is the ability to capture attention. So the first experiments should involve content production rather than advertising nsales. The company can produce a pilot episode or issue to see how customers engage. 2. Tuning the engine Every product development, marketing or other intiative should be improving one of the drivers of its growth model. If you improve the design of your product, you presuppose that the activation rate of new customers is a driver of growth. If the new design doesn't change this activation rate, then it should be considered as a failure. 3. Pivot or persevere If you are not moving the drivers of your business model, then you are not making progress. ###Innovation accounting at IMVU We used to have no sales, improve the product and measure conversion rates, customer counts and revenue to show we had done a good job. But customer behavior didn't change. Our product changes were having no effect. ###Improving a product on 5 dollars a day We tracked the funnel metrics critical to growth: customer registration, downloads, trials, repeat usage, purchase. We bought 5 usd of Google AdWords a day. and got a hundred clicks a day. Every day we could test our product's performance with a brand new set of customers. One day we would target first-time customers. The next day we changed the way new customers were intiaited into the product. On other days we would add features, fix bugs, roll out a new design, try a new layout for the website. Each days' customers were independent of those the day before. It became clear our funnel metrics were not changing. All numbers stayed the same after 7 months. ###Cohort Analysis Instead of looking at total revenue or total number of customers, look at cohorts, i.e the performance of each group of customers that comes into contact with the product independently. Our numbers changed very little, so we invited customers again. 7 months prior, we dismissed uninterested customers assuming they were not our target market. But now I needed to understand why customers didn't respond to our product improvements. We made it easier for customers to engage with their friends on IMVU but they still didn't use this feature. making it easier to use was a waste of time. ##Optimization vs learning For startups, predictions, product and strategy decisions are difficult because they might be building the wrong thing. Bigger companies often spend lots on making a better product and pressing engineers, and the results come not from better products but come from decisions taken in the past- the engineers' work doesn't change the metrics. And managers use cheap tricks to pretend it works: last-minute ad buys, channel stuffing, whiz=bang demos. These are vanity metrics you shouldn't be using. ###Vanity metrics: a word of caution Vanity tactics allow you to add new customers but not to improve the yield on each new group. The efforts to tune up the engine are not bearing much fruit. You need actionable metrics ##Actionable metrics vs vanity metrics Grockit is a startup bringing a style of education to students where the teacher isn't there and the students are autonomous. The MVP was just Farb simply teaching test prep via WebEx (like Zoom). Within a few months, he was making $15,000 a month and could raise money from investors. Their growth followed a very rigorous evrsion of the agile development methodology known as Extreme Programming. The problem: there was not enough growth in the use of the product by customers. They worked in *sprints*, one-month iteration cycles. They would prioritize the work of each month by writing *user stories*, from the point of view of the customer. At the end of each sprint, teams delivered new product features, collected feedback from customers through interviews and saw many liked the features. There were always positive metrics, but the teams didn't know whether the prioritization decisions made sense; they just listened to the boss, hoping he knew which features to prioritize and how to get more customers to sign up and pay, and how to get the word out about Grockit. Farb saw the company was making progress but couldn't say if his vision was right. He agreed to put his vision to the test of customers. The problem was that Grockit's progress was measure by vanity metrics: total number of customers, total number of questions answered. It seemed they were making progress but it was making little progress. ###Cohorts and split-tests They switched to cohrot-based metrics. Instead of looking at casue-and-effect relationships after the fact, they launched each new feature as a split-test-experiment. They did A/B testing and realized many new features didn't change customer behavior. They also realized customers didn't want more social communication with other students as they believed. So Grocki tdeveloped a complete solo-studying mode, where students could learn alone or with others. Over time, it became clear what students wanted was a combination of both. ###Kanban Grockit changed the product prioritization process. user stories are always either: 1. In the backlog 2. In progress 3. Built 4. Validated The kanban rules says that none of these 4 bucks can accept more than 3 stories at the same time. If an idea in progress has been built, it cannot go in the Built bucket before one of the 3 ideas in it have moed to the Validated bucket. Engineers can also learn to include validation exercises from the beginning. Do not start working on a feature that hasn't been validated by a split-test experiment. Productivity needs to be measure not from production of new features but through validated learning. ###Hypothesis testing at Grockit Even though lazy registration was considered as a best practice in the industry (users are asked to register only after using the product for a while), A/B test showed that the lazy registration group has the same rates of registration, activation and retention as others. The extra effort of lazy registration was therefore a waste. It also showed that customers based their decision on Grockit on something other than the use of the product. Theyc ame on the website with very little information and still registered., suggesting the company's marketing and positioning had a more significant impact on attracting customers than adding new features. ##The value of the 3 A's Metrics should be Actionable, Accessible and Auditable ###Actionable It should show clear cause and effect. The results should make it very clear what actions need to be taken to replicate the results. Or else it's just vanity metrics, like number of clicks or number of users, which could be the result of a PR push or one guy clicking a lot of time from his browser. With no split-testing, you assum enumbers go up thanks to your actions and they went down because of someone. ###Accessible Make reports as simple as possible so everyone understands them. Cohort-based reports are the gold standard of learning metrics: they turn complex actions into people-based reports. They say out of 100 people, X downloaded the product/logged in/chatted/purchased. This is more helpful than the simple number of people who purchased Grockit sent the data about each split-test experiment to all employees every week explained in plain English. ###Auditable Many people will challenge the data, if they don't like it. Managers need to be able to spot check the dat with real customers. Hollywood movies like to show an entrepreneur who has an epiphany and becomes a millionaire, but in real life, 95% of entrepreneurship has to be measure by innovation accounting: product prioritization decisions, deciding which customers to target or listen to and having the courage to subject a vision to constant testing. One decision is the most difficult one, the most time-consuming and the biggest source of waste: pivoting. ##8. Pivot or Persevere When is it time to pivot? Ask yourself this question: are we making sufficient progress to believe that our original hypothesis is correct? The biggest destroyer of human creativity is the misguided decision to persevere. Creativity is not adding more gadgets or features, it is creating value and driving growth, which both can be measured. ###Innovation accounting leads to faster pivots Many companies stay in the land of the living dead - that have achieved just enough to stay alive and employees and founders don't want to give up, thinking success is around the corner. A good startup pivots early, like 8 months down the line. The more money and time have sunk into an idea, the harder it is to pivot. It is also necessary to identify your leap-of-faith questions explitictly and make quantitative predictions about each of them. Sometimes, you want to declare success because some metrics do well, like total usage (vanity metric). It is easier and smarter not to spend on premature PR as it allows to pivot without public embarrassment. Get direct feedback from your customers. A pivot can be a *customer segment pivot*, where you keep the product and adapt it to different customers. Like @2Gov which first targeted activists who wanted to reach to senators and pivoted to target large organizations wanting to lobby. Despite many letters of intent, these companies stalled and didn't buy the product once it was available. David then did a *platform pivot*: instead of investing the investors' money in a value-destroying engine of growth, he fired his salespeople and created a platform where anyone could become a customer, like a Google AdWords platform. For these 3 pivots, the MVPs accelerated every time. The first MVP took 8 months, the second took 4 and the third one took 3. ###A startup's runway is the number of pivots it can still make How long can your money last? Your runway is 10 months if you have 1M and spend 100K every month. But the real runway is the number of Build-Measure-learn loops you can still do. Count your runway in pivots, not months. You have to pivot fast. ###Pivots require courage Why do entrepreneurs pivot too late? 1. They look at vanity metrics and form false conclusions. 2. They have unclear hypothesis. They launch and "see what happens". But early results are always ambiguous and they don't know whether to pivot or not. 3. They are afraid. So they only test once the vision is fully represented and the funding is running out. If there are people watching, it makes it even scarier. When launching Path, Dave Morin faced lots of criticism from the press but had the courage to persevere as customers liked his product. ###The pivot or persevere meeting I recommend every company has a regular "pivot or persevere" meeting set in advance every few weeks or months. Bring reports of product optimization efforts, an da comparison of how these results stack up against expectations. Bring conversations with current and potential customers. Pretty often, you can repurpose what you have bought and bring it to a new business model or customers. ###Failure to pivot When business goes well, you often to not want to pivot. It is a classic startup trap. You forget to create more MVPs to test new ideas. However, it is also important to realize that MVPs are designed for early adopters. Once you have acquired them, the mainstream customers have different needs and are much more demanding. Very fast, your startup will need to to a *customer segment pivot*. You know you are there when the vanity metrics are good but the effots of tuning the engine reach diminshing returns. At IMVU, we did everything to improve the product's activation rate (the rate at which new customers become active consumers): lots of A/B testing with usability improvements, new persuasion techniques, incentive program, customer quests and game-like features, but the activation rate stayed pretty low, despite the fact the company was still growing. The truth was that we already had the early adopters, and addressing mainstream customers was a different game. It became clear that our testing was only to chase growth and revenue, and we had forgotten that testing is designed to to test a clear hypothesis in the service of the company's vision. We developed a clear customer archetype based on observation and conversations, made the product way easier to use. Tests showed the new design worked better. ##A catalogue of pivots ###Zoom-in pivot When one simple feature becomes the whole product. Eg. Votizen pivoted from a full social network to a simple voter contact product ###Zoom-out pivot The product becomes way larger ###Customer Segment pivot You change your target customer ###Customer Need pivot When you know your customer very well, you can realize your customer's problem is not the one you wanted to solve. It's like Potbelly Sandwich Shop which started as an antique shop. ###Platform pivot When an application becomes a platform for third parties and vice-versa. ###Business architecture pivot Geoffrey Moore observed companies follow either business architectures: 1. high margin, low volume or 2. low margin, high volume You can pivot from one to another ###Value capture pivot Changes to the revenue model, to the way that the company captures value or monetizes its services ###Engine of growth pivot There are 3 primary engines of growth: sticky, paid, and viral. You can pivot to seek faster or more profitable growth. Changing the engine of growth often requires changing the way value is captured (the revenue model). ###Channel pivot This is a change in the distribution channel. You can deliver your service or product through a different channel. eg. pivoting from a complex sales process to "sell direct". This is the one that the Internet has forced. ###Technology pivot When the customer segment, customer's problem, value-capture model and channel partners don't change and you can provide superior performance with different technology. ##A pivot is a strategic hypothesis Your business will have to pivot many times. Don't just copy the pivots of companies because they are famous. They had to pivot many times too. A pivot is a new hypothesis that you can test with an MVP. Companies pivot all their life. There are also many later-stage pivots like: the Chasm, the Tornado, the Bowling Alley. #Part 3: Accelerate ##Start your engines How often should you release a product? Daily, weekly, quarterly, yearly? What should employees be doing? Hw do we hold people accountable for learning? The first critical question is which activities create value and which are waste- value in a startup is not the creation of stuff but validated learning in creating a sustainable business: what products do customers really want? How will business grow? Who is our customer? Which customers should we listen to and which should we ignore? These questions must be answered as quickly as possible. Take advantage of the power of small batches. Conduct experiemtns without massive upfront investments in planning and design. ##9. Batch The small-batch approach creates a new finished product every few seconds (a stuffed and sealed envelope). The big-batch approach creates lots of finished products at once at the end (100 envelopes get stuffed, then sealed- takes 15 minutes) What if the customers don't want the product? Small-batch allows you to find out sooner with lower investment. Big batch is ok for mass production but for startups, you should focus on small batches and do things one at a time. It allows to identify quality problems faster, even if the whole production line has to stop to fix them. ###Small batches in entrepreneurship The goal of the learn startup is not to build more stuff efficiently, it is to build a sustainable business. ####Small batches at IMVU Apple uses mass production methods to release 1,500 new features in one batch: product managers figure out which features will please customers, designers design them, engineers build them, and it gets tested. But at IMVU, these people work together on ONE feature at a time, release it immediately for a small portion of the website visitors. The website gets changed almost 50 times a day. This allows to spot problems very fast and prevent bigger problems later. We have an *andon cord* equivalent to find a defect- like an engineer turning the Checkout button to white on a white background: the "immune system" detects the change and removes it automatically, everyone in the team is notified and the team is blocked from inducing further changes (to avoid a snowball effect) until the root of the problem is found and fixed. This is called *continuous deployment*. ##Small batches in action SGW created a military X-ray machine prototype in just 3 days, had it tested, re-designed it after 5 days and started mass production after only 15 days. ###Small batches in education In education, the curriculum can change only once a year. School of One allows to focus on one student and adapt to their level and speed for just a few days. ##The large batch death spiral If you are a designer, you might be tempted to draw your 30 designs and send them to the engineering team when you are finished. But the engineers come back with problems/questions which prevent you from focusing on the next batch (and when you do, they have to wait for you). You might be tempted to work on even bigger batches to solve this problem but it is a death spiral. It takes longer and longer to develop the product and nobody wants it to have bugs after all this hard work. Working on one single drawing at a time solves this problem. ##Pull, don't push At Toyota, when your local dealership changes your bumper, he pulls one from the regional dealership (to replace the one he just gave you), which in turn pulls one from the central dealership, which pulls one from the factory. Every node on the chain bulls one bumper from the one above. It's Toyota's **Just in time** method. This way the amount of inventory is always low and warehouses shrink. There are less WIP parts cluttering the floor this way. In a startup, the WIP waste is your incomplete designs, business plans and not-validated-yet assumptions. They need to be reduced by : 1. reducing batch size and 2. converting push methods to pull In manufacturing, pull means producing not more or less but exactly what the customers need. In lean startups, pull means running experiments to know how much they want. As soon as you formulate a hypothesis that you want to test, design and run this experiment ASAP using the smallest batch size possible. Remember that before building, you need to make sure the product will allow you to test what you want to learn. ###Hypothesis pull in clean tech Alphabet could build a physical product (of recycling waste heat into energy) in just 6 weeks by using low-cost semiconductor materials that massive existing infrastructures already use to make CPUs. They thought attaching semiconductors to turbines would be imple and cheap. They tested this in small batches by building small-scale solutions for its customers as a way of learning and discovered it wasn't. Power companies having low tolerance for risk, that made them unlikely early adopters, so Alphabet was able to pivot after just 3 months. They also experimented with manufacturing firms, who can experiment with new technologies in separate part of their factory. They also realized that customers were not willing to pay the most, and wanted a low cost per watt. They were able to realize this faster and pivot faster thanks to working in small batches. Toyota created the best system of management in the world, but they also have unleashed the creativity of its employees. Startups are made of people and must face human challenges. ##10. Grow 2 companies weere different: one was en eBay for collectibles, the other sold database software. Both had the same problem: they had early customers, early revenue, had validated and invalidated hypotheses, and had raised money from investors. But neither company was growing. Their early growth had flatlined. They didn't know whether to advertise more, focus on product quality or new features. Both didn't know how to grow. Both were using the same *engine of growth*. ##Where does growth come from? Sustainable growth is when new customers come from the actions of past customers. This is done by: 1. Word of mouth 2. As a side effect of product usage (seeing someone's car or Paypal payment) 3. Through funded advertising paid by revenue. The lower the cost of acquiring a new customer than the revenue they generata, the faster the growth 4. Through repeat purchase (lightbulbs, cable subscription, not weddings) Each source is a loop that should turn fast to bring growth. ##Th e 3 engines of growth Most startups create waste by arguing how to prioritize new development once they have a product on the market. At any time, the startup should be investing its energy in finding new customers, servicing existing customers better, improving overall quality or driving down costs. There are always plenty of ways to make a product better but most of these ideas only make a change at the margins, they are mere optimizations. ###The Sticky Engine of Growth Here, both businesses focus on having long customer retention: people chasing collectibles will log in every day and companies choosing a database will keep it for years. Both businesses expect you will continue to use their product once you start. Therefore they should look at their **churn rate** very carefully, the fraction of customers who fail to stay engaged. For a sticky engine of growth, if the customer acquisition rate exceed the churn rate, the business will grow. Companies there need to look at the **rate of compounding**, i.e natural growth rate minus churn rate. A high rate of compounding means rapid growth even without advertising or viral growth. But both these startups were looking at vanity metrics: total number of customers. They were also looking at actionable metrics such as activation rate and revenue per customer, but in a sticky engine of growth, they have little impact on growth. This would allow to see that many customers are coming through the door but they don't stay long- which means they should get reasons to stay, like better listings, direct messages on special offers. In this case, growth doesn't come from sales or marketing but from improving customer retention. ###The Viral Engine of Growth Hotmail added a "sent with Hotmail" signature and attracted lots of new customers. Tupperware salespeople try to convince their friends to also become reps. The **viral coefficient** calculates how many new customers will use a product for each new customer signin up, i.e how many friends the customer will bring with him. For a product with a viral coefficient of 0.1, each customer brings 0.1 friends. Even tiny changes in this number will cause huge changes in growth. So customers should be able to invite friends easily. And it can be a good idea not to charge customers directly but generate revenu through indirect sources like advertising. In the viral engine of growth, the customer's money does not drive growth, it only shows the customer likes you. If Facebook and Hotmail had started by charging customers, they would probably have failed. Customers didn't give money but they gave their attention and time, which are very valuable to advertisers. ###The Paid Engine of Growth Company A pays 80 cents in Adwords to make 1$ from a new customer. Company B makes 100K from each new customer and spends 80K acquiring it. Both have the same growth rate: 20%. IMVU customers wanted to meet new people on the app. They didn't want to invite their friends, they thought it was the company's job. So IMVU couldn't use viral growth and had to use paid growth instead, through advertising. When doing so, look at the lifetime value of a customer. The LTV should be higher than the cost per acquisition (CPA). When you pivot, like to a new customer segment, you might also need to change your engine of growth. IMVU knew that their customers were not very wealthy and allowed them to send cheques and pay cash. ###A technical caveat A product can be both viral and low churn rate. Or be high margin and high retention. But usually it is recommended to focus on one engine of growth. If you do not know which one to choose, time out of the building with customers will tell you. Only after pursuing one engine thoroughly should you consider pivoting to another one. ##Engines ot growth determine product and market fit When you have achieved product/market fit, the market is trying to pull out the product out of your startup faster than you can produce it- that's Facebook taking over the world overnight. If you are asking whether you are there yet, then you are not. How do you get closer to that point? A startup with a viral coefficient of 0.9 or more is on the merge of success. If you focus on the viral ngine of growth, then you should focus on affecting customer behavior and ignore things that don't. You do not need to specialize in marketing, advertising or sales. If you are focusing on paid engine of growth, you need to develop those marketing and sales functions urgently. You can evaluate how closer you are getting to the product/market fit with each Build-Measure-Learn test iteration. ###When engines run out Every engine of growth eventually runs out of gas. It is tied to a given set of customers with their habits, preferences, advertising channels and interconnections. At some point, they will be exhausted. Transitioning from the early adopters who used the MVP to the mainstream customers take lots of energy. Once you have many early adopters, this is usually when you should theoretically stop work in product development. Many companies look at vanity metrics, think they are making their product better when they aren't. The growth is all coming from an engine of growth that is working and bringing new customers. When growth slows down, it provokes a crisis. All companies, even big ones will suffer this, and should always be tuning their engines of growth and developing new sources of growth for when that engine inevitably runs its course. ##11.Adapt Your company might be a new company for the past 6 months even though it kept the same name and same people, and you didn't realize. ###Building an adaptive organization Even a small startup should have a training program for new hires. Which means your processes should be standardized and each new employee should have a mentor. Adaptive organization is when your processes adapt to current conditions. ###Can you go too fast? Startups should go fast before they run out of resources and die. However, focusing on speed alone is destructive. You need speed regulators. One in the **andon** cord that evey Toyota employee can pull to stop the production chain. Defects cause a lot of rework, low morale and customer complaints. Yes, the MVP can be buggy, but it is only an issue if you spend time fixing everything to build a product nobody wants. ###The wisdom of the 5 why's To accelerate, lean startups need a process thatprovides a natural feedback loop. Adaptive processes force you to slow down and prevent the problems that are wasting time, so you can speed up again. So should you create a complete training program? First, answer the 5 whys. At the root of every technical problem is a human problem. 1. Why did the machine stop? (there was an overload) 2. Why was there an overload? (it wasn't lubricated enough) 3. Why not? (the lubrication pump was not pumping enough) 4. Why? (the shaft of the pump was worn) 5. Why? (there was no strainer attached and some metal scrap got in) Ask why 5 times to get to the root of the problem. Often you will see it is a human problem (nobody attached a strainer). Imagine IMVU received complaints about a new version of the product: eg. a new release disabled a feature for customers 1. Why? Because a server failed 2. Why? Because an subsystem used it the wrong way 3. Why was it used the wrong way? The engineer didn't know how to 4. Why? he was never trained 5. Why? Because his manager is "too busy" and won't train him. Solution: train people. ####Make a proportional investment Do not overinvest if the problem is small Do not overengineer ###Automatic speed regulator Many startups work too fast and trade quality for time, which causes sloppy mistakes. Five whys prevent that and allow the teams to find their optimal pace. Some engineers even say the 5 whys coupled with working in small batches allow you to derive all the other principles of the Lean Startup and allow you to respond to problems quickly as they appear without overinvesting or overengineering. ###The curse of the 5 blames When things go bad, we want to point fingers. Ways of avoiding that include: Making sure everyone is in the room when analyzing the cause of a failure. Whoever gets left out often ends up being the scapegoat, whether it's ajunionr or the CEO. If a mistake happens, shame on the seniors for making it so easy to make that mistake. At IMVU, new engineers were asked to change something to the production environment on their first day. If it broke, they would be in charge of making sure it doesn't happen again. At first it was intimidating for them but then they realized the development system had to be robust and they could be more creative and less fearful. ####Getting Started Be tolerant of all mistakes, and make sure they only happen once. Mistakes happens because of bad processes, not bad people. ####Facing unpleasant truths You will have to invest in prevention. Start small - apply the 5 why's to something not involving the customer. You can choose to call an automatic 5 why's meeting for every credit card transaction problem. Mave a meeting moderator who will make sure steps are followed and decisions implemented. ##The Five Whys in Action It brings team closer together, especially if you do it well by having everyone involved attend. eg. Why did the user get an error 500? A gem was incompatible -> Remove it Why? We added a new version of the gem -> Use Bundler to manage gems Why did we add a version of the gem in production without testing? We thought it was useless -> Write a functional test that will catch that in the future Why do we add gems we don't plan to use right away? To prepare for code push in production -> Automate gem management into Continuous Ingration and Deployment Why are we doing production on Friday? Because we can -> Deploy on Monday now ###Adapting to smaller batches 1. Small teams who are fully engaged and with members working on different roles 2. Short cycle times 3. Fast customer feedback 4. Empower teams to make fast and courageous decisions Quickbooks now has lots of small teams of 5 people that iterate with customers as fast as possible and run experiments. Each team works on a feature for 6 weeks end to end, testing it with real customers all throughout the process. ##12. Innovate ###How to nurture disruptive innovation You can keep innovating while growing. You need the 3 following keys: ####1.Scare but secure resources Startups require less capital but they must be sure this capital won't be reduced because of budget or anything. ####2. Independent development authority Startups need to be able to run experiments without approvals. Small teams should have all the people required to launch a real product, not just a prototype. ####3. A personal stake in the outcome Entrepreneurs should have stock options or equity. Innovators should be named so the organization can give them credit by putting their name on the door or some other kind of reward. At Toyota, the **shusa**, deisgn leader, has final, absolute authority over every aspect of vehicle development. If the boss is the one who hands out the awards with no objective criteria, teams will not be motivated to take risks. ###Creating a platform for innovation You want to empower autonomous tartup teams, but at the same time, you should protect the parent organization, hold entrepreneurial managers accountable and reintegrate innovation back into the organization. ####Protecting the parent organization In company X, nobody could really explain the numbers of an experiment on pricing: number of gross sales of the product, broken down by auqrter and customer segment. Lots of data to comprehend. Nobody knew which customers had been exposed to the experiment. Different teams had implemented it, different parts of the product had been updated, everything had taken 6 months, and many people had changed jobs. You can see many problems there: - the use of vanity metrics instead of actionable metrics - cycle time too long - batch size too big - unclear growth hypothesis - a weak experimental design - lack of team ownership - and therefore, little learning Then every team interpreted the numbers as they wanted and the meeting turned into a battle of opinions. ####Rational fears There was another issue at hand: seom guys sold B2B and others B2C, with B2B bigger but slowing. The B2C wanted to run experiments with cheaper products. But the company was afraid of angering current customers. ####The dangers of hiding innovation inside the black box If the company didn't innovate, they would face the **Innovator's Dilemma**: very high margins and profits until it suddenly collapsed. Many startups want to protect themselves from the parent organization but it should be the opposite: IBM should protect itself from IBM PC in Boca Raton, Florida. Managers of IBM can feel threatened by the innovation that can suddenly jump at them from the startup. ####Creating an innovation sandbox 1. Any team can create a split-test experiment for one customer segment or territory or sandboxed part of a product 2. The team must see the whole experiment end-to-end 3. The experiment can only run a few weeks 4. The experiment can only affect X% of the company's total customer base 5. Every experiment must be evaluted on a standard report using 5 to 10 actionable metrics 6. Every team working inside the sandbox must use the same metrics to measure success 7. The team must stay ready to abort the experiment is something catastrophic happens Example of a sandbox: the pricing page for certain stores or geographic areas. Whenever possible, there should be a clear team leader, like the **shusa**, who can build, market, deploy without approval. ##Cultivating the management portfolio As the startup grows, new markets are conquered, the product becomes the face of the company, with implications for PR, marketing, sales. Copycats, fast followers and imitators arrive. The market for the new product becomes established and procedures become more routine. It becomes important to roll up line extensions, incremental upgrades and new forms of marketing. The problem with all kinds of companies is that employees follow the product they develop as they move from phase to phase. The inventor starts managing the people who commercialize his invention. Strong creative managers end up getting stuck working on growth and product optimization instead of creating new products. And companies struggle finding creative people. ###Entrepreneur is a job title When products move from phase to phase, they should be handed off to a new team. Employees can choose to follow the product and change teams, or work on something new. After a product has been incubated in the innovation sandbox, it should be reintegrated in the parent organization so a larger team can commercialize and scale it. At first, the earliest experiments won't get lots of learning and scalable success, but over time they are guaranteed to improve as they get constant feedback of small-batch development and actionable metrics and are held accountable to learning milestones. The sandbox will grow, run bigger experiments, until one day the sandbox can contain the whole product. At this point, the former innovators will become guardians of the status quo and a new sandbox will be needed. ###Becoming the status quo It's disturbing, but innovators transform from radical outsiders to the embodiment of the status quo. Many individuals are reticent to change: coders want to code and don't want to be interrupted by meetings, cross-functional handoffs and explanations on numbers. Lean Startups indeed cause individuals to suboptimize for their individual functions. It does not matter how fast we can build or how fast we can measure. What matters is how fast we can get through the entire loop. Switching to validated learning feels worse before it feels better. ##13. Waste not The big question of our time is not "Can it be built?" but "Should it be built?" Today we produce a lot of waste by working on the wrong things. And we work on the wrong things very efficiently. We lose sight of the real goal of innovation: to learn what is currently unknown. What matters is not setting quantitative goals but fixing the method by which these goals are attained. The Lean Startup method aims to answer the question "How can we build a sustainable organization around a new set of products or services?" ##Organizational superpowers ###Product development pseudoscience If Taylor were alive today, he would laugh: we ahve so much scientific knowledge but we green-light new projects with more intuition than facts. But only by building a model of customer behavior can we establish real facts about the validity of our vision. ###A new research program To stimulate productivity in uncertain environments, we could set up a lab where small cross-functional teams come and look at problems with clear right answers taken from international programming competitions that have developed databases of problems with clear solutions. Then they could vary the conditions of the experiments and measure results from real tests and real MVPs. And we need to develop clear methods to hold teams accountable for validated learning. The one I proposed in this book uses a well-defined financial model and engine of growth. ##The long-term stock exchange Instead of pushing managers to focus on short-term profit, we could set up a stock exhange using innovation accounting, reporting on the revenue generated from products that didn't exist a few years earlier. There would be transaction costs and fees to minimize day trading and massive price swings. ##14. Join the movement * Lean startup Meetups; Shanghai: Techyizu, Barcamp * Lean Startup wiki: leanstartup.pbworks.com * Lean Startup circle; leanstartupcircle.com * Startup Lessons Learned; sllconf.com * blog.500startups.com; see "Startup Metrics for Pirates" * startup-marketing.com * andrewchenblog.com * venturehacks.com * runningleanhq.com; helping startups become lean * skmurphy.com/blog; early-stage software startups * market-by-numbers.com, Brant Cooper * vlaskovits.com, on technology, customer development and pricing * blog.kissmetrics.com * hitenism.com *Required Reading* * The Four Steps to Epiphany, Steve Blank (it's indispensable) * The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, Brant Cooper * The Innovator's Dilemma, The Innovator's Solution, Clayton Christensen * Crossing the Chasm, Inside the Tornado, Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of ther Evolution, Geoggry Moore * Reinertsen, The Principle of Product Development Flow * Jeffrey Liker, The Toyota Way * Steven Watts, The People's Tycoon * Womack, Lean Thinking * Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way * Principle of Scientific Management, Taylor * Extreme Programming Explained, Kent Beck * Certain to Win: the Strategy of John Boyd, Chet Richards * Out of the crisis, Edrwards Deming * My years with General Motors, Alfred Sloan * Bill, Alfred and General Motors, William Pelfrey * The Practice of Management, Drucker * Getting to Plan B, Randy Komisar
  19. Sup guys. Just recently moved to China. Shanghai and looking for like minded people. Let me know if there is a group that I can join.
  20. Sup guys. Just recently moved to Shanghai. Started pick up a wile back then faded and now wanting to get back into in. I think Shanghai is a great city to Game. So many options here. I a beginner but looking for someone with a positive attitude to build up our level. Let me know if anyone is interested. Email me at [email protected] I am Asian American and can speak Chinese fluently.
  21. These mp3s had been sitting on my computer since 2004 ! Finally listened to all of them tonight David De Angelo seems to take 40 minutes before sticking his schmutz into a woman. I think he's a bit overselling his ideas lol. The cocky and funny attitude seems to be not very appropriate for Asia too. But overall good summary of lots of things we already knew. Interesting that he never mentions comfort, vulnerability, hero story, multiple bounces, etc. But this stuff was written nearly 20 years ago for women in the early 2000s. Funny how he even mentioned AOL --- David De Angelo – Sexual Communication Let her readjust her body towards you, not the opposite Look at her in a very sexual way – when she asks “what are you doing?”, answer “Hold on, I’m not finished” When dancing, leave her and grab another girl to dance with as soon as the music finishes. After 5 minutes, ask them if they are bisexual. When she asks what you think about her clothes, ask her “you got anything else?” When you walk into a bar, walk to each girl in the bar and introduce yourself. Sexual Communication is a language you should speak at once when meeting her. The Elusive Obvious: we get into negative patterns by now knowing how to use your bodies. Seek for the elusive obvious: the reactions that girls give you. Attraction is not a choice. Affection is not attraction. The sexual parts of each other can communicate to each other directly and you can trigger her attraction mechanisms very fast with only communication skills. Being funny and rude or going away can get a positive response. There are 4 steps in sexual communication: Spark the attraction or chemistry Building sexual tension Cocky and funny Amplifying the attraction Retreating, 2 steps forward 1 step back, creating anticipation, doing unpredictable things so she doesn’t know what is going to happen Physically advancing Hold her hand, kiss her Sperm has a war inside the womb. 8-10% of us have fathers who aren’t our fathers. 20% of DNA tests come back negative. Monkeys know when the female is ovulating but for humans it is hidden. A woman’s sexual desire peaks on the day of ovulation when they are the most fertile. Women tend to time sex with an affair on the day of an ovulation (study on 1,100 people) whereas sex with the partner is not on ovulation. For peacocks, their evolution to become sexually desirable has become dangerous for them. Large feathers with eyes on them make them vulnerable to predators. This is called a runaway process. Some species have grown antlers so big that the species died out because they couldn’t feed themselves. The runaway process has killed off species because females wanted bigger and bigger antlers. For humans, it’s breasts, buttocks, symmetry, lack of parasites, posture, shiny skin, hip-to-waist ratio. Our sexual orientation has become inside, it is displayed through intelligence, arts and music. A bower bird will work 24-7 to build a huge nest and paint the insides to find female. The female will look at the nest and choose whether it is will decorated. Some guys have learned to display this inner sexual orientation. Fish and butterfly have never learned how to mate but they know how to do it- we are actually the same. You already have the muscles. Sexual tension Women have a wider range of emotions and are better at giving and receiving subtle cues. Sexual tension is emphasized by EC, teasing, playing hard-to-get, humor, games. Limiting-belief exercise: List 10 beliefs you have about your ability to attract women sexually (positive or negative) Write down where you think these beliefs came from Take the negative ones, take a situation where each one of them didn’t hold true. The goal is to doubt your own negative beliefs List the beliefs you would like to replace your limiting beliefs with Write affirmations in the present tense and positive. “I feel secure now” Write them every day for 30 days. Imagine the kind of success that flows from each belief more and more. Buy Body Language by Julius Fast, chapter 7 (The silent language of love) Rules of conduct, attitudes, rules of thumb, tests Have you had a woman ever challenge you? Have you done something to appease her, or pursued her and have her choose another one for a jerk? Women are programmed to be attracted to masculine guys, to leaders- he doesn’t look for approval, lives in his own world, doesn’t let outside events take him off track. A leader has overconfidence that is charming and funny. He is not ass-kissing or approval-seeking wussies. “You’re cocky, you are arrogant” are good things to hear. You can answer “Thank you for noticing” Do not look for her approval - “I don’t like that shirt” -> “Well, I like it”, or “I will trade you” or “Take it off me” The leader faces his insecurities and is dominant. Dominance means being in control of other people, of telling other people what to do. The leader acts like he is always in control of the situation. A leader is selfish – you can be both selfish and generous. Selfish means you demand and expect the best for yourself. I am going to do something I enjoy. Be composed, always keep your cool. Don’t apologize for your desires, for what you do or say. Be picky and selective and communicating you are picky. Mention things you don’t like. Order the food the way you want. Speak about the things you do not want in your life. Be judgemental. The more judgmental shows you are the ultimate authority- say it intelligently, say where people make mistakes. Do not accept second-class behavior or treatment from others. “I don’t accept second-class behavior from someone. If you want to treat me in a second-class manner, you have to go” Being territorial: talk about how you don’t invite anyone in your house. Talk about how your house is a place of good energy. Sit at a bigger table, spread out. Kiss her and stop. Show you are in control of your sex drive. Living in your own reality. Others are guests in your reality. Your posture, gesture and EC can show that. Lift your chest, pull your shoulders back, use slow gestures, breathe slowly, move slowly. And have strong eye contact Testing They flake, cancel plans, challenge you in front of other people, play games, hinting she wants things, getting upset and dramatic and see if you will put up with it. They do it to quickly figure out what they are dealing with. They prefer strong men. They need to see your strengths and weaknesses. Rules of thumb Many guys who just want to “be themselves” as a codeword for being manupulative, ass-kissing wussies, which is not the way they behave normally. Men tend to take communication at face value- we ask “what do you mean?”. Women like to encode messages. You want to project the right message subtly. For a woman, it is all part of a story. She wants to believe in the romantic story that is happening. Be in the moment with them and like the unpredictability of what can happen. Attitudes There is no downside You are never losing anything when taking to a woman. They invest lots of time getting ready. They lose more than you. You have nothing to lose to talk to her. I am different to the outcome It is no big deal what happens. Practice detachment. When you are indifferent, it is very magnetic Time with me is rare and valuable She is privileged from being with me. She is going to have a good time. She gets the good deal She likes me and I am going to tease her and see how much I want to bust her balls. She will have to prove to me that she is above average Strategies go get into these attitudes Stealing her frame: use all her lines on her. Hold the bar high, point out their flaws if they are really hot. Sit down and write down things that women have done that have shut you down. “I do not like when you just look at me like a piece of meat” or “You are just looking at me like a sexual object. I have feelings” Always present a challenge in all situations. Talk to her and walk away. If she asks you to do something, say no. If you are walking together in a shop, walk away to another aisle. People do not want things that are available, they want things that are scarce and hard to get. Be mysterious. “What do you do?” -> never answer these questions. They will just know my name but that’s it. After one hour they still know nothing about us. Never give a woman a direct answer unless it’s no Did you like the way that felt? -> Well you obviously did. / No / Why do you ask? Answer questions with questions that implicate her What are you doing on Saturday? -> Well what do you have in mind? / Why, what are you going to do for me? Will you rub my shoulders? -> Maybe, what will you do for me? / Sure, if you wash my car Are you a player? -> Are you trying to tell me you are a player? When she complains about something, don’t change too much for her I don't like that music -> Turn it louder before turning it down Never give a woman exactly what she asks for Will you take me to dinner at X at 7? Take her to another restaurant / No, I am busy, I will take you. You will see where Send mixed signals Physically generous and giving, but verbally challenging If she wants a hug, you can give her a hug and call her a pain in the ass at the same time. Say you are going to like her as a friend when sexual tension is high Don’t do things that are predictable Do not always talk about the same things, or have the same tone of voice, or always go to the same places Do not be boring Be distinctive Find ways to be unique in a way she prefers. Buy distinctive shoes. Get a distinctive haircut. Talk about something other people don’t mention. Order distinctive drinks- with 2 lemons. Never act apologetic The more relaxed you are, the more she will be. Talk about anything you want. Two step forwards, one step back When she likes what you are doing, stop, lean back. Have her work for it. If she says “haha, tell me another joke” -> Maybe later. Never let the line go slack If you are crossing the line too much, stop and talk about something else. But If you stop too much and she gets bored, that is equally bad. If things take too much time, the tension dies. Call her fast. Keep tension going. Always raise and call her bluff Demonstrate you are willing to walk away. “You are mean, I am leaving” -> Ok, don’t hurt your ass against the door Once you have a frame that works, keep rolling with it If the “you only see me as a sex object” card works, keep using it during the conversation. Lead and move forward confidently Be decisive, make decisions. Choose a drink for her, open the door for her, do not ask for her approval. If you have to ask a sensitive question, ask it boldly. You can say “if you are insecure, it is your problem not mine” Do not be a wussy Exercises Make a list of 5 masculine traits you would like to cultivate List 3 ways you could improve that area (raise your chest, slow deliberate gestures, eliminate nervous ticks, walking decisively or slowly, taking decisions, etc...) List 10 past situations where you can remember a woman testing you and see how you could change your reaction for a better outcome Take the 15 techniques and come up with one way you could use one immediately and use it straight away Step 1 and 2: Sparking the attraction or chemistry and building sexual tension Chemistry and sexual tension are a feeling. Women like the anticipation Flirting – it is like playfight. I have a great job -> Great, we are getting married. I like women with money, But wait, do you think you can support both of us? I like to stay home and watch TV. No? Ok I’m divorcing you. To a random woman in a store: “I am sorry we don’t have this item any more” -> “I am sorry this relationship isn’t going anymore. I am going to have to break up with you” Good ways to do it Give her a hard time about anything To a waitress at Starbucks: “what are you doing there, growing the beans?” (if it is taking too long) Mention how the relationship doesn’t seem to be working Faking despair at something she is doing She hands you the wrong cup of coffee -> Huge sigh Being overly dramatic and complaining about her performance “We are out of that” -> Be too comfortable Act like you don’t care, you are indifferent about the outcome Pick any aspect and open with that: ”You know what they say about women who come here for coffee / who wear red glasses / who wear X?” and say “Hm, I won’t tell you if you don’t know” Cocky and funny It is always both at the same time. It shows you are hard to get and very comfortable in the face of an attractive girl. At the grocery store: “so how much of this cash do you keep? You must be rich of famous. No? That won’t work, I need someone who can support me” Don’t say “I am sorry” if she acts offended, take it up a notch. “What is that big purse, you got a gun in there?” These are tall shoes, you are 1 meter tall without them? Complimenting me already? You would rather need to buy me a drink. Mimic something that she is doing. Pick up something small (napkin or straw) and hit her with it, for example if she acts offended. Sexual misinterpretation: It’s time to go home -> I have only known you for 15 minutes I need to go -> Where are you taking me? It better be good She speaks about moving -> I am not moving with you. I just met you. And I don’t like this area Take the interview questions and avoid them: What do you do? -> I don’t think you can handle the answer. Compliments If you want to give her a compliment, make it backhanded. These shoes look great. (thanks) I bet they looked great when they were new. Games to play How much would it take you to be a stripper? A million USD to go on stage just once. How much money would it take to get you to do it? Especially if it is about something she doesn’t like Laugh at shit-tests Do not be explicit. Always imply things Shit tests can be responded with just a chuckle. See them as cute “I do not like when you make fun of me” -> That is cute. “I am sorry, I cannot come tonight” -> Come on, give me a break Make it her problem, not yours. She mentions she doesn’t like short men -> You know at first, I didn’t want to talk to you because I usually don’t date tall women, but I am glad I did because you look interesting. Or “it is too bad you are so tall. If you were a few inches shorter, I might have asked you out” Turn things around and make it her problem Arguments and conflict can spark attraction If a fight happens, it creates strong sexual tension. Watch Die Another Day Exercise: flirt with 10 women every day for the next 10 days Take the most common questions you get and come up with answers Steps 3 and 4 : Amplifying the attraction and sexually advancing Eye contact EC reveals how confident you are with yourself. Hold initial EC until she looks away. In the mall, hold EC until women look away. It exudes confidence masculinity. Confident guys blink slower and move their eyes around slower. Voice tone should be deep, speak from your chest and stomach. Use deliberate, articulate pauses. It is very powerful. Put your hand on chest and stomach to feel them moving when you speak. Most men behave like they want to get something. Instead, you should demonstrate that the woman will get great pleasure. A person will only do something that they have imagined doing something before. Men are like light switches; women are more like volume knobs. When you know you can make her feel good and get good orgasms, it will help your game a lot. Many men want to be liked instead of focusing on showing they are in control and confident. 2 step forwards, 1 step back Kiss her, stop and pull back. When it happens again unexpectedly a second later, she wil feel swept away by it. When things are going very well on the phone, suddenly say “Ok I got to go” and end the conversation on a high note. Men create all the resistance without realizing it – they touch her before she is ready. In sales, you close by focusing on the buyer’s needs, not the seller’s. 2-1 also show that you are in control of the situation, that you are the one choosing. Touch her very lightly and very slowly. Later, you can contrast this with pulling and grabbing, and get back to soft touch. Example of a progression: home-bounce, walk away to make a call, show her around, walk to the bedroom, sit on the bed and talk to her. Sit furthest away from her. Reach over to see her hands (for hand massage / hand-read). After a while, stop, lean back, and go back to your end of the bed After a while, take her hand again and give it back to her immediately (“I just wanted to see if you already obey to my every whim, haha”). Then after a while, turn her around and massage her back. Lead - “it’s ok, just turn around” and rub her shoulders. And stop, lean back again. Pull her next to you. Smell her neck and make a comment about it “that smells good”. Do it again. And do it for 10 minutes straight. It is a very powerful move that turns her on. You haven’t kissed her yet. Run your lips but don’t kiss her. Say “I want to bite you”. And lean back. And come back. Brush her lips with yours. And lean back. Go back to smelling her. Grab and rub her in a passionate way, but not in private areas. Run your fingers over the skin that is exposed. Next kiss her passionately for 10 minutes while smelling her neck. And stop, lean back. Go put some music, light some candles, start having a conversation with her again as if nothing happened. Start kissing her again unexpectedly. One way to have sex with her in lot of different positions is to mimic all these positions while only kissing her. Simulate every position while just kidding her. Put your hand 2 inches away from your crotch and leave it there for 10 minutes. And take it back When you feel she is really turned on (after 30 fucking minutes???) go further, stop touching her sexually for a minute. You have bypassed 95% of the resistance you would have gotten. Aftercare: massage, food, drink. Makes it feel like a complete experience.
  22. The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris Can these principles work in an economic depression? Yes. Lots of companies were launched during crises: Facebook, Linkedin, Apple, Fedex, Microsoft. Instead of saving good times for when you retire. The goal is to give mini-retirements now, cut your working hours in half and double your vacation time. An expert Is someone who has made all the mistakes that can be done in a narrow field (Niels Bohr) Make sure you have a market before you have a product. I sent one startup CEO 32 consecutive e-mails, he finally put me in sales. Step 1: Definition You want to have others work for you and spend the minimum amount of time working yourself. You want to own the trains and make sure they run on time. You want to have defined dreams to chase, timelines and steps. You need to make sure payday comes every day, not wishing to hit the jackpot in 10 years. Dreams are actually very cheap. A private villa, world-class ski runs, etc are all very accessible for cheap at the good moment of the year. Who are the new riches? Re-arranging a work schedule and negotiating a remote agreement to achieve 90% of the results in 10% of the time By eliminating the least profitable customers and outsourcing operations By running a dropshopping business I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give one for failure: try to please everybody, all the time (Herbert Bayard Swope) By making all your calls in the early morning and late evening, you get to avoid secretaries and speak directly to the managers. The timing is never right. The stars will never align and the traffic lights will never all be green at the same time. Ask for forgiveness, not for permission. Don’t give people the chance to say no. Most are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitant to get in the way if you are already moving. Get good at being a troublemaker and saying sorry when you really screw up. Emphasize strengths, don’t fix weaknesses Most people are only good at a handful of things at miserable at most. It is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor. Your weaknesses will at best become mediocre. Focus on better use of your best weapons instead of constant repair. Money alone is not the solution We say “If only I had more money” so we can postpone the intense self-examination and decision-making necessary to create a life of enjoyment now. By using money as the scapegoat and working all day, we do not allow ourselves the time to do otherwise. Money is not the real problem. Distress is bad, eustress is good Euphoric stress is something we want. Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples od eustress – stress that is healthy and the stimulus for growth. Question How has being “realistic” or “responsible” kept you from the life you want? Fear-setting and escaping paralysis Many a false step was made by standing still Named must your fear be before banish it you can (Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back) Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Defining your fear is conquering it As soon as I cut through the vague unease and ambiguous anxiety by defining my nightmare, the worst-case scenario, I wasn’t as worried about taking a trip. I realized that on a scale of 1 to 10, my so-called worst –case scenario was a temporary 4 at worst. Fear can be disguised as optimism There is no difference between a pessimist who says “It’s hopeless” and the optimist who says “It’s going to turn out fine anyways”. Either way, nothing happens (Yvon Chouinard) I am an old man and have known a great many troubles. But most of them never happened (Mark Twain) If you are nervous about making the jump, write down your answers: Define the absolute worst that could happen What steps could you take to repair the damage or fix things, even temporarily? What are the benefits, both temporary and permanent of the probable scenarios? If you were fired from your job today, what would you do to keep things under financial control? What are you putting off out of fear? Usually what we fear the most is what we most need to do. A person’s success in life can be measure by the number of uncomfortable conversations they are willing to have. Resolve to do one scary thing every day. I got into this habit by attempting to contact celebrities and famous businesspeople for advice. What is it costing you financially and emotionally to postpone action? Inaction has a cost. How will you feel allowing circumstance to impose itself upon you and having allowed 10 more years to pass doing something unfulfilling? What are you waiting for? If you answer “bad timing”, you are afraid, like the rest of the world. Being unreasonable and unambiguous The reasonable man adapt himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress relives on unreasonable men. (George Bernard Shaw) I challenged 20 students to contact a world-class celebrity – Bill Gates, JLo, etc and get at least one reply to 3 questions. None completed the challenge. There were many excuses, but actually only one reason, repeated in different words. All of them overestimated the competition and nobody even showed up. Had any one of them even tried, they would have won the competition. Doing the unrealistic is easier than doing the realistic It is lonely at the top. 99% of people are so convinced they cannot achieve great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is therefore the fiercest for “realistic” goals. It is easier to raise 1,000,000 dollars than 100,000. It is easier to pick up the perfect 10 at the bar than the 8. If you feel insecure, the rest of the world also feels that way. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. Also, unrealistic goals are uninspiring and you will give up at the first or second problem. If your potential payoff is mediocre, so is your effort. The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits.. There is less competition fro bigger goals. Do not ask yourself “what do I want?”, ask yourself “what excites me?”. The real enemy is not failure, it is boredom. Boredom and fear. Your goals must be unrealistic to be effective They shift from ambiguous wants to defined steps Living like a millionaire is doing interesting things How to get George Bush on the phone Find personal e-mail, like on their personal blogs, send a 2-3 paragraph email explaining you are familiar with their work, and ask one simple-to-answer but thought-provoking question related to their work or life philosophies. (eg: “When were you the happiest in your life?”) The goal is to start a dialogue so they take the time to answer future e-mails. Do not ask them for help. This can only come after 3-4 exchanges. Marrinan e-mailed Princeton dean to get Schmidt’s personal e-mail address. No response. Re-mail. Got a no. Re-re-emailed “have you ever made an exception?” and eventually got it. Some people go for higher numbers, but Marrinan said “I deal with rejection by persisting, not by taking my business elsewhere” The existential vacuum manifests itself mainly in a state of boredom (Viktor Frankl) What would you do if there was no way you could fail? If you were 10 times smarter than the rest of the world? Create 2 timelines – 6 and 12 months Write down things you would like to have, things you would like to do and things you would like to be. If you can’t find, write down things you hate and get the opposite. What would you do day-to-day if you had 100 million USD in the bank? What would make you excited to wake up in the morning to another day? A place to visit A thing to do before you die A thing to do daily A thing to do weekly A thing you have always wanted to learn Convert each being into doing Great cook -> making Christmas dinner without help Fluent in Chinese -> Have a 5 mn conversation Determine the cost of these dreams in monthly cash flows (X usd every month) Determine 3 steps for each of the 4 dreams in the 6 months timeline and take the first step now I usually set up 3 and 6 months timelines. Long distance can become an excuse to postpone action. Set small actions for today, tomorrow and overmorrow, at 11am. Each should take 5mn at most. If you need to research, get in touch with someone who knows or who has done it instead of wasting time. Comfort challenge Propose solutions instead of asking for them. Elicit desired responses instead of reacting. You need to develop the uncommon habit of making decisions both for yourself and for others Challenge: eye gaze For the next 2 days, make eye contact with everyone until they break contact. Practice with people bigger or more confident than yourself. Step 2: Elimination 20% of sources cause 80% of your problems and unhappiness. I stopped contacting 95% of my customers and fired 2%, leaving me with the top 3%. Out of more than 120 wholesale customers, 5 brought 95% of the revenue. I put these customers in passive mode: if they ordered, great. If not, I would do absolutely no chasing. Then I identified the main characteristics of the best 5 customers and secured similar profiles in the next week. More customers is not the goal- it often results in more housekeeping and just a 1-3% revenue income. The goal should be to make maximum income for the minimum number of customers. I focused on increasing the size and frequency of my best customers instead. Advertising I identified the advertising that was generating 80% of my revenue and multiplied it. Online Affiliates and partners I fired 250 low-yield online affiliates and focused on the 2 that brought 90% of my income. Management time dropped. Being busy is a form of laziness- lay thinking and indiscriminate action. Parkinson’s Law: if we have 8 hours to do something, we do it in 8 hours. If we have 2, we do it in 2. A task will swell in perceived importance and complexity depending on the time allotted for its completion, Limit tasks to the important to shorten work (80/20) Shorten working time to limit tasks to the important Ask yourself the following questions: If I had a heart attack and could work only 2 hours a day, what would I do? If you could work only 2 hours a week, what would you do? If you had to cut 80% of time-consuming activities, what would you eliminate? (email, phone calls, conversations, paperwork, meetings, advertising, customers, suppliers, products, services, etc) What are the top-3 activities that I use to fill time and to feel productive? Who are the 20% of people who provide 80% of your enjoyment? Who are the 20% that bring 80% of your problems, depression and anger? You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If someone isn’t making you stronger, they are making you weaker. If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I feel satisfied with my day? Always start a day’s work with a clear list of priorities. Compile your list for tomorrow. There should never be more than 2 critical items to complete each day. If you can’t choose which go first, ask yourself “If I only do this, will I be satisfied with my day?” Do not multitask. Use Parkinson’s Law: shorten deadlines and schedules. Limit the number of tasks on your to-do list and use impossibly short deadlines to force immediate action. Challenge: learn to propose (2 days) Stop asking for opinions and start proposing solutions. If someone asks “Where should we eat?”, say “I suggest we eat at __” or “Let’s try ___ and try something else if that doesn’t work” Cultivate selective ignorance I do not read news. I read at most one third of an industry magazine (Response Magazine) and one business magazine (Inc) per month. It takes me 4 hours per month. What if I had to do something I didn’t know how to? Like sell a book to the world’s largest publisher as a first-time author? I would find 10 people who have done it, ask them a smart question by e-mail or phone after researching their profiles. Read, surf and watch TV as little as possible Emails and phone Never check email in the morning. Instead, complete your most important task before 11am. Only check email twice a day at 12 and 4. Set up autoresponders: “Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to email twice daily at 12 and 4. If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait, call me at ---” Use 2 phone numbers – urgent and non-urgent. The office phone should be in silent mode. The responder could say “I check my voicemail daily at 12 and 4. If you require assistance with a matter that cannot wait, call my emergency phone at ---. Otherwise, you can send me an email as I am often able to respond faster that way.” Interrupting interrupters Start the conversation by saying “I am in the middle of something right now. How can I help you?” (if she says she can call back) No, it’s ok, I have a minute. What can I do for you?” Cutting chitchat- “Sorry to interrupt, but I have a call in 5 minutes. What can I do to help out?” Avoid all meetings that do not have clear objectives. Meetings can be no longer than 5 minutes long. It is your job to train people around you to be efficient Have people send you emails, them phone, then meetings. If someone proposes a meeting, use phone as a fallback Respond to voicemail via e-mail. This trains people to be concise. Help them develop the habit Propose alternatives: “Can you meet at 4? If not, please advise 3 other times that work for you” “Hi Susan, has the shipment arrived? If so, advise me. If not, contact Jane in CC here. Jane, if there are any issues with the shipment, please coordinate with Susan, who has authority to make decisions up to $500 on my behalf. In case of emergency, call me on my phone, but I trust you two. Thanks” Meetings should only be held to make decisions, not to define a problem. If someone wants a meeting: “That sounds doable. So I can best prepare, can you please send me an email with an agenda? That is, the topics and questions that we will need to address? Thanks in advance (increases your chances to get a reply)” Define an end time for your meetings. They should last 30 minutes at most. Cite other commitments at odd times to make them more believable – eg. 3.20 instead of 3.30. Inform the organizer you would like to speak first so you can honor another commitment and leave early. In the office, wear headphones. When someone approaches, pretend to be on the phone and say “Can you hold on a second?” before telling the intruder “What can I do for you?” Don’t let them get back to you later, have them give a 5-second summary and send you an email if necessary. You can also say “I am in the middle of something. How can help you?” If it isn’t clear within 30 seconds, say “I’d be happy to help but I have to finish this first. Can you send me a quick email to remind me?” “I only have 2 minutes before a call, but what is the situation and what can I do to help?” Use the “foot in the door” close to get your managers to accept remote work. “Does that sound like something we could try for a week?” or “Is that reasonable?”. It is hard for people to label things unreasonable. Always batch There is always a setup time for each task. Check your mail twice a day. Some of my batches were email (Monday at 10), laundry (Sunday at 7), checking bills every second Monday, etc. Delegating The vision is really about empowering workers, giving them all the information so they can do a lot more than they have done in the past (Bill Gates) For the entrepreneur, the goal is to grant as much information and decision-making ability to employees and contractors. Here is an email I wrote to a contractor: “I would like to establish a new policy that overrides all the others. Keep the customer happy. If it costs less than 100$ to fix the problem, use your judgement and fix it yourself. This is official written permission and a request to fix all problems that cost under 100$ without contacting me. I am no longer your customer. My customers are your customer. Do not ask me for permission. Do what you think is right and we will make adjustments as we go along. Thank you” It is amazing how someone’s IQ seems to double when you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them. Avoiding unwanted calls www.grandcentral.com www.youmail.com Establish do-not-disturb hours when calls are routed to voicemail Have voicemail sent to your cell as text messages Scheduling meetings Doodle: to schedule meetings Time Driver Choosing the best email batching times Xobni – find when people email you Jott – audio notes you get transcripts for CopyTalk – to speak and get a transcript by mail Challenge: say no to everything for 2 days Refuse to do all the things that won’t get you immediately fired. Be selfish. Say you are busy. Step 3: Automation If you spend your time, worth 25 USD per hour, doing something someone can do for 10 USD an hour, you are wasting resources. Eliminate before you delegate Use autoresponders with FAQ and autoforwarders to suppliers Eliminate meetings Each delegated task must be well-defined and time-consuming Your Man In India – both personal and pro Brickwork – only business projects, can even write a business plan for you to raise funding Common tasks you can outsource: web research, creation of legal documents, posting job vacancies, updating invoices, receiving payments, voicemail transcription, market research, legal research, charting a diet plan, ordering groceries based on this diet plan, moderating a forum Lots of Big 5 accounting firms just outsource to these people Using a Virtual Assistant team is better than a solo person Your sensitive data is extremely safe with Brickwork, more than on one your own PC Safety measures: Never use debit card for online transactions or with remote assistants. Reversing unauthorized credits card charges, particularly AmEx, is painless and nearly instantaneous. If your VA will be accessing a website on your behalf, create a new login and password for this site. Efficiency measures Ask a VA that has perfect English and indicate that phone calls will be required, even if they aren’t. Be clear: I asked the “bad” VA to schedule interviews but I didn’t say it was for an article, and he starting compiling information from job sites. I asked him to respond if he didn’t understand. I should have asked him to rephrase tasks to confirm understanding before getting started. I gave him a license to waste time by giving him a week. The best efficiency is to set deadlines for 48 and 24 hours. I gave him too many tasks and didn’t set an order of importance. Only send one task at a time, two at most. Eliminate before you delegate. A good VA email “I need to find the name and emails of editors of men’s magazines in he US (for example: maxim, stuff, GQ, etc) who have also written books. An example of such a person would be AJ Jacobs who is Editor at Large of Esquire. I already have his information and need more like him. Can you do this? If not, please advice. Please reply and confirm what you will plan to do to complete this task. Deadline: Since I am in a rush, get started after your next e-mail and stop at 3 hours and tell me what results you have. Please begin this task now if possible. The deadline for these 3 hours and reported result is end-of-day ET Monday” VA websites Elance, Guru, RentaCoder, TryAskSunday – I use them 80% of the time, as most tasks take less than 10 minutes to complete. B2KCorp – only business TasksEveryday - Your Man In India Syncing calendars and schedules BusySync – syncing different calendars WebEx Office – take appointments while hiding your agenda There are also tools to delay emails so people don’t answer you straightaway Redirecting colleagues when there is an issue “I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Normally, the priorities are really clear to me. Could you help me ---?" “Oh and before I forget” - great way to transition and avoid awkwardness. Finding your muse (a business that works without you) Avoid service businesses as it requires lots of customer contact. The target product shouldn’t take more than 500 USD to test, must be automatized within four weeks and should not require more than a day of week of management. Many people make the mistake of investing and hoping for the best. Distribution The more resellers there are, the more they compete with each other and bring prices down. You need to limit wholesale distribution to the top one or two resellers who have agreed on a minimum selling price. Giving one company exclusivity (100% of th distribution) can be a good choice, you can negotiate better profit margins, better marketing support in-store, faster payment and other preferential treatment. Before committing to a product, you should know how you are going to sell it and distribute it. Step 1: Pick an affordably reachable niche market Don’t create a product and then seek someone to sell it. Find a market, find customers and then a product for them. If everyone is your customer, then nobody is. Something for car lovers? No. A restoration product for antique Fords? Way better. It is more profitable to be a big fish in a small pond than a small undefined fish in a big pond. Ask yourself these questions to find a niche: Which groups to you belong to or have belonged to and understand? Rock climbers, recreational cyclists, dancers, car aficionados. Look at all the books you own, and wonder which groups of people buy the same things you have. Which newsletters, which websites do you watch on a regular basis? Which of these groups have their own magazines? Visit a large bookstore and look at their smaller specialty magazines to brainstorm additional niches. Use Writer’s Market to identify magazine options outside bookstores. Call these magazines to talk to their advertising directors and tell them you are considering advertising. Ask them to email their current advertising rate card and include both readership numbers and magazine back-issue samples. Step 2: Brainstorm products – do not invest in them Pick the 2 markets that you are the most familiar with, that have their own magazines, with full-page advertising that costs less than 5,000 USD. There should be no fewer than 15,000 readers. The main benefit of your product should be encapsulated in one sentence. People can dislike you but they should never misunderstand you. Apple was clear: 1,000 songs in your pocket. Do not move ahead until you can do this without confusing people. Price: It should cost the customer 50-200 USD. Higher pricing means less customers to manage, attracts low-maintenance customers (better credit, less returns) and creates higher profit margins. I personally aim for a 8-10x markup, which means a 100 USD product can’t be bought at more than 12 USD. People will need to speak to a real person before buying something over 200 USD. Manufacturing It should take no more than 3 to 4 weeks. How to find out how long it will take? To go www.thomasnet.com Call a related manufacturer and try to get a referral (eg. Toilet bowls manufacturer could give you the address of a toilet cleaning solutions manufacturer) Google “toilet solutions” + “association” or “organization”. Contact these organizations, ask them for the name of their trade magazines, and referrals to manufacturers. Request pricing from the manufacturers. Determine the cost production for 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 units. FAQ It should be fully explainable in a FAQ Step 2 – Option 1: Resell a product Contact the manufacturer and request a wholesale pricelist (generally 40% off retail) and terms File for an LLC or other business structure Do not purchase until step 3 is complete Step 2 – Option 2: License a product First, there is the inventor of the product (the licensor) who can sell the rights to manufacture for 3-10% of the wholesale price. Then, there is the licensee who sells the product for 90 to 97% of the profit. Go on fourhourblog.com to sell inventions without prototypes or patents, and to secure rights to a no-name beginner. Step 2 – Option 3: Create a product You can hire engineers and designers on Elance. You can do “private labeling”: a generic product you can put your name on, like the Kirkland brand at Costco. Manufacturing is expensive. Unless you manufacture information, what has a huge markup price: 20x to 50x. It’s harder to copy. The best information-based products are: No Down Payment (Carlton Sheets) Attacking Anxiety and Depression (Lucinda Bassett) Personal Power (Tony Robbins) The guy who created a (badly-made) homemade DVD who explained to owners of storage facilities how to install security systems. “But I’m not an expert!” You don’t need to be the best, you just need to be better than a small target number of your prospective customers. Expert status can be created in less than 4 weeks if you understand basic credibility indicators. Being an expert creates good products and prevents returns. Being perceived as an expert sells products. A credibility indicator can be an “MD” at the end of your name but you don’t need that: Join 2-3 related trade organizations They must have a nice sounding name (Association for Conflict Resolution)- it can be done in 5 minutes with a bank card Read the 3 top-selling books on your topic (search historical New York Times bestseller lists online) Give one free 1-3-hour seminar In a nearby university. Use posters to advertise Do the same at branches of well-known companies (IBM, etc) in the same area Say you are doing it for free to get additional speaking experience outside of academics and will not be selling products or services. Record the seminars from two angles for larger potential use as a DVD product Optional: offer to write 1-2 articles for trade magazines related to your topic If they decline, offer to interview a known expert and write the article. It still gets your name listed as a contributor. Join ProfNet- journalists use it to find experts. Respond to journalist queries Done properly, you can get featured all the way to New York Times and ABC News. Creating content There are three options: Create the content yourself (from paraphrasing several books) Repurpose content that is in public domain and not subject to copyright protection, like government documents License content or compensate an expert to help create content If you read and understand 3 top-selling books on homepage design, you know more about that topic than 80% of the readership of a magazine for real estate brokers. Summarize the information and make recommendations specific to the needs of the real estate market, and you can expect a 1% response from an ad you place in the magazine. What can you sell for 50-200 USD? A combination of 2 CDs (30-90 minutes each), a 40-page transcription and a 10-page quick-start guide. Digital delivery is acceptable and even ideal if you can create a high enough perceived value. Tailor a general skill for a niche market. Think narrow and deep, not wide. Become an expert in the skill you and others would be interested What experts could you interview and record to create a sellable audio CD? They just need to be better than most, not the best. Offer them a digital master copy and an up-front payment or ongoing royalty payment. Use Skype and HotRecorder to get a transcript. Challenge: call one potential superstar mentor a day for 3 days Call first, email if it doesn’t work. Aim high. Look on contactanycelebrity.com “Hi, this is Tim Ferris calling for John Grisham, please” “May I ask what this is regarding?” “I know this might sound a bit odd, but I am a first-time author and just read his interview in Time Out New York. I am a longtime fan and I have finally built up the courage to call him for one specific piece of advice. It wouldn’t take more than 2 minutes of his time. Is there any way you could help me get through him? I really appreciate whatever you can do” “Hi Mr. Grisham, my name is Tim Ferris. I know this might sound a bit odd but I am a first-time author and a longtime fan. I just read your interview in X and finally built up the courage to call. I have wanted to ask you for a specific piece of advice for a long time, and it shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes of your time. May I?” “Uh ok go ahead, I have to be on a call in a few minutes” “....Thank you so much for being so generous with your time. If I have the occasional tough question- very occasional- is there any chance I could keep in touch via email?” Don’t say “Mr. Grisham”, it is a giveaway that you don’t know them. Say “John Grisham” or “John” Using the interview in the magazine allows you to avoid the question “who are you” and play the sympathy card when showing you are a first-timer “I am a longtime fan” can be replaced by “I have been following your career/exploits for a number of years.” “I finally built up the courage” -> Make it clear you are nervous even if you aren’t. They will lower their defenses. Ask them to “help” you do something Confirming market size Compete – find the number of visitors and search terms that generate traffic Quantcast Writer’s Market – listing of thousands of niche magazines and subscription numbers Spyfu – see your competitors’ online ad spending, keywords and ad-word details Standard Rate and Data Services – magazines and mailing lists available for rent Finding products to resell or manufacture Clickbank Commission Junction – will pay you 10-75% of each purchase. No inventory, no invoices to do. Amazon Associates – take 7-10%. Do not get into bidding wars using expensive keywords. Go niche. Alibaba – thay can make everything Worldwide Brands – how-to guide for finding manufacturers and dropshippers. This is what Amazon and eBay use Shopster – millions of dropship products Thomas’s Register of Manufacturers – search manufacturers for every conceivable product Ingrambook, Techdata – for electronics, books and DVDs Housewares, National Hardware Show – also consider attending local or state fairs ExpoEast, ExpoWest – for consumables and vitamin products Finding public domain information to repurpose Speak with an IP attorney first.If anyone modifies 20% of something in the public domain, it becomes theirs and you can’ t use it. Project Gutenberg – lots of books in public domain Librivox – audiobooks in the public domain for free download Recording Seminars Hot Recorder NoCost Conference- provides a 800-number conference line and recording Jing Project, DimDim, Camtasia – to record your screen for tutorials Licensing ideas to others for royalties InventRight – Highly recommended. Stephen Key comes up with idea, files a provisional patent for 200$ and lets another company do the work. He shows how to do. Guthy Renker – submit your product, get 2-4%. They are huge. Searching patents for unexploited ideas to turn into products United States Patent and Trademark (uspto.gov) Licensable Technologies Developed at Universities (autm.net -> Technology Transfer Offices) Inventors Groups and Associations – call and ask if they have anything to license (uiausa.org/resources/in) Becoming an expert Stop swimming upstream and let them come to you ProfNet – journalists looking for experts PR Leads HARO (Help a Reporter Out) PR Web Direct – dead for lots of purposes but allows you to go to the top of Google News and Yahoo News Expert Click – this is another secret of the PR pros. Put up your profile, receive top media contacts, send free press releases to 12,000 journalists and be seen by 5 million people. This is how I got on NBC and ended up developing a prime-time TV show. Use “Tim Ferris $100” for discount. Step 3 – Micro-test your products before you make them Don’t ask people if they would buy. Ask them to buy. Do not charge customers if you cannot send a product as it is illegal. Don’t write 3 to 4 weeks delivery so you can make the product once they pay, it is also illegal. The basic test consists of 3 parts: Best: look at the competition and make a more-compelling offer on a basic 1-3pages-website (should take you 3 hours) Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Wordtracker and SEOBook Keyword Tool. Look at the 3 websites that appear in the top search and PPC positions. Differentiate yourself using: Credibility indicators (media, academia, associations, testimonials) A better guarantee A better selection Free or faster shipping Keep all the advertising that compells you to visit a website (eg. “The Fastest Way to Learn a Language Guaranteed (Rosetta Stone)” can become “The Fastest Way to Increase Power and Speed Guarantee”) Test: use Google Adwords : 3 hours to set it up, 5 days to observe Set up a bid on eBay with a minimum price. Cancel it at the last second Buy a registrar on Domain In Seconds Create your page with Weebly Add a form with Wufoo If the visitor confirms order, he gets a page “Sorry, we are currently on back order but we will contact you as soon as we have the product in stock. Thank you for your patience” Set up Google Adword campaign to test headlines. Daily budget: 50USD a day (first visit adwords.google.com/onlinebusiness) Use Google analytical tools to track orders and page abandonment rates Create several ads with only one variable changing (the url, the headline, etc) for Google to rotate Disable the “keep best-performing ad” feature- you need to combine the clickthrough rate of every ad and combine all the elements into one final ad Don’t use “free” as you get people who are not your target Invest or Divest If numbers add up, set up a Yahoo Store for (($ a month Use Paypal to accept credit card online instead of opening a merchant account at your bank If you have a high abandonment rate on the pricing page, offer a “2x money-back guarantee” if these shirts aren’t the most comfortable they have every worn Or set up merchant account at your bank and process credit cards through Authorize.net Get a small display ad at 50% off in a magazine (30% for being a first-timer and 20% from citing another competing newspaper) You can put a toll-free number on the ad that forwards to your cell phone. This allows you to know what questions to put in your FAQ and test a “buy 2, get 1 free” offer. Comfort Challenge: reject first offers and walk away (3 days) Read “How to get 700,000 of advertising for 10,000”. 2 hours a day from Saturday to Monday, go to a small independent retailer or outdoor event where goods are sold. Try to get 150$ worth for 100$ (try to have many small items than a few big ones) Negotiate near closing time, choose your objective price, make a firm offer with cash in hand (this is a Jedi mind trick). Call newspapers, go as low as possible and call them back later to say your proposal was refused by upper management. Get used to refusing offers. Sample page PX Method – sales template page Website creation Weebly- takes 2 hours and is SEO-friendly Wordpress - Bluehost – hosting Creating Forms with or without payment Wufoo Company formation LLCs and S-Corps are better for small businesses. I also have a C-corporation (to issue stock to investors) Legal Zoom – all legal documents you need Corporate Creations – domestic and overseas company formation Selling downloadable products E-junkie Lulu – print-on-demand, manufcature and fulfillment. Offers distribution through Amazon and other outlets CreateSpace – subsidiary of Amazon that offers distribution of video on demand and books ClickBank – integrated access to affiliates selling your product Market Sizing Google Adwords Keyword Tool SEOBook Keyword Tool – searches powered by Wordtracker Domain Registration Domain In Seconds – I have registered more than 100 domains through this service Joker, GoDaddy Inexpensive hosting services I recommend having a backup provider. Put your pages on each host and sign up with no-ip.com, which can redirect traffic (DNS) to the backup in 5 minutes instead of 24 hours. 1and1, Bluehost, Rackpage, Hosting.com Royalty-free material IStockphoto GettyImages – this is where pros go. I pay 150-400$ for most images I use in national print campaigns and the quality is outstanding Email signup and autoresponders Aweber, Mailchimp End-to-end solutions with payment processing Shopify – handles everything but you will need to set up a payment-processing service Yahoo Store – 40 USD a month and 1.5% per transaction Ebay store – 15-500USD per month plus eBay fees Simple payment for testing pages Paypal for Merchants – no monthly fees, 2-3% of transaction (called “discount rate”) + 0.30$ Google Checkout – get10$ for each 1$ spent on Adwords, 2% and 0.20$ per transaction. Free transaction for nonprofits Authorize.net - accept credit card. Lower fees but require merchant account. Only set it up after your product has tested succesfully with other options Web Analytics Google Analytics CrazyEgg – to see where people click the most on your page. Useful to reposition the most important links and buttons. Don’t guess what is working, measure it. Clicktracks, WebTrends A/B Testing software Google Website Optimizer – free. I used it to increase signups by 20% Offermatica Vertster Optimost Toll-free numbers Tollfree Max, Kall8 – take 5 minutes to set up, can forward to your phone and manage responders by email. Checking competitiors’ site Compete, Quantcast, Alexa Freelance designers and programmers 99designs, Crowdspring, eLance, Craigslist Other tools Remember the Milk – daily tasks Freshbooks – online invoicing Highrise – online CRM PBwiki – collect notes and ideas FogBugz on Demand – bug tracker but you can use it for personal tasks, can keep track of your mail Amazon Mechanical Turk – to have hundreds of people doing small bits of defined work The fastest way to market with a product idea: Registera Get hosting from dathorn, set up site, buy now button and see how many sales you would have achieved. Use Google ads to drive traffic, calculate theoretical ROI. If after 2 weeks it becomes an interesting ROI, create or outsource the product, set up a working Paypal account and email prospective buyers. Removing yourself from the equation Contract outsourcing companies or freelancers. Give them permission to solve problems with each other and to make inexpensive decisions without consulting you first (I started with 100 USD and then 400 USD after 2 months) Phase 1: answer all e-mail and save your responses in Customer Service Questions document Phase 2: more than 10 units shipped a week. Look for companies offering “fulfillment services” and “mailing services” in the yellow pages. Go to mfsanet.org to find them. Call local printers and ask them for recommendations. Choose one who will agree not to charge you setup fees and monthly minimums (usually they are the smallest). If this isn’t possible, ask for 50% off both and ask that the setup fee be applied as an advance against shipping or other fees. Limit the candidates to those who can respond to order status email or phone calls from customers. Send them the document you wrote in phase 1. Tell them you need the cash for advertising, which will bring more shipments. Put different companies in competition. Before making the final selection, ask for at least 3 client references. Ask them: “I understand they are good, but everyone has weaknesses. If you had to point out where you have had some issues and what they are not the best at, what would you say? Could you describe an incident or disagreement? I expect that with all companies, so it’s no big deal, and it’s confidential of course. After one month of using their services, ask for “net-30 terms” = payment for services 30 days after they are rendered. It’s easier to negotiate this with smaller operations who need the business. Have your contract manufacturer ship product directly to the fulfillment house, put their email and phone number Phase 3: more than 20 units shipped per week. Call end-to-end fulfilment houses than handle it all, from order status to returns and redunds. Ask them for referrals to call centers and credit card processors that they have collaborated with. Do not assemble an architecture of strangers, they will create mistakes. Setup an account with the credit card processor first. You will need your own merchant account. This is critical, as the fulfillment house can only handle refunds and declined cards for transactions that they process themselves through an outsourced credit card processor. Optionally, set up an account with one of the call centers your new fulfillment center recommends. They will often have toll-free numbers you can use. Look at the percentage split of online to phone orders during testing and consider carefully if the extra revenue from the latter is worth the hassle. It often isn’t. Those who call to order will generally order online if given no other option. Before signing on with a call center, get several 800 numbers they answer for current clients and make test calls. Call each number at least 3 times (morning, afternoon and evening) and note the wait time. Fewer options = more revenue The guy who offered 1 watch outsold 6 times the guy who offered 9. Ford only sold black cars. Serving the customer is not becoming a personal concierge and catering to their every whim and want. Customer service is providing an excellent product at an acceptable price and solving legitimate problems in the fastest manner possible. That’s it. To reduce service overhead: Offer 1 or 2 purchase options (eg. Basic and premium) Offer only one shipping option, or basic and premium again Do not offer overnight or expedited shipping, as this will produce hundreds of anxious phone calls (you can refer them to a reseller who does, though) Do all orders online, not phone Do not offer international shipments (complicated and brings tariffs issue) All these points allow you for the biggest time-saver: customer filtering. Not all customers are equal Look at the customer as an equal trading partner and not as an infallible blessing of a human being to be pleased at all costs. Be professional but never kowtow to unreasonable people. Do not accept Western Union or checks When you turn down Western Union of checks as a payment, you may lose 15% of sales, but you also get rid of the customers who bring 40% of the expenses and time. Those who spend the most complain the least. Raise wholesale minimums to 12-100 units and require a tax ID number to qualify resellers who are real businesspeople and not time-intensive novices. Never negotiate pricing or approve lower pricing for higher-volume orders. Cite “company policy” due to having problems in the past Offer lower-priced products instead of fee products to capture contact information for follow-up sales. Offering something for free is the best way to attract time-eaters and spend money on those unwilling to return the favor. Make your customer base an exclusive club and treat them well once they have been accepted. The Lose-Win guarantee: the best “Satisfied or your money back” isn’t enough. People want more than risk elimination now. “Delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free” (Domino’s Pizza) “If you don’t like Cialis, we’ll pay for a brand of your choice” “if your car is stolen, we will pay 500$ of your insurance deductible” (CLUB, anti-theft device) “110% guaranteed to work within 60 minutes of the first dose” (money-back + check for 10%) “It works or you get a full refund and get to keep it” “If these shirts aren’t the most comfortable ever, return them and get twice your money back. And each shirt is guaranteed for life- send it back and we will replace it free of charge” How to Look Fortune 500 in 45 minutes Don’t be CEO or founder. Be vice-president, director, director of sales, duriector of business development. For negotiation purposes, it is also best not to appear as the decision-maker Put multiple email and phone contacts on the website: hr, sales, general inquiries, wholesale distribution, media/PR, investors, web comments, order status. In Phase 3, they will forward to different outsourcers. You can also do the same for toll-free numbers. Setup an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) receptionist “Thank you for calling ___, please say the name of the person or department you would like to reach” This costs 30$ and 10 minutes on angel.com Do not provide home addresses You will get visitors if you do. If you have an end-to-end fulfillment house than can accept checks and money orders, use theirs. Or use a PO Box, but remove “PO Box” and use the street of the post office itself. “PO Box 555, Nowhere” becomes “Suite 555, 1234 Downtown Avenue” Virtual receptionist and IVR Angel.com - takes 5 minutes. Incredible Ring Central – toll free number, voicemail, fax, all online DVD Duplication, Packaging AVC Corporation SF Video Local fulfillment (less than 20 units a week) Mailing Fulfillment Service Association – msfanet.org End-to-end fulfillment (more than 20 units a week + 500$ setup) Motivational Fulfillment Innotrac Moulton Fulfillment – real-time online inventory reports Call centers LiveOps West Teleservices – all the high-volume and lowprice players use them Nexrep – home-based sales agents specializing in B2B and B2C Triton Technology – commission-only sales center, known for their incredible closing abilities. Don’t call unless your product sells at least for 100$. Centerpoint Teleservices – sales force who convert ads to real sales Stewart Response Group – sales-driven. High-touch boutique Credit card processors (merchant account through your bank necessary) They can interact with fulfilment to remove you from the flowchart Transfirst Payment Processing Chase Paymenttech Trust Commerce Powerpay Affiliate Program Software My Affiliate Program Discount Media Buying Agencies If you go to a magazine, radio station, or TV channel and pay the rate card (the retail pricing first given), you will never make it big. Some ad agencies offer up to 90% discount on some media. Manhattan Media (print) Novus Print Media – relationships with 1400 magazine and newspaper publishers, average of 80% rate card. Mercury Media – largest private DR media agency in the US. Specialists in TV but can also hndle radio and print EURO RSCG – one of the worldwide leaders in DRTV media Canella Media Response TV – uses the “per-inquiry” model for compensation where you split order profits instead of paying for time upfront. It is more expensive but lowers upfront invesment. Marketing Architects – leaders on the radio DR, a bit expensive Radio Direct - Online Marketing and Research Firms Small: SEMPO Medium: Clicks2Customers, Working Planet Pro: MarketingExperiments (this is my team), Did-It, ROI Revolution, iProspect Full-service informercial producers Cost at least 15K and 50K for a long form infomercial Cesari Direct Hawthorne Direct Script-to-Screen Retail and International product distribution To hit the shelves of Walmart or biggest retailers in Japan Tristar Products – they also own their own production studio and can offer end-to-end services in addition to retail distribution BJ Direct – Celebrity brokers To have a celebrity endorse your product. It can cost less than you think. The best pitcher in Major League Baseball only costs 20K$ a year. CelebBrokers Celebrity Endorsement Contact Any Celebrity – to contact them yourself - You can also find Facebook groups related to your group and ask the admins to put a link in the group description. Step 4: Liberation Step 1: Increase investment. The company needs to invest as much as possible in you so the loss is greater if you quit Step 2: call in sick on a Tuesday and Wednesday and showcase your remote working productivity (not Friday as it look as if you’re trying to go on a long weekend). Install GoToMyPC so you can control your office computer from home. Step 3: document all the extra work you were able to do Step 4: propose a revocable trial period “So here is the funny part, I thought I would get nothing done, but ended up finishing 3 more designs than usual on both days. Plus, I put in three more billable hours than usual without the commute, office noise, distractions, etc. Just as a trial, I'd like to propose working from home Mondays and Tuesdays for just 2 weeks. You can veto in whenever you want. And I'll come in if we need to do meetings, but I’d like to try for 2 weeks and review the results. I’m 100% confident I’ll get twice as much done. Does that seem reasonable? “What if you need to share designs” “I’ll use GotoMyPC. What do you think? Test it out stating next Monday and see how much more I get done?” (-> once you have addressed an objection, go for the close) Offer 2 days. 5 days is too much at first. If they say no, you can propose 1 day. Step 5: expand remote time. Set up a meeting, detail increased productivity. Suggest to amp it up to 4 days (3 days if they say no). “I’d like to suggest, if you think it makes sense, that I try four days a week for another 2-week trial”. Try to spend Friday in the office, people are more relaxed and leave early. “I don’t know, it seems you are going to leave us” “Good points. First, to be honest, I was close to quitting before with all the interruptions and commute and whatnot, but I’m actually feeling great now with the change in routine (-> indirect threat) Second, no one should be allowed to work remotely unless they can show increased productivity, and I’m the perfect experiment. It lowers costs for the office, increases productivity and makes employees happier. Can I test it out for two weeks and come in Fridays to take care of the office stuff? I will still document everything and you, of course, have the right to change your mind at any point” Step 6: after one month, request a full-time remote trial of 2 weeks while you are “visiting relatives out of state” It is better to ask that when the company is in the middle of a project that requires your expertise and you are prepared to quit if they refuse. Just as you want to negotiate ad prices close to deadlines, getting what you want often depends more on when you ask rather than how you ask it. An alternative : the hourglass approach Use a preplanned project or family emergency that requires you take 1 or 2 weeks away from the office (family issue, personal issue, relocation, home repairs) - this also prevents the boss from calling you to the office Say you would prefer to work instead of taking vacation days Propose how you can work remotely and offer, if necessary, to take a py cut for that period if the performance isn’t to par. Allow the boss to collaborate on how to do it so that he or she is invested in the process Make the 2 weeks off the most productive period you have had at work. Show the boss the quantifiable results. Suggest 2 or 3 days at home per week as a trial for 2 weeks. Make those days ultra-productive Suggest only 1 or 2 days in the office per week Make these days the least productive Suggest complete mobility. The boss will go for it. Learn how to respond to “no” What would I need to do? Under what circumstances would you accept? I’m sure you have made an exception before, haven’t you? Remote tools EarthClassMail – they receive, scan, mail and shred your documents GreenByPhone – to process checks electronically Killing your job Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer. (Machiavelli, The Prince) Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner. Going into a project or job without defining when worthwhile becomes wasteful is like going into a casino without a cap on what you will gamble: dangerous and foolish. Don’t confuse the complex with the difficult. Most situations are simple. They are just emotionally difficult to act upon. The problem and the solution are usually obvious and simple. It’s not that you don’t know what to do. Of course you do. You are just terrified that you might end up worse off than you are now. If you are afraid of not being able to pay bills, then have a new job or source of cash flow before quitting your current job. If you are afraid it is going to affect you resume, you can always say “I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do [exotic and envy-producing experience] and couldn’t turn it down. I figured that with 30 years of work to go, what is the rush?” If you are afraid of job-hopping, remember that the one determinant of sex appeal to good employers is performance. It doesn’t matter if you jump ship from a bad company after 3 weeks if you are a rock start when it comes to results. But tolerating a punishing work environment for years is a game not worth winning. Only those who are asleep do not make mistakes (Ingvar Kamprad) Considering options I-resign – provides resignation letters, job hunting advice and non-quitting options Opening retirement accounts Franklin Templeton American Funds Doing your own investing Fidelity Investments Vanguard Health Insurance for Self Employed or Unemployed Ehealthinsurance AETNA Kaiser Permanente American Community Mutual Mini-retirements Instead of taking your retirement in 30 years, take it now and distribute it throughout your life instead of saving it all for the end. Relocate to a place for 6 months Travelling cheap Airfare can be free if you use AMEX gold card and Chase Continental Airlines Mastercard Your student ID card can give you up to 40% discounts on transportation in Germany Use credit cards with reward points for large muse-related advertising and manufacturing expenses. This alone gets me a free round-trip international ticket every 3 months Tell the suppliers you will be travelling the world for a year. It will persuade them to accept credit cards rather than chase you around the planet. Get bank-issued credit card for all checking accounts. Give a trusted member of your family or your personal accountant power of attorney so they can sign documents in your name. If the resellers or distributors still send you checks (the fulfillment house should handle customer checks at this point), either give the resellers direct bank deposit information (best), or have the fulfillment house handle these checks (2nd best choice) or have the resellers pay via paypal or mail checks to one of the people are entrust with power of attorney (far 3rd). Muses are often expensive in advertising and manufacturing. Say “rather than trying to negotiate you down on pricing, I just ask that you accept payment by credit card. If you can do that, we will choose you over Competitor X” Purchase tickets 3 months or more in advance or last minute. Aim for both departure and return between Tuesday and Thursday Unclutter your life There are tons of things in your home and life that you don’t use, need or even particularly want. Whether you are aware of it or not, this clutter creates indecision and distractions, consuming attention and making unfettered happiness a real chore. Brainstorming travel locations Virtual Tourist – one-stop shopping for mini-retirements Escape Artist – to get a 2nd passport, Swiss banking, etc How to be Jason Bourne, fourhourblog.com Outside Magazine archives GridSkipper – for cities Thorn Tree Lonely Planet Family Travel Forum – to travel with your family US Department of State Country Profiles World Travel Watch – a must-see before finalizing plans US Department of State Worldwide Travel Warnings Planning and Preparation Perpetual Travel – lifesaving FAQ Traveling cheap Orbitz, Kayak, Sidestep TravelZeoo top 20 – last-minute deals Priceline – bidding on plane tickets CFares 1800FlyEurope Housing short term Couchsurfing, HospitalityClub, GlobalFreeloaders Housing long term Otalo – vacation rentals Hostels.com HotelChatter Craigslist – if you have a helper, they shouldn’t mention you are a foreigner until pricing is agreed Interhome International Rentvillas.com Telephone Vonage, Ooma VoIP Buster, RebTel – cheaper than skype International multiband phones MyWorldPhone World Electronic USA SatPhoneStore – for satellite phones Frustration and doubts People say that what we are seeking is a meaning for life. I do not think this is what we are really seeking. I think what we are seeking is an experience of being alive (Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth) What man needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task (Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning) I often transport a skill I practice domestically – martial arts- to other countries where they are also practiced. Instant social life and camaraderie. It need not be a competitive sport – it could be hiking, chess or almost anything that keeps your nose out of a textbook and you out of your apartment. Sports just happen to be excellent for avoiding foreign-language stage fright and developing lasting friendships. Service for the right reasons Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people we personally dislike (Oscar Wilde) Do not become a cause snob. How can you help starving children in Africa when there are some in LA? The truth is that the downstream effects of your action are unknown. Do your best and hope for the best Charities Charity Navigator Firstgiving – allows you to create an online fundraising page Networkforgood Volunteering Hands on Disaster Response Verge Magazine – lots of volunteering case studies Project Hope Relief International International Relief Teams Airline Ambassadors International Ambassadors for Children Relief Riders International Habitat for Humanity Global Village Program Planeta Global Listings for Practical Ecotourism How to choose one Ask yourself: What makes you angry about the state of the world? What are you most afraid of for the next generation? What makes you happiest in life? How to revisit your dreamlines What are you good at? What could you be the best at? What excites you? What makes you feel accomplished and good about yourself? What are you most proud of having accomplished in your life? What do you enjoy experiencing with other people? What did you dream of being when you were a kid? Perhaps it is time to sign up for space camp or intern as an assistant to a marine biologist. The New Rich mistakes Losing sight of their dreams and falling into work for work’s sake Micromanaging the emailing to fill time Handling problems your outsourcers or co-workers can handle Helping outsourcers or co-workers with the same problem more than once, or with non-crisis problems Chasing customers when you have sufficient cash flow to finance your nonfinancial pursuits Answering email that will not result in a sale Working where you sleep and live You should designate a single space for work and solely work, or you will never be able to escape it Not performing a thorough 80/20 analysis every 2 to 4 weeks for their business and personal life Striving for endless perfection Checking email “just for one minute” Any problem in your inbox will linger for daysm rendering your free time useless. It is the worst of states, where you experience neither relaxation not productivity. Focus on work on fun, never in-between. Forget to ask themselves: “what is the one goal that could change everything, if completed?” When you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself “am I having a breakdown or a breakthrough?” Most of the time, it is better to keep old goals that to set up new ones Traveling easily ClearMe - a biometric travel card, allows you to cut lines in airports Read The Entrepreneurial Imperative The choice-minimal lifestyle The more options you consider, the more buyer’s regret you will have. The more options you consider, the less fulfilling your outcome will be. Therefore, do not provoke deliberation before you can take action. Do not read your emails on Friday evening as you will spend the weekend stressing on problems you can’t fix before Monday Do not postpone decisions. Instead of “I will tell you next week”, say “I am pretty sure I can’t. Let’s assume I cannot make it, but I will let you know if that changes, ok?” Make reversible decisions as quickly as possible Do not consider options for more than 20 minutes. Do not consider more than 3 options. Set finance thresholds – if it costs less than 100$, I will let the virtual assistant make the judgement call. Try a no-complain experiment: for 21 days, every time you complain, your bracelet changes hands. The Not-to do list: habits to stop now Do not answer calls from unrecognized phone numbers Do not email in the morning or last thing at night One of your critical to-do items must be completed before 10. Do not agree to meetings with no clear agenda. And they should last no longer than 30 minutes Do not let people ramble “I am in the middle of getting something out, but what is going on?” Do not check email constantly. Batch it at set times only Do not overcommunicate with low-profit, high-maintenance customers The 20% that create 80% of your problems should be put on autopilot with autoresponders Prioritize Set the most important task for each day- you will see that almost nothing seems urgent. Most of the time, it only costs a small fee to be late. Do not carry a phone 24-7. Once a week, completely disconnect. Reaching profitability in 3 months The goal of a startup should be simple: profit in the least time with the least effort. Not more customers, or more revenue, not more offices or more employees. More profit. Niche is the new big Also, it is sometimes possible to niche market and mass sell, because non-target customers want to identify with your target customers. iPods were for 20-30 year-olds but everyone until 50 bought them because they wanted to look cool. No one aspires to be bland average, so don’t' water down the message to appeal everyone- it will end up appealing to no one. What gets measured gets managed Calculate CPO – cost-per-order, including advertising, fulfillment, expected returns, charge-backs, ad allowable (the maximum you can spend on an advertisement and expect to break even), MER (media efficiency ratio) LV – projected lifetime value, given return rates and reorder percent Plan distribution first Less is more – limit distribution to increase profit More distribution isn’t always better. Uncontrolled distribution leads to all manner of headache and profit-bleeding, most often related to rogue discounters. Remember the goals isn’t more customers but more profit Create demand vs offering terms Focus on creating user-end demands so you can dictate terms. Most rules are just common practice. Don’t offer payment terms just because others do. It is the most consistent ingredient in startup failure. Cite startup economics and “company policy” as reasons for prepayment and apologize but do not make exceptions. Or else, net-30 becomes net-60 and net-120. Repetition is usually redundant Good advertising works the first time. Use direct response advertising (call to action) that is uniquely trackable. Cancel anything that cannot be justified with a trackable ROI Sacrifice margin for safety Don’t manufacture in large quantities unless your product is tested and ready for rollout without changes Make others negotiate against themselves Never be the first one to say a number. “Is it really the best you can offer?” will result in one more drop in price. Go really low and say “I’ll tell you what. Let’s just split the difference. I’ll overnight FedEx you a check and we can call it a day” Once per week, look which 20% are bringing 80% of the results or problems Fire high-maintenance customers What if my largest customer takes all of my time? Recognize that without time you cannot scale your company or your life. And that even good people will sometimes abuse your time to the extent that you allow them. Set good rules for all involved to minimize back-and-forth and meaningless communication. Deadlines come before details Perfect products delivered late kill companies faster than decent product delivered on time. How to never check mail again Have multiple email addresses for specific types of email 99% of email goes into predetermined categories of enquiries with set responses. My assistants check and clear the inbox at 11 am at 3 pm For the 1% of email that require my action, I have a once-daily phone call with my assistant from 4 to 4.10pm If I am busy travelling, my assistant read them to me on my voicemail and I answer by mail If meetings must be taken, batch them on one day with 15 minutes between meetings. If you jump in your assistant’s inbox and answer anything, BCC them so they are aware that you handled it. Before hiring a VA, test 3 of them to do something in a deadline of 24 hours. Then use a 2-4 weeks probation period Tim Ferris Processing rules for VAs Deadlines are extremely important. Be aware of them and be punctual If Tim says “call me back”, call him back! Don’t use email as he might be travelling Even if it is late, call him Read The Elements of Style regarding proper grammar and punctuation We are dealing with high-profile clients on Tim’s behalf and the proper writing techniques and message says a lot about his team Become as familiar as you can with his book and his website as to answer questions accordingly If someone wants to “jump on the phone with me”, send them something like “To make the best use of everyone’s time, Tim likes to have a well-defined agenda with objectives for a call before jumping on the phone. Can you please send over some bullet points with what you would like to cover and decide on the call?” When Tim types “dictate” in the email response, this means we can say “As Tim is traveling at the moment and not able to personally respond to your email, I mentioned him your message while on the phone and he asked me to dictate. “ This makes the process easier as we do not have to change the context of the person responding. No need for “Tim says that he ---” Tim’s address is XXX – this email is not to be distributed or given to anyone. If you want Tim on an email, please Bcc him so that it remains private. When booking appointments in the calendar, write down which topics they would like to discuss and put them in the description so Tim can prepare Put your initials in the subject line of calendar events so we know which VA put the item. Prepare inquiries for Tim before sending to him for his review – their Alexa ranking, possible dates of an event, link to past events they have held, their budget, other confirmed speakers, etc. Then send this info to Tim Speaking enquiries can be responded this way: “Thanks for your email and invitation to Tim. I see that the event is April 7-8 in Portland. Before I present this to Tim, could you answer the following questions so we can make an informed decision? Would you like Tim to be at the entire event? How long would the presentation be? Or would it be a Q&A panel? Do you cover travel and accommodation along with a speaker’s fee? What is your budget for keynote presentations? Have any other speakers confirmed to be present? As soon as I hear back, I can speak with Tim about the possibilities of making this happen. Thanks! Books to read The Magic of Thinking Big (David Schwartz) - super book of many super-performers worldwide How to Make Millions with your Ideas (Dan Kennedy) - converting ideas into millions The E-Myth Revisited (Michael Gerber) Thinking like a monk The Monk and the Riddle (Randy Komisar) - a Silicon Valley wizard using razor-sharp philosophies The 80/20 Principle (Richard Koch) - historical and mathematical support for the 80-20 principle Muse Creation and related skills Harvard Business School Case Studies (click “school cases”) - There is a case study for very problem, every situation and business model This Business Has Legs (peter Bieler) How Bieler went from 0 to 100 million in 2 years Secrets of Power Negotiating (Roger Dawson) Response Magazine How-to articles to increase salles per call, lower media costs, improve fulfillment, etc The best outsourcers in the business also advertise in this magazine. Excellent resource Jordan Whitnet Greensheet Dissects the most successful product campaigns, including offers, pricing, guarantees and ad frequencies. Highly recommended Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big (Bo Burlingham)
  23. Larry King - How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere The first time I had to speak in the microphone at the radio, nothing came out of my mouth. Three times. The manager kicked the door open and yelled “This is a communication business!”. I said “Good morning, this is my first day every on radio. I have always wanted to be on air. I have been practicing all weekend. Fifteen minutes ago, they gave me a new name. I had a theme song ready to play. But my mouth is dry, I am nervous. And the general manager just kicked the door open and said This is a communications business” Honesty Let listeners share your experience and how you feel. If someone grabbed you from the street and put you in front of a microphone, what would you say? I would say “Someone just grabbed me front the street, handed me papers and told me ‘You’re on’” Will Rogers once said “Everyone is ignorant, just on different subjects”. And everyone has at least one thing they like to talk about. Reveal information about yourself, where you come from, what you like and dislike. If I were a stutterer, I would share that. I would say “It’s n-n-n-nice to meet you, my n-n-n-name is Larry King. I have this problem of stuttering but I am happy to talk to you.” Breaking the ice Even if they are stars, they will enjoy the conversation more if you are enjoying it too. Keep in mind most of them started as middle-class families too. And many of them are shy too. The WW2 veteran was extremely shy talking about his past, but had no problem talking about the present when Larry asked him: “What would you do if there were 5 planes in front of you, etc?” Openers It’s easier to break the ice with personal subjects, like children – worked very well for Al Gore, or situational openers about the environment: pictures on the wall, etc. Avoid yes/no questions Use: “what do you think?” “What are the chances that ...?” First rule of conversation: listen To be a good talker, you must be a good listener. Quayle was anti-abortion- King asked him what he would do if his daughter needed one. This led him to say he would support her. In How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie writes: “To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that people will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. A person’s toothache means more to someone right here and right now than millions dying in Africa” Body language It’s really important to make eye contact while listening. Social Talk The greatest question of all times: “why?” It is a great way of keeping the conversation interesting and lively. How to quarterback a conversation Choose a topic everyone can join in on Ask “what do you think?”, especially to the shy ones Don’t monopolize the conversation Use what-ifs / what would you do stories What if your dying friend gives you money for his son’s education, but your own son works harder. Would you spend the money on him? One minor in the cave is too far to squeeze through the hole- should he die so his friends can live? If you were invisible, what would you do... Pay attention to the physical setting Make sure guests are sitting close together Funerals Don’t say “I know how you must feel” or “This is such a tragedy”. It’s not up to you to gauge. Say “I’ll never forget when I was in hospital and he came to visit me” Or “Do you know he pulled the best prank I ever saw in high school?” Or “I’m sorry, we will really miss her” How to talk to celebrities Don’t say “I’ve been a fan of yours since I was a kid” or “My father used to take me to your shows” (implies they are old) or “I have always thought I could be an athlete too” (diminishes their accomplishment) Just approach them as normal people, they enjoy it like everyone. Do not only speak about what they are famous for. Try to speak about something else not related to their profession: talk to Woody Allen about the NY baseball team or Paul Newman about his charity work with kids. 8 things the best talkers have in common Successful people all have the ability to express themselves well. Truman wasn’t a great orator and spoke very little but he made himself clearly understood. They look at things from a new angle They have broad horizons Their childhood in Brooklyn becomes a window on an era in American history They are enthusiastic, show passion and interest They pick a topic they are passionate about: your kids, hobbies, charity They don’t talk about themselves all the time They are curious and ask why They empathize, try to put themselves in your shoes They have a sense of humor, and use it on themselves They have their own style of talking Edward Bennett Williams spoke very softly and forced you to lean forward to hear him, thus paying more attention. He was compelling, but never loud. Find your own style Trendy talk and political correctness Avoid pompous language. Remove “basically, like, uh, um” and “you know” from your vocabulary. Business talk The art of selling The 2 golden rules of sales: 1. know what you are selling 2. Once you have closed the deal, don’t keep selling Don’t sell the features of your product, sell the advantages. Don say this toaster has a microchip for doneness. Talk about sitting down for breakfast to a steaming cup o coffee and a golden-brown English muffin. Don’t; talk about the premiums and payout of the insurance policy. Talk about the security your client will feel and about the gratitude of his or her spouse and children in knowing that the cornerstone of their financial future is in place. In job intereviews, you should also ask questions. It shows you are prepared and that you care. If the company isn’t doing too well: “Which company would you like to look like? How do you plan to achieve that?”. And listen to the answers. Talking to the boss “I have the feeling that I could be doing my job more effectively. Could you help me understand what areas I should concentrate on?” “I am not sure I understand how to go about this project. It would help me if you could explain what steps I should be taking first.” Assistants Important people do everything through their assistants. Be extra polite to them, they can help a lot When negotiating Always try to negotiate from a position of strength even if the odds are stacked against you King and his friends were about to be expelled for pretending one of their classmates had died. His friend said “You will kill your career if you do that. You took the word of three 13-year-old boys and only called their house once before writing Deceased in your books. We may be suspended, but you are out of work.” and after a while: “Why don’t we forget the whole story?” Make it clear that you have other options Meetings Come prepared, with an agenda. Start on time. Be decisive Be firm - “sorry we have to move on to the next item” My Best and Worst Guests The best guests have 4 things: Passion for their work They explain things clearly and in an interesting way They have a chip on their shoulder, something bothering them They have a sense of humor Many leaders in government, business and entertainment have the self-assurance never to take themselves too seriously and not to stay serious too long. Sinatra liked to tell the story when a man asked him to greet him in front of his in-laws who were about to arrive. When he did so, the young man said “Fuck off, Frank, this is personal”. Empathy: when a mom called Danny Kaye on a radio show and said her son (who was a big fan) had been killed in the Korean War, he asked what the son’s favorite song was and sang it a capella for the mom. Presentations Speak about something you know. If you don’t know about the topic, (Israeli conflict), speak about your experience as a Jewish boy in Brooklyn. Tell them what you are going to tell them – it will be easier for them to follow Tell them Tell them what you told them Humor Never say “I’m going to tell you a joke” or “Something funny happened to me today” After the joke, connect it with a real topic Know your audience Hit them where they live. Before speaking you should ask: What is the organization? Who are the members? Where are they from? What are the big issues facing you? What would you like to hear about me? How long do you want me to talk? Will there be questions after I finish? Make sure they know you Especially if you make a joke about Jews when the audience doesn’t know you are Jewish too. Say something slightly offensive To a crowd of policemen: “Mr. X just spoke against crime so in accordance of the fairness doctrine, I will have to speak in favor of it. How many of you would like to live in Butte, Montana? They have the lowest crime rate ever, but nobody wants to live there. What are the top cities in America? LA, SF, et. The conclusion is crime is a tourist attraction. People go where crime is. And if we listen to Mr. X, we will wipe crime in America. And you all will be out of a job” Be brief Lincoln’s Gettysburg speech lasted only 5 minutes and is still remembered today. Kennedy and Churchill also practiced brevity Speaking on TV and radio It’s just a conversation. Make it personal. King asked Bush: “Do you dislike Bill Clinton?”, to Nixon: “When you drive by the Watergate, do you feel weird?” and Reagan: “What is it like to get shot?” When you are on the hot seat You should keep control of the conversation when you are being interviewed, whether it is an interview or a job interview. If you don’t remember, say so. But don’t lie. Ways to deflect: “It would be premature to answer that question now” “That is a hypothetical question and I don’t deal with hypothetical issues” If you are walking in an uncomfortable situation and have to do it anyway, be honest. During the Tylenol scandal, officials apologized and decided not to take a PR approach. They said something awful had indeed happened but the product remained safe, they had taken extraordinary precautions and people could continue buying it without fear. Stick with what makes you comfortable If you do not want to be interviewed, do not do it. Avoid negatives: “Listen, there are a billion people living in China, and tomorrow morning, none of them will know that I missed that baseball game” Slow yourself down It will tone down your voice and calm you down Being honest When inmates escaped from prison, the warden didn’t say “No comment”. He showed journalists around the cell, said they were investigating and making recommendations to prevent future escapes. Major win. When debating Never disrespect your opponent. Look at them in the eyes, remain firm in your responses, never lose your cool. Look relaxed and confident. Speak with assurance. Show you are primed and ready for debate.
  24. Sandra Wilson – Released from Shame Rules in Unhealthy Families Be Blind To your own perception of reality Even children old enough to care for themselves fear the painful emotional abandonment they experience when they fail to live by their family rules, including “be blind”. So, children learn to surrender their own perceptions. Parental distortion of reality is actually a form of intellectual child abuse. As adults, these intellectually abused children might seek endless validation of every decision. 2. To role reversals Unhealthy families are populated by “adultified” children and “childified” adults. In these homes, parents often use their children to meet distorted needs for power, nurturing even sexual gratification, while the children’s needs are ignored. Be Quiet In public When interacting with the outside world, impaired parents model the family’s top priority: looking perfect. Be Numb To feelings Dysfunctional families both stimulate strong emotions and block their expression. Children in these families seem to develop a kind of “emotional leprosy” or numbness that allows them to block out their confusing, often overwhelming feelings. Very early, children realize that their parents cannot tolerate displays of anger, sadness, fear or pain. Expressions of those emotions betray the family secret that all is not perfect. Therefore, disturbing emotions become enemies to be feared and eventually numbed and repressed. Adults who repress emotions often are unable to answer the question “How do you feel about that?” with anything more specific than “I don’t know”. To personal boundaries Without healthy boundaries, we will not know when we are being invaded or abused. Be Careful Depending on their degrees of personal impairment, parents create families that their children experience as unpredictable, chaotic or unsafe. Be Good In unhealthy families, the word good, when applied to children, is actually a code word for “perfect”. A “good child”: Never inconveniences parents Never embarrasses or disappoints parents Never has personal needs Knows how to do everything correctly without being taught Never has a critical thought Never loses (except when competing with a parent) Does everything parents ask (instantly, perfectly and joyfully, of course) The more troubled the family in which you were raised, the more difficult it will be for you to remember the whole picture, because you might have been taught that “good” children only remember happy times. And you have always wanted to be good. Abuse and Shaming in Unhealthy Families Overtly abusive parents thrust their children into adulthood with gaping wounds that leave the children vulnerable to further abuses. Father Hunger If you are a woman with father hunger, you might be starved for attention from men, especially older men in positions of authority. Hooking the Shame In overtly and subtly abusive families, parents use “shame loops” by using emotional or verbal pressure on their children. For example: Negative comparisons that make the child feel different and less than others Redefining respect Respect your elders is actually a code word for “Do everything older relatives tell you to do and ask no questions”. It’s an extremely effective way to control older children in unhealthy families. It requires any attempts from the children to separate appropriately from their parents and develop their own individuality to be redefined as “disrespecting your elders”. “Growing down” is the phenomenon when you are 20, 35 or 50 when you return to your parents’ home and emerge 3 days later feeling like you are 8 again. This feeling can be triggered by “loyalty tests” parents put on you. Eg. “How can you do X when you know we always do Y?” “always” is the verbal hook to test your sense of family loyalty and pressure you into mindless obedience to any spoken or unspoken parental pattern. In such families, children still feel like walking on eggshells around their parents. They may remember there is only one way to do anything and it’s your father’s way, of course. In some families, “respect” actually means” do not express any opinion or preference that differs from your father’s or he will explode and it will be all your fault that the day is ruined.” And since it is simply expected of you that you respect your elders, you probably don’t even get any praise for god performance tapdancing through a mine field. Understanding Consequences and Change The consequences of binding shame are numerous: Existence Guilt, Abandonment and Perfectionism Children fear abandonment. They believe that is all they deserve for being so fatally flawed by imperfection. Is there any hope of maintaining a relationship with other people? Of course – we have to pretend to be perfect too! Self-Shaming It is expressed by inner commentaries on our consistent failures. Hopelessness and Self-Protection Perfectionism is often the chosen means of self-protection and the cycle of shame continues. Released from Shaming Our Flaws Ways out: committing to the truth. Realizing that your past influences you but it doesn’t have to control you. Without realizing it, many abused children love most of their life making choices based on shame and self-protection. They shame themselves and administer punishment for the crime of imperfection. We imprison ourselves in the dungeons of self-hatred and hopelessness. Something Missing Victims of abuse have lots of memory gaps referring to experiences they had as a child but conveniently forgot in order to benefit the family system. Skill gaps also exist: in poorly functioning homes, parents were too distressed and distracted to provide basic knowledge and experiences regarding problem solving, basic nutrition or appropriate social behavior. Children were supposed to know these things without being taught. As small adults they were expected to organize a term paper, cook or resolve conflict correctly the first time around. You might be shaming yourself for being stupid when in reality you are very bright and creative. What you are labeling as stupidity is actually the sense of confusion commonly experienced by adults who never had the opportunity as children to try and learn lots of basic things. The Mask of Perfectionism Most adults from troubled families conclude early in life that it is dangerous to let the real mistake-making me show. So we fashion disguises, masks of perfection. These masks are extremely cumbersome and ill-fitting. Everything is a life-or-death, must-win situation. As perfectionists, we can’t tolerate criticism from others in any form, so we react defensively and alienate those close to us. This only reinforces our belief that we must be perfect to be accepted and loved. Perfectionists are often rewarded for their life-crushing compulsion. We might look like butterflies to others but we know we are really just caterpillars. Fortunately, no one has noticed yet. Many experienced the Imposter phenomenon. Every time they get an official-looking letter from Ministry headquarters, they are afraid they are going to be fired for incompetence. Released from Shaming Our Feelings When Feelings Seem Disobedient, Disloyal and Dangerous If you grew up in families where feelings were a luxury we couldn't afford, we still may be living emotionally impoverished lives in an attempt to be loyal. but even be on the discomfort of experiencing ourselves as disobedient and disloyal, we might experience feeling strong emotions as dangerous. In extremely troubled families, children learn that strong feelings usually directly and immediately cause harmful behavior. If our only adult models express emotions violently, we will think the only outcome of experiencing a strong feeling is destructively expressing that feeling. Fear of Abandonment most of us never see how fear of Abandonment rather lives. Sometimes you want to say no but you are afraid. Why is saying no so bad? Your friend might not like the fact that you're not going to her party. Why is that so bad? You would be alone. Loneliness is one of the trigger events for fear of abandonment. If children experience abandonment with enough frequency and intensity in childhood, it becomes a significant trauma which will mark the adult child's life with a strong fear of re-experiencing any reminder of abandonment. Fear of feelings and needs Adults raised in poorly functioning families are often described as compulsive controllers. They often try to supervise and regulate every detail of their own and others’ behaviors. Since we went through childhood with little or no control, it is as if they have silently vowed “Never again.” If this is your style, you are what has been called an external controller. if you do not appear to be controlling, you might be an internal controller, dedicated to extinguishing any awareness of your personal needs by withholding your feelings. Impaired parents are so absorbed with their own needs that they do not have any emotional energy to meet their children's needs. It is too painful and scary for these children to consistently have their legitimate needs unmet, so they try to be need-free. If your early years included parent abuse and consistent emotional abandonment, you experience the betrayal of trust that deeply lacerated your life. When parents betray and reject you, grief might threaten to overwhelm. As a child, you had to repress the sorrow to survive. As an adult, you might still useful and shame this sadness to protect yourself from emotional pain and to project an image of being strong, in control and mature. “I'm angry all the time”, said the son of rigid and perfectionist parents. “I don't think I have ever been angry”, said the incest survivor, softly. Anger seems to be the only emotion some adults ever feel, while for others it is the only dangerous emotion that they never allow themselves to experience. anger can be used to Shield us against anticipated pain in a defensive response to previous pain. for some children anger is the only moment when they feel safe and strong because they can say no. this self-protective use of anger might be an attempt to avoid that person's disapproval or rejection. These responses can trigger our painful feelings of abandonment. New choices to express feelings learn some respectful assertiveness techniques so you don't need anger to Shield you from personal boundary violations. Try the broken record. You continue to matter of fact please State your desire or presence until the other realizes you are not backing down increase your feeling vocabulary by preparing a list of pleasant and unpleasant emotions. This will help you talk and write about the wider range of emotions you will be experiencing. Euphoria, vibrancy, contentment, alertness, regarded, lethargy, dejection, discontentment, aversion. Released from Shame-based Overdependency Craig spends a lot of time monitoring Sarah’s eating disorder. he is convinced that he can change her if he loves her enough and tries hard enough. Over dependency, often called codependency, is a shame-based painful pattern of excessive dependence on others to provide a sense of personal safety, identity and worth. over dependency binds us to relationships where we are being disrespected and controlled by people that we in turn, disrespect and attempt to control. Are you an over dependent person who gets compulsively over involved with others? Use this quiz : I feel uneasy and empty if I am not in a close relationship I sacrificed my values and standards to stay connected with others I give money on gifts as a way to feel more secure in relationships I cannot feel good if someone else feels bad I spend so much time helping others that my job, family and health suffer my needs to not feel is important and urgent as the needs of others I believe many people would be lost without me as I protect them from the effects of their stupid or silly choices Healthy Relationships Respecting ourselves and others also requires that we allow other adults to be as responsible for the consequences of their choices as we are for ours. stop and ask yourself if you are trying to rescue some adults from experiencing the consequences of their irresponsible choices. You might care deeply about this person and believe you are expressing true compassion. But can you see that you are actually expressing disrespect? When you rescue someone, you were saying “ I believe you were less capable of living responsibly than I am. You are like a child, or a mentally retarded adult.” Shame-Based relationships When asked why she stayed, Jessica shrugged and said” I take what I can get. Besides, it could be a lot worse.” What she meant was that she feared being alone. The greater the perceived abandonment in childhood, the more urgent and desperate is the adult search for safety and connectedness, regardless of how much physical, emotional and relational pain is involved. Mutually disrespectful shame-based relationships In many over-dependent relationships, both people shame and deeply disrespect each other, the one person may be less obvious about it. Shamers know where others are most easily hurt and use that information. the attack the independence of their partners by casting doubt on their intelligence, common sense and sanity. They diminish the people around them so that they can feel better about themselves. Subtle shamers favor rescuing to look stronger and more competent than the victim, while also maintaining the appearance of respectful kindness. Marriage and our hidden agendas many over-dependent adults approach marriage with hidden agendas. Usually, we hide these agendas even from ourselves. all we know is that we have deep, name of those long things in their lives, and we expect our unsuspecting spouses to satisfy them. But of course, they have their own longings and agendas. Our vague feelings that there is something missing in us propels our compulsive drive for personal completion. In marriage, this compulsion is identified into unspoken demands that our spouses spend their entire lives taking away our childhood pain and filling us with good feelings about ourselves Over-dependence and boundaries We cannot set personal boundaries and at the same time take responsibility for controlling another person's feelings. These acts are mutually exclusive. We set personal boundaries to take care of ourselves, not to control others. Too Permeable Permeable I talk at an intimate level at the first meeting I don’t overwhelm people with personal information. I allow time for trust to develop. I am overwhelmed with a person and his or her needs I am able to keep relationships in perspective and function effectively in other areas of my life. I don’t ever notice when others invade my personal boundaries I notice when others try to make decisions for me, are overly helpful or don’t consult me about planning my time. I sacrifice my values if I have to in order to be close to people. I am not willing to “do anything” to maintain a relationship. I have values that are non-negotiable Overdependency and Controlling Others Overdependents are the fairy godmothers of the world. They wave a magic wand, hoping to control other people. They end up being controlled by the very people they attempt to control. We complain about our loss of control in unhealthy relationships while being sincerely committed to improving, rescuing and helping others- which are all attempts to control someone. But in reality, unless you are in a prison, if you are being controlled and disrespected, you are a volunteer, not a victim. Many children raised in alcoholic families have voluntarily relinquished their self-respect, personal boundaries and control, all because of the belief that they could (or should) control another adult. They grow up to endure the same degrading situations by getting in a relationship with an alcoholic whose drinking they try to control. You might have this compulsive need to control others because you learned in childhood that you could and should. Your sense of identity and worth might center on the helping, rescuing relational styles that mark dedicated controllers. Or you might be controlling primarily to reduce the threat of experiencing events that trigger abandonment feelings. Perhaps the position of the victim might seem more effective for controlling. Those who play this role seem to have given up trying to earn anything. They have settled for taking as a way to be connected to all the rescuers who live to give. Children in dysfunctional families are often forced to play both the victim and the rescuer. Incest victims need to rescue their abusers by keeping their incest a secret. Victims need rescuers and rescuers need victims. But genuinely trusting and intimate relationships re based on the willingness to give up role-playing. Trust and Intimacy Overdependents tend to live one of two extreme positions: they trust too fast- they use their “blind trust” in a childlike attempt to make the other person trustworthy. And they get surprised when the partner doesn’t want to marry them straightaway. Responsible for Self Overresponsible, Strong Rescuer I am responsible for myself and to others I am responsible for everything or everyone I can change only myself I can change everybody I can take care of myself I will take care of you all of the time Some things are “too much” for me Nothing is too much for me I long for a relationship I desperately need to be needed Overdependents usually either overtrust or undertrust as a defense mechanism. In both cases they end up shame-bound and alone, incapable of making intimacy possible since intimatcy is based on appropriate trust. Intimacy Intimacy is an experience of shared openness. I tis the willingness of being who and what we are with another person. It requires trust that both people will be safe. Trusting is a choice. If we believe our imperfection disqualifies us from loving relationships, we won’t risk true intimacy. Mentally competent adults are responsible for themselves and the consequences of their choices. Exercise your freedom to choose by learning to say no Allow for the Law of the Pendulum as you make new choices People recovering from overdependency are often horrified at how mean they seem to be. Like most adults from troubled families who think in extremes all-or-nothing, we substitute an automatic no for a compulsive yes. With all-or-nothing thinking, we tend to swing to the opposite extreme before gradually finding an appropriate middle position. Practice alternative responses Tell people who need help that it is important for them to come up with their own solutions since it is their problem and their life. Forgiving the Shamers Is it a reasonable choice to be angry at them? There they are, standing in front of you with empty hands and pockets, unable to repay you for the past. You can continue trying to collect the debts they rightfully owe you by exacting verbal and nonverbal tolls. But this means you must constantly replay the past to keep their deficit balance fresh in your mind. Or you can cancel the debt. I didn’t say dent it but cancel it. Refusing to forgive has ironic consequences. While we keep our hurters imprisoned in hatred, we remain in bondage to bitterness and unforgiveness. Forgiveness is a gift to yourself. It allows your body to turn down the manufacture of the chemicals that are tearing you apart. Justice is getting what we deserve and mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Do not rush into a counter of cheap forgiveness You may be inclined to toss out a quick, thick blanket forgiveness to cover all the pain of your past. But true forgiveness is costly. You may want to commit to forgive at the start of your healing process even though you will first be looking closely at what needs to be forgiven. This way you will not cover up painful memories by saying they are forgiven without having examined them. Write a Forgiveness List Be specific about the hurts and about forgiving them. Begin lsiting specific times your parents hurt you. Include the act, your feelings and thoughts at the time. Write the date you choose to forgive. Eg. My mom called me stupid in front of 2 friends when I was nine. I felt so ashamed Date forgiven: 8/21/99 Releasing our Children Many of us will feel as total failures as a parents because we grew up believing that children’s needs and desires are simply too overwhelming for any parent to handle. Some unrealistic expectations we may have: My children need to be as upset about their mistakes as I am This belief comes when you grew up in a house where making a mistake was the same as being a mistake and failing at something made you a failure. This is the performance-equals-personhood lie. By constantly scrutinizing and emphasizing performance, we may convey in our children that their successful performances are all we truly value about them. My children must be perfect so they can rescue me from the shame of imperfection Shame-bound parents see their children’s performance primarily as a reflection of their own worth. These parents feel compelled to make their children take seriously the mission of making their parents look good, even if it kills them. Wanda Holloway went as far as killing the mom of her daughter’s cheerleading rival so give her daughter a better chance of winning. There is a part of Wanda in all of us and we were taught to call this motivation. Its real name is emotional abuse: praise of child-produced performance without affirmation of God-given worth. Child as Human Being Child as Human Doing My task is to live for myself. My task is to perform as perfectly a possible so they will love me/approve of me so I can feel good about myself. I let my child learn the consequences of procrastination by letting him get a poor grade. I take a short view for the appearance of perfect performance, doing my child’s project so he maintains high grades. I talk primarily of my child as a tenderhearted boy, an honest employee or a wise parent. I talk primarily about my child as the ballet star, soccer hero or doctor. I ask “did you enjoy it? Did you learn anything?” I ask “Did you win?” I reward brave attempts at success. I reward winning only. Remember to affirm and compliment your children warmly, frequently and directly. Lots of adults from dysfunctional families have no memories of a parent complimenting them, but discover after their parents’ death that their parents praised them to adult friends or relatives. It is also important to say “I am glad I have you as a daughter” Redefine Failure Failures is the pillar of success. Sometimes we worry that our children will become discouraged by mistakes and stop trying to achieve worthwhile goals. Actually, children tend to accept mistakes and move on without negative impact on their next attempts when they know they are loved and they don’t have to be perfect. "Mommy makes mistakes too, and pencils have erasers because everyone does too” Released for Potential and Purpose One day a pot of tea splashed against the wall of an inn. Sir Edwin Landseer began drawing on the wall around it, transforming it into a beautiful picture, It doesn’t matter how dark the stains are in your life. Gods creative potential is unlimited. He can take the very thing you view as hideous and transform it into something that will make you most useable to him. The Purpose of Brokenness Living though pain can help us develop character Pearls are the product of pain. One grain of sand slips inside an oyster. All resources rush to heal this foreign irritant. Lots of resources get activated, whereas they would have stayed dormant otherwise. One day the irritant is covered by a pearl. It is the symbol of stressed, a healed wound, a precious tiny jewel, conceived through irritation, born of adversity, nursed by adjustments. Had there been no wounding, no irritating interruption, there could have been no pearl. You must commit yourself to consistently practicing the truth If you just put this book down and begin reading another one containing more truth, your life and relationships still won’t change. Truth-based change come from living new, truth-shaped choices.
  25. Mark Manson - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck Chapter 1: Don’t Try The key to a good life is not giving a fuck about more, it is to give a fuck about less, about only what is true and immediate and important. Consumer culture has bred lots of negative experiences: anxiety, fear, guilt, making us overly stressed, neurotic and self-loathing. Our crisis is no longer material, it is spiritual. We have lots of stuff and so many opportunities that we don’t know what to give a fuck about anymore. The desire for a positive experience is paradoxically, a negative experience. And the acceptance of one’ negative experience becomes a positive experience. The more you want to be rich, the poorer you feel. Albert Camus said you will never be happy if you look what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life. It is often the person who is the least invested in the success of something that actually ends up achieving it. You need to learn to pursue the negatives, not the positives: the pain at the gym, and the failures in business to have a better understanding of what is it to be successful. To not give a fuck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action: the switch in careers, the choice to drop out of college, etc. Not giving a fuck means learning how to focus and prioritize what matters to you versus what doesn’t. It is not being indifferent to anything, shaken by nothing and caving to no one; it is rather being comfortable with being different, not caring about pissing somebody off when you feel you are doing something you feel is right, important or noble. How do you do that? To not give a fuck about adversity, you must first give a fuck about something more important. If you find yourself giving fucks about a TV remote, then the real problem is that there is not much going in your life. Whether you realize it or not, you are always choosing what to give a fuck about. Kids first cry about nothing, then as we mature, we start giving fucks only to things we think are fuckworthy. As we get older, our energy level drops, our identity solidifies and we start accepting parts of ourselves we aren’t thrilled about. It is actually liberating to accept life as it is. We reserve our fucks for our families, our best friends, our golf swing. And surprisingly, we realize that this is enough. This makes us happy on a consistent basis. People today don’t realize it’s ok to suck sometimes. Practical enlightenment teaches that suffering is inevitable, but you can turn your pain into a tool, our trauma into power and your problems into better problems. Not giving a fuck means learning to suffer better for more meaningful things, with more compassion and humility. It’s about learning to lose and let go. It’s about learning that it’s ok not to try. Chapter 2: Happiness is a Problem Buddha discovered suffering is inevitable. One of life’s realizations was this that life itself is a form of suffering. The rich suffer because of their riches. The poor suffer because of their poverty. People without a family suffer because they have no family. People with a family suffer because of their family. People who pursue worldly pleasures suffer because of their worldly pleasures. People who abstain from worldly pleasures suffer because of their abstention. Pain and loss are inevitable and we should let go of trying to resist them. We suffer for the simple reasons that suffering is biologically useful. It is Nature's preferred agent for inspiring change. You have evolved to always live with a certain degree of dissatisfaction and insecurity because it's the dissatisfied and insecure creature that's going to do the most work to innovate and survive. We are wired to become dissatisfied with whatever we have and satisfied by only what you do not have. Therefore, our own pain and misery are not a bug of human evolution, they are feature. Pain is what teaches us what to pay attention to when we were young or careless. It helps show us what's good for us versus what's best for us. It helps us understand and adhere to our own limitations. Problems never go away he said they just improve. Warren Buffett has money problems. The hobo also has money problems. Buffet just has better money problems. So, don't hope for a life without problem, as there's no such thing. Instead hope for a life full of good problems. Happiness comes from solving problems. If you're avoiding your problems or feel like you don't have any problems then you're going to make yourself miserable. Most people fuck things up in two ways. Denial and victim mentality Emotions are overrated They are feedback mechanisms telling us that something is either like the right or likely one for us nothing more nothing less. Emotions are simply biological signals designed to nudge you in the direction of beneficial change. In other words, negative emotions are a call to action. Positive emotions on the other hand or rewards for taking the proper action. Remember pain serves a purpose. Then there are those people who over identify with their emotions. “Oh, I broke your windshield but I was really mad. I couldn't help it”. Or “I dropped out of school and moved to Alaska just because it felt right”. An obsession and overinvestment in emotion fails us for the simple reason that emotions never last. Whatever makes us happy today will no longer make us happy tomorrow. This is why our problems are recursive and unavoidable. The person you marry is the person you fight with. The house you buy is the house you repair. The dream job you take is the job you stress over. This is a difficult pill to swallow. We like the idea that there's some form of ultimate happiness that can be attained. We like the idea that we can alleviate all of our suffering permanently. We like the idea that we can feel fulfilled and satisfied with our lives forever. But we cannot. Choose your struggle If I ask you what do you want out of life and you say “I want to be happy and have a great family and job I like”, your response doesn't really mean anything. The more interesting question is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Most people want a lot of money but not many people want to work 60 hours a week. Most people want a great relationship but you shoot people want to go through tough conversations awkward silences hurt feelings and emotional drama to get there. Happiness grows from problems real fulfillment and meaning are earned through the choosing and managing of our struggles. You have to choose something the more interesting question is the pain. What pain do you want to sustain? That is the hard question. That is the question that will actually get you somewhere. It's the question that can change of perspective alive. It's what makes you you. It's fun to find us and separates us and ultimately brings us together. I thought I wanted to be a rockstar but actually I was in love with the results. I was thinking of me on stage of people cheering but I wasn't in love with the process. I realized that I didn't like to climb too much. I just like to imagine the summit. I wanted the reward another struggle. Who you are is defined by what you are willing to struggle for People who enjoy the struggles of the gym are the ones who have great abs. People who enjoy long work days are the ones who fly to the top of the company. Chapter 3: You Are Not Special And the 1960s research found that people who thought highly about themselves performed better and cause fewer problems. But you're not exceptional. Having high self-esteem and feeling good about yourself doesn't mean you have a good reason to feel good about yourself. It turns out that adversity on failure or actually useful and even necessary for developing strong-minded and successful adults. A more accurate measurement of one's self worth is how you feel about the negative aspects of yourself. Jimmy is entitled. He thinks he deserves good things without actually earning them or working for them. Someone with a high self-worth can look at the negative parts of his character frankly and say “yes, sometimes I'm irresponsible with money”. Or “Yes sometimes I exaggerate my own successes”. Or “Yes I rely too much on others to support me and I should be more self-reliant.” And then these people act to improve upon them. When really bad things happen in our life, we feel that we are incapable of solving them. This makes us feel miserable and helpless. But it also makes us feel that the rules are different for us. It makes us feel entitled. The deeper the pain the more helpless we feel and the more entitled we feel. As a result, we think “I'm awesome and you all suck so I deserve special treatment” or “I suck and all of you were awesome so I deserve special treatment”. The truth is that there's no such thing as a personal problem If you've got a problem chances are millions of other people have had it in the past or have it now. It means that you are not special. Realizing that you and your problems are not privileged or special is the first and most important step toward solving them. Accepting a job pretty will grow your appreciation for life's basic experiences the pleasures of simple friendship creating something helping a person in need reading a good book relaxing someone you care about. Chapter 4: the value of suffering Onoda fought WW2 until the 1970s. When he went back to Japan, he became more depressed than he had been in the jungle for all those years. In the jungle his life had meant something. Back in Japan he realized his fighting had meant nothing. The first step to self-awareness is understanding your emotions, knowing when you feel happy or when you feel sad. The second step is the ability to ask yourself why you feel these emotions. The 3rd step and the deeper level of awareness is your personal values. Why do I consider this to be a success or a failure how am I choosing to measure Myself? By what standard am I judging myself and everyone around me? Most people are bad at answering these why questions and this is why they do not understand their own values. Many people feel lonely. But when you ask them why, they blame others. They do not look at their responsibility for their own problems. They are actually chasing highs instead of generating true happiness. Usually the more uncomfortable the answer the more likely it is to be true. Think of something that is really bugging you. Now ask yourself why it bugs you. The answer will probably involve a failure of yours. Ask yourself why this failure seems true to you. what did that failure wasn't really a failure? What if you've been looking at it the wrong way? Maybe you were choosing a poor metric for yourself under life maybe you don't need to be that close to your brother you have a good relationship that you how are you. Maybe there just needs to be some mutual respect. Or maybe trust is enough. Maybe these metrics would be better assessments of a good relationship with your brother than how many text messages you and him exchange. Dave Mustaine sold millions of records but he still considered himself a failure because he sold less than Metallica who kicked him out. His metric was to be more successful than Metallica and so he saw himself as a failure. Onoda’s metric was loyalty to the Japanese empire which is why he was okay for 30 years and miserable when he went back to Japan. If you want to change how you see your problems you have to change what you value and how you make how you measure success. After getting kicked out from the Beatles, Best said she was pretty happy his values has changed. He decided what he had was more important: a family of stable marriage and a simple life. So, what was really lost? Just a lot of attention and adulation whereas what he gained meant so much more to him. Pleasure is not the cause of Happiness; rather it is the effect. If you get the other stuff right like the other values and metrics then pleasure will naturally occur as a by-product. Sometimes life sucks and you have to admit it. Constant positivity is a form of avoidance and it is not a valid solution to Life's problems. By the way if you choose the right values in metrics these problems should be motivating you. When you have negative emotions Express them in a healthy way and in a way that aligns with your values. as Freud once said one day all the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful. Defining good and bad values Good values or reality-based socially constructive and controllable. Honesty is a good value because you have control over it. Popularity is a bad value because you have no control over it. some examples of good values are honesty Innovation vulnerability standing up for oneself standing up for others self-respect curiosity charity humility and creativity. When you prioritize better values, you get better problems and when you get better problems you get a better life. There are five values that will change your life Taking responsibility: Accepting uncertainty: accepting that you don't know everything Accepting failure: Accepting rejection: being able to say no and hear no Accepting death Chapter 5: you are always choosing If you are always feeling miserable it's probably because many things are outside of your control. When we choose our problems we feel empowered. We don't always control what happens to us. But we always control how we react and respond. Even if it's not your fault it's your responsibility to choose a response. We are always choosing. The more responsibility we accept in our lives the more power we exercise over our lives. Some guys don't go and meet girls because they are afraid of their height. I assume women are only attracted to height. So they don't try. a better value would have been to say I want to date only women who like me for who I am. this is a metric that assesses the value of honesty and acceptance. Many people don't take responsibility for their problems because they are not at fault for their problems. If there's a baby in front of your doorstep one morning it's not your fault but it is your responsibility what to do. Fault is past tense. Responsibility is present tense. Accepting responsibility also mean looking at a breakup in the past and seeing the mistakes that you committed. simply blaming others is only hurting yourself. The way you react to your son's this is your own choice. Genetics and the Hands we are dealt There was this girl who had thought of her family dying. she learned that there are still monsters in the back of her mind and they will always be there but now they're getting quieter. Didn't choose this horrible condition. But she got to choose how to live with it. I have to choose how to live with it. The real game lies in the choices we make the cars that we have been dealt. The people who win or not necessarily the people with the best cards. Like poker. Today every demographic group feels unfairly victimized at the same time. This is outrage porn the media likes to find something mildly offensive, generate outrage, and opposed to imaginary science side while distracting everyone from the real problems. How do I change? Choosing everyday to give a f*** about it's really simple. Giving up a value is disorienting. You will meet internal and external resistance. Chapter 6: You Are Wrong about Everything As a teenager I told everybody that I didn't care about anything, when the truth was I cared but way too much. I thought happiness was a Destiny and not a choice. I thought that was something that just happened and not something that you worked for. A woman is single and lonely and wants a partner but she never gets out of the house and never does anything about it. because she would be forced to confront her beliefs about her own desirability. Thinking you're not attractive enough for your boss is an ass-whole give you moderate Comfort now at the cost of Greater happiness in the future. And we assume we know how the story ends. But the best and most gratifying experiences are also the most distracting and demotivating. the most difficult and stressful moments end up being the most formative and motivating. when you make humans believe they have found a combination that turns the lights on they will cling to this belief even if you tell them that the lights would get on at random times. We cling to the meaning that I remind has made. As a result most of our beliefs are wrong. be careful what you believe new line we measure every new piece of information against the values and conclusions we already have. As a result we are always biased toward what we feel to be true in that moment. When we have a great relationship with our sister we think of her in a positive light but when we have a bad relationship with her the sweet gift she gave us is now remembered as patronizing and condescending. False memory syndrome shows us that our beliefs are malleable and our memories are unreliable. if we're wrong all the time then we should be skeptic and challenge our own beliefs. Manson’s Law of Avoidance The more something threatens your identity, the more you will avoid it. The more something threatens to change how you view yourself or how successful you believe yourself to be or how well you see yourself living up to your values the more you will avoid getting around doing it. Making a million dollars for could threaten your identity just as much as losing all your money. Becoming a famous Rockstar could threaten your identity just as much as losing your job. This is why people are afraid of success- for the same reason they are afraid of failure: it threatens who they believe themselves to be. I believe I'm a nice guy I will avoid situations that would contradict that believe. If I believe I'm a good cook I would look for opportunities to prove that to me. When you admit to yourself that you were scared you're free to be ambitious again. You have no reason to feel threatened by pursuing your dreams and maybe failing. Uline fear can be very narcissistic. When you assume that you're playing is the one that is going to crash or that's your idea is the stupid one door telling yourself that you are the exception. This is narcissism narcissism. you feel that your problems deserve to be treated differently because they do not obey the laws of the physical universe. how to be a little less certain of yourself 1 keep in mind that you could be wrong 2 realize that if you were wrong this would often make you the selfish one or the insecure one or the narcissistic one Uline 3 3 ask yourself which problem is better. do you want to cause drama within your family or do you want to let your sister choose for herself the guy she wants to be with. Uline keep in mind that you have insecurities and flawed certainties that make you behave like an a******. If it feels like it's you versus the world it's probably just you versus yourself. Chpter 7: Failure is the Way Forward if someone is better than you at something they probably have failed at it more than you have. Many parents don't let their kids screw up and even punish them for trying anything new. The media only shows us the people who succeed without showing us the thousands of hours of dull practice. So we often seek external goals outside of our controls, which gives us great anxiety. Also these external goals are finite, whereas process-oriented goals or never completely finished and you have to re-engage with them everyday by being honest to people if honesty is your gold. Pain is Part of the Process World War II survivors some said they had become better more responsible and a happier people. they realize they had been ungrateful and unappreciative their loved ones and consumed by Petty problems. After the war they felt more confident more sure of themselves more grateful. Proudest achievements, in the face of the greatest adversity. Pain off and makes us stronger more resilient and more grounded. Fear and anxiety and sadness are necessary to grow. You must suffer physical pain to build stronger bone and muscle and you must suffer emotional pain to get greater emotional resilience a stronger sense of self increased compassion and a general happier life. the do something principle a good math teacher tells you that when you were stuck on a problem don't sit there and think about it. Just start working on it. Even if you don't know what you're doing the simple Act of working on it will eventually cause the right ideas to show up in your head. Action isn't just the effect of motivation it is also because of it. if you lack the motivation to make an important change do something and then use that reaction as a way to begin motivating yourself. Some novelist rice 200 very bad words everyday that's all. If they follow the do something principle failure feels unimportant. They Propel themselves ahead. They feel free to fail and that failure moves them forward. This principle helps you overcome procrastination and it is also the process by which you adopt new values. And with simply doing something that's your only metric for Success even failure pushes you forward. Chapter 8 The importance of saying no after years and years of travel I realize that absolute freedom by itself means nothing. The only way to achieve meaning and a sense of importance if through a rejection of Alternatives by narrowing the freedom of choice of commitment to one place one or one person. To value X, II must reject non X. If I choose to judge myself based on my friendships that means I'm rejecting trashing my friends behind their backs. Rejection is necessary to maintain your values and your identity. We are defined by what we choose to reject. And if we reject Nothing by the fear of being rejected then we essentially have no identity at all. being honest means being comfortable with saying and hearing the word no. rejection actually makes a relationships better and our emotional lives healthier. Boundaries people in a healthy relationship with strong boundaries will take responsibility for their own values and problems and will not take responsibility for their Partners values and problems. People in toxic relationship with poor or no boundaries with regularly avoid responsibility for their own problems or take responsibility for their Partners problems. what do poor boundaries look like? Here are some examples new line you cannot go out with your friends without me. You know how jealous I get it. You have to take him with me. My coworkers are idiots. They always make me late to meetings because I have to tell them how to do their jobs. I cannot believe you made me feel so stupid in front of my own sister. Never disagree with me in front of her again. I would love to take that job but my mother would never forgive me for moving so far away. I would love to date you but can you not tell my friend Cindy? She really gets insecure when I have a boyfriend and she doesn't. each scenario the person is either taking responsibility for problems that are not theirs are demanding that someone else take responsibility for their problems. traps and their relationships. Either they expect other people to take responsibility for their problems. “I wanted a nice relaxing weekend at home. You should have known that and canceled your plans.” are they take on too much responsibility for other people's problems. “ she just lost her job again but it's probably my fault because I wasn't a supportive as her as I could have been. I'm going to help her we write a resume tomorrow.” You never developed strong values for yourself when you have blurry areas of responsibility for your emotions and actions. You never developed strong values when it's not clear who is responsible for what and who's fault is what and why you're doing what you're doing. Your only value becomes making your partner happy. Are your only value becomes your partner making you happy. Uline people cannot solve your problems for you new line and they shouldn't try because that won't make you happy. You cannot solve other people's problems with them either because that's likewise want to make them happy. The mark of an unhealthy relationship is two people who try to solve each other's problems in order to feel good about themselves. Rather a healthy relationship is when two people solve their own problems in order to feel good about each other. Entitled people who blame others for their own emotions and actions do so because they believe that they backspace if they constantly paint themselves as victims eventually someone will come along and save them and they will receive the love that they have always wanted. Uline these are the yin and the Yang of any toxic relationship. The victim and the saver, the person who starts fires because it makes her feel important and the person who puts out fires because it makes him feel important. These two types of people or drawn strongly to one another and they usually end up together. They're the foliage he's match one another perfectly. Often they have grown up with parents who each exhibit one of these traits as well. Though their model for a happy relationship is one based on entitlement and poor boundaries. the victim if you really love the saver would say look this is my problem. You don't have to fix it for me. Just support me while I fix it myself. That would actually be a demonstration of Love. Thinking responsibility for your own problems and not holding your partner responsible for them. Uline If the Savior really wanted to save the victim to savor would say you're blaming others for your own problems. Deal with this yourself. And in a sick way that would actually be a demonstration of love. Helping someone solve their own problems. For victims the hardest things to do in the world is to hold themselves accountable for their problems. They have spend their whole life believing that others are responsible for their fate. The first step of taking responsibility for themselves as often terrifying. For Savers the hardest thing to do in the world has problems. They have spent their whole life feeling value then blocked only when they are saving someone else. So let them go of this need is terrifying to them as well. It can be difficult for people to recognize the difference between out of obligation and doing it voluntarily. So here is a test. Ask yourself if I refuse how would the relationship change? Similarly ask if my partner refuse something I wanted how would the relationship change? If the answer is that a refusal would cause a blowout of drama on broken China plate then that is a bad sign for relationship . it suggests that your relationship is conditional. It is based on superficial benefits received from one another rather than an unconditional acceptance of each other along with each other's problems. An argument. People with weak boundaries are terrified of those things and will constantly change their own behavior to fit the highs and the lows of their relational emotional rollercoaster full stop. People with drawing boundaries understand that it's unreasonable to expect two people to accommodate each other 100% And fulfill every need the other has. People will strong boundaries understand that they made hurt someone's feelings sometimes but ultimately they cannot to remind how other people feel. People have strong boundaries understand that healthy relationship is not about controlling one others emotions but rather about H partner supporting the other in their individual growth and insulting their own problems. It's not about giving a f*** about everything your partner gives a f*** about. it's about giving a f*** about your partner regardless but f**** he or she gives. This is unconditional love. for a relationship to be healthy both people must be willing and able to both say no and here no. Only normal, it is absolutely necessary for the maintenance of a healthy relationship. Freedom Through Commitment More it's always better. In fact the opposite of true. We're actually often happier with less. When we are overloaded with opportunities and options we suffer from what psychologists refer to as the Paradox of choice. The more options we were given the less satisfied we become with whatever we choose because we are aware of all the other options we are potentially forfeiting. But while investing deeply in one person one place, one job, when activity Mike the Knight us the breadth of experience we would like, pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of death of experience. There are some experiences that you can have only when you have lived in the same place for 5 years, when you have been with the same person for over a decade, when you have been working on the same skill or craft perhaps your lifetime. Uline I have committed to one woman for the Long Haul and to my surprise I have found this more rewarding than any of the thing and one night stands I have had in the past. I have committed to a single geographic location and double Donald a handful of my significant genuine healthy friendships. Commitment gives you freedom because you were no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Amendment gives you freedom because it holds your attention and focus, directing them to Ward what is most efficient at making you healthy and happy. Amendment makes decision making easier and removes any fear of missing out. Knowing that what you have is already good enough, why would you ever stress about chasing more again? Commitment allows you to focus on a few highly important gold and achieve a greater degree of success than you otherwise would. Chapter 9: And Then You Die we all want to be remembered after we die. cities governments we're all project of men who wanted to leave something behind. All the meaning of our life shaped by this desire to never truly die. This is why we spend so much time teaching children oh, so that our influence will Outlast us. Accepting your death is the basic route to all happiness. caring about something greater than yourself, believing that you were contributing to something larger than you make you more tolerant of the world around you. Today people give up all responsibility and demand that Society cater to their feelings. They try to enforce this on others sometimes violently in the name of some righteous cause. This pampering of the modern mind has resulted in the population that feels deserving of something without earning it, it created the population that feels they have a right to do something without sacrificing for it. Accepting my death and my own fragility has made everything easier entangling my predictions identifying and confronting my own entitlement, accepting responsibility for my own problems, suffering through my fears of uncertainties, accepting my failures and embracing rejections, it has all been made lighter by the thought of my own death. The more I peer into the darkness, the brighter life gets, the quieter the world becomes, and the less unconscious resistance I feel to anything.
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